Fall Already!?

Some pictures I took today of one of my school buildings.
first picture…installing windows in the hallway of the south wing
second picture…new student bathrooms, tile! and automatic flushing toilets – we have hi-tech bathrooms but still don’t have email at our school – NICE!
third picture…this is the new entrance to our building (Memorial) they were still working on it today.

Things are going nothing like usual this week in preparation for school starting next week. Today I went to one of my buildings (I teach at two) to set up my room, do my bulletin boards & organize stuff. I set up the room & put up my bulletin boards, but that was all I could do. I then find out that our orders are not even being shipped until next monday! That’s crazy! It’s because of our construction this summer and they couldn’t have stuff being delivered with nowhere to put it…but starting the year without our supplies is going to be interesting, especially for the classroom teachers! I have some paper left from last year so I think I will have enough to get me through a couple of weeks, plus I could be creative if I had to! (LOL)
I then went to my other building to do the same thing, only I wasn’t allowed to because the construction crew is still working and we can’t be in their way! I did take a few pictures. Remember…there is only 5 days until school starts, one of those is a holiday and one is Saturday…I don’t know, we are going to be cutting it close I think!
So when I couldn’t work there, I decided to spend some time shopping before I had to to be home. As I was driving through a parking lot, I was shocked to see these beautiful colors right in front of me in a place I least expected it…plus…just seeing these colors of fall already was a shock in itself, but I was so inspired and amazed. I wonder how many other people have noticed these trees/bushes tucked away behind the Westwood mall next to the train tracks. I wonder how many people have totally overlooked them because they were too busy to notice. I just had to share this photo with you…and later on my walk with the kids tonight after dinner I picked up a few leaves that were changing colors and had already fallen to the ground. I hope to be able to draw them, but right now they are hiding out in a nature press.

EM Challenge #74 & 15: Clouds and Tree

Hello friends. I am so glad you dropped by to see if I still am alive. I am sorry for not being faithful in my posts this summer. I haven’t been at my computer a lot, and have been pretty busy. But I am back! Soon jumping into my regular routine when the school year starts back up. It will be a bit different this year for me. My schedule has changed due to some budget cuts and Max is going to preschool 3 days a week, Savannah will be in school all day. I imagine it’s going to take at least a week for all of us to get used to the new routines that we will have now. The kids are excited though, and Jasmin is looking forward to spending some one on one time with Karson.
So I bet you are wondering what kind of art I have been doing this summer. Well, unfortunately the ATCs have had to take the back burner, since lugging around all that stuff is impossible, and the one time that I did bring all my supplies for ATCs along, I had absolutely no time to do anything with it. Journaling was an occasional occurance, though now I wish I had been more disciplined with it. I probably could have recorded some good stuff while we were at the fairs. The only real art I have done is sign painting…which really involved doing some touchups on lettering and a few added things that were my own creation. I now have a good stock of one-shot sign paint and some good lettering brushes, which I am only beginning to understand how to use. I painted on 2 popcorn trailers, painted sno-cones on the windows and added shadows to the letters. I touched up a Photo Button trailer that hasn’t been touched for years. The trailer itself, interestingly enough, was built by my husbands grandfather, Leo Durocher (not the same guy as the baseball player) On the photo button joint, I repainted the marquee, and a sign board, and touched up 3 sides that had already been lettered. I then added on the front, the words “photo buttons” and a picture of a girl snapping a picture, saying gotcha…but I think I forgot to snap a picture of that. Anyway, I found that painting trailers…or show painting…actually is a pretty good source of income. I made over a thousand dollars picking up jobs at Ionia and Midland. I am going to be working on my cousin’s lemonade trailer this weekend I hope, too. I love doing it, and I feel like I am getting better, although I wish there was someone I could train under around here.
So, I was sitting at my computer yesterday, trying to figure out how to get back into drawing and my journal…and I decided that the Everyday Matters challenges could be the thing that gets me going…maybe. I haven’t done them for so long. There is no way to catch up, but I find they are great when you don’t know what to draw and have no inspiration. So…here are two drawings that I did in my journal of things that inspired me. They happened to be done in the same sitting though, so they aren’t comprehensive of my summer, just in case you are wondering.
For # 74 , draw some clouds…These clouds were gorgeous on an early August afternoon, it was windy and the clouds overhead looked like they would drop rain on us any second. I drew these with watercolor crayons, which was the only color media I had with me, but I didn’t paint with water over it.
#15, draw some trees…well I drew one tree, actually just part of one tree, the part that totally intrigued me. I love the lines in the roots of the trees, the little plateaus and caverns they create above the ground. I got so absorbed into drawing this that I almost lost track of what my kids were doing (we were at the playground at Ella Sharp Park). It almost seemed kind of out of this world. And it took me back to when I was a kid. We used to go to this camp and there must have been a lot of old trees there. So many trees that I don’t remember there being a whole lot of grass. A lot of dirt and leaves, and huge tree roots above the ground. We used to step on them like steps, and play with our barbies on them, each little level being different rooms for the dolls. Kind of weird, but we were just using our imagination. I love drawing stuff like this. I love getting lost in the detail. It’s so relaxing to me.
And, now that I have updated you all, I must get to bed. There are thunderstorms expected, which probably means I will end up sleeping with one of the kids…and Karson will most likely wake up early since tonight he fell asleep around 7:00.

Jackson Fair…see you there!

Have you ever made a snap decision and then felt terrible about it? Well, that was us yesterday…all day I just felt sick to my stomach…and later when I talked to Sam on the phone, he was feeling the same way. So he decided to pack it up at Columbus and head back home. I am glad he is coming back and I feel so much better about us being able to still go to Jackson Fair. I guess we kind of learned from this…when we have those feelings of anxiety and restlessness about something, it’s God trying to tell us that it’s not the right thing to do. We both need to be more aware of God working in our lives. And then trust that he has our best interests in mind.
So anyway, we WILL be at Jackson County Fair next week. August 6-12. If you are in the area stop by and see the GIANT OCTOPUS show! I will be working some, but Sam will be there most of the evenings. It looks like a great week weather-wise according to the 10 day forcast!
On another note, this morning while I was in the living room watching TV with the kids, we saw a mouse run across the floor! We could have tried to get it out from under the entertainment center, but then I would have to try to kill it! I just can’t wack a little furry mouse until he dies. That just seems kind of barbaric. I guess today we’ll be making a trip to the store to buy some mouse traps!

1 down, 2 to go…

We spent 11 days at the Ionia Free Fair which ended on Saturday night. I’d say it was a success. We camped on the fairgrounds in a motorhome we borrowed from a friend with our three kids and our wonderful friend who is our babysitter/nanny…and really just like part of our family. Things went pretty smoothly. I guess it was a bad fair, from what we hear from the other vendors, as far as the money goes, this year…but since it was our first, we had nothing to compare it to and felt like we did great! We all got along well, ok…I had a few mood swings and the kids weren’t always angels…but that’s nothing unusual. We had a great time with the octopus show. Jasmin loved working too, so between the three of us, none of us felt like we were working or with the kids all the time. It wasn’t anything like what I imagined.
On Saturday, we closed down sometime after midnight. The kids stayed up at the show with us while we tore down till around 1AM…until there were too many meltdowns!…and then Jaz took them back to the van and they got in their seats, watched a movie and fell asleep. When we got back to the camper with the Octopus truck, it was like 3:00am and Jaz had it all packed up ready to go! She is so awesome. So we went and dumped the holding tanks on the camper and were on our way. We arrived home around 5 and went right to bed. Then next morning the kids woke up around 11 and we took Jasmin home so she could sleep in her own bed. We basically just layed around all day, Sam went to work at the church in the evening. Then next day he went back to work and I worked on laundry, cleaning out the camper, and cleaning up the house and picking up after the kids who played with every toy they owned that day…must be they missed them.
So next week we are scheduled to be at the Jackson County Fair in our hometown. But today, Sam got a call from a friend we met in Ionia who said that there is a 50 foot gap in the midway at the Ohio State Fair (which opens tomorrow). They had some no shows and they were looking for someone to fill it. Sam talked to the guy with the carnival and after seeing a pic of the show that Sam emailed him, he wanted the Giant Octopus. It should be a good fair. There is a potential of making a lot more money at Ohio than Jackson…but it means we have to miss Jackson, which I am kind of disappointed about, because I was looking forward to all our friends finally being able to see what we have been working on for so long. So anyway, Sam packed up everything, got a hotel room, walking distance from the fairgrounds and hired Jasmin’s brother to help him out. I suppose we will probably get down there on the weekend and maybe stay a few days if it works out. We’ll see. I can’t wait to find out if we have a good location and how we do the first day!
The other thing that I have going on, is while we were at Ionia, I got a couple of jobs painting food trailers. I made over 400 bucks in one day. Plus I have more lined up in a couple of weeks in Marshall. I am going to go up to the fairgrounds on Saturday and see if I can get any painting jobs lined up in Jackson…then we’ll decide what to do about going down to Columbus after that. I spent around 150 in paint and brushes. Most of what I am doing is touch ups and stuff like shadowing letters. I am not doing lettering because I am not good enough for that yet…but I hope to improve…I have a friend who offered to show me some lettering techniques. People like the handpainted stuff on their trailers & signs and I really love doing it. Hopefully I can get some more jobs and make some extra $ before the summer is up. We go back to work on the 30th I think…which is so late! But it’s cause of the new law in Michigan that public schools have to start after Labor day now.