Saturday, April 30, 2005

Spam Amusement

With so many going Friday illistrations and such... I thought you might enjoy this link. Quickly drawn cartoons inspired by actual spam subject lines!

Friday, April 29, 2005

Quinacrodine Violet, Setacolor blue mixed with a light gray base, and that chrome orange (sticking it's presence in again!!) Half the piece painted with the violet, half with blue and narrow lines of orange over all. Rock salt sprinkled on top. Then left to dry

The piece sitting on my worktable

Half way dried. The violet had been closer to the window (and sun) so I sprayed more water on the piece, and turned it around.

A close up of how the paint moved in the water, sun and salt. I LOVE looking at how the colors run. Posted by Hello

My Inner European...

Your Inner European is Spanish!

Energetic and lively.

You bring the party with you!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Painted Fabric #3

Fabric #3. I planned on painting with Setacolor's yellow and purple, but this bottle of Liquitex Chrome Orange kept INSISTING that it wanted to play, too.

It definately improved the piece. But boy, that little bottle is loud. The color adjustment on this just isn't right. In person it reminds me of a sunrise.

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

We may be buying a second house....

I wish I could be excited about this. NO we are not moving. NO this isn't a great vacation escape. It will be in Moline, Ill. (NOT the destination location of the jet set crowd...). sigh.

My MIL is 86 years old and still living in the house they bought when Steve was in college. She thought she could maintain it until she died. But it's a typical Midwestern house built in 50s or 60s... the utilities are in the basement. Since my FIL died, she's been upgrading the house, putting in new windows, upgrading the electrical, all those important things. But the house just doesn't work well for a couple of octagenarians who have both had strokes.

She needs to move. And she's finally accepted it.

Now my hubby is her only child, and sole heir. And she's not sure that she can afford to sell her house and move into a condo. (Yes, I WANT her to move into a senior complex. but she doesn't want to spend her time surrounded by "all those old people." She's rather be isolated and proud.)... Ok, I'm not going there.

So we've agreed that the new house will be in our name, and if necessary we will help with payments. I really need to speak to a tax man about the ramifications of this...

I may also be headed back there to help sell the old house. Imagine SELL THIS HOUSE with the hostess being that daughter-in-law. I can easily think of 10 pieces of furniture that HAVE TO GO before we even have the realtor over. Someone is not going to be happy in this process. Imagine two stubborn Kraut Broads butting heads. Oh, and when I go there, I will have to drive to airport to find wireless connection. (you will probably find me there eating breakfast and supper at the airport!).

I'm working myself into the calm... this too shall pass mode. There are 2 things I'm thankful for:

1. When my own parents died two years ago, I had siblings in the same town to handle everything.

2. I don't also have children back here to worry about. We have a great boarder for the dogs... and Steve may have to be back here most of the time for work. But if I had children, what would I do?

Painted Fabric #2

Painted fabric #2. I painted this, set it outside, and laid tile underlayment over it (that's what made the diamond shaped patterning). Unfortunately, a breeze apparently came up and moved things, causing the wrinkles. It's still cool fabric.. and the oddity of the wrinkles can be interesting when cut up. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Painted Fabric #1

Painted fabric #1. Our small group APCs are due next Sunday at the quilt show. With a theme of healthy humor, my theme is "in the pink". and this is the fabric I will be making my cards out of. The background in quinicrodine violet diluted with water (who knew it would look pink??), spotted and stamped with Setacolor Red, Liquitex offwhite and black puff paint. Posted by Hello

Monday, April 25, 2005

My college education pays off!!!

In a fun way.

In mid April, DebR posed a question. The answer was Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (which became the movie Apocalype Now). I got it right. First. Nyah, nyah... (BA in English, 1974).

So I begged for chocolate as my prize (grins)... DARK chocolate, ofcourse.

