Saturday, August 29, 2009

RoadTrip09 Highlights

I've created a short (<4 min) slide show of highlight photos from our recent trip. Enjoy! (Just click play...)

If for some reason this video doesn't work or you want to see a larger version, use this link.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Are Dragons Real?

In Slovenia, they are. This is my current favorite pic from our trip. I took it in Ljubljana, the capital city in Slovenia. It's one of the dragons on the Dragon Bridge in the old part of the city. I just loved these dragons! They were so full of life and energy. I have never seen a mythical creature look so lifelike, they looked like they were ready to launch into the air. For some reason, they just make me smile.

I'm sure I'll have more favorites when I eventually sort through pics, but I wanted to share this one.

This morning I painted, getting back to my painting started before the last trip. I love seeing what emerges after a session of painting. I step back and look after I've washed my brushes and its like I can see the picture emerging, gaining life. I've figured out it's all in the light and shadows. When I used to paint, way back in high school, I used to stay very light all of the time, afraid of ruining something by going to dark. What I see now is that it's the dark, the shadows, that make you see the light. It's what makes something pop out at you. With only light you never get any depth or dimension.

I think this has parallels with our life, without the dark we can't really see what we have in the light, we would be dimensionless. Both are needed for truth.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Brandon the Filmmaker

Brandon woke up this morning with a plan to make a stop-motion movie of his cats. So I helped him figure out how and here it is, the first movie by Brandon:

And here's the sequel:

There are no limits to what you can do when you are 8 years old. It's fantastic.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More Amsterdam Pics

Pictures from our second day in Amsterdam are uploaded and available for viewing! Let me know which ones you like, I'm always interesting in seeing what people like and don't like. Everyone has such different and personal tastes in art!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Movie Night

I've created a monster.

You see, I brought a few Harry Potter books with us to Italy. I've thought for a long time that when Brandon turned 8 years old we would start reading Harry Potter together. So a few weeks ago, I started reading it to him at bedtime. It was so much fun to see how spellbound he became as the story progressed.

Turns out it's been a bit busy and we haven't read enough at bedtime, so Brandon took matters into his own hands and finished reading book 1 this weekend. And then book 2 this week. He's partway through book 3 - but yikes! I only have the first four here. We will have a Harry Potter crisis if I don't do some planning ahead...

So all this week, we planned for tonight as Movie Night since we had no work, no commitments. Brandon had it all planned out... he cleaned all of the cat hair off of the couch pillows, arranged everything just so, set up the snack bar and we were good to go.

I must say, it was fun to see his excitement and planning as much as it was to see the movie again. It was fun to see Brandon's reaction as the story was brought to life. "That's just how I imagined it!" or "That's not like the book."

Aaaah, my little voracious reader. Love it!

(Pretty darn good looking snack bar, huh?)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Photos from Amsterdam

I wonder why I've been blogging more lately, and have had some time to edit photos? Maybe it's because we've been home for a while without travelling. It's been nice, a little break before the next vacation.

So, here are the first photos from Amsterdam, our first day there. I find it easier to break the photo review and editing into chunks by day, because it gives me a smaller end goal, however arbitrary it may seem.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Move over, Wright Brothers!

In the last day Brandon has started making airplanes. Not the usual little paper airplanes, but large onese with sticks and paper and tape and some lego ladders. This one has already survived multiple "flights" off of the balcony onto the grass below.

Pre-flight check.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Barrettes are back!

It used to be, that I always had my hair back in a barrette or a pony tail. I hated the feel of my hair on my face. Then, a few years ago I got it cut short and finally found a fantastic stylist (Hey, Karla!) and was able to keep a short style I like that didn't involve any sort of hair equipment. You know what I mean, barrettes, hair bands, etc.

But here I am now in Italy. With no hairstylist and not enough vocabulary to really describe what I want. I haven't had a haircut since March 30, except for me trimming a few bangs. So with the longer hair comes the desire to pull my hair back again, right now with a barrette and eventually into a pony tail. So, the barrettes are back for the moment. Until I decide otherwise. Thought you all needed to know.

Study of a Teapot

I got this tea-for-one pot in Amsterdam on our recent trip. I played around with it in the evening kitchen light, looking at it from different angles depth of field. Just a reminder that there are many different angles, infinite even, to look at a single object. If that is true, shouldn't it be the same for our lives and our problems?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nice, Long Day of Nothing

We had no plans for today. Well, at least Brandon and I didn't. And we had a nice, long day of randomness...

I cleaned up my desk and painting area. I put some pictures into frames and rearranged the shelves in the living room. Went for a bike ride in Parco di Monza. Went over to the neighborhood store for some light and cool food items. Cleaned up and consoled Brandon over a broken plate and lost pancakes. Bought some domain names. Charged my camera batteries. Reformatted a hard disk. Learned to play Poptropica from Brandon. Talked with Patrick for a while about life. Made a CD to listen to in the car. Played Mario Cart with Brandon. Read a book.

All the while, enjoying the fact that there was nowhere we needed to be, no timetable, no trips. A nice little break after the travel of two weeks ago and the work craziness of last week.