Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Photo Friday: Best of 2007

Hello dear blog friends. I'm so sorry my posts have been rather infrequent of late. The usual holiday craziness coupled with a lingering cold has resulted a case of the "blog-humbugs". The Photo Friday challenge this week is "Best of 2007", and while the above photo is not the very best photo I've taken all year, it is one of my favorites and one of the few that is not of my darling daughter! It was taken on a snowy January morning, and was one of those snows that sticks to each individual tree branch, lasts through the night ,and into the next sunny afternoon. Snow like this is pretty rare in my part of the world. And as I sit writing this it is snowing again, making this a true white Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Photo Friday: Primitive

A few years ago, on a whirlwind trip to Albuquerque for a family reunion, my hubby and I took a wrong turn and drove past this cool building that was covered with paintings like the one above. There was something kind of mysterious about the place so had to stop and snap a few shots, plus it was right next door to a Dairy Queen (and who could resist a Blizzard in 90 degree heat). I loved all the textures on the building and the random paintings covering it. I really felt like whoever made these paintings to advertise their business really enjoyed doing so.

The word "primitive" when attached to the word "art", is kinda loaded. I really feel like it has taken years for me to shake off the art school definition of the term. In the academic world "primitive art" (work done by self taught artists using basic supplies) was something that was mostly looked down upon, and seen as "low art". I really don't subscribe to that way of thinking. In as much as I loved going to art school, the constant critiquing and analyzing ended up leaving me doubtful of something I once took so much joy in. So that's what I strive to get back to and what these picture remind me of: making art with what I have just because I feel like making it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Illustration Friday: The Zoo

Ths week's topic for Illustration Friday is "The Zoo". It was hard to think outside the box on this one. I'm not a real fan of zoo's personally, so I took another angle. I went searching for words that contain the word zoo, and built an illustration around that. Here you have Giant Gertie and her Giant KaZOO, flying thru town with her giant baZOOms, causing all of the townfolk to cry out "GadZOOks!" The End.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Weeklies#7: The Easy Bake Effect

Here is a fun still life I did awhile back. My friend Jen and i used to have Art Saturdays where we'd sit and do still life drawing with household objects, while drinking tea and listening to oldies on the radio. I like the contrast of the tools with the vintage bustier from my grandma.

Best food I ate
Thanksgiving food of course! We had dinner with good friends, potluck style. We were in charge of pie and a green bean dish. I got all inspired by Martha and made her Spiced Apple Pie. It was sooo good and worth wading through her sometimes wordy directions. I love the way the pie crust rounds look like shingles for some kind of elf house. Do you like this animated photo? I'm calling it The Easy Bake effect..kind of like an online Easy Bake Oven. We decided to be 100% Martha and also make her Green Bean Casserole. Also very good, but I have to say I did miss the crispy crunch of the typical French's Fried Onion topping.

Thing I made
The only thing I made this past week was the crazy Martha pie and our bed.

Best thing I saw on the web
This website dedicated to the one and only Bob Ross.

Can't live without
My sunglasses..they were prescription and I lost them this week, the sunniest week we've had all month!

Here are a few new tunes. The song by Pinback starts out sounding kind of Goth, but then goes a little Campfire when the band sings in rounds. I really like Viva Voce, especially the beginning of this song. "Ode to LRC" is rockin' and makes me love Band of Horses even more. Some of the lyrics to "Masterfade" are "and when you look up at the sky / all you see are zeros / all you see are zeros and ones". I know enough to know that they are singing about binary, something my hubby totally gets, and I pretend to. Also this song has kick-butt whistling with vibrato which I love to do (just ask ant of my former co-workers who put up with a lot of my whistling of show tunes in this style).

Feeling happy about
Installing this Bush Countdown Widget on my computer. Hurry up January '09!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Photo Friday: Two

I'm trying something new here. I found Photo Friday, akin to Illustration Friday in that each week a word or theme is posted and you either shoot a photo for that theme or dig through your archives to find one that fits. I'm by no means an expert photographer, but it is something that I'm interested in getting better at or at least playing around with.

