Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Differences Between Kids

(click the above image to be magically transported to my post)

I rambled on about the differences
between my kids today at:
The Mama Dramalogues!

Come on by!


Monday, June 28, 2010

Ahoy, Me Pirate Sock Monkey Embroidery Lovers!

Just had to share because I'm dying of the cuteness that is Captain Monkeybones as an embroidery pattern!

My mom has once again wow'd me by turning one of my illustrations into a pattern for the crafty embroiderers, and I've got to say... never has the Cap'n looked better!

And that crab! I love him.

You can find this pirate sock monkey, as well as some other Elegant Snobbery embroidery patterns in my mom's shop at

Happy Monday, folks!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Flashback: A Portrait and Some Arcadia Love

When I was a freshman in high school, I totally geeked out over the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard. Oh man. Seriously, I have read that play a bajillion times. Just thinking about it now makes me get all fluttery and excited to pull out my battered copy, which I've toted around since 1996, and crack it's broken spine for another read.

What's not to love about this play? Excellent characters, fantastic story, Regency setting, hilarious, dramatic, names that are like sugar on the tongue, such as Thomasina Coverly (go on. Say it aloud) and Septimus Hodge (go on. Say that one aloud, too). Honestly, I could go on and on, but I won't, because now I'm getting all fangirly and I'm afraid to come across as crazy (though I'm sure I am coming across that way anyway...).

Okaaaay, on with my tale. When I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the spring of '96, I saw it performed and flipped out (clearly). So when it came time to do my final project for freshman year Art 1, in which we were to do a pencil portrait, I naturally chose to draw the character of Thomasina. So here she is:

This picture is ginormous in real life, so I had to photograph, rather than scan, but I think it is a decent shot. I wish the photo looked as awesome as the real-life version!

Let me just say, portraits have been one of my most favorite things to draw forever, but when I was fifteen, I was head-over-heels in love with portraits. Nowadays, my work tends to be very illustrate-y, and they all come straight from my head without references, but there was once upon a time when I did fine art, rather than illustration, and portraits were my thing.

Hands, however, have never been my thing. Look, even at fifteen, my hands were a cop-out. Although, I think I was pressed for time with this one. I remember rushing the background, which is why it is patchy instead of smooth. Also, I think the reference photo had windows behind her. Whoops.

And while I'm flashing back to freshman year Art 1 (Mrs. Dillon's class - REPRESENT!), here was my class. Aw, the memories. And funny enough, they are all my Facebook friends. Hurray for social networking. We didn't even have the internet back then (such a weird thought).

If you haven't read Arcadia (show of hands, people... how many of you have ever heard of it? Please say all. Or most. Or some. Or someone. Anyone?) run to your nearest library and grab a copy. Especially if you are the type to geek out over Regency stories and delicious-to-say names.


Have a flashback of your own to share? Well what the heck are you waiting for! Run right over to Tia's blog and join in the flashback fun. Go on. You know you want to.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Handwriting

I was tagged by Jon. Again. This time the tag was a little bizarre and since I'm all for the bizarre, I decided to go on and participate.

Here's how it works. I answer these 9 questions on paper (although I skipped some of them. Also, I thought I was supposed to include my signature because Jon did, but clearly I wasn't following directions, since it doesn't say to) and then post my handwriting for all the world to see. Kind of lame, but shhhhh.... don't tell Jon that.

The Questions:

1. Name/Blog Name
2. Right handed, left handed or both?
3. Favorite letters to write?
4. Least favorite letters to write?
5. Write: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
7. Favorite song lyrics?
8. Tag 7 people.
9. Any special note or drawing?

(click to make the picture larger - and readable)

Look - my signature says Mars Ho. Haha, I'm laughing because I'm immature. But that was an accident. Usually, I just write Mars Hop, because I'm lazy and adding the 'i' and 'a' to my first name and 'kins' to the end of my last name is too much work.

Thanks for the tag, Jon. No really, thanks.

Also, I didn't tag anyone. Sorry. I know Holly, Alyssa, April, Amanda and Marie are devastated since I always tag them. Ladies, if you want to do it anyway, go on. If not, that's fine, too.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Weddings, Kids, Underpants-Showing, and Being Lazy

I find that getting back in the swing of things after being out of town - even if it is only a 4 day trip - is virtually impossible. Or maybe I'm just lazy. Yeah, probably the last one.

But we just got back from my uncle's wedding in Austin, where most of my family lives, and it was absolutely lovely.

Gracie, my hopelessly romantic daughter, was enamored by the entire wedding.

Annelie, my less-than-lady-like daughter, refused to sit in positions that didn't show her Tinkerbell underpants to the world.

Aside from the 8-hour round trip drive, it was a fun long weekend. Family members that I hadn't seen in awhile flew out from various parts of the country, so the days were full of family breakfasts, lunches, dinners, pool parties, pizza parties, Father's Day parties... man, oh man, there was much food to be eaten and eat I did. Maybe that it why I'm struggling to get back into the swing of things... I'm still too full.

Yes. That's it. Forget laziness... I'm just full. Perhaps when all that food digests, I'll get back to reality...



Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Flashback: "Stand Next to Your Sister."

It's been a few months since I've seen my big brother and I've been thinking about him a lot lately, especially when I see the girls playing together, laughing together, watching cartoons together... all the same things I did with my own brother when I was young.

Not to mention, I find myself constantly saying, "Stand next to your sister," something my mother said countless times as she snapped photos of the two of us as kids.
Dan and I are just under two years apart, same as my girls. In school, we were only a grade apart, resulting in us having a lot of the same friends, as well as being in a lot of the same classes together in high school.

Sometimes this was good. For example: I like candy bars and often Dan would hand me a 3 Musketeers as he passed me in the halls, or drop a Butterfinger on my desk while on his way to his own desk (sometimes the desk next to mine, if our teacher was into the whole alphabetized seating arrangement thing) .

Sometimes this was bad. For example: I'd study my butt off with my tutor for a geometry test or a science test and then Dan, who NEVER studied ever, would get a better grade. I found that slightly (read: VERY) annoying.
Dan was a football player in high school, and I was a cheerleader. Whenever he'd make an awesome play during games, all the other cheerleaders on my squad would scream "GO DAN!" extra-loud for him.

Teachers called me "Little Myers." Or just "Dan Myers' sister."

Or, when I was in second grade and had the world's most horrible haircut, I was frequently called, "Dan Myers' brother."

Mostly by Dan's friends, though. I did not enjoy that.
When we were in college, we worked together at a daycare during the school year, and as camp counselors in the summer. He'd always help me plan sport activities with the kids on my sport day and I'd always help him plan art activities on his art day. And every day we worked together with our room full of kindergartners for Kindercare.

He organized an after school street hockey team, called the Thunder Cats, with the elementary schoolers at our daycare. I organized an after school cheerleading team, called the Thunder Kittens, to cheer his hockey players on.

Its funny looking back... I hadn't realized just how close we've been our whole lives.

When I got married, Dan got an online certificate so he could perform our ceremony. When Gracie was a baby, he moved in with us for a few months. My girls adore their Uncle Dan and I can only hope they grow up as friends like Dan and I did.

It's sort of weird not seeing him very often anymore, but tomorrow we are all off to Austin to visit my family and we'll all be seeing Uncle Dan. The girls are very, very excited and I'm looking forward to seeing my big bro, too!


Have a flashback of your own to share? Join in the fun over at Tia's blog!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Most Awesome Bike Jersey On The Planet

Okay, so perhaps I'm a little biased, but I'm flipping out over the bike jerseys that one of my customers had made up for team Alex's Angels who will race this summer in The Children's Hospital Courage Classic bike race in Denver, Colorado. Last summer I showed off the custom illustration I created for them, as well as explained their story and why they are racing (which you can read about here).

This year they are racing again and I got an email from Melisa, Alex's mother, with the sample shirt for their race.

Who would have thought this sloppy li'l sketch would go such a long way...

Last year's illustration...

And now this amazing bike jersey!

Did your jaw drop to the floor?

Mine did.

Absolutely beautiful! Good luck with the race this year, Alex's Angels!


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Sprinklers

Summer is in full swing and in my opinion that means only one thing:


Okay, it means a little more than that, like ice-cream truck ice-cream, barbecues and hawk-like mosquitoes who seem to think I'm part of an all-you-can-eat buffet. But when the sweltering Texas heat melts my skin into a puddle, running through the sprinklers is the only solution to beat the heat that my sun-burned brain can come up with.

The girls, of course, do not object to my cool-down solution. When I was a kid, my brother and I ran through the sprinklers all summer long, but until we moved into our sweet li'l house last October, Gracie and Annelie had only ever lived in apartments, and running through the industrial apartment sprinklers would have brought on crazy-neighbor stares, not to mention full-body bruises from the blast of the water.

These are our very first Hopkins family sprinklers, and running through them for the first time was definitely a monumental occasion. There were no fights to be had, no temper-tantrums, no five-year-old's attitudes, no three-year-old's crankiness, no complaining from anyone... just wild laughing and best-friendness all afternoon.
Amazing how something so simple as water spraying from a hose can be 100% pure magic.

Go on... run through the sprinklers today. You know you want to.

Happy Weekend, folks!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When Yes means YES, Now Stop Asking!

exasperated by my dear darling daughter and
begging for motherly words of wisdom.

Come on over!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Embroidery Cuteness and an Awesome Friend.

My awesome friend April (who happens to be celebrating a birthday today) spoiled me rotten very recently and I just have to share.

April, like myself, is an avid lover of fish-tailed ocean ladies.

April, unlike myself, is amazing when it comes to embroidery! And she is also very spoil-y and sent out this sweet little mermaid just for me!

Look! Her name is Mereesa!

I think it is so adorable that April would incorporate my name, but make a more mermaid-y version of the spelling (the pronunciation is the same, btw). Seriously, how cute is that?

I don't know where April found this little mermaid pattern, but for all the embroidery lovers out there, I just want to point out the new patterns in my mom's shop!

