Saturday, October 18, 2014

Aaaand we're back.

Sorry, sorry, sorry.  Three reasons I've been absent:

1.  I've been making my sister's birthday present.  Wanna see???  It's a perpetual birthday calendar. She specifically asked for one.  What takes so long is designing each one.  Once I get it figured out and the materials gathered, it goes quickly from there.  But the whole process took me about a month and a half:

2.  Chemo kicks my butt.  Plain and simple.  I spent most of the last week on the couch watching sports (something I'm strangely really loving lately) and documentaries about World War II on the History Channel.  I feel so idle.  But I just...feel too gross to do anything else most of the time.

3.  I STARTED READING AGAIN!  I haven't told you this yet, I don't think:  Since I got diagnosed, I have had ZERO desire to read.  Anything.  And I'm usually a voracious reader, you guys.  Growing up, I used to read and re-read shampoo bottles when I was in the tub.  I read the labels on the cereal boxes when I had gotten sick of the backsides.  And obvi, I read tons and tons of books. Always. Well, except for in college.  Wait.  I read more in college.  It just wasn't recreational reading.  It was required reading.  It was hard reading.

So I've received so many awesome books as gifts and as lenders from my friends and family, and I haven't been able to touch one of them.  It's been really weird.  Really dismaying.  But not dismaying enough for me to want to pick anything up.

Somehow, someway, yesterday, I was like, "Okay, enough Nazi Hunters.  I have GOT to start reading recreationally again."  So I picked up a book that is being loaned to me by one of my mom's friends.  It's called The Magic of Ordinary Days.  I was noooot looking forward to reading this book. The cover bored me.  Yeah, yeah, I know...the whole "by its cover" thing.  But I'm an artistic person, and if the front of the book is boring to me, I'm like, "Meh."  And the title.  I'm not digging the title. I'm not sure what I would have titled it instead.  Farmers are Nice?  In-Laws Can Be Cool? Some Men are Jerks??  Internment Camps Suck?  Anyways, I could. not. put. it. down.  I'm almost done.  I read like 250 pages in maybe 5 hours or so.  It's been so long since I've just curled into a chair and had a marathon read like that.  Maybe since I was a tween.  It was awesome.  I finally had to force myself to go to bed at one last night.  I cannot wait to go pick it up again.

Um, so yeah, the reading thing - that only accounts for one of the days that I've been absent from here.  Not a very good excuse.

4.  Designing my mom's Christmas cards.  I made a model based on the stamps and colors she wanted to use:

We're taking away the blue sponging around the images and just keeping the sponging to the edges. And my mom and I disagree on a lot of what's going on with the coloring in this card.  We're using colored pencils.  I go for a more light-handed, blended, with-shading kind of coloring.  Mom colors really HARD.  She pushes down really hard on the pencil.  Which makes the colors really really bright.  Which is fine.  I mean, they're her cards.  I'm just not in favor of it.  Mom also wanted to make the tennis balls multi-colored, which I'm squarely against.  Make them gold.  Tennis balls are yellow.  They aren't blue and orange.  Or green and orange.  But again, I have to step back and let her run with these.  Except she made me cut all the pieces.  And stamp all the images.  (She also stamps really hard and rocks the stamp back and forth and makes the images kind of smudgey.)  So I did all that.  But I'm making her butcher color them all.  Overall, I'm happy with the design concept.  Just know that I would have had yellow tennis balls.  And I wouldn't have colored so brightly.  More soft and subtle.

I love my mom.  She's so funny whenever we do cards together.  If I put her in charge of sponging, the sponging is really, really dark and intense.  I stick to a simple saying on the front and maybe one image or saying inside of my cards.  Mom is going to do a whole "Oh by jowley, have a howley, growley Christmas this year" thing inside.  Or something about having a Howl of a Christmas.  I'm not sure yet which direction she's going with it.  She's hilarious. Go big or go home.  That's her motto. I love it.  I love that energy.

5.  Oh, and we've been working with Micah a LOT on his letters, sight words, sounding things out, reading, writing, math....he's struggling.  And he really, really hates that we're putting in extra time with him at home.  But he can just bite me hate it.  Because I was an English teacher.  We're gonna work this. I don't want my degree to have gone to waste.  I have a whole other blog post on his writing.  It's really funny/horrifying.


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