Wednesday, August 31, 2005

bad days have good payoff...

Yeah, I've had a couple of not-so-great days... but each day, with a night sleep separating me from the drama... seems not as bad. And today it finally resulted in a good thing:

it drove me into the sewing room to do some mindless sewing. So I layered up a charity quilt I made a couple weeks ago, and I'm busy quilting it up for BLANKIES FOR GROWNUPS. I'm also mulling over the next steps in my Eucalyptus series, so I can work on that soon.

Peace and calm are beginning to return to me...when I'm not becoming so angry at little nothings that I'm ready to punch something.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Not such a good day...

Well, as good as the mail was Monday; that's how bad the day was Tuesday.

Remember that telecon I was looking forward to participating in? I was late signing in because... well that will follow... but I was 20 minutes late. Then, 10 minutes later my cordless phone battery died. Bumping me out of the call. The part I participated in was interesting, but I got really short changed. Fortunately someone wiki'ed the whole thing.

So why was I late? I had to go to BigO and get a tire fixed. While I was in the parking lot earlier today, I must have driven over a BIG SCREW (gee... we shall later how appropriate this is).. that embedded itself in my left rear tire. So as I drove, it kept going Klick, Clack, clickity, clickity. The kid next door told me it was safe to drive down to get it fixed.. but not to wait the 2 hours I would have waited if I stayed home for the whole call. (which I wouldn't have been able to stay through as it turns out. That durned battery).

Driving down to Big O, a guy down the street backed out of his garage and straight into the street without looking. I laid on the horn and swore at him.. and he missed T-boning me about about 6".

Not that that will keep from calling my insurance company.

When I took the dogs for their walk, I stopped near the post office and mailed in my entry to PIQF. We crossed the street to the park and walked around. Besides the screw-in-the-tire present... I found this surprise on my bumper:

It looks like a large truck of some kind backed into me and (ofcourse) didn't leave any information about the accident. sigh.

Fortunately the back gate still works.. the dogs are happy... But I've got to talk to the police and the insurance company.. and deal with all this.

When I got home, I swore nothing short of a disaster would drive me out of the house again today...

So if an earthquake strikes the SF East bay tonight.. you know who to blame...

Some perspective on Katrina...

I am a weather-news junky. Don't give a hoot about all the political stuff... but give me a good storm and I'm glued to the tv and surfing the net for feeds. I also spent some time (20 some years ago) as a Red Cross disaster volunteer.

So here is some of my perspective on the aftermath from Hurricane Katrina.

1. Many parts of the region have building standing apparently undamaged, but massive vegetation damage according to one report on CNN. Broken trees are slow to clean up, and the ONLY people with large enough chain saws are normally Forest fire fighters and some National Guard units. Expect requests from all around the country for Guardsmen to head to the gulf area to assist with cleanup.


2. A friend wrote: I am thinking of what its going to take just to get the water plants re-started as well as the wastewater plants. On the Water side, every
water line and every fire line is going to have to be flushed and
chlorinated and samples will have to be taken from every line flushed
and taken to the lab for analysis. There there are all of the electric
motors that are going to have to be dried before they can be started.
Then there is all of the silt and sand that will be plugging the storm
drains not to mention all of the manholes which have been blown off.
The Mississippi will be highly turbid so there will have to be
extensive filtering at the Water treatment plants...the magnitude is
almost beyond comphrehension.


I can't imagine where all these people are going to live during this time. And the peak of hurricane season is still 3 weeks away... with hurricanes possible for what?? another 6 to 8 weeks??

With the impact nationwide on supplies and oil prices.. this is going to be a major hit on our economy.

Now the RED CROSS holds with a philosophy that
a) people who have lost everything deserve more than other people's hand-offs, so they give victims money to buy new things (like underwear, shoes and clothing).

b) local communities devastated by disaster can recover more quickly if money is poured back into the local community.

That's why ARC asks for cash donations instead of used clothing and such.

If you are sleeping in your home tonight, with more than the clothes on your back... please DONATE HERE.


So Monday was a good mail day... Dick Blick catalog and these two little gems...
Maybe this is the start of a trend??

This postcard thank you was from Virginia Spiegel.

And THIS one was from Guess Who???

Monday, August 29, 2005

Community of the Path

This is an explanation why I wanted to join the Us/Them discussion tomorrow.

I started with an honest but painful explanation. I edited it three times and still felt tortured reading it. And I didn't want to torture you while offering some insight (and no photos. What is wrong with you, Debra Ann?? don't you know we crave eye candy? I hear you all thinking...)

Anyway, I went for a walk with the dogs.

And thought about the "community of the path" while we were out.

