do what you love.

I know it isn't exactly professional looking to have your artwork sitting on the ground with your child kneeling on it... but it is truthful. She climbed on top of it while I was trying to take some photos of it. It demonstrates what study boxes Alex makes for me!
This is the same painting after I played around with it on picnik, giving it a vignette border around the edges. I used to feel like it was cheating to digitally change my art, but have come to the conclusion that it doesn't change the fact that it is still my artwork.

"Do What You Love"
12" x 12" x 1.75"



I missed out on my studio day today due to another case of epic poison ivy. As Alex was escorting me into the doctor's today he wondered out loud if people would think he beat me up.
I will admit I have cried a few times today as I was trying to fight off an impending bout of self pity. Besides my rock star husband and little girl who seemed completely unfazed by my new appearance, do you know what got me through the day?

#1. The image of my Father and Amy in one of my favorite places: Cinque Terre, Italy.

#2. My best friend ZANFEL. Giving the compulsive itcher like myself the green light to itch. Thank you, thank you, thank you for ZANFEL.


adorable, ear less, bundles of tipsy legginess.

I just wanted to pop in quickly to say that we have two new baby goats!!! (FINALLY)

After many weeks of her looking ready to burst, and her udders so full they almost reached the ground, she seemed to go into labor for real last night around 8 pm. Unfortunately Alex, Lil, and I were in town celebrating my Mom's last day here and her birthday and decided to leave to help out and be present at the birth. To make a long story (and a LONG night~ we were up every hour checking on her) short: Sparrow showed signs of being in labor for 24 hours and we kept waiting and waiting and waiting and it seemed endless. Heavy panting, making nests, buggy bulgy eyes, goop, moaning... Ema looked everywhere for support for this extended labor and couldn't find any accounts of such a thing. We already knew that Sparrow is one of a kind though, so it was fitting. (Good thing I didn't bet you way back when!)
She finally went into hard labor at 7pm tonight, and it happened so fast that I didn't have my own camera, so no cute pictures of the adorable, ear less (because they are LaMancha goats) bundles of tipsy legginess. One boy and one girl.

I am off to bed as we are going to be up early to get into the garden to plant. It is a new moon tomorrow, and in these parts of the South the old timers say that is the best time to plant!



Lil's Memere Linda (Mem-may) is visiting this week. It is so sweet to see them together. She bought Lili a new sandbox from Toys R Us, and it is already a big hit. We decided that we wanted a sandbox with a lid so the cats couldn't use it as a giant litter box. And after much research (thank you Mom!) we settled on this beautiful one. It was either this or the classic plastic green turtle. I have to say that in my opinion this one is way better. Neutral colored, about 1/3 bigger than the turtle, and with a sturdier lid- it seems well worth the extra $20.00. Of course, it wasn't me paying the extra cash, it was the doting grandma- but still ;)

new growth

I finished the painting I showed you that was in progress last week. It ended up being about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the healing that is, and still needs to take place. Sometimes paintings do that to me~ they start out as one thing and end up taking on a whole new life. Usually, (but certainly not always) this is a pleasant surprise...
"New Growth"
8" x 8" x 1.75"


little farm girl...

One of the pigs has a very long tail, and one has a very short tail. It is quite amusing.

Alex built that box-like thing in the chicken coop to throw food scraps in. This way things like avocado shells and orange peels are contained and are not strewn about the chicken yard looking trashy. So far so good!


Pick of the Week

I thought these paintings by bobi+bobi would be a very nice way to start the week off. I love the interactions of the characters in her illustrations~ they are all so expressive.
Visit her flickr site HERE for more of her work.
Happy Monday.



Lili uses about half verbal language and half sign language. THIS video is a great example of it (sorry, I can't figure out how to upload it here...)~ I ask her to say Atticus and she does. I ask her to say kitty and she gives me it in sign. The sign for kitty looks like stroking whiskers. Lil's version reminds me of an Italian chef saying "perfect", or maybe some sort of elegant composer saying "Ta-da".

I can't imagine life without sign right now. I think this might be my #1 recommendationn for new parents. There are tons of baby sign books out there. Lil is particularly loving this one:Although it isn't great for small babies because it isn't a board book.
I have so much gratitude that she can communicate with me in this way.



This is just one of so many startling beautiful pictures taken by the Hubble. Click HERE to visit the Hubble gallery.

