Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Thanks for the nomination Suzanne. I think I've linked the image to your blog, so if you guys click on that box it should take you to Suzanne's blog, but if not, you can also visit Ms. Suzanne HERE (and if you've never visited her blog, you probably should, she's always doing something interesting!)

next, I am suppose to say 7 things about myself that people might not know...

The problem is that I pretty much say all kinds of stuff about myself here that people might not have known...but what on earth have I left out? I may say something that you, as my friend, already know, but maybe not the general public....

Here goes:

1. When I was a kid my mom took me to a witch doctor almost as often as she took me to the regular doctor. My great aunt read tea-leaves and claimed she could "smell death" when someone was about to die in a Ward. My aunt taught me how to read palms. Oh yeah, and tarot cards. I figured as an enterprising 2nd grader this would be a good business to get into - this reading palms thing, since not many 2nd graders have such mad skills. So I set up a little booth at recess and started my first business. Things went awry right about when I noticed one girls life line looked like it went careening in a weird direction...which I surmised meant she was going to "hell". People don't like to pay you a nickel to read their palm if you're going to tell them they're going to hell. It's not my fault you're going to hell! I just read 'em like I see 'em.

2. My family now thinks that my cousin is a "witch doctor". Do not tell my mom you are sick or she will call my cousin and have him "work on you". Then she will call you back to find out if you are better and if you say you are, she will become convinced that my cousin worked his magic. And when I argue with my mother about all of this, she is quick to point out that many people in the "Greater Canadian Region", call my cousin up on the regular to have him "work" on them, his fame is that far spread. Which of course makes me wonder if my cousin has taken out an ad in the "British Columbia Times". But my mom is hearing none of that nonsense - my cousin has a gift, people from Canada and "all around" are aware of it, end of story. Yes, my mother is a fully active member of the church, a former relief society president, and currently, a temple worker. Don't ask me how all of these things work together in her head - it was very confusing for me as a child to grow up like that. It took me a long time to get over some whacky notions. But it makes my background seem more color-ful doesn't it? Oh the tales I could tell you...but I won't.

3. Suzanne thought it might be fun if we talked about our "first kiss" - I cannot remember all the first kisses I had when I was a small child, but there were lot's of 'boyfriends' when I was not yet in Kindergarten. My first crush was in 2nd grade (Gary Moore), but that didn't go anywhere. - you know I just realized - I'm hesitant to even talk about this because there are two different boys who might think they are my 'first kiss' and not that either of them read this blog, but I'm friends with one of them on facebook, and I've linked to this blog from facebook before so....hmmmm. Okay well...there were two boys when I was 15. That's all I'm going to say about that. One of them I was in love with. One of them I thought was funny. One of them was a french kiss. One of them wasn't. One of them I still consider my first 'real relationship'.

4. I stole Kirk from my roommate. And I borrowed her clothes to go on our first date. That makes me sound like a terrible person! In my defense: 1. She had LOTS of boyfriends 2. She came home from their first date and said "well...he was nice, we had fun and everything...but at one point in the conversation he said he was a communist...I don't know if I can date a communist. (which I thought was HILARIOUS) 3. he was super cute, and such things cannot be helped sometimes and 4. she worked at a clothing store and had a LOT of clothes - she didn't seem to mind. :)

5. When I met Kirk I was working as a maid, and he was working as a cook in a greasy little restaurant.

6. When I was 12, I thought I wanted to have 10 kids when I grew up - 5 boys and 5 girls. I even named all of them. The only name I really remember was "George". Now I have a girl we call "George". But I sure as heck don't have 10 kids!

7. If I don't count any of the boys I kissed while still in elementary school - I only kissed 7 boys total in my entire life.

Now I'm suppose to tag 7 others. The problem is Suzanne tagged a bunch of people I would have normally tagged. So....

I tag:

Noelle at Sending Love to Bulgaria
Geri at I am Boymom
Jenny at Jenny Jenny Who can I turn to
Shannon at Just the Two of Us
Andy at Keeping Tab
Hailey at Hailey Broadbent
and any other random person who would like to participate...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mormon Art(ists)

There are a lot of great artists in the world.

Some great artists happen to be mormon.

There is a lot of "art" at the LDS bookstores of the world.

Most of the mormon artists I like, are not people you can buy a painting by at the LDS bookstore.

Here are some mormon artists I really love:

Cassandra Barney

Kirk Hays

Ron Richmond

Justin Taylor

Tyson Snow

Emilie McPhie

James Christensen

Brian Kershisnik

Very often these artist have themes which I find inspiring and I relate to culturally. More so than ANOTHER rendering of Jesus as a blue-eyed smiling guy. (that latest smiling Jesus by Parsons is just too much for me...)