Yesterday I received my prize: not only a cute box of chocolates labelled as the 5th food group (let's see, the other four are beer, coffee, chicken and mangoes in my book. What are yours?) but one of her journal pages. She sent it to me, because of the pictures I posted with the pixelated images in it.

I am not worthy.

But I'm keeping it.

 Posted by Hello

Thanks, DebR from the other DebR.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A challenge for next week...

Wanna join me??

I WAS going to take the cue from Sonji and do a quilt a week next week. Then reality set in. My RL quilt guild is having it's show next weekend (if you are in the bay area, drive over to Benicia and see us. I'll be there Sunday.). Do I really want to be working on small quilts when getting ready for show? (not to mention that I'm setting up all day Friday.)


However... I can spend a few minutes every morning and paint up a new piece of fabric. Not anything very large.. but someting close to a half yard piece every day. Paint, set out to dry (or let sit inside if it's raining), clean up and good to go. About a half hour or so...

So I will taking on THIS task next week. One piece of fabric a day. Oh, yeah, and since Friday is a day of long hard physical labor... I'll be running Sunday to Thursday.

If you wish to play, too, leave a comment here and I'll try to link blogs together.

Then maybe a week or so later I'll use these for a quilt a day. Or maybe not.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Unitarian Jihad Name...

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother/Sister Molotov Cocktail of Desirable Mindfulness. What's yours?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Favorite Spaces

We were talking about favorite rooms. I think it's obvious here the favorite spot for the dogs in the house. Fortunately, we ordered this furniture with slipcovers, so I just take them off, launder them, and replace. And I have 2 sets.. a winter set (these dark green velvet) and summer set of khaki canvas. Posted by Hello

Teri mentioned that these dogs were very relaxed. This was taken about an hour after we returned from a walk in Pt. Isobel dog park. Two miles of chasing balls, sniffing friends (about 150 in the park that day), splashing through puddles and the bay, grazing on the field greens... all followed by a hosing off. VERY tiring play for a dog.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Now that I've turned 3 tshirts and 2 pairs of jeans into fabric painting clothes (VBG) I promise from now on, I will CHANGE INTO these clothes before indulging in spontaneous fabric painting again.

This is more disasterous to my wardrobe than cooking. (as I admire the pink paint and the grease spots on current tshirt).

Deb's Book MeMe

1. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book would you want to be?

LITTLE WOMEN. My favorite book as a child.

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Yes, I think I have. Though I can't remember who it was.

3. The last book you bought is:

Robot Dawn by Isaac Asimov. I'm collecting and reading the Robot series this summer. Then I'll reread the Foundation series a bit later... after a break for modern-day fiction and/or mysteries.

4. The last book you read:

Just finished a Lord Peter Whimsey mystery. (there IS a pattern in my reading).

5. What are you currently reading?

I, ROBOT by Asimov. And ART AND FEAR is a constant read.

6. Five books you would take on a desert island (assume for this list that you won't need any survival manuals or anything...your five books are luxury items to comfort you!):

TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE, Robert Heinlein.
The FOUNDATION TRILOGY, Asimov. (hey, it comes in one book).
ENCHANTMENT, Orson Scott Card.
PRODIGAL SUMMER, Barbara Kingsolver.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 people) and why?

Nobody on a blog I think... though I may copy this and post it on Boomers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Moving Up

While cooking supper the other night, I watched a TLC program called MOVING UP. A person/couple buys a house... the old owners buy a different house.. and that owner buys a third. They have 2 months to make their purchased property their own.

Then the old owners come back to view the changes.

I'm assuming that they get some discounts/gift card to do this. Whenever we moved, we didn't have a lot of cash to spend those first 2 months on remodeling.

Anyway, these people don't just paint/paper and change the window dressings. Often they tear out a wall, sometimes they completely gut a place. The old owners always have things that they think 'MADE' the house... and it's normally the first thing that the new owners remove. The changes are often dramatic, and sometime watching the old owners revisit their past places is a little sad. The best times they can say: this isn't my house anymore. I can live with my memories and know that this place is busy creating new ones.

