Archive for October, 2011

for the bees

This year I planted artichokes for the first time. I was so excited when these cute little artichokes started growing and I thought how fun it would be to eat my own artichokes! That is until I noticed that deep in the leaves, there was lots of aphids! As a gardner I don’t do much beyond watering and pruning of my yards. I might fertilize if I get around to it, but that happens rarely.

And when I see a plant-especially something I might eat- full of aphids it makes me wonder how much pesticides does it take to get that bug free so it can get to the grocery store?

So I opted to let the artichokes just grow, flower, and see what happens.

These are amazing flowers! They are heavy and just crazy looking! I picked some to dry for decoration, but I haven’t figured out how to de-bug them yet.
One thing I noticed is that the bees love these things!

As I was snapping pictures I watched the bees rolling in the center of the big purple anthers (where the pollen is). The bees rolled in the flower until their entire body was covered in pollen!

I recommend planting one of these, next year I am planting another artichoke plant or two for my bee friends!


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What’s in your sketchbook?

I have been packing this sketchbook everywhere I go.

It’s a simple 5×7 Strathmore sketchbook. I decorated the cover with paper and collage.
I use this as a journal

I used it to organize some of my research

I paint parts of my house

It’s a scrapbook

I plan my presentation to defend my thesis

It’s even my coaching book for cheerleading!

As you can see, it’s much more than just a sketchbook!

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A date by myself

This summer my family went for nearly two weeks to see my husband’s family in Montana. I really couldn’t be gone that long with the classes I was taking and my thesis project so I stayed home. It was weird to be home alone with just the dog, and it was the first time my husband had taken the kids on a trip by himself. I worked a lot but I also took advantage of a saturday to take myself on a date.

First, I went to LeCafe de Paris. A french cafe, that is one of my favorite spots. It’s usually packed so we rarely go when we have the kids.
I treated myself to a lovely breakfast and did some painting while I waited for my breakfast.



breakfast: yum 🙂

Then I browsed the saturday market where I enjoyed a local singer-songwriting duo. I did a quick painting of them singing. After they were done they asked if they could see it and loved it so I signed it and gave it to them.

Next, I wandered to the Basque Festival. Boise has one of the largest Basque populations outside of Spain. I did some sketching/painting enjoyed a basque wine beverage and watched the dancers.

I did a quick watercolor while watching these kids and a guy came up and asked to buy it. I quickly explained, I’m not an “real” artist and it wasn’t done. He really loved it and his daughter had been one of the dancers I had painted. So I gave it to him. He insisted I sign it and take 5$ for it. He was thrilled and I was too, I’d just sold a painting!

Loved the contrast of the old sheep camps against the modern downtown.

Home of one of the founding Basque families.

Here’s the thing about painting out in the “real” world. People are always curious and want to see what you’re doing. It’s hard to hide! And I have to work on being more confident about my painting. Is it the best ever? No, but it’s also not the worst either! And I’m working on owning up to being a “real” artist.

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This summer I made an effort to pack my watercolor kit with me and do a little painting. All of these are approximately 4×6 on hot pressed Arches paper.
Went to a lavender festival with my sweet girl.

I packed an extra water color kit in case my girl wanted to paint.

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Just got two new pens. Lately I’ve been playing with patterns from nature and making them very abstract, I can be such a realist sometimes that it helps to shake things up.

First the new Sharpie pen. It’s waterproof and archival safe. And writes like a Sharpie. Love it!

I was thinking of grass with morning dew, or seaweed with bubbles.

Second, Sharpie Liquid Pencil. I don’t love this one as much as the pen but it’s fun to work with and erases well. Be warned if you write hard it will leave an impression in your paper.

This one I was thinking of microscopic paramecium. Can you tell I’m a science teacher?

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I know I’ve mentioned this a time or two, but I’m a little busy. And I know that I am not alone in this club! One thing that gets lost in the business of life is my scrapbooking. I used to be a “super scrapper” staying up all hours of the night, even keeping up on my photos and stories. And then graduate school and career started to take over my life and I dropped my scrapping. The problem is I love scrapping, love making mini books for our family and for the grandparents. And mostly I like to keep a record of our family life that says- we where here.
A while back at one of my favorite thrift stores I found a set of monthly 4×6 index card dividers. While looking thru my junk this spring I found them again and thought they’d be a great mini book for the year. This is also a way for me to keep track of stories through out the year so I can go back (maybe) and do large scrapbook pages.

Many of the photos I took this summer I used my iphone hipstamatic app, these are smaller and square.
-In photoshop I resized and placed two photos on a 4×6 canvas to print.
-I cut various papers into 4×6 pieces
-bought a package of word bubble type embellishments
-saved tickets and other bits of everyday life
-Punched holes and bound with a ring


a few inner pages

What I love:
I can make this as big as I need to by changing the rings.
It’s just the right size for the kiddies to handle. And there are not a lot of extra embellies on it so it’s not delicate.
I can adapt this to any season, maybe even make one for each kid as a highlight of their year?
This can be as complex/simple as you want to make it!

If you haven’t scrapped in a while or don’t srapbook, this is a super easy way to document your photos and record stories!

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