Archive | September, 2008

Steampunk…

29 Sep

Mosaic

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

I received a message over the weekend inquiring if I was spamming keytags by referring to one of my pieces as “Steampunk”… Here is my take on why steampunk is an appropriate description of some (but most definitely not all) of my work….

…My work, the piece you linked (my harvest pendant) and many others follow the concept of steampunk as a blend of old and new-both of materials and design concept, and above all, the aesthetic of the completed. total piece… In my case it is metalwork that is inspired by the Victorian era, but not constrained by it, and I combine this with more modern components (some vintage, 30+ years old, but still modern to the Victorian era) for a look that I believe, has a little magic to it and as a whole is something a citizen of the steampunk world would hold dear…

Here are some descriptions and explanations I have found helpful…Perhaps you have a couple to share as well…
http://etheremporium.pbwiki.com/What%20is%20Steampunk%20Fashion

Wikipedia offers a fabulous description of steampunk, steampunk subculture (including fashion), and art and design:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

Coincidentally, MTV also offered this bit on Steampunk, today…
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1595812/20080926/abney_park.jhtml

I am curious though as to what definition of steampunk is resulting in any curiosity over possible spamming of keytags in regards to some of my pieces…

I think on Etsy steampunk, according to the search returns, has long since crossed over from the very (broad) essence of steampunk (according to the descriptions/definitions I have mentioned) to being very specifically, for the most part, creations of watch and clock and other assorted mechanical parts combined with brass stampings. While these are most certainly accepted details by many who appreciate steampunk, and there are some fabulous creations (I have always been a fan of clockworks and cogs and such), I do not subscribe to the idea that they are the one and only aesthetic option…

The definition of steampunk style or fashion, is one that is open to interpretation. I am fascinated and drawn to the steampunk aesthetic as it is based on reinvention and the array of unique creations in the steampunk world is startling, to say the least.

It is up to us, as artists, to create our own art based on our understanding and translation of the aesthetic.

I hope this clarifies this for anyone who has questions…Of course, please comment if you have additional questions or concerns… I’m always happy to discuss these things…

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Rubik’s Confusion

27 Sep

Rubik’s Confusion

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Finished the language and speech part of kiddo’s evaluation with the county folks…

Turns out he’s on the upper end of the average range or above it on all things.

Except one.

In receptive language he is severely impaired.

While we had a bunch of work to do before this, now we can focus a little, but I feel like we are snowed in and a little panicked…

Even though this isn’t really news to us. I mean, the term “receptive language” and all of the other language stuff is, well, like a foreign language to me. We knew something was going on, we still don’t know what, but at least we have some validation to our observations which is little comfort, but at the same time, I am forever second guessing myself in a way that I’m going backwards from acceptance and I’m trying to reach for denial with all of my might so maybe I can just curl up with kiddo there and pretend everything is 80’s sitcom normal. But I never get there. And I’m really tired. We could all use the break. But there are no breaks in sight…

So the eval (we haven’t had our formal review yet) was on Thursday and on Friday I came home from a pharmacy run and boy told me a story. Then he told me another one. My little boy stood there and very slowly and meticulously told me something that happened in his day. There was a beginning, a middle, and an end.

He is five.

He told me that he came home and there was a box from amazon.com on the chair. He told me that he looked inside and it was empty. He told me the box didn’t belong on the chair. He told me that he brought the box to the recycling bin. He told me that with Daddy’s help they smashed up the box and put it in the recycling bin.

It was the most gripping account of anything I have ever heard in my entire life.

My little guy doesn’t tell stories. He doesn’t have conversations where he is an active participant in the dance that is a conversation. He blurts stuff. He collects facts. He runs into the room and announces that “The big radio at Target looks like a face” and runs out… He is random yet structured in every part of his life. He does not tell stories. He does not answer questions.

Later that evening I was snuggling with him in the big bed before story time. I asked him about school and the other kids. He has been having a hard time. I asked him why he couldn’t finish his lessons in class today (according to his teacher via my husband).

I expected nothing, except perhaps a change of subject. Lately, his obsession is smoke alarms and fire sprinkler systems, so I was expecting the step by step run down of the sprinkler trigger mechanism.

Instead, he told me- slowly and step by step – that one of the younger kids came over and took his blue colored pencil and broke it so he could not do his lesson.

