It's all about the little things…

Tag Archives: art

Week 48-Costumes and Charities, Day 6-Bob Ross


Happy Halloween everyone!  Even though we had exactly zero trick-or-treaters tonight we still had a great evening, because Scott found out this morning that he was the winner of $150,000 grant!  Whoop whoop!  Today is definitely a happy day which totally reminds me of Bob Ross and his “happy trees”.  I have only seen one couple dress up in costume as Bob and his trees, but I still think it was one of the funniest costumes ever.  It’s one of those costumes that you automatically think, “Why did I think of that?”  Thanks for teaching us the joy of painting, and how to make happy little trees whenever our hearts desire.

Happy trees!

I am most definitely not a painter, but I am a pretty awesome doodler.  Apparently so are Betty White, Jodie Foster, Donald Trump, and John Travolta.  This Thursday Doodle for Hunger will host its twelfth celebrity auction to benefit St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters.  These original works of art, with the signature of the celebrity, will be sold after an evening of good food and fun.  SFFPS was established to help alleviate the physical and emotional hunger that poor families suffer on a daily basis.  SFFPS provides food, clothing, shelter, and other programs to help end the hunger cycle like counseling and job training to thousands of people each year.  With over 22 locations all of New York City, Long Island, and even New Jersey SFFPS it gets the thumbs up from The Donald.  It turns out that you can also Run and Spin for Hunger, and help feed hungry souls.  With Thanksgiving approaching rapidly this need weighs on our hearts more and more everyday.  Mr. Ross also inspired many young people out there to pick a brush and get their paint on.  Young Audiences for Learning Art is working to accomplish the same goal.  Started back in 1952 YALA now has 30 affiliates across the United States that provide schools in in-school, after-school, summer, and family programs that excite young people about art.  YALA brings young artists together with professionals of all types of disciplines so they are able to learn, create, and participate in any and every art they have an interest in.  They reached over 7 million children in almost 7,000 different schools just last year.  YALA believes that the arts should be an essential part of every student’s education.  I’m pretty sure Bob would agree.

Doodle for Hunger Donation

Young Audiences of Learning Art Donation 

So here’s to you Bob Ross!  You had the big fro and the endless smile that everyone loved to tune in to on PBS.  Your birthday was actually just a couple of days before Halloween, so it only seems right to give you a shout-out.  Mr. Rogers and his puppets had nothing on you and your brushes.  Thanks for bringing out the artist that is buried somewhere inside of all of us.

Week 37-What’s for dinner? Day 3-Fiesta Friday!

You guys have already read about the celebration of Mexican Monday in our household, but this week we’re all about Fiesta Friday!  Grilled Mexican pizzas, chicken enchiladas, cheesy yummy dip, salsa, chips, and what would FF be without some margaritas?  There’s just something about Mexican food that puts me in a good mood, and it’s great a great excuse to get together and hang out with some fun people.  I realized we’ve pretty much Americanized all the authenticity out of Mexican cuisine, but I’m still thankful for anything that is delivered into my mouth on a tortilla chip.

Eating all this delicious food from other cultures always piques my interest in what life is like in their native land.  Granted, I’ve been to Mexico but to some of the touristy spots possible, so I don’t really count those as immersing myself in the culture.  We’re so lucky as Americans to have places like the National Museum of Mexican Art to help us appreciate everything about culture we don’t have the chance to visit in person.  The NMMA sponsors exhibitions and events that showcase the rich visual and performing arts that is prevalent in Mexican culture.  They also offer educational program to the public about art in Mexico, and work to develop a significant permanent collection at the museum in Chicago.  Founded in 1982, the NMMA is the largest Latino art museum in the nation and it’s free to visit everyday!  The only thing I like better than museums, is free museums.  One man who knows all about salsa, and any other kind of condiment you could want, is Mr. Paul Newman.  All of the profits from his Newman’s Own branded products are donated to charity.  Now that is famous actor has switched from movies to philanthropy full-time The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps that he established in 1988 are expanding more than ever.  This year-round center serves children and their families cop with sickle cell anemia, cancer, and other serious diseases.  In 2011 alone, the camp will be able to serve more than 17,500 sick children.  Oh and did I mention that all of the services provided at the camp are totally, completely, 100% free of charge?  Pretty amazing what some salsa and salad dressing, and of course generous donors like you guys out there, can do!

