Friday, July 11, 2014

The Beetle

©Carolyn Watson Dubisch

©Carolyn Watson Dubisch

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer camp madness and the radio show

Phoebe's month long theater camp with the Valley Youth Theatre came to a smashing end with the kids big production of "Dear Edwina" last Friday.  They were great, but my photos of the event went with the camera I gave to Naomi on Sunday as she left for church camp up in the mountains of California...

Here she is with her carpool as they set out for the 5 hour drive.

Chloe also came home from her 2 weeks at camp on Friday. The bus was an hour and a half late to arrive.  They hit traffic near a large accident and did that slow and nauseating  stop and go thing for 40 minutes.  At least 11 kids on the bus started vomiting from  motion, but not Chloe!  It must have been a struggle for her, as she's been getting car sick since she was very small.

Yesterday I brought Phoebe in for her camp physical as she's leaving for "Glee Camp", a  week long overnight camp in the mountains.  It was ....awful.  She first failed her eye test and it seems she needs glasses, but worse than that she had a curve in her spine and the clinic nurse diagnosed her with scoliosis.  She has to get scanned and may need physical therapy.  We don't have health insurance, but we have been signed up for a local discount program, so I guess we'll see how that works out.  In the mean time, I'm trying to remain calm.  (Not that, that's working so well.  Both Phoebe and I did the exact same thing when we got home, looked it up on the internet and saw the most extreme cases online.... stupid internet).

On Monday we had our radio show.  Joining us this month was puppeteer and puppet fabricator, Matt Cotten from Tucson.

We also had landscape artist, Pam Adkins from Maryland on the show.  It was a good episode and the first one with a puppet maker, but we're still having some technical difficulties that are driving me batty.

This week Mike has started selling prints of his latest painting "Cthlone", for inquiries write to him at

The good news is that June is OVER!  Just 2 more summer months here in desert, and then we have cool evenings again!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Father's Day, a scorpion and more summer camp

I'm probably the only one in Phoenix who was thrilled that it hit 108ºF (42.2ºC) today.  We needed to dry our paintings fast in my art class and nothing speeds the process along like Arizona sunshine!  Teaching has been keeping me very busy this month. One little girl in my painting class cries and paints all thru class every week. I never discourage her from it, I always say "Crying is a huge part of the artistic process, good job!"

 For Father's day we took Mike to the Olive Garden.  This is a picture of Naomi while we waited outside for our buzzer to go off. That place is packed every time we go.

The girls (mostly Naomi) also made him this awesome Captain America cake.

Chloe headed off to 2 weeks in the mountains on Sunday. She wrote to say that it was "freezing" on their camp out.  Since it's going to get up to 112ºF (44.4ºC) this week here in the city, I'm having trouble feeling sorry for her!

We had our first close encounter with one of these guys while walking the dog a few nights ago. At first when I saw him by my very exposed, sandaled foot, I thought he was  an ant carrying a leaf because of the way he was tottering along.  Now I'm thinking we should get a black light flashlight for our walk, and maybe wear boots....Combat boots.

This is a double page spread from the children's book I just finished.  It's called "Andy Alligator's Bayou Adventures" by Peach T. and will soon be released.  I still have to do the cover design though.

 Anyway it's a charming story and it made me want to visit the bayou in Louisiana after I finished!
So...Happy Saturday, and have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Camp and a viking shield

Several days ago my very excited youngest daughter left for a week in the mountains, for summer camp.

Finally!  She's been so bored with her summer so far that she'd taken to pacing around the house.  

Hopefully she's having fun and making friends.  We'll find out for sure on Friday.

 In the mean time I've been commissioned to make a small shield with the viking tree of life on it.

 It's for a wedding. and is really still in progress, but coming along well.  I'm also pretty busy with teaching (6 classes now) and working on 3 children's books, and Mike's finally finished writing one of the courses he was writing for The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.  Just one more to go! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Flying on hot air and a day in Flagstaff

So now this day was 20 freaking years ago!!

