Monday, January 25, 2016

Swimmer Boy

We'd had a bit of a break from swim meets due to Christmas and scheduling.  But yesterday, we were back at it.

Magoo swam in five events: #8, #16, #32, #41, and #68.  I was a timer for the first half of the meet - which, as always, I strongly recommend. In addition to keeping me busy, I get to be up close to get some action shots from the starting point.

Magoo did great.  His stroke has improved.  His turns have improved.  His speed has improved.
On the final event of the whole meet, Magoo was the last man in a 200 yd freestyle relay.  It was over before Magoo even got in the water, but man, did he swim.  Even though the race was lost, he motored through that water like a torpedo.  It was exciting to watch.

I'm so glad Magoo has chosen swimming as his sport.  It's fantastic for me to see him shine in an activity, but I also really enjoy the discipline and sportsmanship of it.   At the end of each event, the kids shake hands with the swimmers in the next lanes and then they all get out together.  Sure, some kids are a wee bit too competitive.  But, for the most part, the swimmers are gracious to each other and it's more about improving your own skills than beating anyone else.

In other news:

It snowed!  Finally!  We didn't get slammed.  It was just a nice snowing of about 6 inches.  I had to get up early to shovel since we needed to be out the door by 8am.  But by the time I was done and back in the house, Magoo was up and making pancakes.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
I hope you have a lovely week!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hidden Houses

Clay Houses    2016    j. c. phillipps

The artist group that I'm with, the WeHa Artists Emporium, has been together for a little over a year now.  One of the things that has taken off are the art hunts that we do around town.  People seem to love them - and why not?  They're fun and they finders get cool free original art.

The trick for us has been how to continue to do these hunts and give art, without only giving.  As artists we are constantly asked to give.  Every charity event in town contacts our group or some other artists that they know for a donation so they can raise money.  Meanwhile, no one is buying our art or even covering the cost of supplies.

How do you find balance?

Clay Houses    2016    j. c. phillipps

For us, we've started to find a balance between creating these hunt events and having a show.  This Spring, we're doing a hunt called Hidden Houses that will feature small home inspired art.   It will be a one-day hunt and on the following day we're having a small pop-up art sale in one of our kind members houses.  We make extra houses and people who didn't find one can come buy one and maybe some other art along the way.

Clay Mushroom House        2016         j. c. phillipps

This worked out great in December with Finders Keepers.  We're hoping for the same response for Hidden Houses.

If this works, it will be a great way for our group to bring something fun to the community and give of our talents, but also get something back the next day.

Clay Mushroom Houses       2016        j. c. phillipps

I've started making some small clay houses (above) and just today started working on some paper ones (Below).

Paper Houses         2016          j. c. phillipps

I have three whole months to have fun, fun, fun with this project.  So I'm sure there will be many Hidden Houses posts in the coming weeks.

In other news:
No snow here.  There have been a few dustings, but it really hasn't been much of a winter so far.

I just submitted one of my picture book projects to my agent.  I think it's really good.  I hope he thinks the same.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a great week!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Wizard of Oz Collection

Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road    2016    j. c. phillipps

Oh my - the rain we got yesterday.  If it had been cold, it would have been quite a snow storm. (And it would have been pretty.)  But it was dark and dreary and it was all I got muster just to get some work done - so I decided to work on something fun.  My Wizard of Oz series.

I actually did the Scarecrow first.  I'm always delighted when I have the perfect paper for something and I did indeed have the perfect paper for Scarecrow's burlap face.  It's an old wallpaper sample that's basically a woven mat.  Perfecto!

Scarecrow Points the Way       2016      j. c. phillipps

Dreary Sunday was the day of the Yellow Brick Road.

In concept, a collage yellow brick road is pretty easy.  Draw a road, cut a variety of yellow bricks, glue them on.  Tada!  But - the cutting and pasting of each brick.  And the angled.  OY!  Not so easy - not so fun.  But at the end of the day, I think it looks good.

Three collages down - four to go!

Thanks for stopping in.  I hope you all had a much brighter weekend than I did.

Monday, January 4, 2016



Hi everyone.  Thanks for stopping in.  If you've followed this blog for awhile, you may have noticed that I don't post as frequently as I once did.  I suppose that's due in art to my son being 13 now and we don't do as many arts and crafts as we once did.  Also, I'm always very busy trying to get another book published.

I've been working my bum off, but the hard truth is that I can work on a project for a long time and - if no one wants it - then nothing comes of it.  That's been the case in the last two years.  I am, however, thankful that I am not blocked creatively.  I continue to have lots of ideas.  I'm constantly inspired.  I'm still challenged and thrilled by the work.  I just have't sold anything.

Hopefully that will change in 2016.

So anyways, that's why there hasn't been much blogging.  That said, I will try to post on Mondays. That's my goal.  Anything else is gravy.

So here's what I've been up to:

As I said above, Magoo turned 13!  I am the mother of a teenager who is almost as tall as I am.  Soon I will be the shrimp of the house.

He continues to be kind, funny, generous, and a true blessing to my life.

I am a swim mom.  Magoo is on the swim team this year.  Yay!

The upside is that he enjoys it and he's good at it.

The downside is that swim meets are long.  Whenever I can, I try to be a timer for half of the meet.  It helps pass the time.  Also, because Magoo is in the higher age group, he is ALWAYS in the final event - so no sneaking out early for us. Oh well.

I have started a new series of collages for a show at the children's library in town.  It's a Wizard of Oz series.  I have one piece completed: Dorothy and the Wicked Witch.  I only need 7 pieces and it's already tricky to narrow all the ideas down.  We'll see what compositions emerge. (I apologize - it's not a fantastic photograph.  It was too big for my scanner.)

Dorothy and the Wicked Witch    2015      j.c.phillipps
And finally, I am in the final stages of revision for a new picture book project that I am pretty hopeful about.  I could be revising for a few months yet before my agent feels it's ready to show - still, it's getting there.  Fingers crossed.

I wish you all a very Happy 2016!
Thanks again for visiting!