Monthly Archive for December, 2014

Watercolor Gargoyles and Ivy

I’ve been keeping a secret for months now.

In my watercolor class, I painted two gargoyles. I’d chosen two of my husband’s favorites, and I was thrilled with the results. (How many gargoyles do we have here? I thought I’d counted all of them when I was doing this project, but then I found another one the other day that I’d missed! It’s a good thing I’m not the one responsible for feeding them.)

I was able to sneak away and get my artwork framed for him for the holidays unbeknownst to him. I’ve had them secreted away in my office closet ever since.

He was thrilled, and they look great!

Gargoyles and Ivy Watercolor

For now, they’re on the mantle, to keep them out of harm’s way, and I’m really happy with how they turned out.

Gargoyle Left

Close-up of the left one.

Gargoyl Right

Close-up of the right one.

Click each photo for more detail.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Ho Ho Ho 2014

Click photo to see more detail.

A ticklish hedgehog

Be sure to have your speakers on when you play this one!

Book Review: Release by Hope Russell Nunki

Release CoverThere were lots of surprises hidden in Release by Hope Russell Nunki.

I love the point when you can find the title of a book within the pages, and I always anticipate the moment of finding it and making that connection with the author. Although this happened relatively early in this book, the meaning behind the title shifted and morphed throughout, and that was an interesting twist.

Speaking of twists, there are some others, too! I love a book that can keep your mind engaged with just enough predictability to feel like home and then surprise you with a twist you weren’t expecting.

Although this is a work of fiction, the author writes in such a way as to describe the different settings in this book perfectly. Having graduated from a small private college in Iowa, I can attest that Hope Russell Nunki is spot-on in her depiction of that experience. At times, it was as though I was looking back at footage of my own college days. As odd as it sounds, in addition to my Midwestern roots, I have also fallen in love with the desert southwest, so it’s never a surprise for me when a main character does as well.

Release wasn’t just a book of happiness and light, though. In fact, for those of us with certain triggers, parts of this book were hard to read. As someone who has suffered a miscarriage I will tell you, the heartache, pain, confusion, and second-guessing of every minute detail and the hysteria it can cause are very real. Some work through things in more efficient ways than others. The sting of such a loss may never truly die, and the rate at which it fades is based on a myriad of factors. Again, the author succeeded in making this fictional story very real.

Was it worth reliving personal pain to experience this story along with Mandelyn? Yes, it was. As uncomfortable as this is, it’s an integral part of Mandelyn and Henry’s story.

I loved the journey this story provides, with all the ups and downs, and twists and turns. I found myself crossing my fingers for various characters in this book. At times my wishes were granted, and at others, not so much. I couldn’t wait to see how it would end.

Roman Festival

The 3rd Grade Class always does a Roman Festival instead of a Holiday Party at the school, since they’ve wrapped up a huge unit on Rome.

Front of the Chariot, Side of the Chariot, and Toga-esque with a Modern Twist.

Front of the Chariot, Side of the Chariot, and Toga-esque with a Modern Twist.

(The Chariot is for a Chariot Race they had in the gym. You’re supposed to make it out of a box and be able to stand in it in and run.)

Well, we survived! We had a great time and even had enough energy left over to burn it off at the park after school.

…and with that, Winter Break begins!

No more homework or deadlines until NEXT YEAR. Yeah! 😀

6th Annual Nutcracker!

6th Annual Nutcracker

6th Annual Nutcracker!? What? Yes!

This is my favorite holiday tradition to do with Claire!

This is my favorite holiday tradition to do with Claire! As always, the show was FANTASTIC!

Bravo, Colorado Conservatory of Dance! (Formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado.)