There is a walking path along Refugio Valley Rd. in Hercules that runs the length of the street (about 2.5 miles). It is used daily.. and all day long. The elder Chinese who practice TaiChi every morning in the park, finish with a walk. Mothers with strollers head out from about 9 am. to noon. The Firemen stationed nearby get there walks/runs in there. We walk our dogs and catch up with friends. I would guess that an average 200 people step along this strip of blacktop daily (not counting the students coming and going from the highschool/middle school). Your typical community path.

BUT, most of the travelers practice a uniquely charming habit that has never been formalized. It's a variation on the standard practice of nodding when you pass someone on a path.

The first time you approach a fellow traveler on Refugio, you
1. make eye contact, then
2. say "good morning/afternoon/evening".

and here's the really unique part:
because most of us walk part way up the path, then turn around and return to our cars, we often pass some of the same people a second time. and the common practice here changes:

1. make eye contact again...
2. say "have a good day, now".

It's a very subtle way of acknowledging all around that "I see you, and though I've seen you and greeted you earlier today, I will likely not see you again today."

Simple. But a whole lot of sub-text exists in these phrases. And a lot of respect.

Now all but the dullest reader will see that travelling a path is an easy allegory for moving through life... How many different ways do we pass by each other?

In real life... driving on the freeways, standing in line at a store, sitting at nearby tables in the coffeeshop. Online, we might be reading blogs, making comments, reading the same mailing list. We interact in casual ways in all these situations.

All fraught with chances for misunderstandings... or ripe for finding commonality.

How can we as a SOCIETY develop habits/guidelines/methods of interaction that acknowledge each person in an inclusive way? How can we build a "community of the path" on every path in life?

It's gotta start somewhere. And I'm hoping the conversation tomorrow will be my start.

Then, tomorrow, I promise.. pictures!! (What? those sunsets didn't satisfy you? ) And since ROCKSTAR is Tuesday night.. we know that coming soon is the mindless babbling...Who ROCKS?? Who blew it badly??

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Some Eye Candy...

This sunset photo was taken on the 11th. Bay area fog is high and bouncing the light. I love watching sunsets from our backyard.

Same night, slightly different angle.

Taken a few days later. The fog is close overhead... and almost obscuring the sunset.


I decided to use this photo as the inspiration for one of my design journals. I make these from watercolor paper, painted up, torn and folded back together. The "complete" picture was placed on one side (altered somewhat because I couldn't draw the shoe). On the other side I did 8 quick "gestural sketches" (atleast I think that's what my teacher called them). Hello will not upload the photo of the sketches.

Then I painted them. This is "closer to real" painting of the still life.

These are the 8 quick sketches painted up.

I folded it, and tore 3/4 of the ways up the center. Then folded it up. This is one "cover" of the book. It's from the irregularities on the glass ball in the photo.

This is the other side. The candlestick with leaves behind it.

Each small section of this "book" can be used as the inspiration for a piece. Inspiration either in color or line. I like this one. (it's upside down... but I like it this way). (the jinglebell on the shoe).

This one isn't fabulous... but there are parts I could take from this...

Something about this reminds me of Gabrielle Swain's work. Is it the leaves or the lined background??

This is part of the "complete" painting folded as an individual piece. All good... all fine... great outcome from the experiment.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

An "adult" funny...

I was just rolling through the cable channels looking for something to listen to while I work this afternoon, and I stopped for a second on INKED. The part I saw showed a guy who wanted a tattoo to cover the head of penis (it hurts ME to think about this... sorry for any guys reading this).
And... the guy tried to dick-er about the price!!

Giggle, giggle...

Getting beyond Us/Them dialogues

Tuesday, I am taking part in a telecom about moving beyond the all-too-prevelant "us/them" thinking in dialogue. It was started after thoughts brought up at BlogHer, and brought to fruition by Nancy White and Bill Anderson.

While "us/them" is oh-so-obvious in political diatribe currently ... (I cannot easily consider instances where I could honestly call what I experience dialogue or discussion), the same thinking extends beyond this to almost everything we deal as parts of our lives. Knowledge, understanding, perspective and age all inform who we are as individuals, yet we often project those experiences onto everyone we interact with, assuming that our lives are a common experience. And those projections separate us along lines of understanding.

So we will talking about ways to encourage discourse without discord; conversations with combativeness. I'm approaching this conversation with the rather simple concept of beginning by remembering THE GOLDEN RULE: Treat others as you want to be treated.

Seeing the list of participants, I think I will be representing the "little bloggers"... those of us who don't do this as an adjunct to a paying job or do this as a job. Those who share hobbies and the daily travails of life... who preface our political commentary with the warning: RANT... so the readers are warned and can choose to slide on by...