I was just looking through some photos from a trip to Europe a few years ago. This is the way I'm traveling lately, looking back at old photos of my vacations pre-baby. I'm particularly fond of my pictures from this trip. I found these two chairs sitting in a corner of an old church in the south of France. Hubby and I were walking through a sleepy village with my Dutch family after a nice lunch and we came across this church and ducked inside. I love all of the textures and muted hues in those old villages.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Illustration Friday: Superstition

It was really fun to research superstitions for this week's Illustration Friday topic, Superstition. I wanted to illustrate something that went beyond the usual black cats and walking under ladders. I found this: "It is good luck to cut your hair in a storm". The image that popped into my head was of a storm actually doing the cutting of a lady's long locks. I think I've been watching too many episodes of Storm Chasers!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weeklies#6: Stuck on you

Ok people. I've been officially avoiding my blog this week. Why? I really don't feel like I have anything to write about, and the weeklies categories that I set up for myself just aren't working for me this week. I've got nothin, unless you want to read my musings on the greatness of black yoga pants (you can dress them up! you can dress them down!). See? Not so exciting.

I do this to myself. I forget that I'm like The Mayor of this here bloggy town and I can switch it up whenever I want! Woo-hoo! I'm an expert at burdening myself with sky high expectations and all this does is buy me a one way ticket to "Procrastination Valley" (to quote my pal Uncle B). Isn't that brillant? Procrastination Valley! Such a great metaphor. Because I don't want this to turn into a blog about stretchy clothing, I turned to the internents and asked, "Internets what should I write about?. I found a few funny random writing prompt generators. These are neat-o because they take the pressure out of thinking about what the heck to write about and some of the topics are good jumping off points. The prompt I picked has to do with collecting. It asks: Describe in as much detail as possible something you collected as a child. Here goes...

Meredith, the Grande Dame of our local Hallmark was also a Grande Grump. Once, when I was about 3 she harshly reprimanded me for touching a snake head suspended in a glass ball (it was the 70s people, Hallmark rolled like that back then)sitting next to the register. Later, during that same shopping trip I wandered away from my grandma and found Meredith quietly re-stocking birthday cards in the next aisle. Her polyester rump was right about eye level and I snuck up, grabbed her elastic waist band and pulled down her pants with all my 3 year old might, revealing her huge waist high undies. I can still see the look of shock on her pinched up grumpy face. I was so pleased with myself that I just squealed and ran off. Sweet revenge! Needless to say Meredith and I didn't get off to a great start.

Like most kids of my generation I was wild about stickers. In my small town, the Meredith's Hallmark store was the sticker center-of-the universe. You had to wade through a maze of highly scented candles, mirrored poem-plaques, doilies, grandma's brag books and pressed flower bookmarks to reach it, but at the back of the store there was an entire wall of sticker-roll love displayed on on long dowels that reached from floor to ceiling. For most of the girls in my 5th grade class it was the piece de resistance of the mall. For us, the only thing that came even close was the promise of free Melt Away Mint samples from the Hickory Farms next door. A pair of scissors hung from a piece of ribbon next to the sticker wall, and a hand-made sign proclaimed that that you couldn't touch the scissors, or cut the stickers yourself unless you were an adult. Somewhere between the age of 3 and 10 I lost all my nerve, and started following the rules. This rule made for a big problem if you were hanging out with your friends at the mall. It meant you had to get Grumpy Meredith to help you.

For me the beauty of sticker collecting wasn't just choosing which to get (the dress-up bears, metallic unicorns, scratch-n-stiff pizza or the fuzzy dogs?) with my 50 cents, it was the chase, the thrill of the hunt. It went something like this. After your decision was made, and you counted and double counted your change, you had to gather your courage to stand in line to ask old Meredith to cut your stickers for you. If there were people behind you she always made you step to the side and wait it out till she rung up the last "real customer". You'd stand there shifting your weight from foot to foot repeating in your head the list of stickers you'd so carefully picked out, "One unicorn, two dress up bears, and one scratch and sniff pizza..or wait, was it two?". The more Meredith cheerfully stalled with her grown-up customers: offering free gold crown seals for people's cards, free gift wrapping, or making idle chit chat, the harder it was to remember your list. It was a sticker stakeout of sorts. I'm sure she thought we'd just give up. When the last person had paid for their breakable loot, and not-so-merry Meredith had painstakingly wrapped it up, she'd turn to you with a sigh and say, "Now what is it that you wanted?". Duh, lady.