Now we moved here 7 years ago. The house we moved from we lived in for 7 years. We custom built it from plans I drew up. When we built it, it was a dream house; by the time we left, it was a good house.

I have only been back to Cleveland in the past few years for funerals. No extra time to drive 50 miles across town to see the old house. But if I ever had the time and was in town with a car, I'd like to see what they've done with place. The only think I'd be upset to see gone would be the cherry cabinets in the kitchen. I'd be shocked is some of the carpet is still there.

So, if given the chance, would you like to go back and see one of your old houses? What would hate to see changed?? What would you be surprised to see unchanged?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

WHAT'S SPECIAL TODAY? Or, a new diet/exercise program

This week I am starting a new diet/exercise program. It's predicated on an old idea.

When my grandmother was in her 40s, her doctor diagnosed her with arthritis. He told her she would be in a wheelchair before she turned 50, so start looking for a suitable house. (she lived in a 3 story duplex). Instead, 4 days a week, she walked from W. 65th to W. 25th and the Cleveland West Side Market. This is a TREASURE of Cleveland... but that's not the point.

Each day, she bought the freshest food for supper that night. And, most importantly, she moved and did weight bearing exercise every day. When she died at 83, she was only in a wheelchair because the Alzheimers took away her memory of how to walk (and where to go).

I live on the top of the hill. At the bottom of the hill is a grocery store. It's 1.3 miles each direction. So ATLEAST 3 DAYS EACH WEEK, I will pick up a lightweight knapsack, and head down to the store. Then ask myself: what is special today?

That is, what is on special.. or what is the freshest... what should I cook today? I'll load the items in my backpack and walk back uphill. Close to 3 miles of walking (given moving through the aisles of the store)... and half of it up a steep hill. Really steep. Like 30% inclines.

I will eat fresh and healthy food. I will get exercise. And, because I'll only be eating what I physically carry uphill, I will eat lightly. (giggles).

Oh, yeah.. if you ever go to the West Side Market, stop and pick up some pork from Max Wulff. He and I went to elementary school together.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Favorite Room

First off, I've checked Diane's blog about 5 times this morning. I see the story of her daughter.. and see the blog about dentists, menopause and adoption... I don't see anything about favorite rooms??

and nobody is putting in a link.

(am I outta the loop on this one or what??)

The favorite room in my house?

The favorite room OF my house is my deck. It runs along the entire back of house, echoing the bump out of the breakfast nook. Facing the open space to my south, it gives me plentiful options for watching the local wildlife (deer, coyote, hawk, and a variety of songbirds). It also affords me a view of San Pablo Bay where I can watch the maritime traffic moving along the northern edge of the San Francisco bay complex. I can see the coastal range hills in Sonoma and Marin. I can usually hear the steady hum of I-80. It's magical.

It's also windy most of the time... enough so that no matter where I arrange the chairs on the deck, they get pushed to one side or the other. The sound of chairs being pushed down a 45 foot deck is amazingly spooky. And the decking is hot enough in the summertime to burn the dogs' and my feet. Downsides of paradise.

In the house, nothing can quite compare. But I would have to pick the great room complex that is the back of the house... the family room/kitchen/dining room complex that has only short knee walls separating the space. Why? Because I live most of the time back here.

The sun is strong enough that the windows are often completely covered, blocking that wonderful view from the deck. But it is the "heart" of this home. Some may think... I would live with the strong sun if the views were that wonderful. I thought that too when we moved here. Then one in February... 4 days after I'd moved into this house... it was 70 degrees and sunny outside. There were no coverings on my back windows yet. And it was 95 degrees in my family room. Nope. Coverings no option.

The Universe Listens

This is final pieced top (I hope). I added a real branch of eucalyptus leaves to kind of give the impression of what I'm going for... only moreso than this. Or should I go more abstract than this??? Posted by Hello

Anyway, about the Universe listening... The previous photo was taken when I hung the piece on one of the garage doors (they are white and face north... great for digital photographs.

