Sunday, May 31, 2009

Due to popular demand... Pics of my Ceramic Pots/Bowls

Here are two of my wheel-thrown pieces that have already been claimed by family/friends. If you want to see the other 9 pieces, go to my website, leave me comments, and let me know which ones you like!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

First place in my age group!!

Thanks (again) to A Little Sass, I found out I placed 23rd overall (granted, it was a smaller race, only a bit over 200 participants) and both L (15-19) and I (20-24) placed first in our age groups!
(You can click on the image to see a larger version... I am at the very bottom!)

First race since the half marathon... Race for Red 5K

L & I before the race... L was actually wearing the shirts we got. Would you believe hers is a size MEDIUM?? She's practically drowning in it!!
This Kid (shown ahead of us, below) was AMAZING and would NOT let us get ahead of him the entire race... well, until the end when I kicked it into gear the last 100m... I tried to cheer him on, but he was exhausted from keeping up with us! :) 
Mrs. D crossing the finish line!
Poor photo-deprived L was right behind me, and got her fantastic finish picture ruined by this injured woman! Boo! Sorry, L! We'll get a better finish line pic next time! :)
And the very fabulous A little Sass, hardcore in her all-black!!
A perfect day for a lovely run to raise awareness of heart disease!! Race time to come soon!

Friday, May 29, 2009

BIG NEWS

It was between me and this girl right here... quite the worthy competitor. But I got the job!!!! More details to come but needless to say, I am THRILLED!!!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU to SC for helping me out so much this year.... now to get started on that honors art/sculpture/painting curriculum....
I am officially a public high school art teacher!!! Take that, recession!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

when your pet catches on fire....

Don't panic. No worries, the Kevs is fine. Its not even his first time. Just caught a little case of the stupids.
So we are back from our Boston trip. It was lovely, and time well-spent with family. If it wasn't for the total lack of sleep due to all-night games of Phase 10 with brothers in law, I would have stayed put. :) But no, I did not get to go to a Red Sox game... THAT would have made it a perfect trip, but alas, we just did not have the time in such a short trip.
Of mentioning, B went through the temple yesterday. Our siblings are all just growing up so fast. We are so blessed to have been born into such wonderful families.
And the REAL reason why I LOVE Quincy Market in downtown Boston... to keep it PG, I will have to settle for saying they are Heavenly Brownies from Maggie's bakery. I am still drooling...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shipping out to Boston *cue Dropkick Murphys music*

Well, we are off tomorrow.... and I am offline till Wednesday. Happy Memorial Day!!
Peace.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

So I did that Hair Treatment by Kerastase... sure, my hair was shiny and soft, but isn't that the way it is every time you get out of a hair salon?? Well, at least it was free and I got a good 20 minute head massage.
We also (finally) went to Color Me Mine tonight and ran into some friends from Mr. D's freshman year. Painted a chips and salsa serving dish. Yum.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Pot.

Had a lovely afternoon with KC and baby shopping for baby dresses... didn't remember to take pictures but will have to next time. I did remember to take pictures of my (still-drying) pots/bowls/etc. The white ones were all from last week. The cereal bowl was from today, and the flower pot behind it yesterday's. I can't wait until they are glazed.
On a slightly different note... I'll be on blogging break this weekend while in Beantown. Actually, a much needed tech break. So if I don't answer your call or text... its because I am running, reading, touristing, or just... relaxing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Victory Garden

After last year's Practice Garden, I have dubbed this year's a Victory Garden.
My amazing neighbors, Q&A, decided to go halvsies with me on it (which is good, since after the debacle last year, Mr. D is less than thrilled about my second gardening attempt). 

I won't post pictures till we have it all planted, but we will have butternut squash, seven different types of tomatoes (to see which ones grow fastest/best/biggest), orange and green bell peppers, and the herbs parsley, thyme, and basil (all of which I hear are good in salsas).

This will be a great garden, if nothing else because I learned the following from last year's "experience":
1. More water is NOT best for tomatoes (they only need moist soil).
2. Tomatoes require more than 1 hour of sunlight every day (they need at least 6)... South-facing plots are best.
3. Its best to shop around to get the best prices on plants, soil, and fertilizer, not just settle with the first one you come upon because its convenient.
4. DO allow your cat to use your garden as a litter box. I swear its the reason my flowers bloomed for so long. And cats keep birds out of the garden.
5. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Gardening is hard work, and if you want to produce anything worth eating, you need to know what you are doing.
6. Beware the wary spouse. Once you have ruined one garden and essentially wasted money over the course of a summer, he/she will not be pleased that you are planning another garden. So go back to #5 and make sure you know what you are doing for round two, three...etc.

