March 16, 2012

Dog and Cat Book

We've been rocking some kind of stomach virus around here the last few days. Now for me, this means rolling into a fetal ball as moving as little as possible while my intestines fight the good fight. For Lara, it's apparently creativity fuel! Check out this book she made this morning while I was slumped over yet another cup of comfort tea:

March 14, 2012

In the Back Yard

Are you lucky enough to be enjoying magical weather this past week? Welcome to the club. I am right now sitting in our back yard in a tshirt (!), soaking up the ambiance of spring and warmth and sunlight and happiness. This the first time I've seen what early spring looks like here. First impressions? Big fan.

The beautiful magnolia tree is in full bloom and I love the effect of those giant mauve and white ombre flowers against the sky, especially in contrast with the back-lit branches.

There also one blooming narcissus. Does the fact that there are other daffodil stalks but no other flowers mean better luck next time? Or could the others potentially still sprout?

Little clouds of swarming bugs around the bushes mean friendly visitors of another variety. This guy hung out on that perch for a half hour or so, just lazily picking them out of the air with his beak.

March 10, 2012

Secrets of the Basement

There are things afoot in our basement... Namely, a long and somewhat involved project that I decided to brave after the success of this shoe rack/hall table combo. It's been a lot of fun trying to improvise a wood shop in the smallness of our basement with my tiny arsenal of tools. Not as much fun? Trying to make my way around this thing every time I haul the laundry basket to the washing machine. It's hard to tell from my intentionally mysterious photo, but this project pretty much takes up the whole width of the space down there.

What is it, you ask? All shall be revealed when it's done. Which, hopefully, will spur me on to actually finish it already!

March 6, 2012

Serious Painting

We recently ordered a couple of really great art books, and have been learning a few new techniques (mostly flipping through and picking them at random).

One day we got lucky enough to even suck Jakey into the art long enough for Lara to try out playing with gouache:

Even better was a quiet afternoon when Lara and I experimented with blending and streaking watercolors:

And after a weekend trip to the art museum's family studio where we practiced symmetry and patterns, Lara drew an awesomely continuous background for "this is a rainbow pony":

I love watching the process of learning technique. At its most basic, it's just copying - just trying to reproduce the effect in another work. But the effort of breaking that other whole into imitable parts is also what enables the later rearrangement of the parts into new creativity.