Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Look! I'm over here today: Tess.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter: It's always new

Easter = Spring, in many minds. And here in Syracuse, it's overdue. But it's here now! All is forgiven!

For the first time ever, Henry decorated Easter Eggs. Elizabeth had done it last year and instructed him how. Jim and I had to hover over him like hens because at any second he could knock over a jar of egg dye, or worse, try to drink the brightly colored "juice." He tried, but it didn't happen. And we got some fabulous eggs.

Then, yesterday, Jim and the kids continued their work on the Space Rocket. I was at oratorio practice and came home to find this in the middle of the living room (without the kids). I think they plan to decorate it and include more rooms.

It's more space station than rocket, but try telling a four-year old that.

And now, off to visit a farm. In the rain. Because my son is dying to go see baby chicks and bunnies.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Three New Things

I'm supposed to be writing, so I'll make this as brief as I can....And I apologize for the absence of pictures.

Saturday's new thing: Wrote in my neighbor's cozy little office while she watched my kids downstairs. Also, came up with a new opening scene that introduces three antagonists (three!) much earlier in the story line.

Sunday's new thing: The family and I (and some friends) checked out the dollar theater. We saw Knomeo & Juliet, which was better than expected. Plus, it was cheap.

Today's new thing: Reading the Newspaper.

Yes. It's sad, but true. Reading the NY Times is something I've never really done. I mean, I've looked at newspapers, but read them? When I was in college and at Intelligence school, the professors and instructors always mentioned (i.e., nagged) us about reading the paper. But I couldn't bring myself to do it. It took time. It was depressing and boring, all at once. I'd rather be reading something real, like novels. But today, to keep myself from playing Backgammon on my cell phone while drinking coffee, I read a bit of the NY Times.

If I keep this up, I'll have to actually get a *gasp* subscription to the Times!

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Vessels

For some ungodly reason, I felted today instead of worked on novel revisions.

I made these little guys:

And then some eggs:

And then this:

The pictures aren't that wonderful, but it's the best I could do at night with my phone camera. They were fun to make, and I found out I really enjoy making holes in vessels. I made another egg and another, smaller vessel, but I made the mistake of making them lilac. So they've been "acquired" by Elizabeth. Oh, and these were made with the wool I dyed the other day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New, Day Two

When you're out of ideas on what to do that's new, change up the bedtime routine, I always say.*

Or in this case, let the kids take lanterns to bed. With toys.

Remember when you were a kid and you'd pull out your flashlight after your parents put you to bed? You'd tip-toe to that spot your mom put the book you're reading, snitch it, and crawl back in bed. Sometimes you'd pull the sheet over your head and prop the flashlight on your shoulder so it'd be more comfortable to read until you fell asleep. Or finished the book. Or in my case, until my mom came back ten minutes later to take the book away again.

So tonight I let the kids take lanterns to bed with them. The kids needed a distraction because one was screaming on the top of her lungs for marshmallows (can't have that at bedtime, now can we?) and the other was playing cutely with his little ambulance and robot and wasn't in the least bit sleepy yet. So I did what all parents do: I came up with a diversion. Lanterns!

They fill up the bed with golden light orbs, little stages on which to play with your toys (or in my daughter's case, draw). It's bedtime magic. And we didn't even have to argue about how many books we were reading tonight. One was enough once I mentioned lanterns.

My daughter turned hers off within minutes and fell asleep. (That marshmallow tantrum really wore her out.) My son, on the other hand, played until 9:30. It was worth it, hearing his happy robot-EMT noises, even knowing that tomorrow he'll clamor for another night of lantern light.

* I don't always say that. But that made the phrase sound better.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Something New

Spring has gotten into me. I want newness.
I want freshness. I don't want soggy brown leaves or crusty, dry soil.
I want to feel, be, taste alive.

From now on, I will do or try something new every day. Little things, mostly, like getting out of the other side of the bed. (Which I refused to do today, when prompted by my 4 y.o.) Or rearranging the books into a new order (for us, any sense of 'order' would be new).

Today, in preparation for becoming a felting teacher and selling kits on Etsy, I tried dyeing wool roving for the first time. (New Thing #1)

I started off with the purest, softest, still-smells-like-sheep merino.

Then I dyed 3 oz lilac and 1 oz 'golden straw.' (I use Dharma Acid Dyes.)

Here's the golden straw, just after its dye bath. It's dripping wet in the sink.

Hanging up to dry, the lilac roving. It's dripping a bit, too, and you can see where the colors saturated more heavily in some areas than in others. I prefer that, although some people want a uniform color throughout.

Dyeing wool roving is very, very different from dyeing silk. It's more delicate. I don't want the wool to felt during the dyeing process. It forces me to be present, another new thing for me. I cannot rush off, or skip steps, or let it sit and boil. I have to stand there and gently fold the wool over so that it takes the dye evenly (if that's what I want). I have to wait, patiently, for nature to take its course.

This is very hard for someone like me, who always likes to force things a bit, to suit her own timeline.

And now, I am going to work on subplots...not new, but maybe the end result will be.