In this role, if there are points you wish me to bring up, please leave me a comment and I'll try to represent.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I've mentioned that I hate making phonecalls...

Because of that, I'm having a major problem getting the pictures taken of the Eucalyptus quilt (and more).

I am now giving all your permission to either;

1. call a photographer and make an appointment for me. (Ok, I can dream...).

Gerrie is going to shame me into doing this.. She actually asked for names of the guys I need to call!!

2. (much more likely) bug me regularly until I report that the appointment is made.

Off to do some painting and sunprinting...(photos to follow)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The AFI Movie meme

So today I have jury duty. Got there at 8:30 am, am home at lunch at noon. So far I filled out a one page vo-wa-dear form and watched a 10 minute video about the importance of juries. All that in 3 hours before they released us for lunch. I don't mind doing my civic duty and showing up for jury duty... but MY GOD BE EFFICIENT. When you have 150 people sitting around waiting to DO something... USE THEM OR LET THEM GO HOME.

Anyway, nothing creative to write about today, so I've borrowed the meme from Sela's blog and invite you to have fun, too.

The rules are simple. Copy the AFI top 100 movie list, and highlight in BOLD the movies you've seen. All I've got to say about this is, maybe it's my age... maybe it's movie rentals and NetFlix... but the movies on this list that I haven't seen... I have usually chosen NOT to see. (lots of violence that I'm not interested in seeing). Of the 33 or so movies that are not IN BOLD, I think I've seen parts of many of them.

The Complete List:

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941) I know I've seen parts, but I couldn't "get into" it...

2. CASABLANCA (1942)



5. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) I'm glad I saw this my spouse who studies military history for fun.

6. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) I so do not like this movie.

7. THE GRADUATE (1967)

8. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) A great film.

9. SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993) Too hard to watch more than once.

10. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)

11. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) Hokey.. but a holiday tradition.


13. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) whistles Col. Bogey March...

14. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) Watched this last year.. not as good as I remembered.

15. STAR WARS (1977) The only one worth watching again.

16. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)


18. PSYCHO (1960)

19. CHINATOWN (1974) Not a Jack fan...

20. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1975) Still not a Jack fan...


22. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) I know I've seen parts, but all of it??


24. RAGING BULL (1980)


26. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964) Strange and dark. Hubby likes it more than I.




30. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948) I think so... but not sure.

31. ANNIE HALL (1977) Don't get all the fuss about this.

32. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974) Part one was violent enough for me.

33. HIGH NOON (1952) Proof that a score can make a movie.

34. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) One of the few movies as good as the book.

35. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) Another one that I just recently saw again and didn't enjoy as much as I remembered.






41. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)

42. REAR WINDOW (1954) I think my favorite Hitchcock.

43. KING KONG (1933)



46. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)Weirdly violent..

47. TAXI DRIVER (1976)

48. JAWS (1975)


50. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) One of those magical pairings. None of the current attempts come close to this one or Lemmon/Mathou.

51. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) My favorite Hepburn.


53. AMADEUS (1984)


55. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) My mother said I had no soul because I didn't cry at the end of this movie.

56. M*A*S*H (1970)

57. THE THIRD MAN (1949)

58. FANTASIA (1940) If you're not high, what's the point??



61. VERTIGO (1958)

62. TOOTSIE (1982)

63. STAGECOACH (1939)


65. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)So scared watching this, I took my dog and checked every door and window in the house.

66. NETWORK (1976)



69. SHANE (1953)

70. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) By far the best chase scene ever.

71. FORREST GUMP (1994) Ok, but not worth all the fuss.

72. BEN-HUR (1959) The movie to compare every "Roman" movie to.


74. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)

75. DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990) "director plays with camera". Did you realize that there is no single shot in thROCKY e movie that lasts longer than 7 seconds?? In the entire friggin movie.

76. CITY LIGHTS (1931)


78. ROCKY (1976)

79. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)

80. THE WILD BUNCH (1969)

81. MODERN TIMES (1936) While substitute teaching in a film study class. saw this 3 times in 2 days.

82. GIANT (1956) Rock Hudson, right? was he an architect??

83. PLATOON (1986) Once was enough.

84. FARGO (1996)

85. DUCK SOUP (1933)



88. EASY RIDER (1969)

89. PATTON (1970)

90. THE JAZZ SINGER (1927)

91. MY FAIR LADY (1964) Have I mentioned that I don't like most musicals?? This one is no exception.

92. A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951)

93. THE APARTMENT (1960)

94. GOODFELLAS (1990)

95. PULP FICTION (1994)

96. THE SEARCHERS (1956)

97. BRINGING UP BABY (1938) Hepburn and Grant. Happy, happy me.

98. UNFORGIVEN (1992)



Tuesday, August 23, 2005

RockStar INXS

Don't read this if haven't seen the show yet. Enough warning. I'm bloggin this real time as I'm watching the show... how geeky is that??