Anyway, I just thought I would share.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Inspirations...

I just like to collect images of things that I find inspiring - house & decor wise. Sometimes these things stew around in the back of my mind and show up in various ways in my life later on...

So lately:

I love how they've used chalkboard paint in all of these - I would never think to chalk board paint a table, but what a great idea! Or a door? That's kind of genius! Wouldn't this be great in a kids bedroom on the back of their door? Love that. I'm doing this somewhere, I just haven't figured out exactly where yet... (apparently it's sort of more complicated to do it on a fridge, but I've found a website that tells you how...if I still had my crappy old fridge, I would probably do this)

I wish all of these were bigger - this is a tiny house that is designed completely around the pool. Super cool. I have no idea how I would utilize this idea, except that now with our addition in the back yard, I sort of have an outdoor shelter built around a pool? I don't know...

Speaking of that, now that it's starting to cool down. (okay is it really starting to cool down? I like to imagine it is!) I'm going to be working soon to COMPLETE the backyard project.

What I really love here - and I probably already utilize this idea in my house, is that if you take a modern painting and put it in slightly traditional room, the whole room takes on a contemporary feel. Just imagine if this room had a painting of flowers or a traditional landscape? It would be a whole different feel. This is just a nifty little trick I think to jazz up a space.

This photo reminded me of a friend who had 11 children in their family. They had a bedroom for the girls like this - only in their house, they managed to fit 6 beds. They were built into the wall like this with one set in the center of the room and on each end they had built in dressers. It was genius. They took a room that would have just been a large bedroom for one or two people and actually made it work for 6 of the girls in the family. They were very artistic and creative people. The house was only meant for probably a family of 3 kids or so and they made it work for 11. It was organized and clean - it was really genius. They converted their garage into a family room because the house was small and only had a small front room that they could not have all even fit in really. In the garage they were so smart. They knocked out the roof so that they went all the way up into the rafters of the house at the top there was as small sitting space with a built in couch type area - there were built in book cases - probably enough room for at least 8 people to be sitting in that area at the same time - it was a reading area. Two or three steps down from there in a separate area they put their piano. They had a schedule and when it was your turn to practice you went to that area to play. 6-10 steps down from there was another area the entire length of the garage - they built in seating so that you could probably have had 20 people in that space pretty easily. At the end of that space they built a floor to ceiling fireplace. They excavated into the footings of the house and built another little area below there - maybe 6 steps down and inside there, again built in couches with a built in television - it was almost cave-like and pretty sound proof when the door to that area was closed - that was the only place they had a tv besides their parents bedroom. I don't think they could have all fit in there at the same time - but it provided a space to get away from everyone and watch television. I never wanted to have a big family like that I but I really admired that they were able to utilize the space of that small house and be organized enough that they made it work as a space to raise 11 children. Their kitchen was tiny too, but they built in a banquet/booth-style table that fit them all. Very smart.

Do you love this bowl? I do!

Afraid of color? These people obviously aren't! It can be hard to pull off, but if you work at it, color can be so fun!

This is even harder to pull off than color - lot's of pattern going on with all those paintings and photos on the wall behind. But it looks so great when it comes together right. I keep things like this to remind myself that when I despair that I don't have enough room for all of our photos and paintings - it can be done!

I love the use of blocks here! Wood blocks can be chic...if done correctly. You have to have a sense of playfulness and fun and a good eye. I've tried to do stuff like this before and failed, so I am always looking for better ways to accomplish this look.

Afraid of color on your walls? Why not just paint your ceiling! How fun!

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Tale of Rodney Jones

We miss this kid! I can't believe he's been gone almost a month.

But we are so happy he is doing so well! Anyone who wants to read his letters home can do so at the website I mentioned earlier - we are editing them for content mainly when he is talking about other people who might not want their personal info spread around the internet (there is one boy who is really homesick and who I am not sure is going to make it and I try to edit out all that info along with a few other things, or I edit out of Noelle's letters where he tells her he loves a bajillion times) but I am copying and pasting one of his stories here because it cracks me up so much. Maybe I am the only one who thinks it's really funny, because I can hear Holden's voice so much when I read this story and Holden is nothing, if not a funny story teller. Sometimes I feel badly for people who don't really know Holden very well. He is hilarious. I think that's what I miss the most about him - all the funny little things he says and all of our inside jokes. He's always making up words and phrasing or quoting from weird movies. I miss our jokey way of talking to each other. So this story cheered me up in that regard. But otherwise, he is just doing so well - he is learning the language and although it's challenging he loves the challenge of it - and I think he's really making the most of his time and trying so hard to give everything his all. I'm very pleased.

