Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's a First!

Yesterday and last night we received a couple of inches of snow. But that was not why they canceled school for the first time since Anna's been in school! The roads were too icy and slippery. We still got up early, got ready and left around 7:40 a.m. to get to school by 8 a.m. for choir. As we were part of the way to school, a guy in a truck, driving by, slowed down to tell us school was canceled. Really? Thanks, mister. I never turn on the radio or t.v. in the morning (or during the day either) so didn't know.

Anna wanted to continue on to school just to make sure. When we arrived the school was dark. We went in anyway (as I needed to return the school cameras) and the principal was there to confirm that there was, indeed, no school. Back home we walked. Anna was super happy!

We caught the sunrise on our way back. At home we had some hot chocolate and then immediately donned our snow pants and gear. We were headed back to the field with our nordic skis before the snow melted.

With much trepidation on Anna's part we skied into the field. She does not like falling at all and gets nervous when she has to go down hill (although the hill is more like a bump and she could walk faster than the speed that she was skiing down the small hill). With much coaxing we got to the flatter trail. Going back and forth a couple of times made it nice to glide on (although we could have used a little more snow as I hit some rocks a couple of times).

After our adventure, we went back to the house and tried sledding down the street. It was the slowest sled ride ever. I could tell the temperature was warming up and the snow was starting to get slushy. Looks like school might be on for tomorrow!

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Snow and Some Art

It snowed a couple of inches last night. Yea! We haven't had this much snow in the valley over the winter for many years. It certainly makes the morning walk to school much more fun (especially when it is only 20 degrees). However, we did not see any wild animals this morning. (We saw a fox running down our street in the snow last night).

I must have 10 million pictures of snow. But I just can't help it. Everything looks so beautiful and different with the white stuff. Maybe someday they will inspire some artwork.

Yesterday was a big art lesson for Anna's class. I had them carve on those eraser-like material blocks. It was the first time we've done it in class. A few of the kids had done it before but I think the majority had not. Nobody cut themselves and they turned out very well.

I had them print one on fabric so I can sew them together and make a wall hanging for our school auction (although I'm going to have to re-print most of them to get a better print). Then, I also had them print on paper. The good thing about the safety-cut material was that they could carve a design on both sides of the block so they had two different designs. Then I said they could trade with others and put them together on the black paper. Some traded, some didn't. Overall, it went pretty well.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

More Triangles

I have finished some more banner triangles for my swap. The only thing left to do is my own.

Friday, January 18, 2008


We have had very cold mornings this week for our walk to school. 17 degrees was the coldest and the rest have been in the 20's. When the weather gets really cold the animals in the mountains start moving down into the valley. Yesterday morning we were walking down the stairs that lead into the field and when I reached the bottom, I looked up and was startled to see a deer about 20 feet away. It looked at me and then walked across the path. I said, "Anna, Anna, look." Then I saw to my left, there were three more deer. They walked across the path. And then more came wandering across. There were 7-8 and one had antlers. They just looked at us and watched us. After they were all across we continued on our way. We also saw a large bird (maybe an eagle or hawk or falcon) sitting in one of the trees.

Anna thought that was so cool. In the afternoon, I was coming down the stairs to go get Anna and once again looked up and was startled to see the same deer still there not 20 feet away (I thought they would have moved on by then even though it hadn't warmed up very much.) I stopped and they watched me, but didn't leave. Eventually, I slowly and quietly walked down the path and they didn't seem to mind.

So this morning I brought my camera, just in case. As we were walking down the stairs, Anna said, "Oh mom, we never see anything when you bring your camera. When you don't bring your camera, that's when we see things." I said, "Well, your dad says I don't have that much influence on the universe." (He said this not with any bad intention but in response to me thinking that whenever we are watching a football game and I come in the room, my team starts losing!)

Frank was proven right as we did actually see something. We saw a beautiful sunrise.

We did not see the deer, but instead, we saw three coyotes. We had seen one earlier in the week walking home from school. They were very hard to see because they blend in so well.

And this is one of the reasons why we try to walk to school whenever we can. I told Anna when we saw the deer that if we had driven to school, we never would have seen them.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Little Art Content

I am in a swap with nine other people (hosted by Sara in Austria). We each make 10 of these triangles in the colors each person chose. Letters were assigned to each of us to end up spelling Creativity. I was given the letter T as you can tell. I have to send nine to Sara by Feb. 15. She will sort them all and send us back the triangles made for us by the others so that in the end, when we string all the triangles together, we will have a banner with the word Creativity spelled out. You can see more of the others here.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Yesterday there was an inversion here in Boise. That is when the cold air sinks into the valley and stays (since we are between two mountain ranges). It holds in the clouds and pollution until enough wind can come and push it out. In the valley it looks gray and is cold. But if you drive up to Bogus Basin, you are high enough to get above the inversion and it is sunny and warmer up top. We went nordic skiing and it was so nice to be outside in the snow and sun. I only got this one picture as my battery was low.

