Saturday, December 31, 2005

We are OK

There has been a lot of rain around here over the last 36 hours. The region is making the national news, but right here we are OK. I live near the top of a large hill on very stable soil, so flooding and mudslides are not a problem.

My rain gauge is overflowing, so I've gotten more than 6" of rain since yesterday morning. The wind woke up my throughout the night and forced me out of bed about 6:30. It was pushing our plastic patio dining table down the stairs from the deck to the backyard. The table is toast. Wind was fairly steady at about 40 MPH, and gusted to over 60. But so far that appears to be all the damage. (knocks wood).

addendum: i remember my analogy for those of you back east and up north. This storm was like a warm blizzard.

There was just a notice on the tv to evacuate Sonoma Co. That was the text message... the voice message limited it to people along the Russian River. That's good, evacuating an entire county before sunset with regional flooding could be a pain. And they are showing I-80 near Travis AFB flooded.

At the moment the sun just poked out his bright and happy face. So I think I'll leash up the pups and get them out for a stretch. We'll just walk down the hill a bit and then back up... not down near the flatlands and potential flooding there.

A View toward 2006

Several weeks ago (was it that long already), I commented that some work initially excited me, but that it didn't "fit" my vision of work for the near future, and was purely copying, so I kept the note on an image I liked but let the rest go.

Since we are fast approaching 2006, I thought I'd share some of my work plans for this year. It's like the idea that if make our New Year's Resolution public, we are more likely to keep it. So here goes:

-I loved the small amount of playing I did last summer with watercolor painting on fabric. I would like to do more, maybe in a more traditional form. So I've signed up for a watercolor class that will begin in early January (if it fills). Then I will encorporate more painted images in my work. Actually, I'm going to be seeking out a watercolor class anywhere...

-I am completely fascinated with how colors blend and mix. That's what I was playing with in October by stitching pieces.. and I will work more on blending stitches to "mix" colors.

-I love texture in pieces brought about my dense machine and hand stitching, weaving, embroidery and encrustation. I will seek out places to use this for emphasis. (practice more to develop my own "stitch vocabulary" first.)

-I love the appearance of text or messages in work.. but hate having words interfere with someone's own interpretation of a piece. And there's sometimes that little problem with copyright. I know I could scribble and get some sense of text... but for a couple years I've been playing with emotigraphs (drawing emotions as pictures) and private alphabets. I'm almost done designing a private alphabet (no, not simply a font, it's a phonetic alphabet) that I've been thinking..

So I haven't been showing any new work for a while because I've been "cleaning house." I've been finishing up pieces that I like but that's don't necessarily play into these ideas; I've been studying (Katie P-M and Twyla at the moment). I've been getting ready. I've been getting my mental house in order. I've been studying my habits and finding my weak points.

Steve is home until 1/9; I'm also using this time to get the real house in order, too. However, when he goes back to work, the real work BEGINS.

I need to spend 3 months simply deciding how to get the above details to really work together. Lab work.. experimenting. Lots of things that I will probably show on the blog, but that then may not get out of the studio (except in the trash). How am I going to get all these elements to play well together? And will be able to do the work with my cock-eyed sense of irony included, too?

I'm feeling a spring that is being wound... I can sense the potential energy being accumulated. Here's hoping I expend it in a useful manner.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

RIP, Linda

OK. While blogging my life activities, I've often mentioned going for a walk my friend my Linda.. or maybe taking in a movie with her. I've never shared her whole name, or much about her because this blog is all about me!! That's not going change.

If you own the very first issue of Quilting Arts magazine, go get it. Look up the featured artist in this issue (pg. 52 and 53). That is my friend Linda Stimson. For a while an obsessive crazy quilter. Actually, whatever she was interested in she became obsessive about.

Linda died Wednesday from colon cancer.

Almost 2 years ago she was diagnosed. And at the same time we became friends. It started simply enough. She lived 2 miles from me, would be recovering from surgery for 6 weeks and needed to walk each day as part of her recovery. I walk each day. And I enjoy not walking alone. So we fell into the habit of walking together. I figured, a little karma would help me and when she returned to work, things would fall away.

