Monday, October 31, 2005

Hey.. Where did they go??

I just read through the blog ring for the first time in a couple weeks. Didn't we used to have over 100 blogs on the ring? Today there were 100.

Where did the others go? (were some eliminated? Left fallow? Did Google just need more room for their ads??)

They got this SO WRONG

Halloween Horoscope for Cancer

You're usually the one who gives out the best candy in your neighborhood.

And you really get into the halloween spirit decorating your house.

Costume suggestions: A witch, wizard, or angel

Signature Halloween candy: Mini peanut butter cups
What's Your Halloween Horoscope?

First, I do not celebrate Halloween. EVER.

I was ill when I 5, 6 and 7.. the key years for celebrating Halloween when I was a kid. So I never got into it.

As an adult, I see the constant interruption of my supper and the dogs barking for several hours as a major pain.

Besides, if I buy candy for the 10 who showed up last year, and 100 show up... what do I do? If I buy for 100 and 10 show up... I don't need the calories.


But they got the peanut butter cups right.

My Ghost Story

Since it's Halloween, I thought I'd tell you about my first car. It came with a ghost in the backseat.

The first car I owned was a 1970 AMC Hornet. It had been originally purchased by a woman...a wife and mother. When she died suddenly several months later, her son took his anger out on the car. He kicked in the doors and trashed the interior. So my father bought a 2 year old car with limited mileage for $700 (then put about $1000 into it). He and I shared it until I graduated from college.

This was my car, Persephone.


You know sometime you think you see something out of the corner of your eye? Or you feel something that isn't there?

Whenever I drove that car, I could almost see someone sitting in the backseat in the rearview mirror. And I could definately feel someone back there. Now I know the car had been owned by a woman... but this felt like a man.

For the longest time I thought it was just a sense that came from driving... that everyone experienced the same thing, and that I would no matter what. When Persephone was totalled and replaced, however, I lost that sensation.

I can still remember it, though.

So my first car had a ghost in the backseat...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

This is a TEST

This is test link to the simple still life post for Round Three. This is NOT my final photo... but I did learn that red fruit on blue velvet cannot photograph accurately!!

Simple Still Life: Round Three Challenge Guidelines.

What's cooking this weekend?

Saturday began cloudy, cool, and rainy. A look at my calendar shows I've got plans for 3 days this week. That meant today was a perfect time to precook some foods for suppers. I loaded up the oven with :

a corned beef;
a fresh picnic pork roast;
some babyback ribs;
and a butternut squash.

The ribs and corned beef were in pans of water, the roast picnic in it's own dry pan, and the squash just fitted in where it fit. I'm glad my fan has a convection fan to circulate the air, because the oven was FULL.

Anyway, set the temp at 275, the timer for 3 hours and walked away. All day these luscious odors eminated from the kitchen. When the timer went off, the oven was turned off. I pulled the roast, wrapped in foil, and put it away; but let everything else cool with the oven.

So this week we can have:

pulled pork with bbq sauce;
creamy squash soup with a salad and sourdough bread;
Reuben sandwiches.
We had the ribs for supper on Saturday.

Now a hint I learned while working at a butcher shop (Oh yeah... I forgot that job last week. I also worked in a butcher shop). Most people take their corned beefs out of the packages, plop them in a dutch oven full of water, bring it to a boil and cook the bejesus outta their beef for 2.5 hours. Then complain that the meat is stringy and watery.

In our butcher shop we did this:

Place the package of the corned beef in a pan. DO NOT OPEN THE PACKAGE. Add water up tonear the top of the meat (not completely covering the beef, but up high on the sides). Then cook it. In the butcher shop, we would bring the oven up to 400 degrees, then turn it off and go home. It would cool down slowly, and the corned beefs would be done in the morning.

Cooking your corned beef this way leaves you with a firm piece of meat that is easy to cut. For a boiled dinner, you save the juices from the package (which usually open slightly while cooking it), and add that to your water/stock when cooking the veggies.

Anyway, my tip o the day... how to cook a tasty corned beef.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Simple Still Life... October.

Blogger is FIXED, but I just remembered that I uploaded this a while ago.

My simple still life for October, was the toothy pumpkin votive:

I wasn't very invested in doing something creative with this, but I downloaded a copy of the Kalieder software to play with again. Kalieder lets the use choose a photo, and a number of filters which manipulate the image. It's kind of like have multiple kalaidescopes to view a picture with.