I had dropped my camera in the snow when I was getting it out. Hence there are snow spots. I tried to fix them in Photoshop but it was taking way too long. In the distance you can see the sea of clouds and the mountains popping out.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


For Christmas Frank gave me one of the new Ipod Nanos. I also received some money. I thought I would go get a docking station with speakers for my new Ipod to put in my sewing room. I went to Target to look at the IHome. They had some other choices as well. Then I saw that there was a Bose docking station. Of course, they had it hooked up as a demo and you could hear it. I thought maybe I should splurge and get the really nice Bose one (as I want it to last forever even though I'm sure my Nano will be obsolete next year. But I'm hoping to use that Ipod forever, too.)

I didn't buy anything that day as Frank said I should look online and see if there were any deals on the Bose. I looked and B&H photography had free shipping for it (and I wouldn't had to have paid tax). But I think they were in N.Y. I decided I would just go back to Target to purchase it (and pay the tax). I hooked it up and it sounds great. Now I just have to put more CDs on my Ipod.

What was in the sewing room before was an old portable CD player that had lost one of its pads on the bottom so I had to prop it up to make it level. It also would skip on the songs or not even play the first one. I had to mess with it to get it to play. Attached to the portable CD player were two old compact speakers that needed a whack every now and then to get sound to come out or to get rid of the speaker "hum". So, I don't feel bad that I used all my Christmas money and bonus to get the docking system. I don't usually splurge on myself like that, but I think I deserve it once in a while.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Golden Compass

On New Year's Day, Frank, Anna and I went to see the movie The Golden Compass. I enjoyed it. The special effects were good, but not overdone. I think there was more to the story than what the movie could portray. That's usually why I like to read the book first and then do a comparison between the book and movie.

I had ordered The Golden Compass and the other two books in the trilogy through Anna's Scholastic Book school order (I love those things!). But they were sold out of it and we had to wait a while until they got more to send. (I imagine they were so popular because of the movie.)

Anna finally got the books the other day. I took them out of her backpack to look at them and see what the other two were about. I didn't intend to but I started reading the first chapter of The Golden Compass. Uh-oh, I knew I was in trouble and needed to put the book down and step away.

See, I love books. That's why most of the time I try not to pick them up. Because once I start reading, most of the time I can't put it down until I'm finished. Nothing gets done - projects, cooking dinner, anything. When I received the last Harry Potter book in the mail, I started reading it in the afternoon and didn't stop until I finished it at 6:30 a.m. the next morning. O.k., I don't do that with all books, but usually I end up reading longer than I should.

I haven't picked up The Golden Compass again since Anna will want us to read it to her (and I know I won't be able to control myself if I do). She's almost 11 and we still read to her. I don't know what I will do when she doesn't want us to any more because I really enjoy reading all the kids books, too. (There are already a few she's read on her own that I will have to read on my own.) It's great to be able to discuss with her what's going on in the books. Frank always has one book he's reading to her and I always have a different one I'm reading to her at the same time (this way we can take turns reading to her if the other person is busy or has something to do).

That night after I had unintentionally got caught up in the first chapter, a poem popped into my head while I was trying to fall asleep in bed. Usually it is pictures and ideas that pop into my head, not usually words. But sometimes. I knew I would forget it in the morning if I didn't write it down. I got up to scribble it on some paper. It goes like this:

The power of the book
grips me.
I pick it up and
cannot put it down.
I know what
awaits me,
and yet,
I open it and
am trapped.
The world goes on
around me,
until the very end.

What do you think would be a good title for this?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Two Surprises

Friday morning we had a surprise visitor - a young deer. Anna and I were working in the studio and I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. Looked out the window and saw this guy/gal. It walked around the side of the house and we were able to go downstairs and watch it out the window. It didn't seem to notice us there. So we watched it for quite a while.

This morning we woke up to another winter wonderland. Yea! We went out right after breakfast as we know snow doesn't last too long and will start melting during the day.

We tried sledding on the road and managed to get a few runs in but started hitting bottom. Then the dirt truck came and put dirt on the street. On to snowball fights. You're never too old for snowball fights (I hit Frank several times)...

... or for sledding! Yes, those are my feet and Anna is at the bottom of the street.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year

It's the beginning of a new year with a new start and so many possibilities! It's this time of the year when I feel like doing my "spring" cleaning and organizing. (Who wants to stay inside and clean in spring when the weather is starting to get warm and the plants are starting to bud and bloom?)

My task for today was to clean up the studio and make some room to tackle my scrapbooking which has been neglected for a very long time. Of course, the studio is a disaster area, half (or maybe less) is my stuff. The other half is Anna's. I had her working on it this morning until her friend called to play.

I put on a CD to help us along. Although I'm not sure how helpful it was. I never knew how many musical instruments there were in the studio. We found a cardboard wrapping tube to beat to the music. Jewelry findings in a jar make a great maraca and the top of a canning jar sounds good as a drum. You guessed it, we didn't get very far. And why should I clean while Anna's having all the fun?! Hopefully, we'll get back at it this afternoon and maybe discover some more musical instruments along the way.

Happy Birthday Sis!


I just saw on the blog that someone had made thank you notes by sewing a swatch of fabric to the card. Well, I'm with it as I just made some very similar. I did sew a couple but the other ones I just fused the fabric directly to the card and then stamped and drew in around it. Here are some of my examples: