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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: house, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 24 of 24
1. Burano, Italy

Burano Italy is one of my favorite places... full of color and patterns.

1 Comments on Burano, Italy, last added: 10/13/2013
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2. Studio Move Out

Production in the studio has been slow.
That's not to mention all of the cool stuff that's happening behind the scenes! 
So let me fill you in with one biggie.

We're moving into our first house at the end of March!!

Yep, my husband and I were finally given the gift of buying our first home, and that means packing it all up. The whole month of March has been preparing and packing, and now we're at the tail end called "crunch time".

This also means working in the studio towards art has been placed aside. Artist cap off, homemaker cap on. Although, picking out paint colors has rambled our design heads a bit. ;)

I'm very excited to be moving into our new home, and the new studio (eeee!!!), and I can't wait to show you! Until I can, here is the before and after of my current studio...the after being where it's at today. Just so you can get an idea.

I still have a mini work space for painting and basic office work since we're still in the apartment for two more weeks, but everything else is getting boxed up and ready to haul.

My wee shop is going on vacation Wednesday March 20th until April 15th, that's the longest time on vacation since I opened the shop 5 years ago.

Beginning April 15th thru April 19th everything in the shop will be 35% off to kick off the new studio! Mark your calenders for this sale!

More details will be on Facebook along with sneak peeks of the new studio as I get it all put together.

Want the first peek? The studio is through those doors...

2 Comments on Studio Move Out, last added: 3/18/2013
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3. Series Finale for House

I always thought that writing a series would be the easiest thing in the world–it isn’t. When I wrote Longhorns and Outlaws it was with the intention of producing a book year set in the wild, wild Canadian West (there really was one) with adventure after adventure rolling off the … Continue reading

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4. OSH & Patience

OSH. Orchard Supply Hardware. I've been there three times in the last 36 hours. All three times I returned something that didn't fit or work. Lesson learned: Buy two things that look like they might fit, then return the one that doesn't. Good thing OSH (smaller than Home Depot, but definitely more approachable; being a green homeowner, I'm all about approachability). I now own these things from OSH:

cordless drill (Kawasaki)
3/8" flat head wood plugs
outdoor vent 
fly swatter
tool box
garden hose hanger

The list goes on and it will surely grow by week's end. I've also been putting things together around the house and my back and fingers need a little WD40 every morning. In the last week, here's what I've assembled:

baby changing table/dresser
travel system stroller (just the wheels and trays)
dollhouse bookshelf (for Blondie)
white stacking bins (for Blondie)
Playhouse (for Blondie)
Lucky Blondie

The list isn't too bad, but this doesn't include the minor annoyances I've had to fix or hang:

toilet paper holder
hand towel holder
crawl space cover
stucco foundation vents

Enough is enough. For now I'm finished. On strike. Relaxing. What I've learned through this process is that I need to be more patient. Our house isn't going to be the way we want it for a long while and I need to come to terms with that. So. I have. And it has allowed me to do other important things, like play with Blondie more, hang with Wife, and write. 

But I do have one nagging issue to resolve. Anyone know of a company that cleans out spider infested places, like Bomb Shelters. More pics soon...

...unless baby boy shows up in the next 48 hours.


Picture: Baseball practice in the morning. Playhouse assembly in the afternoon with a rush to finish before Blondie got home. 3-4 hours later = exhausted. (PMM - those gray/black socks are for you!)

6 Comments on OSH & Patience, last added: 4/7/2010
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5. Safe house

Stylized vector illustration with a rough edge, for an article about leaving your house safely behind during vacation.

You're invited to sevensheaven.nl for an extended impression.

0 Comments on Safe house as of 5/13/2010 7:33:00 AM
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6. Toward Equilibrium We Vote

By Elvin Lim

When the dust has settled on the electioneering frenzy of these final days, 2010, the third “change” election in a row, will better be read as an equilibrium restoring election.

In the Senate, Democrats are about to hand back just over half of their recent wins (5 seats in 2006, and another 8 in 2008) to the Republicans. Most predictions for the number of seats the Republicans will pick up in the House hover around 50 because there are currently 49 Democrats occupying seats in districts that voted for McCain in 2008, and they are about to relinquish these seats. Put another way, Democrats picked up 31 seats in 2006, and another 21 in 2008, and they’re about to return just about every one of them back to the Republicans.

This is not coincidence. It is the revealed majesty of the Newtonian system that the Framers of the Constitution set up, and our subliminal internalization of its logic. The Founders weren’t too fond of waves of popular passion, which is why they applied “a new science of politics” and created institutions arrayed alongside each other with the specific principle that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”

The invisible constitutional hand appears to be working. Now that Barbara Boxer has pulled ahead of Carly Fiorina in California, as has Joe Manchin over John Raese in West Virginia, it is likely that the Democratic firewall will hold just enough to prevent a Republican takeover of the Senate. To take over the Senate, Republicans must take the seats in CO, IL, NV, PA, and WA. Indeed, because Republicans are polling ahead in each of these last 5 races, a nearly perfect partisan equipoise is likely to occur in the Senate. That means the 112th Congress which starts business on January 3, 2011, will likely see a slim Republican majority in the House, and an even slimmer Democratic majority in the Senate.

Another way to think about this election as equilibrium restoring is to observe the net neutral effect of the Tea Party movement. In some places, Tea Party candidates are giving seasoned politicos a run for their money. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul now look like shoos-in for the senatorial seats in Florida and Kentucky, and Sharron Angle is in a statistical dead-heat with Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada – which means, given the enthusiasm gap in favor of Republicans this year, Reid has a mountain to climb in the next two days.

Other Tea Party candidates, however, have turned out to be poor candidates. Principally, they don’t know how to handle the media and the rough-and-tumble of electoral politics. Some, like Joe Miller, think it’s OK to hand-cuff journalists; others, like Christine O’Donnell failed to realize that telling us “I’m not a witch” does not kill a rumor but sustains it. Others who have been inducted into office, like Scott Brown from Massachusetts, have long since forgotten their patrons. Like all third party movements since time immemorial, the Tea Party movement – now a flick of sunshine on a strange shore – is not likely to last more than one or two more electoral cycles.