1. Susie. Start Me UP...I like that she went up with her fellow contestants and sang with them. I thought she started a bit slow... but she finished strong.

2. JD. COLD AS ICE. I really can't take his ego and don't know that he's a "band" person, but I can see that you young chickie-poos would think he's hot. He had energy in his performance and I can't really fault it. Too bad. But I think he'd be better served as a solo performer with a backup band.

3. Deanna. MY TRUTH. THAT GIRL ROCKED!!! What else can I say???

4. Ty. PROUD MARY. I would say he's the hottest guy left in the competition...And what can say about his performance?? I jumped up and danced.. and felt completely energized afterward.
So far.. the two best performances of the night.

5. Mig. DO OR DIE. Not the energy of the other performances. Adequate, but not spectacular.

6. Marty. I ALONE. I'm not familiar with the song.. and I didn't particularly like the performance... but he had plenty of energy. I wasn't fond of the yelling instead of singing during the chorus, and it sounds like INXS feels the same way. But

7. Jordis. DREAM ON. Just dreadful. 'nuff said.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Tuesday ToDos

Oh joy and excitement...

I get to wake up at 4 am. and drive the spouser to the airport, then turn around and head home (the air-porters don't begin to run until 6 am.. and that's the flight time). Eat some breakfast, and set up for a "play day" with some friends at 11 am. We're going to work with the paperclay brooches from the Autumn, 2003, Belle Armoire.

We are basically going to play a bit with UTEE and the melting pots that turn it into a liquid. I have dipped polymer clay beads in this, and they look like glass. I'm eager to see what it does with paper beads and fabric beads.

When my friends leave, I'M TAKING A NAP. Then setting things up for fabric painting later this week. I may take myself out to supper. And this evening I have to call the courts because Wednesday...

I report for Jury Duty.

Our county has a one day/one trial policy. When I call tonight, they will tell me when to show up. I may make it into a courtroom, or not... into a trial or not.. and nothing is known for sure until that day. So I can't plan the rest of the week.

Monday ToDos...

Ok, this is late because I forgot to write it last night.

1. Mix up potato flake resist for fabric painting later this week. Done

2. Vacuum up the dog fur. done

3. Prep fabrics for fabric painting. done

4. Make a couple phone calls. Yuck.

5. Weed the garden.

Remember that I"m getting up at 4 am tomorrow... so hit the hay early.

I went a step further today... and treated several pieces of fabric with vegetal resists hoping they would be ready for some painting techniques maybe later tomorrow. Treated them, laid them out on a piece of freezer paper and set them down on the floor in my studio to dry.

Now let's see how long it takes you, brilliant reader, to see the flaw in my plan.


ah, yes.... you're getting the picture...

remember, I have a lab. And Katy's main reason to wake up in the morning is to eat. And this was mashed potato resist on the floor. Yep, she walked in there and licked the top piece clean before I caught her.

So much for my planning...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Personality tests.. It must be Sunday...

Stability results were moderately high which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.

Yep.. secure and optimistic. That's me.

Orderliness results were moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly organized, reliable, neat, and hard working at the expense of flexibility, efficiency, spontaneity, and fun.

See?? There is a reason I clean when I'm stressed!!

Extraversion results were medium which suggests you are moderately talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting.

This is a change as I've gotten older. Used to be a true introvert... but I'm changing.

trait snapshot

clean, organized, regular, self reliant, tough, positive, high self control, very good at saving money, dislikes chaos, resolute, realist, trusting, hard working, dislikes unpredictability, prefers a technical specialized career, not worrying, respects authority, enjoys leadership, finisher, normal, optimistic, controlling, prudent, modest, adventurous, does not like to be alone, intellectual, likes the unknown, very practical, high self esteem, assertive, perfectionist, busy, altruistic.

Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ladies who lunch, part deux...

Before I forget. (I'm a little sleep deprived.. the first thing that goes is my memory. The second thing is my good judgement. I'm between these now, so I'd better get writing fast. Note to myself: what happens in Sacto stays in Sacto.)

Thursday evening I firmed up my plans to drive to Sacto and visit the fabulous Gabrielle. Woke Friday morning, checked emails, forced the dogs through a 2 mile super-fast walk "if you need to piddle, you better do while walking", then home for a quick shower, throw on the pre-chosen outfit and head out.