Used my toothy pumpkin photo as the starting point here are four images I created.

This is the first part of the mandala image below. I started with "puddling mirror" image.

Then I superimposed a kalaidescope angle to get the image below. Doesn't this look like an "arts and craft" style print? Kind of William Morris-ey?

A simple image...

A mandala. I so want to print this out and bead parts of it...

Actually, playing with this program is as addictive as eating potato chips!!

The guidelines for November are up at the Simple Still Life site... if you'd like to play, go over, read them, and join in.

Simple Still Life due...

Ok, I know.. the Simple Still Life photos are due today. And BLOGGER is having a problem uploading photos.

Mine were pretty lame this month... but you're gonna hafta wait until Blogger gets fixed to judge.

So maybe I shouldn't dye my hair??

you are silver

Your dominant hue is red... you are passionate, energetic, and unafraid of life's changes. You're all about getting out and trying something new, even if it means taking risks that other people would be afraid of. Hey, if they're afraid and you're not, more power to you, right?

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.
the html color quiz

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dye Day show and tell.

The color is not perfect on these, but atleast you see a bit of the process. I soaked these in soda ash (ala Lazy Dyer's), then used Ann Johnston's parfait method to dye them. In this method, you dribble some dye on one piece, then layer a fabric over it and dribble a different color. As the colors are dribbled and sit together, the dye flows up and down the pieces. So all pieces in one "batch" should go together because they have common pieces. This is piece one.. a golden yellow (inspite of the fact that it looks really green here).

The second piece (looking a bit washed out) has all the yellow, but the red and blues from above are stronger.

Probably the third piece (but I didn't number them).

And, ofcourse because it's me, I had to fold and get shibori patterning involved in these.

Another shibori fold and dip piece...

And the BEST shibori piece.

Above are damask napkins (I think linen, but who knows when you buy them at funky antique shop?) These are those cheap white cotton napkins you get at linen outlet stores... usually 8 napkins and table runner for about $10.

The colors are more subtle than the damask, but quite pretty.

The damask table cloth dyed up. If nothing else, it will make a back for the napkins.

A close up of the damask.

A simple linen table cloth... with holes in it that made it unusable. It's pretty and soft. Would make a wonderful ruana(?) if they didn't look like sacks on me.

The difference between dyeing and painting for me? My fingers stay almost a normal color when I paint, but the dyeing seems faster.


Today is my blog's first birthday!

When I started it last year, I thought this would be a place to store quotes, design ideas and other items that I didn't want to lose. I really didn't think about anyone reading it. Then in January our fabulous ringmom, Diane, started the Artful Quilt Blogring. And I started reading other blogs, and finding even more blogs.

I'd leave a comment, and they would come and visit me...

and the rest, as they say, in monologue.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Good Mail Day and Dye Day

Yesterday was a good mail good... I got the Art Quilts, A Celebration book... and this wonderful package from DebL. . I tore it apart before I could take a picture of how pretty it was bundled.

The hand dyed fabric inspired me to finally soak and dye the linens I've had sitting in sewing room (see Scary Studio near the door. A large pile of white fabrics). I had offered these to Deb L., but I couldn't guarentee thier fiber content (and she wanted only cotton), so I decided to keep them for myself.

I mixed up some dyes, dribbled it on napkins and old tableclothes ala Johnston's parfait method. Then stuck them in a bucket to batch for a while. The colors are richer than they appear in this photo. Stay tuned for aftershots tomorrow.

I really should wear gloves when I work... but THING ABOUT ME #21: I hate wearing anything on my fingers.

Really, really hate anything on my fingers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Twenty Things Tag Tuesday

Gerrie tagged me to do the 20 things meme.... so here's a few facts about me:

1. I grew up the only girl in the family with 3 brothers: Mike, Mark and Kevin.

2. I am almost the ultimate middle child. Mike is 1 year 6 days older than I; Mark is 1 year 26 days younger. Kevin is 6 years younger than I. The birthdays in our family also ran from oldest to youngest... Dad in April, Mom in May, Mike and I in June, Mark in July and Kevin and August. My first 2 SILs fit in, too.

3. I was in the test group for New Math in the '60s. The joke about this is, I understand set theory but can't divide. Really. I can't divide.

