Martha Thinks

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How YOU Doin' ?

It's underway, isn't it?  The tsunami of Christmas.  I think it's good that even if you are not in the mood right away there is enough energy generated by stores, commercials, the annual high school band holiday concert to carry you along until you click in.  And I'll just say it...I am deeply comforted by the Hallmark Channel.  I don't care that you can tell that "New York" is really Toronto or that the snow is sometimes on top of late summer green bushes rather than the more stick-like bushes of New England in December.  Or that there are only a couple of stories...widowers who swear off Christmas until they find that special one, or modern day versions of Scrooge where people find the true worth of their life.  I love them all.  

So on this chilly day I am stretching and preparing and getting my baking rhythm going.  Before jumping in to the Better Homes and Gardens "Cookies for Christmas" annual favorites like Amaretto Apricot Chews, Scandanavian Almond Bars or the most requested Cappuccino Flats....I started off with the simple chocolate chip.  Nothing to be ashamed of.  A little basic, but gotta get in the grove.  

The gifting bags are starting to pile up, giving me a sense of security that I'll be pretty much done with shopping early this year.  And I wish the same for you.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Irony of Life

Not lost on me...while we are washing sheets and woodwork getting ready for the Thankgiving arrival of the college princes, Brady and Carter, to come home after 4 months...we are realizing that some things must go. 

The bookcase, painted for Ronan's nursery 11 years ago, in a baby yellow is no longer needed for space or color.  But turning it around bang! zap! like an arrow to the heart! an inscription from Ronan's brothers then 6 and 7 years old to their not-yet-born brother.  These are the trials of life!  Forget mortgages and heating bills.  This is the stuff that when it's time to get rid of...feels like you are ripping your heart out.  Right now my brother is taking it to put his tools in.  Gives me a little comfort to know it's staying in the family. 

and what about the Garnet Hill dinosaur sheets that seemed wildly overpriced?  What about them is they are the finest sheets I've ever owned and have been on beds for 10 years.  What am I supposed to do with them?  I am whining, I know.  It's one of the things about motherhood that isn't so great.  It's one of the things about therapy that is ; )   Teaching you how to let go.  Whoosh it is the hardest concept I have ever had to learn.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

don't know nothin' about - One Direction!

Although I do have a child in this age group, he's a boy, and therefore runs from anything that girls like.  And from what I understand, girls REALLY like this band, One Direction, and when I asked my son about them all I heard was "oh, Mom,!"

So this morning on the Today show I could sit back and look at the scene rather objectively.  They said people (well, girls and their parents, let's be honest) had been camped out for days, even in the rain.  They said it was the biggest crowd for any concert they've ever had.  All of those hopeful, sweet pre-teen faces in the crowd just hoping to catch the eye of the cute boys on stage and imagining going on tour with them and buying a lovely English manor and raising springer spaniels...
oh SNAP, that is my daydream (with Phil "how can I just let you walk away" Collins) .

And yes, the boys are totally cute.  They all have pretty faces and look sharp in their blazers and white tennies.  Being British makes them exotic to the young girls, I am sure.  But I just have to give major props to the loving parents who decided to commit to an effort so monumental that I am sure the story of what it took to get there, how long they had to wait, where they stayed and how the concert was will be told at Thanksgiving dinners for years to come. 
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Saturday Morning Idyll

Does it fit into my schedule?  Not really.  Would more get done around the house if I didn't take the class?  Probably.  Does it make me very happy and therefore worthwhile?  Yes!  I am winding down an 8 week watercolor class at the Newburyport Art Association every Saturday morning.  The teacher is wonderful, the class is small and not to be too cliche about it...but it really is a delight!

This village by the sea is my favorite place.  We used to live closer and I'd be here two or three times a week just breathing in the salty air.  Nothing like it.

My class is another two blocks on the left heading towards Plum Island.

The Art Association is here and the classes are taken right in the gallery, surrounded by old, lovely brick walls and rotating art exhibits.  If you can't get inspired here, hang up ye olde paintbrush!

The old iron gates guard the most beautiful Unitarian Church. 
As many times as I've walked these streets I always think of those that came before.

If you were, say, a private investigator trying to track me down, I might as well have lime green paint on the bottom of my shoes because from class I head directly here to Greta's Great Grains.

All items made there, smell is out of this world, fresh coffee and truly, honestly, really, no-lie, the most delicate, fluffy and perfect almond croissant I've ever had.

Heading out of town on Scotland Road, I always stop at Colby Farmstand for organic chocolate milk, fresh eggs and cinnamon bread from a local bakery. 

It's the country life for me.

Oh yes, and the artwork.  Ha ha.  Appears to be almost an afterthought!  Not really, though I am truly as inspired by the town and the bricks and the water as I am by my wonderful teacher, Beverly Mitchell.
It is of no use to paint watercolor on cheap paper she has taught me.  Yet, I forgot my "good" stuff at home.  Although my classmates offered some of theirs,  I didn't want to take from their stash (a pad of good Arches brand paper can cost $40.00) so I set out to cut up my so-so paper and make pretty holiday tags out of them. 

I finished this up last week.  The photo on the left is a tear sheet from a decorating magazine and my watercolor likeness is on the right.  Oh yes, it took me hours and hours.  Not as simple as it looks, but wouldn't trade one of those hours away.  Dirty laundry will wait.  Now what shall I paint next week?  Hmm.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Can We Paint Donuts?

I have heard this for weeks!  Ok, I said.  Today, we paint donuts! and cakes! and cupcakes!

Maybe because they were eager to get to work, but it was also the "quietest" class so far.  Heads down, right to work with their pencils creating their sweet painted drawings. 

This student had originally just had her cake plain pink with a white background.  I encouraged her to fill the page with color and so she certainly did!

This student is a natural artist who needed no direction with her addition of fun sprinkles, cherry and strawberry on her cupcake.

I think this was their favorite class so far.

My wonderful assistant, Kasey.  She is calm, cool and collected and I could not teach without her. 
Posted by Picasa

Give Thanks

I wrapped my my 6 weeks of teaching the "little kids" and although I was mighty intimidated at first, I grew to love their spirit and complete lack of judgement about their painting. They just jumped right in. I am currently in the middle of another 6 week class of 3rd through 5th graders. They are also great, though a little more critical of their own work.  This is the "big kids" class.

I stapled burlap to paint canvases for a rustic effect and brought in real fruit and pumpkins for them to use as examples.
Lovely cornucopias were brought home by all!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Big Furry Baby

Before you think I am one of those over-indulgent pet owners who tries to give their animal human traits...I really am not.  What this is a picture of is a distraction.  This creature is very needy.  He's a big pain.  He follows me around from room to room.  He jumps in the car to run errands.  He constantly wants to be walked.  He is never satisfied.  I am his pacifier.

So on this cold and chilly and yes, even snowy day...I decided to beat him to the punch.  I brought his outdoor bed inside and lit a fire.  And in return he snored for 2 1/2 hours and left me alone! 
He is such a big baby!
Posted by Picasa