Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Living Books.

“For the children? They must grow up upon the best . . . There is never a time when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, welltold. Let Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence’ represent their standard in poetry DeFoe and Stevenson, in prose; and we shall train a race of readers who will demand literature--that is, the fit and beautiful expression of inspiring ideas and pictures of life.”

--Charlotte Mason

Thought of the Day.

"All that is not eternal is eternally out of date."

--C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Michael quoted this one yesterday during a conversation about churches and "relevance."

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Trickle-Down Effect.

Clothing trendiness all the way to hip catch-phrases.....what's cool all depends on where/who/how old you are.....there's definitely a culture gap of about 5-10 years between what's cool with "the cool ones," (late high-school/college age) and elementary students....For instance, "Boo-yah!" is currently a super-cool thing to say in fourth grade. It makes me laugh.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

oh, the drama.

In first grade, we're making collages inspired by Matisse's "Beasts of the Sea." Yesterday, one of my students, A., brought his finished collage up for me to inspect. It was full of abstract fishy shapes, wave shapes, seaweedish shapes. A. pointed to a small turquoise triangle at the bottom of his paper.

"This fish is dead."
"Oh, he is? Is that why you put him at the bottom of your paper? Is he supposed to be on the sea floor?"
"Yes. He just died." A. got a mournful look on his face. "I don't know how. He may have hit his
head. I just don't know. But anyway, he's dead."
"Thanks for sharing that with me, A."
"You're welcome."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sweetpea Steps Out.

So, after about a year of making excuses, I'm finally pursuing portrait-drawing in a more serious way. Sweet Sarah, my designer friend, is going to help me design my business card and price list, and she and Wedding Girl have advised me on the pricing itself--"That's not enough! You need to charge more!" I'm sketching a few things to build up some examples for my portfolio, and have a couple of prospects in the works.

W.G. and I talked last nite about how producing art for someone else is extremely personal--whether it be a painting, a wedding photo, or a straightforward pencil portrait. Which is one of the reasons I've been dancing around it for awhile now. But I'm working up my courage and I'm getting excited!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Family Photo

I love candid photos.

They've got my back.

Today I informed my fourth-graders that I'm making business cards and hoping to start drawing pencil portraits more seriously. Besides sweetly "oohing" and "ahhing" over my portfolio,

William immediately volunteered to be my art assistant.

Next Clark offered to be my secretary, then said he was "too disorganized."

Casey then volunteered to be my "organized secretary."

We decided I needed one of both: an disorganized secretary and and organized one. ("Give me all the stuff you don't care about," Clark told me.)

And finally, Isaac announced he would be my personal ninja.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I think this is a very powerful photograph by photojournalist Flip Schulke.

Wedding Girl is Tagged...

Four jobs I've had:

1. Sear's Mens' Department. my first job in high school. my parents made me quit after i pulled an all-nighter to finish a paper and didn't finish the paper.

2.The Frame Shop. I built custom picture frames and cut custom mats. I worked there on and off for 5 years throughout college. I really became close with the full-timers who worked there.

3.J.Jill. Sales Associate. This was a good introduction-to-Boston job, but then I started to hate it.

4. Receptionist at the New England Journal of Medicine. I worked there last year during the slow wedding months and it was actually a really great 3-month job.

4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:

1. When Harry Met Sally--it's the story of my life. =)
2. Step Into Liquid--Documentary about surfing. There have been time periods where Stephen and I will watch at least part of it several times a week.

I know there are more...I'll have to get back to you on that one.

4 Places I've Lived:

1. Austin, TX
2. Athens, OH
3. Waco, TX
4. Boston, MA
5. Cambridge, MA

4 TV Shows You Love to Watch:

1. Lost (This is really the only show that I set aside time to watch. The others I watch only if I happen to sit down and they're on.) I'd rather rent/watch a movie than watch TV.

4 Websites You Visit Daily:

1. This blog
2. Chromasia, the king of all photoblogs: http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/
3. Joe's NYC, another good photoblog: http://joesnyc.streetnine.com/
4. Weather.com (Especially in the Winter!)

