June 30, 2010

Recent Reads

1. The Titan's Curse
Book 3 in the Percy Jackson series continues the story of the demigods who fight monsters. Fun YA book. Have had fun discussions with my nieces about this series.

2. The Wives of Henry Oades
Enjoyed this book. An interesting story. What would happen if your spouse and kids were presumed dead. You then remarry and the original family show up at your doorstep? The complexity of the situation is fascinating.

3. 200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills
Chock full of ideas to play.

4. The Battle of the Labyrinth
Book 4 in the Percy Jackson series. The drama continues, with new monsters added each book. Actually had bad dreams from this one!

5. Off The Tourist Trail
Fantastic arm chair travels with this book. Loved it. So many places to yet explore, though I have been to quite a few of the ones listed. Reading this book gave me the travel itch. Gotta scratch.

6. The Last Olympian
The 5th and final book in the Percy Jackson series. Action packed. Finished this book while my nieces were heading home, so will have to call them to discuss the plot. It is so much fun to see what kids are into reading these days. The books I read at that age - 6/7 were quite tame in comparison - not as much violence. Anyone else remember Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and the Fab Five?

Reading with kids

1. High Tide in Hawaii
Luke and I continue to read our way through the Magic Tree House series. In book # 28, Jack and Annie are in Hawaii and learn to surf and narrowly escape a tsunami. Luke and I discussed tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes. So much material, so little time!

2. Christmas in Camelot
In MTH # 29, Jack and Annie are summoned to Camelot by Merlin. So begins the Merlin series. It is an interesting discussion with kids - the difference between fiction and non-fiction. Or in their words: real and not real.

3. Toy Boat
A bedtime read while the boys were over for a sleepover last week. Cute story about a little boat. The graphics are quite fun.

4. The Monkey and the Crocodile
The boys loved this story about a cunning crocodile and a wily monkey. Recall hearing this story as a kid.

5. Never Take a Shark to the Dentist
And other things not to do. Both boys loved the graphics and the silliness of this book.

6. An Extraordinary Egg
Jonah loved the story about frogs who find a rock, which was declared to be a "chicken" egg. Turns out to be a alligator. Cute.

June 29, 2010

A Group of Three

The photo theme for June is A Group of Three. Here are my pics:

June 27, 2010

Random Musings

  • I am in the midst of world cup fever. Fantastic games. Incredible soccer skills. Cool uniforms. And talk about fit guys. Love it.
  • Am having lots of family time - all members are in town except for my sis. So cool to see the little ones connect.
  • We are in the midst of a fantastic weather window. Delightful. Sailing on the agenda.
  • Why is it that fried food and ice-cream taste so good in the summer? Been having lots of both.

June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Solstice

It is the longest day of the year in these parts, and that is cause to celebrate.

And if that was not enough, here are some other things: an anniversary. world cup football. summer day. fresh fruit. letter from a friend. stack of books by the bed. ice-cream. sailing. long walks. thunderstorms. snugs.

June 16, 2010

Recent Movies

1. Born Rich
An inside look at the lives of the heirs to the world’s greatest family fortunes. This is a fascinating and disturbing documentary.

2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Such a disappointing film considering how good a read the book was. Simply lost the thread of the story and focused on special effects. Too bad.

3. North Face
Based on a true story, North Face is a film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. This movie is really well done. I was actually cold while watching it.

June 15, 2010

Birthday Baby

My partner in life and best friend is celebrating a birthday today. The festivities include opening cards and presents. A long walk in our fave park. Bear Claw ice-cream. World cup soccer. Sailing.
Happy birthday babes. 82.

World Cup

Most of the world is in the midst of football fever. A fantastic season to watch some great football. , Use this great calendar to keep track of the action.

June 14, 2010


Is there anything as fun and satisfying as time spent with a good friend? My pal Shanna visited for the weekend and we laughed, got caught up and talked ourselves hoarse. An example of spending time with people who charge my batts instead of draining it. Am in a golden glow of friendship.

Love the colors of this page. I'm having fun using images from Indian mags for a change.

June 12, 2010


Another page using ephemera collected on my travels. Love how these pages capture a place and time. Am currently working in 3 visual journals. How the heck did that happen? I created a couple of books for trips and did not fill them up. Since I don't like unused pages - seems like a waste to me, I am playing in all 3 at once. Good thing I date my pages!

June 11, 2010

Recent Reads

1. The Tourist
First book I have read by this popular author. This is a classic spy thriller and is supposed to be the first in a trilogy. I love spy thrillers and miss the great writing that came out of the cold war era. This book was an okay read - neither really interesting nor a great ride. Ah well, my search for the new writers of this genre continues.

2. The Sea of Monsters
Book 2 of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. A fun, quick, light read - written for kids. My nieces love the series, so am catching up on the books so we can discuss them.

3. Marley and Me
This is our current read aloud book on the boat. Cute story.

Reading with kids

1. Thanksgiving on Thursday
In Magic Tree House #27, Jack and Annie are transported back to the eve of the first Thanksgiving.

2. The Earth Book
Read this book to Jonah - he loved the vivid pictures and we talked about how the little things we do can help the earth and all the animals. His fave idea? On a hot day put your underpants in the freezer! Am going to have to try that myself.