Oh... prechosen outfit: a cotton dress from Dharma, hand dyed in a greens, no jewelry (forgot), and my hand painted boots. ( note to DebR. I thought I had a link to the photo of my shoes, but it's gone. I'll take another one, promise). Cool and quirky and oh-so "artsy"...

I hit the road a little late... but it's OK. Traffic is 4 lanes most of the way up there... every single lane going 70 MPH. I just slipped into a spot and felt like I was on a ride... the music was collection of oldies chosen for the energy and carefree spirit: meatloaf, jimmy buffet, beach boys. you get the idea.

Got to the motel without a single extra turn!! Mapquest actually didn't suck this time. Ofcourse it helped that the exit was one beyond the state fair park, and I've driven up there most of the past 7 years. Gabrielle was standing outside the front door desperately searching for me. Thank goodness I told her about the green dress. And she, remembering my fondness for Thai food, had a map.

Not, as it turns out, the best map in the world. It was open to lots of female interpretation, but a map that eventually got us to lunch. Good food. Gabrielle eats things HOT, and apprently loves the snot-generating capacity of all those peppers.

We yammered about art, about blogs and the artful quilt blogring... wow over 90 now. Will we reach the century mark in less than a year?? Exercise and spouses and great fun stuff. A fruitless stop at the B&N... one of the largest ones I've seen... then back to her room for some show and tell.

Unfortunately, neither of us remembered our cameras. So the day is memorialized in our memories and these blogs.


Total fun. If any member of this blogring happens to mention that they will be anywhere in your neck of the woods... try to clear some time and get a chance to meet them. Don't limit too much here... I've visited Gerrie and Gabrielle both drives over an hour each way. And it's been worth it.

Be just a little careful. Gabrielle is encouraging me to do a much larger series with the Eucalyptus quilts. Something about working more with the positive/negative space... and juxtaposition of the geometric and organic shapes....

I think I need another nap...

Zappo marketing.

Carol wrote about the Zappos marketing technique and wondered about using this for marketing quiltmaking/surface design.

The first thing would require of us would be the development of an active database of former clients.

For the maker, who purchased the piece, it's size, it's theme and it's color palette, photo of work.

For the teacher, the sponsor of a workshop, the class taught, the students in attendance, photos of the work.

Then, when something similar is available an email is sent..

Example for the teacher:

You attended my workshop (former date) where we (did this) {ideally insert a photo of something from that class HERE.} On (upcoming date), I will teaching a related workshop at (new location).

Insert information about the new workshop...

If you enjoyed the past experience and would like to expand your skills in this area, please join us.


This kind of marketing is important because it feeds off an already existing client base. It also makes the recipient feel considered by you. So they may WANT to attend the function. It's worded more as an invitation than a "sales tools".

An important feature of this, however, would be letting the first experience age a bit. Do not send an email any more frequently than perhaps 6 months or a year...

What other ideas can generate that feed this type of marketing?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ladies Who Lunch.

I'm off to Sacremento for lunch with Gabrielle!!

Let's see if I'm ready:

Cute outfit? Check
Cute shoes? Check
show and tell? Check
tunes for the road? Check
Control my excitement. NOT IN CHECK.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Thursday's smashing fun!!

Ok, My general straightening up the house yesterday was quite successful, but phone calls about the house purchase in Illinois cut into my work time. So my studio needs a major de-cluttering today.

But first... my annual mammo this morning.

So I think I'll clear out the room (kind of) before I leave. Then when I come home, sort and file and put away stuff. I'll find several pieces that I started last year and need to finish... something that I've completely forgotten about... and more pencils and pens (I'm sure). By 3 pm. I'll be ready to start WORKING in there... and able to move around and actually get some work done.

oh yeah.. there are still a couple phone calls to make.

chicken for supper (how shall I cook it?) and possibly a concert in the park tonight.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Wednesday To Do, and Tuesday INXS...

Well, I had plans for today, but it turns out they are really for Friday. Lately I've had trouble concentrating and sticking with things. I think the clutter in my environment is distracting, so I'm going to spend today cleaning everything up. A place for everything... and get it there.

I also have a number of phonecalls to make. Have I ever mentioned that I HATE MAKING PHONECALLS?? But a couple are because I NEED good pictures of a couple quilts to start entering shows. And there isnt' a photographer just going to email and ask if he/she can take pictures for me...

Update: When parts of my life seem out of control, I "comfort" myself by controlling my environment. And I supposed that's really what I'm doing today... controlling what I can, so I can deal with those things I can't control. It seems to be working; I've worked through a couple issued while straigtening things up. And, BONUS... I've found 12 pencils and 17 pens that can be returned to writing places... and 2 bills that are due this week.