You'd find yourself right on her heels as she trudged towards the back of the store. Along the way she'd be sure to stop 8 million times to tuck stray cards back into place, or re-adjust the Precious Moments display. My point is, it took for-friggin-ever. Finally, at the Great Wall of Stickers, she'd stand before you, hands on hips and ask which stickers you wanted. You'd spit out your list in one breathless run-on sentence because you'd held it in so long. Then there was usually an eye roll followed by the lecture about how you'd better be SURE, and you better have enough money because ALL STICKER SALES WERE FINAL. And then in one dramatic swoop she'd pick up the forbidden scissors and snip,snip,snip it was over.

As the years went by, the sticker wall at Meredith's slowly started to get smaller and smaller until finally it was gone. A few years ago my hubby and I took my grandma there to help her get some holiday stickers (after stopping at Hickory Farms where grandma bought us each a bag of Melt Aways), and the store was vastly changed. No more Meredith, and the few stickers they did have were all packaged up, no scissors required.

There you have it, I wrote my way down Memory Lane and right on out of Procrastination Valley! If any of you have your own collecting related story to share I'd love to hear what you collected as a kid and what you collect now, in my comments!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Illustration Friday: Scale

Here is a sad tale about scale. There is a cute little brick house across the street from the post office in my town. Over the years I've admired its petite stature, symmetrical picture windows and trim lawn. This summer I drove past it and was horrified that two McMansions now flanked its sides. The sweet little house sits dwarfed by two architectual bullies that sprang up in less than two weeks flat. Currently the little house is up for sale. I keep driving by hoping that someone will buy it and keep it as is, taking a stand against the towering vinyl-clad duo. But so far, there are no takers.

copyright the flying pencil 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Illustration Friday: Hats

Last weekend I returned to the women's spa with J, feeling much better than last time! At the front desk we were given a neatly folded packet that contained a robe, two towels and these funny fabric hats, that were sort of like shower caps.

The only thing you get to wear in the spa is your Birthday Suit topped with one of these caps. That's right, I repeat ...you're bare nekkid, and so is everybody else. I was a little apprehensive at four months postpartum as my Birthday Suit is still a little, well...baggy.

But as I melted into a bubbling 97 degree pool and looked around I was struck by how these hats served as an equalizer. At the spa I saw every size, shape, age and color of woman imaginable, but somehow wearing these funny little hats we were all visually kind of the same. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Weeklies: #5 Zombie Days

This Halloween I was a zombie, a new mom zombie to be exact. The costume wasn't too hard, I already had bags under my eyes, frazzled hair, drool stained clothes, and a glassy stare. I was up half of All Hallows Eve in my "costume" watching recorded episodes of Storm Chasers whlie baby slept on me (the only place she will sleep lately) and wishing baby and I would be swept away Dorothy-style into a lovely tornado of peaceful sleep. Nevertheless, baby's sleep strike has continued into this last week, which meant we aren't sleeping much either...for nearly three weeks now. This also means my blog is suffering, and I miss it.

Handmade Object
I am in big time love with these Cotton Monsters from Jennifer Strunge. The teeth!

I've also missed the last few Illustration Fridays. So sad! A few weeks ago the topic was "grow". I couldn't help but think of my rather rapid growth in junior high. Here is a drawing of me and my date for my 9th grade dance, Yep, that is the actual background in the photo..yay Photoshop! In 9th grade most the boys were at least a head shorter than me, and drew their fashion inspiration from Maimi Vice. But that didn't stop me from struttin my stuff in a cobalt blue Jessica McClintock dress and size 10 Dyeables to match.

