Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SavoirFaire, Samples & GSM Conversion
This morning as I scanned the American Artist website, debating about subscribing, I came across a link to the SavoirFaire website and discovered they are currently offering artists samples of Fabriano Artistico papers in traditional white and ultra-white. If you're an artist interested you'll find a link on their main page or you can click here.
After requesting the sample I spent some time browsing the SavoirFaire site and I began to wonder about the weight of the Artistico paper. Weight describes the thickness of a paper - which is especially important for a paper you plan to wet with paint! On the artistico portion of the site they have various sizes listed at 200, 300, & 640 gsm. I've been using 140lb Canson watercolor papers but I had no idea how the weights convert from gsm to lbs.
Being the info hound I am I took a spin around the web and found this great conversion site: Inveresk - Watercolour Paper Weights. Although the conversions are not exact you'll get a very good feel for the comperable weights. The site also explains why Grams per Square Meter is a truer measure and why pounds can be a bit misleading. Lbs can change between two papers of the same thickness if the size of the sheet changes...
Confusing! Thank goodness for the internet - Joyce Brandon

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Little Visitors

Living in the country and surrounded by fields, our yard is an island of short grass that attracts ground squirrels from miles around. Last Friday it appeared that a large litter had lost their parents. The babies, of varying sizes, were wandering around the yard - oblivious to the danger from our dogs and the resident red-tailed hawk. On top of all that, I needed to mow and was not about to accidentally hit one.

So I captured the three youngest and kept them up until I finished mowing the acre around their back breaking little holes and then snapped a few photos before returning them to their siblings. They are terrible about tearing up the yard with ankle-breaking, mower killing holes... but they are so cute! - Joyce Brandon

Friday, June 16, 2006

Love to Daddies!
Father's day is fast approaching, and my dear husband has already received his gift. A hammock. I know it doesn't sound like much, but after a hard, hot day he loves to kick back in his hammock and relax under the pines - asleep in no time!
We have to take a few days to enjoy relaxing before diving back into the fencing project (which has been moved up due to circumstances beyond our control) and then turning our attention to the roofing marterials.
Here are a couple of dominoes for the Art2Art project. Joyce Brandon

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Summertime doesn't mean a vacation from learning for our homeschooling family. I love being able to follow our interests and had never intended to stop lessons during the summer months. I hope it helps our children to feel that we don't really ever need to take a break from learning. We all learn a little every day!
Yesterday I started reading Tuck Everlasting to the kids. They are loving it. I'd planned on only getting through chapter 2 but I would end a chapter and hear "read more! read more!" So we finished up yesterday with chapter 8. Of course I couldn't help myself and I kept reading.
I came across a striking scene in chapter 12, where Angus Tuck is trying to explain to the almost 11 year old Winnie why keeping their secret is so imortant.
"Winnie blinked, and all at once her mind was drowned with understanding of what he was saying. For she - yes, even she - would go out of the world willy-nilly someday. Just go out, like the flame of a candle, and no use protesting. It was a certainty. She would try very hard not to think of it, but sometimes, as now, it would be forced upon her. She raged against it, helpless and insulted, and blurted at last. "I don't want to die.'"
My mouth dropped open when I read this paragraph. The entire 12th chapter is a beautiful work in itself... It says everything perfectly. I just felt a little strange, having plucked this book from the library shelf without even looking for it, knowing I'd been mulling similar thoughts over so recently. I hope you don't think I have some sort of morbid fascination with death, but I feel like it is a part of "the wheel" that we often close our eyes to because we feel so uncomfortable with thinking of an end to our participation in it.
If you haven't had the opportunity to read Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting I must highly recommend it. We are considering watching the movie version when we finish the book - which may be today if we continue on at the same pace. - Joyce Brandon

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Finished! This is my Marigold, based on the reference photo by Madelaine Fedorowich - Joyce Brandon