Darn it if I didn't like the person I learned about. So we continued walking. And became friends. We talked out problems while walking... and shared solutions. We became cheerleaders for each other. I tried to forget that the friendship had an obvious and limited "use by" date, and often succeeded. This fall it became clear that time was short.

And in the last months I've learned about the good way to die. We all think of the ideal as falling asleep and not waking up. No warning, no worry. Here today, gone tomorrow.

From the experience of friends, I've learned that this might be the easy for the person dying, but it makes it hard on those left behind. They need to read intentions and clean up messes that they didn't make. It's hard on them. It's sloppy and messy and gets them stuck in the mourning process.

Because Linda has known she had very little time, she spent her energy and time making sure that nearly everything was done already. She had people assigned to distribute her books, her stuff, her fabrics and trims. She had her "house cleaned" before she moved out. It was important to her that we laugh and enjoy things, so she tried to make that easy on us.

So now family and friends can spend time mourning then gather up the good things and live. We do not need to wallow in the debris. It's a precious gift she has given people.

It's a goal I'm setting for myself. Yes, I'd still like to go to sleep and not have to confront my mortality directly. At the same time, I want to be sure that those left behind don't have too hard a time. So, along with organizing papers for the end of year, I will organize papers for the end of time... I will clean out the clutter of things I'm holding on to with no clear purpose.

And I'll try to count each day as precious.

Twyla's Book and my work

I'm reading through Twyla's book about a chapter a day... reading the exercises and thinking about them, but not actively working on them. I'm reading a chapter a day in 2 sessions, trying to soak up the essence the piece. I will go back and work harder at some of this in the future.

I hope to finish the book this weekend, because I want Steve to read it. At first glance, one might think that physical/analytical chemist would have little in common with a dancer, but he is always saying that research is "solving puzzles" which is fairly creative in my book. I think he will find he shares work habits with Twyla, and may use this book as his "How to Work" reference manual for the summer kids he mentors each year. It really is an excellent "how to" guide.

Being an INTP, I really do live most of my life "in my head".. and this gives me something worthwhile to "live" during the day. I might be physically pushing a cart down the grocery store aisle, but mentally I'm chewing on what I read this morning.

Yesterday I started painting up my piece for the "Changing Perspectives/Changing Perceptions" challenge. I've had the fabric ready to go since before Tahoe; don't know why I have been avoiding this step. I can't be fear of messing it up: I can always make another. Infact, I will probably make a couple of these pieces; I like the concept. Even had a couple ideas for changing the process already.

Today I add more color, and I should finish this step by tomorrow. Then all the fun stitching comes in.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The best part of a good dinner...

The best part of a good dinner is eating the leftovers for breakfast or lunch the next day.

Rayna shared her fabulous recipe for latke's the other day. She reminded me that I normally make these a couple times during the winter. Something about dark stormy nights and potato pancakes go together, though I can't say what.

With her reminder, I armed myself with the proper ingredients while shopping yesterday, and made a nice batch of latke's last night. Served with both sourcream and applesauce. There is something about the tartness of the sourcream (low fat... but I wish I could a tasty non=dairy substitute).. and the sweetness of the applesauce. I'm moderately allergic to cow's milk; can only have a serving or so every few weeks without developing allergic bronchitis. So this and a slice of pumpkin pie are my total allotment of the substance for the next 6 weeks. But it was worth it.

We had ours with a couple rashers of bacon on the side and nice hot cups of coffee. Even the dogs got lucky!!

This morning I grabbed 2 of the leftover latke for breakfast. Nuked them in the microwave (not as good as re-frying but faster) and smothered them with applesauce. Had some smoked salmon on the side today.

I am a happy piggy.

The rest of the latkes are frozen and awaiting the next corned beef cooking. Will forgo full Reuben treatment, and instead offer a cornbeef and latke sandwich.. swiss available for those lucky souls who are not allergic to cow's milk.

