Friday, March 27, 2009

Lori Koop



I found a fellow Etsy artist, Lori Koop, awhile back when she visited my little shop and I immediately took to her work. See, I took ceramics in college aways back and barely got by so I admire all who do it well. I did okay with the hand built stuff but everything I made kind had, well, flaws, major flaws. When I saw Lori's work I thought, now, there's a ceramicist I can get with! Her art is fun and stays true to the medium of clay. And she names her pieces with people names, one is named Beth even! (But I can't claim to be the muse for that one).
Go visit her!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No Boiling Rabbits Here



My husband and I have turned into Dexter addicts (pun intended if you've seen the show). It's an acquired taste for sure and most likely not for everyone. But as you may have read before, I have a love of things a little dark and funny. When my husband first met me the first thing he saw on my wall of my house was a Edward Gorey (a fave) Gashlycrumb Tinies Poster...it's a poster about odd situations where children happen upon perilous death in alphabetical order.
I like to make light of things that aren't really supposed to be viewed as funny (but not at the expense of others of course.). It makes me feel better. And Gorey did not create the poster to promote the untimely demises of toddlers...it's meant to be, well, amusing and slightly off center much like the newer Lemony Snicket, Series of Unfortunate Events.
Alas, Dexter has A CRAZY ARTIST character love interest now (we are still in Season 2-Netflixin' it). I liked her. Liked her. Because of course now, her quirky, arty, huge disturbing sculpture ways have become Fatal Attraction like....
like a stereotypical artist....
I've never fit that mold. Did I trump around (and still do) in thrift store jackets with furry collars that I had to borrow $1.50 from my best friend to buy in college? Have I lived like a starving artist? Many a time. But I've never really gone art lady crazy (I know some of you can debate that). And my artwork, it doesn't really "make a statement"-it's purely selfish (now that's crazy, right?)...I just like to draw things I like. I had a terrible time for awhile (until Advanced Printmaking) with this at JMU. Everyone seemed to have a niche....and me, I just wanted to draw whatever came to my mind on any given day....hmmmm.....there's not a degree for that.
I did graduate with a BFA in Painting and Drawing but mostly printmaking because I felt at home there-those were my kind of crazy people.
Now I just do my own kind of crazy (see earlier posts)....there ain't no boiling rabbits in this artist's pot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

ROYGBIV



I recently realized that I really love the simplicity of my kid's watercolors-the quality not so much. But it isn't too bad-I don't do RoseArt....by the way, moms who want creative kids take note, don't skimp on art supplies. I don't mean that you should go out and buy Windsor Newton gouache for kitchen table projects. I mean, no waxy crayons, no watercolors that look like they already been watered down, and no colored pencils that make you have to press so hard the color makes an arroyo in the paper. Kids can get frustrated easily and you can set them up for much better success if they can actually SEE the colors they are putting down on the page. And it's a good thing if the clay they are working with doesn't turn into an unintended rock sculpture. Okay, off my art teacher soap box....
I recently bought a moderately nice set of pan watercolors (Windsor and Newton-only the best for mom of course) and I am loving them. I feel kind of kid-like with my own little scoops of paints in rainbow order.
Last night, I had the irresistible urge to do two things...one was to bake up some peanut butter cookies while watching a little Biggest Loser-I know, it's heartless and the other was to paint with my new watercolors a giraffe with a lady who is ignoring him. So I did both.
It's gotten to the point where my husband just shakes his head and doesn't ask....
Why, well, because the answer would be a rather matter of fact....
I am making cookies and painting pooh poohed giraffes and what are you doing?

Olives, anyone?


I've heard that it can happen but I didn't BELIEVE it until today......my child FELL asleep in her high chair well before her nap time. It's like a big foot sighting. Head lolling, eyes a flutter, face in her Cheerios bowl. I better go play the lottery. More later....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Citizens Arrest

The other day a friend of mine said to me that she (and a few other friends) were wondering how I get all the stuff done that I do (soccer, running, art, etc.)...the old, how does she do it question. And here's my answer/question:
Something has to give right? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN MY HOUSE?- It's a mess. I mean, it's not rotting dishes in my sink messy but the house is definitely "lived" in as I like to put it. Part of the reason I want to move into a two hundred year old house is so that I can actually blame all of the dust and peeling paint and stains on the house itself.

