Funny Bunny and the Polka Dot Puppy.

So my comments about “evening sickness” seem to have been unfounded…it’s now more like all-day sickness. I am calling all nausea remedies, ladies: so far I’ve heard about motion sickness bracelets, ginger pills, eating a piece of toast at 3 am so you don’t wake up with an empty stomach, and basically just trying to nibble on something all the time. I came thisclose to throwing up at church yesterday, which would have been the first time in four years (my body really really hates to throw up), which lets me know that Baby is really working some magic.

Help?!

Fortunately, I only need to pull it together a couple days a week in order to teach and can spend a lot of quality time with the couch. This quality time has led to a bit of handsewing, since I don’t currently own a sewing machine and I really kinda like using a needle and thread anyway. And since my mind has been full of Baby, well…I thought I’d go ahead and get started on some little softies for the nursery.

Funny Bunny and the Polka Dot Puppy.

These are the first two members of what I hope will be a growing menagerie. I didn’t have a pattern for either of them, so I just started cutting fabric.

See Spot try to stand up.

Polka Dot Puppy is a little less successful than the bunny, as I had some trouble with the legs. I re-stuffed him after I took these photos so he can stand up on his own.

A look of surprise.

Funny Bunny is also prone to tipping over, but I think that this flaw is counteracted by his lovely long ears (which are very nice for pulling).

Handsewn.

My stitches were pretty small, so I’m hoping that the softies will be able to handle some chewing and tugging.

Soft and squishable.

And, of course, squeezing. But we all know that it’s not just kids who like to squeeze toys.

Little buddies.

Next up: a special little pig with a curly tail.

(And a whole lot of ginger ale.)

Advertisements

Flowery.

I think I previously mentioned Pensacola’s “Gallery Night,” which took place a couple of weeks ago. Through a fortunate sequence of events, I ended up with a spot at a local children’s boutique called Ty & KC. The store has a lovely back hallway and the owner let me line the walls with framed prints and a few new pastel originals.

Gallery Night setup.

I was really happy with the way things turned out (although my work looked so small when it was hung on those tall walls!) and I got great feedback from the steady stream of new friends who came by. I’m sorry that I don’t have better pics…I forgot my camera that night and got mostly fuzzy photos the next day. You can kind of see my Day at the Beach prints on the left — they looked great in a set of barnwood frames I found at Michael’s (hint, hint). I also had my Ren Fair painting custom framed in a gold-and-sage frame and cream mat. Expensive, but very nice looking.

New work on the wall.

Now for some close-ups:

Magnolia.

Magnolia.

Poppies.

Poppies.

Pink rose.

Rose.

All the drawings are from my own stash of flower photos and, since they didn’t sell at Gallery Night, are available framed or unframed if you’re interested.

I was really glad that I finished these in time for Gallery Night as I have lost a lot of my art momentum since then: it seems that pregnancy nausea has decided to make an appearance after all. Part of me is wondering how I’m going to teach through a couple of months of this, while part of me is thrilled since nausea means a lower risk of miscarriage (which terrifies me out whenever I start to think about it). Sooo, I think that this might be my last new work for a while and I’m going to focus on internal creativity rather than external. Sounds like a plan, eh?

The biggest news of all.

But first, the smaller news.

The first four or so weeks of teaching have gone pretty well. I am on my own now (well, except for one class) and it’s getting a bit easier every day. I still feel like a moron a lot, but every once in a while I seem to hit it right when it comes to matching the age of the children to the difficulty of the project. This seems to be the most difficult thing for me right now: I will have a great project idea that goes along swimmingly until I discover that 3rd graders have pretty poor scissor skills and their papercuts may not be at all recognizable. Even though we’ve spent two weeks working on the sketches. Sigh.

I don’t have funny little stories yet, which is probably because most of the amusing things that happen are visual rather than verbal. I just love it when a little girl’s eyes light up after I tell her that her drawing is lovely (which it is) or when I see a student make a really creative puppet from paper scraps. I love it less when I have to stop him from distracting the rest of the class with it, however. Classroom discipline is tough. I have definitely lost the she-who-must-be-obeyed new teacher aura and I can feel them testing me in every class to see just how much giggling and whispering and note-passing they can get away with. It almost broke my heart, but on Thursday I pulled a few kids out before they could complete their in-class paintings because they ignored some very clear verbal instructions. I wanted so much to forgive them and send them back to their desks, but I knew that if I did they wouldn’t take me seriously in the future. I am very much hoping that the offending behavior will be curtailed next Tuesday, but of course I hope that before every class period.