While I was getting ready to snap the photo, my next door neighbor returned home. She slammed on the brakes to admire the piece and talk a bit. It turns out that Eri is taking art classes at the local commmunity college. Her instructors encourage the students to display work around the region, and give them lists of local exhibits. She loves her classes... but admits that the difference between Western art and her native Eastern art (she's Japanese) often makes her head ache.

Anyway, we talked art a bit, she gave me the brochure for the college and promises me her call for entry list. We hope to go together to see some of the work in the future. See? I ask to connect with another "learning to be an artist" of a certain age... and find she's living next door.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

This is from Karen's blog, Seamless Skin.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you

"A great one." THE ROBOTS OF DAWN by Isaac Asimov. I'm collecting all the Robot books to read through the summer. (I will normally read a series by one author during a season. I decided to return to a classic series in a preferred genre this year.)

But that isn't even a sentence... missing the requisite verb and all...

Friday, April 15, 2005

So What's Next (almost)

I thought I was done piecing this... until I looked closely at this picture. That upper lefthand corner is definately NOT STRAIGHT. Looks like some ripping and redoing is in order.  Posted by Hello

I SO enjoyed the partial seams and such on this piece (NOT). But having a quilt with no seam that goes completely across this piece is an important thing for me.

Now about what's next. This piece is being construction for the Viking challenge, with the theme Art Takes Shape. This background is the very geometric type of shape. Over this I want to add organic elements.

At the moment, I'm leaning toward cutting lots of eucalyptus leaves out (fusing front and back together) with wire or fireline or string at the stem. Probably NOT string. The these get stitched, and loosely attached to the piece. Some may be more classically appliqued down.. but I really want these leaves to be able to move. Maybe add some of fringed "blossoms" that show on the last photo.

So after I straighten out the top, I'll baste it to the batting and stitch in the ditch. Then do most of the quilting on the squares (branches and leaves. While I'm doing this (since I've admitted that I hate working long on the quilting) I will be making the leaves. And I'll attach a few to see if it works like I hope it will. Then attach all the leaves, pillowturn the backing and do Melody's escape hatch closing.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Blowing in the Wind, and sewing in the trees.

The piece needed some darker, olivey green. So I painted that up Tuesday outside on the line. I took of picture of the "fall out" from that experience, but refrained from posting it.

Photos of "terminal liver spots" would not go well with morning coffee.

This piece is just over half done on the piecing. With due diligence I should have it pieced by this weekend. Then the real fun begins.

 Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Homework, part deux...

Other answers to Gabrielle's homework questions.

A. --Pick 5 words that describe the creative process.

1. Exciting. A new idea... how exciting. A reason to wake up in the morning.

2. Terrifying. Bringing my vision to life: a reason to run from the sewing room. Don't I have a close to organize? Exercise to do?

3. Fed (by interaction with the world.)

4. Possibilities.

5. Ever-changing.

--Two words. One describes where you are an artist, the other where you want to be.

Where I am as an artist. I won't even really call myself an artist, yet. Oddly, this "denial" carryies on a family tradition. My maternal grandfather had an artist calling. He gave up on doing anything with it to support his family. It came out when he took charge of the Church's nativity scene: he added something new each year for 25 years until his death.

My mother had an artist bent... she didn't pursue it. She had issues with perfectionism and a huge need to be "practical." Most of her artist instinct was focused into decorating the house as the budget allowed.

I now have a niece who desperately wanted to study set design. Her family "encouraged" her to be more practical.. so she's about the graduate college with a degree in nursing. She won't even work at her one-time passion in community theater because she gets no support.

So I guess I'm the member of my generation on this chain.