Best food I ate
I did a lot of dining out in the past week. Food always tastes better in the company of your friends! Pizza and Gelato with K, a delicious almond croissant with A, an amazing brownie dessert called Peppermint Twist shared with AM, Black forest cake with B ..cherries and chocolate in a cake? Oh yes!

Thing I made

After the week long smorgasbord, lack of sleep and general zombie-ness, my tummy finally gave out last weekend at the beginning of a much anticipated trip to a women's spa with my pal J. Sadly all I saw of the lovely spa was their ladies room. So for dinner we made waffles, pretty much the only food that ever sounds good to me when my tummy is not so happy.

Best thing I saw on the web
Here is a cool website for any of you with little kids on your Christmas list. It is a list of "safer" toy options (no plastic, no batteries, etc). Safety aside I thought this was a great compilation of some really cool stuff, and led me to some websites I'd never seen before. I'd like to cuddle up with this adorable Organic Dutch Anteater.

Can't live without
Tums and my all time favorite cure for The Green Apple Quickstep, carob powder and applesauce.

Each time I was in the car this week (prime radio listening time) sweet baby would have a meltdown, and the only song that would calm her down was me singing Twnkle Twinkle Little Star...over and over and over again. Believe me I tried other songs but they didn't have nearly the same effect. Luckily when I made a stop to buy a sandwhich from my favorite deli they were playing some cool music with ghoulish themes.

So first, I give to you two nifty ghost songs.
Next, two songs to make me feel a little better about our lame Halloween in the trick or treat department. Something was up in my town on Halloween night, there were no trick or treaters this year. I think we had about 7 kids all together. As the night wore on I tried to pawn off our candy kaboodle on the few kids we had. To this they replied with polite "no thank you"s and "just one piece please"..who the heck are these kids? Maybe if hubby, baby and I would have busted out a synthesizer and performed "Sugar" on our front porch we could have attracted more of a crowd. Instead we sat inside eating mini Twix bars and singing ala The White Stripes "I'm thinkin' about my doorbell / when ya gonna ring it? / when ya gonna ring it?"

(The player has been moved to the most recent Weeklies installment)

Feeling happy about

Crisp fall days, and my bed when I get to sleep in it.

Making me laugh
So...I'm going to admit to somethng wacky. Once per week I record The Lawerence Welk Show. As kids my cousin and I would be "forced" to watch this program whenever we visited my grandparents. I would be so moved by the music and dancing that on commercial breaks my cuz and I would raid our grandparents closet for Welk-inspired attire and waltz though the living room (always blocking the tv) doing our best Bobby and Sissy impersonation and usually collapsing in a heap of laughter. Most nights we'd be dismissed to go play in another room while the grown-ups finished watching the show. It was a brilliant exit strategy that I still believe made our parents a little envious.

As an adult there is something so cheesy-good about that show that I need a fix every once in a while. It is something about the technicolor costumes, clashing sets, the huge "Geritol" sign, and the ever-chipper band that keeps me coming back. I also love it when they show the audience dancing. I love to see what people wore, and it always cracks me up how they are all packed together in what seems to be the tiniest dance space known to man, resulting in an awesome polyester mosh pit.

This past week I caught an episode where two worlds collided. Lawerence Welk doing The Beatles "Hey Jude". It is so wrong that there is something kind of intriguing about it. So I offer you the Welk version, and to cleanse your palate the Beatles version (which includes a wonderfully amusing crowd scene all its own).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Weeklies: #4 WeeklieZzzzzzz

It has been kind of a tough, sleepless week around my house. The baby's former nights of 8 blissful hours of uninterrupted sleep have regressed back to sleeping 1- 2 hours at a time leaving my hubby and I bleary eyed and a tad grumpy in the morning. I'm convinced that whoever coined the phrase "sleeping like a baby" never actually hung around too many babies. This lack of vitamin Zzzzzzzz has resulted in a less inspired week for me creatively and The Weeklies are a wee bit ovedue.