So we did what young folk today call one of those "bucket list" things, but I think for me the term "bucket list" will always mean a list of different kinds of buckets (or maybe a list that was kept in a bucket, whatever, no one used to say that). 

Anyway this is before take-off.

After hauling ourselves into the basket.

We were the first balloon in the air!

This was the view over Anthem.  We were testing the wind since we were the first ones up and we drifted in the wrong direction.

We didn't mind drifting north as the mountains were so pretty, but our pilot was concerned about landing (which seems important).

It was early in the morning and the desert was cool, but we had a fire at our backs that was REALLY hot.  

Mid-flight they gave us little, plastic parachute men to launch.  We didn't get any photos but it was fun to do.

After an extra long flight (searching for a landing site took awhile) we were happy to be back on the ground in the open desert (it was much cooler than being on the balloon!).

It really took the crew no time to deflate the balloon.

And even though it was still only 7:30am we toasted our flight with champagne mimosas!

That evening we headed downtown to Phoenix's only revolving restaurant.

Everyone came along (well, no pets).

The view was pretty spectacular.  The problem with revolving restaurants is that the direction to the bathroom is always changing, it must be disorienting to work there.

The food at The Compass was pretty amazing. All in all a great anniversary!

This past weekend we headed out of the sweltering city to the mountains.  We stopped in on Mike's Aunt Jill (and we saw Max, her labradoodle ),

Then we headed all the way up to Flagstaff, which is more like being in Colorado temperature wise.

This time of year it's just so exciting to be walking around outside in the middle of the day!

The reason we traveled up was to see Mike's Uncle's play, which he spent the last month directing. It was called "Almost Maine" and was charming and funny and really well done! 

Flagstaff is a pretty mountain town.  I hope we get to go back this summer, if only to cool off for a few days.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Killing time with origami dragons

My kids are bored.  Well, two of them are.  The two that joyfully finished school last week are milling around, stealing my computer and finding things online to keep them busy.

Things like staying up all night and learning to make origami dragons.

I awoke to an army of them littering the kitchen table.  Phoebe made them all.  Then she taught Naomi.  Then she slipped about 20 of them into one of Chloe's school books, who wound up giving them all out to friends at school.  But not to worry, by the time Chloe came home that day they had all been replaced with freshly made dragons..... There's even one in my car on the dash.

Naomi is amusing herself in her usual way.  By baking.  These are her cupcakes.

They were very yummy.... Too yummy!  

Recently we received a letter from Mike's aunt that was written in script.  Naomi was upset because she couldn't read it.  It seems they've stopped teaching cursive writing in school, so I bought her a workbook online.  Both her sisters learned cursive when we lived in Argentina.  In fact when Chloe started school there she was hysterical because not only was everything written on the board in Spanish, but it was also in cursive.  We had to buckle down and teach her fast!  So it's more cursive writing practice around here until camp begins. Just another week or two, by then we'll have so many dragons....

Monday, May 19, 2014

Goodbye elementary school, and "Kids these days"

On Thursday we attended Naomi's "Going Forth" ceremony....

Here she is getting an award for "Academic Achievement"...

... And here she is at the end of the ceremony with her certificates.  So she's done with elementary school, and since she's the youngest that means, we're all done with elementary school!  YAY!

On Friday night we went to "Kids These Days", the 5 minute play festival at the Phoenix Theatre downtown.  Chloe was performing in 2 of the plays  all of which were written, performed, acted and directed by students from the Metropolitan Arts Institute (Chloe's school).

 I got as far as photographing the backdrop before I realized photography wasn't allowed....

Anyway, the plays were really good!  Chloe was quite hilarious in her roles.

In the meantime we're entering the dreaded summer here in Phoenix.  Our temperatures have been up the 100º's again. It's funny because the toughest thing about summer for me is dragging myself out of bed at 5:30am everyday so I can walk the dog in cooler morning temperatures. For anyone who's had to rise early for work or school I'm sure you're thinking, I've done that you can get used to it, but I don't.  Perhaps it's because it's for 4 months straight without a day to sleep in even once.... Oh well, at least we're not actually on fire like they are in San Diego right now!

"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut


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