Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"No Go Bye Bye"

That's what this little guy said to his mom after playing at our house for a couple of hours.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

True Poetry

When Reese asked me what I wanted for Christmas from him, I mentioned that I would be happy with either a sonnet or a song. He has written both sonnets and songs before, so it wasn't like I was asking for anything out of his comfort zone. Reese, in his brilliance, did both. He wrote an English sonnet and set it to music. It's probably the best thing he's ever written -- and I should know, I'm his biggest fan.

When it occurred to me that I had painted a portrait of Reese playing the guitar for him for Christmas, and he had actually written a song and played the guitar for me for Christmas...it was poetic, in the truest sense of the word.

Blue Sonnet by The Amazing Reese Hazel

Another night is over for the day
And all the little bits of dew are done
You come along and take the dark away
The night is over coming is the sun

You look for hidden meaning in between
The lines that lay around are everywhere
And looking here and there you might have seen
Another rainy night for us to share

Now cuddle up and let me hold your hand
And listen to the water falling free
You know you have to let me be your man
As anyone with eyes would have to see

So anything that I will have to do
I will to make you mine I will be true

Friday, December 26, 2008

Reese and Reese

Reese must have had some sort of idea what the top secret project was. When I asked him if he thought that I was working on a painting of him, he said, "I considered it at one point."
"Well, what else would it have been?"
His answer..."a time machine....or a flying car." At he has complete confidence in my skills and abilities!

It's such a relief not to hide it anymore. There were so many times that I would have asked his advice or just gotten a little feedback on the progress, but it was a secret! One day I took a nap on the futon in the studio. When I woke up, there was Reese standing tall over me grinning from ear to ear....only it wasn't Reese, it was the portrait of Reese. Freaked Me Out. After that incident, it was covered when napping.

Then it took me forever to figure out how to get the frets in the correct positions. I ended up making fret marks on a rubber band, then stretching the rubber band on the canvas to get the fret bars in the right place....which I worked on on Christmas eve. I was in the studio with the door shut to keep out the dogs; Erin's dog, Raleigh, and our "Uncle" Skipper. The painting was on the floor to use rulers, rubber bands, and such, and the next thing I hear is Reese talking to me through the door. He was worried that I might be overcome with fumes.

Another good thing about working on it at the last minute is that Anna was home to give me some good art advice. It's not the first time she's given me invaluable advice. This go around the advice was about shading. She suggested some shading here and there...then said, "That's too blue. Why don't you add the complementary color to get really good shading."
She said, "Mixing complimentary colors together makes a neutral, and these colors are better than adding black to anything for shading. Avoid using black ALWAYS."
It was news to me, but when I tried it on the Reese portrait, the depth and dimensions started to pop.

I think Reese likes the painting.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Love, Betsy

This is the delightful surprise that was in my e-mail inbox this afternoon. Betsy is my first cousin on dad's side of the family. I love her. We are the same age and used to play together every summer at our Grammaw's house. What I remember most is lots of giggling.

After the introductions, Betsy takes me on a little tour of the cemetery (I like that kind of stuff,) then she drives past our grandparents' house. The house was painted white back in the day. I stayed in the big bedroom just above the front porch on the left. Around the back of the house there was a little carport. Grandpa would make a swing out of giant springs and attach it under the carport. We called it the "boing boing swing" -- one could swing and bounce at the same time! SOOOOOO much fun!

There was a garden in the back yard, too. We'd eat fresh veggies every night of our visit; my favorites being homemade cream corn and green beans. Yum.

Deep in the back yard there was a big red barn filled with treasures....trash to some people but treasures to me. I'm sure that's where I get my extreme fondness for taking someone else's trash, refurbishing it, and using it to furnish our home. The apple hasn't fallen far from the proverbial tree.

Now, I understand that you, the gentle reader, aren't going to tear up and bawl like I did the first time I saw the Merry Christmas, Sarah video. But that's exactly what happened to me....bawled like a baby.

Hi Sarah,

Merry Christmas! When I read your blog about homemade gifts, it prompted this idea. So, here are some scenes from Concord, since you haven't been there in a long, long time. Hope you enjoy this video, and please excuse the amateurs.

Scenes from Concord from Betsy Bryan on Vimeo.

"Merry Christmas, Sarah!"


Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Santa needs a little helper.

The short list goes something like this....there's daughter Hilary's birthday dinner party for between 15 and 20 guests, then Christmas, then Reese's birthday, then a "welcome back to Texas" party for some dear friends. It's all do-able, if not slightly overwhelming. There's a bit of extra cleaning, shopping (I've barely started,) cooking and baking to do -- RIGHT NOW.

