Tuesday, December 01, 2009

the title has been lost

After two years of keeping my crown as the Thanksgiving Monopoly champion, I have been dethroned. In a battle that raged from 1 in the afternoon to 9 at night, my title was taken. Paige systematically destroyed me. The title is rightfully hers. Paige, Penny and for that matter Abby (while she was playing) out played me. They had me on the ropes from the beginning. The only thing that kept me in long enough was Crystal somehow getting taken out early, and Abby loosing interest. So, all hail Paige, the current Thanksgiving Monopoly champion.

On other notes, life has been frantic traveling for presentations and juggling the different design studios. The season also keeps things busy, and this year it looks to be exceptionally so. I have been trying to fit writing into the small spaces of time, but have not done as much as I should. With all of the stress of my schedule, I think I am compromising taking care of myself. This is another matter that needs to be addressed. Today is the first day in a few weeks that I actually feel good. Sticking to healthy food and lots of tea and water for a while. Hopefully this will put things back on track.

Time to knock things off of the list.

Friday, November 13, 2009

happy birthday

Happy birthday dad. I hope you have a great one. 

Monday, November 09, 2009


Back again after a long but wonderful weekend. When Crystal and I were in New York we saw the Broadway show Wicked. We decided the girls would have loved it, so when we found out it was coming to Denver, we made sure we grabbed some tickets. Saturday was our day to see it. The girls were beside themselves with excitement. Our seats were amazing, but I think I spent most of the show staring at their faces. That was truly the show. The best part about the day had to be the fact that Paige really controlled her anxiety. If we had tried this a year ago, it would have been traumatic and one of us would have stayed with her in the lobby. She has come so far.

Sunday we spent the day outside of a King Soopers working for the Got Dreams foundation. Got Dreams was started by a man who, years ago, donated one box of food to a family for Thanksgiving. Every year he doubles his commitment. This year he is up to six hundred Colorado families. The girls really enjoyed the day, tallying the food we had been given. It amazes me how generous people can be.

Now it is on to a busy week for ideaFarm which is a great thing. There is potential for some exciting opportunities on the horizon. More on that later.

Monday, November 02, 2009

happy birthday Abby

Better late then never. I have been delinquent in my updating of the blog for a week or so. In that time we have had many parties. Abby has had a friend birthday party, and a family birthday party. We also had our very large halloween party, then on halloween itself, we ended up having people over. The thought of another one might break me. Fortunately there are none on the horizon. In all, all of the parties were fun and we are lucky to have so many good friends. This photo of Abby on her actual birthday sums it all up.

Monday, October 05, 2009

many changes and a trip to a graveyard

There are many things changing in my life, in particular my work. I am really looking at this opportunity as a positive. It is a chance for me to explore new directions. There are moments of complete panic, but I think what I feel most is excitement. When you stay in one place for too long, you begin to forget what you set out to do in the first place. So - the adventure begins.

On another note, I have always enjoyed wandering around old cemeteries and graveyards, to my surprise, my girls wanted to join me in exploring a really large one in town. It is full of old crypts and a large mausoleum. The girls really enjoyed it, and we had a lovely afternoon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

the farm

So, I think idea farm is going to be brought back from the dead. I struggled with the idea of shutting it down in the first place, but due to the direction my life was heading it seemed like the right thing to do. After the time away, I think it something that I need to be working on. I need something that gets me excited to wake up in the morning. Food for the soul. I have found some really talented people to pull in to this version of the farm, so I am pretty psyched. Still waiting for one of these talents to commit. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

apples, pumpkins and an anniversary

For our 17th anniversary (I can't believe it has been that long), Crystal decided she wanted to find an apple orchard and pick apples. That is what we did. We gathered up the girls and drove down south for a couple of hours. We picked many, many apples. This also means we had to do something with them all. We spent most of Sunday coring and peeling apples. This process takes much longer than either of us had expected. In the end however, we ended up with lots of apple sauce and spiced apples that we canned and stuck down in our pantry. The work should be worth it when it is cold and snowy out.

Yesterday, we had to clear out a large section of our yard that had been taken over by sunflowers. They were great until they absolutely took over everything, including all of our paths to get from one side of the yard to the other. After, we pulled off a few of the pumpkins we have growing. The really orange ones are super heavy.

Enough procrastinating. Time to get some work done.