And half of the mess can't be blamed on three kids not exactly....
I have been known to let my kids make towers using all of my spices just to get a little artwork done...the tops not always being on perfectly tight because of my haphazard cooking style. Let's just say my house ONLY smelled like a tarragon steak dinner much to the disappointment of my spouse coming home from work (where they are NOT allowed to make spice towers).

My husband likes to tell me that half the work I end up doing is stuff that could have been avoided. You make more work for yourself, he tells me (and he's right)....like letting the kids have Styrofoam peanut snowstorms in the living room for example.

I like to tell myself that at least my house isn't as bad as the girl I heard of in grade school whose house was so covered in trash you couldn't see the floor. But I don't know if that's the standards I should be measuring myself against. That and and my husband's maggot fridge house in college (don't ask)...I think, well, at least I'm not THAT bad.

So, please make sure you call before you come over....I'll try to tidy up the place.
Until then, oh well, let it snow!

Fruit Flies With Red Eyes

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Zzzzzz





I heard on the Today show this morning (at least I think I did because I didn't get much sleep) that sleep deprived people's disposition can be compared to a person who's alcohol level is .08....so pretty much that means that I have been walking around three sheets to the wind for the better part of six years....hmmmmm, that explains a lot.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Andrew Bird In Flight-The Whistle Always Wins



When I find music that I like I just have to share and one of my newest finds is Andrew Bird. Anyone who can fit the words onesie, sociopath, veil, atmosphere and silver bridge in to practically one sentence and make it sound lyrical and phenomenal has my attention...also the whistling and clapping (trust me). But really, sorry....can you tell I am not a music reviewer, I promise I'll leave that to the professionals.
I heard an interview with Andrew Bird and Melissa Block on NPR as I was driving J and K to the much talked about Coraline viewing. An interview I never would have heard at home amidst the chaos that is a 1,3 and 5 year eating dinner.
He described his music on his latest CD as "I think of like, when I was a kid, and I would get my Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass and throw myself down in a pile of mulch or something and go in there and pretend that I was microscopic," Bird says. "I wanted to capture that kind of woody, mossy, decaying kind of sound.".
My favorite song is the opener on the record (yep, I like saying record) called "Oh No" and here's how Bird describes it: "Oh No," inspired by an inconsolable child on an airplane softly repeating those words, was not intended to feature whistling so prominently. "I recorded this live with just two acoustic guitars," Bird says. "Whistling is usually just a placeholder for a melody you expect to play something else with. But the whistle always wins."
It's kind of hard to explain how perfect that is until you listen to the music.
Don't you love when you can wait to put that I Pod on and go for a walk or even do the dang dishes...ahhhh, music.

Tutu Take Off

Fruitful Thank Yous


My PaperNStitch shop is in the lead but only by one vote...will you give me some love?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Art Making Scheme

Hey there......I checked my little PaperNStitch storefront and it is right up there with a handful of other shops for most hearts. If you have ten seconds you can go and vote for me. Vote once, vote twice, get your dog to put his paws up on the keyboard, it counts right? Really, I can't help myself. I'm competitive and I think I have the best supporters ever so.....head on over. You have until Friday.
Heart,
Beth

(more later)
oooohhhhh...I just checked the shop...3 more hearts...you go people!
And If you think I stay up at night thinking of this stuff, well, then, you're right.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Best Thing I Heard...

as a struggling mother was, "Oh I REMEMBER that!" a friend said those exact words to me about two years ago when my then "challenging" kiddo was completely losing it over a very simple thing.
"What do you mean, you remember that?," I asked.
"Oh, those losing- it- over- everything moments, the constant battling, the confusing emotions, the torrents of pre-school tantrums."
"You mean it ENDS????" I am ecstatic. "Because I feel like I am in some kind of Book of World Records stage here....it going on two years (little did I know it was going to be just about 3 years).

