Wednesday, May 11, 2011

what can a summer hold?

I can tell it's early before I open my eyes. Did the light wake me? The birds? Perhaps it was the fresh air from the open window. Does it even matter? I think about rolling over and nestling into the warmth of Grant's side, but I am fully rested, so I slowly get up to start my day. The second day of summer.

Walking into my hall, I see the light warming half of the carpet in my living room. I know the air is still cool, but as my coffee is brewing, I slip into a tank top and roll up my jeans. A quick braid in my hair and I'm on the balcony with a warm cup and a book.

I silently greet my fledgling herbs as I make my way to my lovely purple chair, already full of the cushions I daringly left out all night, having been little chance of rain. They are already warm in the morning sun.

It is the same way I started my morning yesterday. The light warms my face and arms, as I settle into the rhythm of early morning. As the sun rises past the roof of my balcony, the heat leaves first my head, then my arms, then legs, and the calm gradually gave way to an electric anticipation. When finally my feet are all that are left in the sunlight, the slight chill pushes me out of my seat, feeling fresh and inspired to accomplish. With an impetuous thought, I decide I will start my days in the same manner as often as I can.

I can feel myself relaxing out of the haze that was this past season, and fully embracing the possibilities of summer. I can feel my mind stretching, wanting to create and perfect. Having cleaned and planted on my balcony on Saturday, I long to make it an even more welcome space. It needs some character, something to make it beautiful. Some art to hang over my chair.

It doesn't take me long to dig through my ever growing pile of potential art supplies to find a pair of old windowpanes. Inspired by an artist's whose work I had seen recently somewhere on the interwebs, I quickly produce something that provides the airiness and color I am hoping for. It's invigorating to take something from idea to finished product in a short amount of time. I could and should surely make some sort of art, however small or simple, everyday. Another summer venture?

As I contemplate the making a companion piece to hang on the other side of the balcony - perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow - I cannot help but wonder how much a summer can hold.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On blogging and crusty shoes

Having been working like a madwoman on too many jobs to count, I have laxed in the blogging department.

However, while I am waiting for all manner of wooden, caulk, hot glue, marshmallow clay, plaster bandage, and neoprene to dry, it seemed like a grand time to start up again.

Now, I know you've heard of most of these items, but there is one fickle little monster you very likely do not know. I am speaking of neoprene.

This lovely substance is very useful in the mask-making world. It makes a somewhat flexible, but very strong material, perfect for props belonging to touring shows, where children might throw said items on the floor and/or stomp on them.

Because of these attributes, it is ideal for pouring into moulds and constructing into mask/heads that are to be attached to poles, and will be traveling the country to the delight of such small gentle beasts

Thats all well and good, unless you happen to get some on your shoes, clothes, or hands. If you wash it off quickly, it's not so much of an issue, but if it falls in a chunk on the top of your shoe and you do not notice, it will remain there until the end of time.

Not that it happened to me.
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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mattress Transport Fail

Spotted this one on the way home in Maryland.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Charleston & beyond

We made a short stop in Charleston, which is a favorite of mine. We didn't do much, because we were so tired, but we did walk through a farmers market in Marion Square that was great - I got a sticker from a Roller Derby team - the Lowcountry Highrollers!

We also went into an Urban outfitters that used to be a theatre - in the dressing room section, there was still a grid, with batons and a few drops still hung. Our Technical Director at McCarter had even seen a show there 15 years ago.

Hilton Head is super bike friendly, which is nice, because we brought mine. There are a few bikes at the house that we're at, one of which Grant is fixing up right this very minute.

Hint for people with Droids, and probably those with iPhones - You can definitely operate them through a plastic baggie ( a thinner one at least). Makes for happier beach-going.

ALSO - a disclaimer: People seem to act all impressed with the cameras on all these smartphones. They may have crazy amounts of megapixels, but I'm still kinda meh about them. Great for documenting (much better than my last one), but not for taking really exceptional photos. You might get a good one every once and a while, but not consistently.

I'll stick with my schmancy camera for awhile, and if I do take photos with my phone, they'll probably be RETRO, because that app is AWESOME!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Road Trip

We've been on the road for almost eleven hours, we're getting close to Charleston, and I've realized several things.

1. Driving through the night totally screws up your circadian rhythms
2. Some of the best conversations happen between 1 and 3 am
3. South of the border has sketchy bathrooms that get sketchier at 4am
4. There actually is a position that I can sleep in without waking up unable to use my neck
5. I can't be sure how reliable said position is when assumed for more than an hour
6. South Carolina is a very buggy state, according to the percentage of insects currently splatted on the windshield
7. Putting eye drops in is almost an extreme sport
8. It doesn't matter how prepared you are, 5-hour Energy will make you angry. Especially at your wife when she can't find a comfortable way to sleep, and OF COURSE she must be blaming you, until you realize you're just insane from way too much concentrated caffeine
9. My phone is amazing. It kept me occupied for several hours, provided directions, and her name is Iris
10. Grant has super human staying awake and driving forever powers

Who knows what I will discover next.

Journey on!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Trouble in River City

Signs you might be attending a community theatre production:

1. The townspeople pay more attention to the audience than to the action
2. The costumes and props don't seem to adhere to any particular time period (example - rolling office chairs and Harry Potter hardback books)
3. There seem to be a lot more children's dance numbers than you remember there being when you saw it on Broadway
4. Characters accents change from line to line and scene to scene
5. Any presence of white Keds onstage
6. Intensely long scene changes - sometimes with music, sometimes without
7. The townspeople may or may not know the choreography
8. Handpainted signs that look like they were done by a second grader on poster board with a marker
9. There are four hundred children, twenty women and six males in the show
10. There are three decent actors, and the director isn't one of them (though he is in the show)
11. The barbershop quartet's clothing almost matches
12. The band has a total of five instruments, two of which are plastic recorders
13. The townspeople may or may not know the lyrics to the songs
14. The orchestra consists of mostly junior high kids, an old lady playing the piano, and one adult male
15. The interpreters have better acting skills than the female lead

Yes - I saw Moorestown Theater Company's production of The Music Man.