Reservations recommended.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

EggCiting Eggcersize #2

I rearranged yesterday piece to make the connected edge nicer. Now it looks like an interesting necklace.

Today's exercise is with a small piece of fake batik in turquoise, purple and black. I was thinking about the egg this morning, and wondered what would happen in a controlled cutting situation.

So across the egg I sliced it at 1/2" intervals, then spaced it out at 1/4" intervals. It stops looking like an egg and starts to look circular. I'm sure I could eggz-aggerate this more with a change in spacing, but I've got grocery shopping to do before the next deluge rolls in.

I also need to pick up 6 boxes of fabric from a friend who is cleaning out her house!! This will be donated to charity, and since I have the stationwagon, it's my pleasure to help!!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Egg Exercise #1

I'm half way through reading Twyla Tharp's book The Creative Habit. Today, as I was reading today she wrote about one of her exercises: The Egg. She suggests rolling yourself up tight into an egg shape, then experimenting with moving to create new shapes. Small movements, large movements... whatever your spirit suggests.

By itself, it's a great exercise but I immediately saw a different warm up exercise that I can use my studio. So out of the bath/library and down to the studio to give this a try. ( Oh, pause for some clothes...)

The egg shape is symmetrical only in one direction.. which give lots of chances for mirroring and for change. If I cut out an egg shape, then attack it with a scissors or rotary cutter, how many different designs can I make that originate with this shape? Hundreds.

Today I decided to cut across the shape, leaving a thin (1/8") bridge along one side. Then I "exploded" the egg, turning the outside edge into the inside edge and fanning all my cuts out from there. It needs lots of massaging and a different background piece before I fuse it down, but I like the end results. It doesn't look at all like an egg.

Since Life seems to be limiting my studio time this week, I am going to try and do an egg exercise every morning... I see major design possibilities with this...(I call dibs).

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Such a Quiet time of year...

I'll tell ya, I know when to pick a week to limit my computer time. (how's that coming, Deb?? Limited, but not down to the 1 hour/day goal...).

With Xmas and Channukah starting on a weekend, everyone is busy doing other things and there is nothing happening online. I'd have trouble spending lots of time online if I wanted to!! Thank you all for helping me with my project.

I am being a bit more successful with turning off the tv when I'm only using it as background noise. (again, not completely successful, but better...).

We spent yesterday doing some work around the house (i now have curtains in the dining room... picture to follow when I get them hemmed). This morning was dry and warm enough that we took the dogs for a nice long walk around the neighborhood (2.5+ miles). And I'm working on finishing up small quilty projects from this year. All the time complaining about the really crappy football games we get in the bay area (both the 49s and raiders stink... and it means we do not see the big game this week...). When Steve retires and we move from here... hopefully we move somewhere with the potential for good games.

Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy... we'll try to get a walk in. Later in the afternoon we head over to my friend Jeanne's house for dinner. (I'm bringing the pumpkin pies. I make really good pumpkin pies).

Friday, December 23, 2005

Introducing Pinky...

From Pam over at Beancounters...

Christmas Elf Name

My Christmas Elf Name is
Get your Christmas Elf Name at

This should make me able to blend in with the pups over the holiday... fluffy-paws all... but I'm not sure how I will deal with those pointy Elf shoes...

Have a happy holiday season all... from Pinky.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

This is gonna hurt me more..

than it hurts any of you... but I'm going to do. (note: I started to write "I'm going to try and do it".. and realized that already I was giving myself permission to fail". Rewrite in a positive voice).

I am reading Twyla Tharp's book, and have promised myself that I will do the exercises.

In the first chapter, these including

a. "finding your pencil"... find that one creative "kick in the butt" hat you won't leave home without. I've decided this will be my digital camera. It's going from hanging on my studio door to hanging around my waist. Maybe I should break down and look into a camera phone?? (but I don't DO phone...)

b. list your fears;

c.Build up your tolerance for solitude... (active daydreaming).