4. I was also in the test group for language by TV. For 3 years in grade school, we "learned" Spanish with Senor Luente(?) on the TV. About 3 times a week. They followed up then through high school and were shocked at what they discovered: more of us took language classes... and we took more language classes than previous classes.... often 4 years. However, NONE of us took any more Spanish.

5. From 6th through 8th grade, I was 60 inches tall and 58 pounds (I didn't gain a pound for 5 years). Then, in the spring of that year, I gained 40 pounds in 6 weeks. Talk about strange metabolism!!

6. I LOVE Baseball. (well maybe you knew that!) I started paying attention to the sport in the early '60s. I studied the rules changes when the AL established very different rules (including the DH). I saw Luis Tiant strike out 18 batters in 21 innings (I think...) at a night game one summer. Saw Dennis Eckersley as a rookie when everyone thought he'd blow his arm in a year or two. I drifted away during my college years, but came back to the game in the late 70s. I love baseball.

7. When I was 35, I had my first lipid profile done. I was 3times+ risk of heart disease. However, the minimun dose of cholesterol meds gets me into the half normal risk group. Without these meds, I'd probably be dead by now. (diet and exercise did nothing to improve my numbers).

8. In theory, I would love to be a vegatarian. Except that I love meat and dislike most vegetables. I said it was in theory.

9. I designed the last house we lived in. Watching it being built was breath-taking as my vision materialized.

10. Steve and I met in Finance 501. I saw his feet as he walked by me and knew we'd know each other better. The first test drove the whole class to drink and we sat next to each other. He pretty much matched my checklist of potential date material. That was the fall of 1982. We were married in the fall of 83. Although my brothers (their wives and kids) are all still around, Steve is like my only family.

11. I am a bit psychic but can't control it at all.

12. I edited a book used as the text in several Urban Studies programs in Ohio, although I never studied Urban Studies.

13. I machine sewed my first quilt while watching the coverage of the first Gulf War. Before that point, I'd done everything quilt-related by hand. The sewing machine scared me.

14. I have: sold t-shirts; bought steel; sold educational workbooks; given marketing surveys in shopping malls; helped run a non-profit that supplied assistance for Russian refusniks; delivered phone books; substitute taught, handed out samples in grocery stores, hawked other people's wares at fairs. I'm not sure I've actually used anything I have a degree in.

15. I have always been able to read text that is upside down and backward.

16. I have a wierd math disability: if it's not written down, I have a floating decimal point. Can't necessarily remember if a number is 10,000 or 100,000....or maybe .00001.

17. I have white water rafted the Cheat, New, and Gauley Rivers in WV and the Yough in PA. (class 3 to 5 rapids). Only got hurt eating lunch.

18. I bought a brand new stick shift car so I would be forced to learn how to drive it.

19. I'm a good navigator but I have trouble knowing the compass directions if there isn't a large body of water nearby (a great lake or the ocean). When we moved from Cleveland (water to the north) to the Bay area (water to the west), my internal compass was off by 90 degrees for about 6 months.

20. I can run a lot of electronic equipment without reading a manual. I have ALWAYS been able to program any VCR I've met.

Ok, I'm NOT formally tagging anyone... but if you'd like to share 20 things about yourself.. and you occasionally or frequently read this blog but maybe fear that "nobody likes you" because you haven't been tagged, consider yourself tagged. Just leave a comment letting me know you're doing it, so I can link to you.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Ok, Fess UP..

Who in Sacremento was reading about Pickle birthdays at 8:30 this morning?

And why?

Scary Studio Tour.

Juliane challenged us to do a scary studio challenge this month. Post the photos of our disaster area now.. and then the weekend after Thanksgiving post the photos of our sparkling clean workspaces.

My studio is the first floor extra room/office. In all the other houses on our court, it's made as a guest bedroom. Where my double doors are, they have a closet. Where my steel bookcase is and my work table is, they have 2 door (one entering the room and one going into the bathroom. That door to the bathroom has GOT to make these rooms a PIA to use. Although I would love the closet, I really like my double doors. The total room is 10x12.. the main part is 10x8.

This is the view from the doorway. The window looks out at a fence and my neighbor's bushes.

This is an angled wall behind the door where I have a bookcase. And floorspace in front of the bookcase that's filled with crap.

The top part of the bookcase. Magazines my books, exercise equipment and lots of crap.