These days when I wake up I have to pinch myself.....is that things have gotten better in my house? Could it really BE that my five almost six year old is agreeable, insightful, insatiable in exploring and learning to read, can share a wink with me and our very own inside jokes. He's kind to his brother some of the time (can't get too greedy), has a best friend that he treats just as one should treat a best friend. And I can take my kids OUT IN PUBLIC now. Oh, I thank my lucky stars. But I worry, will my three year old pick up the torch? It doesn't seem likely as he's a very different child than his brother. So right now, I feel I paid my dues. I am going to enjoy this, darn it! I've been initiated and I passed (somehow).

And the best thing is.....I asked J the other day if he remembered being such a handful and he looked at me incredulously.
"What?" He said laughing, "I was never like that!"
Oh, Pre-K amnesia you are wonderful..... I will never mention it to him again. Wink. Wink.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's

This morning I woke up to the excitement of a five year old who thought he had been visited by a candy dropping leprechaun.....oops, have I missed something?
"Yeah", he said, "the leprechaun puts the candy in your shoes." Oh, criminy! No candy in the house, no secret stash.
"Well, buddy, I don't think our leprechaun leaves candy. At least MY childhood leprechaun never did." Holidays are getting complicated.
"Well, ok, Mom, maybe he'll just leave me toys."
Arrrrggghhhhhh.......

St. Patrick's day is a day when I feel proud. Proud of my ancestry, see the Hannons are almost ALL Irish. There is a little bit of German, Scot and Welsh but in the pie chart of Hannon ancestry over %75 of the pie is kelly green. I've got the Irish tan, the penchant for a pint, the ability to tell quite the tall tale, a quick temper, the curly hair...all stereotypical "Irish" attributes, I know, but in my case, true....so

Hello to my family in County Down and County Clare...someday I will come and meet you, sing songs, tell stories, have a pint and never want to leave.


(The art above is a rough draft for my March baby announcement done in my more watercolory style. They've been on the back burner for awhile but I thought appropriate to post it.)

Monday, March 16, 2009

You Go, Miss Virginia!



Never ever in my 37 years have I been thrilled by a beauty queen....don't get me wrong, it's not a jealousy thing,well, okay I still get mad at the "bathing suit" part....so when I read this, this morning in the Post, I was pleasantly pleased that my state's tiara adorned beauty queen, Tara Wheeler's beauty really seems to be more than skin deep. Inspired by recent St. Baldrick fundraisers , she decided (and cleared by her pageant "sponsors") to shave her head bald if she can raise $500,000 by April 11th.

"If I raise $500,000, I am allowed to be a bald Miss Virginia," Wheeler told the Post yesterday.

Let me just say that I will gladly give a donation to that kind of fun! And to what a great cause. I for one am ALL for a bald Miss Virginia and all of the smiles she'll put on some very special people's faces.
Click here to donate. I already did.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Arrow, arrow, space bar

The other day I expressed to my husband my amazement in watching my two boys and their friend play a Lego Power Miners game on the computer.

I can't believe it, I said, there was no fighting over who would play or who would drive. Two of them were perfectly happy to watch the other navigate the drill -wielding- Lego- dude barrel over rocks and mountains. The non-players would comment and cheer him on.
Good job! Great dig!

Unbelieveable! And when does this end....you know, the contentment to just watch another arrow, arrow, arrow their way to victory?

"Beth," my husband says disbelievingly, "Have you really not noticed that men/boys will always watch and cheer (jeer) each other playing video games. It never ends."

Oh yeah....come to think of it.....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blueberry-WIP


My kids eat blueberries by the ton. I can't wait until they don't cost the same as a small condo in Florida. The Fuller kids are keeping the Chilean growers in business. Think I am going to have to plant our own, then these three could go to college.
(The piece above definitely needs some messing up.....it's just too linear.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

There Should Be a Warning....

Ok, can you tell when I drew this? Well.....I drew this the other night while watching a movie. Hmmmm....you think, there's a lot of detail in that sweater sleeve, did she watch ANY of the movie? Was my eye on the screen or my artwork?
So, a note of warning to ALL mothers out there and especially ones of small boys......the movie Changeling is HORRIFIC. Yeah, yeah, Angelina Jolie was great, blah, blah blah. Yes, the story actually happened. Yes, we as mothers should be reminded of how precious our kids lifes' are and how we should be on guard.....but NEVER have I had to leave a room to throw up like I did with this movie. I actually got sick to my stomach. The trailers are deceiving. Just a note, a warning.....there should be a label for this, Not a Movie for Mothers Who Have Young Children (NMMWHYC), there we go.....I think I'm on to something....