Handmade Object
When I'm feeling tired and depleted I find myself turning to all things that bring me comfort. Comfort food, comfort clothes, comfort music. This is my favorite mug. I bought it from one of my ceramics teachers in art school, Marc Digeros. I love everything about it: the color and the form and how it feels in my hand. Marc made wheel throwing look so easy, turning lifeless lumps of porcelain clay into amazing vessels in no time flat. Here is his website with his current work.

From my sketchbook, here is a drawing of an old Brownie camera I did awhile back.

Best food I ate
Home made chicken and biscuits, gingerbread (see below) a coconut cupcake, and blueberry pancakes..hello comfort food!

Thing I made
One thing I did do this week was make my mother-in-law's recipe for gingerbread. Talk about comfort food. This recipe is one of my favorites. It produces a rich moist cake that is pretty much to die for. Top it with whipped cream for an added treat, eat it for breakfast, grab a slice on your way to yoga, have some with tea in the afternoon, sneak some while you take a bubble bath and read a steamy novel.... Here's another clip-n-save recipe card! Just an FYI, the card will look much larger when you open it within your browser. It should print at 4 x 6 inches.

Best thing I saw on the web
My cousin just got his BFA in painting and printmaking! He is insanely talented, and has a wild imagination. When he was little he used to write me these crazy illustrated letters that came in elaborately decorated envelopes. It is a good thing I saved them for someday when he is famous. Here is my favorite painting from his show. it s titled "Without Teeth". I just love the colors, and especially the cassette tape cloud. You can see more of his work here. Congratulations cuz!

Can't live without
oh precious, precious sleep...


So the thing about this embedded player is that I either have to erase all the songs from previous weeks or just keep adding to them until I have a playlist that is 70 songs long, at that point the site will allow me to make a new playlist. I've decided to keep adding to it so you can have something longer to listen to. The newest songs will be at the top.

Since I didn't have much time to find new music this week part of the playlist includes some of my comfort music, stuff I can listen to over and over. The Kings of Convienince are one such band. I can't tell you how much I love them. "Bad Dream" by Keane is also pretty and singable too. The Airborne Toxic Event song is fun, it kind of reminds me of They Might Be Giants but a little groovier. "Engine Driver" is another comfort song..the chicken and biscuits of my iPod. "Slipping Through the Sensors" and "Pain Killer" are two "new to me" songs I discovered this week.

(I've moved the player to the next weeklies entry)

Feeling happy about
Getting out my hand knit winter scarves, fall colors, and having time to read books again.

Making me laugh

The baby's crazy giggle. It is a little unpredictable but when it happens it is pretty much the cutest and funniest thing I have ever heard.

copyright The Flying Pencil 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Illustration Friday: Extremes

This week's Illustration Frday topic is "extremes". Here I was thinking about all of the emotions a single person can feel on any given day. In the image above, Mr. Happy and Mr. Sad are actually the same image, all that is shifted is the perspective.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Illustration Friday: Open

The topic for this week's IF challenge was 'open'. I was thinking here about maintaining an open mind and the many layers we sometimes have to peel away to achieve openness. That's about as deep as I get these days! Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weeklies#3: Weeklies Cockaigne!

Handmade Object
These adorable socks were sent to me for our baby by my dear friend Molly over at Baby Finds a Kazoo. Thank you so much Miss Molly! We love them.

I just filled another sketchbook. I tend to fill up one big one per year, and a few random smaller ones.Here is my final page.

Best food I ate
Banana cardamom cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (see below), delicious Apple Crisp with Jenny, and although this might sound lame...a big helping of sauteed spinach garnished with butter, lemon and pepper.

Thing I made
I rescued some more sad, neglected, over-ripe bananas moments before they were about to be thrown into our compost pile. I wanted to do something MORE with them than the usual bread. I also had a brick of cream cheese that needed to be used in the next week, and a large bag of organic powdered sugar that mysteriously showed up in my pantry after the baby was born. After a lot of searching for the perfect recipe I cracked open my new edition of The Joy of Cooking (thanks Grandma!) and found a recipe for Banana Cake Cockaigne. I'm really not sure what the heck cockaigne even means, but I think it is a fun word and I want to add it to everything. They turned out A-mazing, and I would highly recommend this recipe. Click below for a fun, clip-n-save recipe card designed by me! Banana Cardamom Cupcakes Cockaigne....cock a doodle doo!

