Saturday, January 31, 2009

Caldecott winner

So today I got to read the Caldecott Winner, The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and Illustrated by Krommes.

Did it deserve the Caldecott?

Well, I can't really say. But I will say that I really, really liked it. A simple story that reminded me of poems like This is the House that Jack Built or The Napping House, but with a more poetic feel. The illustrations were simple and stylized and very different from my own work, but they were very... charming is the word that comes to mind, but I'm not sure its the word I want. I liked them, anway.

I'll just say that they could definitely have chosen a worse book to give a gold sticker. If you haven't looked at this one yet, give it a try.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Kneaded eraser, how I love thee.
Thy sticky, lumpy grey shape has been much missed these past days.
My figure drawings have been smudged by thy inferior, the Pink Pearl.
Thy ability to distract and amuse is greatly appreciated, even more since you have been missing.
Soft and hard, lumpy and smooth, thy soft grey shade is a comfort to me.

I rejoiced when I discovered thy hiding place beneath my desk. Pray, do not leave me again, I could not bear our separation a second time.


*bows to deafening applause*

*reads over the above*...

You know, maybe I should go to bed. But its only 10 and there is a cleaning check tomorrow.

Life is good.

It's insanely busy and difficult and tiring, but even so, life is good.

I've set myself up for a pretty insanely busy semester. Or maybe I should say awesomely busy, because although my schedule is very tight its chock full of a whole lot of awesome, not to mention that I set myself up for it all, so I can't really complain.

Monday through Thursday the day starts at eight in the morning. Monday/Wednesday its Illustration 1 from 8-11, Tuesday/Thursday its Intermediate Life drawing. After Illustration on M/W I have D&C from 11-12.

After those classes I go home for 1 (MW) or 2 (TTh) hours and head to work from 1-4:30.

My Monday Evening Class, from 5:10-6:50, is Beginning Social Dance. Lots of fun.

Tuesdays I leave work early for Public Speaking from 4-6:30. Swing Club lessons are from 7 to 8:30 ish, and Swing Team practices are right after that. On busy homework days I can skip the club lessons, but not the team practices.

Wednesdays I'll go to Writing for Children from 5:10 until 7ish, unless homework really needs to be done. From 7-11 is Typography, but usually it doesn't go the whole sheduled time.

Thursday nights I have Intermediate Computer Applications (for artists) from 2-10, but I leave early for Swing Team Practice.

Friday I have NO CLASSES. *wipes forehead* WHEW!I do still have work, though. This is my do-homework day.

Saturday there are no classes, of course--another homework day. Swing Kids Club Saturday nights, lessons at 7, dance starts at 8.

Sunday is 9:00 Sacrament meeting and ROommate Dinner sometime late in the afternoon.

And that is life.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Awards... what good are they, anyway?

So how about those ALA awards? What did you think of them? No opinion? Wait, whats that? You didn't WATCH them? Or even look the list of winners afterward?

I feel like a lonely book nerd right now. "Why were you late for class?" "I was watching the ALA awards." "The what?" "You know, the Newbery, the Caldecott, the Printz... those are the big ones, anyway."

Full list of awards here:

So, the Newbery. How about those Fantasy books, eh? We're not focusing on pedantic historical novels kids won't read this year, no sir! Go Newbery committee!

"The Graveyard Book", Neil Gaiman

"The Underneath," by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small
"The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom," by Margarita Engle
"Savvy," by Ingrid Law
"After Tupac & D Foster," by Jacqueline Woodson

I've been meaning to borrow The Graveyard Book from Annie for awhile now, but I think I may now have to steal it from Deidre, who really should be focusing on KoA anyway ;-). I've had my eye on The Underneath and Savvy for awhile now too, I may have to actually pick them up now.

"The House in the Night," written by Susan Marie Swanson

"A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever," written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
"How I Learned Geography," written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz
"A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams," illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant

Ok, unlike the Newbery, the only one of these I'm familiar with is How I Learned Geography, which I read awhile ago and I think I may now have to take another look at it because I don't really remember the artwork. I'll have to look at the others too.

Mo Willems got the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award this year. Who's surprised? Anybody? You know, guys, you can, like, not give him an award one year. Though I will admit to being rather fond of the Elephant and Piggie books in general, and the Pigeon books are entertaining even if they are all basically the same thing.