Places You've Been on Vacation:

1. Guadalajara, Mexico--with my family in high school
2. Catalina Island, California--our first wedding anniversary trip
3. Vale, Colorado--to visit some friends and get out of the city
4. New York City--to see a great show at the Met and do some touristy things like going to the top of the empire state building.
4. Northern California--with sweetpea and another good friend
5. Nantucket Island--half work/half pleasure weekend. after shooting a wedding my husband and i spent 2 days exploring the island and walking along the beach.
6. Mt. Snow, Vermont--2 days skiing with my husband and little brothers.
7. Killington, Vermont--we're leaving for this week-long trip in 2 weeks to celebrate anniversary #4.

4 Favorite Foods:

1. Mexican
2. Anything with Avocados
3. Thai
4. Anything with Sun-dried tomatoes
5. Italian

Where you'd rather be right now:

I'm loving the snow and I'm going snowboarding again in a few days; I'm not sure there IS any place I'd rather be...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Laura tagged herself with this meme. I like that. Then she tagged me:

Four jobs I've had:

1. My first job, other than babysitting, was at Southeastern Paralegal Institute. I worked there the summer after graduating from high school. Doing receptionist/filing/typing etc.---a job I was poorly suited for, as efficiency is hardly my middle name. My mom would call me at work and burst out laughing because my "Good morning, Southeastern Paralegal" sounded so terrified.

2. In college, I worked in the technology department--once again, very poorly suited for the job. I remember sitting at a computer, formatting disks and copying information onto them while jamming to my walkman. I was also the office joke, since every time anyone walked by the copier, I was there on my knees, trying to get it unjammed, having just jammed it.

3. Things looked up in college when I got a job with Lighted Schools, teaching in a after-school art program in Waco's middle schools. Involved in planning lessons, teaching lessons, and breaking up fights between 14-year-old black boys. Favorite moment: when a young boy, probably about 12, held open the door for me, looked me over, and said "What's up, snowpea?"

4. A few years ago, I worked at Banana Republic in between teaching jobs. Let me just say there are a lot a extremely skinny women in our fair city. We had trouble keeping size 0's in
stock. (throws up a little in her mouth)

4 Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:

1. Room with a View--how I want to run thru barley fields in Florence!!
2. Princess Bride--a favorite since I saw it in sixth grade at a slumber party.
3. Amelie--seriously resonates with me.
4. Roman Holiday--Audrey Hepburn/Gregory Peck...need I say more.
5. The Spanish Prisoner--loving Steve Martin in a serious role.
6. Les Miserables--the grace!! the mercy!!
7. The Sandlot--just love it.

4 Places I've Lived:

1. Plano, TX
2. Waco, TX
3. Dallas, TX

4 TV Shows You Love to Watch:

1. Lost
2. Any of the various Law and Order hybrids
3. Any of the various CSI hybrids--I'm a real sucker for crime dramas.

4 Websites You Visit Daily:

1. This blog
2. Other blogs

Places you've been on vacation:

1. Europe--traveling round with Mia, my college roommate
2. California--northern CA is one of the most beautiful places I've been
3. Boston--to play with Wedding Girl, of course.
4. New York City--should've been an art trip, but was mostly a shopping one.
5. Oxford, Miss. (accompanying my husband on his Faulkner pilgrimage)
6. Colorado

4 Favorite Foods:

1. Italian
2. Indian (I crave Tikka!!)
3. Thai (I crave Pad Thai!)
4. Mexican, the Texan variety

Where you'd rather be right now:

Breastfeeding my baby while sitting under the small loggia of my rented Italian cottage, in the slanting golden light of the afternoon.

I'd like to tag Wedding Girl and Miss Hannah.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


We just reserved two whole weeks at L'Abri Massachusetts for this summer! So excited!

Madonna and Child: An eight-year-old's perspective.

When a child is writing a narration at our school, they aren't graded for spelling, puctuation, etc. The child's only job is to "tell back" what he knows. I thought you might enjoy one of my student's narrations on Giotto's painting. Remember the description is from memory--the students had one picture study, then one brief review the week before.