Best thing I saw on the web
My recent job in a local theatre's communications and marketing group gave me a whole new appreciation for clever stick-to-your-ribs advertising and how hard it is to achieve something fresh. This campaign for Pemco insurance cracks me up. Their Northwest Profiles are spot on and funny without being mean or gross. And if you've ever been to the Pacific Northwest I'm sure you have spotted #56 "Sandals and Socks Guy".

Can't live without
My freakin lint roller. Postpartum hair loss bites!

Oh my goodness people, am I excited. I am finally coming up to speed on the embeddable music players so popular on MySpace and the like. Now I can make these playlists and share them with you, and you can LISTEN to them. I get to be my own Casey Kasem. Some of the music below might not be new to you, but it is to me and these are the songs that have been stuck in my head all week.

Here's the low-down on this week's list. Jill Scott: how much do I love her? Why can't I sing like that? If I could, I'd give up talking, I'd just sing everything. Of course it would also help if I could come up with stuff like "What if I gave you diamonds / Out of my own womb / Would you feel the love in that / Or ask “why not the moon”?", I've been singing 'Boxcar' to my little one as a lullaby, ditto for 'Boy With a Coin'. 'The Wand' makes me want to do a crazy robot like dance.. 'Say Hello' makes me want to dig out my old goth wardrobe (before it was called goth) and moodily sip coffee in the rain, while looking forlorn. And I just discovered Arthur and Yu. I love the little toy piano in this song. Enjoy!

(10/16 I've temporarily removed the player while I update it for this week's entry...stay tuned!)

Feeling happy about
Returning to the gym, mom and baby yoga, daily tea breaks with hubby.

Making me laugh
The new season of The Office.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Illustration Friday: The Blues

For me, nothing cures a good case of the blues like a little shoe shopping. But nothing gives me the blues like not being able to find shoes for my rather large set of feet. Unfortunate for me, and fortunate for my pocketbook because I seriously love shoes. As Fatts Waller sang "From your ankles up, I'd say you sure look sweet. From there down, there's just too much feet".

All Images Copyright The Flying Pencil 2007

Weeklies#2: A Rose by any other name....

The absolute highlight of my week was finding out that my Dutch sis had her baby girl. It is hard to even take my little weekly "Best of's" seriously with this great news to report. I've been anticipating this moment for months and it finally came and she is a beauty! Earlier this summer, when my girl was born, we chose my Dutch sister's name as her middle name. I wanted to honor a friendship so special to me that it really changed the course of my life for the better. You see it was my Dutch sister's idea to host an exchange student in the first place. And that decision set the rest of my life into motion. From the moment I saw my Dutch sis getting out of the family's van to pick me up I just had this feeling that we'd be close, and our relationship has grown deeper than I ever imagined possible.

My Dutch sis called me first thing when she got home from the hospital (which for her was only a few hours after the baby was born!) It was the middle of the night in Holland and she was tucked up in her bed with the baby by her side. She called to tell me that her little girl had MY NAME as her middle name. I was speechless. I felt so honored, and flattered and humbled at the same time. I also felt a real sense of responsibility to live up to my own name. Here is this little innocent creature half a world away with my name as part as hers. I really want to do her proud! It makes me want to be a better person.

So our two girls are bound by more than this common history their mom's share. And it is my hope that someday their bond will be as special as the one we have. Welcome to the world little sweetie. I love you and can't wait to meet you.

And though none of these next things are nearly as exciting, here are my weekly top picks:

Handmade Object
I am in love, love, love with Etsy. I could spend hours browsing there. I am planning on doing most of my shopping for Christmas gifts online and Etsy will be a big part of my plan! It is a great way to support artists worldwide without leaving the comfort of your armchair. Here is an awesome necklace ($25!) from paraphernalia.

A little something I drew in the car while waiting for hubby to pick up a chocolate shake (see "Best food I ate") while baby napped in her carseat. Hooray for multitasking!
Best food I ate
A maple glazed old fashioned donut, and a chocolate shake from my favorite local burger joint.