National Museum of Mexican Art Donation

The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Donation

So here’s to you Fiesta Friday!  You are the most exciting and glamorous friend to our beloved Mexican Monday.  You create another opportunity for me to eat some yummy Latin American inspired cuisine and festive salt-rimmed beverages.  You really know how to get the party started, and help us remember to be thankful for the important things in life.  Seriously, who could live without sour cream and tequila?

We meet again my old friend!

Week 33-Modern Marvels, Day 7-Camera

My interest and love of photography has grown over the years.  Scott likes to joke that I’m the designated photographer of the family.  I am definitely not a professional shutterbug, but I do like to try.  Cameras are also great because it’s one of the original ways we had to document our lives.  You may not have ever met your grandmother, but I bet you know what she looks like because you’ve seen a picture of her.  Pictures don’t make us who we are, but they do help us remember where we came from.

It turns out that I’m not the only one who appreciates the art of photography.  Marwen is an organization dedicated to educating and inspiring under-served young people in the visual arts.  MW was founded in 1987, with only four students attended the first drawing class, but they have grown into a state-of-the-art facility that teaches more than 85 courses a year.  MW has four different programs: Studio; College & Career; Alumni; and Marwen Institute.  The Studio program lies at the core of their mission, and they make sure their students are well-educated in a wide range of media including painting and drawing, ceramics and sculpture, printmaking, technology, and more.  Chicago is the perfect place for MW because the teachers and students are able to take advantage of its deep roots in arts, culture, architecture, and history.

Remember Bryan Adams?

If learning how to take a picture or paint a portrait can keep a kid on the right path, I say, art on!  You guys remember the crooner Bryan Adams?  He sang “Summer of ’69”, and the infamous love song from Robin Hood “(Everything I do) I do it for you”.  I’m imagining all you out there nodding your heads now.  Well it turns out that he’s also a very talented photographer, as well as the founder of the Bryan Adams Foundation.  BAF was founded shortly after the tsunami that hit southern Asia in 2006 to help people who are helping other people.  BAF provides grants to support specific projects that people all over the world submit.  The main mission of BAF is to protect the most vulnerable people in society, and give the gift of an education to as many individuals as possible.  The list of projects on their website that they have supported blew me away.  They are serious about aiming to transform thousands of lives.  Everything they do, they do it all for us.

Marwen Donation

Bryan Adams Foundation Donation

So here’s to you cameras!  Even though you’re not really essential to our survival like a stove, life would not be nearly as memorable if you weren’t around.  You help us capture the moments we never want to forget, and some we wouldn’t remember otherwise.  You come in so many shapes and sizes and have so many cool features to make us all feel like professional photographers.  And who doesn’t love those camera commercials with Ashton Kutcher in them?  Thanks for that!

He's so stinkin' cute!

Week 23-Emotions, Day 7-Needed

needed past participle, past tense of need (Verb)

1. Require (something) because it is essential or very important: “I need help now”.

This is a very big week for lots of students at West Virginia University, because graduation is on Saturday!  For me, this means lots of work for me at my School of Pharmacy job.  I didn’t really know anything about pharmacy, or pharmacy school before I started this job but now I’m pretty much an expert.  Okay, not really, but I can stuff a graduation envelope and type 84 graduating names like nobody’s business.  I love being busy and feeling like I’m needed.  Maybe it’s the type A personality or the aptly diagnosed ESFJ “Provider” personality that makes me this way, but I love helping people.  Helping to make sure someone gets their oath of a pharmacist in their graduation packet may seem futile for you, but I’m thankful for the chance.

Dramatic Needs reaches out a helping hand...

