Target, My Cruel Love

It’s been so long, and yet it was so bittersweet. The carts were calling out to me in joy, as I walked, alone, through the silently swinging red doors. The smell of popcorn greeted me like an old friend, and yet- no children clamored and whined, and I was free- Free to ignore the popcorn and soda deal, free to walk by, gliding my happy cart loaded with only my purse and my dreams.

The dollar bins, shining like bright little made-in-China gems enticed me forward. Oh, this is so cute- and this- so pretty- and wouldn’t Abby love those little cheap gloves? Only a dollar, you know… *Sigh* Meandering along the bins, idly dragging my fingertips over tidbits and trinkets, wondering what I couldn’t live without- I really do need this battery-powered green metallic necklace to show my honorary Irish spirit next month. A Chewbacca white erase board and some pink bunny ears clamored to join my cart of joy. Correction- my silent cart of joy.

The swimsuits did give a little mocking giggle as we, my cart and I, glided by on our way to the make-up and body products. Laugh it up ladies, today, nothing will spoil my reverie. Overhead, the cardboard bunnies and chicks, proclaiming springs arrival, twirled and chided the dinky little swimsuits- can’t you see, she’s alone- the kids are missing- leave her be!

The cart drew my floating feet further into the store, leaving behind the popcorn and pizza smells for the yummy scents of grapefruit and apricot and pretty pink packages. Oh, how I’ve missed being a consumer- how much fun, how delightful to while away an hour or two delighting in new scents, colors, seasons and textures.

The seasonal aisles towards the back gasped as I rounded the corner- how long since they had seen me- how much I had missed them. How much I needed to see the latest in garden ornaments- the lovely vases filled with acrylic water and calla lilies, the hydrangea wreaths that are so perfect for my home, the topiary- oh, the topiary…. green things that were impervious to my brown thumbs; I ached it was so lovely.

My little red cart, full of imaginations and lovely dreams, rounded the corner towards home. Look, the magic continues- there are no lines! There is a lovely young red-shirted girl, waiting to invite me to her line- eager to ring up my dreams and wish me a happy day.

I smile at her, nodding hello, and glide right by, my cart finding it’s home back in the coral with all it’s friends. You see, one doesn’t have to pay to leave Target when ones cart is only full of dreams.

Unemployment sucks.

Cherry Blossoms

The picture is UP and ready for sale! Check my Etsy page to view and for purchase info.
There’s another one in the works as we speak!

{Mo is Awesome. We’re not worthy.}

Thanks to Mo Mommy for coming over and setting up the ETSY site. She photographed, uploaded and cropped all my pictures, set up Paypal for me, and laughed at my lack of tech skillz. She also wrote the above post…

Welcome to My Process

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This morning, I started out with a sketch on prepped board. You can see the branches outside the window that were my inspiration. I’m drawing on masonite with a white grease pencil. The paper in front in my sketch of the original idea. I think if you click on any picture, you can see them larger.

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Mixing up my palette for the grounds. (that means the back and foreground)

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Laying down the grounds and blocks of print colors

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Once the grounds are dry, I can lay out the lettering. I use the computer to print the letters and use that as a guide for spacing and look, but I draw and paint them all entirely by hand.

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In process of laying down the lettering. I love typography. Love it. It’s hard to see in the photo, but I allowed three different pinks to mix on the brush and canvas, so the letters are the tiniest bit marbled.

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Here is the full layout, mostly finished, but with a few touches left to add, which you can see in the final  photo, below. I added some blossoms to the top, and deepened the colors just a bit.

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And, Voila. It is done. It took all day, since I squeezed in being a mom here and there, too. Tomorrow, Mo is coming over and going to help me figure out how to put it up on Etsy- but you saw it first here.

Thanks again to everyone for your proliferation of suggestions on sayings. I should have lots of material to make stuff from here on out.

Call for Sayings

OK, people, can I have your attention please? (That was said in my best Tim Gunn voice…)

I’ve got the paints out, I’ve got the easel up, I’ve got a space cleared and boards cut, primed and ready to go. What I need from you are ideas. Now, I can’t plagiarize or copy anything that I intend to sell, but clever saying and scripture verses and even hymns are not usually copyrighted- I have tons of visual images in my noodle already, but what I want to know is this:

What are some sayings or verses that you wouldn’t mind having on your walls?

Now, just a heads up, my bigger paintings are not inexpensive. I plan on doing some for Etsy that are in the 24” square range, and they should be around $250. (While this certainly is not chump change, it’s actually less than standard when compared with similar sized original work on Etsy). Keep in mind, these are original paintings and not copies, prints or lithographs. If this goes well, I may try and do some smaller ones for less-. But I just don’t know how to charge less for an original, hand-painted work of art.

If anyone knows how to get some prints made, I could then sell prints of original work for much much less- but I don’t have the faintest idea how to do that. Anyone? Anyone?

So, if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, give me words-some sayings and ideas you like and wouldn’t mind seeing everyday….

Random Crap

I wore pants to women’s conference in my stake today. The  RS president told me I looked cute. They were nice slacks, with a sweater and heels, but there was no way I was wearing a skirt two days in a row. Uh-uh. Nope. Pants. I figured if anyone wanted to say anything, I coulda taken ‘em.

