Monday, April 29, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

We have three winners!!!
I wish I could say you also won a chicken dinner, cause I would like to have you over for a meal, but I will mail your goodies to you as soon as I get your addresses.
We just like saying winner, winner chicken dinner around here.
Anyone know where the heck that originates from?

Oh. I need to announce the winners...

You won the little matted book page!

You won the itty bitty painting on the vintage book!
(I'm laughing because I received the seam binding from you-do you recognize it? I love it!)

You won the set of notecards!

Thank you all so much for participating. Really. Thank you all SO.MUCH. for reading this little blog and supporting it. I appreciate it more than words can say.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Friday, Hooray!!
It's a surprise day....I didn't forget!

 I'm in production mode for my next show. It's May 19th, down on Balboa Island
I'm maybe just a tiny bit excited. 
I know this because I woke up this morning with the thought of turquoise and book pages in my head. I think all my dreams were washed in turquoise.
I might be just a tad nervous as well, if I really begin thinking about the show. This thing is b.i.g.
Thank goodness for my sweet friend, Erin!!! She is giving me a lot of good advice. 

I feel like I'm in production mode almost all day every day this week. It's been a doozy with cat scans, blood work, and swim practice for Miss B. 

my fashion statements this week have been all over the map. From cute

to the newest in hospital wear. watch for it on the next project runway. I'm pretty sure it will show up.

I am happy to report that I am squeaky clean. I have been thoroughly checked out and the fluid around the heart is "just one of those things and not enough to get excited about." Same with the heart palpitations. No wonder my father always said it's hell getting old.

Miss Party has had it with the cupboard locks. Now she has moved on to the cupboard with all the plastic wear and opens that and pulls out what she pleases and leaves it all over the floor. 

(No. I have not forgotten about the surprise. You have to keep reading, otherwise it wouldn't be a surprise.)

I finished the windowpane painted in chalkboard paint. I put primer on it first and it seems to be staying just fine. I'm going to have fun writing on it!

My eldest is graduating COLLEGE in one week. HOW does that happen? I seriously think there has been a secret time warp somewhere and the clocks have all been moved and no one told me. She is going nuts getting all the classes over with and studying for finals. Then, poof! Done. Finito. Four years are over. It's quite the transition. 

It's o.k. to cry like a baby at college graduations, right????

I have to give a little shout out to GoldenStateArt. While I was sitting in radiology on Tuesday, I ordered a bunch of supplies, one of them being pre-cut mat boards.
 It's Thursday while I'm writing this and my UPS guy just delivered my order!!! Is that fast, great service or what?

I recall I said on my last post that there might be a surprise today.
(I told you we would get to it!)
I like surprises. I think we all need some.
I came to the other day and discovered I have written over 500 posts!
That's a lot of sharing and talking and listening and getting to know people.

It's a really good reason to celebrate. That said, let's have a
 GIVE AWAY!!!!!!!
woo hooo!!
(throw confetti and toot horns.)

Because I don't want to just have a little fun, I thought I'd have 
Super fun!

Here's what I'm giving away:

Vintage book page, altered with acrylic paint and ink, and matted.

Vintage book with seam binding and a little bitty 2x2 painting.

Set of six notecards.

A dog. 
Oh, wait. Sorry. I tried that before and it didn't go over very well. I could throw in the plastic wear, but that's o.k.-I'll hold off until next time.

Here's how you enter:
1. Leave me a comment on today's ramble.
2. Become a follower of the blog and let me know on this post.
3. Like me on Face Book and leave me a comment here that you did.
4. Share about the give away on your blog, and let me know that you did.

Each one that you do, I'll tally up the grand total and Brenna will help me pick a WINNER
by Monday. Comments will be closed Sunday night, 9:00 p.m. pacific standard time.

wow, does that sound official or what?

Let the fun begin!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sometimes Life Is Extra Sweet.

There are times when life is extra sweet. 
Like when a nice young man calls and asks permission to take your daughter to our church's prom that is put on every year for the adult disabled group. 
Just because he wantd to give our daughter the "experience of prom".
Which he did, in exceptional fashion.
First, we received the phone call.
Second, he showed up at our door the next day with balloons to surprise Brenna and ask if she would go with him to the Light and Power Prom.
Her response?

I KNOW, right???!!! Too cute.

Next, he somehow managed to persuade his dad to be able to use his car.
A corvette.
Oh, my. SO much style!!!!!
They had dinner with friend's from Brenna's class, then drove to the prom and danced the night away.
We came as well-who can stay away? It's the event of the season!
I can't say we saw much of our child, she was having her own fun, as we were, dancing and laughing and having the best time with people who really know how to celebrate and have a great time.

(click to enlarge)

The next day, I had the absolute PRIVILEGE to take a two day class with Christy Tomlinson
at studio Crescendoh.