Monday, August 31, 2009

the veg comes in

OK - here are some photos from just what we picked yesterday. The heat last week finally started the turning process. We also canned a bit of the peppers, roasted others for freezing and cooked a large batch of ratatouille. What you don't see in the photo is a pile of eggplant, squash, and some really large pumpkins still in the garden.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

much better

The finger is much better today, although typing and writing are driving me crazy. Last night my entire hand was swollen, but that went down over night. Who knew gardening was such dangerous work.

I am posting some neglected photos from a recent trip to George Town. The girls love it there more than anywhere else that we go. It has a fun, spooky quality to it.

The girls all start school tomorrow. Hooray! It will be good to get them back onto a schedule. Here's to a good year.

Monday, August 17, 2009

a little thing

I spent the majority of today in the doctors office having my finger worked on. In fact, typing is very challenging at the moment.

So, as to what happened. Yesterday I was working in the garden, just pulling some weeds, nothing exciting. I notice that my right index finger is a little sore, obviously I have gotten a thorn form a weed in it. I take a look, think the thorn is out and move on.

Two-thirty AM this morning. I am woken by my finger throbbing, really red, swollen and pretty hot. Not good. Wait until after eight AM so I don't have to pay an emergency room visit. By this time, I can't even bend my finger. Appointment made, much sitting and being transfered around from one place to another. Blood pressure checked, its slightly high - shocking. X-rays taken, then finally two really painful shots to numb the nerves and the doctor was able to make a tiny incision and remove a very small thorn that was working it's way deeper into my finger.

So now I have ten days of antibiotics, still a very swollen finger, and the numbness is going away so it throbs a bit. All in all for a person who hates doing anything medical, I think I should be commended for not having to be told by my loving wife to make the appointment, did it myself and did not wait until they had to remove my finger.

Monday, August 03, 2009

a few sketches

The studio got into sketching robots last week. Here are a few that I knocked out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

update to my world

Things have been crazy as of late - shocking, I know. I have been very busy with my "career move" of excepting this VP position. It is making me really evaluate my life and what is important to me. Since my move, my creativity basically went into hibernation. It is difficult to be creative when you are faced with constant financial reviews, executive meetings and strategy sessions. Through all this, I have realized that if I am not being creative, I am miserable. If I am miserable, my family probably is too.

So, I have started writing again. I am finally actively looking for a publisher for my Mabel and Bear story. I have sat on it for far too long, honestly because I fear rejection. This is stupid, because I face rejection everyday in my job, but this is much more personnel. In any case, the shopping around and rejection letter process shall begin.

In other news, Paige has started her high school career, a bit rocky but she is pushing through it. Penny continues to do Penny like things. Generally being happy and finding the world an amazing place. Abby is Abby. Hopefully she will use all of her powers for good.

In our house Monday night has become poetry night. We have stacks of poetry books and everyone takes a turn ready one. We are also encouraged to write our own. Here is one of mine from a few weeks ago.

The animals have escaped from their books.
Boars and bears have crawled down from the shelves,
and are taking up residence in the corners of the room.
The giraffes have headed into the garden,
and the birds have flown away.
The books have been trampled and torn. Monkeys are pulling out their pages,
feeding them to the hippo behind the couch,
who eats them greedily, chomping and smacking.
The stories will never be the same without the animals to fill their pages.
Just bits of color and broken text.


Monday, July 20, 2009

tis the season

Spent all day yesterday in the garden doing things I should have done weeks ago. It felt really good to get out there and have some solace. The garden is doing amazingly well. We have had two bad years in a row, so this is especially nice.

After some really stressful weeks, which this one is shaping up to be no different, I am trying to keep things in perspective. Everything works out in the end. Always positive.

Monday, July 06, 2009

back from the weekend

I took the weekend off from everything work related. Very needed, although I did not get the reading done that I should have.

We had a wonderful 4th. Many friends turned out and seemed to enjoy themselves. They particularly liked the Sugar Fairies cake they had prepared. The food coloring was a bit pastel, not so red, white and blue, but it worked.

For Sunday, we spent the day at the arts festival here in Denver, which is always nice. The weather was beautiful, and it was the first time I remember it not being blazingly hot and miserable. The girls had a lot of fun, and the oldest showed no sign of anxiety for such a large crowd. Two years ago, she had such a panic attack at the festival that we had to leave. This was much nicer.