Thing I made
Pumpkin raisin bread from the good ole Betty Crocker cookbook, the recipe made 2 loaves and we polished them off in less than 2 days, and our slices were about 10 times as thick as the anemic ones in the recipe's picture.

Best thing I saw on the web:
This house. It is like something out of my imagination! From the Ticky Tacky Westlake photoset on Flickr.

Can't live without
Tetley tea (the British stuff...bought in Canada). It is nice and strong, the American version contains less tea per bag. What's up with that?

Blue Scholars, Northwest hippy-hop (as my hubby calls it) at its finest.

Feeling happy about
New babies!!!! Trees turning gold and red, and the sound of rain at night.

Making me laugh
Again, another SNL skit with dancing!
Crazy dancing pretty much cracks me up 24/7. This time it is Lebron James doing Solid Gold. How much did I used to want to be a Solid Gold Dancer?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Illustration Friday: Juggle

Fish can't juggle,
they'd rather swim all day.
This one lives quite happily
'neath the hat of Auntie Mae.


For this week's Illustration Friday challenge, I kept thinking "How can I draw something about juggling without DRAWING juggling". You know, when you are pressed for time and need to do most of your work with one hand while feeding a baby with the other it is helpful to make things even more challenging! Anyhoo, one afternoon after drawing some wacky fish in my sketchbook this little rhyme popped into my head so I illustrated that instead. It was pretty darn fun.

All images Copyright The Flying Pencil 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Weeklies: #1

I'm stealing this idea from my pal Librarian Girl, who "stoled" it from Chris. I like the idea of looking for the best parts of my week, taking notes and reporting them here. It may also help me make sure to eat something fabulous each week, keep my eyes and ears peeled for great art, and make something creative (even if it is just dinner). Here goes:

This photo I took at my sister in law's wedding. It was a magical day.

Best food I ate (not all at once, mind you...)
Lavender cake filled with lemon curd and fresh blackberry jam topped with lemon butter creme frosting, a Honeycrisp apple, an ice cold Coke.

Handmade Object
This tunic top made by my mother in law. Made using Simplicity Pattern 4528 and fabric from Burundi, Africa.Thing I made
The Barefoot Contesa's baked Mac and Cheese. With a whole stick of butter and 6 cups of cheese you just can't go wrong. We happily ate this for three whole days. Click here for the recipe.

Best thing spotted on the web

Only a paper moon gallery on flickr. I want my picture in one of these!
Can't live without
IcyHot patches (I hurt my back earlier in the week...ouch!).

Block Ice and Propane, Erik Friedlander. This guy plays a cello like a guitar (meaning sans bow), and the songs on this cd were inspired by his childhood cross country road trips. Listen and read about it here.

Feeling happy about
Baby talk, weddings, fall sunshine, heavy blankets on the bed, and coffee.

Making me laugh
This skit I caught on a rerun of SNL. Oh, the dancing! I wish I could say this is how I hurt my back.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Illustration Friday: Wedding

It is pretty exciting that this week's illustration Friday topic is Wedding. This weekend my dear sister in law is tying the knot with the love of her life, and we all couldn't be happier. They already have a beautiful life together, living in a sweet A-frame in the forest just steps away from the water. I've known my sis in law since she was 12, many years before we were related. I've had the joy of watching her grow up and fall in love with a great guy, and together they have worked very hard to build the life they want. We are all super-excited to celebrate with these two love birds. Congratulations you two!

All images copyright The Flying Pencil 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Illustration Friday: Momentum

Finally, after a long absence I'm participating in Illustration Friday again! Woo-Hoo! I've been thinking a lot about Momentum recently. In June, shortly after the last transmission on my blog I became a mom to a happy, healthy baby girl. All summer long I've been trying to put the "mom" in momentum. I've started drinking coffee again, eating midnight snacks, and taking 'power naps'. What I really could use are a pair of rocket booster high tops to get going like the ones pictured above. A pair of wings and a bolero cap with a propeller wouldn't hurt either, but that might freak out the baby.