It was the best class I have ever taken. All of us in the class bonded immediately, and we had a big 'ol love fest with Christy and her sweet as pie best friend, Chrissy. Literally, non of us wanted the weekend to come to an end. 

truly awful photo of me, but isn't Christy adorable?

my new friend, Chrissy, who I wanna grow up and dress like.

 Christy shared with us her amazing process to create her beautiful She Art canvases.

She shared a few more things with us as well...
  Like friendship, love, graciousness, vulnerability. Like joy and creativity, encouragement and a great outlook on life.
It was a fabulous learning process and just so. Much. Fun.

Day one-
Layers and layers of paint, ink, stamps, paper, you name it!

The second day we began the journey of putting our "girls" on the canvas.

christy sharing the technique of her beautiful faces on her canvases.

My finished product:

At the end, we all gathered for a small show and tell session, which can be intimidating at first, but man.
There was an unbelievable amount of talent in this class!

Thank you again, Christy, for all the gifts you gave us this weekend. Thanks as well to all the new friends I made-you made the weekend just that much sweeter!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Why is it when I sit down to my computer I can't think of where to begin and when I'm driving or walking or swimming I have a million things running through my head to talk about for Friday? I have tried recording thoughts outloud on my Iphone to use later but I felt so silly I didn't get very far.

Last weekend, the Red Dirt Show was a lot of fun.

setting up camp

Brenna and my husband help me set up, and Brenna took a couple of photos. It was supposed to be 80 degrees that day. Let's just say it wasn't even CLOSE to that temperature, and I about froze. I ended up with an old blanket around me that I use for protecting paintings!

The banner turned out pretty well!

As with all good art shows, a little dumpster diving was included during a quick break.
I wasn't particularly dressed to jump inside a dumpster, so my friend, Aeron gallantly offered to do so.

This is what we hauled away.
Pretty good for an art show, yes?

Chalkboard paint. Talk to me about this.
I used it a million years ago in Brenna's room on a small wall and it went on like a dream.
A few weeks ago, I purchased some chalkboard paint by Valspar and painted it on an old windowpane. 
when I peeled the painter's tape away from the edges, this happened:

nice pattern, but not what exactly what I was hoping for.

The chalkboard paint came off in big strips with the tape.
The paint went on funky, and you could see all the streaks from the brush and it wasn't a thick covering.
It came off easily, so the second time around I tried a primer on the window first and then put the chalkboard paint on. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Have you tried this type of paint on windows? How did it turn out?

photos from a walk in my backyard 

I'm wading through the chapter on trust in the book, "One Thousand Gifts."
Says Ann Voskamp, "God and I, we've long had trust issues."
I think this is where I determined she is my new best friend.
To admit this is one thing, but to put it in writing...

I long for that trust that is implicit.
However, I think my problem is control.
Add in some human nature, a little fear and a dash of anxiety and it's a complete package.

Then the author goes on to say that THANKS build TRUST....and in counting blessings (being thankful) she "stumbled upon the way out of fear."
Where was this chapter during Lent??!

The thing I ended up being thankful for was my kitchen sink.
A little strange, yes, but I really was thankful.

I'm thankful for hot water and soap. I'm thankful for the feel of things coming clean. I like to finish washing things up and knowing that they have a place and that it's a job completed. 

After I finished the dishes, I was scrubbing out the sink, I thought about truth. How it takes a good scrubbing for the truth to come forth. Wiping the grime away and rinsing it off, washing it away and the shiny, clean surface that comes forth.

the roses are just starting to come into bloom..

The shiny surface of realizing I can't control it all.
The beautiful, clean surface of knowing that  standing for truth is a beautiful thing.

Here's the funny part.
The sink needs to be washed out every day.
Sometimes - well, let's be honest. It should be washed out more than once a day!

A reminder to me that every day, I want to start out clean. And that sometimes during the day, it's a good thing to be washed again, to have the grime rinsed away. I think my grime builds up pretty quick during a day. I could wash it away with a prayer. Or a nap.  Maybe a  reminder to breath, a walk, a hug, or giving thanks.

Here's hoping that your weekend has a beautiful surface. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Little Note To the Producers Of Glee.

The show this weekend went really well and I had so much fun connecting with old and new friends.
Sunday, I read an article in the Huffington Post, and with their permission, I have included a link to the article. I then spent the next two days drafting this letter that I have sent to the Fox network, and which I would like to share with you.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my correspondence.

I have watched your show, Glee, in the past and enjoyed a lot of the shows. All though, I have to admit, I feel the show has gone the route of bordering on ridiculous and have not watched it in quite a while.

Yesterday, I read the article written by Jessica Zaleski in the Huffington Post about your Shooting Star episode. This caught my attention as I am a mother of an 18 yr. old daughter with Down Syndrome. The people involved in the episode answered the question "Why use Lauren Potter's character to be the school shooter?" with "Why not?"