The studio needs a good cleaning up too, so that will be part of the deal, too. I'm getting psyched to do some fabric painting next week... and those new pieces need a place to live...


If you haven't seen this yet and care... just stop reading now.

Rockstar Tuesday night:

The bottom three performances (IMHO), were Ty, Deanna, and JD.

Jordis was the ultimate chanteuse... Fabulous!!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Experimenting with Nori Paste

On the sunset fabric shown a couple days ago, I experimented with NORI rice paste as a resist with acrylic paints.

In my watercolor on fabric class, I used a thinned out NORI (about equal parts paste and water) to paint lines onto 8 mome habotai silk. The pigments flowed into the resist, but did not flow much further than that. So the yellow in one segment and the red in the next would flow into an orange where the resist was... but not much further than that.

On cotton sheeting, the thinned resist was not successful. The full strength paste needed to be scrubbed fully into the fabric to work well. Where there are holes in the suns below, the paste was not fully scrubbed in.

In Sue Beever's book, OFF THE SHELF FABRIC PAINTING, she gives two recipes for making one's own rice paste. Her's she claims is quite resistent and good for stenciling and leaf printing.

She also says that a thin paint will breach the resist more quickly... and that be part of the problem I had. My paint was quite thin and watery.

I need to do some new painting and see what different effects I can get by using this stuff. And maybe make up my own rice paste to compare the differences.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


For Suzette:

Few people know that Margaret Mitchell did try to write a second novel following the success of
GONE WITH THE WIND. This book was to deal with Scarlett's second cousin up in Richmond.. VIOLET O'HARA. Violet was born in the 1880s, and the novel followed her life through to first world war.

Although the book was never finished, evidence has surfaced that a movie was in the works. What else could explain the several gown displayed here?

Violet married on Christmas Day, with The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies as her processional theme. This dress was designed just for the occasion. Doesn't every girl pick the music first, and then the dress to match?

Violet's husband was shipped off to fight with Teddy Roosevelt. Sadly, he was injured during the charge up San Juan Hill, never to be the same man again (if you get my drift). Violet chose to wear this dress when she met his boat, convinced that it would confort him that he wasn't really missing anything...

That third dress?? That was planned for the husband's funeral. A girl has to let the world know she's back on the market.

So though the movie was never made... we can enjoy the highlights of that defunct effort, and don't even have to queue it at NetFlix.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Top Ten Songs..

The blogger Cpt. Picard Journal asked the question a few weekends ago:

What are your top ten all time favourite songs and by whom? Can you say why?

In no particular order (and without a whole lot of thought) I would say:

1. Sultans of Swing. It's my strongest earworm. Even thinking of the song sets it playing in my head for weeks. (oh, damn!! there it goes again).

2. American Pie, Donny McLean. It's a great song to sing out loud.. and the reference to my musical history of the late fifties and sixties.. makes it more wonderful. But, truth be told, I have held this song in high esteem since it premiered.

3. Locomotive Breath, Jethro Tull. That guitar/keyboard riff in the beginning...

4. Shine a Little Light, James Taylor. Another earworm. Interesting rhythm and harmonies.

5. Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The EVA CASSIDY version. Haunting and beautiful.

6. Every Breath You Take. Sting.

7. Brown-Eyed Girl. Want to feel like young again? It's summer, it's energizing.

8. Road to Moscow. Al Stewart. History and fabulous music.

9. The Last Waltz. (was that englebert humperdink??) When I was a cute, single thing.. a musician sang that to me as we danced around an empty dancefloor after his gig. How romantic.

10. My Girl. Similar story... different musician. The band would sing this song each gig.. with musician singing part to his own girlfriend. "She got so much honey the bees envy me." (sigh... oh, to be 20 again...).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

If you're like me, you prowl home dec catalogs for inspirational designs. And one design that many of us like is Andy Warhol's Sunset. It's often seen as a throw rug like this:

So I painted a bunch of yellow suns the other day, and covered them with a rice paste resist (with varying results as it appears). Then today I painted the rest of the pieces. These I tore into their individual pieces (so I could play a bit) while they cure. After a couple days, I'll heat set it with iron, scrub off the resist and wash the pieces. Then on to the next step, which will be piecing these back together in a different configuration. (looks like I may be repainted some of those suns, too).


Ok, I'm trying to set up my comments with HaloScan... and while I'm playing around with this, it might be difficult to leave a comment on my page. Then again... it might not. We'll see.

So don't be surprised if you see "test" comments from me.... or little in the way of artistic content. (except I have a photo to upload soon)...

