A day that Ryan has off work is always a special occasion. I love the easy and relaxed holidays that the first few months of the year grant to us. It is as if we are given a few extra days off because the months are so long and mid-winter is slow going. President's Day is just that sort of day. A day to go out for breakfast and hit up a museum, which is just what we did on Monday. This particular President's Day was extra special because it was a cloudy and gray day, which is a rare treat around these parts. After our breakfast, we headed to the LACMA for some music, art, and fun. We three loved the super lively, interactive drumming experience that is Rhythm Child.
This ceramic tile mural by Henri Matisse was commissioned in the 50s by a local family for their garden wall. Can you imagine?
Rylie ran into this room shouting ba ba ba and wanted to touch the sculpture in the worst way. We quickly distracted her with all of the Picassos in the next room, which she dug and we had her saying Picasso before we left. However, her favorite part of the whole day was the giant spaghetti installation outside the main entrance. This interactive display of plastic tubular noodles collects sunlight all day and glows in the dark at night. She loved running through, touching every strand, collecting a whole armful of noodles and letting them fly. She was enthralled for at least a half an hour and I thought this would be a great place to return on days when the going gets tough.
This reminds me that I have blogged about another installation in this same spot a few years back. Remember this?
When we were walking back from the museum to our car, I noticed the way the vibrant green of the first growth of spring was contrasting against the pale sky. The trees looked as if they were glowing and I felt incredibly grateful to be strolling along with my honey and my baby on a Monday afternoon. It brought my heart a bit of joy to experience live music with Ryan and Rylie together and I felt energized after witnessing the pure bliss and spirit of so many kids that filled the courtyard and the museum that day. Each little heart, mind and body was filled with giddy movement, laughs and screams, running, skipping and truly living in the present moment. It was a beautiful day indeed.
We have gotten into the paint around here, oh yes, yes we have. The photos above are from a few weeks back when we used finger paints for the very first time. I had the table covered in craft paper and all of our tools and materials ready to go when Rylie woke from her nap. After a nibble on a snack, she was ready to go. She was hesitant at first, checking out the scene and examining all of this new stuff. We started with a small amount of paint in a pie tin. One thing I will do differently next time is keep the bottles of paint out of sight because they became a bit of a distraction for her. I had picked up a few fun things to experiment with along with the paints: combs, cookie cutters, straws, chopsticks. All of which are ideas that I got from this book.
This week we got out the brushes and a canvas I had on hand. After reading this post, I was inspired to let Rylie create her very first painting on a canvas that we could hang on the door to her new toy & art closet. To prepare the scene, I laid a drop cloth on an area of our living room with the most space and covered a low table with craft paper and set her up with three different colors of paint. These paints are easily washable so I had no reservations about her painting in such close proximity to our couch. Towards the end she did get bored with the canvas and began studying the surrounding area for other surfaces to paint upon. That's when I said, Rylie do you want to Splash (this is our saying for bath time) and her focus was shifted from painting on furniture to coloring on the walls in the tub. This was a fascinating exploration, and just like Meg, I snapped oodles of photos, more than I can count.
I was intrigued while watching her work through all of the different thoughts and ideas she was having about the whole experience. She would not be restrained to just the canvas. No way! She used her whole body.
And she is already exhibiting signs of a trained artist. Here she is summoning her muse:
Mixing paints to create the perfect avocado green:
And signing the back of her painting: I am eager with anticipation as we take the first steps on this art exploration together. As long as Rylie shows interest in creativity and making things, I will always be there to provide gentle encouragement. It is a true privelege to watch her personality and creative spirit emerge. I sit in rapt attention (when I'm not clicking away at my camera) to see what she will do at the next turn. Between the two of us there is oh so much learning going on.
Here is her lovely canvas now, dry and prominently displayed in our living room.
We call Rylie Doodles. It is a nickname we granted her when she was about 6 months old. No reason really, it just sort of happened and stuck, as the silliness sort of does around here. And it is certainly no misnomer, because as it turns out, this girl loves to, well, doodle. Do you suppose her nickname has informed her passion? Not sure, but a passionate doodler she is. Shortly after her first birthday, I was sitting at the table jotting down a note with her in my lap and she grabbed the pen from my hand and started making marks on the paper. I was truly amazed. I had no idea she was ready. But we were excited to keep it going and quickly set up a family drawing time. We went to the art supply store and got a roll of butcher paper and a few spiral bound sketchbooks. We are using my old Crayolas right now, but you can bet that these and these will make it into Rylie's stocking this Christmas.
Since then, she takes every opportunity to draw, scratch, and scribble. Whenever she sees a pen, she proceeds with fierce determination to get a hold of it and put it to use. She also frequents my big block of post it notes and urges me to let her draw on them (and unstick every last one.)
The sketchbook and crayons are in heavy rotation around here. I am excited to continue down this road and to introduce her to new mediums and materials as she is ready and shows interest. This book is on her Christmas list and I hope to experiment with some of the activities. She loves for Ryan and I to draw along side her - often bringing us crayons and "asking" us to participate. Much of her book is filled with pages of Mama, Papa and Rylie drawing together.
Ryan caught the photos below just this morning.
