Sunday, November 28, 2010


For those who have been sooo supportive:

The kiln fired and shut off the way it is SUPPOSED TO!!!!


Yee Haw and Yipee!

Now for some serious glaze testing!!!
and maybe a clay body change?


the imagine nation: visual journey

the Artful Parent thanks for this fabulous project idea

We decided to write each family members name on a leaf 
and keep it on our gathering table

friends gathering for stories

Our imagine nation station... wanting to improve

Max in destruction mode

Rohan gutting any broken thing around

His new creation Robie the Robot. It rolls!

Every year we take whimsical Christmas Pictures. This year 
we have Santa and His brother Santalo, a pirate.

These are a few of my favorites... they will become some sort
of card as I mix it up in photoshop ;o)

After our photo shoot we need a cup of cocoa with a "few" 

Rohan has been into creating these worlds with maps, characters
and journeys. 
This is one of many.....

As I am writing... the kiln is firing... it is on high and I am so waiting for the sound of the click off of
power in a few hours... hoping by dinner!

We got the tree today and the lights are up... waiting for Papa to trim it!!!

(did i tell you i love christmas with kids. magic at its most magical)

Last thing:
Rohan asked me today:

" Don't you think Santa knows God? We could ask Santa to get a note from somebody in Heaven, like Gigi. We would be the first people to get a note from heaven... that would be so awesome to get a note from Gigi." Yes, it would Rohan.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanks fullness

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.

I am full of thanks this morning and actually, most mornings.

There are so many things to be thankful for.

Here are my top five.

1. family
2. friends
3. health
4.being outside
5. determination

Here is to celebrating thanks and hopefully being able to do it with family and/or

p.s. I am also thankful for Les, my kiln fixer, for making my kiln work again. I will
be firing Sunday.... still holding my breath but with hope and thanks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

hope reservation

Les, my kiln fixer, was here last night and will be back today.

I have a hope reservation.

One part fear and uncertainty

One part excitement and determination.

Not sure what that equals:

Excited fear?

Determined uncertainty?

Determined fear?

Excited uncertainty?



With reservation.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Judith W. Freeman: part Mom part Super Hero

I think about my Mom's a lot.
 I think I have said before that I am lucky enough to have four Mom's. 
Each of them have made me a better woman and taught me to celebrate Motherhood.

This post is dedicated to my very first Mom and my very first Super Hero.

Who was your first best friend? The person who you were so excited to see and spend time
with that you felt all giddy inside. The person who made you feel smart, creative and safe all at the same time.

Mine was my Mom. I would rather had spend time with her then anyone else in the world.
I remember sitting at the kitchen table, drawing, eating, playing, doing nothing at all, just to be with her, in her sanctuary.

See my Mom, when I was two, became a single parent of four kids, I was the youngest. I think this was somewhat of a surprise to her but she took it for what it was and continued to make her children's lives, extraordinary and magical.

I often find my two children driving me the brink of emotional disaster and then my heart sinks and I think of my Mom. Four kids, getting her MBA at Wake Forest and being there for us, I mean really being there for us.
How did you do it without a break or a companion to rely on?

I suppose we just get stronger and we just have to do it because that is the hand we have been dealt.

I want to interject here that my Father was a very important and active Dad in our lives. He made sure he was there for us in body and in voice (our weekly phone calls). As was my other Mother.... she made sure she found time to create a bond.. a connection.. even with her family growing by four over night.

This story is about my Mom, a woman who wore her emotions on her sleeve, who worked many hours and then came home and made dinner (after her 10 minutes of peace) and then helped with homework, read books, snuggled us... and I am sure collapsed.

My Mom was and is a writer. She stitches together words like fabric and with the fluidity of paint on a canvas bringing a moment back to life... as if you are there again. I have always wanted some of her wizardry.

I don't tell her enough how inspiring she was and is and how her spirit for joy, magic and surprise has carried over into my house.

At my house growing up we brought jars of fireflies into the house, turned off the lights and watched them become stars in our den. (i am not sure my mother approved but we had magical freedom)

An elf visited our house in the summer, leaving jacks, jump ropes, bubbles and other wonderful things and then his shoe always in the back door reminding us of what is possible.