In the main part of the room. Shelves along the wall and a work table below. How do I work when it is full of crap? I carry everything out to the kitchen and work on the island.

The shelves above. Supplies, patterns, quilts, crap, etc...

Under the work table. Paint supplies, pieces of batting, sheer fabrics, crap.

Along the window. The table is a handwork table that I've used most of the summer for waterpainting. Also a rack with UFOs on it and a file box and crap. The windowsill SHOULD be clear and empty.

Under the table are supplies being accumulated for AQT. I'm taking a class with Gerry Chase this year. Oh, yeah... and crap.

The sewing machine table (a Sauder computer desk that works really well as a sewing table) and the chair. I will be cutting that flannel tonight.

Under the sewing table. More pieces of batting. I need to give these up or make more really small pieces.

And the REALLY SCARY PART: There were 2 mice living in here a couple weeks ago. Thanks to well placed glue traps, they are no more.

Stay tuned for Post Thanksgiving after photos. I'm thinking some furniture is coming outta there...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday... Play Day...

Hey, it's Sunday... time to goof off a bit. I found this link from a non-artist blog I read... but it's fun! Spend a little time playing at You Draw. You might just make the book.

I'm spending the day walking the dogs, working in the garden and watching the white sox.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


I'm ready... so PLAY BALL!!

A grilled Polish sausage with sauerkraut on a slice of bread (I don't like to eat buns... too much bread). Some tomatoes and green veggies for health... and a Guinness to top things off.

Now let's root! Root! ROOT! for the White Sox!!

I HAD to do this.

Julie commented on this on her blog, and you know I had to do this.

Remember, I was trained as an English teacher (mumbledy) decades ago. So I had to go through Times list of the 100 Best Novels (primarily of the last century). Those titles in RED I have read completely, those is green I have started but not finished, and those in purple I've not read but I've seen the movies. OK.. add a couple Masterpiece Theater productions...

My results are pretty low considering. But my own list of great novels would different dramatically from this one. I haven't read the Margaret Atwood novel they named, but The HandMaid's Tale is engrained my soul and would probably be my MA choice. And, like the selectors noted: No Amy Tan? No Stephen King (though I don't read him)... No Asimov?

The Complete List of TIME'S
100 Best Novels, 1923 to Present

The Adventures of Augie March Saul Bellow
All the King's Men Robert Penn Warren
American Pastoral Philip Roth
An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser
Animal Farm George Orwell
Appointment in Samarra John O'Hara
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret Judy Blume
The Assistant Bernard Malamud
At Swim-Two-Birds Flann O'Brien
Atonement Ian McEwan
Beloved Toni Morrison
The Berlin Stories Christopher Isherwood
The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler
The Blind Assassin Margaret Atwood
Blood Meridian Cormac McCarthy
Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh Well, the Masterpiece Theatre production.
The Bridge of San Luis Rey Thornton Wilder
Call It Sleep Henry Roth
Catch-22 Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
The Confessions of Nat Turner William Styron
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
The Crying of Lot 49 Thomas Pynchon
A Dance to the Music of Time Anthony Powell
The Day of the Locust Nathanael West
Death Comes for the Archbishop Willa Cather
A Death in the Family James Agee
The Death of the Heart Elizabeth Bowen
Deliverance James Dickey
Dog Soldiers Robert Stone
Falconer John Cheever
The French Lieutenant's Woman John Fowles
The Golden Notebook Doris Lessing
Go Tell it on the Mountain James Baldwin
Gone With the Wind Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
Gravity's Rainbow Thomas Pynchon
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Handful of Dust Evelyn Waugh
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers
The Heart of the Matter Graham Greene
Herzog Saul Bellow
Housekeeping Marilynne Robinson
A House for Mr. Biswas V.S. Naipaul
I, Claudius Robert Graves. Again, Masterpiece Theater.
Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
Light in August William Faulkner
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
C.S. Lewis.This book is, ironically, next on my list.
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies William Golding
The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
Loving Henry Green
Lucky Jim Kingsley Amis
The Man Who Loved Children Christina Stead
Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie
Money Martin Amis
The Moviegoer Walker Percy
Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf
Naked Lunch William Burroughs
Native Son Richard Wright
Neuromancer William Gibson
Never Let Me GoKazuo Ishiguro
1984 George Orwell
On the Road Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Ken Kesey
The Painted Bird Jerzy Kosinski
Pale Fire Vladimir Nabokov
A Passage to India E.M. Forster
Play It As It Lays Joan Didion
Portnoy's Complaint Philip Roth
Possession A.S. Byatt
The Power and the Glory Graham Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Muriel Spark
Rabbit, Run John Updike
Ragtime E.L. Doctorow
The Recognitions William Gaddis
Red Harvest Dashiell Hammett
Revolutionary Road Richard Yates
The Sheltering Sky Paul Bowles
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash Neal Stephenson
The Sot-Weed Factor John Barth
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
The Sportswriter Richard Ford
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold John le Carre
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller
Ubik Philip K. Dick
Under the Net Iris Murdoch
Under the Volcano Malcolm Lowry
Watchmen Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
White Noise Don DeLillo
White Teeth Zadie Smith
Wide Sargasso Sea Jean Rhys

