Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ashton!

Today, we have another birthday. Happy birthday wishes go out to Ashton. With wishes for many more "to grow on"!
The photo above was taken by Ashton of one of his Lego creations, "The Titanic". Ashton loves his Legos! He has been building and studying things in Legos since he was very small.
In the picture above, he was studying not just the way the Titanic was built, how many smoke stacks, propellers, etc., but, above all, how it broke apart and landed. He even built it with the debris field on the floor. He would build his model, check it on the counter in the kitchen, then take it to my big garden tub, to see if it worked right.
More recently, he got a model of the Titanic and built it. That is now on the mantle over the fireplace.
Ashton has studied and built oil wells, street intersections, complete with utilitiy wires and lights, and even tornadoes out of Legos.
Unfortunately, Pluto, loves to chew up any Legos that happen to fall anywhere that he can reach them. So, Ashton is a little short on Legos.
Ashton has always observed something and becomes interested in that one thing. He draws it, he builds it in Legos, he researches all he can find on it. He sees things that most people don't even notice, then really studies that subject for a long time. Seems very scientific to me.
When he was small, I said that we should just skip kindegarten and go straight over to the Petroleum Engineering Department at A&M! He was interested in oil wells then.
When he was very small, he was sitting in his baby seat in the car, as we rode, and would explain things like perspective and color theory. I hadn't said a thing, but my high school students didn't know as much as he did.
He drew pictures of a horizon line, with the earth curved, when most little children would draw the sky stopping way up in the air, and no horizon. He told me that the earth was curved and explained the need for a horizon line in pictures. It always amazed me, and I tried my best to discuss, not lecture, when he brought things up.
He's a young man, now. I really enjoy watching tv programs with him, discussing things, going out drawing, walking, watching while he rides his bike, etc. He makes things a real joy, most of the time. He even smiles when I wake him up! But, he is shy, and a bit grouchy and grumpy when he gets tired.
I hope he always stays interested, curious, and creative, and happy, for many years to come!
Another person who shares this birthday is Esther.
A big Happy Birthday wish goes out to her, too! Hope you are "kicking your heels up" and having a big day!
Esther and I were always the youngest in our class in school. So we have known each other for many years, and grew up together, as we all did in our small school, and our class, particularly. We both started first grade at age 5 and went off to college at age 16. And we are still friends.
Hope you have many more happy birthdays, Esther! And I hope that you find the right publisher this year, for a great birthday present!
You can click on her name in my sidebar and see some of her writing.
I received a lovely Christmas surprise from Idaho artist, Diana Moses Botkin. I won her lovely book, "Gems From The Edge Of The Earth", in a drawing on her website, . Diana included a copy of her print showing mother and child. I was so thrilled to receive these. Check out her website to see more of her work and information about her book.
Thank you so much, Diana! I'm really enjoying your book, and your work!
I went to a Christmas party at St. Joseph's Manor yesterday. It was about over when I got there, as I had the time wrong.
And, we had to pick up Ashton after his Christmas party at school, first. (For some reason, he complained about a tummy ache, later! I laughed and said, "I wonder why!" They had hamburgers for lunch, pizza, etc. at the party, chicken nuggets after school! I thought he might just be overloaded, but we have all been having tummy problems this week, so it could be a little virus or something.)
We still got to hear a lady playing Christmas Carols on the piano, and the activity director read "The Night Before Christmas". The residents had punch, and I think they had already had refreshments of cookies, etc. I couldn't see that well to tell what was on the serving table.
Since it was Thelma's birthday, I took her a treat, a slice of chocolate pie with meringue on top, and a Coke.
Had a nice conversation with Virginia, and a young lady volunteer from Bryan High, about dance lessons, ballet, modern dance, etc. I remembered how my principal and I laughed until we cried in her office, one time, remembering our experiences in Modern Dance class at Sam Houston. She was over 10 years after me, but she did have the same teacher who had been head of the PE department when I was there. But, that is a different story.