Now to complete The Garden... does anyone know where I can find cilantro plants? 
They are sold out everywhere!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who doesn't love Retail Therapy!!

Today was a great day for the Running retail world....
Because Auntie M and I spent some DINERO at Runner's Corner, my most favorite store ever. 
I got new shoes and a RUNNING SKIRT! LOVE IT.
Also, my wonderful Mr. D informed me (via slickdeals.com) about THIS GREAT DEAL, where you can get a FREE $100 hair treatment (there are 7 to choose from!) and blow dry to restore damaged hair only valid at participating salons (a list is included on the site) with the coupon you print off from this site on May 20th. I already booked my appointment!! Shouldn't you??

Friday, May 15, 2009

The news is in... we are staying here for the time being. Life is good. And we are making some wonderful summer travel plans. Through this whole experience, I have really learned to treasure the time I get to spend with Mr. D., especially because I know that after he gets a job and we have kids, we will be blessed but not in the same way we are now. I am such a lucky girl!

Today felt a little like this.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another semi-productive day. Took Hrna. Williams to the MTC today. Buena Suerte to her!
Still no news...

TBL Finaaaaaaale

The Biggest Loser never ceases to disappoint me. *Spoiler Alert* 
The at home winner of $100, 000? A 64 year old man who collapsed in the first episode, right before he got sent home.
The Season 7 Biggest Loser? A 46 year old mom named Helen who reminds me so much of my own mother, found in her sweetness and love of her children. She only weighs a few more pounds than me but is about 5 inches taller!! She even ran a full marathon!! I could not be more impressed. Go Helen!!
Plus, her trainer, Jillian, is my favorite, and is known for saying, 
"The past does not define you, the present does." 
Strong words from a formerly fat teenager! Gotta say, I am working on getting abs like hers!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Throwing clay. Today was a good day.

And my second.. I think it is safe to say there is marked improvement!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Words to live by from the illustrious Coco Chanel...

“I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

Happy Mother's Day Portrait Cards

To my two favorite and most admirable women, My Mama Rica (mom) and Mother-in-Law (who I will get to see in a few weeks!). I love you, lovely ladies!!
Per request of my lovely mother, and in honor of Mother's Day tomorrow, I have decided to post the little painting project I've been working on (please be nice and note that it is still in progress, and am still working on the composition, which at the moment is a little awkward). It is the first time I have used walnut oil instead of Liquin (which I absolutely love), to lengthen the life of my oils (I think I heard its less toxic?) so that has made it a little bit of a challenge (its so...drippy), but I love a challenge.

Counting Blessings

I had a dream last night that Mr. didn't get the job. In the dream, we were devastated and crying that we weren't leaving Utah. I woke up thinking, there are plenty of things I love about Utah, and would be just as happy if we stayed! So here is a complete list of what I love about staying here (in case, heaven forbid, if I forget!):
*My gym membership... what's not to love about $24 a month within running distance?
*The dozens of locally held races available to me every month.
*Stability... living in the same place for nearly 2 years with a fantastic landlord and neighbors.
*Being surrounded by loving and generous extended family members who let me do laundry and watch "Lost" with them.
*I really do love my apartment.
*Mr. D's job (that he loves) gets me into sporting events for free, plus we get awesome perks like free Costa Vida, Papa John's and concession food.
*I heart Cafe Rio.
*Utah is gorgeous! And perfect for trail running.
*Come fall, I will live within 2 miles of my two sisters, 2 brothers in law, and best friend, Hermana L!
*I have my favorite stores, favorite time to shop, and everything is so close and pedestrian accessible.
*I also heart Jamba Juice.
*And heart not having to move... since I always end up packing everything and that hurts my back :/
*Mr. D is planning on giving away/selling for cheap most of our stuff when we DO move, so I enjoy having the "stuff" thats made our apartment what it is, for as long as I can :)
*Zero Humidity= Awesome Hair.
*I adore spring and summer term. It makes me hate fall and winter semesters a little more, but at least I can always look forward to all the students (freshmen) leaving for four months at a time.
*Being within close proximity to BYU means I have easy access to art materials I may need immediately/last minute.
*I actually know and have a few friends within my ward.
*I have enjoyed not changing addresses every few months. And not driving across the country. As much as I love my Mr. D, it is never really fun for me. Because I never do any driving.
*I really want to host a summer arts camp out of a friend's basement, and run the Provo River Half Marathon in August, as well as run the Homecoming 5k with both my sisters in the Fall.
I am sure I am missing at least a few things. But you get the idea. This really has become my home for the last 5 years, as much as I've been denying it over the years. I love this place, and while I do not have plans to live the rest of my life here (I mentioned we only have a one-bedroom, right? and the fact that the first "extra" room we have, I am making into my studio??) but for the next year or two, while we are DINKs. Well, I suppose we are only SINKs at the moment :) Back to painting!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Parable of the Talents