And the real hard one:

Give a week. Do without some distractions for a week. Her first ones are: mirrors, background noise, clocks and newspapers. These are easy for me.

We only get the paper at home on the weekend; I rarely pay attention to clocks, and only look in a mirror to part my hair. The background noise will be harder. She actually said "background music".. but I only have that going in my car. So I'm taking the broader step of only having the TV on at home when I'm actually watching it. (in truth, I use TV as my clock... know what time it is by what's on the screen).

So how is this gonna hurt you at all, you're pondering??

The next step will be to give other distractions... those stongers pulls. Just for a week. So starting sometime soon, I will first limit my online time to one hour a day ... and try to give it up for a week.

Now, remember, I took my laptop on vacation so I could be online. I check email almost hourly, and check blogs as I'm pouring my first cuppa. This will be like giving up smoking or drinking or coffee. I will be antsy and angst-riddled and counting the minutes in the week. But I am going to give it a shot.

So when my posts are short or non-existent for a few days... you have been warned.
If you are used to seeing comments from me on your blog, and you don't... you have informed.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Just a quick note....

BlogLines is going to be down for about 6 hours today. It will effect my ability to follow new blogs during the day, but hopefully it won't effect anybody's ability to read and write their own blogs.

However... there are gremlins in the works. I haven't been able to leave comments on several blogs this morning... one typepad, one blogger... so who knows what's up...

I mentioned that I got a lampshade fixed...

It's a small desk/table lamp... a cast brass base with a texturized simple leaded glass shade.

Isn't this pretty?

We shipped this from Cleveland when we closed my parents house several years ago. Two opposite panels of the shade cracked on thier way here.

I spent a lot of time trying to find someone who could fix it. One day we were walking around this kinda shi-shi shopping area in Berkeley (4th street), and found a nice stained glass store where they assured me they could fix it. When we took the shade in last month, they couldn't find any textured glass, and I thought the repair would be OK but kind of second rate.

Dennis, the repair guy, found glass that matches the pieces in this shade perfectly. (they were in his "stash" at home). So now I pretty "like new" lamp.

Oh, and the glass piece next to is from the studio of David Lindsay. He's a local glass blower... and I LOVE his work.
His studio and store are in Benicia, Ca., Check out his undersea adventure egg. Like most small glass blowing studios, he also has a standard collection of glass ball ornaments, or witch's balls. (you hang a ball in a window and it catches any evil spirits that might to enter the house through the window.) I own several of these which usually gets me exclaiming that I Love David's balls!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Color and Composition, part two

This week's exercises were to continue playing with the still life arrangement that we used for part one exercises. And here I have to make a confession.

I ate the mangoes. So I cut my mangoes from a photograph not real life. And it shows.

We were supposed to set up our still life again, and this time approach it with fabric. Instead of following the edges of the pieces with a pencil, we were to grab appropriate fabrics and use our scissors like a pencil. (and here I'm wondering how different it would be if used a small rotary cuttter on a flat surface instead of holding fabric in our hands. I may give that a try... someone alert the ER to stand by.) edit: I hated cutting these with scissors. I kept trying to figure out my orientation between the fruit (unmoving) and the rotating edge in my hand. That's why I think I'd like to try with a rotary cutter like a pencil.

Anyway, we layered two pieces of fabric and cut once. (well, except that I seemed to have folded a couple of pieces and cut those out backwards. Does it matter?? I think not looking at my results.).

Then on a gray background we arranged these cut out pieces.

First to resemble the real still life:
The second composition was to simply take the pieces that we cut out and arrange them in one of the 9 compositional arrangements. I chose diagonal for these pieces:
The third exercise will be to continue with the contour drawings, this time using our sewing machine instead of a pencil. I'm gonna wait until it stops raining enough that I can go buy another mango. Probably Monday...So stay tuned.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Holiday decorating blues...

I've heard from lots friends who are not in the holiday spirit... or hate all the time they have to spend on decorating. In trying to write to one, I HAD A BRAINSTORM. And I'm going to suggest to several of you FOR NEXT YEAR.

