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Archive for yellow

letters to my children . 052317

Woo Hoo! Summer is here. We finished up the school year today, and I’m so proud of my little ones. You made it!! Let’s celebrate!

letters to my children . 050416

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Today’s the big day. My Bug’s state test in writing… two five paragraph essays back to back, 45 minutes each. He’s cried himself to sleep quite a few times with worry about not finishing. He’s had tummy aches, afraid he’ll “fail.” Because he cares and because he doesn’t do anything — ANYTHING — halfway. His school counselor has given all the high achiever test anxiety coping mechanisms. His teacher has given all the practice tests and the time prompts and the encouragement. So, today’s the day. And when I’m not wanting to punch some Legislator or Department of Education appointee in the nose, I just want to say, “YOU GOT THIS.” Because he’s having trouble remembering that.

letters to my daughter . 030916

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This week I have been amazed seeing photographs of the so-called “Super Bloom” in Death Valley, California! Because traveling to California over the next few weeks isn’t on our calendar, I’ve been binge searching photos of the Death Valley landscapes and information, and I’ve been so intrigued by the phenomenon. I mean, how can you not love something called a “super bloom”, right? An area that owns the designation of the hottest, driest place on the North American continent has been exploding in a surge of wildflower bloom carpeting the desert since January — something that only happens every decade or so! Scientists believe that the increased blooming in this normally dry area occurs during El Nino years following a surge in storm activity, including unusually heavy wind and rains. Typically the wildflower seeds lay dormant for months or years in such barren soil, but they are brought out of slumber by the watering of the storms. What a beautiful example of how perseverance leads to flourishing. Sometimes the most torrential storms can produce the most amazing seasons of blooming. Maybe I’m just hankering for spring flowers, but I want to capture that season and make it stay. I want to show and teach my children that storms and struggles don’t have to lay waste to fertile ground. No, very often, they can usher in a new surge of life in what we may have thought was a dead and barren land. Today, I just want to say to them (and to myself), “keep rocking that Super Bloom!” Don’t let the storms keep you silent and still and stagnant! Stay living and growing! And let the storms produce an even more vibrant season of blooming.

morning letters . friday 081415

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Well, my kids are just a few hours away from having the first week of school under their belts for 2015! We’re excited about the new year ahead, and each of them are enjoying their new classrooms and schools. I guess I’m also getting back to some routines after the fun of the summer and the joy of a more relaxed (and kid-punctuated) schedule. Aside from a couple of client illustration projects, I took pretty much a complete break from watercolor this summer. I took some time to focus on new block printing, get back to a little drawing and doodling, and also just slow down the creative process. It was a nice break and shift of media that sometimes adds a freshness to the creative process. This morning, I picked up the watercolors again for lettering practice. I’m a little rusty, but Eddie Vedder helps to prime the pump!

“When I walk beside her 
I am a better man.
When I look to leave her
I always stagger back again.”
(Hard Sun)

I’m kind of staggering back again, but it feels good to get back into some of my creative routine. Happy Friday, folks!

Welcome April! [printable calendar]

Well, the saying goes… April showers bring May flowers! I’m not sure we really want a repeat of all the rain we had in March this year, but if rain is indeed in the forecast, I hope we’ll trust whatever April has to offer as goodness for each new day! I decided to revive my calendar downloads this month along with a desktop wallpaper version — inspired by drops. And, I’m really loving gray and yellow together these days! You can click below to download the files, and as usual, I’ve included a little cut-away sentiment you can share with a friend when the month is done… “nothing’s worrying me!”

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PRINTABLE CALENDAR

DESKTOP WALLPAPER

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grow . For the Love of Daffodils

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It’s daffodil season, the sure sign of spring, and I cut these from the backyard last week for my desk. I was particularly excited to see these this year because a few of them came from plants my great grandmother grew!

Our farm house has a collection of daffodil bulbs that bloom each year along the fencerow. It’s behind the house and separates the “yard” from the front pasture, and my grandmother planted them sometime when my mom was a child. There are also a row of them that usually sprout up in a line out in the side pasture marking the place where an old fence once stood. And then, randomly with almost inexplicable origins, there are some that tend to crop up across the road, next to ditches, and various other odd places around the yard. I’m not convinced on whether my grandmother planted those, or if they arrived by pure magic! These daffodils are ones we look forward to seeing when we make what’s become the annual spring break trek to the farm in search of carefree days (and muddy play, like this year).

One of the places where we play at the farm is the “hay yard” just down the road from our farmhouse, and its actually a cleared plot where my great-grandmother’s house once stood. I can vaguely remember the house, although it was long abandoned by the time I probably saw it. The house was the last home of my grandfather’s parents, and my mom remembers walking there to visit her grandmother and get orange slices. I guess that’s why more daffodils were there.

For the last year or two, we’ve noticed a huge number of daffodil bulbs blooming in the pasture on the south side of the hay yard, and I like to imagine my grandmother and great-grandmother planting a few that then started multiplying over the years. I suppose they’ve been there for much longer that we can remember seeing them, but our more recent pasture adventures brought us into close contact.

I’ve long wanted to dig up a collection of those daffodils to bring home and enjoy another piece of the farm in our own little garden spaces. Last year when we visited for spring break, we took the opportunity. We loaded up a pick-up truck bed practically full of daffodil bulbs with their blooms still in place and brought them back to Starkville to plant. You can see a few bonus shots of baby Sally “helping” with the planting in the photo evidence below!

This year, Sally is much bigger, and the daffodils have sprouted! Most of them have only put out greenery this year, which is common since we transplanted them while the blooms were still on. However, a few, like the ones above, have graced us with their yellow springtime goodness. I’ll be excited to see their progress next year when they are more accustomed to their new digs!

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morning letters . Monday 022315

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The buzz of the 2015 Oscars last night was Lady Gaga’s tribute medley of songs from The Sound of Music, I suggest to click hhere where you will find the best music speakers. We love that movie at my house, and my lettering practice this morning was inspired by one of my favorite lyrics!

celebrate . Happy Fall, Y’all!

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The temps may get over 80 today in Mississippi, but on this first official day of fall, God has treated us to a very nice, cool autumn morning! I’ll take it with a smile and a “thank you!” It inspired me to say “Happy Fall, Y’all” with my morning watercolor and some glimpses of autumn of a year ago. We may have a few more weeks before it’s fully pumpkin weather, but a girl can still dream.

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summer of water . wednesday 061814

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I was thinking about putting a word in the blue area on this one. Not sure yet!

summer of water . tuesday 061714

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I did a little more abstract experimentation for today’s painting. During the process of daily painting this summer, I’ve been consciously trying to focus less on producing a product — a painting — and more on the act of painting and experimenting. It’s been a very free-ing experience, giving myself the opportunity to explore painting without thinking about creating an actual product. Some of the pieces may become an end product. Some of them may be used as studies for something else I want to do later. Some may be just food for thought. And some may just be marking a day in the summer of 2014. What I think the adventure is becoming is a real growing experience for me. A chance to hone the way I look at and approach my own craft. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to do these things each day and to see my children get excited about seeing it too.

On that train of thought, some of today’s piece was motivated by my 5-year-old’s perspective on watercolor painting. A week or so ago when she was painting with me, she discovered that she loved what happened when the colors were allowed to mingle together (a-ha moment!). I showed her a little about using more water with the paint to help that mingling process. She was sold. So, today’s work and the paint drips created by moving the paper around are in Baby Girl’s honor!

Happy Tuesday!

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