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Luke Skywalker Isn't the Only Cute One Anymore (for Katie)

That's it....a sample chapter title of my new book, ladies and gentlemen......be sure to tune in to Bionicles-No It's Not Hormone Replacement Therapy...where one woman/artist attempts to explain the wonderful world of the latest trends, gadgets and toys through funny drawings and weird humor.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately...about how much a mother does ON THE JOB TRAINING and how much easier it would be if here were like a "cliff notes" for all of the endless questions that we can barely answer correctly. You know the questions. The ones about Star Wars toys and characters that are either new to this day and age or were never a big part of our girl-based childhood. Many of these latest toy trends requiring higher learning degrees to decifer.

These are the questions that as you are answering them in the back of your mind you think that the Candid Camera crew is catching you on tape sounding so incredibly dim....Yes, kiddo Pokemon is JUST like a ferbie....and in some cases we could do real damage...let's take for example the fact that I completely made up my own version of the Spiderman song that my three year old now has taken to be legit, here it goes:

Spiderman,Spiderman
Does whatever a Spiderman can!
He's got webs and he's got STYLE!
He's got a suit that will make you SMILE!
WATCH OUT! He's the Spiderman!

It was late, I was tired...I got creative.
More chapters samples later......

Friday, March 06, 2009

A donation and adoration.....

The collage above in the white frame is a piece that I am donating to my son's school's auction. It will be held at the Bluemont Vineyard and unfortunately I won't be able to go, rats! I think this is a great way to support his school and do a little advertising for myself:)

Anyway, Coraline......
A couple of weeks ago on a Friday night I swooped up my five year old and his bestest buddy (my insurance policy that we'd get through the movie) and we headed out to the NEW mulitplex about 20 miles away from here (everything is about 20 miles away!) to see Coraline in 3D. I have never seen anything in 3D. I was very excited to don the glasses (which I thought were still red on one side and blue on the other, old school) and pop into a beautifully Henry Selick world. And boy did we......Coraline in 3D is eye candy, delicious and such a treat. And it's not in your face 3D, it provides depth not dizzying graphics. I wanted to take a bath in all of the slightly muted colors.
The boys loved it too. Looking over at the bespectacled two made me break into a smile...the glasses were a bit too big and they looked a bit Buddy Holly. They watched the whole thing intently, smudging up the glasses with buttery popcorn fingers, they WERE NOT AFRAID (they told me many a time).
Yet at one point when the "other mother" has made a complete metamorphosis into the spider-like lady...there was a pause and in true comic relief, K (J's BF) yells out,
"Now THAT was freaky."
And wonderful too.......

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Veronica

Dear Nielsen Rating People-click letter to read


Yet another in my Dear People series...next Dear Sock People......and for those of you who don't know me, I have a dry sense of humor bordering on sarcastic, make sure you read the letter with that kind of voice (it helps if yours is hoarse like mine too). Chuckling......

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Snow Hill

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in. --Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Shoe Saga #433

We bought J a new pair of shoes....his old ones actually had holes in them. I already knew what a fight it would be to get him to wear them.....and here's the play by play....

Me: C'mon, J, let's try on your new shoes. The bus will be here in a few minutes.
J: No, I LIKE my old shoes.
Me: All right, I'll pay you 100 pennies! That's a whole dollar!
(I have no shame, money, toys whatever....just get those shoes on your feet, boy)
J:How bout' 100 DOLLARS! (The boy drives a hard bargain)
Me:I don't have 100 dollars, J. Now c'mon let's try them out.
J: (loud guttural noises breaking into full on grunts) ewwwhhhhh....I don't like them!
Me: Why? They are brand new, they look great!
J: They are TOO CUSHIONY!

Well, at least there were no offending socks as well in this dilemma....it was a nice chuckle.
BTW:He did wear the shoes and all is, well, cushiony.

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