Altogether now...

Help me check my comments.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tuesday (so far)

It's mid afternoon. I've accomplished a lot of what I had planned for today.

The dogs and I got a 2+mile walk (with hills) that had the heart rate up and the sweat running freely. I got both pairs of glasses adjusted, and mailed off some legal paperwork.

Creatively, I'm working out how to encorporate this summer watercolor class into my own work. I don't think I will stay with this Createx Pigments mixed with water all the time. I think adding some type of medium to this will make it work better on cotton (on habotai silk it's fine). I may go back to Golden Fluid paints... but we'll see.

So the paint on fabric isn't it.

But we've spent about the half the time in the class making little "booklets" with watercolor paints. The idea behind these techniques is finding designs in designs. And after working through several of these exercises I DO see a potential for using the technique as a method for journalling future design ideas.

It's getting me excited. I can see a potential workshop coming out of this ... now how to market that idea?

Don't suggest my quilt guild. They announced their workshop schedule for this, their entire program this year is aimed at the beginner quilter. It's so boring and uninspired that I'm seriously considering quitting the guild.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Learning more...

Ok, I'm trying to educate myself more about blogging and the technology. In doing so, I wrote Alexandra Samuel for a little guidance:

I found your blog because of BlogHer, and I've been reading through it thoroughly enjoying your writing style and you fabulous knowledge of this medium.

I am HOPING to find a path to learning more about making blogging work. I've picked up a few things from your blog that I had earlier learned on my own (WTF is RSS and why do I want it?).

How does someone who is just learning about something choose who to sign with?? And you discuss items I've read about but still not to the point that I DO understand.

Tagging. why should I care? and how do I do it?

Social bookmarking. same question.

Setting up a wiki?? Where, why and most importantly how??

I have yet to find simple discussions about these items that use English (instead of Geek). Maybe I need to mine deeper in your blog and links, but at the moment I still like that kid accidently scheduled in Latin III instead Latin I.

Her reply:

can I suggest this would be a great topic for a "bloggespondence"? i.e. turn your email into a blog post --
it's a great post as-is -- and just make sure to hyperlink your post
to a post in my blog -- for example one of the tagging-related or
Blogher-related posts. That way your blog post will ping my blog, and
I can respond to you in my blog, and then other people can join in.
And if you include this code:"
then our correspondence will pop up at Advanced Tools.

how does that sound?

Me again... So I'm trying this. Don't know if I put the hyperlink in the right place.... or how this will work from here... but I'll try something once.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Good News...all you attending AQT.... and greens...

Just asked Judy and got the reply:

The Resort at Squaw Valley is supposed to have free WiFi access when we get there in November!!

We can all blog our fun!! Melody and Gabrielle teaching... Gerrie and Liz?? and me and ... any others??? as attendees...

Now I'm not saying I'm getting a bit excited about this... but can we possibly plan an artful quilt blogring get together one evening? I know Gerrie will bring the wine.. I'll bring the stout...

I am coming a day early (so I'll be there for the first session's goodbye dinner).. and staying through the second session.

On a totally different note: this was the 2nd day this week that I didn't have fresh greens/veggies for lunch. And I missed it. (hmm.. me missing veggies?? I'd never believe it). Maybe Sonji's line that you crave what you eat really is true???

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Two Thai day!!

Friday was not highly creative (I've got a few ideas seeping, but not ready to jump out onto fabric yet)... but it was busy.

Grocery shopping and housing cleaning filled up spots, but the key points:

I ate 2 meals in Thai restaurants!! talk about heaven.

Clara came over at lunch so I could show her the WonThai, my local super Thai restaurant. When we walked in the door and sat down, Mark, the owner, looked at me. "Where's Steve?" It's nice to have a local place where people know who you are. (except that they only Steve's name as that's the one on the credit card most often when we dine there).

And, knowing Steve and I normally order the Tom Ka Gai, they gave not only the lunch menu, but the full dinner menu too. Both Clara and I order chose to order from the lunch menu... having delicious meals and Thai Ice Tea. Then we went to Fabric Depot in Pinole so she could pick up some fabric.

Later, Steve called because the Honda dealer had let his oil change slip. Dropped the car off at 7 am, and it wasn't done when he was done with work at 4 pm!! I drove down to Point Richmond to rescue him and we ate supper down there. And where did he choose? Another Thai restaurant!! What a lucky gal I am.

This time we had their house salad... a standard American style salad with a great peanut sauce dressing. Then pumpkin curry with brown rice (fabulous)... and pad thai.

