Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kandinsky Hack

I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.
And I like Kandinsky.

I like that he tried something new.

First of all, he didn't begin seriously studying art until he was almost 30. I mean, he was a law professor, for crying out loud. He was set. But he left his life as a University lecturer to pursue something completely different. He chose art over security.

He intentionally changed the course of his own life.

How many people actually do that?

Plus, he was basically the first artist to create completely abstract pieces. And he continued to create them even though it irritated some pretty powerful people (ahem... Communists, Nazis).

Finally, he was pals with a guy named Gustav Freytag, who I like to pretend is hiding out somewhere on my family tree.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

At any rate, my Nate and I made our own Kandinsky over the weekend. If you know me at all you won't be surprised to read that it's basically made out of garbage: a painted pizza box and some colorful plastic lids.

The process is pretty self-explanatory, but here are a few photos anyway.

So, tell me: what do you think?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Books: A Top Five

My pal over at Wanderations left an open invitation to participate in a Top Five Books  project. The challenge for me is to limit my favorites to only five. Oh, and not to write an entire post on why I chose each one. In the end I chose, not five books that I simply enjoyed, but five books that in some way defined a season in my life.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

And here's a brief look into my own wanderations:

Nate capturing the sunset in Siesta Key.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Gift of Time

Now that our anniversary has come and gone, I can finally share my gift idea and how I implemented it.

I wanted to give a gift that represented the most important thing we have ever given each other -- indeed, the most important thing we ever can give each other: time.   A clock was the obvious choice, but I needed to find a way to make it meaningful.

You see, my husband has always loved and wanted a clock to chime the hours. With a sort of wistful fondness he has frequently reminisced about the tick and strike of his grandparents' clocks when he was a child.  Because of the sort of history that he already had with such things, I wanted a clock with meaning beyond just a sentimentality for his own past. I wanted it to represent our family and our memories, not just his.

So in January of this year I asked my uncle to find a clock for me. I knew that involving him in the gift would ultimately make it that much more meaningful since my husband holds him in such high esteem. And luckily for me, my uncle repairs and restores clocks in his retirement.

Seeking his help turned out to be a very good decision.

My uncle put this together from two separate auction items.
The actual clock mechanism was purchased and restored first.
He later found the body, which was in pieces and completely blackened.
(P.S. This is one of those times when I wish our home had better lighting. Also, I am moving "paint the office" up on the ToDo list. That wall is just ghastly!)

However, just two weeks before our Big Day I still didn't know if the clock would be ready in time. What I needed was a back-up plan.

So I made a Plan B gift that, while much less impressive, still thoughtfully represented our Time together. It's just a simple list of dates, but I thought it turned out well for a last-minute emergency gift.

I will say that my husband loved both gifts, but his favorite thing of all was the card. Perhaps it's because I rarely give cards. Or it could simply be that I took the time to make it myself. But I like to believe that he loved it because of the obvious amount of thought that went into its creation. When he finished reading it -- and then when he finished chuckling and re-reading it -- he said, "This makes me feel loved."

It's difficult to read, but this is a collection of catch phrases, song lyrics, and movie quotes that we have used over the years when a lengthy conversation was just not necessary. Either one of us can say any of these lines and it immediately invokes ten years of meaning without having to say anything more.

And he is loved.  Very. Meus amor.