Where I want to be as an artist:

comfortable saying I am; and maybe with one or two others agreeing. I don't need the whole world to know my name and think of me that way... but a few people would be nice.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Plaza Photo Play and Inspiration

This is a portion of an altered photo that Melody posted on her blog. I saved the image, then cropped it down to the part that interested me. Adjusted the colors to pixelate it a bit more. It's almost an interesting image, but not quite there.

The same section as above, with more of the background kept in. Pixelated in a brighter coloration. I like what's happening at the far right, at the bottom middle and at the far right. Wish I knew how to erase the trees and zip those parts together on the computer. As it is, I will probably play with this on paper.

The far right portion of the photo above. Played with a lot more. This as real potential. Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005


If there is any computer guru out there who can help me, I'd appreciate it.

I often download (save) images from the web to my desktop. These are simply jpegs.

My *()_)(*& new computer with Windows XP saves all these .jpegs in netscape. Don't want that. Just saving them as images would be fine. (I think my old computer had this as image preview...). But I figure out how to set the computer to DO THIS.

This is what I hate about most new programs. They treat the "average" person like a true idiot and HIDE HOW THINGS WORK. So you either need a Masters in EE, or a 13 year old nearby. Don't have either one of those.

First person who can tell me where the simple preferences of dealing with files can be found in XP wins a prize.

Starting Over..

Gee... a guilty pleasure (well luncheon entertainment that isn't a written soap opera)... and I have to explain it!!

Starting Over is a daytime show about every day women reinventing themselves... all under one roof. It's Big Brother meets psychotherapy. It must be kind of popular, I think Lifetime has started playing it later in the day...

I started watching it pre election, when I couldn't face the noon news anymore. The other options were repeats of tv shows I'd already seen or soap operas. And, let's be serious, I may not have watched a soap opera in decades, but I could still probably know most of the characters and half of the story lines would still be in progress.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Guilty Pleasure

Guilty Pleasure
Dianne has asked us to admit our guilty pleasures. First, I'll admit that I was going to ignore this request... just pretend that I missed the original post. But people are responding and actually admitting thing. And, heck, my guilty pleasures can't be that much worse. Besides, I think it would be cheating now to not admit something.

One guilty pleasure that I'm not resistant to post. The Oakland As have cheap baseball games on Wednesdays. You can get into the park on basically a general admission ticket for $2. Plus $1 hotdogs and cokes (not that I eat either one of those...). The biggest cost of the day is the BART ticket there and back. I love to take BART, walk into the park, sit in the sun on the 2nd deck and watch a game. Alone or with someone. Doesn't matter. I don't even wear sunscreen. (I tan very quickly and easily). With "encouragement" from Sonji, I may even score the game this year.

Now that guilty pleasure that I do not admit to ANYONE... you have to promise not to mention this to a soul.

takes a very deep breath....

looks for that tiny font setting...

I watch STARTING OVER while eating my lunch during the week.

There, I've said it. And I don't feel so terribly bad getting that out in the open. But I'll take bets on how long this stays posted before I edit it or pull it completely.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Bide-A-Wee Birdie B&B is open and serving breakfast. It's rainy, windy and chilly today. The grossbeaks (on the right) have eaten all the sunflower seeds already, and the finches are working their way through the finchmix/ thistle seed. Posted by Hello

I'm slowly recovering my programs and such on the new computer. My bookmarks are very slim, but most of them I haven't needed. I hope I can Google and find them again when I go to look for something.

After PamDora mentioned a gratitude journal... and given my own addiction to all things blog.. I started another blog to list the reasons that Life is Good.

It's the first link on my sidebar. over there>>>>>>

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Gabrielle's homework assignment

Gabrielle has been sharing her class at Asilomar with us on her blog.

And she gives her classes homework assignments!! I've listed the assignments so far... feel free to provide your answers. (I'm still thinking about it and will post them later).

example of assignments:

--Pick 5 words that describe the creative process.

--Two words. One describes where you are an artist, the other where you want to be.

--And... a great one: Conceptualizing a piece before you begin:

Size: what general size should the work be
format: Horizontal, vertical, circular, square or irregular.
approach: repeated blocks, individual image..
Style: realisitc, abstract.

