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!)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

slow travel


taking it all in... slowly


heading out to canterbury today... our trip is almost over... so much to post... stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

horses horses horses!!

i was FINALLY able to take a real horse back riding trip with my girls, lizzie hit the age requirement of 7 so she could be included and we found a highly recommended guide near the KOA in Bryce. when we did our first visit to the park and saw horses riding down into the amphitheater, emily went nuts requesting to go too. after some research i found that we could get a longer trip out into some really unique wilderness so we booked a trip outside the park. 


the three nicest horses, ever!! lizzie was really new to all this and her horse just didn't sweat anything. she stayed close to the guide and never wavered... IMG_1578
emily had a paint IMG_1588

my horse "navajo" was an appaloosa


lizzie had a gorgeous chestnut names "bally"


we started our trip walking along a clear blue river, passing wildflowers and sage, gorgeous cliffs all around, heading for "the slots" our guide said. at one point we turned off one river and followed another, the water was bright orange and our guide said it was because this river flowed from Bryce canyon and was orange from all the thunderstorms we had been getting each afternoon. it was surreal to see orange water flowing... so many colors in southern utah


heading into the slots! this was by far the coolest thing ever. most of my photos came out blurry because my horse was bobbing up and down so much through the river...



i hope it's clear that these slot canyons are cool!!


we headed back out of the canyon (i had a small mishap on a "run" up a small hill... my horse decided to jump the river before doing a few more jumps up the hill causing me to lose my stirrups and slide off one side. luckily he stopped when i yelled "whoa!" and i just dropped softly to his side. totally embarrassed though, i hopped back up and resumed the climb up. emily laughed at me from behind and a few minutes later she had her own mishap: her saddle was not tight enough and slipped around and under the belly of her house tossing her to the ground as well. luckily she just hopped off and wasn't hurt. our poor guide was mortified but with these calm and docile horses, it was really not a problem. we had a great laugh and talked about it for days after) we made it to the top and had a nice long pause with the view


then headed back across the valley to the truck and trailer. our guide told the girls they will never remember the first boyfriend they have but they will always remember their first "real" horseback ride with their mom. so cool!


hoping to take some riding lessons back here in the city, i think we were all inspired to continue riding.

Monday, September 5, 2011

camp gvl

just a few snaps of our labor day weekend at camp gvl... Photo-6


3 or 4 times a year we have an "artisan tour" where artists show off their wares and with newly pierced ears, we went a little nuts on new earrings. i do love to support local artists though so i feel ok with breaking the bank a bit. i managed to get an order in for christmas presents for the girls as well. christmas? egad this year is going by fast!

new likes

a few blogs i have been enjoying lately... my garden is pumping tomatoes out like crazy so gardening has been on my mind a lot. i was lucky to have plot neighbors who watered regularly while i was in utah and now another two weeks coming up with my mom in london, hoping for some more of that good neighborly help

the yellow house

and tend , my new roots , oh she glows and salt water farm... just a few places i have been visiting often. i really love the idea of a taking a vacation at a working farm and experiencing some hands on hard work that includes animals... oh to have a horse of my own!! for now though, it's enough to be working full time, gardening my 20 x 30 foot plot of mish mash, getting two camp fire groups up and running for a new year... so much to do!



my counter after a quick tomato picking trip. i make huge tubs of salsa that last about a week and a half. we eat caprese salads nightly and i made cheese enchiladas and added tomatoes/garlic/onions. STILL i have about a dozen left, what to do? (oh and more on the vines of 9 plants!)


this years tomatoes were the best ever! the winners were "purple cherokee" and "big rainbow" hands down! the sweet 100's cherry tomatoes started early and continue producing, sweet and plump picked right off the vine and eaten. i planted winter squash in late spring, early summer and have already harvested about 30 (acorn, several japanese pumpkin varieties) i popped in some seeds about a week ago and hope a few more vines pop up while i am on vacation. we just had a thunderstorm roll through, rain is good!!! more on the garden when i return from london!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

cross country, southern utah

a few pix of our drive to bryce...


the dixie national forest IMG_1122_2
we have met up with my inlaws in moab several times, staying near or in arches national park so we have traveled through the desert many times. this drive into bryce was new and even more gorgeous than just the straight desert route. there were twisty mountain roads with aspen trees, pines, oaks and rivers. we even saw a large eagle nest with an eagle on top (sorry we went too fast for a photo). scenery like this sure makes a long drive easier! IMG_1164_2


the view at our KOA... fantastic!