So not a lot of work done (but, hey my sinks have a certain shine about them...) but my tummy is happy-happy.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Talking blogging and shopping therapy

Wednesday morning I headed to my dentist's to get a couple small cavities filled. So while I was lying there, his hands in my mouth, the front of face numb, we started talking about blogging.

Him: Bloggin...yada yada yada..

Me: grpouskjlurkuepswpoeifhisopdhforoweioif.

Him: Yes, I think I see your point! But... yada, yada, yada...

(I gave Dr. Warren my blog site... so give a shout out to him everyone!!) I decided it was weird enough that I had to blog about it.

( Welcome to Blogger's Anonymous. Who is present today?
My name's Debra. I'm a blogging addict.
Hello Debra. Can we link back to your blog??)

After being tortured for all of about 40 minutes, I decided some retail therapy would be the only thing to help me recover. (note to self: exercise might have been more productive.). I stopped at JoAnnes.. and gathered a couple potential items. Then checked the coupon in my purse. Expired. Nothing yelled to me: I'm already on sale, buy me! Or I'm worth full price. so I walked out without buying anything.

Well, poo.

On to Ross.

Now the British What Not To Wear ladies wrote a book that told us what to wear to look our best. They pretty much dismissed sleeveless if you're over 25... but I can't stand the feel of most sleeves... so forget that. What they did strongly suggest however, was a lower neckline... ideally V, and a "wrap" look in a top. For me. (narrow shoulders, big boobs, no waist).

Ross had a whole lot of cute v-neck tops in a pseudo-wrap style... in sizes S and M. As soon as I got to the sizes that admitted... gee, she has boobs... the wrap style disappeared. completely. I'll pretend that others who read the book got there first, and took all the cute tops.

I did find 5 cute tops. Sleeveless, stretchy thing all from the same manufacturer. All the same size. Two fit perfect. Three didn't. If someone can explain this, I'd love to know how!

A look at skirts was painful and fruitless. And dresses. Too dressy.. or too strange. But I did find one cute sundress.

Now home to work a bit around the house, and head to my guild meeting this evening. I've got to admit, I've outgrown this guild and really need to quit it. But I'm the rep from the guild to the regional quilt council and I like that position. So I will probably just skip attending most of the meetings.

Eucalyptus II, finished.

This small quilt is finished. It measures 16x24-1/4. I think there is maybe a third quilt in this series, maybe more (I still have fabric left), but I don't know what else I want to do with this series. Sorry, I didn't get a close up of the quilting.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

My Weather Pixie..

Is she visible to you? (cause she's AWOL to me).

I wonder why she feels the need to disappear for a week or so at a time most months? It is a bandwidth problem for the site owner?? or...

Does Pixie feel bloated and crampy? And doesn't even want to think about slipping into those flippy little outfits she wears? I'd take her showing up sweats and eating chocolate if she would just show up...

Darn and Tarnation

In my head today was the only day this week without anything planned. A full day for working around the house for a couple hours, then working in the studio the rest of the day. My reward day.

Then I remembered to actually turn the calendar to the correct page. There is something scheduled today: the regional SAQA meeting.


I like the SAQA meetings, but I'm blowing it off this time.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I feel better now.

Mixed greens, and baby spinach. Beets for roasting on the grill, summer squash, ripe tomatoes, and a burgundy heirloom, plus some Trader Joe's marinated mozzerella.

Out of sorts...

I woke up too early this morning, feeling tense and out of sorts. I'm alternating between an urge to cry and a desire to punch something. Hard.

I'm feeling stressed. I'm sure it has to do with the whole moving my MIL into her house (going there to help with the move; getting the loans and paperwork in order, all that STUFF... and so far from home), and my husband's suggestion that we move into that same house when he retire. That's NOT going to happen.

Stress. I need to deal with this.

I need to eat carefully the next few days... resist the temptation for sugars, and MOVE. Walking hard and fast... getting that heart rate up there. Do some serious weight work. And get work done that makes me feel like I've accomplished something worthwhile.

So this morning I walked "around the block".. alone (I was yelling too much at the dogs; a sure sign I needed exercise away). It's 1.5 miles, half downhill/ half up (well, DUH!) and about 1.5 miles long. I completed in 20 minutes. That's (codger, codger, codger)..FAST.

I'm heading at a farmer's market for some good veggies --oh, please have the organic mixed salad greens I love and maybe some ripe tomatoes. A successful find of tomatoes will mean acquiring some fresh mozzarella, I have basil in the garden. Dinner will be planned at the market.

Home to take the dogs to the dog park for a play. It's offleash, and shaded.

Then finish quilting Eucalyptus II and head off for a evening of play in my watercolor class tonight.