I was floored.
I asked him if he told the teacher and he said no. So we talked about what to do next time something like that happens. Of course, from what I know of the way his brain works, the solution we discussed can and will only apply to the very same situation, with the very same child, and the very same lesson, and the very same blue pencil. He is very literal and rigid about these things.

But he told me, and we talked about it.

Today everything was back to the usual. The three of us are just so shell shocked with everything in our lives that we were all pinging off the walls and irritating each other.

But that one glimpse of his problem solving with the box, and what happened at school, were the greatest gifts.

Hopefully, when the rhythm of school begins again in the new week, we’ll be able to have more of these talks. I don’t think he is understanding it yet, but I think he is working on memorizing conversational and story patterns…But if that is the case, at least I can get that glimpse into his school day, that may help him more than anything else…

And, faithful reader, if you have read this far, you are probably wondering about the picture…

Hubby was taking a picture of kiddo with his new Rubik’s Cube (he can’t mix up the colors, it will put him over the edge and if he finds out the stickers come off none of us will ever sleep again….) and told him to hold the cube in his hand…

So he is holding the cube in his hand….

The Truth Freaking Hurts.

24 Sep

For the past few weeks I’ve been having mega-low energy.  Lower than usual.

Because I haven’t been the most physically active Mama over the past few weeks (or rather less physically active than usual because my energy is low and my muscles aren’t obeying lately) I have been trying to make time for kiddo combined with a little rest…We are trying a more structured afternoon here, so having this sort of Mama and kiddo time of any sort seems to be just what kiddo and I needed…

This week so far I am feeling a little better and actually getting around the house a little easier and even took some new photographs, reorganized some work trays, and plotted some other things I need to do on my calendar…  So, I took a little quiet work with me so I could get something done while I was mildly alert and while boyo was eating his snack, while we both watched a movie…

Half way through the movie, kiddo started rearranging my work tray, as my work wasn’t making a pattern and he needs patterns…. I asked him to please stop and he said he wanted to help me with my work so I wouldn’t have to work so much.

I felt like such an arse.  I haven’t been working that much but I do most of my work when he is getting home from school as the morning is a bizarre game of fatigue just running me down.  I wake up. I get out of bed. I go to the kitchen to make tea.  Before it is ready I have to go sit down on the bed but I barely get there because my limbs are too worn to propel me.  This goes on for a couple of hours. Once the 2 cups of tea and the diet dr. pepper kick in along with my ADD meds, I usually have around 2 hours to do whatever I have to do.  This is going to make me lose my last marble.  I went through similar fatigue in January and I stopped taking on new custom work.   I hope this fades faster as I really do miss being at least mildly productive and I miss the interaction, the dance, that is the custom process….

Anyway, I was talking to kiddo and I asked him if he likes spending movie time with me in the afternoon (his dad is doing the active and more focused work with him) and he said he did.   As it turns out he wants to spend more time with me and doesn’t feel like I have spent time with him.  I get this, I do. I understand it.  The balance is elusive for moms who are healthy.

I asked him if he remembers spending time together when he was a very little guy and he said he did. I asked if we had fun and he told me that we went to the doctor’s office.  He is right, we were in doctor’s offices for his stuff and my stuff, at least twice a week for his first few years.  But that broke my heart.  His most vivid memories of me from his earlier years were in doctor’s offices, and going to sleep at the hospital and waking up with the booboo on my neck.   These things make him very sad. He told me he is worried.  “About what?” I asked. “About you” he replied.  I replied, “that’s funny, I was worrying about you!”…And then I broke down.

I guess somewhere, deep down, I was hoping that maybe he wouldn’t remember.  Or that those things were our normal wouldn’t bother him so much.  But they do.  And they bother me too.

Awesome!

22 Sep

Awesome!

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Found this at Ada’s market a few months ago and bought it for the boys… Fairly healthy (better stats than the frozen stuff and some of the mixes) and easy as pie, um I mean flapjacks….

And you can make as many as you want and refrigerate the rest…
So with just one pan and a spatula (and no bowls and mixing spoons) you can have single serving flapjack craving bliss anytime….

Wooohoo!

(it works like those cans of whipped cream…I think I forgot to mention that…)

Spin!

20 Sep

Ultimate Spin top

Originally uploaded by CleverGirlBek

Gyrobix

I think this is the new favorite in our home…It takes the whole spin top thing to another level…I also think boyo’s OT is going to love this when we show it to her… Works all sorts of systems and it is fun… We are all entranced by this!  Thanks Grandma Julie!  

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