Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Volleyball 2012

This year was the first time the girls have played on a volleyball team.  Getting the girls to their practices, games, and being an assistant coach was a bit hectic for me but being there to watch them grow was priceless. 

Greta has always wanted to play volleyball.  I think she was surprised at how difficult it can be - players on tv make it look effortless.  She learned a lot about the sport, worked hard, and paid close attention to the techniques.  Her goal is to continue to work on serving and hopefully she will have the fundamental down for her overhand serve by next year.


I have a confession... I pressured Gigi into playing volleyball.  I just wanted her to give it a try.  At first she was timid but her competitive side kicked in and she started practicing at home.  She wanted to be an important member of her team.  I am so proud of her... she started out not knowing how to serve or hit the ball but by the end of the season she had a strong overhand serve and was enjoying the sport.  She even suggested that she might play again next year.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fort Leonard Wood Art Show and Bravery

 I did something that took a lot of bravery on my part. I entered four paintings into a small local art show.  I love to design, sew, draw, and paint.  Up until now, I have kept it to myself or only shared with close friends.  Art is so personal.  A big thank you goes to Gene who always encourages me to follow my dream.  I was so unsure about entering the art show that he was the one who delivered the paintings.  I'm still working on the bravery thing.

I grew up learning how to draw and paint things exactly as they appear.  As I have gotten older I have realized that things are seldom as they seem so I wanted to start adapting my art to "real life."  I have embraced mixed media painting.  It give me a sense of freedom.  So many things are layered into the piece... scraps of paper, material, paint, modeling paste, and little trinkets that I find or are given to me.

My inspiration usually comes from a Bible verse or a little something that I noticed one day that had meaning to me.  I have a little sketch book that I do quick sketch of an idea and when I have time to paint, I go back to the sketch book and find what's inspiring.

First Place - Mixed Media  "Let your gentleness be evident to all."

Third Place - Mixed Media - "Greta" (she gave me the little green jewel and asked me to make her a painting with it.)

Water color - "Snowbird"
Mixed Media  - "To Ensure our Protection"  (There is a picture of my husband taking command and a picture of his father in Vietnam embedded in the painting)

Here are a few of my favorite pieces at the art show.

Can you feel the emotion?  We all have days like this.

This guy wasn't entered in the show.  It was a featured painting by a local artist.  I love the colors.

I don't know the name of this one but it has a religious feel to me... truly God's country.


There was also an ice sculptor.  The girls loved watching him work.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Poppy Cat Sews, the craft show, and turning 40

Fabric cut and waiting to be turned into a "The Kam" tote bag. 

As I was heading into my studio today to sew... in my pajamas, hair not brushed, and barefoot, it dawned on me that I should be documenting this part of my life.  I recently turned 40 years old and I have been doing some reflecting on my life as it stands at this moment.

It can get lonely but I have my best employee with me every day.

I am were I want to be.

How often does that happen in someones life?  I always wanted to be an artist, have a career, and have a cozy family that is happy.  So I am thinking about my accomplishments - I have a masters degree in Social Work.  I worked successfully in the field but when I had babies I knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom.  I had seen how cruel people can be and I wanted to protect my children and give them the best start that I knew how.

My Mom worked on the family farm but somehow managed to be standing behind the kitchen counter when I walked in the door from school.  She did her best to provide a loving environment and to let us know we were important in her life.  I want to give that gift to my girls and I feel like I am successful.  I admit, there are moments when I am the dreaded Helicopter Mom but that's okay.  At least I recognize it and back off.

My painting desk is a disaster.  Sewing supplies are spilling over.

I put off my dream of being an artist until now for many reasons.  Initially I was focused on my career, then I was focused on my little ones, and the dedication of being a military wife takes a lot of my energy.  I realized this year that I am ready to start my dream.  It is a delicate balance between caring for my family, holding back my fear of failure, and deciding how I define my success. 

A stack of tote bag handles cut out and waiting to be ironed.
An hour of ironing and they are ready to be sewn.

I think this morning was a success... in my pajamas with kids safely at school, a spouse on his way to work, and me ironing countless tote bag straps.  A few months ago I started an on-line store, Poppy Cat Sews.  It is a work in progress.  Last week I entered a few paintings in an art show, and I am currently preparing for my first craft show.  Being 40 years old is feeling good.

Piano at School

We were so happy for Gigi... she and another student were invited to play the piano during the grand opening of her new school - The Sixth Grade Center.  As the guests took their seats to hear the welcoming presentation by the principal, one of the school districts music teachers softly played the piano and then Gigi played Arabesque and In The Hall of The Mountain King.   It was a wonderful acknowledgment of her hard work.
I hope experiences like this encourage her to continue to practice and play.  She also successfully tried out for the Honor Choir.  Her goal is to someday play the accompanying piano pieces for the choir.  I look forward to that day... I love to listen to her play.