Monday, September 27, 2010

Art at the science museum

Last week I went with my youngest to the Houston Museum of Natural Science and visited the Hall of the Americas.  We went so my baby could earn extra credit for her AP History class.   And not only did we learn a bit about history, we got to see some wonderful art. 

Here are some of my favorites:

This a panel made of feathers.  It looked like a painting, and this picture does not convey how cool it really was.

We saw great pottery. 
I love the dragon flies on this piece:

and the shape and frogs on this bowl:

And the face on this one:  

We also saw some great sculptures.

I love this bronze--although the lighting in the room prevented a very good picture.

And this Aztec one -- it was just so creepy:

 I absolutely love it when my kids' schoolwork requires museum days!  It was a great afternoon. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Random Blog

Last week was a busy one, and I didn't make it to my blog once.  But what better way to get back on track than my Sunday Random Blog?

This week's blog is Anna Mora.    I don't understand any of Anna's writing as it is in Spanish (I think).  But her photographs just grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go.

They make me want to travel to far away places,

slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature,

stop and smell the flowers,

and spend days taking lots of pictures.

Check them out for yourself.  It really is a beautiful site!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Random Blog

Today's random blog is Schooling from the heart.  
It is written by a woman named Sara, a homeschooling mom who lives in the Swiss countryside.  

My attention was captured immediately by this:
Wir schreiben Deutsch!

The first couple of entries about German lessons really intrigued me.  I was hoping to find some tips that would help me learn French, and this is what I found:
I love these lesson books Sara makes with her kids.   

Not sure if they'll help me learn faster, but I know I'm going to really enjoy making my own.

Sara's other entries are also great. 
I love her wonderful chalk drawings,
And the fact that she took her family on a

And I love that this is the picture in the entry entitled, "Meet the family". 

Reading Sara's blog made me wish I lived in Europe,
that I had small kids I could homeschool, and that
I made up cool aliases for my family on my blog
(read about those HERE ).

Check out her site and let me know

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Elder Sister

While at the MFAH on Thursday, I once again got to see one of my favorite paintings.
The Elder Sister by William Bouguereau

I love this painting.  And kids love it too. 
Don't believe me?  Take a look at these: 

And just in case you are wondering, this child is right
--the girl in the painting looks at you no matter where you stand in the room.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Art Muesum Day!

I saw beautiful paintings, actual black and white film of each of the three featured artists painting, and learned about a new etching technique called DRYPOINT

Such a great day.  Of course any day I can I spend in a museum is a good one!  :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

In the works

On Monday I actually had to decide what to make for my first project in Arts Metals.  I felt so indecisive, but finally went with my first idea of a spider. 

I then had to decide exactly how I wanted to proceed--which items would be cut out of which metal.  We were given three pieces of metal and told if we messed them up we'd have to go buy more ourselves.  Kind of harsh, but I guess I'll deal with it. 

Once I made the decision to do the spider web design, I sketched out exactly how I wanted the project to be:

I decided the background would be the web, and I would make it on the piece of aluminum.  

Originally I was going to scratch my spider web onto the metal.  But then my professor suggested I pierce and cut it instead.    You pierce the metal by drilling a small hole in it.  Then you feed your saw blade through the hole so that you can cut the metal.  Here is one of my practice tries. 

I'm either going to have to get a smaller drill bit, or cut the slit larger so their isn't a big whole at the end of each piece of the web.  But we'll just have to see what happens.  I'm really excited to try it. 

Next, I decided what would be cut out of brass,

And what would be cut out of copper.

And then I cut.

I had a problem with my saw blade being too loose, but once that was fixed it went pretty smoothly.  Except for the time I broke my blade, and then put the new one in upside down.  Yeah, that made it difficult to saw.

Anyway, by the time I finished cutting out my bug pieces, class was over.  Yhe pieces are still very rough, but I like they way they look on top of each other. 

Today in class I'll start piercing and cutting the
design elements--both on the insects and the web.

  Then there will be filing, texturing,
riveting and polishing. 

It was great to actually begin working with the metals. 
I'm excited to see what the finished project looks like.    

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Expanding my field of study

I have been wanted to learn a second language for quite a while now.  I even signed up for Spanish class a few years ago hoping to achieve that goal.  It was, however, now a successful experience.  I also started taking private French lessons from one of my friends for a brief period.  But life got hectic and I didn't study, so I quit.  And once again I pushed aside one of my goals.

My daughter Melissa is currently serving a full time mission for our church in France.  Isn't she beautiful?

When she left, I thought to myself that I should learn French so that we can speak to each other when she returns.  Well, she has now been out almost a year, and I am no closer to speaking French than I was when she left.  Boo!  :(

Since I wasn't sure I wanted to sign up for another college course, I decided to try an experiment to see if I can teach myself.  So I went online and bought these materials:

I am going to attempt to learn the basics on my own.  I have two goals for this experiment.  I want to be able to speak a little with Melissa when she comes home, and I want to be able to test out of the French 1 college courses.  That way I will be able to skip right to the 2nd year of language requirements next fall when I plan to transfer to a four year university.

I'm starting today.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Doggy guilt

This is the look I get from Dakota every morning. 
See those eyes?  Notice the tail? 

She comes and stands by me, wags her tail and looks me directly in the eye.  Sometimes she even adds a little whine.  What does she want?  To go for a walk. 

Every morning she does this.  It is good to have a buddy to exercise with.  But today is Monday.  And I have class.  And I'm running late.  So I tell her no. 

So she plops herself down on the floor like this:

Man, she is good at making me feel guilty. 

Later Dakota, I promise!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Random Blog

I like to read blogs.  And although I do enjoy reading blogs that are written by my friends, one of my favorite pastimes is reading random blogs that I find on   After posting something on my blog I often click the NEXT BLOG button on the top of the screen and I am taken to another art/craft blog.  They are fun, interesting and sometimes amazing. 

So I've decided to make a visit to these random blogs part of my regular posts.  Each Sunday I'll click on the NEXT BLOG button until I find a blog that peaks my interest enough to read the profile of the blogger and several of their older posts.  Then I'll share their site here with you.  Hopefully you'll find this as interesting a I do.

Today's Sunday Random Blog is Dyed and Gone to Heaven Inspirations by Lisa Walton.

Lisa is a textile artist, dyer and teacher in Sydney Australia that creates beautiful work like this:
And this:

She also gives workshops around the world.  I really want grab my sister-in-law Michelle, fly to Italy and attend her Textured Treasures Italy Inspired workshop.    If only!  But I guess I'll just have to settle for trying to find her at the International Quilt Festival here in Houston in October. Lisa was awarded the Jewel Pearce Patterson International Quilt Teacher Scholarship, Houston, USA for 2010. This means that she will attending all of the events at the Quilt Market and Show this year, and will have a exhibition of her work displayed at the quilt show next year.

See how cool random can be!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9 -11

Nine years ago our country was attacked by terrorists and nearly 3,000 Americans were killed. 

I remember being overwhelmed by this tragedy and thinking that life would never be the same.  But as time goes on and memories fade, things do get back to normal.  We often forget the strong emotions we felt during tragedies.  And we set aside our renewed commitments to be more grateful for every moment we have here on earth and to live better and stronger lives. 

But I hope as we remember this awful event in our history, that we will strive to recommit to these things.  I hope we never forget those that were lost and the bravery that was shown that day. 

I hope we never forget what it felt like to live through this tragedy.

I hope we never forget who we turned to for comfort. 

 And I hope we never experience another tragedy like this again on our soil.

God bless America!