Friday, October 21, 2005

I opened my box from PIQF today...

My quilt was nicely packaged the same way I shipped it. I was eager to see the judge's comments.. it's why I consider entering shows.. to learn from the judge's crit. Last time, I didn't learn much.. and I know they have to judge quickly..

I think I agree with the judge's comments.. but I'm a little confused what one means:

For Eucalyptus I, she wrote:

a good variety of quilting designs.

well thought out design but lacks definition.

What to you does "lacks defiinition" mean??

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Quizling Sunday on Wednesday.

Art or Fake?

This quiz is not set up for publication on a blog... no cute little report to cut and paste... but an interesting quiz nonetheless. I got an 83% (?)... two wrong.

Today I'm heading to our regional Quilt Council meeting in the morning. Not quite sure what the program is (how to find information about?... but I'll go, take notes and report to my guild). This afternoon I'm baking fruit cakes, and cutting flannel for new lap quilts. Hey, if heating bills go up we need new quilts! Then I'm cheering for the Astros.

Somewhere in there I will be doing some more experimenting with layering and stitching to get the color blending I want to see...

And gathering materials for AQT.

Anyone else going to be joining LizB and I there second session?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Give a Man a Plan...

Give a man a plan... and he's got a purpose. This above was just an hour or so after we discussed repurposing this part of the yard. One bush chopped completely down, and the juniper ground cover partially hacked away.

Sunday afternoon... and the job is as done as can be. Next weekend we empty and move the composting bin. Found a leak in the drip system that was completely obscured by the juniper. So we'll put a small log rack along the fence here with the compost bin.. and in front who knows what I'll plant. To the right of the composter and the rake is a lemon tree... and at the left is a orange tree that's been fighting for life. I'll bet getting rid of the juniper will help it a lot.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fast, fun and perfect for October...

What is your Monster Profile?

Your Monster Profile

Undead Destroyer

You Feast On: Bananas

You Lurk Around In: Las Vegas

You Especially Like to Torment: Lawyers. sorry ringmother...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

First rain of the season...

Went to bed last night... it was dry. (I'm sure. I let Katy out and she came in dry...) Went to bed, and a few minutes later came the sound of gentle rain falling against the roof and house. It was the best way to fall asleep.

In the winter we get a lot of rain. Usually, though, it's strong and wild and the wind and noise drives me to the other side of the house to sleep. I don't enjoy most of the winter rain. But last night's rain had the charm of a gentle soaking rain. I was torn between staying awake and listening.. and falling asleep to the gentle rhythm of the rain. Sleep won.

So today we walked along outside and started talking about our fall landscaping projects. We have this spot that doesn't work well, so it will be re-worked. Two large privet bushes and a couple spreading junipers will be pulled out. The compost bin will be moved a bit... and a half-cord log holder will be put in near the chimenea. Next spring I'll plant up the bare spot a bit more... I've been looking for a spot to plant some lillies...

Need to plant my fall lettuce and clean up the flower gardens some...

This is for you southern women...

I am a 2nd generation American woman of eastern european heritage. (this is an explanation or disclaimer). Our family in the US grew up in large midwestern town.

So I don't know how to cook greens. I have just had to fake it on my own.

Now I frequently eat chard for lunch, but I do it one way only and it's getting a bit boring.

Here's my technique:

I wash the leaves well, trim off the bottom of the stems, then chop the red chard up. I place it (still damp) in a warm frying pan and let it wilt. (about 3-5 minutes). Then I add a teaspoon of butter and a couple shakes of parmesan cheese. Plate and eat.