There is so much to write about to fill you in about my recent hiatus, but for now this post will have to do. Stay tuned for more to come.

All Images Copyright The Flying Pencil 2007

Friday, June 8, 2007


I have been tagged by Molly to share 7 weird facts about myself. I'm actually really relieved to be doing this because I have been suffering from a major case of bloggers block and this may be just the thing to help me snippety-snap out of it! Why is it so hard to think of weird facts about oneself? I know for certain that I've got some odd traits but nothing as juicy-good as: an aversion to wrists, the ability to perfectly mimic a seagull's call, or the fear that you are cross-eyed and no one is telling you. I actually know people that will fully own up to those gems. But maybe since these are my weird facts they don't seem so weird. You be the judge:

1. Bad Smells

My hubby claims I have an "attraction to bad smells", I think the word "attraction" is a little strong. I prefer "strange fascination". When I smell something really really bad, I HAVE to figure out what it is and where it is coming from. I'm an olfactory Nancy Drew of sorts, and the joy I get from unearthing a bad smell is pretty disturbing. Following my nose to track down a bad smell has landed my sniffer in my hubby's armpit on more than one occasion.

2. Little House
I am a full fledged Little House On The Prairie fan (the TV show, not so much the books). I have seen nearly every episode at least a few times and
recall strange and useless facts about plot lines, costumes, and dialogue. I know which episodes recycle actors and music. The only episode I have never made it through is called "For The Love Of Blanche" which stars an orangutan.

3. Voices
In college my pal Jenny and I developed a cast of make-believe characters that helped keep us going during those strenuous all nigh
ters in the art studio. This included but was not limited to: a pair of college football players, a pair of octogenarian scientists (pictured at left), a pair of kleptomaniac sisters, a pair of dirty psychologists, two southern belles, and a pair of fast talking convict brothers. Not only did we spend time drawing these characters, but we developed voices and a unique syntax that each pair uses together. To this day in a normal conversation with Jenny, one of the voices will always come into play. Sometimes when this happens in public, people stare at us.

4. Howard Keel
I have an uncanny ability to sing like Howard Keel in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I discovered this by accident after an annual Christmas
viewing of the movie musical with my friends when I decided to serenade them with "Bless Your Beautiful Hide". It was like I was channeling or something, it still freaks me out.

5. Sounds
Certain sounds drive me up the wall. Fingernails on a
chalkboard? No problem with me, bring it on! I'm talking about the really annoying sounds like teeth hitting silverware, people chewing crunchy potato chips with open mouths, and the song "I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick. All of these sounds will send me flying across the room.

6. Type Snob
This is a more recent
one, post graphic design school. I am a font snob. I really never thought it could happen to me, but it has. I have been known to refuse to read things if they are written in a poorly designed typeface like Comic Sans. I'm also considering names for our baby not only based on sound, but on how the letters look together on paper. That's weird..I admit it.

7. Cold
I am allergic to the cold.
When I tell people this they usually laugh and say "Yeah, I don't like the cold either". But I actually have something called Cold Induced Urticaria which means I can break out into hives, swell up like a balloon, and go into shock if I go skiing or jump into a lake. Sort of a weird fact that I can't control. But what is weirder is that I actually used this allergy to make my lips look fuller before my 10 year high school reunion by icing them so they puffed up like Angelina Jolie's, ok maybe the effect was more Meg Ryan.

So, there you have it. 7 weird things about little ole me. Next I am supposed to tag 7 other people to do the same exercise. Problem is, I only know one other person in Blogland who hasn't recently done this, and that would be my friend Gwen (if she's up for it). I'd also like to hear from some of my wacky sans blog pals like Biology Girl, Jenny, Christine, Ilana, Amber, and any of my other faithful readers who care to share. If you non bloggers are so inclined you can make your quirks public knowledge in my comments section. And I'll let you off easy..you don't have to share 7 things....maybe just one? Oh pretty please! But if none of you feel like doing this, seriously, no pressure. I wouldn't want to make you feel weird.

All Images Copyright The Flying Pencil 2007