Well, I might add a bit to this later, but work starts in, um, nine minutes. So off I go.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I made it onto the swing dance team.

Bring on the awesome.

Sorry for calling you so late, Em. But I had to tell somebody.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Letterpress Studio

Typograpy yesterday was totally awesome. Gah. I loved it so much! It was really, really hard though.

We went to the Letterpress studio and actually hand-set type to print. How are you at reading upside-down and backwards?

Most people did shorter messages than I did, so they didn't have the problem of multiple lines of type. My own fault, I guess. So, so, so.

It took the teacher explaining it to me twice before I understood in what order we were supposed to do the letters. You start with the first line but at the end of it, then you put in your leading, then start at the end of the second line, etc. And you're putting this all together upside-down and backwards. And if that doesn't get your brain all tied up in knots, you are more skilled than I am.

When I was getting close to finished setting my type, I realized I had my camera and could document the experience with photos... sweet.


They had lots and lots of drawers, each drawer being a certain font and point size. The font I chose was size 36 optima. We were each given a chart, showing how the letters were arranged in the case (if they had been put back correctly.)


Finally, the whole message was put together. It is a scripture, but after getting all of that on there I hope you'll forgive me if my mind was too tied up in knots to transfer it to a big tray just to do another line upside-down and backwards. So I didn't put the reference on there.


I did a rubbing to make sure I did it right. After doing a rubbing, it is still backwards (but fortunately you can turn it rightside-up... phew). To see it the right way you have to hold it up to the light and look at it the wrong way. Fortunately, I'd done it correctly and didn't need to make any changes.

I bring it over the table so I can... well, I dont remember the term for it. You put pieces of lead around each side of the message and get all the letters in snug enough that they don't drop out if you lift it up by the edges, then tie a string around it. More easily said than done. I probably spent more time on this step than any other, but at least it was a straightforward concept (don't let the letters slide out!) rather than an upside-down and backwards one.


I figured out the trick after spending far too long doing this. What you do is get the letters in all snug, then tie a string around it, which won't ever stay as tight as you want when you pull the knot snug. But this doesn't matter, because once you have the knot tied you wedge in a few more pieces of leading on the edges, which pulls it all tight again. Keep that in mind if ever you are setting type. The teacher did comment afterward that my message was the most successful in keeping all the letters from falling out... hooray!

My message was finally ready to print. There was a bit of a line, so I got to watch a few people do theirs before I did mine. Brooke and Tanner had used a really large type face with big letters and they just completely skipped the Tying the Letters Together step, because the letters were big enough that they just stayed down with their own weight. Which was a little frustrating, I'll admit... but I did do it the right way!

I got Brooke to take pictures of me when I printed my message.

I bring my try of letters over, waiting for the previous message to be removed before placing mine on the press.

The teacher helps slide my message off the tray and onto the press.

Here it is, on the press.

I ink the roller...

Then ink the letters.

The teacher checks to see that I've inked all the letters evenly.

I place a piece of paper over the message...

And crank the roll over it.

I do this eight times.


So now I have eight copies... ta-da!

If GOD be for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

That thingy by the D is called a dingbat. Not necessary or even very nice-looking, but I just really wanted to use something called a dingbat. Probably would have looked nicer at the end of the message... ah, well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Swing, Monkey Koala, Swing!

My calves hurt from dancing. Ow.

Annilyn! I found someone to wear your totally awesome Stained Glass Russian Monkey Vest! Thanks for sending him all the way from Australia. I miss you, but in his new outfit, this little guy brings me joy. But don't stay away too long, ok?


I just got back from trying out for the Swing Dance team here. I felt pretty good about my tryout. If I do make it I'll be thrilled but it'll take alot of time, so its kind of a toss up--I'd love to make it and be on the team, but if I don't I'll have more time for other activities. Less athletic/social ones, certainly (painting or reading, probably) but other worthwhile activities nonetheless.

Wish me luck!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cool Pics

You know, some of these just look really cool. I'm not all that into boats or that, but really... cool, no?
(Mom, show Dad)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

StudentReligion Symposium

Dear Students,

The 2009 Religious Education Student Symposium committee was impressed with the scholarship and writing ability shown in the submissions. Congratulations to each of you! It was a difficult task to narrow down the number of papers.