I would like to answer your why not.

First off, while the reason Adam Lanza did what he did is still being searched out, the thought around mental illness, Autism and Asperger's are being thrown into the ring of reasons why people kill. You have added the diagnosis of Down Syndrome to that ring. Essentially, you have taken years and years of progress for our children with Down Syndrome and set it back. Fear of disabilities, and people with disabilities grow quickly with episodes such as Shooting Star.

My daughter, Brenna,  is a lot like Lauren Potter's character. My child is a junior in high school, a fully integrated member of her school. She participates in classes, has a job on campus, participates in numerous extra curricular activities and is a member of the swim team.

Is my daughter scared at times of what lies ahead? I would honestly say she is nervous about it at times and is not looking forward to the time when people she loves and knows graduate and not being with them on campus every day. Is my child  capable of taking a gun to school and shooting someone because of those fears? Not in a million years. We as a family and as a community work very, very hard to make sure she is safe. We work hard to make sure if she has fears that she is capable of telling us those fears.
 But I do believe she could be coerced, which is how I feel Lauren Potter has been handled. Isn't it all about ratings? What if she had said no? Would you have picked some other disenfranchised student to have the gun? Why in heaven's name must you air this in the first place? I think we got the message with 24 hour news coverage during the shooting in Newtown.

The fact that Lauren Potter's character took a gun to school  because she was scared and didn't know what would happen after high school is utterly ridiculous. Now you have people thinking that not only are people with disabilities capable of mass school shootings, but people who are scared as well.
 How much sense does this make? Why is it you feel you have to perpetuate this, and perpetuate it through a person with a disability?
 Why could you not produce a show that shows just exactly what work DOES go into a child like Lauren Potter after high school? We begin when our kids are at a young age to formulate transition plans, we have IEP's, we discuss the future with our children as best as they are able, we as parents agonize over how to get them ready for some kind of independence. It is constantly on our minds and the minds of their teachers. Where is the special ed teacher for the character of Becky on your show? Do you have any idea of the work they put into their students? Does ANYone on your team have a child with disabilities?

Brenna is indeed, looking forward to some of the possibilities that await her after graduation, and that is what we will focus on. Not guns. Not being alone with your fears to the point of taking drastic measures. Not television shows that put our children in a bad light. 

Thank you for your time,
Lynn Richards

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Ramblings

What do you do when you are four days out from a show and you have things to finish up?
Make a banner for your booth.

Shove the paint over and start sewing. Yup. That's it.
Then try and put it together and realize you have it stretched out all the way down the hall and into the bathroom, which Brenna cannot understand WHY. Especially when she needs to use the bathroom and Mom is on the floor with needle and yards of thread.
Brenna survived.

You know what I love? 
College students.
One in particular-my eldest. But she has some pretty amazing friends.
For instance, her friend, Andrew Norbeck, film studies major.
He's got a vision, and it's a good one.
He wants to go to Kenya to support people who need resources for kids in a sponsorship program, but don't have a way to get the word out. 
Enter Andrew and his camera.

"...there are individual’s, businesses, and organization’s doing significant work, but don’t have the opportunity or platform to be heard."

Take one minute and 46 seconds to view his video on what his project is all about.  Our family is gonna be looking pretty darn good in our shirts!

You know what else I love? Waking up late, talking to my husband as I rush out of bed, later asking him if (to my surprise) he made just his side of the bed. I then love his look on his face when he asks me who I was talking to, as he fell asleep on the couch all night.
I'm pretty sure I was talking to the dog.

Ahhh, spring.

More like ahh-choooo

Or, as they say in Italy, "achoo."

OR, as I learned, "Achoo. First known use in 1882, the sound used to define a sneeze.

Moving right along....
It's a reach this week, folks, it's a reach.

I cannot seem to leave this alone. It's slowly but surely taking over my house. Every time my husband comes home, there is a new version laying around.

And this.
The newest all time FAVORITE song on my Itunes.
One of those belt it out in the car kinda tunes.

What's your new favorite song playing right now?

Speaking of belting in out in the car...Brenna and I were at a stoplight and "Moves Like Jagger" by Maroon 5 came on. Well, sometimes the body just has to move! So we were dancing away as best as we could with seat belts on, and wouldn't you know it? The person stopped in the car next to us caught us in action. The fun part was that he laughed and pointed at us and started dancing as well! I wonder what song he was dancing to?

Last but not least.
Integrating true thankfulness.
I mentioned that I am reading Anne Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts.
It's hitting home in a big way, even though it takes some time to sink in and it feels like I am just scratching the surface.
 Right now, it is so good to look for things in the day to be truly thankful for. Thankfulness is a powerful tool.
The last couple days have been:
Miss Party resting her head on my shoulder while I drive.
Sleep. Which I desperately need right now. 
Hope your Friday is sweet.