And it was highly enjoyable.

And I took a picture of Mom and Deb with my crazy Retro Camera app.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New phones are wonderful

And decently easy to blog from.

I got a Droid Incredible and I love it! It's like Grant and Jason's, but smaller, more Sue-size.

Nothing much to report in life. It will probably be a pretty slow week until Saturday, when we head down to Hilton Head.

Still loving the Kindle. I feel like technology girl.

I still need a name for my phone, so if you have any ideas, leave them in the comments.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Quincy Cover

Grant, who is the super-coolest, most wonderful one, has crafted me this fine cover for Quincy.

I decided that I wanted something handmade, instead of just buying a cover. The moleskin I had was just a hair too small, so I went in search of a book that would be just the right size, and wouldn't break my heart to tear apart.

I found several books that would be just the right size, but were near and dear to me - The Fire Cat (no way you could ever get me to pull that one apart!), Blitz, the Story of a Horse (another childhood favorite).

I settled on an old hardcover copy of The Bus Station Mystery - a Boxcar Children book. Don't worry, it's not a first edition or anything. I already have a paperback copy of it, anyway. And it was the exact right size:

Isn't it great! Grant did all the cutting and glueing and assembling. He did a much better job than I would of. Cuz he's the best one.

AND - the pages of the book are still all assembled and stuck together, so I could make them a cover and it would still be an entire book - take that Dad!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

what's the biggest Nutella jar you've ever seen?

How about 11 pounds of hazelnut chocolate love? You could make a lot of crepes with that.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In exchange for helping with the mural, Carly gave me a tutorial in pottery. I made this pretty bowl! It's upside down, obviously, but it's way pretty. It needs to dry out, then be fired, then glazed, then fired again, all of which Carley will kindly do for me. The kiln she will use probably won't be fired up for quite a few months, so I'll pick it up on my next visit back to pittsburgh. But it's gonna be pretty!

For the past two days, I've been a 'visiting artist' at the school my cousin Carly is student teaching at. I showed some pictures of sets I've painted and talked about some of the processes for painting wood grain and drops. And I helped layout the beginnings of a mural in the school hallway. This is the rough sketch of what it will look like, with better lettering, of course.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

All's Quiet

Haven't had very much going on, since summer officially began for Grant and me.

Watching a lot of 30Rock, hit the library yesterday, loving the consistent morning yoga. Can't wait until the weather is actually warm.

But because I post pictures in almost every post I do, here are some sketches I did on the couch Sunday night while watching a marathon of Eureka. I decided that this summer I gotta get my freehand sketching back in some sort of shape - gotta work those sketching muscles or they atrophy. They're not perfect, but I actually did better than I thought I would. Haven't really done these type of sketches since Drawing 1.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

she believed it

Most recent project - the colors here don't do it justice....

She's about 23"x23" and she'd going above my drawing desk.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Susan, the Insufferable Know-It-All

Sometimes I feel like an Insufferable Know-It-All. And I apologize, profusely.

I know that each and every one of you have come under the fire of this stupid "Thinks She Knows it all."

Here's my problem, and also my merit: I want the best. And I will stop at no amount of knowledge to attain it. (It's a gift, and a curse).

I tend to become interested in something, and want to know everything about it. So I research and research and eventually come out at the "best" way of doing something. Examples include, but are not limited to: Latex paint, aging techniques, Neil Gaiman, JM Barrie, living "green," making bread, italian food (and Italy in general), french food, and now living "primally." I'm sure you could list a hundred more. And I probably have done more research on all of these subjects then most everyone who actually read my blog. You've probably gotten soapbox speeches on several of these things, just by knowing me (and from Grant - he is one of my kind).

BUT you also know that if you have surpassed me or know all about something I have no idea about, but are very interested in, you've experienced what happens on rare occasions. My rapt and completely undivided (and somewhat rapacious) attention. I know it must be intense, because of the looks I have gotten while I've been giving it - a kind of deer in headlights, but still interested in sharing, look. My head might have started to behave like a sponge - sound familiar?

I'm just completely obsessed with all things "best." You know I refuse to drink diet soda or diet anything ("the dark side," as my Dad calls it), I'm usually extremely uninterested in things over-processed (artificial nacho cheese being my utter weakness). It's probably where my DIY impulses come from - especially in the kitchen. When unpronounceable ingredients are in the list of ingredients, I tend to lose interest. It's probably why I love Alton Brown so much. He gives me the science behind everything - which appeals to the cook, and the geek, inside of me.

I have to get back to my baking french bread, and my tiramisu, so I've got to cut this short.

But I love you all.
And I'm so
so sorry

for being an

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yesterday, Carrie and I went on a painter field trip to the theatre to see the set. And weren't we lucky that they were having flying rehearsal? In this crappy litte cellphone picture you can see the carpeted sand dune, pre-sand, and the flying egg. The man in the gray shirt and jeans closest to the camera is our designer, David Farley, who has a love british accent, and reminds me a bit of our dear Matt Molby, mostly because of his curls and the way he wears his jeans. The way skinny woman in the leather jacket on the ugly green stairs is the actress who is playing Amelia. Everyone else is too small for me to recognize. Have a great earth day!