Words, of course, can not express the beauty of it all.
(well perhaps somebodies words could, but certainly not my words.)


bike love

Align CenterLil got her new helmet in the mail this week~
Which means pretty soon she will get to go on a father-daughter bike ride!
(In a seat on the back of the bike.)



Yesterday on our to-do list was to make some eggs for the neighborhood egg hunt so I dyed 11 eggs and Lil played/colored with one. I just gave her some crayons, paper, a bowl of water, some paints, and an egg.It seemed like a brilliant way to keep her involved and yet out of the dye cups. It worked really well until she hit the egg and it cracked a little and then she was able to poke her finger inside and play with it. She dropped it back in the bowl and let the watercolor paint-water soak into it, and when I turned for a second pulled it back out and took a gigantic bite of the sloppy egg, shell bits and all. Then as I was trying to swipe out any remaining egg from inside her cheek the bowl of mushy egg and paint water tipped and sloshed down the curtain and splattered on the floor. It was one of the great ideas that just got away from me I guess... I think I would still recommend this though...
I made up a little Easter basket for her. Mostly stuff I found at the thrift store (including the plastic eggs which I was very happy not to buy new) and a little bit of sugar and curtness found in a stuffed duck. I wasn't sure how she would react to it, but first thing this morning she was beyond happy to have a surprise awaiting her... She crouched down and peered at it.
It was the perfect day... After the egg hunt we shared a crepe brunch on the deck with the neighborhood~ it was quite festivious and very sweet. Lots of new beginnings and promises of new growth to be had...
(Sorry if I bored you with all these pictures~ I am totally smitten for pictures of eggs.)



Dear Binky(ies),
I will admit upfront that I used to be very judgemental of you. I would see you in the grocery store, plugged in some innocent child's mouth, and I would think When I am a parent I will make sure that I won't use THAT... And then only 3 weeks into being a parent I caved in and tried you out. My baby wanted to suck incessantly, and so I used my pinkie thumb to pacify her. It worked, except I couldn't get anything done. So I turned to you, and you have been faithful ever since.
I swore I would give you up before the 6 month mark. Nope.
I thought I would give you up before the 1 year mark. Nope.
Each time I thought maybe I would think of some big trip by airplane or car, or something like that and think... Is it really worth it when the binky is such a good friend to her? And you have been a good friend to her.
Do I worry about your plastic leeching into her mouth when she uses you, yeah.
Do I think she looks and sounds cuter without you around, yeah.
But, now at 18 months do I feel like it is time to end your beloved friendship? I don't know.

What a blessing you have been. What a curse...
Alex told me that yesterday she had a little binky fashion show after all the Binky's came down off the shelf. First the small latex pink one, then the blue one with the crack, then the Halloween looking one... Then, two in her mouth at once. And she thought this was hilarious. You made her giggle so hard you fell plumb out of her mouth.
Thank you for soothing my baby all these months. I wish you didn't hide her smile, but thank you for making her smile. Thank you for showing me how to be less judgemental.
Maybe one day soon we can part amicably and without any hard feelings?


not yet...

No goat babies yet ~ but she is waddling around looking uncomfortable. It is pretty funny to see us all investigating her backside and trying to determine any clues of imminent birth. Um, I think it looks a little puffy... or No goop yet... or hmmm, I think it may be opening a little when she walks... ~ that kind of thing. I can't help but reflect back to to THIS, when we thought she was pregnant and then no babies came. ever. But now, we are a little more seasoned, and I would bet on her giving birth with a couple days. hmmm, what should we bet???
Just kidding...
Whilst Sparrow waddled along today I had a wonderful studio day and finished this painting which I am very happy about. It is 8"x8"x 1.75". Tomorrow I am going to see about getting prints made of some of my paintings which should be fun.
I hope everyone else has as much to look forward too!


kisses and snow

We had a steady stream of snow today and I will say it was beautiful. But, not as beautiful as snow in December...
As I sit here typing and yawning the heater is rattling and clicking away next to me. One of these days soon we will unhook the heater from the wall and declare it is undeniably going to be warm!!! but, not yet. And it is in this cold cold April weather that our goat Sparrow seems to be gearing up to have her babies. We are thinking maybe tomorrow :)
Only a tinsy bit of snow accumulated, but enough to look pretty when the moon rose...
Reflecting back over today I am reminded of how I woke up... To the little one repeatedly kissing me with big, huge, slobbery, exaggerated, and incredibly sweet kisses... And the trend continued throughout our long snow day together. I feel so lucky.