In other news, I have officially shut down PaulaGibbs.etsy.com and Paulabirdy.etsy.com for the time being. I kept meaning to reopen them, but what with the crash of our Mac (which has yet to be revived) and the general busy-ness of our lives I think it will be best to focus on the here & now of life in Pensacola. I have infrequent internet access, no way to edit pictures, and no desire to stand in line at the Post Office a few times a week, so this makes the most sense even if it also makes me sad. However, I do have a pretty good sized stash of prints left over, so if you are interested in Alphabirdybet letters, beach prints, gocco, or anything else let me know and I can set up a special listing for you. (It’s different for friends and blog-friends, you know.)

Okay, now for that big news.

Some of you know that husband and I have been trying to conceive for many months now, and those of you who read his blog have already seen the most recent update.

I am pregnant.

And we are soooooooooooooooooooo excited and happy.

We found out last Sunday, and I still have pinch myself every day to make sure I’m not in a dream. (For some reason, I used to have lots and lots of dreams about having babies and it was always rather heartbreaking to wake up in the morning.) I think that I am due somewhere in the middle of June, which is conveniently after the end of the school year. The principle told me that he should have warned us about the school’s high fertility rate: evidently, pregnant teachers are pretty common. But, I am going to try my best to finish out the whole year and give my students a front-row seat of my soon-to-be-expanding tummy. The students, for their part, seem to be gratifyingly excited already — a group of girls in Josh’s class gave me hugs in the hallway last Monday, and I can’t tell you how nice that was.

Everyone keeps asking, so I’ll just tell you now that I don’t feel very sick yet. I’ve been battling an unpleasant cold, but other than that I’ve only had a bit of nausea in the evenings. Is there such a thing as Evening Sickness? I also had a complete tearful meltdown yesterday that I would like to blame on pregnancy.

Other than that, life hasn’t been changed too much by the little guest who had taken up residence in my body. I really look forward to seeing him/her grow — I have always envied other friends’ pregnant bellies, even if they say that they feel fat. I can’t wait to buy maternity shirts and watch our dog try to squeeze onto the six inches of lap that are left over at the end of nine months. Not to mention sewing little quilts and bibs and dresses for MY baby, not someone else’s. And then there’s that whole decorating-the-nursery thing.

So that’s what’s up with us right now: a miracle. Thank you for being happy with and for us as we plunge ahead into a new stage of our lives.

Paulabirdy gets a job.

(And her computer crashes.)

So, the nice relaxed schedule that I had developed for myself — long walks with the Beans, coffee at Barnes & Noble, lots of painting — was shot to pieces two weeks ago when I was asked if I would teach art at the school where husband works. I spent some mulling the idea over and, with great fear and trembling, said yes.

I am [gulp] a teacher now.

So I hope you will forgive me for not blogging when I tell you that I have been undergoing a rather overwhelming crash course in art curriculum and teaching methods for kingergarten through 10th grade. This process would be even MORE overwhelming if not for the fact that the art director has spent hours showing me the ropes (oh, and she spent the first week and a half teaching while I observed and assisted so that the whole thing wouldn’t get dumped in my lap all at once). And since she also happens one of the nicest people in existence, this has been a truly fabulous experience. She is sticking around for one more week, but after that, I will be flying solo in the classroom. I can handle 16 first graders all by myself, right?

To make matters even better, our home computer suddenly decided to crash while I was in the middle of my impromptu teacher training. I am going to try to jumpstart it with an infusion of OS 10.3, but I am prepared in my heart for No More Mac (which also, unfortunately, means No More Photoshop). But I can get by without it, right?

Husband and I finally got our digital converted box coupon, so after buying the converter (which required an Office Depot employee to spend 20 minutes trying to find her store’s merchant ID) and then buying an antenna (because we didn’t realize we needed one of those too), we are watching regular ol’ tv in our living room for the first time in our married life. Only to find that there is nothing good on, of course. But we are going to stick it out until SNL, because we and the rest of our demographic want to see Tina Fey do Sarah Palin and say “maverick” with a little wink. Won’t you join us?

Ah, life in Pensacola: busy, but very very good.