All told, the Republicans are going to regain the seats they lost in 2006 and 2008. But, the electoral tsunami would most likely not be enough, as it was in 1994 or 2006, to flip both houses of Congress. And because of the truncated constitutional calendar, this year’s wave will stop short of the White House. The greatest prize of them all will stay in Democratic hands (a prize that will become especially valuable now that the Vice-president’s tie-breaking vote in the Senate will likely be activated in the months to come.)

A tsunami which converts half a branch is, arguably, no tsunami at all. For this to be a really significant wave that is more than equilibrium restoring, Republicans would need

0 Comments on Toward Equilibrium We Vote as of 11/2/2010 8:46:00 PM
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7. More pretty :-)

So I'm totally in love with this Dutch artist, Jane something (her last name is not anywhere! I have come across it, but can't find it now. Starts with an 'S'. Schouten? Anyway, find her HERE). Is she even Dutch? I don't know. Maybe she just lives in the Netherlands. You see, I know nothing. But check out this colorful wonderfulness:

(Love this pillow. And there's a how-to for these vases here.)

Wonderful: modern chairs and stools reupholstered in vintage blankets that she has embroidered and appliqued. WANT.

6 Comments on More pretty :-), last added: 11/9/2010

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The book is arriving soon. Really soon. Before you know it, I'll be asking you to fork over some of your hard earned cash to read it. 

Until then, here's some free stuff.


   The heat was sweltering. The summer had been particularly rough and dry, and altogether uncomfortable. This was an angry heat, tailor-made for the suffering of those forced to live through it. In the backyard of the Jarvis family, tucked safely beneath the shade of a thick-trunked Oak Tree, sat the house of the family dog, Mr. Button. Built when Button was a pup, the years were noticeably rough on the modest dwelling. The rain had warped its walls and rusted the nails holding them perilously in place. Once a crisp, almost blinding shade of white, the paint had been peeling away for quite some time, exposing the worn and damaged wood beneath in softball sized clumps of pure ugly. The roof was little more than ragged jumble of partially rotted materials, and the likelihood of the structure's collapse grew substantially with every passing day. So pathetic was this shell of a once proud doghouse that Mr. Button had taken to lying outside rather than in. Even he was capable of understanding it was a disaster waiting to happen. 

   Despite the heat and the ever-present fear of being buried beneath a heap of rotted wood, jagged sheet metal and copper colored nail chips, eight year old Tommy Jarvis had been sitting cross-legged inside the funky-smelling piece of construction for hours. His hair was soaked with perspiration, his clothes drenched so thoroughly they could literally be ringed out. The dirt beneath him transformed into a moist, muddy-wet stew of yellow-tinted sweat and soil that smelled as bad as it looked. His throat was dry and his lips cracked to the point that that act of running his tongue across their surface no longer accomplished anything at all. 

   Despite his aching bones, and the fact that his vision had begun to blur, young Tommy had no intentions of leaving. 

   He was determined to remain exactly where he was. He wanted to sit there, and stay there, and keep himself angry, because anger was what he was feeling, and because it was all he wanted to feel. Would it have been possible, Tommy might have sat in that exact spot forever, until his skin peeled away, caught the breeze and fluttered off, until his bones turned to dust and became indiscernible from the ground beneath. 
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9. Animal Chin Lives Here

Last month the good people at the Montana Skatepark Association invited me to create work on a skate deck for their annual fundraising gallery show called ON DECK 7.

The money raised will go towards construction and maintenance of  Missoula’s MOBASH skatepark. The art decks will be displayed on May 4th, at the Brink Gallery in Missoula, MT where they will also begin the silent/online auction. So lookout for that come May! Visit the MSA website for more information.

Anything that keeps us active and off the streets is A-OK with me! 

I was super psyched to be given the opportunity to create work on a skate deck since I’ve never worked on a surface like this before. Prior to receiving the skate deck I had a few ideas in mind but nothing sounded as fun as creating a tree house and possibly a place where Animal Chin lives! (Special thanks to the BF, for telling me the Legend of Animal Chin.)

Here’s the fun process of finding Animal Chins House:


Step 1:  I started out with a quick sketch of the tree and a faint mapping of where I’d like to see the leaves.

Step 2:  I painted a thin layer of gesso on top of the sketch.
Step 3:  Laid out some color for the grass and painted layer of green as an underpainting for the tree.

Step 4:  Started to lay in some actual color for the tree trunk..There goes my boss…micromanaging.

Step 5: 
 Once I got the trunk texture down, I worked on the house, and added a thin layer of gesso on the stairs for later.

Step 6: 
 I started to work on the stairs, and the little look out point on the middle left making sure to use a slightly different wood tones for the stairs so the tree and wood wouldn’t blend.

Step 7:  I was really planning to keep the natural wood exposed for the finish but it was looking too brown and very monochromatic. (Boo.) So I placed some contact paper on the tree hou

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10. Illustration Friday: worry

Sometimes when I get ready to leave the house, my dog Rat seems to worry. Once he realizes that he will not be coming with me he looks sad and let down. This can cause me a little guilt but I promise him I will be right back with a walk in his future and I leave him with a few cookie bribes. He seems to look a little less worried...
My submission for Illustration Friday's "worry" is a small layered dimensional painting "House Sitting" and it is made with Foam board, clay, wood, acrylic paint and resin.

38 Comments on Illustration Friday: worry, last added: 6/8/2008
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11. Friday Five

1. Roar! is off my desk and with my agent. I'm eager to hear his feedback and hope, hope, hope he likes it. Cross your fingers for me.

2. Because Roar! is off my desk I brought my sewing machine to the first grade to help sew memory pillows. They draw on a square of white muslin, pick a calico backing and bring it to parent volunteers to sew it up.

3. Then came home to paint the still incomplete master bathroom. It is green. I love green. But not this green. I think I hate this green. It reminds me of the cinder block walls in my elementary schools or hospital scrubs. But it goes with the green glass mosaic tile that hubby chose and I said yes to. So now I have to live with it. But not for long because...

