Saturday, July 30, 2016


This morning I am working to judge an art competition. For some reason I keep falling into this work. While I loooove looking at art and recognizing the artists with ribbons or medals I always ache for those who do not win. Obviously we cannot all be good at everything we do...and many of these competitions have everything from extreme beginners to ├╝ber professional artists. I wish I could give awards to everyone, like in elementary school. 
Here are some of the awards I would give:

1) Rebel award: the winner would get this award for throwing all of the art "rules" out the window and/or never learning them in the first place, but still having the confidence to enter a show with professionals. That is pretty awesome.

2) Sweetest sentiment: this would go to those grandma's who took a painting class and on their first try decided to go all in on a portrait of a grandkid (portraits are hard and kids are challenging so it is not what I would advise for beginners). I love seeing where they put the most focus, usually the eyes.

3) Best depiction of an abandoned building. Living in the west we artists are often inspired by the decrepit beauty of abandoned buildings, but often those paintings/drawings/photos get overlooked by the flashier work.

4) Greatest concept: sometimes I see work that falls a bit short because the idea was simply too big. Grand concepts are difficult to pin down, but I can often see what was intended and it bums me out to not acknowledge a really great idea that maybe didn't quite come to fruition.

5) Most unique: I see work that falls into its own category...maybe it is a dog sculpture made out of spoons or a painting of 200 elbows (I have not seen this painting, but I want to) that just cannot be compared to the other work in the show. I bow down to that kind of work.

6) Total disregard for the rules: often people will enter a show with specific guidelines and their work in no way fits the requirements. Hats off to those folks who are just sharing art even if they cannot win.

7) Most well disguised cheap frame: look, we have all been there, framing can be a huge expense. Sometimes all you can afford is the cheapest possible frame. I am not too much of a framing elitest, but it really does say something to the viewer about how you value your art. Our friend and framer Claire at Goedicke's does an amazing job for Eric and me---we know the artistry of a good framer. Sometimes that simply is not an option, particularly if you have a lot to frame at once. Some people are wizards at presenting their cheap frames in the best possible light and this is an art form that should be acknowledged.

Anyway, I am sure it will be fun to see what others are doing and I hope to be inspired! 

Here is a photo of me and the girls sketching.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Phone Photo Friday: 7.29.16

Happy Friday! Time for phone photos.

I have been making tons of masks for the masquerade ball at Eric's museum. 

Tofu, mashed cauliflower/potatoes and gravy with pan seared zucchini.

I gave Elise a haircut as her hair's deepest desire is to be a mullet...something we have been battling for years.

Momo stopping a sketch.


Sisters playing with their dollhouse.

I let them make a huge mess of the house so I could draw for a bit.

Playing in the creek.

An evening well spent.

Sick Elise sleeping it off.

A gorgeous Wyoming sunset.

Running through a neighbor's sprinkler while on a walk.

My first zucchini.

Hope you are well.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


A couple of years back my mother took a trip to Denver with Eric, the girls and me. While there we hit up IKEA (obviously) and she bought the girls a couple of their cheap $2.99 stuffed animals. Elise got a pig that has been heavily favored since that day, but Cordelia grabbed Fluff...a stuffed dog. Since that day Fluff has been her stuffed animal. She sleeps with it every night, Fluff travels with us, Fluff goes on errands, plays outside and is toted along with Cordelia for most of every day. If Elise is hurt or sick Cordelia will lend her Fluff, for a little while.

Fluff waiting while we play at the park.

I am not sure what Fluff means to her or why it is this stuffed animal...but I understand he means something to her and I honor that. Fluff has become misshapen and worn over the years, just as a well loved stuffed animal is meant to be. When I see Cordelia with Fluff I often think of The Velveteen Rabbit and I think that story was written for just such a stuffed animal.

I never had a stuffed animal that I felt so devoted to, but I remember rotating through my stuffed animals at that age...lest I hurt someone's feelings. Cordelia does this too, but she simply invites others to join her and Fluff.