I think I will try to adopt this plan when I'm planning on beginning a new piece.

Like the eucalyptus piece:

size: 51" x 51" (aiming for the Viking challenge)
format: square.
approach: block pieced background with work attached on top
style: abstract

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Think this dream is symbolic???

Well, DUH!!

I had this dream a week or so ago. Right after I posted that I was in a depression.

The dream begins at the start of a Monday work week. I'm new on my position.

And I'm working in the MI-5 offices that were shown on the TV shown. (we won't go into how I get there... this is a dream).

Typical new employee... I don't know where I'm going.

I try to pass through a security check point... put down my case, and step through a set up. Something happens, and a search needs to be done. Completed, I start down the hall to realize I left this case behind... go back, search and find it and go through the process again.

At this point, I'm separated from the person trying to show me the way. I'm alone in a huge crowd (think airport at 7 am on a weekday) all pushing me along in their direction. And I don't know where to go.

I try to work myself free by heading down a stair. WRONG WAY. The stairs only go up.

After a while, I am standing over a grate with fire below... trapped. I can't go forward or backward. And it's getting hot. I finally pull my legs up over a barrier and scream for help.

I woke up before I saw if anyone came to help.

Obviously, I'm feeling lost and isolated. And from my interpretation of this, what I need is a face to face group to belong to. As soon as I woke up, I filled out that SAQA form that's been sitting on my desk.

But I dont' think that will be enough.

So, for those of you who have done it... how do you find a group of artists, quilters, SUPPORTIVE people? I've belonged to guilds without connecting; so just saying join a guild isn't going to do it.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Radiator Charlie's Mortgage Lifter

Wouldn't you buy a tomato plant if it had this name?? Wouldn't you buy almost anything with this name??

I went to my favorite nursery the other day and picked up my summer veggies. Three tomato plants, 2 cukes, some sweet basil, and a pepper. (it's a very small garden).

While looking at the choices of tomatoes, I picked this one up. The story goes that a farmer was about to lose his farm. To get a little rapid cash, he sold the plants of his biggest and best tasting tomato. He ended up getting enough cash to pay off his mortgage.

My Dell laptop yesterday. I was planning on backing up all the files I had on it, as I knew it was dying. It sensed my fear, and it's eventual replacement and died early just to spite me. So I've lost passwords, bookmarks and lots of other stuff.

Today I bought a new laptop (a nice little HP model that set itself up so quickly!!) Now I have to start asking places to send me reminders of my passwords, and my log ins, etc.

But I've got the prospect of these 3# tomatoes in the summer to keep me happy.
 Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Still life with lilac

Lilacs are difficult to grow here in No.Cal. We don't have enough chill time to do them real justice. But I keep my plant for some mystery reason. It's blooming now.. there are no leaves on the bush, and only about a dozen blooms. I cut off the prettiest to bring inside hoping that it would perfume the house. Alas, it does not smell. Not sweet, not ugly, not anything.

But it does make a nice composition in my magnet vase on the refrigerator, I think.
 Posted by Hello

Friday, April 01, 2005

This photo is more ominous than the actual sunset was. It was so glowing and orange! This is for those readers who only read blogs with pictures.  Posted by Hello

I finished up 2 old quilts yesterday for the guild quilt show at the end of the month. These are not terribly exciting pieces to me. Both are stars.

One is a Lone Star using the fusible piecing technique from QuiltSmart. The other is designed on the 54-50 or fight block. In black/white and yellow. They are nice quilts, but they don't excite anything me in. But atleast they are done. (well, if I get inspired the Lone star could use more quilting. But there's a sleeve on it now that will have to removed.. so more quilting won't happen until next month). They are wrapped around a pool noodle not getting wrinkled.

The vessels pieces are trimmed, layered and pillow-turned. Now I've got to finish the quilting before the quilt show.