Preparing for a trip to San Francisco tomorrow. I still don't have any travel arrangements, waiting for the information to come - this drives me crazy. I'm not the best at relaxing and letting things run their course.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

sugar fairies

The two oldest girls have decided to go into business together. They're goal is to make sweets and sell them. They are still in some of the trial stages, but their product tastes pretty good. The name of their company is, the Sugar Fairies. Makes quite a bit of sense.

Penny is responsible for the cake & baking parts, while Paige is handling the candy, fondant sort of things.

A few nights ago they experimented with fudge and fresh strawberries. It turned out quite nice. They are planning on making samples for our 4th of July party and passing them out to our guests. We shall see what happens.

Monday, June 29, 2009

monday morning

Another Monday is upon us. Seemed like starting the week with a post would be a good idea.

Over the weekend, we took the girls to a place called Berry Patch Farms. It is an actual working farm where you can pick certain items when in season. So we picked strawberries and had a wonderful time. The girls enjoyed all of the roosters running around, as well as a very large, pot bellied pig.

The rest of the weekend was slow, and I think the girls are going a little stir crazy. I have to find more time with them in the evenings to do some things away from the TV. Unfortunately, I am not home a whole lot this week due to my schedule. I will find a way to make it work regardless.

Time to get busy on my day and stop procrastinating.

One more note: notice Penny's wonderful red hair. It washed out in the pool yesterday, so now it is just slightly pink.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Congratulations to my sister and her family on the two new additions to the family. Glad all is well.

Had a very nice fathers day. It was quiet and we worked in the garden. Did get a bit sun burned though. Later, the girls cooked me a fantastic dinner. Very nice.

As of late, I have not been sleeping well. Too much bouncing around in my head, most of it administrative work/worries. I need to get my head deeper into some sort of creative project, possibly start writing again. It is difficult after such a long break, but I know that I should just dive in and do it. I have been reading a lot of Neil Gaiman's Sandman books, and it is making me long for creative freedom. Alright, enough complaining. I know that I just need to dive back into things.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

been busy

I have been very busy as of late, and have neglected this blog for far too long.

A quick re-cap of events: my sister has still not had the babies yet, they are huge. Paige is off of meds and doing exceptionally well. I was made vice president of my company, as well as maintaining my position of creative director, which is occupying the majority of my time. Crystal and I spent last week in NYC and it was fabulous, I will post pics when I have my camera with me.

It feels good to be back home, and get back into a rhythm in the studio. Now I need to make some time to actually get some things done around the house.

More soon...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

have not been able to talk about things

Much has been happening lately that I have not been able to talk about. Hopefully in the next day or two that will change. Until then, the things I want to blog about will have to remain in my head.

Things I can talk about, for one, the girls are all ready to go on summer break from school, which means many evening programs. My sister is about to give birth to twins, so my thoughts are with her. We finally got the vegetable garden in lat weekend.

More soon.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

have not been in the mood

I have not been in the mood to post for a while. I have been dealing with a truck load of work in the studio, as well as my constant, emotional family world. Took the day yesterday and went fishing with my seven year old and her first grade class. It seems to be what the doctor ordered. I woke this morning felling better and more at peace. Once again it is time to put my head down and get some work done, particularly finishing the Mabel artwork. That project is quickly turning into a chore that needs to be completed so I can move on, happily, to other things.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

just for fun

Decided to paint an old pencil drawing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

only about 100 to go

More bits from the M&B illustrations. I only need to add about another 100 people to this one and I will be close to done. This is turning out to be a difficult task as my computer has decided that it likes to shut down at will with out so much as a "Hey, I'm hot and going to shut down now." It should not be doing this so it is going into the shop this afternoon. That leaves me with a laptop that has a much smaller screen. My eyes need all the help they can get so, not good.

On a positive note, my father got very good news on some test results, so that is a great relief.

Monday, April 20, 2009

more circus

More update, bits and pieces for the big top illustration for M&B.

Appointment for Paige went well. Regrouping now and diving into work.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Here is some of the first images of the circus illustration for M& B.


Yes, I am still alive. I have been buried in deadlines. Just completed needed layouts for a presentation tomorrow, it was coming down to the wire, but I think we are OK now. Also trying to to finish another illustration for M&B. Trying to not let it turn into the monster the last one did. Now I am going to sit through yet another meeting, then I am fortunate enough to have a date with the dentist, joy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

a few days off

Back at it after a few days off. I took advantage of some down time and did nothing artistic. It felt really good. Now I am recharged and ready to go.