Everyone has different things that they need in life, but universally we all need love and glue.  Laugh, but it’s true.  Needing love is pretty obvious, but if you think about it I bet there have been several times in your life when you wished you had some glue and you didn’t.  The non-profit Kids In Need Foundation works to provide both for school kids across our nation.  Since 1995, KINF has been giving away free school supplies to students who need them to be successful in class.  They have three main programs they use to get these gratis supplies to students and teachers.  They have resources centers where teachers can shop for free to get the supplies they need for their classroom, teachers are also awarded grants through KINF to provide new and exciting learning opportunities, and lastly school boxes with supplies are distributed to kids K-8 by corporate sponsors.  I think KINF needs a round of applause!  School supplies are a very concrete and tangible need that school kids have, but hotties like Hayden Christensen and Josh Harnett believe that kids also need drama.  Not the reality-show-make-an-ass of yourself kind either.  Dramatic Need is a charity that sends local and international actors, musicians, and artists to South Africa and Rwanda to host creative arts workshops for underprivileged kids.  Music, art, and drama can provide an outlet for theses African children to better cope with poverty, hunger, and disease.  Almost 5,000 children are reached in 19 different schools because of the hard work KINF and its volunteers provide.  Most people should still stick with the saying, “Save the drama fo yo momma”, but these kids can be as dramatic as they like!

Kids In Need Foundation Donation

Dramatic Needs Foundation

So here’s to you needed!  You are that emotion that reminds us that if we weren’t around, there would be some sad people.  It could be our boss, our kids, our spouse, or even our parents who makes us feel this way.  I actually love feeling this way because it is usually accompanied with feeling loved and wanted; two other great feelings.  You may not be an emotion that I experience on a daily basis, but thankfully, you always show up when I need an ego boost.

True story

Week 15-Mis Amigos, Day 1-Devon

I’ve wanted to write about the great friends I have in my life for a while now, and after reading the always funny and witty Tequila Mockingbird, I decided it was time.  I totally agree with her that I much prefer quality over quantity and I love that I’ve known most of my friends since I was 13.  We’ve all decided we have to continue to be friends for the rest of our lives because we now know way too much to turn back now.  Devon is my family and I wouldn’t be who I am today without her.  Her creativity, tender heart, incredible spirit, and clumsy feet continue to inspire me, amaze me, and remind me how thankful I am to have her in my life.

Cheers to you Devon!

Devon started this amazing project called Spare Room along with her brother Donovan and a hand full of other friends and creative thinkers.  They work to utilize alternative spaces, like grocery stores and empty store fronts, to foster conversations across disciplines and promote experimental thoughts.  I’ve only been able to participate in these awesome projects and events from afar but they continue to remain undefinable and push the creative envelope.  Plus there is free food and booze at all of their events.  Creative and smart.  Little Miss Devon is also an insanely talented

Spare Room Success!

artist in her spare time.  When we traveled and lived together in Europe she was my tour guide in all of the museums and exhibitions we visited.  She was perfect because I was a foreigner in this land of art and she was my translator.  She explained to me that museums don’t fund themselves.  The admission we were paying to visit these one a kind collections of art was helping to make sure they stayed open and provided education to the public.  Even though artists don’t like to play favorites, Devon really loves to visit the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, especially with her Dad.  The museum uses the intellectual resources of a great research university to their advantage and serves as a laboratory of the arts.  Their multidisciplinary approach to learning makes Nasher a unique cornerstone of the arts for Duke University, the community, and the state of NC.

Spare Room Donation

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University Donation

So here’s to you Devon!  You create beautiful works of art (just not for me) and community changing events that people love to attend.  You are a reader, a thinker, a beauty, a lover, a sister, a student of life, and most importantly a giver.  You gave me a huge hand-made card for my 17th birthday (which I still have) and you haven’t stop giving to me since.  Now you’re giving back to people who you don’t even know in places you’ve never been.  Thank you for giving me the best gift ever, your love.

Us in a nutshell