4. One month until I move.

5. Last night, the parents played against the kids on my son's baseball team. Picture me in deep left field. The crack of the bat. The ball comes soaring in my direction. A high fly ball. I run to it, glove outstretched, closer, closer, "I GOT IT" I shout. Then thunk. It slides right into my glove. I wish I had a clip hear for you to see. Alas there is none. But there are witnesses.

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12. More studio fun...

While the house is still a bit cluttered with leftover school year stuff, I'm enjoying FINALLY having studio time! I can't quite bring myself to face the stacks of papers and books...I'll do it tomorrow (famous last words).

Anyway, I went through the last few months of sketchbook doodles to see if anything spoke up. A little bird did - and I'm back to ink (watercolor will follow). It's changed only slightly. I call it "A Dinner Invitation."

The inspiration for this was a small doodle (shown below) tucked away on a page full of "random musings" done in ink and posted several weeks back. It was hard to notice it among all of the other stuff on the page, but I liked it and it's been calling me.

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13. Illustration Friday: "Hoard"

I'm delighted that I finally had a chance to do an Illustration Friday illo.
This was really fun to do once I got going. I had doodled a couple different ideas, but this one won out in the end. I was able to explore the the ink and colored pencil combo which I really like.

15 Comments on Illustration Friday: "Hoard", last added: 7/10/2008
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14. Illustration Friday: sour

It's always good to have a little sweet mixed in with the sour or you could end up with sour grapes. My submission for Illustration Friday's "sour" theme. I have painted and made a lot of pieces with a valgalized version of Italian and Venetian scenes. This is an illustration on Canson Airbrush paper.

Here is the finished version of my "wide submission". I really enjoyed all of your comments about this house. Many of you thought it was a new McMansion but in fact it is an old 1930's home in Pacific Palisades, California. They did add on to this house which is noticable from the photo. In fact it is so hard to get a good photo of this place because everyone puts up big fences and walls now. I can't get a clear shot of the full house because of it and I have been coming up with this problem for quite a while now. It's a bummer because I like to show the photo and my painting together in my portfolio but it is becoming impossible to get nice views now. Everyone has gone fence crazy! This house sits on a bluff and from the backyard you can see the ocean. It is an outstanding property and would be fun to paint from the back as well. I always make a custom frame which I am working on and then I present to the owner and they can simply hang the finished piece :)
Have a swell 4th of July!

29 Comments on Illustration Friday: sour, last added: 7/9/2008
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15. Hope, Money, and a Show!

Wow, its been as while since my last post! Looking back, its odd that my last post was about a lull in the workflow. I certainly don’t feel like things have been moving slowly! To start things off, I’ll talk about some “business” aspects of the past month.

Taking advantage of the downtime, I implemented an income/collections/taxes tracking system. Basically, now I know roughly what I’ll need to pay in terms of federal taxes come April. I am keeping this estimated amount in its own savings account. In conjunction, I’ve also revamped my deduction-tracking technique so that its a lot simpler and easier to process come April.

Another administrative task I’ve been tackling as of late is collecting on invoices. I have learned that the end of the job is never the end of the job. Its can get pretty hairy and confusing. I’ve learned that folks process invoices immediately, at the end of the week, at the end of the month, or after publication. As such, I never know what going on with the invoice after the job so I have to email to follow-up. With the new system, its been easier though. Upon invoicing, I’ll now simply ask the client when they process their invoices so I can project a rough estimate of when I should be looking for a check. Then I can contact clients as needed after the date passes. I don’t know how other people feel about this or how they work, but I can get spacey on these matters when I’m concentrating on artwork. So instead of randomly hoping for checks when I open my mailbox, I am being more active and organized in collecting. Working in this manner, I now know where every invoice I have out stands in terms of processing and delivery. Sadly, some payments have been sent to my old address (long story) so I assume they will be forwarded by the always-punctual postal service.

What else has come up these past weeks? Ah, another thing taken into account since the last post was communication i.e, talking with other artists and illustrators. With Aliyah starting her graduate classes, it has been a very difficult solitude. Having just moved to the town of Beacon, I barely know anyone. After exhausting my trips to coffee shops and running errands, I have started posting on blogs to meet other artists. This also exposes me to a lot of new art. Recently, I was featured on thelittlechimpsociety.com as the “Editor’s Pick:”
Pretty cool. Also, that feature bumped up web traffic at chris-whetzel.com for a bit. I have been told that a lot of the members of that site are art directors so I see it as free promotion. Thanks to the guys at The Little Chimp Society! I look forward to posting more, and I tend to check out the blog every day or so. Similarly, I was invited to join sugarfrostedgoodness.com this week. I know that none of this is a big deal in terms of moneymaking, but I really feel that posting on these blogs as well as chris-whetzel.blogspot.com and theautumnsociety.blogspot.com really keep me motivated. As lame as it sounds, it fends off the lonelys :) And the bonus is that links from these sites increase chris-whetzel.com’s search engine ranking. Cool.

And the final thing I would like to say about blogs is to simply mention a helpful one: cedricohnstadt.wordpress.com. This blog is awesome for anyone freelancing. Its basically years and years of one guy’s experiences in the field. He also posts so many links that are illustration-business related. Great blog! One gem I found (of many) was the freelanceswitch.com podcast. Very cool. If you like the ICONIC podcasts, you may enjoy these. However, the Freelance Switch panel focuses on the BUSINESS of illustration by discussing a show-specific topic and answering questions about everything from contracts to etiquette to networking. And its all handled in a fun and light-hearted manner! This podcast also comes in handy when working long days alone and you just want to hear human voices! Its like being in a roundtable discussion!

