Tuesday, December 27, 2011

the big 40

happy birthday chris!



a little hazy blurry but a great early dinner and sunset watching on signal hill


Monday, December 26, 2011

christmas 2011

whoa, i am really absent here lately! i had a run of extra work so i have been super busy and tired. finally have a few days off to catch up on everything...


this year i had portraits of both girls made by alice du bois (three different ones so i could keep one and give the other two to the grandparents) we also had my parents dog painted (*unfortunately he became ill over thanksgiving and had to be put to sleep, so sad!*) and our dog maggie as well. it was such a fun process to find photos of the girls to have painted and then interacting with alice as she worked on and completed each painting. it was always a thrill to open up the package with the painting all finished. i highly recommend getting portraits done of your pets and kids and whomever because it is such a unique way to capture a moment in time. i never tire of looking at the first portrait i had done of the girls. you can see the three portraits here and archie as well.


maggie got her annual bone and the girls got dolls, dolls and more dolls (including a justin bieber doll!!)


Friday, November 25, 2011

xmas countdown

like everyone says, cant believe it's almost christmas again. i love the holidays but it does seem to come up fast each year. for once i started super early and am close to being done with all my shopping. i shopped almost exclusively online on amazon and etsy with my biggest purchase being some special commissioned paintings... can't wait to see them! 


i got a last minute invite to the tree lighting at the colorado lagoon so i rushed home from work and we headed out


it felt good to start our christmas season early this year. work has been slow for me so i have been relishing the time for cleaning the house and working on small projects. i need to get more regular with this blog or it may be time to call it quits. happy holidays!

Monday, November 14, 2011

camp gvl

 few more snow pix of green valley lake... our drive up was so pretty!








bright sun and a fresh layer of snow, perfect photo op. hoping to head up again this weekend. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


making badges for my camp fire kids... super addicting actually



the best thing i ever bought for my group was that damn button making machine, have used it so many times


all done and ready for our ceremonial campfire celebrating the giving of service to our community. wo he lo!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

halloween fast approaching

for the first time in years and years i sewed my kids costumes, pretty much from scratch IMG_0102


their new favorite show is adventuretime (not always the most appropriate but...) so they are cake the cat and fiona


we spent last weekend getting the costumes completed then headed to the camp fire carnival


chris just whipped up this "fish" game last minute and it turned out so amazing!!


and it worked too!



happy halloween!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Alice DuBois

i stumbled onto this lovely artist on flickr and fell in love with her fun style, i thought she would be great inspiration for my camp fire kids. i had the first of two meetings last night with my older girls (first meeting of the year) and they were very attentive and seemed to enjoy the relaxed pace of drawing and painting rather than a more serious lesson plan. these 5th and 6th graders can be hard to keep happy these days...


we spent some time looking over pictures of alice's work and talking about her use of color and design. i wanted to keep the girls focused on birds and backgrounds and gave them limitations on what they could do. i have learned from the past (especially with my own girls) that often they will get off task and if the result isn't of their liking they can get frustrated. even with lots of instruction and guidance, there was one unexpected glitch (i'll get to it later) but overall i think this was a successful art lesson IMG_3297
sketching out birds first IMG_3309
blocking in color IMG_3318
completed picture IMG_3332
so the "glitch" i found was that as the end of the meeting approached and maybe a little too much gossiping and laughing was going on, i reminded the girls to keep on task and rushed them a bit IMG_3328
i realized that every kid who had some open white space started slapping dots all over to "finish up" IMG_3329
and in the end all but a few had polka dot backgrounds. the reason i mention it is that even with careful instruction and guidance to focus on a specific style, they will always be kids and do their own goofy thing. i spoke with emily about it and she got upset that i was saying something negative about her picture. i tried to explain to her that this was a lesson and i am like a teacher and if you don't follow the teacher's instructions you might get a "C" or "B" rather than an "A" on that assignment. of course i love all the work everyone did and everyone enjoyed themselves, i am just always surprised at the lessons i learn about how hard it is to be a leader and a teacher since no matter what i do, there is always a glitch. ha ha!! IMG_3326
a few finished pictures, thanks Alice DuBois!! i will try this tomorrow with my 2nd graders... we'll see how it goes!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

cathedrals and castles


on our way to one of two cathedrals we visited (canterbury and rochester), i love the architecture on even a simple block of houses...i guess these are like townhomes but so hearty and lovely at the same time


rochester cathedral


the SECOND oldest church in england, canterbury being first. i wish i had the patience to read more than just superficial info on these places but there is just so much to absorb on a trip like this


unfortunately while looking at this floor (which is usually covered up i was told) my mom took a tumble behind me and broke her camera!! luckily it was near the end of our trip but she was so bummed!


rochester castle next door...




climbing up to the top of this castle was a highlight of the trip for me. it was one of those things where you get there with only 40 minutes until closing so you rush rush rush and try to soak it all in. one big intense fast experience... like a shot of caffeine. i flew up to the top so fast and then spent 15 minutes just gazing down at the view. there was only one other person in the whole castle so it felt surreal, like being a kid in a playground all by yourself


view on my climb up... rochester cathedral nextdoor


view from the top


i highly recommend a day trip out to canterbury and rochester if you're ever staying in london... best day ever!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


So after our camping trip to Bryce Canyon in Utah... I was lucky enough to take a 10 day trip to London with my mom. Just the two of us (we have traveled together before many times). I was looking forward to it and I had the best time just hanging out with her, riding on the bus around the sights and taking trains out into the countryside. One of my favorite day trips was to Rochester Cathedral, Rochester Castle and Canterbury Cathedral...


Canterbury Cathedral is the oldest church in England (Rochester is second)


It is a gloriously large building and i found myself just quietly sighing and breathing deeply as i wandered from hall to hall




It's a powerful place and the shopping area on your way to the cathedral was fun to check out as well. We were lucky enough to be there on their outdoor market day which was full of antiques, veggies and plants.

(the walk to the cathedral from the train station)



lovely little shops along tiny streets that lead you to the "gate" of the cathedral


wow! I hope to visit this cathedral again someday, i highly recommend it to anyone staying in London for a few days. The train ride out was an hour at most and the countryside is gorgeous through the train windows. Rochester Castle and Cathedral next! (there are more photos of my trip on flickr!)