Wings and seeds

Today I am having a hard time getting anything done. I have work stuff to do that I wasn’t able to do because of outside forces and then I can’t finish a canvas painting that I want to finish. I can sort of lay out some things on it but I can’t figure out how to cover it up so it’s not so bright. I don’t know yet. I have used some faux encaustic that I have tried for the first time with yellow ochre, soft gel and matte medium mixed together.

I can’t make new canvases to paint until I get help figuring out the damn saw that I got last weekend. It took me an hour to make breakfast at noon. I wonder if there is some sort of astrological thing going on again?

The weather is getting me excited for this weekend because we may hit 70 and then it’s not going to rain non stop this week it seems so that’s good too. I am growing more plants from seed this year than ever before. I wanted to do this to see if I could but also to save some money on plants. There are tons of flowers that I have started from seed for Melody’s flower garden that I will make as soon as I get the saw working. 🙂


I am back

The screen-free week was a success. It didn’t go like I thought it was going to because Melody didn’t have school but two days last week and most of my time was spent playing, cooking, playing some more, gardening, watching the girls run around in the neighborhood and supplying various alternative entertainment ideas. I personally didn’t get much of anything done at all. That was the surprise. I somehow thought I would get all this art and photography done and relax with some of my books from the library. With a 2 and 6-year-old at home with me everyday that didn’t happen. And that’s ok. It was a good week and the weather was so nice outside that we were outside almost every day for 4 hours. This morning I noticed we didn’t watch any tv except for Sesame Street and Melody played a Star Wars Game from online. During the week they played together a lot and Melody helped her little sister with art projects and playing soccer, painting or drawing on birdhouses and working outside.

The main points were…

If it’s dark and raining outside they run out of things to do in the house sometimes and watch to much PBS kids.

We don’t have cable so we never see commercials, well I do if I happen to attempt to watch a few minutes of the news (rarely).

A lot of kids who watch too much tv, are on the computer for a long time and play video games do suffer but moderation is the key. One or two shows on tv that they really like are fine. Movies are good to watch too if it’s raining outside and they both enjoy the same one.

I didn’t miss anything on e-mail or Facebook or reading blogs. I still haven’t read a lot of blog entries or too much on Facebook because it takes awhile and I have been busy baking and labeling my plants and keeping Willow out of the candy left from Easter.

The idea that you are turning on Life I like to a certain extent. It’s fine to communicate with people on the computer but it’s also not something I think is necessary. Get out of the house and talk to your neighbors, give someone a phone call and meet up with them somewhere to do something. I think most of us spend too much time on the computer and we should be making more friends face to face rather than typing to them.

Signing off to celebrate Screen-Free Week

Signing off to celebrate Screen-Free Week April 18-24! I’m turning off screens for 7 days and turning on LIFE!

I don’t know that I am that excited about it and that I am turning on LIFE with all capital letters but I hope to get a lot done this week including a lot of new art to show when I am back.


I got the photos from my sister she took at the Photography Show opening at Splendorporium.  It looks like I am scrunching myself down which I might have been since I rarely have only myself in a photo and not “little people” that are a lot shorter than I am. It appears that I covered the crazy clown photo of someone else that was hanging under one of my other photos. It’s a good photo if you like clowns, which I don’t. Melody and Willow played with the resident gallery pugs.

I started the new canvas this week by covering it with Asian text. The assemblage is almost finished but I have to adhere it to a backboard of some kind. I want to use wood but will have to look around for some or get a piece at the hardware store when I go next week. I am looking forward to getting the saw so I can cut things like a board or the used fencing material which I am going to use for Melody’s flower bed.

We started the melon, tomato, carnation and basil seeds so far. The peas are going in the ground today and I planned the garden on the Territorial Seed calendar program.

In my backyard

When we went to the river for the day I found some little souvenirs including stones and a piece of wood that I am going to make into a candle holder.

While digging the raised bed this weekend I found the following items which were deemed to cool looking to throw into the compost.One of the roots is plantain I think and there’s another one that is dandelion. The third root I am not sure about. Cornegie’s feathers are not often found and this one shows her coloring although now that I look at it you can’t see the brown in the photo.

Spring Break

This past week we were on Spring Break from Melody’s school and my husband took the week off too. We did a lot of fun things and even spent quite a bit of time outside when it wasn’t raining.

We have blooms on the two plum trees, went to Powell’s Books, Voodoo Donuts, the library, out to dinner, did some gardening (me), made a cake, Melody went to see the movie Hop with my Mom and Willow kissed and hugged a slug and more worms. She really loves all beings. I did a few journal pages, got some used books and then read Farm City from the library (half of it so far). I also did two assemblages but they aren’t all the way assembled yet. My husband fixed the wood bars on my small canvas so I can do that today. We have to wait a couple weeks before we get a real saw.

