November 25, 2009

Recent Movies

1. The Wrestler
This is a really good movie - Mickey Rourke is fantastic. It is however a depressive movie - so do not watch it on a down day. It is too bad that Marisa Tomei does not seem to get real roles in movies. She is such a good actor.

2. My Sister's Keeper
Loved the book. Loved the movie. Keep a box of tissues handy.

3. The Reader
Did not finish the book - it simply did not hold my attention when I read it many moons ago. Loved the movie. Kate Winslet is fantastic - as usual.

November 24, 2009

Skin Color

Been thinking about skin color lately and all the fuss about how light or dark skinned a person is. What does it matter? Are we still really so not evolved as a species that this matters?

November 22, 2009

Visual Journal

Playing with art supplies.

November 21, 2009


It is that time of year again. I love the taste of chestnuts. And they look good too.


Hands seems to be recurring theme in my journals. They can nurture and they can hurt. They are so public and yet so intimate. I for one am not surprised that some of the earliest art in caves were images of hands.

November 19, 2009

Visual Journal

Had such fun creating this page. I love starting out on a page and not knowing how it will end up.

November 18, 2009

First Page Jitters

There is something rather daunting about the first page of a new journal, and to get past those jitters, I usually skip over the first page and simply dive in. Several days later I go back to and play on the first page. Interesting enough, I've never had this problem with a written journal - seems to be an art journal issue. I've heard people who get over the first page jitters by dating the page and writing down contact info for family and friends. This particular first page, was influenced by Teesha - been watching her latest journal videos - quite fun.
Do you have first page jitters? How do you get past them?

Images of women

While perusing a stack of magazines for images to play with, was struck again with how few images there are of women of color in the mainstream mags - actually found none of women of SA origin at all. And the images of women - they all look in dire need of a good meal. Who can relate to that?

November 17, 2009

Visual Journal

Ah, the fun of a new journal. Find that if I carry it with me, I can always find time to play.

November 16, 2009

New Journal

Here is the cover of my new journal.

Soul Collage

I had heard about several groups in my area focused on Soul Collage, so decided to attended a free introductory 2 hour session last weekend to see what it is all about. The object is to quickly find images and create a collage, and then reflect on what you create. Found it a fun process, though would not use rubber cement again - those fumes are rather noxious. Here are the 2 cards I created.

Random Musings

  • I'm loving the series Craft in America on PBS. I know that the industrial revolution was beneficial in so many ways, but I abhor the way almost everything is now made cheaply - not just in term of cost - in China. I miss the seeing the work of artisans in stores. I heartily endorse the hand made movement - it just feels so much more personal and intimate in this world of mass production and consumption. If you'd like to see the shows, click here.
  • I think there is something deliciously ironic about an atheist meeting held on Sunday mornings.
  • Am so excited - my sister is coming to town for a visit. Love spending time with her.
  • Been having fun playing with art supplies. It simply soothes my soul.

November 14, 2009

Recent Reads

1. Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!
My second Fannie Flagg book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The writing is good, the characters fun, the setting travels back and forth over several decades. An example of a good read that is not painful and dark, and leaves you feeling better about the world than you did when you started the book.

2. The Lost Symbol
Ok, I was braced for this not being a great read, so was not disappointed. The story line is interesting, but Brown spends way too much time pontificating in my opinion, as opposed to telling the story. I did learn interesting things about the Masons, and this book does for DC what his other books did for Paris and Rome. Makes me want to visit DC again.

November 13, 2009

Recent Movies

Been watching some really good movies lately - for a change!

1. Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood movies have been such a part of my life, and I love the movies he directs. Watched his latest one last night and loved it. A deceptively simple movie about life, family, loss, relationships. Loved everything about it.

2. Doubt
Oh my gosh! Meryl Streep continues to blow me away. Loved this movie. The things we know. The things we think we know. The trade-offs we make - for just a little while. Amazingly well done.

3. Seven Pounds
You gotta like Will Smith. He continues to step out of the box. This is an interesting movie about regrets and atonement.

