Sunday, July 31, 2005

Carseat Snapshots

I took these on the way to Port Orchard on Friday. I love her big clear eyes. I also discovered that playing with my camera while sitting in the back seat makes me feel a bit carsick. Must remember that.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

I'm painting Hogwarts castle in a closet. The closet belongs to my friend Wendy's mother, Sylvia. (Well, it belongs to her husband, too, but it's definitely Sylvia's project.) They built a house out in Port Orchard and designed it with a Cupboard Under the Stairs to be a Harry Potter room for the grandkids. I take Kate out with me, and Sylvia plays with her while I'm working.

Here's the bit I worked on today. You can compare it with the above picture (taken today before I started painting) and see that it doesn't look that much different. That's about the amount of work that I can expect to get done in a day.

I started painting when Kate was about six weeks old. These were taken on February 16. The closet was too small to use an opaque projector, so I did a graphite transfer. I've never had to do it with anything that big before, and it was really a pain, but I made it work. I had to enlarge the photo and print it out on many sheets of paper, which I then taped together and scribbled all over the back with pencil. It took a lot of pencil. I also had to get help taping it up on the wall to trace, because it was so big and awkward.

These were taken March 22. Lots of progress, but so far from finished.

Scott's mural took 135 hours over six weeks. The Jerusalem mural took 140 hours, also over six weeks. I figured this one would probably take longer, with a baby and all, but I was thinking maybe two, three months tops. Nope, still working on it. And I'm not sure how much longer it's going to take.

(April 20)  I think this is my favorite picture so far.

I know it doesn't need to be perfect. It's in a closet, and it's just for the grandkids. But I just can't bring myself to slap some paint on the wall and call it good. There's all this tricky lighting and shading, and the architecture with its straight lines and perspective, and windows that have to be lined up with each other. Hogwarts is complicated. Sylvia loves it, though, and she doesn't seem to mind that it's taking much, much longer than we anticipated.

Doug went out with me today (he doesn't have class on Fridays) and played with Kate while I worked. What a great guy. Kate sure loves her daddy. They have a good time together.

On a lighter note, I have gotten over my need for a complicated banner and settled on something more simple. Perhaps there's hope for me yet.

Bodhran Baby

I'm posting these for Gwyn, who has a bodhran in her profile picture.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Adventures in Baby Sitting

I take pictures of Kate on Monday. She was born on a Monday, so it's a weekly milestone thing. Of course I take pictures of her on other days, too. I guess I should say I take special pictures of her on Mondays. Or I try to.

I use the little Fisher Price baby chair. I put something over the back, so the brightly-colored farm animals don't compete with my cutie, and set it by the window so I get some nice natural light coming in. So far it's worked pretty well.

This week was another story. Kate has learned to sit. She's been sitting all by herself for a few days now, and having a great time. I just could not convince her to sit back in the chair so I could get my pictures.

After a few attempts, it became clear that I was going to have to try something else. So here she is--Baby Kate, sitting!

(Click on the pictures to see them bigger.)

That thing she's holding is a pacifier on a Winnie-the-Pooh clip. We call it her Poocifier. She doesn't actually use it but she likes to wave it around.

And since I've been working on getting this blog set up, I'm not getting around to posting the Monday pictures till Wednesday, the 27th. Happy seven months, Kate!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Anything worth doing...

My dad is an engineer. I should capitalize that. My Dad Is An Engineer. (More on that later, I'm sure.) If there's a certain propensity to spend longer than any sane person would on every little detail of a project, perhaps we can blame it on him. Surely there's a genetic component.

"We do it the Hard Way" is the title of a story that my sister Betsey wrote in Junior High (about a muskrat named Vern, who was a detective), but there have been times when I thought it would make a good family motto. (Or, as I once told a friend, "Anything worth doing is worth making very, very complicated.") So I thought it would make a nice title for my blog. Betsey said she didn't mind. I asked her.

I'd like to think that, as I've gotten older and hopefully more mature, I've developed more sensible moderation. But then, right after I got this blog set up the first thing I did was go looking for directions on using a banner (thanks to Lindsay Teague for her how-to), and then I spent all day today (well, as much as one can spend "all day" doing anything when one has a baby) putting this one together. I think I like it. But I'll probably spend more time reworking it in the future.

I read a book called From Anna, by Jean Little, in which Anna has some serious vision problems and is used to not being able to do much, but in her special ed class she gets to make a basket for her parents and discovers that she's good at it. The other children ask why Anna's basket looks so good, and the teacher replies, "Anna has the gift of taking infinite pains." It sounds so much nicer when you put it that way. The gift of taking infinite pains. I like that.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Is this thing on?

I thought I'd join the ranks of bloggers... just gotta figure out how this thing works!