Easter was a great time with the family, although it was rainy and cold. Not my idea of what an Easter Sunday is supposed to be, but never the less, we had a good time. Much to much food. Thankfully, biking in should help burn that off.

The day today has turned out to be beautiful, still awaiting word on how the oldest has done.

Good thoughts.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

a quick one

The weather has cooperated and I got to ride into the studio today. So happy. I am slammed for the next few days and probably will not be able to post.

Time to meet some deadlines.

Monday, April 06, 2009


We took advantage yesterday of a brief break in the weather and took the kids to the zoo. It was very nice for a while, then once again, in came the clouds and the snow fell. Hopefully this weather pattern has run it's course, and we can return again to spring. I'm planning on riding in tomorrow, possibly upper 60's. Can't wait, although all the good muscles I was building have been sitting idle for a week.

The oldest made it out the door this morning, even after a fairly rough evening of worry yesterday. We all have high hopes for the rest of the week.

Part way through another illustration for M&B, hopefully I will post an update soon.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

the whole thing

Moving on to more M&B pieces.

some finals

Some detail shots of a finished illustration. Color is a bit wonky due to web settings.

Friday, April 03, 2009

and we're back

Moving forward today after a complete core meltdown last night. The entire family has been under a lot of stress revolving around the oldest, and last night was the deal breaker. Hopefully we are past that sort of emotional trauma for a while at least.

Another blizzard is due to hit tonight. Unbelievable.

Have to make some good progress on the M&B illustrations so those can be sent off. If we are buried with snow, that might actually be good for getting things done.

Much thanks to all my family members who had to listen and put up with me last night, it's nice to know your there.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

first of the month

The first day of April brought better choices from the oldest, I hope this will continue. I am shaking off the fog brought on by stress and worry and attempting to move forward. Have to keep up good spirits for the two younger ones as well as finish some projects. I have not been able to ride into the studio for days due to weather and I miss it dearly. It does not look like the weather will be better until next week.

Angry muttering.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

difficult day

It has been an amazingly difficult day, and it is really only half over. I guess I am writing, because I don't know what else to do. The struggle goes on with the oldest, anxiety is a complex and debilitating thing, and I am really worried about the path she is going to take. I wish she would get mad and fight, but she seems happier to let the anxiety and fear take over and consume her. We seem to have regressed four years in a matter of weeks - no idea what caused the set back, but it has certainly set in. I think we are going to be facing some difficult decisions if things don't change. We have to do something to get her back on track and participating in things that are easy for most, but so difficult for her.

Still have to work, although it is becoming more and more difficult to focus and even harder to be creative.

Monday, March 30, 2009

pressing on

I am trying to move forward today after a very difficult weekend and a rough morning with the oldest. The anxiety seems to be getting worse rather than better. Focusing on work today is almost impossible, but I need to make myself sit and do it, deadlines don't wait for family crisis. Any thought of being creative is out of the question, I am doing things in more or less of a zombie like fashion. It feels as though I have been going through one very long day that does not seem to end.

Friday, March 27, 2009

happy birthday Paige

It is Paige's 14th birthday today! I find it hard to believe. Time goes very quickly. She has her own digital HD cam corder and her own moleskin journal, so she can begin to work out her movies. I am excited to see the out come.

The snow has passed and we are going to make an attempt to head up the mountain to get to the cabin, I will keep you posted on our progress.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

it hit

OK - the blizzard has hit. The girls have huddled up and done what you should do during a crisis and dragged the Dragonology game out.

One of the girls is my extra, sometimes daughter Eva, of the Bret and Susie Good Eva's.

they say a blizzard is coming

Supposedly Denver is in for 6 to 18 inches of snow today. We were supposed to head up to our friends cabin for Paige's birthday. Concerned that is not a reality, so Crystal has set off this morning to the store to get everything we need for cake, pizza etc. I'm hoping she won't be too disappointed.

I am here at the studio knocking out as much as I can before the snow hits, they are saying 2 inches per hour. We will see. Whenever the media hypes a storm it seems to miss us. As always there are the die hards here that will work no matter how much snow, and say we are all wimps for considering going home early. To them I say - your idiots, get a life and find something to occupy your time other that work.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

another update

The colors are not too true, but here is a bit more detail.