Ah, discussion. I am jealous to hear Aliyah talk about class discussions. I miss it. I’m kind of disappointed that my friends and I never really got a collective together. I tried to establish “drink and draws” patterned after Dave Johnson’s group, but it never really took off. Its cool that Philly has The Autumn Society, but I’m in New York! Granted, I had a great artistic talk with Joe Game last week, but its not the same as sitting around looking at each other art, having crits, etc (and he totally guilted me for not blogging). However, I’m finding out that the artists in Beacon do meet; I just have to find out how to get involved. I was working at a coffee shop last night when a group formed next to me. Not really paying attention (I listen to my ipod when working outside the apartment), I noticed they were discussing art in between songs. Turns out they meet to just talk art, tell what they are doing, and pass on opportunities. This is awesome. I wanted to talk to someone in the group after the meeting, but I had to leave before they disbanded.

But hopefully, an opportunity to chat will present itself as I have been asked to take part in a show at that very coffee shop! After speaking with Nate (the manager) today, it seems the show will be November-ish. He really liked my drawings enough to ask a price on one! So it will be my “artsy” drawings as opposed to digital prints. He said he is still looking for illustrators who specifically have drawings to show. If you would like to be considered, drop me a line and I'll give him your website.

Striking off on a tangent, I was recently asked to attend the Baltimore Comic Con as part of The Autumn Society Collective. This was a great honor as I really respect the art of the other collective artists taking the trip: Joseph Game, Peter Wonsowski, and Craig Parillo. Good guys who make good art. What sucks is that I can’t go. Financially, I just don’t feel comfortable spending a lot of money to travel, for space, etc to promote to a field that probably can’t use my artwork. Plus I'll have a big expense thi smonth that I'll discuss later. I REALLY tried to rationalize going as I am a hardcore comic fan and I just wanted to be a fanboy for a weekend, but logical-me won the battle. Best of luck to the guys attending! Wish I could be there!

And so, being proud of my willpower, I have decided to commit to an ispot portfolio this month. I am worried about spending the money but its deductible, and I really think I’ll get some work from it. Dave Tabler at the ispot has been very accommodating with my hesitancy. It turns out they have a payment plan so that assuaged the fear a bit. And as a bonus, it turns out that ispot and Adbase have a deal where ispot members get a discount at Adbase. Cool. Next year, I hope to take advantage of it!

Another reason I decided to go for the ispot portfolio was that work picked up. August has been a super-busy month. It was sad to leave a personal piece unfinished to start new jobs, but I hope to have it done next week. Anyway, on to new work!

Ok, so the first commission came via email from Houston Press. This paper was a new addition to the mailing list so that was a good sign that the new card wasn’t such a bad image choice after all! The job was four spot illustrations for their “Best Of” issue due in a little over aweek. The budget was lower than I could afford, but we negotiated a budget that worked for both of us. Awesome. I can’t discuss the subject matter or post images until after publication on the 25th of September. But these were a lot of fun, and I think they add a little diversity to the portfolio. I’ll post them, sketches and all after the 25th.

Although fun, the period of working on them was a little crazy as while sketching them, I got a call from the art director of Retail Traffic who needed a quarter page spot by that Tuesday! Awesome, but the tight deadline was a little intimidating. Nevertheless, I knew I could do it so I accepted (just sleep less). He sent me a version of the article titled “Taking On Water.” It was about the California budget crisis and how its affecting the housing economy. It was an odd subject matter, but I enjoyed the challenge. Pushing back the Houston Press sketches, I ripped out these three sketches:
I like them all for different reasons. I assumed they would go with the first one of the house sinking on the chart, but he surprised me by choosing the house with the life preserver. I also like the "stormy weather" one, but we both agreed its more of a full-page image as everything is so small. The final:
This isn’t my greatest piece, but I like that it shows I can think outside of figurative work. Originally, I left off the “S.S. California,” but I was really happy that they asked me to put it back on the life preserver. I took this piece a little farther in terms of color as I want to push for more color in this graphic style.

One interesting aspect of this commission was that Retail Traffic is a magazine published by Penton Media, the same folks that commissioned the 10 portraits for Registered Rep a few posts back. My first return customer! Sort of. I worked with two different art directors but whatever. I count it.

So anyway, I finished the piece up on Tuesday. Prior to this, while doing the finish for Retail Traffic, I also finished and submitted sketches for the “Best Of” article. The art director really liked them, and we were set. However, the day I finished the Retail Traffic piece, the Houston Press art director called and asked if I could provide a cover in addition to the spot illustrations! Whoa! I told here there was no way I could have both done in four days. Then she explained that the spots were not needed until later in September and that the cover was for that week’s weekly paper. Now that I can do! On a sidenote, I have been becoming more relaxed with art directors, and it makes things more fun and light-hearted on both ends. Everything has been very laidback with everyone this month aside from getting work done. Its really kind of cool. So anyway, the spots got pushed back a week so that I could do this cover.

It is a portrait of Gary Kubiak, coach of the Houston Texans (football team). The idea was pretty simple: parody the popular Obama campaign poster using Kubiak instead. I was hesitant to do this as I like coming up with my own concepts, but I like paying rent so I agreed to do it. I was little worried about plagiarism, but my good buddy, Scott Brundage, said its not as he has seen this issue dealt with at his dayjob. I won’t show the sketches for this as there were like four versions with both the art director and myself photoshopping things, and they are really just messy sketches (not my usual rendered drawings). So anyway, here is the finish:
I like it. Initially, I wasn’t going to put it in my portfolio, but it really opened me up to using a palette without black and white. So I’ll keep it in there and add more pieces like it. What I really like about is that it’s a pretty good likeness in a totally non-existent pose i.e, I didn’t have direct reference to work from so I was making up lighting. I like jobs that challenge me and make me work harder. This one was a real test of my abilities! I never really thought my likenesses were good enough to market, but people seem to like them. As such, I’m trying to draw more popular figures in my non-commissioned works to get better at capturing a likeness. I have a list to work from!

However, there was one downside of this commission. Less than eight hours after taking the cover job, the art director at SFWeekly emailed me with a job for a half-page calendar illustration about a JETPACK EVENT! Arrrgh! I was so bummed to turn this down, but there was no way I could do both pieces as the turn around on the calendar was less than two days. We have a good, jovial relationship and he understood. Still, I hate turning anyone away. I think I’m still gonna do a jetpack piece just for fun and send it to him. I told him I might work it up for the portfolio, and he said its inspired him to break out his acrylics. Cool stuff.