Q. Describe Giotto's Madonna and Child in detail. Be sure to include information about the artist.

A. In Madonna and Child there is madonna and madona is holding a child. The child is a baby. I have always thought that madonna was mary and the child was jesus. Well madona is holding a rose far away from the child so that the child will not get hert. They both have halos that are very deceritive. Madona's robe was a sort of green or bluish robe. and the child is wearing a sort of rags. The rags the child is wearing sort of are an off whit color. Now about the panter. Geotto liked to paint frescose. But wait I forgot one thing. madona and child was covered in a thin layer of gold. Now, when giato was a boy he was a sheperd. he loved to draw on rocks with chalk. But sometimes he would get so into writing and drawing and his father would get mad. one time he drew a picture of a sheep. a little sheep that had lost his mom thought that it was his mommy! drawing that, he would forget the watch the shep. when he did that he would always come in with the sheep a little to late, or he would loose a sheep wile he was.....so now gioto is a famus artist.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The map's back.

So I thought I'd bring up that whole map thing again. Don't be mad. It just makes me so HAPPY. So map yourselves, shy persons. :)


And also, friends from high school--has anyone heard from Lynn lately?

First Grade Memory Pictures: Matisse's _Woman with Exotic Plant_

Okay, so I'm talkin' 'bout memory pictures again. Every so often, after completing a picture study, I have the students draw the picture from memory. This is something I've incorporated just this year, duh, and it's truly amazing how much more they retain....their final exams, where they NARRATE a picture from memory, were noticably better than in past years.....Anyway, here are few examples from first graders--six year olds!! Okay, okay, I admit, that because they're SIX YEARS OLD I flashed the print at them a couple of times while they were drawing....but not bad, huh? Testimony to the Picture Study Method a la Charlotte Mason.

I tried to choose two drawings that are at opposite ends of the fine-motor skills spectrum. :)

Friday, January 06, 2006

Broccolli, cont.

Happy weekend from the fifth grade, who will be found in their respective homes, gnawing on broccolli. (Notice the fifth grade boys in the background, who are beating each other with dead sunflower stalks. Ahhh, nature study.)

While on the subject of family snapshots...

Fernando got a flashy silver belt buckle for Christmas, so we took a sibling photo in the reflection. I'm hiding behind the diamond studded "F."

Happy Epiphany!!

Wedding Girl's Family Time...

This photo was taken by my youngest brother (17yrs old) while we were in Vermont this week snowboarding. Taken at Mt. Snow in Willmington, VT. I'm very excited about his recent interest in photography.

I just wanted to say that I haven't disappeared from this blog. I've taken almost 4 weeks off to be with my family and I haven't always had access to the internet while away. Sweetpea has certainly done a good job of keeping us thinking and laughing, though. Thanks, sweetpea! I've been checking the site constantly so I wouldn't miss anything.

One thing I realized this holiday season is that photography is fun way for my family to spend time together. We get together every year for a family photo and it seems to get goofier every year. We sit around later and laugh at the photos. I love it! Also, with the accessibility of digital point & shoot cameras the snapshots and mini videos are a fun way to document our limited time together. (I live in Massachusetts, my family lives in Texas). Family snapshots are some of my favorite photos ever.

So, I'm curious. Does anyone else have yearly family photo times either done professionally or with personal cameras? And if you've made the switch to digital, do you print your pictures anymore? I love my mom's old photo albums, but now it's so easy to keep your photos on the computer. I'd like to say that I will be good about keeping physical photo albums once I have kids, but, we'll see...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Currently reading....

Original Sin by P.D. James

Patrick, Son of Ireland by Stephen Lawhead

Vogage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (aloud with husband)

What about you?

Sketching Broccolli, of all things.

Soooo, it's January, and our brocolli plants are so very happy..... today the fifth and sixth grade painted both a leaf and a "tree" of that vegetable. (We were indoors drawing because it was a little nippy outside, and as usual, many of my students didn't bring coats!)

My Nature Studies.

I wanted to share these with you guys....a few of my nature study paintings. I don't always have time to sketch/paint along with the kids--too busy helping them. But I try to do them every so often, so they can benefit from the demo. Sorry the image quality is so poor. Also, these are generally done outside, sitting on the ground, with a dozen chatty children all 'round, so they aren't my BEST WORK EVER. :)

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