Just read on the "Healthiest foods ever" website (thank you Mary Beth), that they suggest boiling it!! You boil greens?? Doesn't that make them yucky like spinach??

So those who know... how should I cook my red swiss chard?

Friday, October 14, 2005


Last night I started drawing arches... big arches, medium arches, small arches... all overlapped and intertwined. Arches. It had something to do with something I saw on tv...but I don't remember what. I just know that in the middle of watching a tape, I had to go into my studio, grab my sketch book and work.

This is a new inexpensive sketchbook I picked up a couple weeks ago. It's got some dreadful scribbles in it, and some interesting stuff. I need to be willing to carry it with me more. Maybe a pretty bookcover like Deborah made will make me want to keep this book in my life more.

Don't know yet what/if/when I will do anything with the arches, but I was so pleased to have something jump into my eyeballs and that strong of an impression.

The sketch piece I showed a couple weeks ago is going to be made for the FiberArt SoCal Changing Perspectives challenge. Examining how we as individuals interact in our social environment will be an interesting piece. I'm thinking I will paint it on cotton sheeting, and paint the overlay circle pieces of either tulle or silk organza. I am working on a final sketch, and still trying to see if I can get the overlays to work the way I want. I may need to give up the overlay idea.

Sunday I'm heading down to PIQF with several friends. I will be looking for thread (variagated cottons) at the vendors. And spending lots of time studying the quilts. How cool is it that both DebR's are side by side? (do you think they planned it that way?)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Something fun for grownups at this Halloween season

Well, not exactly the next parlor game...

Last Call Poker. Texas Hold 'Em played with head stones.

Now, why couldn't I have learned about this when we had a cemetary as our backyard neighbor???

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Onward and away...and Hacked!!

Phooey! don't ask me how.. but my blog was hacked Tuesday night. It was full of garbage and meaningless stuff. And it took me about 3 hours to recover it. I've decided to make a copy of the template and save it in a Word file just incase this happens again. What a pain.

I've spent the weekend staring at those experiments from last week. I learned from them... and I don't think I'm going to finish them off.

One piece was overstitched with zigzag only. On the larger fields, the stitching is too heavy. I've learned that I like a more open subtler stitching to enhance the fields.

On the other piece, I just could not cope with that wedge-and-cross shape. Nothing I could do to make that work. I've learned that I like the fields to be a bit more amorphous than those shapes were.

Now these experiments were related to the piece I showed a couple weeks ago...I'm trying to work out some the plans for this piece. So I'm taking my cut outs down and moving on to a couple other small experiments... playing with overlays and overlaying color.

I'm still "fine tuning" the drawing. I realized that the first drawing I posted had "rules" and I occasionally made an exception to the rule. That's what made it interesting. The eye understands the rules even if the rule isn't obvious.

In some of the middle pieces, I forgot what the rules were... and the outcome was chaos. In the second one I showed, I stuck to rules, without exception. Dull.

So I understand what worked and didn't work in designing the piece... now I need to make sure the message is there behind the lines. Then I need to find an overhead projector to make it larger...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Valley Stitchers Guild Meeting

One of the guilds I belong to is Valley Stitchers Guild. VSG is open for anyone who is interested in needlearts. Be it knitting, tatting, beading, polymerclay (ok, it's a stretch as a fiber.. but it's part of the guild), basketry, wearable arts, quilting. Whatever. You do it (artfully), and you're welcome. About the only requirement has been that it be creative.. not mundane.

This guild has a $25 annual membership and no show, yet it affords interesting speakers every month. Part of the support is through an activity called "little shop". Members can bring in items they don't want anymore. You give it to the guild to sell; if it doesn't you take it home after the meeting.

Most items go in "prepriced" catagories: fabric is $1/yard; magazines are $.25 each; books are $.50. etc. Nearly every member of the guild makes a point of "shopping" before or after the meeting, spending probably a couple bucks each. So we bring in about $125 month.

Today was guild meeting, and I perused the goodies. Look what gems were hiding in the bottom of the magazine file: Three issues of FiberArts from the mid 80s! I grabbed a recent copy of Threads to round things out. There were even a couple copies of Selvedge that I considered picking up and hawking on EBay. Maybe next month.

Sometimes life is good... if we look for the simple things.