Ya know the TLC program TRADING SPACES?? A couple years ago it seemed to be family "appointment viewing" on Saturday nights. Now, granted the excitement has waned... but here's my suggestion:

Get your best friend... or maybe your KID'S best friend... and do Holiday Decorating Trading Spaces.

Arrange to meet at a neutral spot (Denny's or IHOP or the like) early on a Saturday morning. Both families. You have already purchased a tree and placed it in your house. You have set out whatever ornaments and decorations you own, but that's it. Maybe each family has $25 dollars to put toward decorating however THEY want to decorate the other family's house.

After breakfast, you trade housekeys and go. If the decorating family decides that they want you to have all white lights... so be it. If they decide that you need a train running under the tree... they put it there. And you keep it for that year. Imagine how fresh eyes will see your decorations...

Wreaths at the door, towels in the bathroom... themed or unthemed tree... tree in every room... whatever.

Mid to late afternoon you all meet again at the same place. Then out to the "great reveal". No host to surprise you... the decorating family explains their vision of your holiday... and you explain your vision of thiers. can all smack me now.

I'm done decorating

As long as we've been married, the spouser grumps and grumbles through the holiday season, not helping with decorating (except to put up his outdoors lights), hating shopping for presents, etc. He loves his holiday movies and cookies.. but won't put any work into the holidays. He's worn me out.

I'm not a Christian anymore so it's not like this is MY holiday. So every year the decorating has gotten smaller and smaller. Friday I dragged the one box out from under the bed and spent a whole 10 minutes setting out our decorations. Now I'm done. Yep, the tree is all of 26" high.

And, while straightening the limbs out, I found the pickle!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Good Day...

After morning of small jobs around the house... and a small earthquake 2 miles from my house... Steve and I headed for our planned outing.

First stop: Bo's BBQ. Last year when I was shown the place, I ordered the brisket... it was fabulous. Today I had the ribs (rubbed, wet, tomato-based if you care). They were overcooked and not as tasty as the brisket had been. Still they serve it up quickly with a small salad, scoop of potato salad (made, we believe, with sweet pickle relish!! Anyone else do this??), half a baked sweet potato and small hunka bread. Enough food that I took a couple ribs and the sweet potato home for supper. YUM.

Most of the bbq places near us have (sadly) disappeared, so we're expanding our search horizons to find good bbq in the bay area. Bo's is a bit of drive (almost 1/2 hour) for us to become regulars (and they don't let you order chicken as part of their combos!!), but we'll keep in mind for an occasional fix.

Next stop was our main reason for heading to the LaMorInda area: a visit to the Hearst Gallery at St. Mary's College. Sunday they close their current show:"Perceptions in Art and Science: Different Faces Same Truth".

The exhibit showed: kalaidescopes (we got to play with lots of kewl ones); spirals in nature; fractals, perspective, and creative imagery. I enjoyed the entire whole thing. However, the most mesmerizing item was a half-hour program showing a complicated "rube goldberg" plan that used water, fire, chemistry and wind to run it. Couldn't stop watching it!!

Home for a nap, my leftovers, and a holiday movie tonight.

My poor, poor friends at TypePad

have had the last 10 days of their marvelous posts disappear into the ether!! Here's hoping that you all recover. We here at blogger know the frustrations of bad, evil broken blogging software... and we feel your pain.

To share said pain with the world...

Grace Davis (she of Dr. Laura's Greatest Nightmare) was posting torturous holiday photos. She began with the constipated Christ child (that is the last living link on her site), then she continued with a wreath abomination from Thomas Kincaide (known among the art quilters as HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED.)

Since she's lost said morsel, I'm including it here... and to extend the pain.. I've added his Christmas Tree AND his Nativity scene. After viewing these items, I needed to wash my eyes out with holy water and sit in a dark room with an icepack over my eyes until the burning stopped. You have been warned!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Living in my Car...