Yesterday morning I woke up to Mo Mommy bouncing in bed beside me, marvelling at my squichy-Pedic mattress. I forgot she was coming over, and she woke me with exhuberence and a stunning new haircut. The Monkeys all played for a while, and I fed everyone Breakfast Mess for lunch- remind me to share the recipe.

Still no new job, but we’re hanging in here.

The other day, I caught the first scents of spring on the breeze- I always get catch fall in late summer, but this is the first time I can remember getting spring. I suppose the horrid winter we’ve had might have something to do with it- I’m really really ready for some springy-ness this year.

Working on Etsy stuff still. I’ve knitted a couple of pair of socks, and brought all my painting stuff into the studio. Tell me, what are you interested in seeing painted? Sayings? Kids stuff? Do you want diaper bags, or scripture bags, or something else? I can make anything…Give me some ideas!

Lemon IS the best flavor in the whole world. Just thought you needed to know.

I’m going to stop ordering movies for David from Netflix- he never has time to watch them, and they just clog up the queue. I’m moving all my movies to the top- up next, Pride and Prejudice- the one with Colin Firth- I’ve never seen it. Chick flick city!  Oh, and our Netflix membership is free, courtesy of my cousin, who works for them. Shhhh!

My best girlfriend is going through a little health scare right now, and I feel so helpless to do anything. Sometimes things just suck, and a phone call is poor consolation to a real hug and a real shoulder to lean on. If I could, I would throw us all on a plane and fly to Colorado today.

Sigh

I mopped my floor today *ducking head*.

I had to- it hadn’t been done in a month, and it was pulling my socks off as I walked. Painting tomorrow…

Bumper Sticker Life

Evidently, how I spend my days is how I spend my life. Also, there may be angels following me, Elvis may have left the building, and this is the first day of the rest of my life. And so on…

I hate trite. At least tonight, I do. Slogans like these make me start to hyperventilate and panic- well, except the Elvis one. What I do with my days, all to often, is nowhere near what I really want to be doing. I wipe things- the floor, tables, diapers, butts, dishes, the counter, the stove, the floor again, noses, tears, some more butt- you get the picture.

Yesterday, as I was cleaning the kitchen, wiping things down and picking up from Round Three of caring for my family, I suddenly exploded in a tirade of resentment. David- yes, I’m sick of using DH- whatever- his name is David- is sitting at the computer, wondering why his wife has gone insane.

The thing is, I’m a smart woman. The good Lord was generous in the Art department when he came to me, and sometimes I really want to devote more time to that part of myself- and I just don’t get to. I want to stomp my feet and whine and throw a big ol’ rager of a fit, just like my kids, and I want to get my way. Dammit. Anyone can do what I do around my house- can change diapers, wipe the floor for the umpteenth time, and put in a load of laundry.

No one but me can paint like me.

So what do I do? How do I keep the resentment from building up? Was I given talents for no reason? Is this a fair trade-off, and does fair even matter? Sometimes it feels like I’m trading really important things for the mundane- it’s not that caring for my kids isn’t important- but how much is the drudgery work or mothering really contributing to the quality of their parenting? Does it matter if I am the one who makes the floors sparkle?

I’m caught in a stand-off. Someone help me. 

Date Night

I’m goin’ on a date! I’m goin’ on a date! I’m goin’ on date!! Yipeeeee! Free babysitting via our Home Teachers, free dinner via my Aunt Nancy’s gift card to Outback!! Whooo-hooo! No kids! Whooot!

Valentine

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This morning, the managers of our Bishop’s Storehouse called us; their cook was sick, and they wanted me to come in to fix lunch for the 20+ workers. I was delighted to say yes. Once upon a time, back when Bean was a newborn, I was the regular cook at the Storehouse, and I loved every minute of the work.

After calling around for a sitter, and trying to manage two carpools and the logistics of our family for the day, if I picked Bean up half an hour early from school, I could do it. So, Abby with the sitter, and Bean with me, I headed off to cook for my fellow man.

I forgot two things: I forgot how much work it is to cook lunch for that many people, and, I forgot how much I love working at the Storehouse. The spirit of kindness and charity and compassion is so incredible there- every single person is there for one reason only- to serve others. No one is paid. No one is required to be there. All the people working are doing so out of the good of their hearts, and they expect nothing in return. I love being there.

Beanie was an angel while I worked. At first, I was fearful it would be too much stimulation, and I am never sure how he will do around people he doesn’t know, but he was a trooper. Everyone was patient and kind, he got to help stock some shelves with the retired men who do that, he helped me do a little cooking, and he played in the cardboard piles. When lunch was served, he even sat at the table properly and used his best manners- it was wonderful.

After the dishes were done and we were headed out the door, I glanced down at the ground- there, sitting among the rocks near the door, was perfect little rock, in the shape of a lopsided little heart. I had forgotten it was Valentines day… I popped the rock in my pocket, my boy in the car, and bounced off down the street, happy and full of joy.

Hope your day is as full of love as mine.

My Favorite Hymn

Listen to it here, traditionally arranged by Mack Wilberg, or listen to it here, for a lovely version by Sufjan Stevens… Either way, I can’t listen to this song without crying.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.