My Little Shop finds.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


After complaining last week, I am compelled by fair play to say that they tech guys at SBC DSL all need raises! I got the software to setup my system, and the silly thing wouldn't recognize my modem. No way, no how.

Pick up the phone and call the tech support. First Marvin spent over an hour with me trying to get things set up. He got me about 3/4 through the work, but still no go. I was online.. but through my old EarthLink connection.

Then Marvin switched me over to Jason on a 2nd tier support line. Jason and worked element by element... step by step through processes that I barely understood.. and he wasn't too sure about either. Two hours and 16 minutes after picking up the phone, the network was up and running with my new provider.

Now to make the changes on the computers. Since we log on to the system through the router, no problem there... but how to set up my mail system. Check the FAQ online (after spending about 45 minutes trying to find it)... did what it said.. and eventually a quick visit with the tech support guys by online chat.

So 4 hours after starting, everything seems to be working. If you are in my address book, you should be getting a message in the next few days telling you my new email address. In the meantime, I'm running through all the places on the web where they contact me by mail, and trying to change it. (sigh)...

Now I know why I've been with Earthlink for over 10 years...

Aunt Purls Horror scope

Thank you DebR. Last month, remember every horoscope told me to worry too much and eat better. Not so fun!!

So FINALLY a good horoscope from Crazy Aunt Purl. Hope this trend continues for a couple months.

CANCER (June 22 - July 22)

FINALLY. The stars and planets and the moon and all that other junk swirling around our cosmos is aligning just so, making October a really neat-o-fragilistic month for Cancerians. We'll be pretty, and happy, and -- say it isn't so! -- we'll be tentatively optimistic. I don't know about ya'll, but I'm already feeling better, even though I'm sort of pissed off that it's October already and I'm not yet prepared for Fall, and holidays, and so on. The little frisson of discontentment with time rapidly marching over me is just a teeny blip on the radar of a pretty damn good month. I AM SO READY FOR A GOOD MONTH. And I said to the universe "Give us happiness! We need it!" and the universe responded with, "All right! Stop your whining! Happy! Happy! Happy it is!"

Friday, October 07, 2005

You KNOW I was going to have to do this...

And I guess the results are fairly accurate. Though I never saw it before, but I'm happy to strongly KayLee and a whole lot of River, too.

What SERENITY character are you?

You scored as Kaylee Frye. The Mechanic. You are a natural mechanic, and you are far too sweet and cheerful to live out here. How you can see the good in everyone around you boggles the mind occationally. Still you don't seem to be any crazier than that, and it is a nice kinda crazy.

Kaylee Frye 75%

River Tam 69%

Inara Serra 63%

Simon Tam 63%

Capt. Mal Reynolds 56%

Hoban 'Wash' Washburne 50%

Zoe Alleyne Washburne 50%

Shepherd Derrial Book 50%

The Operative 44%

Jayne Cobb 38%

A walk around the neighborhood

I was inspired by DebR's walk around their property earlier this week. So yesterday I grabbed the camera when I took both dogs for a walk around our neighborhood. It was 80F, 20% humidity and about 1 pm.


Katy gets "geared up" first, and hooked to the fence waiting for Jake and me. She knows a good walk is coming.

With both dogs in the lead, we leave our court and heading to Turquoise, the main street in our development. We will head downhill, and back up Emerald (that street coming in from the right up ahead).

Just past Emerald. The road is curvy.

Approaching Jade Court, then an open space. That is San Pablo Bay in the background.

A "melon" colored house with deep pink trim. Remarkably, considering my Midwest upbringing, I've gotten used to seeing this house and it doesn't look strange anymore.

We're heading down into all those houses...

Now a horticulture lesson. This is a Chinese Pistache (yes, it's related to the pistachio tree). It's guarenteed to give you fall color up to zone 10!!

Just past that streetlight up head we will be heading back uphill.

Here we are... bottom of Emerald and heading up to home.

Another Chinese pistache with a bit more color to it.

This house is worth $750,000. But it's a rental so nobody takes care of the outside. Aren't you glad this eyesore isn't next to you??

Jake, doing what dogs do on walks: sniffing.

OK. Pull your toes up toward your knees as high as will go. That's how steep this section of the walk is. But we're almost home.

Home again, home again. Jiggity-jig!!

If you've read carefully (or not so carefully)... when people refer to our "neighborhood" they call it what? (it even appears on the buses coming up the street...)