Every holiday the house was filled with smells that made you jump for joy, with decorations, family gatherings, stories and games. We always had enough Christmas advent activities for each child to have something to do each day... Santa always left a boot print and after Santa became an idea, she changed it up and would send us on scavenger hunts to find our stockings... she is a creative, loving, genius.

My Mom always made us feel important, special and worth while. She believed in us and also gave us the freedom to learn life's lessons...

We had a skate rink in our basement and a badminton net in the attic.
We made fan tents each summer, a sheet, some safety pins and a box fan... it was refreshing and super fun.
Sometimes we would set up an entire new bedroom on our balcony outside... with beds and alarm clocks. (We did not have air conditioning so I guess this was our open air bedroom)

My Mom took us swimming almost every Friday night, four kids, after working all week, seriously WOW. It was a highlight of my childhood and I try to do this with my kids too.. although not as consistent.

She was always looking for ways to make unpleasant situations into an opportunity to let go... when my big sister got a dent in our new car, she put a rainbow sticker on it. That is how she was... and is.
(sometimes it is easier to help others let go then it is ourselves, right Mom?)

I remember ghost story night, sitting on Mom's bed as she reads us, in her animated voice, the "true" North Carolina stories of ghosts and spirits.

I remember Mom sleeping on the couch and me curled up on top of her, following her form.

She made a chore list that she put on the fridge... dividing the chores between four kids.
What a smart lady and what a great lesson for the kids to be responsible. We, of course, were not always responsible but it was great that she expected it from us.

I remember thinking of my Mom as a super hero.

When I was away from her my heart ached.

When she started dating again I would sit at the top of the stairs and wait for her to come home. When I heard the door knob turn I would run as fast I could and jump in bed. I just needed to know she was home.

In Kindergarten, we had a BIG fire in our attic. A woman driving by saw the smoke coming from our windows and woke us up. I slept with my Mom from that day until fourth or fifth grade and sometimes afterwards.

Life and relationships change. My relationship changed with my Mom around the time I was a preteen. I had an amazing opportunity to live in Nepal. But my Mom would not be there. ONE YEAR.
I grew up. I had to. My Mom had been my everything and I had to learn how to live without her.
I think it made me strong but also put up some emotional walls.

As we move into this next phase of life... both getting older, I grasp more to what I knew and learned.
What I admired and awed at in my Mom.

My Mom's most valuable gift and present she has taught me... you must be able to laugh at yourself and love yourself. She taught me that pain (she lives with excruciating chronic pain) cannot stop you from living life.

Judy Freeman, Lulu, Momly, JJ, Grammylu

I cannot imagine choosing anyone else to be my Mom.

You are life changing and have given me the joy of magical wonder for which I rejoice in my kids.

I love you, you amazing, generous, thoughtful, creative woman you.

Me and my Mom the Super Hero.

Friday, November 12, 2010

magic and mayhem

Well, last week we finally got together with some good friends to try out this new, to us,
art project! It is called freezer paper stenciling. I first read about the idea in one of the blogs I re ad  the Artful Parent  . I got so excited I emailed my friend Sayo right away and got her excited too!
So here are our first attempts:

1. we had the kids do a simple drawing with one color sharpie on white paper

2. tear off freezer paper, enough to cover the image by about four or five inches around its border
3. with and exacto knife carefully cut around the image (harder then I thought)

4. you will have a positive and negative cut out of the image

5. tear a bigger sheet of freezer paper  (turn your iron on)

6. get your fabric piece... put the non cut out piece under the fabric (if t-shirt, between the two layers so the paint is only on the front or back)

7. Lay down your image carefully 

8. iron... use the setting according to the fabric needs. Make sure it is ironed down well

9. paint... we used acrylics which worked fine but then just ordered some fabric paint from
I can't wait to try this again.

The one below, Max painted too hard and the little edges came up... 

Maybe next week we will have more images up!

our first freezer paper attempt... we did not iron it hot enough but still cool

the positive image of the one above! Max's design of a turtle

Rohan's design and so amazing. I wish I had made 100.
Jay and the Boys created this cool replica of a lego game out now. They even played it! Jay has awesome computer resources! What fun.