And that’s all I got, folks. I just finished up the “Best Of” spots today, and they were approved. So the next post will probably feature those as well as the personal piece I am getting back to after almost a month. I don’t even remember where I was on it…Plus I stil lwant to do a particlular portrait and new drawings for the coffee shop show.

And maybe I’ll do something with this sketch I did while watching the DNC last week:

I like Obama. Good guy.

So who knows what next week holds? I'm sure I'll find something to occupy my time :)

Enjoy the Day,

3 Comments on Hope, Money, and a Show!, last added: 9/21/2008
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16. Serenity now

So our big news is that we've just put the house up for sale. AND given that it's up for sale I can say that we're pretty much done renovating! So coming up soon I'll be showing all the final before and afters for the house.

If you've ever sold your place before you know it involves a bit of staging. In our case it meant moving a few things out to make things as spacious-looking as possible. I don't think it's very misleading in our case as most people probably don't have a couple of china cabinets filled with yarn and fabric respectively.

So now the house is very clean and tidy and the lack of clutter is a bit weird. But I'm finding it very relaxing now that most of the work is done. There's been a lot of finishing loose ends, such as finally putting in the finishing panels in our kitchen. I'll be posting that and doing a final assessment of puttting in an IKEA kitchen.. thanks for asking James!

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17. It's a little thing but...

Hallway "After"

Today's reveal is the finished hallway. Doesn't seem like a big thing but it really has made a huge difference. Our house is fairly long with rooms in a row down the left, and all the closets to the right. We have two double closets, then a linen closet, then the pantry in the kitchen.
Hallway "Before"

When we moved in, the hall was a bit of a mess. It was painted a dark caramel colour, with a large box flourescent fixture. The doors on the closets were plain slab doors, but one of them only went halfway down, with a curtain tacked on at the bottom. The floors were peeling (and generally aged) vinyl tiles in a faux-marble pattern.

The first thing we did is change the light fixture which has 3 bulbs that create a soft diffused light. We painted the walls in Chalk (which matches the living room walls).
We changed the doors to bifold wooden slat doors painted Cloud White. We also changed the slab bedroom doors to freshly-painted new panel doors. Finally the floors were updated when we re-did the flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. Which meant also updating the baseboard trim.

I put in a little white bookshelf which creates a little vignette right in the middle - just a spot to put a lamp and plant and make the space cheerful.
Never underestimate the hallway - you do spend a lot of time there!

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18. Illustration Friday: Legendary

The idea of the woman who lived in the shoe is a legendary story and my submission for Illustration Friday's "Legendary " theme. This is how her shoe would look if it were plopped down in the San Fernando Valley. Possibly in a tract home setting with a spanish influence. It looks like it fit's right in!

copyright 2009 Valerie Walsh

Happy Birthday Dee Dee xoxoxoxoxo

25 Comments on Illustration Friday: Legendary, last added: 4/6/2009
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19. Illustration Friday: unfold

My submission for Illustration Friday's "unfold" theme is a diecut valgal card that celebrates love. The message is clear but the card is a little unique in the design. I love making cuts and folds, it makes the card a bit more special. I have included a few views here: 1.the original illustration and a copy of the card 2. closeups of the image 3. card folds and unfold.

copyright 2004 Valerie Walsh

37 Comments on Illustration Friday: unfold, last added: 6/25/2009
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20. Packet number one deadline approacheth

Hello out there in LJ land. Just a quick posting (perhaps we will number it.)
1. I have one week left to complete two critical essays, 20-40 new pages of writing, a quickee autobiography and a sincere letter of progress to the awesome Sharron Darrow. Everything is started, nothing is finished. (I'm starting to grind my teeth at night again.)

2. My Maine homecoming has been absolutely awesome. I've managed to connect with so many people who are welcoming us home with open arms. I feel so thankful to be a part of this community (and I love being in MY house again.)

3. If you are close by, you are invited to our first once a month potluck. We all say we are too busy to make time for each other, but friendships are what life is all about. Email or comment if you need more info!

4. I've had the DVD "Penelope" on my counter for over a month from Netflix (even in Maryland) so I finally watched it tonight. LOVED IT. It has that weird super saturated art direction of Pushing Up Daisies.

5. So here's the awful part. "Penelope" is rated PG, I thought my kids would love it. I'd never seen it before. So we're watching and there is this one part. Takes about 3 seconds, when the smarmy rich guy (who saw Penelope once and got scared and thought she was a monster) re- imagines Penelope as a monster with fangs and scary eyes and a boarish face. He sees this monster in his imagination through a car window in the dark. OMG my boys (10 and 8) shriek and scream and start to sob like someone is coming after them with a chainsaw. They run to my chair and hug me and sob and shake (for what seems an eternity but was probably all of 10 minutes) and all I can do is apologize over and over and hold them and love them and validate their fear. Now they are in my bed and I'm stuck sleeping with kids who are each almost 5 feet tall.

Okay so that's five on Wednesday. I'll be back after my deadline is past.

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21. Bomb Shelter

New House:

Here are the promised Bomb Shelter pics. They are only TEASER pics. The ACTUAL Bomb Shelter picture will come later. Consider it a trailer of sorts, a preview, the inside flap.

Hatch (submarine-like entry/exit) in the backyard. This is a bird's eye view of the hatch. Anyone watch Lost? I don't, but people have told me it reminds them of the show. Alternative entrance is in the garage floor, literally the garage floor. That's the one I use. 

Garage Entrance, Stairs & Hallway. Here, you are underground. Those stairs go back up to the garage floor. Notice the reinforced steel and concrete. This is NOT the actual Bomb Shelter, only the stairs and hallway that lead to it.

Off to take pictures of the real McCoy. Til next time...

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22. Book Expo America and the Latino Book Awards

Hola desde Nueva York! Greetings from New York City!