3. Biscuit Loves Mother's Day
Read this cute book with Jonah. He is still learning how to read, so many of the words are still hard for him. It is funny to see how he makes up the story based on the pictures, not the actual words.

June 10, 2010

10 minutes

There is something about drawing that lowers blood pressure, lengthens time, puts me in the zone. I tend to forget this, but when things seem a bit too much, putting pen to paper can put things into perspective. Don't have enough time? Yeah right. How many hours are spent in front of the TV? Or computer? 10 minutes. That is how long this quick sketch of the vacuum cleaner took me. Besides, that was an additional 10 minutes that I did not have to turn it on and actually vacuum!

June 9, 2010

Storm Clouds

Back home after several days on the boat. It always feels like I've been gone a long time when I'm on the water. There is a cold front headed our way bringing with it plummeting temps and rain.

This page from my journal is about the current oil spill.

June 6, 2010


It is a tradition that every time I am in Las Vegas we head to the Bellagio. We go for two things:

1. To gawk in awe at the creations in the atrium. The themes change every quarter and the theme this trip was SPRING. To really appreciate what you are seeing, you must consider that most of the design is made with live plants. Simply incredible.

2. To sample the ice-cream and other goodies at Jean Philippe - home of the world's largest chocolate fountain. Yum.

To see pics from our latest excursion click here.

Recent Reads

1. Peace Like a River
This book got rave reviews so I was really looking forward to a good read. It was not that. I did love the style of writing and the imagery, but in the end was disappointed with the book and would not recommend it.

2. How to Be an Explorer of the World
I read through this book every now and again. It reminds me to really look at things and people around me. I always find something to inspire me.

3. I'll Mature When I'm Dead
I have not read a book by the author in a while, and I loved all but one of his short essays. I found myself smiling, giggling or in hysterical laughter for much of it. Is there a better recommendation than that?

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when it first came out and am completely puzzled about the popularity of the book and the series. I found the pace good, but simply could not get into the book - and found the Salander character not believable. Yes, there were some interesting ideas - but enough to get such critical acclaim? Everyone I know, except for one friend, raves about the book - something I find fascinating. I disliked the book so much that I have not bothered to read the other 2 books in the series. It was the cover review in the NY Times book review last week, and the reviewer was rather ambivalent about the series as well. Well, just goes to show that you cannot please everyone.

June 5, 2010

Kavita Ramdas

To see an excellent talk by Kavita Ramdas on radical women, embracing tradition click here.

Recent Movies

1. Easy Virtue
This is a fun, light and delicious movie about the clash between two cultures and classes. Enjoyed every minute of it.

2. Phoebe in Wonderland
It seems to me that many parents want their kids to be unique. But then worry about them being too different and not fitting in. This beautiful movie examines the joys and heart-aches of being different.


Sometimes ideas comes from the unlikeliest places. The cover art on a recently ordered pizza box was the inspiration for this spread. I played with markers - been ages since I used them. There is something soothing about laying down thick strokes of vibrant color.

What inspires you lately?

June 4, 2010

Girls Rock

The thing about carrying my journal around with me, is that I always can find some time to play in it. There is always downtime when you are away from home - waiting for friends, waiting to be called, etc. Sometimes I start with a blank page. Other times, like this one, I start with a page that was ready for some journaling.

June 3, 2010

Art Journal

My art journal group prompt for the month was to use images of ourselves in our pages. I opted to sketch a self portrait. It does not quite look like me, but captures how I felt at the time.

Reading with kids

1. Earthquake in the Early Morning
Luke continues to read through this Magic Tree House series. In book # 24, Jack and Annie are transported to San Francisco in 1906 during the terrible earthquake. Luke was fascinated that an entire city could burn down and asked if that could happen today. Also he did not understand why adults did not believe that kids could help in a crisis. Good question!

2. Stage Fright on a Summer Night
In MTH #25, Jack and Annie meet William Shakespeare, act in one of his plays and help save a bear.

3. Good Morning Gorillas
In MTH #26, Jack and Annie find themselves in the mountains of Africa. They meet the giant mountain gorillas and learn that they are quite gentle animals.

June 2, 2010


The news of the BP oil spill continues to be depressing. How does one deal with the news that you are witnessing the worst oil spill on record? I am angry. Sad. Millions of gallons. Such large habitat destruction is hard to even comprehend. My nephews are outraged at the plight of birds and animals affected. My nieces voiced concern about swimming in the ocean on their upcoming visit. What if the oil makes its way up here to New England?

A page from my Vegas journal - don't you find that flowers are good for the soul?

June 1, 2010

Where there's smoke....

Well, we had just about the most perfect weather possible for Memorial Weekend in these parts. The strangest thing though - while listening to NOAA weather, heard the forecast for smoke. Smoke?! Must be a typo. Peeked out the hatch and in fact there was smoke outside that reduced visibility to about 3 miles in Boston Harbor. What the heck? Turns out that the smoke was from fires in Quebec and the winds brought them down all over New England. We had less or more smoke throughout the next couple of days depending on wind direction. Was quite spooky.

Another page from my Vegas journal - love these ads - they are so dang creative. Though cannot tell you who does them - a phone company I think.