Here is a list of those students whose papers have been accepted to be presented at the symposium on February 27, 2009:

Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Sarah Bowthorpe
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person
Random Person

Early next week, Patty will be getting in touch with those of you accepted to present, so be looking for an email from her. She will let you know when your papers and review sheets will be ready for you to pick up, as well as giving you additional information.

Again, congratulations to each of you for your excellent papers.

2009 Religious Education Student Symposium Committee


I usually read my e-mails in the order I recieved them, going bottom up. I had two e-mails this morning, so I clicked on the first and as it loaded I glanced at the other and I was suddenly Very Nervous. The results weren't due until the fifteenth! I'm supposed to have two more days to worry about this!

The First time I read down the list I totally looked over my name, and my heart just dropped. I couldn't believe it. But then I looked down the list again, a bit more slowly this time. Then I did a double-take. My name WAS there... the eighth on the list!

February 27. Put it on your calendar.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Last Year's Books, This Year's School

For a report on Mexico, see Emily's blog. I don't have access to pictures and why re-do something thats already been done well?

The first week of the semester is over! Hooray! Its Friday, so its still a school day I guess, but I have no classes Friday, so hoorah! (I still have work though. But thats fine.)

Before I actually get into how my week went, I'm going to do a somewhat belated "The Books I Read Last Year" post.
Except I'm really disorganised. Last year, when I saw everyone else's book posts, I was like, how totally awesome, I am so doing that this year!

So I started keeping track of what I read. I only wrote down titles, and I'm too lazy to look up the authors I don't remember, so look them up yourself if you're curious. Asterisks indicate favorites. If It's a re-read, I say how many times I'd read it. If its in Parenthesis, I didn't finish it.

Fly By Night
Rachel & Leah
The Invention of Hugo Cabret

To Say Nothing of the Dog*
Dragonhaven (2nd)*
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
The Hollow Kingdom

Beauty (3rd or 4th)
Mira, Mirror
The Princess and the Hound
Dealing with Dragons
Searching for Dragons

(Calling on Dragons)

This is when I lost the list and stopped keeping track. I'm very disorganized, as I said. On our summer road trip I remember reading:

Howl's Moving Castle* (3rd and 4th)
Sorcery and Cecelia
The Eagle of the Ninth
Mr. Midshimpan Hornblower

And a few others, the titles aren't coming to mind.

Then in August I said, this disorganized thing is really dumb and I'm going to overcome it... at least in this area. So I bought a Really Pretty little book I could keep in my purse to write down the books and also a short review. Since then, I've kept track pretty faithfully. I think I missed a couple books, but this is a fairly complete list.

House of Many Ways
The True Meaning of Smekday
Cart and Cwidder
The Pinhoe Egg*
Chalice ARC*
Drowned Ammet

(The Queen's Own Fool)
(The Secret Life of Bees)
A Swiftly Tilting Planet* (2nd)
The Spellcoats
The Crown of Dalemark

(Nation ARC)
Seven Daughters and Seven Sons
Among the Hidden
Emmaline and the Bunny ARC

Dragonhaven (3rd)
Eon: Dragoneye Reborn ARC*
The Winter Prince*
A Coalition of Lions*
The Sunbird*

The Lion Hunter
Things Not Seen
The Merlin Conspiracy
Wings ARC
The Winter Prince* (2nd)

The First book of this year: The Empty Kingdom*

Thats 47 books. So, with the time I wasn't recording and the books I may have forgotten to put down, I'd that I read 50-60+ books last year.

So, this week.

I thought this semester would be less busy than last semester. Last semester I had 16.5 credits, this semester only 14.5. Not that big a difference, but still.

Well, I'm going to be just as busy this semester. Busier, in fact. For several reasons. Firstly, because I actually arranged my classes so that I can do extra activites I couldn't do last semester because classes were in the way--namely, swing dance lessons and social dance club. And if I decide I want to be even busier, I'm going to try out for one of the swing dance teams, and there goes my life. Why yes, I am insane, thanks for asking.

Another reason this semester is going to busier is that I really like ALL of my classes. I have 4 art classes, 1 religion class, and 2 fun classes. This equals homework I actually want to do and won't be convinced by my Awesome Roommates Whom I Love Too Much to do poorly/ignore in favor of having Much More Fun with them.