She is amazing to watch. What started as a few timid scribbles has evolved into a full body, interactive art experience. She climbs on the coffee table, on top of her sketchbook, she carries the sketchbook around the house. She marks the whole page with quick, wide strokes. With quiet concentration she is completely absorbed and transfixed. We get out of her way and let her do her thing. As long as her interest is so intense, we will give her the space and opportunity for expression. I'm more than a little thrilled. Can you tell?
Back at my corporate design job, I would spend my days in my cubicle dreaming about sewing and starting a family. I thought it would be amazing to be a work-at-home mom designing fabric. Almost two years later, I am doing just that! Back then I had no way of knowing what a colossal juggle it would be, and it truly is, but each day I put one foot in front of the other and somehow it all comes together. My first fabric collection, Sugar Pop!, is in stores now.
It is a dream come true to be surrounded by my very own fabric collection in my very own studio. It was hard work and quite challenging at times to put it together while pregnant, but now as I see it all before me, I know that it was truly worth my greatest efforts. It is hard to remember what it was like to work so intensely with such determination and focus. That was the way I used to work, but for the last six months I have slowly learned a new way. My days are broken up into lightning quick work sessions, never knowing when I will get the chance to come back to my task. I use a lot of notes and lists to keep myself on track and to stay semi-organized. Weekends have now turned into marathon workdays when I can enjoy a little extra concentration because Ryan is here to help out. But this new way of working is very welcome and it is inspiring to find out that I have choices in which tactics I employ to reach my goals. Motherhood requires that I invent all sorts of clever ways to get things accomplished. Multitasking, delegating and becoming more selective in my endeavors are just a few of my newest and most sharply honed skills and strategies.
I feel so blessed to have this place to blog everyday, or at least to blog as often as I can. I would love to blog everyday, but somehow there is about a three week gap between idea creation and blog completion. But I am ok with that for now. Thank you for reading my words and for all of your thoughtful compliments about my fabrics. Your support means so much to me. I hope that you enjoy sewing and playing with this fabric as much as I enjoyed designing every little bit.
It is truly thrilling to see the creations that have already been made with Sugar Pop and the kind things that people are saying about the fabric. Stay tuned for a little round up of some of that good stuff.
Any orders of fabric from my WonderFluff shop will ship within two business days. So start planning your spring projects!
P.S. Happy Valentine's Day!
Who knew that it would take me weeks to post the very last Liz and Kalli Tuesday piece? Not me, chaos has just gotten the better of me lately and I have not given myself time to do the things that I truly enjoy. I know that is a big time no no. So hopefully you will see me around here a little more often from now on. The last word for our art project is reward. Liz's is on top and Kalli's is on bottom.
For completing 52 weeks of the art project I bought myself these kicky and comfy sandals. For completing 3 weeks of over-activity I gave myself some time in the hammock. I am happy with both of these gifts to myself.
Here is my "reward" ribbon, meant for you to print out, color in with your favorite colors and hang on the wall to remind yourself that you are awesome!
We should both color our own and hang them up so that we always remember our art project!
I call this collage Zebra with Balloons, in the most sarcastic way possible of course. One thing that I have learned during this little art project with Kalli, is that inspiration is sometimes really hard to come by. You kind of have to keep trying until you figure out something you like. Many times that is how it all comes together in the end, by trying. I have a beautiful notepad with illustrations on each page, including this Zebra. He seemed to want some brightly patterned balloons to keep him happy.
These brightened up my day a little, though I wish I had gotten slightly different colors at the balloon place, they looked a little different before being inflated. I might do another little shoot with more translucent balloons next time.
Fun and cheerful balloons, Kalli. They make me feel happy and optimistic, just like spring!
I can't really say much more than rainbows are my standby. I might print that on a t-shirt.
I figured I could just whip up something cute with illustrated dots, but instead decided to use light and metallics to make something less cute and more abstract, like constellations or stars. I punched out dots of foil, strung them up and photographed them shimmering in the evening light. Kind of turned out a little like a moon phase calendar.
Yours is so cool and creative, Kalli! I used to have a moon phase calendar, I loved it. I might see if I can find one. I like knowing what's going on with the moon, it's pretty easy to miss around here if you're not paying attention. The moon is definitely the neglected child in sunny LA.
Today I am 20 weeks pregnant. It is pretty hard to believe that we are halfway there already. On the other hand, it does seem like I have been pregnant for a long time. Well, I have. 20 weeks, to be exact. I know so many ladies that are pregnant right now. This morning I counted 9! We are all due between May and October. High school friends, work friends, college friend, dear friends, and guess who else? My sis!! Yes, she is just 2 weeks behind me. My due date is July 22 and her's is August 6. My mom is beside herself with thrilled anticipation, 2 new babies at once. It has been fun going through pregnancy with my sister, though she is a couple thousand miles away. You know, Skype helps out a lot.
Today is a magnificent and beautiful day; it's 80 degrees on February 14! So, I decided to get out of the house and take a look around at the blue sky and to enjoy the sunshine.This tree is in my front yard and has the most interesting leaves. I'm not sure what kind it is but it has yellow flowers in the spring and summer.
I used paper to cut out a little house, tree and dog house, then I played with my new iPhone app, "Hipstamatic," to create the toy camera-style photo for a childhood memory kind of feeling.
It does have that toy camera feeling, Kalli! Oh iPhone, is there anything that you can not do?