Book Expo America began today. It was with great pleasure that I attended the 9th Annual International Latino Book Awards this evening. The awards ceremony was simultaneously broadcast live on the Latino Book and Family Festival website. Que cool, no? Edward James Olmos welcomed attendees via video. I met new people and ran into old friends like Ruben Martinez who had the honor of presenting the Mariposa Awards for Best First Book.

I'm told that this year there was a 50% increase in entries from last year and that this year there were more categories. The list of winners is extensive and our own Lisa Alvarado's book Sister Chicas won the second place Mariposa Award for Best First book. Congratulations Lisa and all the winners!

The list of winners:

Best Educational Children's Book - Spanish or Bilingual
Puberman, Maria Villegas - Jennie Kent. Villegas Editores S.A.
2nd Place - El Alfabeta de Hojalata, Dalia Nieves Albert, Ediciones Puerto Rico
Honorable Mention - Tesoro Infinito, Maria Villegas - Jennie Kent, Villegas Editores S.A.
Best Educational Children's Book - Bilingual
New Mexico/Nuevo Mexico, Jose Maria Obregon. Rosen Publishing Group
2nd Place - Puerto Rico, Jose Maria Obregon. Rosen Publishing Group
Honorable Mention - Teo and The Brick/Teo y El Ladrillo, Adam Del Rio. Lectura Books
Best Children's Picture Book - English
The Boy of Steel, Ray Negron, HarperCollins Publishers
2nd Place - Noelle's Treasure Tale: A New Magically Mysterious Adventure, Gloria Estefan. Rayo HarperCollins.

Best Children's Picture Book - Bilingual
Super Oscar - Oscar de la Hoya, Paula Wise Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
2nd Place - Pio Peep! Alma Flor Ada, Rayo HarperCollins
2nd Place - Talking With Mother Earth/Hablando con Madre Tierra, Jorge Argueta - Groundwood Books/House of Ansansi Press
Honorable Mention - Lupe Vargas and her Super Best Friend - Amy Costales. Luna Rising
Best Children's Picture Book - Spanish
La primera luna llena de Gatita - Kevin Henkes - Greenwillow Books/Rayo
2nd Place - Napi va a la montana - Antonio Ramirez - Groundwood Books/House of Ansansi Press
Honorable Mention - Benny - sieb Posthuma - Kane/Miller Book Publishers

Best Young Adult Fiction - English
Ribbons of the Sun - Harriet Hamilton - Brown Barn Books
2nd Place - Getting It - Alex Sanchez - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Honorable Mention - Ay Mija! Why do You Want To Be An Engineer? Edna Campos Gravenhorst - AHETEMS (Advancing Hispanic Excellence in Technology, Engineering, Math & Science)

Best Young Adult Fiction - Spanish
La Chica de Mendiburo - Andalucia - Cholita Prints & Publishing Company
2nd Place - Septimus Heap, Libro Uno: Magyk - Angie Sage - Rayo HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - Cartas a mi mama - Teresa Cardenas - Groundwood Books/House of Ansansi Press
Best Young Adult Fiction - Bilingual
The Ruiz Street Kids/Los Muchachos de la calle Ruiz - Diane Gonzales Bertrand - Arte Publico Press
2nd Place - Graciela's Dream/El Sueno de Graciela - Max Benavidez & Katherine Del Monte - Lectura Books

Best Young Adult Nonfiction - English
When I Was a Boy Neruda Called Me Policarpo - Poli Delano - Groundwood Books/House of Ansansi Press
2nd Place - Mesoamerican Mythology - Graham Faiella - Rosen Publishing Group
Honorable Mention - letter to My Granddaughter - Eva S. Molina - AuthorHouse
Best Young Adult Nonfiction - Spanish
El primer año del bebe - Jeanne Warren Lindsay - Morning Glory Press
2nd Place - Puberman, Maria Villegas - Jennie Kent - Villegas Editores S.A.
Honorable Mention - Animales Atals con Pegatinas - Ruth Brockelhurst - EDC Publishing/Usborne
Best Arts Book - English
Bogata 360 Inside the City - Enrique Santos Molano - Villegas Editores S.A.
2nd Place - Guatemala (Ingles) Harris Whitbeck, Villegas Editores S.A.
Honorable Mention - Crafty Chica's Art de la Soul, Kathy Cano Murillo - Rayo/HarperCollins
Best Biography - English
Raul Salinas and the Jail Machine: My Weapon is My Pen, Raul Salinas - University of Texas Press
2nd Place - I Am My Father's Daughter - Maria Elena Salinas - Rayo/HarperCollins
2nd Place - Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends - John Leguizamo - Ecco/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa - Rigoberto Gonzalez - University of Wisconsin Press
Best Business Book
The Salsa Solution - Rafael Colon & Alesa Lightbourne - VI Publishing
2nd Place - The Money in You! Julie Stav - Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - Latino Advantage in the Workplace - Mariela Dabbah & Arturo Poire - Sourcebooks, Inc.

Best Health Book
Gordito Doesn't Mean Healthy - Claudia Gonzalez & Lourdes Alcaniz - Berkely (Penguin)
2nd Place - The Checklist - Manny Alvarez - Rayo/HarperCollins

Best History Book
Enriqueta Vasquez & the Chicano Movement - Enriqueta Vasquez - Arte Publico Press
2nd Place - A Home on the Field - Paul Cuadros - Rayo/HarperCollins
2nd Place - The Holy Vote - Ray Suarez Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - Chicana Lives and Criminal Justice: Voices From El Barrio - Juanita Diaz-Cotto - University of Texas Press
Best New Age Book - English
Nostradamus - Gonzaol Echevarry Uruburu - Villegas Editores S.A.
Best Religious Book - English
The Holy Vote - Ray Suarez - Rayo/HarperCollins
Best Self-Help Book - English
Once Upon a Cow - Dr. Camilo Cruz - Brainstorm Press, Inc.
2nd Place - The Money in You! - Julie Stav - Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - Real Life, Real Love - Father Alberto Cutie - Penguin Group, USA Inc.
Honorable Mention - The Love Diet - Mabel Iam - Rayo/HarperCollins