Bird in the Blossoms

This is one that my mom put together using my illustrated birdie and blossoms design. I seriously love seeing her patterns based on my illustrations! She does such an amazing job taking my line work and turning it into something completely fabulous!

And my mom designed this flippin' adorable dandelion.

Ooooh, so fluffy....

And for those of you who love to sew, make yo-yos, AND embroider... my mom has a new pattern for patchwork embellished pillows!

Patchwork Pillows

I can not handle the cuteness. Happy Tuesday, folks!



Sunday, June 6, 2010

Outta the Mouths of Babes.4

3-year-old Annelie thwarting all my attempts
of taking a good, footless picture of her.

My kids. Frustrating and amusing. Here are some snippets of our life, inspired by the snippets of the hilariously awesome WendiWinn.


Scene: Sesame Street LIVE

Big Bird [to audience]: What do YOU want to be when you grow up?

Annelie: A DOCTOR!

Gracie: A GHOST!

Scene: Kitchen - the kids are eating the dinner I've slaved over a hot stove to make for them

Me: Annelie, eat up.

Annelie: No thanks. I'm not starving.

... because apparently a kid needs to be dying of hunger in order to eat the food I cook...


Annelie: I want to watch Fim Fum!

Me: What the heck is Fim Fum?

Annelie: You know. Fim Fum.

Me: I don't know what Fim Fum is.

--elapsed time - 10 minutes--

Annelie: I WANT TO WATCH FIM FUM! Pleeeeeeeeease!

Me [completely losing my sanity]: I DON'T KNOW WHAT FIM FUM IS!



Gracie: She means Tom Thumb, Mom. She wants to watch Super Why.

Me [grumbling because Gracie was sitting there watching the entire frustrating conversation take place]: 'kay, thanks.

Annelie [cheerfully]: I only like to call it Fim Fum.


Gracie [holding up doll for me to inspect]: Mom, who is this doll and what is she from?

Me: That is Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz.

Gracie: You're right! Good job!

Me: Er... I was being quizzed?


Annelie[crying]: Gracie squished my brain!

Me: Um, what?

Gracie [annoyed]: All I did was hit her head.

Me: Gracie, you're on time-out for hitting. [thinking] Annelie, you're a drama queen. But also kind of a genius.


She thinks she is so darned funny.


Setting: Kitchen. Eating store-bought lasagna

Gracie [enthusiastically]: Wow, Mom! You make the best dinner EVER!

Me: Thank you!

Yeah, that's right. I'll take all the credit. Opening the package, heating the oven, and setting the timer was hard work.


Okay, that's all for now.

Happy rest-of-your-weekend, folks!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Flashback: Tales of a 4th Grade Writer

I can tell you exactly when I knew I would be a writer. Fourth grade, I was nine. I had just finished reading a book from my 4th grade teacher's classroom bookshelf, and I loved it so much that when I was finished I turned it straight back to the beginning and began again.

I had never loved a book that much before.

When I was a six-year-old first grader I was in the slow readers group. I can remember the first day of first grade SO clearly, when the kids around me read the words on the bulletin board at the front of the classroom and my face burned because I had absolutely no idea how to read anything. I remember crying when the other slow readers got promoted to the faster groups but I stayed behind.

But I didn't let it discourage me because I wanted to READ. I pulled out my reading folder every night and worked hard at it and by second grade, I was devouring books. I ate them for breakfast. My grandma used to take me to the library on Monday and I'd check out twenty books at a time and have them all finished by the weekend.

But it wasn't until that mystery I borrowed from my 4th grade teacher's shelf that I discovered I want to be a writer. I want to tell stories that people read, flip the cover over and start again from the very beginning.

So I began to write.

And write and write.

In fifth grade, I spent so much time in the family office, hacking away at the black and green screened computer or scribbling on millions of sheets of binder paper, that my mom gave me a file cabinet. Just for me. One wouldn't think a file cabinet would be the appropriate gift for a ten year old, but WOW that was the best gift ever. I had it in my room all through middle school and into high school, the folders stuffed to the brim with my stories.

Years later, I don't have the file cabinet anymore. But I still have those stories.

And the notes, maps and character sketches to go with them.

I was in high school when I went on a search for that influential book from my fourth grade days. I didn't remember what it was called or who it was by, only that it was a mystery about a girl called Meg, who lived in Williamsburg in the seventies (remember when I posted that I was a colonial girl for Halloween in 4th grade? And when I posted that I wanted to be a colonial farmer when I grew up? Yeah... thanks to me geeking out over that 4th grade book).

My teacher had retired years before so his bookshelf was gone. In the mid-nineties, the world wide web was still a fairly newish thing and you didn't find things quite as easily as you can today... but I eventually found it. It took me about three years to find it, but one day I did! Some lady in Canada with a used book store had it and I snapped it straight up. When I got it in the mail and I opened it up, still remembering everything inside it... well, there might have been tears. Just sayin'

Amazing how something seemingly simple like a book on a classroom bookshelf can change a little 9-year-old's life.


Have a flashback of your own to share? Hop on over to Tia's blog and join us for Flashback Friday!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...