Friday, January 11, 2013

New Painting: Council of the gods

Here's the newest painting for the nursery.
The animal gods gathered in a tent in a long lost forgotten valley. The special meeting was called upon to commemorate the godhood of the dog. All the god animals from all corners of the earth sojourned far and wide to be there. The Egyptian's Cat was first to arrive at the tent. The Cat waited for days for the others to arrive. The Parrot from South America, soon made his appearance and squawked human stories that entertained the cat. Then the Grecian Satyr, representing the Hellenic kingdom, arrived and promptly played a haunting tune from his harp to apologize for his tardiness. The Parrot and the Grecian Satyr performed a melodic duet for a period of time. The Dragon from China soon followed and blew amazing feats of fire performance. The Elephant headed Ganesh from India grandoisely marched into the tent carrying the golden spinning ball that represented the earth. These animal gods waited for the grand entrance of the dog. But the dog took his time, perhaps distracted by chase along the way. At first, the animal gods discussed amongst themselves the possibility of confering godhood to the dog somewhere in North America. But soon they ran out of dog things to talk about. And the Satyr played on...the dragon blew fires until he was exhausted, the parrot squawked until his voice was hoarse, and the Elephant headed Ganesh tired of spinning the golden ball. Still, there was no sign of the dog. It took an eternity for the dog to arrive. When the dog finally came, he took his seat promptly, without apology. Then he shamelessly began to lick his balls and genitals. Ganesh the Elephant, ignored the indecent act by virtue of the fact that it was the dog's day of godhood. So he cleared his throat, and began the formal rite of ceremony, re-spun the golden ball. The other animal deities followed his lead. But lavished by the centuries of honor the people of Egypt conferred upon her Feline form, the cat, stately and utterly irritated by the dogs late arrival, couldn't contain herself. She interrupted the ceremony to rebuke the dog for his lack of manners, his late arrival, and pointedly poked fun at the dog for licking his balls. Utterly humiliated and embarassed, the dog growled a curse at the cat, saying: I will chase you unto the ends of the earth, I will eat your kittens, and even your feces, I will consume. And once those words were uttered, in the presence of all the other animal gods, the dog lost his chance to be a god. Then the cat began running, out of fear which made her lose her stateliness and godly powers. Human worship of the cats in Egypt began to diminish. Today cats and the dogs are not considered gods anywhere.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Art Clock

So here's another art clock created by Jennifer Bergin, my longtime friend in NC. She's super creative and we are happy to team up together.
This clock also goes with the story for Breathe Underwater. Have I shared that already? If not, here's a link to the album. The story still needs to be colored in, so we turned it into a calendar, to see if any of you creative minds out there are interested in coloring it in. Coloring process is so much fun and everyone has a different way of using color/patterns to convey beauty. We thought it would be cool if other people colored it in. Anyway, back to the clock. Jennifer uses cedar or oak to create her pieces and usually plays off of the woodgrain patterns. I think this clock is beautiful. If you're interested in purchasing, visit our ETSY site

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Looking back and ....waiting....

I love the preparations for the arrival of our newest family member--physical, emotional, spiritual aspects. I want to share just a little about the physical preparation.

Each woman is different from another. I heard so many advice on should eat this, should eat that. All my preparations in no way makes me a pregnancy expert. But here's a couple of stuff I did.

I took many classes on parenting psychology, Developmental Psychology, birthing and breastfeeding classes in the local community center and community college. I even took a class on Infant and Adult CPR and became certified. I researched everything from herbs, to birth procedures, and have read/scanned many books about raising a baby.

Here's a photo of a couple of books that I read.

The most important focus during the pregnancy is good health. My pregnancy has been very healthy and the other day my doctor congratulated me at reaching the waiting point. I am less than 20 days away from my expected date! I've had no morning sickness. I have no gestational diabetes (despite the copious amount of chocolate consumed), my iron level fluctuates, but mostly has been normal, my skin feels delicious, my fingers tingles and this past week, my legs finally swell up on occasion. I started out in the best physical and cardiovascular shape of my life. And have gained a whopping 50 lbs (which is half of my original body weight). This has been the most challenging aspect of the pregnancy, carrying around half of my original body weight. It was very painful at times but a little yoga and two visits to the physical therapist (who basically gave me prenatal yoga poses) helped. I was a pescatarian prior to my pregnancy and I immediately ate meat (yuck) as soon as I was pregnant, but I believe I needed more protein. My rule of thumb is, drink lots of juice, milk and greens/fruits with every meal. My vitamin intake varies according to how I feel.

Bananas are very useful in muscle cramps!!! and overripe bananas are great in banana breads. (That's empty bottles of Welches sparkling grape juice, non-alcoholic, from ringing in the New Year's Toast)

The space preparation for the baby is more complicated since we are preparing in several directions, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Yep, this can be stressful, but I'm certain everything will fall into place as needed. But for now only the North Carolina space is fully prepared.

The baby's crib was repainted, and now ready! I love looking at this photo, it makes waiting so precious.

I cleaned, organized, re-organized every crook and corner. Darkened curtains with pretty children motif sewed into the fabric is still on my to do list, and finishing up this mural is as well. I placed the mural on the wall at the foot of the baby's crib so the baby has a colorful piece to look at, especially painted by his mommy.

I have to be careful with the oil paint mediums as some of them are toxic (so now painting without a thinner, just plain oil paint).

I'm taking at least a 20 minute walk each day wrapped up in thick jacket, comfortable shoes, and *ahh!!!* absolutely no make up the entire pregnancy. I'm usually accompanied by these pack of dogs. (That's my mom on the left. She's an RN so I'm happy to be around her during my pregnancy)

Since I can't walk the dogs with a leash anymore, I walk very early in the morning to avoid the neighbors. Today, one neighbor who is a dog lover, walked up to me and gave me some roots of Calla Lillies (my favorite flower). I wrapped them in newspaper, and I can't wait to plant them in the spring.

I have read goodnight books and played music to the baby and I think Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is the baby's favorite piece. It is a common misconception that Mozart wrote Twinkle Twinkle at the age of four/five. This is the age he was when the original French folk song was written under the name of "Ah ! vous dirai-je, Maman", in 1761. However, Mozart's series of variations on this melody is very pretty.

Let me know if you want a piano note copy of my baby's favorite piece.

Finally, as I am waiting, I'm trying to remain as healthy as possible so I can breath properly during the delivery. So many people are sick!! This is the best remedy for a cold, pregnant or not. Ginger smashed, some lemons, some oranges, and honey boiled in a pot. It's a lovely aromatic tea that I'm drinking as I'm writing this blog.