Best Travel Book - English
The World Cup - Fernando Fiore - Rayo/HarperCollins Publishers
2nd Place - Colombia 360, Cities and Towns - Enrique Santos Molano - Villegas Editores S.A.
Honorable Mention - Es Cuba: Life and Love on an Illegal Island - Lea Aschkenas
Best Reference - English
Columbia Natural Parks - Laura Sesana - Villegas Editores S.A.
2nd Place - Chicano and Chicana Literature - Charles M. Tatum - University of Arizona Press
Honorable Mention - Enigmas of the English Alphabet - Alvaro Alves-Milho - AuthorHouse
Honorable Mention - How to Buy a Home - Louis Cortes - Atria Books

Best Arts Books - Spanish or Bilingual
Eyes to Fly With: Portraits, self-Portraits and Other Photographers - Graciela Iturbide - University of Texas Press
2nd Place - Omar Rayo Homanaje - Omar Rayo - Villegas Editores S.A.

Best Biography - Spanish or Bilingual
Clemente - David Maraniss - Atria Books
2nd Place - La Hija del Ganges - Asha Miro - Atria Books
Honorable Mention - Yo Soy la Hija de mi Padre - Maria Elena Salinas - Rayo/HarperCollins

Best Business Book - Spanish or Bilingual
El Dinero que Hay en Ti! - Julie Stav - Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - Como Comunicarnos en Publico con Poder, Entusiasmo y Efectividad - Dr. Camilo Cruz

Best Cookbook - Spanish or English
Larousse De La Cocina Mexicana - Alicia Grionella de Angeli, Giorgio De Angeli, Ediciones Larousse
2nd Place - Primicias de Cocina Peruana - Rodolfo Hinostioza - Editorial Everest
Honorable Mention - Sabrosuras boricuas - Erisbelia Garriaga
Best Health Book - Spanish or Bilingual
Tu: El Manual de Instrucciones - Mehmet Oz & Michael F. Roizen - Rayo/HarperCollins
2nd Place - El Cuidado de su Hijo Pequeno Desde Que Nace Hasta Los cincos Anos - Steven P. Shelow, MD and Robert E. Hannemann, MD - American Bantam Books

Best History/Political Book - Spanish or Bilingual
Breve Historia de Cuba - Jaime Suchlicki - Pureplay Press
2nd Place - El Asesor del Presidente - Bill Minutaglio - Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - La politica, el amor y otros textos - Alberto Dangond Uribe - Villegas Editores S.A.

Best New Age Book - Spanish or Bilingual
Mas Alla de la Reencarnacion - Dr. Joe Slate - Llewellyn Espanol
2nd Place - La Magia de las Piedreas y los Cristales - Migene Gonzalez-Wippler - Llewellyn Espanol
Honorable Mention - Astrologia - Brenda Valentin - Llwellyn Espanol

Por que Dios permite el mal y como superarlo - Paramahansa Yogananda - Self Realization Fellowship
Honorable Mention - Cautivado por la Alegria - C.S. Lewis Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - Autobiografia de un Yogi - Paramahansa Yogananda - Self Realization Fellowship

Best Self-Help Book - Spanish or Bilingual (tie for first)
Ama De Verdad, Vive De Verdad - Padre Alberto Cutie - Penguin Group, USA, Inc.
Como Llegue Aca? - Barbara De Angelis - Rayo/HarperCollins
2nd Place - claves para ser propietario - 2da Edicion - National Foundation for Credit Counseling
Honorable Mention - Marte y Venus en el Dormitoria - John Gray - Rayo/HarperCollins

Best Travel Book - Spanish or Bilingual
Colombia 360 Ciudades y Pueblos - Enrique Santos Molano - Villegas Editores S.A.
2nd Place - Vamos al Mundial! - Fernando Fiore - Rayo/HarperCollins

Best Reference Book - Spanish or Bilingual
Ayde a sys hijos a Tener Exito en la Escuela - Mariela Dabbah - Sourcebooks, Inc.
2nd Place - Parques Naturales - Laura Sesana - Villegas Editores S.A.
Honorable Mention - La Guia Completa de Vitaminas, Hierbas y Suplementos - Winifred Conkling - Rayo/HarperCollins

Best Novel - Adventure or Drama - English
Ines of My Soul - Isabel Allende - HarperCollins Publishers
2nd Place - Our Lives Are the Rivers - Jamie Manrique - Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - The Last Cato - Matilde Asensi - Rayo/HarperCollins

Best Poetry Book - English
Adobe Odes - Pat Mora - University of Arizona Press
2nd Place - DRIVE: The First Quartet - Lorna Dee Cervantes - Wings Press
Honorable Mention - How Long She'll Last in This World - Maria Melendez - University of Arizona Press

Best Novel - Adventure or Drama - Spanish
El Corrido de Dante = Eduardo Gonzales Viana - Arte Publico Press
2nd Place - El Pergamino de la Seduccion - Giaconda Belli - Rayo/HarperCollins
2nd Place - Ines del Alma Mia - Isabel Allende - Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - McQuinn, la impostura - Julio Castellanos - Villegas Editores S.A.

Best Novel - Historical Fiction - English
Our Lives Are the Rivers - Jamie Manrique - Rayo/HarperCollins
2nd Place - Tomorrow They Will Kiss - Eduardo Santiago - Little, Brown & Company
2nd Place - The Scroll of Seduction - Giaconda Belli - Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - The Song of the Golden Cocks - Margaret Donnelly - Trafford Publishing

Best Novel - Romance - English
Do Not Pass Go - Beatriz Rivera - Arte Publico Press
2nd Place - The Mystics of Reyesville - Corinne Chacon - iUniverse, Inc.

