Thursday, July 19, 2012

Circus Dreams

Did you enjoy the circus as a kid?  For me the circus is a bit of nostalgic fantasy.  I recall going to the circus a couple times, but the recollection is pretty hazy.  It may not be recollection, but fiction.  Who knows?  I am not doing any better with my children.  They bug me to go to the circus, but we never make it there.  It seems that the circus breezes in and out of town so quickly and our schedules are usually already full.  Then there is the question of price.  Like a gigantic circus balloon itself, the powers-that-be have inflated the price of a ticket to something that floats out of reach for most families.

Besides, who needs a circus when life itself consists of three rings of chaos- on a good day? Take yesterday for instance.  At 9:30 the kids and I troop downstairs to the car to make a "quick trip to Michael's".  My daughter wanted to decorate a birthday cake for her daddy.  She baked a chocolate mint cake and planned to cover it in light green fondant and embellish it with the Green Lantern symbol.  My son had made Star Wars cookies and needed icing.  Rather than Martha Stewart it the whole way, I decided to take a short cut- the cake decorating aisle at Michael's.

We did NOT get to Michael's.  The car would not start.  AAA came to my rescue, only to inform me that I needed a tow truck- not a battery jump.  So, three hours later- that's three hours of pacing in front of my windows- the tow truck finally arrived.  During that three hours I worried about how to pick up my grandmother for dinner, prepare dinner, finish the birthday desserts, and pick up my car. After watching my car disappear down the road I surrendered to the need to cut my losses.

I pulled out the mixer- again.  (Remember, we had already made the cookies!  Thank goodness we baked the cake a day early.)  I made a batch of royal icing.  Then kids descended upon me!  How can two kids feel like an invading army of locusts?  With their four hands flailing and the threat of permanently coloring every surface in my kitchen looming over me I felt as though I should be beating off an army of locusts.  (If you have ever used paste food coloring, you know how messy it can be.)  But, we managed to mix several colors and get them into ziploc baggies without tie-dying my countertops. 


   And then, I took a deep breath and turned them loose!

Yep!  I needed a shower and the peace that comes from steamy enclosures.  Good thing I took the shower when I did.  Shortly after stepping out of the shower I heard a clatter, frantic voices laced with imminent tears, and a flurry of activity.  The tray of decorated cookies had collapsed throwing my children’s sugared artwork onto the floor.   Tie-Fighters crumbled, bounty hunters fell, and even Yoda lost appendages! 

We salvaged what we could, finished icing cookies – which meant simply squeezing on coils of royal frosting, meticulousness had become boring- then frosted the cake.  Needless to say, my hopes of seeing my art studio died with the car in the morning.

But back to the magic of the circus- despite the fact that I have no strong memories or fantasies about the circus, I have been drawn to circus images lately.  And when I signed up to swap Matchbook Cover books at the Smeared and Smudged blog, I saw a chance to explore this theme.  I am committed to making two of these books.  I have finished one. Please visit my Flickr photo stream to see all the pages.  There is a link at the bottom of my blog.  (If it doesn't work, please let me know.)

Also, I signed up this week to take a Copic Certification class in August.  I am so excited!  I guess this week has been more productive than I thought.

It really helps to take a step back and evaluate each week.  I hope you get a chance to do the same.  It’s like sitting on the trapeze and looking downward- when you can see all the rings simultaneously, the chaos seems to disappear.

Be the best Ring Master you can be this week- after all, it’s your show!


  1. I bet the cake and cookies tasted totally delicious because of the hands on involvement - a countertop can always be wiped and a little extra colour - your house is loved.
    Some days are what they are that's for sure!
    The good thing about chaos it makes you cling tighter to the tightrope and adds lots of spice.
    Love your funky card.

    1. Julie, it warms the cockles of my heart to hear from you. And you are certainly right about the spice. Goodness knows I like me some spice!

      Thanks for the reminder that the home is "love", not clean counter-tops. After all, when my children fly the nest I don't want them to remember "Mom always had clean countertops." (Believe me, there is no danger of that!) But I do want them to remember that I gave them room to stretch their creative limbs, even if that meant a little extra bleach and few extra go's with the vaccuum.

      I hope to hear from you again.

  2. Ah the best laid plans...never turn out the way we hope do they? I myself only have one little monster and somehow whenever I need to get something done he has the power to replicate himself a hundred times..ha! You are going to LOVE the Copic certification class...I took it last August and it was great...still waiting for the intermediate Certification to come back around :) As always thanks for an enjoyable read...hope you get to visit your art studio soon. I'm currently avoiding mine at the moment it appears that the craft apocalypse has occurred down there.

    1. Darn that craft apocalypse! They seem to occur at a frightening rate.
      I am really looking forward to the copic class. Since I am taking it on a whim and have no good reason take a fast track, I declined the opportunity to take the intermediate class that would occur the next day. Figured I should try to slow the financial hemorrhage. I figure I'll be wanting to go shopping immediately after capping the last Copic that afternoon! But I hope you get an opportunity soon.

  3. I'm still laughing about your "day". For some reason when the kids are little there seem to be more of those types of days. Savour them. I'm sure you will enjoy that Copic Cert Class. I took the first one here a couple of months ago and can't wait to take the Intermediate one. It really ignites your imagination! Hope your car recovers and you too. :-)

  4. Looking forward to your visit! I'm sure you'll be able to teach me a new thing or two about Copics afterwards! :)


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