November 12, 2009

Reading with kids

I think reading is one of those fundamental things for a successful (however you define it) life. After getting back from Vegas and seeing how the girls are motivated to read by a system in school, I decided to implement a variation on the theme here at home. So found a magic treasure chest - given to me by pirates of course. The key to the locked chest magically appears at the right time - whenever one of the boys has reached 50 points. How do they earn points? 10 points are awarded if they read a grade level book and can tell me what the book is about, and answer 5 questions correctly. 2 points for a lower than grade book. 5 points if I read the book to them and they can answer my questions. And 1 point for each time they set the table. This plan was put in play when they came over for a sleepover on Tuesday, and wouldn't you know it, but the reluctant readers are cruising through books. Love that!

Luke read:
1. I Want to Be Somebody New!
2. If You Listen
3. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
4. The Lion and the Mouse

Jonah read (with lots of help):
1. There Was An old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly
2. Big Egg
3. The Lion and the Mouse

And together we read:
1. Sam and the Firefly
2. Room on the Broom

All these books were read and discussed in less than 24 hours! And that does not take into account sleeping, eating, playing outside, journal time, making a fire, etc. Amazing what a motivated kid can do!

November 10, 2009

Tennis Lessons

The twins have started tennis lessons - this was their 2nd lesson ever. The Williams sisters better watch out!

November 8, 2009

Virtual Hangover

Went to watch The Seafarer at the MRT last night and have a virtual hangover today. And must point out that this tale had nothing to do with the sea (other than maybe the sea of life), and if you were not raised in the Christian tradition (like someone who shall remain nameless), you miss much of the story. Irish stories tend to be dark and involve much drinking - this one was no different. Did enjoy it, but really needed a drink when it was over!

The Seafarer
by Conor McPherson

Nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play, this hilarious and chilling tale of the sea, Ireland and redemption brings old friends together on Christmas Eve for an all night, liquor-soaked game of poker with damningly high stakes. Steeped in Irish myth, the play is both darkly funny and surprisingly uplifting. (Contains Strong Adult Language, Estimated Run Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes with one 15-minute intermission).

November 6, 2009


The girls each drew a design on their pumpkins for their Mom to carve. It was interesting to see the shapes they came up with. You can see additional pics here.

November 4, 2009

Vegas Journal 2

Vegas Journal

These are some of the pages from my Vegas journal. I had such fun creating pages with the girls.

Visual Journal

This is the last page of the journal I have played in all year. My goal had been to complete it before I headed out to Vegas, and that I did. Always a bittersweet moment. So much of my life is captured in those pages.

November 3, 2009

Recent Reads

1. Handle With Care
I have really loved books by this author, but this was not one of them. It is an okay read. I did enjoy learning about OI, but think the writing has gotten rather formulaic. It is the story of a family in crisis - 2 sisters, one of whom is born with a genetic disorder the other has issues of a non-genetic kind. Add into the mix stressed parents and a lawyer and you've got a medicine/family/law drama - very similar to My Sister's Keeper - but not half as good. The book does a nice job of telling the story from different characters points of view - but on the whole was not a book I loved. And the ending - was that really necessary?

2. Hope for the Flowers
My sister loves this book and the first time I read it was in her home many moons ago. Re-read it this past week while in Vegas - love it. A reminder to ask ourselves why we do what we do. Just because everyone else does something does not make it a good thing to do. It is a book for kids but the topics sure are about the larger topics of life.

3. Map of Bones
You know how you read a book, and while reading it you realize that you've read it before but cannot recall the story? Well, this was one of those for me. It is not great literature, but a fun airport read, and I did learn a couple of things that I'm going to research further. I've read loads about the Vatican's history and how Constantine created the Bible as we know it today. But why is the story about Doubting Thomas in only one of the Gospels? Was it really to smear Thomas - the gnostic - the one who spread Christianity to India? Makes you wonder no?

November 1, 2009

Halloween Play

The twins, Sophia and Maya are in 1st grade and they were in a Halloween play at school. Sophia is the one with the straw hat and checked shirt and Maya has on the pink top and pig tails. Additional pics of the little ones can be see here.


Visited Encore - a casino I have not been inside before, and I loved the textures and colors - every wall, every floor, every surface you see is different. It is a feast for one's sense of touch and sight. Love that. Additional pics can be seen here.