girl - lyrics - boy

This week has been heavily focused on survival.  The Man was away for work and, I admit, I don't operate well being the sole parent twenty four hours a day.  I need breaks and ample time doing my own child-free things.  I like my roller derby practices.  I like time to read.  I need my introvert alone time for good mental health.  Children, bless their little hearts, are sweet little time consumers and will try to be the center of my attention every moment of the day given the chance.

Unless they're around their friends.  And then they want me to back off and, for the love of it all, Stop. Taking. Pictures.

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Today is audition day for girl child.  While I'm not surprised that she has chosen Worst Pies in London from Sweeney Todd for her piece, I am a little flabbergasted at how challenging it is.  It's all disjointed melody and post-modernist absurdity.  It's also funny as hell.  I love Mrs. Lovett.  Girl child has spent hours and hours practicing her one minute clip.

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One is willing to work very hard, it seems, without any prodding and pushing from one's mother when it is what one wants.  It's true.  Intrinsic motivation.  Beautiful stuff. 

Though I would never say that this is it, forever, this theatre thing for girl child, but right now it's bloody brilliant that she knows herself well enough to be able to articulate what she wants and has worked to overcome the difficult parts in order to follow this passion of hers.  Not all of us are lucky enough to have such definable goals.

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Oh, now, don't go feeling sorry for the boy.  There is tons of things he loves to do.  His biggest problem is there is only so much time in every day to do EVERYTHING and he wants me to help him do it.

It's really only a problem for him when the support staff, aka mom, just wants to sit down for twenty minutes and read a book.

These are good problems.

Now to help girl child put the polish on her ridiculously difficult audition piece and prepare myself to keep a calm, supportive expression while completely panicking on this inside.  You know, stage mom stuff.  And I need to make some meat pies for our post audition celebration.



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2014 - Happy 10th Birthday baby!


lamp of epic

It's not always easy to engage boy child in a craft. But, I've discovered, toys + hot glue + spray paint is an irresistible combination.

We always have a few toys from the thrift store laying about.

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The lamp was also purchased at the thrift store for a few dollars.

Below is boy child's pondering face.  Each toy was placed carefully with great thought put into balance and overall aesthetics. 

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Spray paint found on sale at the hardware last week.

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And together they make boy child's lamp of epic-ness. 

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fox mask

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Today I got to put a few final touches on this little paper mache fox mask I made.  I wanted shiny fixative and I think I've got it.  It was boy child's idea that we all dress up around the house to compliment our Into the Woods life-is-theatre theme.  This was my first attempt at an actual paper mache mask.  Fairly mixed results, I think.  The curled ear did not please me, but it is strong and lightweight.  Next time I will probably use a thicker cardboard base; this this one I only used cardstock.  I can't say much about my painting, but, hey, you win some, you lose some.  The important part is to not look back and move on to the next project.

Speaking of paper mache, it was very sad for me to learn that my local library could not actually bring in a copy of Jonni Good's How to Make Masks book.  Still, I'm so very grateful to Jonni Good for her excellent video tutorials and all the fantastic information she shares online.  Bless the sharers.  Seriously, free tutorials - people sharing information on making, using, hacking, eating, listening, inspiring - helps me feel optimistic about humanity.  Thank you Internet freebies for restoring my faith in people.

And now, I'm going to try out my new mask and maybe sample a cider.  Foxes, like rats, love fine alcoholic cider. 


Where the Wild Things Are mural, Or, My Rumpus Room

A couple of busy days and I have mural number two done.  You may recognize the subject.

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Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is in our top ten favorite children's books.  Boy child in particular identified hugely with Wild Things.  That probably goes without explanation.  I remember reading Wild Things with girl child when she was a toddler and we were both, 'What?  This doesn't even make sense,' but after boy child was born, I reread the book to him and thought, 'Yes, this is exactly it.' 

There are a couple of shelves in the middle of the mural that previously existed on the chosen wall space. I dithered for a bit on whether to keep them or not, but ultimately remembered that I live in a small house and the only real consideration is practicality.  I need to put stuff someplace; the shelves stayed. 

Here is girl child with the mural sans shelves for a bit of scale:

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The original illustration from Wild Things was a bit more intense than what I put on the wall. I simplified the scene, eliminating references to Max's room undergoing transformation into a forest.  It seems to me that I was already in a room, what I wanted to do was capture the transformation of the domestic into the wild.  That is, indeed, where we are going with our theme for the next year.

I also wanted to keep any colours I put on the wall in bright jewel tones, simply because I live in Canada and our winters tend to be long and dreary and a spot of cheerful colour on the wall is always welcome, even necessary, come January, for mental health reasons.The colours on the wall are both brighter and bolder than the copy of Wild Things that we have. 

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I didn't take many in progress pictures since, frankly, I had no idea what I was doing and the tentative nature of my work kept me from documenting too much.  I spent a lot of zen like time just experiencing brush strokes and colour.  Mural work is an entirely different beast than my usual medium.  I found it complicated in the sense that I was trying to see it both up close and far away at the same time.  Kind of like trying to see both the old woman and the young lady simultaneously in a certain well known optical illusion

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In the end, the mural looks much simpler than it felt to paint.  I love the clean cartoony elements of this illustration.  It puts me in mind of lavish Flintstone-esque illustrations of prehistoric times.  We try hard not to take ourselves too seriously around here. 

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As it turns out, much to my relief, once the shelves are on and the couch moved back into place the mural does not dominate the room but fits in like it was meant to be.  I was worried about taking on this second large piece that it would take over our small living room and limit our possibilities. As it is, it sits opposite of our large black chalkboard wall and the two together seem to balance the room quite well.

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"No, no. No photographs please without my agent's permission."

My favorite bit, of course, is Max.  Specifically, his wolf suit tail.  I must tell you that putting those first few strokes of paint on the wall to do this character took balls, for lack of a better phrase. It was scary.  I'm so pleased he turned out to display all the devilish mischief that he embodies and isn't an embarrassingly huge smeary black mark.  There was a time when I wasn't sure how he was going to turn out. 

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The next few projects on the list include some very boring wall painting of the hallway and bedroom but then I'm going to turn the paint brushes over to the childs so they can start putting their mark on our Into the Woods home. 

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