The car on the night of the gallery opening broke down and we ended up at Wendy’s for two hours but it turned out ok. We had it worked on for a week and now it’s still not fixed because something is off with the sensors which sucks. The tires needed rotating anyways and it needed a new battery and oil change. So we have the car back at home and have to take it in tomorrow I guess to have it fixed again. I hate cars but I can’t get a scooter or anything because I have to be able to transport three of us at a time. I even looked into a covered scooter but it isn’t big enough and it looks like a pope mobile!


Screen free week not this week

I was telling Melody the other day that we should turn the tv off for the whole week. Then later that day I found a link to Screen Free Week 2011. So we are going to try it. The girls and I will do it together although I have to get on the computer for my freelance job to do that which shouldn’t take that much time. I think I will do that in the morning early or in the evening if possible. I should just need to check e-mail for that and then I will be set. Earlier this year we were talking about jobs that don’t use the computer. There’s quite a few of them that don’t use one but then there are cash register computers and on-the-truck computers for truck drivers to get their assignments. I can’t remember what they are called offhand.

I think we are really going to be shocked at how much we get done although maybe that’s on my part! I tend to start off with good intentions on the computer and then it goes downhill from there. I check e-mail then I get on Facebook and then I go to Google Reader to read blogs but often I don’t stop. I get on someone else’s site and then find a new blog and then I check my e-mail and it says someone posted something about such and such… I draw or paint or cook or clean up a little when I am not on the computer or online. I also go outside when it’s not raining and this time of year I am trying to get the garden beds going but it’s so muddy!

There’s more information at this site about the screen-free week.

The important thing that I agree with is that time spent watching TV or using the computer is time they could be playing, riding a bike, or having fun with family or friends. This is real life as far as I am concerned. You live it off the computer not on the computer even if you are having wonderful chat conversations with your sister in Israel. You won’t remember “oh yeah remember when we were online and…” You remember the real life experiences you have. You greet your neighbors, pick up a book, take a walk, etc.

As long as it’s warm enough (which it is) and not raining (today it isn’t) then kids should be outside for a minimum amount of time everyday in my opinion. Some days we have two hours outside and others we get in only 45 minutes but there’s so much to do outside that there’s no reason not to be out there. I think one reason I am a big proponent of this is because we need to keep the interest and love of nature alive in children so that they will take care of it in the future.

A lot of older kids use the computer to write stories or do schoolwork. It depends on the age, but you can actually write more than you think you can by hand. If you know you have to look things up online then do it the week before you do screen-free.

I made up a list of ideas for us to keep us busy during our week.

Recycled boxes into houses
Embroidery and sewing
Bike rides
Backyard picnic and garden helping
Make ice pops
Make potions
Paint birdhouses and magnets
Botanical garden
Take photos and print them
Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge
Make our own newspaper
Sand and water table set-up
Paint Melody’s and Willow’s rooms
Build something with wood
Marionette puppets?
Mail a couple of letters to relatives

This is our own list that I came up with because Melody had been asking to do a few of these things anyways including the puppets which I have no idea how to make really.  I should mention we don’t have cable, just the basic 12 channels or whatever it is. I go days without watching anything on Tv but I often read Cnn or look at local weather online. The kids watch Tv in the morning on Pbs and then in the later afternoon if the weather isn’t nice. Most days Melody gets home and doesn’t go in the house she walks down the street with Willow and I and starts playing with the neighbors while eating a snack. 🙂

Earlier this week Melody asked if she could turn on the bathroom light? Well yes why? “Well it is using electricity and I thought we weren’t doing that this week?” 🙂  No it’s just screens not electricity. We aren’t going to be Amish for a week we will try no screens and see how that is. 🙂

The Academy

I went to review a photography exhibit in downtown Vancouver (Wa) yesterday for my freelance job and on the way back I decided to drive around The Academy. I know the main building is haunted as I felt really weird energy when I was on the staircase there before and it’s a really old building as well. I looked online and found a lot of information about the “haunting” of sorts that says the downstairs part of the building is where the spirit activity has taken place.

The Academy was originally built in 1871 by Mother Joseph of the Sisters of Providence and dedicated as the House of Providence in 1873. The Academy opened in 1874 as a girls’ boarding school.

I looked at the other building yesterday that includes the chimney I guess and I took photos from my car window except for a couple I got out in the parking lot. I didn’t get that close because the signs everywhere say I need permission to do “any activity” from the owners. This makes sense because anyone could destroy parts of the building by even touching it or getting hurt.