Daddy and the boys replicated a lego game they saw for sale... ingenious. 

While I was making coffee Thursday Morning.... this is what was brewing in the boys room.
Rohan became some sort of sorcerer/wizard/scientist.... creativity at its best. These are moments I cherish as a mommy.

Now... onto me and my thoughts. 
I went running yesterday.
I drove to Warren Wilson College to try out their trails. 
(We lived near there for 9 years so I know the trails well!)

I normally run at a park near by or from the house.
I circle around and around at the park like a hamster in a wheel.
Or I pound and pound the pavement becoming one with the cars and the fumes.

The trails:
 I had forgotten how magical it could be to run on a trail. I hike a lot with the kids so I am no foreigner to the trail... but I have not run on them in a long while.

Here is what kept reoccurring over and over. 
I felt like a completely transformed person.
Being in nature, on a dirt trail makes you feel like an integral part of your surroundings.
It makes you become aware of your breath, the birds, the water, the air.
I no longer felt like a machine with other machines struggling to make it to the next destination.

I became part of my surroundings but these were the kind of surroundings that inspire, engage and allow you to loose yourself in the moment.

I am not saying it was not challenging to run 6 miles... it is just that is was an enjoyable challenge and that I felt like I was in 12th grade again at cross country giggling and crunching leaves and pretending I was a character from the movie Meatballs (woody the rabbit, running through the woods like a jack rabbit).

Maybe this magic will not last. I am going to run on trails again, for sure. Hopefully once a week. I will hold on to that memory of completeness and beauty.

What ever your belief is about the creation of this stupendous truly is a miracle.

Monday, November 8, 2010

too much time gone by

 Halloween. Our family, well, Rohan especially, lives for the next Halloween.
His life is dress up, created characters and some form of acting or another.
Halloween is his time to observe with awe and to soak in a time of year when everyone else is also excited to become a new character.
This year we were:
Max: Darth Vadar
Rohan: Willy Wonka
Dad: Pirate
Mom: Hippi Longstocking 
(my costume was created out of an innocent mistake... Max accidentally said my Pippi Longstocking outfit was Hippi Longstocking.... I loved it so much I promptly found all the items I needed to make this a reality!)

I made witches hands  for the kids classes this year... thanks to my friend Judy for this wonderful idea.
It was a big hit!

This was a balmy day the week before Halloween.
My boys love rain. Here is their rain story:

(i love this one a lot)

Believe it or not I have been super busy! Mondays I spend running, grocery shopping, cleaning and then to school from 12:30 until 4. We have drama club every Monday and I volunteer before that.
I have also been fortunate enough to have some extra "work" right now. A friend is renovating a house and she invited me to help her. So... on my days I am not playing and caring for my buddy Axel.. I am scrapping something.

Needless to say the kiln and the studio are feeling lonely and left out. I have found one part I need but have not fixed anything yet. It sits there in the back of my mind like a muddy pile of leaves waiting to be raked. I need to move on.... and get this giant oven fixed.

I do love fall and slippers and blankets but am not ready for the heat to be on and for shivers.

May you enjoy your crunchy walks, warm ovens and sock covered toes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Max's Star Wars Birthday!

I was too busy to take photos so Max's Baba was wonderful enough to do it for me!!! Finally posting some pics!
Click here to view photos

We began the party running around like crazy, as most parties do. We then focused and began our Jedi training with Master Athar (Rohan). He instructed the Padwan how to defeat the Dark Side. After the instruction we had an obstacle course through Dagobah with Yoda in our back pack... at the end of the course you had to defeat Darth Vadar! It was a bit silly and took time, as one person did it at a time but when you won Athar gave you a certificate and a prize.

Next they bombed the Death Star with water balloons. Messy and super fun...

Then a game of freeze the Sith. One Jedi to freeze all the Sith (Freeze tag). The Sith Won. The Jedi was out numbered for sure.

Cake, presents and battles ensued. Mom was super tired and glad his Jengo Fett had such a great time. Now for a beer.