Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas cards and Zoo Lights

Phoebe's been very busy this week experimenting with watercolors and making Christmas cards for all her friends...

On Thursday last week we went to see "Zoo Lights" at the Phoenix Zoo.
The sign at the entrance.

The sign over the water.

Finally past all the signs!!

This is Naomi in front of the cafe (looking spooky under the many lights). We stopped for some snacks as it was dinner time.

Chloe waiting for her french fries.

We quickly ate some food and then onwards to the lights!

There were monkeys.

And bunnies.

And an amazing light spectacle over the pond.

This baby Komodo dragon was one of the few animals you could view during Zoo Lights and he was sleeping!

My only picture of Phoebe that night.

This is some kind of warthog.

This is the amazing spider web!

That's Mike underneath the amazing spider web!

2 loving snakes.

And a  beehive in a glowing tree.... (Did you sing it in your head?)

And here's a preying mantis.  

Zoo lights was a lot of fun.  I know people think this is a good thing to do with little children, but my teenagers had a great time, so I think it' for everyone.

Tonight is the third night of Hannukah.  For the last few nights we've had a guest staying with us.  It's one of Chloe's school friends who's Mom kicked her out of her house.  She's been sharing Hannukah with us so far.

Happy Hannukah!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Winter rains and a first day of school

On Thursday it rained and rained. It doesn't rain that often in Phoenix so each time it's an event and I write about it. Everyone here keeps their eye on the ever diminishing water table, but that's life in the desert.  On Friday morning I walked the dog on the shady side of the street. As I strolled down the sidewalk my feet crunched, and crunched.  I looked down to discover I'd been crushing a swarm of tiny snails that had covered the concrete.  It was sad and gross at the same time.

In other news, Naomi started a new school this week. She's been having a miserable year at middle school.  Her grades were slipping badly for the first time in her whole school career.  After much discussion we decided a fresh start was worth a try. As you can see she wears a uniform again.  She hasn't gone to a uniform school since we lived in Argentina.  It will be an adjustment, but hopefully a good one.

This month I'm sad to announce that our radio show "Art of The Red River" has been cancelled.  We've had many wonderful guests over the years and all of us (myself, and my co-hosts Mike and Wade) were all sorry to see it end, but we had a great three year run!

I've been working on another sculpture for my solo show at the Central Gallery.  The concept behind my work for this show is that the sculpture bursts out from the book, showing the world that's held inside.  This sculpture will hang on the wall and is called "The Little Ship".

Also, I've started my holiday shopping.  Every year I say I'm going to plan better, but then I don't and rush about in the last couple of weeks before Christmas.  Sae la vie.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Books and Birthdays

Today is the first day of Thanksgiving break.  It began with trying the takeout Chinese food restaurant around the corner, and resulted in Chloe vomiting through the night.  She's recovering on the couch and her slightly traumatized friend that slept over has gone home.  We're hoping she'll be back on her feet for our journey up to Sedona for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Today my copies of one of my new books came in the mail.....

Santa Gets Healthy makes a great gift for the small children in your life!! 

Anyway, this week Phoebe had a big performance with her theater group.  Here she is onstage...

She's on the left. Unfortunately it's not the greatest shot.  All the kid's did a fabulous job and Chloe in particular really had a great time in the audience.

Phoebe turned 13 earlier this week as well, which means we have 2 teens in our house now (we're surviving).  She had a cake, but her big celebration is this weekend, when her friends come over and they go to see "Beauty and The Beast" at the Orpheum Theater.

I finished another sculpture for my show next summer....

It's called "A Tale of Misfortune" 

I'm also still creating hand turkeys for the next two days.  Check them out here!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hand Turkeys and Books of Whimsy

Road Kill Hand Turkey
This month's hand turkeys have been coming along (I do one each day until Thanksgiving).

Yellow Submarine

I've been doing this for a few years now, so I'm starting to be at a point where I'll be happy to take requests (so feel free to message me or make suggestions in the comments.)

Really big Hand Turkey

Anyway aside from turkeys and teaching I began work on my upcoming solo show, opening next August, called "Books of Whimsy".  This is the sketch for one of the pieces.

It's called "The Troll".  And here he is finished....

Now I've begun work on this sculpture...

A Tale of Misfortune
Here it is in progress....

Anyway, the polar vortex has reached all the way down to Phoenix and our temperatures have plummeted down to ....  69ºF.  The kids at Chloe's school are bundled up!  (or so she says).

This week is Phoebe's birthday and on Thursday she'll be in her theater group's fall performance, called "The Antics of The Performing Arts" .  Chloe is also performing with her theater group at Thesp-Con next weekend.  I won't see that one though as I'd have to buy a ticket to the whole convention just to watch her in one skit!  (Also I teach that day.) 

Have a great week and stay warm!

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Grand Avenue Festival

The past week was a busy one that began with civil war night at the Middle school.

Phoebe presented about Sojourner Truth,a slave woman and inspirational speaker (later in life). She did a fabulous job!

Chloe's school participates in the city wide First Friday event every month and this month she had one of her poems on display.

One of her drawings was also selected.

Saturday morning began at the crack of dawn with Mike and I driving over to Grand Avenue to hang my Sea Monster for the Festival.

Here's Mike busy tying him to his fence.

The location behind the fence has a mural in progress that was getting completed during the festival.

Me with the Sea Monster.

After this I had to rush off and teach 2 art classes in Scottsdale.

Walking around Grand Avenue you could find the article about the festival posted in the windows.  The colorful page is the poster I designed.

The poster itself was of course in many windows as well.

We returned that evening for the parade (except for Naomi who went to a birthday party where she was the only guest that showed up). This is Audrey 2 (the plant from Little Shop of Horrors) decorating the sidewalk.

Mike viewing the sidewalk art show.

There were many classic cars-This one had a glowing bottom.

Waiting for the parade.

This is the "Wig garden" by Beatrice Moore.

This is one of the stilt walkers and a man with many heads walking past in the PAPA parade.

A slightly blurry picture of the drummers and the girls with glowing hoops.

Ok-most of my pictures of the parade are blurry.... My camera hates the night. ☹

This one is better... I think.

Anyway here's Chloe and Phoebe by a classic car.  As they walked through the festival they were stopped by a man who asked them if they were twins, and if they were over 18, because he had a modeling job for them.  They got a great life experience in avoiding weirdos.

This is Mike walking through the Goblin Market at the end of the street.  Unfortunately my camera really, really hates night time.  So this is the only picture that's even visible.  Oh well.  It was a much bigger festival this year and we had quite a nice night out!
"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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