Posted in Crafty, Life + Living

Cityscape at The Paint Pub

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I finally celebrated my birthday with friends.  🙂 My birthday was back on July 6th and I knew I wanted to go to the Paint Pub.  The shop sets up canvasses and paint, then leads a class in painting one specific thing.  The one I was really interested in was a cityscape of Minneapolis by way of The Stone Arch Bridge. 

When I got there, I was greeted by a lovely and chipper host who got me all set up at my work station.  The canvas and the easel were already set up, and the paint provided.  While I waited for the class to fill, I browsed a cute little boutique and considered other paintings I could do in the future.

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Towards the back, they had snacks and entrees available, along with wine, beer, and soft drinks.  For myself, I ordered a cheese tray and some ginger ale. There was a woman across from me, though, that ordered a panini that smelled delicious.  She was drinking white wine.

Our instructor began the class with a warm welcome and assured us that we’d hate our paintings at first, but to trust the process.  She said that we’re staring at it up close, so all we’d see is what we thought was wrong, but if we’d take a moment to step back and appreciate it as a whole, that we’d love pour paintings by the end.

It sounded, actually, like sage advice: if you’re looking at something so close that all you can see are the flaws, step back, and look at it from a distance to appreciate it as a whole.  I could definitely see this applying to a few people I know…

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As the class carried on, we were walked through exactly what to do. Everyone had their own perspectives and I heard a lot of people worry over how poorly they were doing.  I made it a point to be amiable, because I love art, and if someone else can discover a passion for it, they should. Far be it for me or anyone else to say someone isn’t good enough. There was a poor girl there, though, who was raising her arm with concerns and questions after every instruction.  She seemed really uncomfortable with the whole process.  Perhaps more wine would’ve helped. 😉

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Even though this one was pretty basic and rudimentary, it was just the kick start that I needed to get me painting again.  I’m thinking about whether I want to do a figure painting, a landscape, or a still life.  I took some photos of sunflowers, though, and I really enjoy depicting them.

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The class wrapped up around 9 and we all had our photos taken with our paintings. They all had different feelings, just like the personalities of the artists. I was glad to have shared the experience with friends 😀

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Posted in Food, Life + Living

Happy Birthday, Ma!

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I hope all of you had wonderful holidays, whichever it is that you celebrate.  The list of 100 things I’m thankful for was queued up and pre-scheduled so that I could take the time to celebrate with my family without being distracted by writing up a blog entry.  After the Christmas festivities died down, my mom’s Birthday festivities started up.  Her birthday was on December 27th, and we made this year unforgettable.  It started with a record-converter from my brother and his girlfriend, hugs, kisses, and a ‘happy birthday’ wish from Papabear, followed by surprise flowers at work from me, then an edible arrangement from my sister and her family.  Today, we (my sister and I) whisked my mom away for a surprise day of complete and utter pampering.  We got leg massages, pedicures, manicures, facial waxing, and back massages.  We drank wine and caught up around my sister’s dining room table and enjoyed just being together.

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Then, we piled into the car and drove to dinner where she was surprised by most of her favorite people – Her husband, her kids and their significant others, her mom, and her friend Becca.  We had a family-style meal at Buca di Beppo and wrapped up the night with a giant brownie sundae (shared between all of us, but photographed to look like she finished it herself).  The whole time, she was never told the financial cost because no matter what the dollar amount adds up to, she’s worth every penny and it was so special that we could do this for her.

Happy Birthday, Mom, we love you.

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