Plus, at the forefront is a commission to be completed as a Christmas gift for someone I met through working on Via Colori -- it's almost finished but has pushed previously planned projects aside for a bit.

We did get the Christmas tree yesterday, then realized that we didn't have a stand and had to go back to the store, well, two stores because the first store was sold out. Got the lights on the tree today. Sure do hope it's decorated by tonight, and I can get the messy boxes out of the living room.

The production for Reese's Christmas gift has slowed to a crawl....I need more time, and perhaps sanity.

And the gifts I'm working on for family members aren't finished, and they still need to be mailed. There are two separate projects going for friends and neighbors. Whew, I'm tired just writing it all down. I think I'm forgetting something, too....oh right, Skipper (the dog) desperately needs to go to the groomer.

Then there's the added issue that Reese and I need to do something in the back yard to prepare for the two parties. As it is now there's a pile of mud that will be impossible to resist for the young friends who will soon be our guests. There's no way for even grown ups to walk in the back yard without getting in mud....little bits of mud are everywhere. The charming cherubic statue part of the fountain busted (after Reese worked his tail off to get the hole dug for The Beast) and needs to be fixed (with Rockite) and properly installed.

On another note, (so to speak,) listen to this:
Baby, it's cold outside
These two together sound great (in my opinion,) though the youtube images are cheesy. Reese has agreed to sing karaoke with me on this one -- some day.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


When this time of the year comes around
and my mind starts beginning to hound
itself of the chores
like shopping in stores
the head 'round my mind starts to pound

I can't seem to get it all done
when it's me by myself only one
to tie all the ribbons
as presents are given
while ever the errands to run

It's not fair that I am so complainy
this season has always been drainy
as resources dwindle
it's hard to re-kindle
the JOY that should keep us all saney

It's not that sweet JOY disappeared
somewhere in my heart it is here
though that part of my heart
might need a jump start
or at least a swift kick in the rear

Down deep in my heart I'm excited
for Christmas has always ignited
fondness for brothers
and significant others
that flame just might be mostly lighted

For I'm thinking anew of my blessings
and shoving aside all the stressing
for Christmas it's clear
that I should hold dear
sweet Jesus in Whom I am resting

But in practice it's harder to do
much harder than tying one's shoe
the JOY and the hope
gets lost in the scope
and "normal" seems more like a zoo

If there is an answer I'll listen
the meantime my eyes start to glisten
so much to get done
that a lot of the fun
is gone -- it's sweet JOY that I'm missin'

(Sweet JOY is also my daughter
of whom I couldn't be prouder
she's been a delight
morn noon and night
my fondness for her is a lot-r

JOY's our fourth of a bevy of beauties
three sisters has she -- cute patooties
from childhood to now
JOY's laugh fills the house
it's almost as if it's her duty

It so happens that JOY shares my name
first Sarah last Hazel the same
some problems it's caused her
in school they all call her
Sarah, not JOY -- we're to blame

It's my hope that JOY really won't mind
I hope that some day she will find
that I'm pleased that we share
a fine name sounding fair
as she grows into young woman kind)

Monday, December 01, 2008


My art blog buddy friend Joan tagged me to reveal 7 little known facts about myself, and then tag other blog buddies to do the same. I've played this game before. It's a lot of thinking to come up with seven new facts.

1. Even though, according to social data, I was born during the boomer years, I have very little in common with most baby boomers. It seems I have more in common with Generation X-ers, even though the years defining that generation are outside my birth year.

2. Any deviation from wearing pure gold earrings and my ears start itching within minutes. Consequently, I wear the same pearl with gold post earrings every. single. day.

3. I absolutely LOVE being a woman with curves, but am really really tired of the lumps.

4. Because of poor eyesight, my ears have had to overcompensate. Therefore, I have incredibly good hearing. It always freaks my daughters out that I can hear what they are whispering from two rooms away.

5. 97% of everything in my house is second hand -- by choice.

6. Reese gave me gum (amongst other things) for my birthday and I couldn't have been happier. I chew an awful lot of gum. My new favorite gum is Orbit White, though Trident White is good, too. Orbit seems to keep it's flavor and chew longer than Trident.

7. Sometimes I judge the boringness of an event by how many pieces of tape I think I'll need to get through it. (I like playing with the sticky side of tape.) A typical church service runs between a two tape to a four tape event. Mandatory school events average three pieces. Whenever I see tape at a cash register, I ask if I can (please?) have a piece.

There it is, seven new, random, little-known facts about me. Play if you want.
(My cousin Betsy played!)