Someday soon she will outgrow Fluff. She will not feel comfortable toting him everywhere. I imagine there will be a day where Fluff stays on her bed, a childhood comfort in the night...for many years. Someday further down the road it will end up in a closet or a trunk, to be re-discovered on  sentimental days to take her back to a happy time in her childhood.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Technicolor Yawn

Man alive! There has been so much puke in the past five days. The girls have both been sick. I thought we were past it, but then Elise awoke this morning feeling sick...then she threw up. It is no biggie, just part of life with kids. Oh, and to add insult to injury two cats and a dog have barfed in the past few days. I mean really! 

The other night, around three in the morning Elise woke up retching all over her bed. This after a day full of Cordelia upchuck. Eric and I cleaned up and got everyone settled and just as all was falling silent the distinctive pumping sound of a cat vomiting in the dark.

Thankfully Eric and I, while feeling a bit wonky, have managed to hold off. 
Although I do everything in my power to not toss my cookies. I simply cannot manage. Spewing is gross FYI.

On a related note, as I was writing this post I felt compelled to look up synonyms for barf. My favorite, chunder. Do you use this word?
Also noteworthy, the technicolor yawn...?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Without Words

Monday, July 25, 2016

Vegan Recipe: Chipotle Lentil Tacos

•7oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (remove one half of the peppers and reserve for another use), finely chop the peppers
•1/2 yellow onion diced
•1 Tbs olive oil
•1/2 c brown lentils cooked in 2c water until tender---about 20 minutes
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1tsp ground cumin
•.5 tsp ground coriander 
•.5 tsp Mexican oregano
• 10-12 corn tortillas, warned at the last minute
• 1-2c shredded lettuce
•1 avocado, sliced
• chopped onion
• 1 tomato, diced
• vegan sour cream and hot sauce

1. Cook your lentils first. 
2. In a medium skillet over medium heat cook the diced yellow onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a moment longer.
3. Add the adobo and chopped chipotle. Then add the cumin, coriander, and oregano. Cook for a few minutes.
4. Add the lentils and reduce heat a bit and cook for about ten minutes. If the lentils start to dry out then add a little water, but don't turn it into a soup.
5. Warm the tortillas and then lay out the rest of the ingredients so everyone can assemble their tacos.
Serves 4

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Quote: Dear World

"Dear old world," she murmured,"you are really lovely and I am glad to be alive in you."

-LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Yesterday was Sam's 23rd birthday. My baby brother. The birthday boy was gifted with two nights shifts in 24 hours, but he did wake long enough for a small family dinner.

We went to my parents' house. The girls dressed for the party...

Sam was gifted with several presents, but most importantly $80 in Taco Bell gift cards.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Phone Photo Friday:7.22.16

Well, Friday again already! Let's do this thing.

Last weekend my mother, the girls and I took a girl road trip to see my grandmother, great aunt, aunt, cousin, second cousin. It was a lovely visit and I took almost no photos of the event.

Here rests Momo Nara. She likes to take her morning nap in the bathroom closet. Also, I will probably need to wash these towels again...

Elise started sweeping as an apology after a small meltdown. She has a good heart.

Pig sitting this past weekend. We have been watching this piggy regularly for about a year and she is just starting to warm up to me. She still does not like Eric. 

Elise at a thrift store,"Look at me I am a rocking out worker!"

I was sick for about four days this week. I had almost no appetite. I made an exception for this. 

Riding bikes.

Eric and Elise. She instantly had a knack for riding.

Eric and I making art together after the kids were in bed.

Breakfast burrito.

Sketch of a still from the surrealist film Un Chien Andalou.

Hot days mean we have to hit the park early in the day. We went before lunch.

Played for an hour or so...

And then Eric met up with us for his lunch break. These girls are so lucky to have such a present father.

Hot day and a cancelled play date called for some science-y distraction at the local Science Zone.

This girl shot hoops with those crazy goggles for an hour.

I couldn't have dreamed this up in my imaginings of sisters. Sure they fight too, but really they are very best friends and are so sweet to eachother 97% of the time.

Sketch of Dali. Honestly this one surprised me...probably my most successful portrait to date.

The girls were photographed for the paper using an outdoor explorer kit that both Eric and I had a small hand in.

Me and my basset shaped shadow.

Hammock tyyyyme

Thursday, July 21, 2016

From the Garden

Every day in the garden I find something new! I love heading out there each morning and looking around to see what is growing, what needs some TLC, what is ready for harvest. I love this time of year.

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