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Brea: "Mommy, why are the trees all gray?"
Me: "Because they have frost on them."
Brea: "What's frost?"
Me: (Searching for a simple answer that a 2-year-old can grasp.) "A special kind of snow that likes to stick to the trees. Isn't it pretty?"

As we left the studio after class this morning and headed down the main drag in town THIS was the lovely scene ahead of us. I couldn't help but pull over and jump out, point and shoot in hand, to sneak into the middle of the street between passing cars and snap a photo. I'm thankful that we living in a community where I bet nobody even thought twice about some crazy lady standing in the middle of the street taking a photo on a cold winter day.

And speaking of photography and the cool creative community in which we live:

I've noticed I have been less than inspired to take any pictures as of late. I'm tired of the lack of color that is a part of winter. Ok, there's not a lack of color necessarily, I'm simply a little tired of whites and blues. (Though I'm thankful for the snow as white and blue is so much nicer than a simple canvas of brown. Not yummy fertile earth brown which I actually love. Dead, cold, middle of winter brown.) I'm SOOOO ready for the greens of spring and the bright bold colors of summer. I'm also tired of waring with my indoor photos. I'm frustrated with the need to color correct everything I take inside with a flash because I'm still trying to figure out how to get the best natural light illusion with my flash. On the flip side I'm tired of the noise (graininess) of natural light photos taken without a flash because I've had to use such a high ISO. I know, all part of the learning process...but still frustrating.

Secondly, this summer I talked several times about my time spent out at the tiny circus work camp. Well Carlos (the grand master of this three ring attraction) has been hard at work rounding up all the performers and attractions, doing the necessary editing, to bring the animations that were created this summer to a finished state. You can check out some of the rough videos he's been working on on the tiny circus YouTube channel. (My hand got to play a role in The History of Popcorn...front hand on the left towards the end of the film. Yes, I'm a dork.) I don't know that I can fully explain to those who haven't been part of this project how exciting it is to me to see all this coming together. I only played a very small role in production here and there, but still, being involved at that level and then watching the collaboration all come together to make these whimsical little shorts is exhilarating. I'm so excited for the process. I'm so excited that this summer tiny circus will again be converging in Grinnell to continue the work and that it will be traveling out on it's first road show in July. (I'm so excited that so many of my friends, and my brother, will be in town for the summer because of this fact!) I'm so excited for the vision tc has to bring the collaborative creative process to communities of individuals (schools, senior centers, etc.) whose lives will be enriched by being part of a creative process. In a time when creative programs are being cut from our schools because of slimmer budgets, I'm so thankful there are wonderful, creative people like the tc crew who simply want to share the love of art and their belief that EVERYONE can be an artist. Cheers to you all (and many thanks) for your vision!



My Most Read Thoughts


Today while I sat in a classroom supervising students as they worked on their math assignments, I watched Lexi through the window enjoying time with her friends during recess. My heart smiled.

Those moments, moments of learning and carefree fun, those are the moments that SHOULD make up a school day. As a Mom, and an elementary school employee, my heart is breaking over the news and images coming out of Connecticut today. 
I send my kids off to school everyday without a second thought that they will return safely come day's end, just as I'm sure each one of those parents in Newtown did this morning.
Every day I walk into my school for work without a second thought to my personal safety, just as I'm sure each of those teachers, paras, custodians, sectretaries, etc in Newtown did this morning. 
Theories will be published. Evidence will be presented. Words will be exchanged about gun control and the need for change in our current culture of violence. I don't suspec…

DIY: Reusable Produce Bags

With Earth Day festivities gearing up for tomorrow, I thought I'd take a moment to post a short DIY tutorial on making your own reusable cloth produce bags. (Tutorial inspired by my favorite crafty mom blog, Crazy Mom Quilts. Produce bags inspired by running into my friend Laura at the grocery store while she was stuffing her produce into these.) This is my next step in the fight against the excessive use of plastic bags.

Our family has been making small environmentally minded changes in our daily lives over the past few years. We use reusable shopping bags. We've stopped buying/using Ziploc bags and plastic wrap. I'm trying to commute around town via bike more. I'm being more mindful about where the food we buy comes from and how it was produced. We more often hang our laundry on the line to dry in the spring and summer instead of just throwing it in the dryer. (Which is convenient at the moment since our dryer has decided to quit drying.) As we use up chemically clean…

Sunday Morning Silly...

Once in a while Dando's curiosity urges him to venture off the bookshelf so he check out other toys in the house.

I think he thinks Froggy is missing a few marbles.