Saturday, September 27, 2008


loving this book so much. i took a silkscreening class in college and we made stamps out of linoleum type blocks. these rubber blocks are easy to cut and i became so absorbed and relaxed working on it. our first camp fire meeting is monday, we are going to stamp this print on plain canvas bags to hold our new workbooks. trying to make it easier for the girls to organize their books, this year we start earning beads (yeah!!!!) so we will make a bead bag at some point to keep them all together.

we had our "camp fire info night" at a local school this week, only one person came to ours (i went to a new school) but the mom was nice and excited to sign up her two boys, hoping we can get a group together for them. the school my daughter goes to had more parents and kids come check us out, it is always fun for the kids to run around the cafeteria with their friends. emily was begging to return to her school and see who stopped by. lizzie wore emilys old vest and cant wait to have her own group to go to, one more year for that.
here is a quick pass with the stamp, not perfect but pretty cool for the first try!

Monday, September 22, 2008

"do not feed the ducks" taskforce

never thought i would be involved with this kind of volunteer work, but the ducks need us! way back in the beginning of my camp fire group, we did our guerilla art to spread the message about saving the wetlands. we also sent our local council members letters and from that, i was approached to organize a task force to help stop people from feeding the ducks at our parks. i was amazed at how harmful feeding the ducks can be and how it not only harms them, it harms the whole pond making it a truly unhealthy place to visit. in a nutshell: when ducks are given bread and crackers, their stomaches are designed to break up vegetable based food and insects (think of how bad white bread is for us, why would it be good for ducks?). the bread basically balls up with the added water, making them feel full so they dont eat what they SHOULD be eating. this makes their intestines out of whack and they have an increase in "you know what" which pollutes the pond. also, there tend to be more animals than should be in a given area since the food is given to them (ducks will move around more looking for natural food). the link between our local ponds and the wetlands is also important, migrating birds will stop by our parks and then stay instead of moving on. this causes a disruption in their mating and migration on a very large scale. something i never thought about before too is that the crumbs and waste left behind by all those human visitors, attracts mice and rats which also multiply as there is an increase in food supply. 

most people would stop if they just knew how bad it is for the ducks, pond and environment in general so we are trying to spread the word by getting kids involved. its funny, when you tell parents at the pond they need to stop feeding the ducks and why, you can get some attitude (i have had people tell me they have always fed the ducks as if thats an ok reason to continue) BUT if you educate kids, they are positive and helpful and rally behind sharing the news with others. maybe kids are used to being disciplined and parents/adults dont respond well to it? who knows!

here we are, sharing with the community:



i made "duck patrol" buttons which were a big hit. we had kids sign up to help in future projects and if they took a button, they had to promise to share with others why we shouldnt feed the ducks. a fair amount of adults grabbed them too!

kids came to the table to make "do not feed the ducks" posters to take back and share with their teachers

emily and brooke went up with the boy scouts to do the flag salute (we love the boy scouts!)


lizzie had fun too!

the school year and camp fire is in full swing, it will be halloween before you know it and then on in to christmas and another year. trying to slow the pace down, work less, paint more... trying to find a balance, same old story. i am looking forward to a new arrival (hi jen!) and planning more trips (yes i am a travel addict) even though the bank account is in the negatives, oh well! just trying to keep positive for our future and the whole world should be watching in november because whatever happens in our upcoming election is surely going to rock the world. i hope i am drinking champagne and lighting fireworks in celebration (rather than drinking tequila straight from the bottle to numb the pain) you know what i mean, right?
ok, enough of that! so spread the word to all your friends: dont feed the ducks!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

home sweet home


welcome home pictures for me!


(notice the new jools oliver book!)its good to be home!

Monday, September 15, 2008

london mish mash


castle shadow

london traffic
dreamy train ride (with a little slang thrown in, look close at the window)

do you see the skull and cross bones?

these yellow/lime green trees are gorgeous this time of year, i think i have 50 shots of them all over london

tube/train love

st pauls cathedral



a young pop star shakes her booty to a crowd of elderly people, trafalgar square

a ten hour flight takes me back to reality

Sunday, September 14, 2008

hampton court palace





i guess i should explain a little! Hampton court palace is actually two palaces, the Tudor home of Henry VIII and the baroque palace of William III and Mary II. this is the tudor kitchen... the meat is just for show. there is a limited ability to photograph inside, the outside is fair game


the fountain court
on the way to the knot garden


the pond gardens

we only saw half of the gardens, left the maze and wilderness gardens for the rest of my family. we finally had someone take a picture of us both, together, imagine that?
there were zillions of pretty pictures today with the bright sunlight and blue skies. i will put more on flickr, this post is just too long. we head out tomorrow evening, tomorrow is a travel day. i am packing my camera away and soaking in the last day of london. we have a tradition of walking hyde park on our last morning, so i will be reflecting on this lovely trip my mom forced me to go on (ha ha!) i may post one more london mish mash, or i might not. missing my little family like crazy, hugs and kisses to chris, emily and lizzie, see you soon!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


we have a wolf theme this week for some reason. first the unfortunate situation at home with pictures of alaskan wolves being shot from helicopters (no picture, can't stomach it). then the wolf exhibit at the colchester zoo was mesmerizing

i took tons of video of them, but only a few photos

then my mom and i returned to our apartment (we are staying near hyde park) and caught the last night of the proms on tv (which we saw set up around the prince albert hall a few nights back, we watched glamorously dressed people exiting the public buses as they arrived for the concert). so of course we were excited when a prominent pianist (my mom and i both had years and years of piano lessons, we love the piano) was showcased and she is the founder of a wolf conservation sanctuary in new york. we have been listening to this fantastic concert while googling about the wolves, wish so much i could find a way to do something like this, move to the country and save something wild and endangered. not sure if chris would go for it, ha ha! how about it chris? the wolves are calling. just kidding!

colchester zoo

so i am cheating a bit with my photos, my mom took some really good ones. these are from the colchester zoo

sloth (how i feel right now, ha ha!)

monkeys i found fascinating



i loved the "zeedonk" who is 40 years old! the last of 4 babies that were born when a zebra and donkey were mated together.

after reading "life of pi" i look at hyaena's differently (freaky!)

my moms favorite, the fennec fox (who just had a baby!)

baby elephant, sweetness

the baby giraffes were inside feeding

fun for the monkeys and

fun for MY monkeys! i miss you lizzie and emily!

love riding the tubes

see my mom through the door? we jumped on different trains! oops! at least we both knew where we were going, thank goodness. tomorrow we head out to hampton court and maybe kew gardens. off to bed early tonight, getting ready for that long flight home!