Its been over 2 months since I posted this. And only today am I starting painting it!! That goes to tell you, inspiration is one thing, but getting back to work is an entirely different ballpark. I would love to post work in progress pics, but they will have to wait a few days till I finish and get it sent off, as it is a gift. 
I was about 20 minutes into painting this afternoon when I started crying. How have I gone so long without oil painting? I was experimenting with so many (fun and interesting) media, but truly, honestly and down in the pit of my very soul, I am a painter
You see, I got scared in church this past Sunday, because we were talking about the talents we are given: we can either use it or we will lose it. Of all the skills and abilities I have been blessed with, I would truly be lost (and probably very sad) without this skill. And yet it still took me till today to start painting again!! 
I even bought a new Filbert brush to celebrate the day!!
So go on, don't procrastinate, re-discover your talent(s) and fill your full potential!!

The Fabulous Lia Sophia

Oh. Man.
This is one of many graduation presents from my parents courtesy of my favorite Lia Sophia Jewlery that just got in today. The photo doesn't do it justice, but its called "Hollywood Nights" and it is by far my favorite piece of yellow gold jewelry.
 Do you have any jewelry that tops your favorites list? Or wish list??

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

SMOOTHIES AND CHARFIELD

I've worked this recipe to total perfection, so the following is for everyone's summer enjoyment: Mrs. D's Favorite Smoothie
Mix in a blender: (yogurt and juice can be done in any amount you want, we usually use less so our smoothie is thicker)
2/3 to 1 c. low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 to 3/4 c. orange juice
1 Banana
1 to 2 c. frozen mixed fruit chunks
and I usually add in 1/3 c. frozen cranberries, for the antioxidant benefits (don't tell Mr. D!)
Try it, or a variation, and tell me how you like it or what YOU would do to make it better!
We are also babysitting Charfield again, as Mommy Firefighter had to go to an EMT conference through Saturday. As promised, I made her play with the stuffed puppy little D asked me to give her. She is darling but also... a total spaz. w2cbsxffffffz3 333Q33``````````````````````````````````````````````2''''''b [[hn Like dancing all over my keyboard. Love it.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

cake in a cup? Thanks, Deb!!

I've been meaning to post this awhile ago, but I keep forgetting. When I went to visit Deb in Denver, she introduced me to 90 second cakes!! Mr. D and I have been adapting the recipe, and our favorite is as follows:
1/2 c. any cake mix (we prefer yellow cake)... 34o calories
1/3 c. water... no calories :)
2 Tbsp. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (or you can add any other mix-in you like, before or after it cooks) ... 160 cals
And you mix the above in a cereal bowl for 1 minute, then put it into the microwave for "90 seconds" ...we actually like it cooked a little more, so we do a little over 2 minutes. Then you can put a little frosting on it (3 Tbsp is an additional 150 calories) or just eat it as is.
The total for our little concoction? 650 calories for that little bowl (I wish you could see all the little yummy chocolate chips)! Definitely a dish best served shared, or at least only served sparingly, but it really makes me think about how many hidden calories are in desserts... and this cake doesn't even have the fat of eggs and oil! Go ahead, let out a collective "mmmm..."

