You might think that coming off the high of two days with friends and plenty of cocktails my week could not get any better, but for me it did. Sunday I flew down to Knoxville to visit with my bestie Tara. It was three and a half days of glorious happiness that I haven't had since we saw each other last year. Starting with baked brie and wine on Sunday evening and concluding with Waffle House on Wednesday morning, this was by far my best vacation in ages! You might not think that Knoxville is all that sophistocated, what with the proliferation of Cracker Barrel, but Knoxville has something that we do not have here in California, and that is Painting With A Twist. This art studio teaches painting classes to novices and at the end of a class, you go home with your finished work of art.
I had some trepidation when we signed up, but then I heard we could bring our own wine. I figured with enough wine any painting can look fantastic! So, fearlessly we went to the class one evening, ready to unleash our inner artists. We had signed up to paint a piece called Black Dress. The instructor takes the class step by step through the painting process, first with the background and then with the focal point, finishing up with some finer flourishes. It is very interesting to see the variations that occur in a group - one lady had an entirely pink background, one had bold strokes of color all through the background, I had large brush strokes and Tara had fine blending. We all heard the same instructions but each has different taste, and so, completely different paintings.
I won't give away the secret, I just can't, but just know that you do not need any sort of talent to leave that room with a beautiful painting. I am delighted with the results and although I don't know yet where I am going to hang this in my house, I am incredibly proud of it! The class had some mushy text they wanted us to write on the painting, something about not judging yourself and feeling strong about your appearance. Tara and I went with something that embodied our few days together: shopping. We shopped until our feet hurt! Tara had found a quote from Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City) which was "I like my money where I can see it. Hanging in my closet." So, that's what we put on our paintings. No sentiments of empowerment or individual strength for us, just pure consumerism!
Even though it was an all-too-short visit, the real beauty of this trip was not in the painting. It was in the ease with which we slide right back together after being apart for over a year. It's tough having a best friend who lives 2000+ miles away. We don't get to talk every day and you might think that the little details of life that we miss would serve to thrust us further apart. But they don't. I think we pack as much feeling and enjoyment into every second we are together, even if we are watching True Blood or American Dad. You don't find friends like my T every day, and so I appreciate every second we get together, and in the months until we see each other again, I take those memories out and relish the laughter, the joy and the comfort of our friendship.
I sometimes find it difficult to be completely at ease with people, even close friends and family. I'm always worrying about my appearance, or what Melody is getting into, or if I remembered to complement a new hairstyle. I know, insecurities all. But with Tara, I can completely relax and truly be myself. That is a beautiful relationship. One for which I am greatful every single day.
We just got in the studio photos from Melody's butterfly dance recital in June. Of course I am biased, but man she is cute!
Hi folks! Sorry I've been away, I had a surgery to fix my ruptured ligament in my foot and it has taken quite a while to get back up to speed. I hope I can make it up to you. While I was languishing I found a neat little iPhone app called ColorBurst and I've been playing with it. I hope you enjoy the photos I've created.
There's a new photo album called ColorBurst where I will add photos that I have edited. Plus, I used some of the ColorBurst photos on Instagram, taking advantage of the IG filters to create some neat images.
Click on the photo of Melody to get to the ColorBurst album and click on the flower photo to get to the Instagram album.
I have a nifty red Canon PowerShot SD 4000 IS camera that I love (and that my awesome husband gave me for my birthday!) and usually have it sitting handy on my desk. The other day Melody was asking about it and how to use it. I showed her how to take pictures and sent her on her way. I thought it might be interesting to see things from her perspective. She is only 3' 6" after all. A few more photos from Melody's view are in the gallery.
What Mommy's usually doing in her office
We baked shortcake tonight and made whipped cream, yum!
My bowl and spoon
Hey, there's my feet!
Here's one of my drawings!
About two months ago or so, I was browsing the Apple App Store and came across a free app called Instagram. Instagram is an iPhone app that enables photo sharing in a sleek and social way, but also allows the budding photo artist in us all to bloom. I have always loved artistic photographs, but never considered myself to be artistic. I take pretty good snapshots sometimes but I always saw that as the limit of my talent. With Instagram, I am trying to see the photos before they are snapped, and then share them with other budding talents.
I find that I am beginning to look forward to taking photos, and the great thing is you are not limited to photos taken with the Instagram app. You can access photos in your iPhone photo library and apply the filters to them as well, creating new versions of old photos. Below are a few of my favorites, and there's a new album in the gallery where I will add new photos periodically.
Peacock at the Museum of Appalachia in Tennessee
Reflecting pool outside my office building
Melody at Calico
Shadows at Disneyland
If you have an iPhone - apparently any generation - I encourage you to download Instagram and play!