If you have some free time, go by a nursing home and just visit with someone, or read to them. If you like to draw, just sit with your sketchbook and let them watch you draw, or paint. If you sing, or play something, you could do that, too. Share some photos or even your genealogy discoveries. It will be sooooo appreciated! They may not even answer, but it will make someone's day.
While I was out yesterday, I bought Christmas cards, finally. I had to laugh at the ones that sing when you open them! I'll have to make some hot chocolate or have some egg nog later and start my Christmas cards! I know. I should have made them. I always say that, and never get it done! One year, I did include a small watercolor in each card. I haven't really come up with what I think is a smashing idea for an original card, though. I want it to be truly special and different. Maybe if I start now, I'll have something ready in a year or so!
I found a really cute idea online when I searched for free e-cards. I went through the whole process of creating, and, at the end, it said you could send it for $9.95, or subscribe for $39.95! Nothing free about that, so I deleted it!
I really like to go Christmas shopping on New Year's Eve, late in the day, when people are rushing about and there is a good spirit for shopping all around, and think of writing my cards by a fire in the fireplace, with hot chocolate and cookies, by the Christmas tree.
We also finally put up a small Christmas tree in the den last night. The one we always use is in the storehouse and our "strong person" is not able to go back there to carry it in, since he had surgery. I have some smaller things to decorate with that we can put up tonight, maybe, while we have some birthday cake for Ashton.
Christmas cards will be on their way, soon!
Are you thinking about the 21st World Wide Sketch Crawl Saturday January 10? That will be soon after kids return from their holidays, I realized. I'm not sure when the university goes back. Public school resumes here on the 5th.
There's time to plan to participate, so I hope that everyone will.
This time, they offer a cute t-shirt on the website with the logo and the pencil. It isn't required, as the event is Free! But it would be cute to wear while you are out sketching.
Virginia Vaughan has a cute Artist t-shirt on her site, too. . That would be cute to wear when you are out and about, especially doing arty things!
Anyway, plan to join us, or another group near you, or start your own sketch crawl in your own area.
You can click on the Sketch Crawl logo in my sidebar to go to their website any time.
If you need more information or help, let me know. Or, if you want to join us.
It's on the Arts Council of Brazos Valley, Brazos Valley Art League, "The Eagle", KAMU, and KBTX calendars, among other places.
Are you making plans to attend the Plein Aire Painting Workshop in Calvert with Virginia Vaughan Saturday February 21 and into Sunday Feb. 22? This would be a good time to ask Santa for things you may want to take to the workshop!
You might want to make plans to stay in Calvert overnight, especially considering how early the sun comes up, and if you are not local. I am thinking that it might be a good idea to stay over Friday and Saturday nights. I wouldn't want to have to be driving in the wee hours to get there, or have to drive home after a long day of painting, then get up so early the next morning and drive some more to get there in time for painting at sunrise again.
A couple of B&Bs in Calvert have told me that they have rooms available that weekend, if you want to reserve your room early. They are lovely places and I know you would enjoy staying at either place.
The Bird House and Pin Oak B&B have both said that they have rooms available.
There is also camper/rv parking available by special arrangement. Just let us know what your needs are.
There are other B&Bs in Calvert, but I don't know about room availability. The Calvert Hotel is online, but is no longer a hotel. It's a private family home, now. (Would have been a great hotel to have art workshops!)
For information and a supply list, contact me, Cecelia, at .


V....Vaughan said...

LOVE THE TITANIC. Has Ashton seen the weather channel special about it on "When Weather changed History"? It's a good one. I like how the bedspread backdrop looks like waves sinking tthe Titanic. Tell him I said so!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

What a fun report to read of goings on there! Ashton sounds very smart and creative. Your stores of him remind me of my boys who loved their legos too. They also naturally understood perspective in their drawings, even as little guys. It seemed unusually observant.

I'm so glad you are enjoying the book and also the reproduction. Thank you for sharing your excitement about my work with others.

Wishing you and yours a very special celebration of our Lord's birth at Christmas!