Best Novel - Mystery - English
The Last Cato - Matilde Asensi - Rayo/HarperCollins Publishers
2nd Place - Statute of Limitations - Steven F. Havill - St. Martin's Press
Honorable Mention - The Mystics of Reyesville - Corinne Chacon - iUniverse, Inc.
Honorable Mention - The Nymphos of Rocky Flats - Mario Acevedo - Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - Missing in Precinct Puerto Rico - Steven Torres - St. Martin's Press

Best Novel - Historical Fiction - Spanish
Malinche - Laura Esquivel - Atria Books
2nd Place - El Pergamino de la Seduccion - Giaconda Belli - Rayo/HarperCollins
Honorable Mention - Ines del Alma Mia - Isabel Allenda - Rayo/HarperCollins

Best Novel Romance - Spanish
Lo Que Le Falta Al Tiempo - Angela Becerra - Villegas Editores S.A.

Best Poetry Book - Spanish
Among the Angeles of Memory/Entre los angeles de la memoria - Marjorie Agosin - Wings Press
2nd Place - Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico - Luis Cortes Bargallo - Sarabande Books
Honorable Mention - La Ventana/The Window - Marie Delgado Travis

Best Cover Design - Hard Cover
Guatemala Inedita - Cristobal Von Rothkirch, Illustrator - Villegas Editores S.A.

Best Cover Design - Soft Cover
The Mystics of Reyesville - Corinne Chacon - iUniverse, Inc.
2nd Place - La Chica de Mendiburo - Adalucia, Illustrator - Cholita Prints & Publishing Co
Honorable Mention - La furia de los elementos - Luis Fernando Charry - Villegas Editores S.A.

Best Interior
Omar Rayo - Oscar Monsalve, Illustrator - Villegas Editores S.A.
2nd Place - Las Ultimas Siete Palabras de Cristo - Oscar Romero, Illustrator - World Library Publications
Honorable Mention - La Chica de Mendiburo - Adalucia, Illustrator - Cholita Prints & Publishing

Best Cover Illustration
The Mystics of Reyesville - Corinne Chacon - iUniverse, Inc.
2nd Place - Puberman - Ivan Chacon, Ilustrator - Villegas Editoes S.A.
Honorable Mention - La Chica de Mendiburo - Adalucia, Illustrator - Cholita Prints & Publishing

Best Children's Audio Book - Spanish or Bilingual
Leah Ann adopta un perico - Connie Reza - yo puedo! Publishing

Best Fiction Audio Book - Spanish or Bilingual
Malinche - Laura Esquivel - Fonolibro, Inc.

Best Non Fiction Audio Book - Spanish or Bilingual
La Vaca - Dr. Camilo Cruz - Brainstorm Press, Inc.
2nd Place - Los 7 Pasos Para Ser Mas Feliz - Dra. Isabel - Fonolibro Inc.


Best First Book - Spanish
Leah Ann adopta un perico - Connie Reza - yo puedo! Publishing
2nd Place - Lupe Vargas and Her Super Best Friend - Amy Costales - Luna Rising
2nd Place - Padres de Hoy - Iris Yankelevich - Llewellyn Espanol
2nd Place - Puberman - Maria Villegas, Jennie Kent - Villegas Editores S.A.
Honorable Mention - La dificultad e las cosas - Mauricio Bernal - Villegas Editores S.A.

Best First Book - English
The Heiress of Water - Sandra Rodriguez Barron - Rayo/HarperCollins Publishers
2nd Place - Sister Chicas - Lisa Alvarado, Ann Hagman Cardinal, Jane Alberdeston Coralin
Honorable Mention - Tomorrow They Will Kiss - Eduardo Santiago - Little, Brown & Company

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23. You have to use your imagination

Things are really coming along now, the large kitchen and hall tiles are almost completely installed. There's just this last patch in the hall and 2nd closet to do. The tiles look white but they're actually very very pale grey with tiny matchstick lines of grey and white. They'll also look nicer once the grout is added. It's going to be a light grey so there won't be such dark lines between the tiles.

To the left you can see the bathroom is almost finished too. It doesn't look perfect, but I know it will once the grout is there. We've been visiting the house throughout the project and we can see that this job has been done with careful attention to detail, things we didn't even think about ourselves. Once we add the new baseboards, paint the walls and return the clawfoot tub and new vanity it's going to be really nice I think. Right now the pattern is a little hard on the eyes, mostly due to the dark lines between the tiles.
They've also done more work on the walls where the tiles were removed and they're looking really good. I know once we prime we'll see places we have to touch up a bit here and there but that's easily done.So far so good... Read the rest of this post

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24. Moving poetry

My apologies for disappearing! I’ve been going through a major life change: MOVING. In the space of a few weeks, we sold our home (in Grand Prairie, TX where we had lived for 18 years raising two kids) and moved into the big city (of Dallas, where we’re 10 minutes from my favorite theaters, movies, museums, and restaurants!). Each Friday has brought a new crisis: first no electricity for two days, then no Internet for four days! EEK! Things are headed toward normalcy now and it’s time to get back on track with poetry. I’ve actually been reading a lot of poetry during this time as part of the Cybils award (I’m on the poetry subcommittee; stay tuned for news); it’s the perfect antidote.

As I looked for a poem to fit my current circumstance, I remembered a lovely picture book collection that came out a few years ago: My House is Singing by Betsy Rosenthal, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Each poem captures an aspect of the “places and spaces that make a house a home” against a backdrop of Chodos-Irvine’s colorful, sculptural collages. Using a variety of poetic forms, including rhyming and free verse forms, Rosenthal touches on details that children notice in the laundry room, the smoke detector, the refrigerator, the vacuum cleaner, the kitchen, special cubby-holes, the doorbell, the back door, and more. The following poem example gives the book it’s title and captures some of my own thoughts my first night in my new home:

My House’s Night Song
By Betsy Rosenthal

Listen closely.
Can you hear?

Heater whooshing out
warm air.

Blinds flapping
Floors creaking.

Clocks ticking.
Faucet leaking.

Dishwasher clicking.
Pipes pinging.

Listen closely.
My house is singing.

From: Rosenthal, Betsy. R. 2004. My House is Singing. Illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. San Diego: Harcourt.

It’s time for me to re-join the Poetry Friday Round Up-- which is hosted this week by Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Picture: My new house

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