Que sera, sera

Sigh.
We find out in a week if Mr. D got the job or not. 
So here we are, continuing to wander in our little wilderness.... 
good thing we have the Kevs to keep us entertained in the meantime!
At least we only have a few days to wait, and not a few years. :)
HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO! and... go Red Sox!
I have recently realized, that in over 250 posts I have made on this blog, rarely if ever do I speak about my religion. It is not because I am ashamed of it, it is because some experiences are too personal and too sacred to talk about. Thankfully, this is not one of those times.
Mr. D and I are going through a bit of an uncertain time right now. We are walking on eggshells, it would seem, in trying to find a full-time job for him. If he gets a job, I want to be ready to move as soon as he desires. So I have, for the moment, taken to putting a pause on my plans, continuing instead to keep house, work on my art, run, and of course, read.
In my reading this afternoon, as I was searching for something to calm myself down from the anxiety I have been feeling today. In the 16th chapter of Nephi (the first book in the Book of Mormon), there is a family wandering in the wilderness, as they had to leave their home because their town was going to be destroyed. They happen upon a ball sent from God, sort of a compass-thing, called the Liahona, and the father of this company decides they will follow it to get to their destination... a "promised land" that they really have no exact location for. The children complain, their wives complain, even the parents (who are leading the bunch!) occasionally complain, but they are continually humbled by the Lord and told that He knows where they are going, and they needed to have faith that He would take them there, in due time. They wandered for years in this wilderness, following the Lord's Liahona, knowing that they would eventually end up at their new home in a promised land prepared for them.
I must have heard this story about a couple hundred times in my young life. But never before have I felt such a strong connection to this family, because I have recently realized that my situation parallels that of this wandering family. Mr. D and I are being led somewhere, and even though for the past couple years it has required us to stay in Utah (much to the begrudging of Mr. D, and at times, myself), there is a reason for it, and we are guided by His hand. While our Liahona may not have a physical manifestation, we do not know where we are going, because we don't really know where we are supposed to go. But if I have learned anything in the past year, it is that we can only be in control of so few things. The rest is up to... well, some may say coincidence, fate, or what have you. But I believe in a higher being, and in a destiny that we are set to fulfill that only he truly comprehends.
Through all of this craziness we call life, I know one thing for certain: I belong to the only true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Everything else will fall into place, come what may.
I'll keep you posted.

"Imagination is more important than Knowledge" -Albert Einstein

As part of my "Artist Summer School" self-designated research, I have been reading This Book.
James Christensen (a former BYU visual arts professor) spoke in one of my classes a few years ago about his work. I had never heard of him before, but after reading some of his writings on the imagination and seeing his art, it resonated with me. As one who is struggling to find her artistic voice in this noisy world, there are certain aspects of his art that I hope to include in my work as well. For example, in his book, he says,
"When I paint, I want people to participate. I want to share something of my own life and ideals, but I want people to bring to the viewing of my artwork all their varied and unique life experiences, too. For me, the art process is not complete without the viewer...
"When people tell me, 'I don't have any imagination,' I want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them and say, 'Yes, you do! Get out there. Learn some things, pay attention, make connections, think about ideas. Watch the world around you. Stay curious. Make yourself a new thought every day until your brain starts doing it on its own."
Never heard of him?? Read this. My secret hope is to someday inspire, through my creations, a small part of what he has. Seriously, its just a short article: Read it.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

he's got a good point.

I went back to the high school this week and a student asked me what my plans were. When I told him I really had none, I was just trying to look for something at the moment, he said,
"You need to go to the temple. Attend the temple, and you will find a job." 
He said it with so much conviction, I felt bad for initially doubting the counsel. The past few weeks have been full of experiences, some good and some not so good. The important part is that I have been learning from all of my experiences, and if I have learned anything, it is to put my priorities in order and everything else will fall into place. I am prioritizing. Now is the hard part... to wait.

Friday, May 01, 2009

"unemployed"

"I would rather you work part time at Baskin-Robbins making minimum wage [again] than for you to just sit around the house, not making any money."
This was said to me direct from my dear, dear Mr. D. The Mr. D who has never had to work as a host, server, ice cream scooper or ANYTHING of the fast-food variety, whereas... I HAVE. At least two jobs at each! And you know what? Any of those occupations are GREAT high school, even college-level jobs. BUT I AM GRADUATED. And I am truly not trying to be all high and mighty, I know we are in a devastating economy. But I have worked hard for 5 years so that I would not have to get a permanently entry-level, horizontal job.
Its not like I am actually sitting at home doing nothing. I would go crazy! I am cleaning, creating, gardening, researching, reading, etc etc....
Honestly? I would rather be a starving, ramen-eating artist than to work fast-food again. And I loathe ramen.
PS I am taking commissions if anyone is interested! I have one so far... in bookbinding of all things!
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