May 13, 2014

Around Here

We've been having fun and getting life done around here.

We took a meandering drive to northern California and Redwoods National Park for spring break, stopping to see friends and family along the way. We hiked a few awe-inspiring trails and dabbled next to the Pacific Ocean with sun on our faces, exactly the getaway this family needed.

Our garden is blooming.
 I planted this poppy last year and it is rewarding me with its beauty this year.
The artichokes and onions are planted, the strawberries are flowering, and the geraniums I overwintered are out on the deck. I'd say summertime is on its way.

This is how Ben feels about me taking pictures these days.
He's away at 5th grade camp this week and I am literally missing his face.

Two of my favorite people.
This girl is catching up on sleep since playing laser tag all night in Spokane with the PHS band. 
That was their choice of activity, along with dining Ethiopian and attending the symphony, for an end-of-the-year celebration trip. She is so ready for summer.
Mark is working hard and gardening even harder; we are going to have a kick-ass pond very soon. He's also away at 5th grade camp this week and I'm missing him too.
I've been playing chicken mama.
Here I am holding Harper, the chirper, who unfortunately never grew and died on mother's day.
(I have to admit I chewed on that little coincidence a little longer than necessary!)
I still have three hens who are happily growing and exploring their new coop in the backyard.
I really love having chickens again.

My friend Karen and I are slowly evolving two new business ventures,
Paper Pals Online and Art Maven Studio.
Through these venues we will be teaching classes and hosting events,
as well as pursuing our own artwork.
I was recently awarded a license from WSU which will allow me to sell my handmade books using their logo, so I will be very busy this summer getting ready for the fall craft fair in October.

And last, but by no means least, is my fabulous job at MaryJanesFarm Magazine.
Our current issue just hit the stands and I am delighted with the work inside.
Go grab yourself a copy!

May 3, 2014

Creative Color

I love yarn bombing.
 Can you imagine the dedication involved in bombing this tree?

Or what about an entire bus?

Also known as guerilla knitting or kniffiti, yarn bombing is a fairly recent phenomenon of street art that is believed to have originated in the U.S. in Texas as a creative way to give leftover fiber and unwanted projects new life.
How sweet are these little mushrooms happily growing on the back of a wooden bench?
This rancher dyed the wool before it was even sheared. Love it!
Can you imagine your delight were you to stumble upon this barnyard on a lazy afternoon drive?
Here's to color and whimsy. -Kristi

May 1, 2014

Mail Art

Mail Art is defined simply as sending small scale art works through the postal service. It took root as an artistic movement in the 1960’s and it is still enjoying a quiet fame today. Mail Art is such a great way to foster personal communication and creative expression between artistic friends.

This lovely hand-drawn envelope with card recently graced my mailbox. I can't tell you how much it made me smile to open the mailbox and see such beauty inside, and I would think it made everyone along its path to me smile as well.

Here's some envelopes that recently went out from me. I quickly used ink sprays and stamps to embellish a padded envelope for some gifts I was mailing. Decorating the outside of your envelopes is such a simple and beautiful way to share your artistic energy with the world and give yourself a quick dose of creativity.

This is a piece of mail art I found online that caught my eye. Wouldn't it be great if all our mail came adorned in such a manner?

April 25, 2014

Inspired by Pinterest

I love Pinterest.
 I can pin and pin all day long then never make a thing.
 Sound familiar?
 Well, today I changed it up.
 I was recently inspired by this pin:

Recycling the envelopes you get in the mail.
 When you pull them apart, they're really quite pretty inside.
 So I busted out some trash and my washi tape and got busy.
 Here's my result:

Love these!
 I think I am going to return a couple of my bills in them.
They're bound to make someone smile!

January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

We are happy.
We are healthy.
We are ready for a great 2014.

August 19, 2013

Beginning Again

Two years.
No apologies, no regrets.
Sometimes life directs your energies elsewhere.

This guy turned eleven and is no longer our "little" Ben,
 measuring 5"2" last week. 
He's been playing a lot of Minecraft this summer.
  And he's working on a sharp sense of humor.

The cute girl sporting this new pixie cut is our very own Claire,
now fourteen and starting high school this week.
I think I saw her twice this summer! LOL
She's mostly in her room talking to friends or playing Sims.
 Here's my guy, on top of a mountain on the island of Crete.
(You know I couldn't resist an adventurous Mark picture).
Science can take you to some amazing places.

 We made it to the beach this year,
to the beautiful Oregon coast.
I'm so happy when I'm there.
I'm pretty happy when I'm here too.

May 25, 2011

Trust and Respect

It's our parenting mantra. Trust the children to make the right choices and respect their decisions. I'm not always successful at it, but it is certainly the way I aspire to raise my kids. And I really love it when I get to see glimpses of my success.

I'm a huge fan of music of most kinds, as are Claire and Ben. I encourage them to listen to and appreciate music, whose lyrics I rarely censor because I don't believe in censorship. An artist puts lyrics to music in a way that describes what is meaningful to him or her, and I like to choose for myself whether or not they are appropriate. When a song comes on the radio that has a "bad" word in it, Claire just doesn't sing that part. Her choice.

With that in mind, HBO recently aired Lady Gaga's Monster Ball Concert, and neither the kids nor I had ever seen her perform. I prefaced the watching by telling them I did not know what the show would be like, but considering her provocative nature, we might have to turn it off. As the show progressed there were a lot of "wows" and "she's so weird, but I love her music" comments being passed around. I have to admit her whole sexual persona was a little embarrassing, in the way in which, at age 12, your DAD takes you to see Saturday Night Fever because you begged and begged and then you have to sit next to him during the sexy parts. Things were edgy but fairly appropriate until Lady Gaga came out wearing a see-through mini plastic dress, complete with bikini underwear and taped nipples, with a plastic nun's habit on her head. Ben looked at me and said "Okay, that's enough for me" and left the room. Claire and I almost made it through that song too, until we were overcome by gyrating pelvises and decided to shut her down.

Looks like I've been fighting the good fight. Good job Mama. For those of you who question my choice to let them watch Lady Gaga in the first place, just suck it :)