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.




"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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