Anyway - the tale of Rodney Jones, by Elder Holden Hays:

On that Tuesday we were supposed to be at the front desk by 4:00 am. So
apparently in the middle of the night I dropped my alarm clock and it
got broked! :( Anyways so me and Elder Spencer wake up at 4:10 am
oops, anyways we woke up to someone calling our names over the intercom
& just threw on whatever clothing we had lying around [editorial note: insert
cyrillic words here, which he then says means "no bueno" or for the
non-spanish speakers "no good"
]. Anyways it sucked and we ran and I
forgot my wallet so we ran back and then I forgot my tag so we ran back
AGAIN and it was sucks [editorial note: I hope most of you know Holden well enough to realize that he actually knows this is terrible English, it's an inside jokey way of talking because he says "it was sucks" because of a Russian kid in his high school who didn't know how to use the term "it sucks" and would say "it was sucks", so he's being funny...] because my asthma kicked in and it just was not
fun at all. So we got in the car by 4:45 and we got to the airport
& we had to wait there for two hours for our plane. So we wanted
to do some contacting but there were only mormons or people who spoke
mandarin chinese. So yeah. We didn't get to talk to anyone really.
While we were waiting Elder R. tried to call home. He asked our Branch
President and the 1st counselor in our Branch Presidency if he could
and they both said he shouldn't, anyways he went to use the phone and
he claims that he chose not to do it, but his companion says it didn't
work so he gave up. We fly to LA & I draw the whole time and write
graffiti for sister Dodge and take a tiny nap. When we get there the
number that we call for a ride works but the guy hardly speaks english
so we really don't know if he is coming but he shows up. Then we drove
to the Bulgarian consulate which I'm pretty sure is right next to lamp
sexpo. No joke! I think we were really close to it! [ed note: This is also an inside "you had to be there" kind of joke, but a couple of weeks ago when we were in LA we were driving around downtown in an area where there are a lot of furniture stores and I was noticing that in the advertising a lot of the stores use "sex" or "sexy" to describe the decor and the furniture, which seemed over the top to me - just excessive use of terms like that, and then also, we drove through a large section of West Hollywood, which if you know anything about West Hollywood is...well, it has a lot of references to sex all over the place...anyway we are on this one street and I look up at the huge sign on a building and I see this sign that says LAMP SEXPO and I say aloud "what in the heck?" they are using the word sex to sell lamps now? What is a Lamp Sexpo?" And Holden says "Uhh...Mom, I think that says Lamps Expo" after which we all busted up laughing for a good long while and it still makes me laugh when I think about it now]

While waiting I
had a cactus cooler. mmmmmm. The actual consulate was a tiny little
room that all 6 of us could barely fit in and we just had to sign
something. Then the story of Rodney Jones happens. It goes a little
something like this:

A man walks up to us outside the Bulgarian Consulate (he looks
semi-homeless - whatever that means). He said "Whatch y'all doin'
here?" and we told him we were getting our Visas. Then he said
"VISA'S!" I can get you THOSE for CHEAP!" Then he starts taking these
cards out of his pocket and we told him "No Thanks" and that our church
was paying for ours. He asks us what church we were from and we told
him and then he said "Who's your leader?" and we told him Thomas
Monson. The he said "Yo! Have him Gimmie a call, Cause I just Got a
HUNDRED million Dolla's worth of credit!" Then Sister N. retardedly says "OH we have our own ways of getting money, we have
farm land and tithing & the Lord". While saying this she is hiding
behind me and my companion so that we will get shanked first. Then he
said "Ya'll are Prejudice!" and Elder R. said "No man, you know, we're
cool". I half expected Sister N to say "No, blacks can have the
priesthood since 1978" but fortunately for me and my companions, she
did not. Then Rodney says "Yo! How many blacks y'all got in your
church?" and Sister N. replies (AND this is no Joke guys) "12.5
million" and we all turn and stare at her and she says "well, he wanted
to hear a number..." Then he walks away after leaving us his card that
says "Rodney Jones, PO Box 8135482" And that was the last we heard of
Rodney Jones. Then we got an In n Out Burger and Elder R. disappeared
but he just went outside for some fresh air. Then we flew home
& that's about it. Fun day!


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