Today, Friday and Saturday, I'm going to feel like I'm living in my car.

This morning I headed down to IKEA thinking I could pick up what I needed there quickly. I really should know better. Two hours (and three bags) later I made my way out and up to Berkeley to pick up a repaired lamp shade. This is a small leaded glass shade from a lamp my maternal grandmother purchased when she married. They matched the glass perfectly!!

Home at 12:30 to grab a quick lunch, then back in the car to take the dog's to the park for a walk. I'm finally home at 3 pm. with nothing to show for it in the house or studio.

Well, there's still some time today.

Tomorrow Steve is off work. We are heading over to Lafayette to an gallery show on the Art of Science and Math. Then lunch at a BBQ place. There is a longish scenic drive home there... Another day in the car.

Saturday we're heading up a Xmas party about 20 minutes north of here.

Sunday, I'm staying home.

It struck me today that I haven't posted a picture of the poops for several months. So after the walk, I dragged out thier hated xmas collars and tried to take pictures of them. You can tell how much they don't like posing with these.

Katy is trying to play it cool... but really, those wings are totally out of proportion to her body. What are the designers THINKING putting wings that small on their extra large collars?

Jake just wants to hide. Yes, he's a very handsome dog... and the plaid collar and big bow should make him seem quite festive. Can you imagine what other dogs at the dog park would say if they ever heard about this???

His name would be Mudball (which, remarkably would match his appearance AFTER a trip to dog park).


Amazon has given me a real holiday surprise! After informing me that my pre-ordered copy of Twila Tharp's book in paperbook would not be available until February... they just emailed me that it will be shipping about 12/22!! Almost 2 months early.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


what 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep and a little sunshine can do!

I have been vegetating since Monday... chilly and unenergetic. Don't know if it's the headcold or the chill in the air... but not worth diddly.

Finally got a good night's sleep, and the sun came out this morning. I cleaned the kitchen, walked the dogs, sorted through some boxes of stuff and almost finished quilting Steve's flannel lapquilt. I've also started working on the next set of exercises for the Katie P-M workbook. I even cooked a potroast for supper!!

I'm making up for being a slug for 3 days!!

Maybe tomorrow I'll even take a picture or two.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lazy Sunday...

This slight head cold woke me up in the middle of the night... no breathe through my nose. Stumble downstairs for some coldpills (my next house WILL BE A RANCH). And when I fell back asleep, I slept until almost 8 am.!! A good hour or two later than normal.

Spent the morning just doing life maintainence stuff. After lunch we rounded up the dogs and went to Martinez for a walk (and an errand that precipitated the trip there). They have a nice waterfront park; however, most of the trails are labelled NO DOGS (not even onleash). So we walked where we were allowed instead of the cool marsh spots I had planned on visiting. The dogs didn't care... they were sniffing the whole way.

Home for a nap.

Later this afternoon I started machine quilting the flannel lapquilt I stitched up for Steve at Thanksgiving.

Goals for this week:

Finish painting up the piece for "changing perspectives" and begin stitching it.

work on my Katie P-M exercise.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Pandora's Music Box...

It can be a challenge to find new and different music. I mean, I know what I like.. but how does someone else?

Pandora is a kind of search and recommend for music. Type in the name of one of your favorite songs or artists and it will put together a "station" of music with similar styles. Let it know when you really like or dislike a song.. and the station adapts.

If you really like something new, you can buy the song (from ITunes) or the CD (from Amazon) with one click from the webpage.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Color and Composition exercises

Ok, so this week we had to do 3 drawings: a blind contour drawing; a semi-blind contour drawing; and a looking-at-it drawing. It was supposed to be a still life of 3 fruits.

I showed the initial arrangement earlier this week. I eventually rearranged the fruits a bit, but this was the first blind drawing from the original drawing. My shadows look like twinkies sticking in the composition... but atleast I can kind of tell it's still life.

This is the secondt drawing for my second arrangement. I moved the orange segment over to the right, and the pom to the right turned so I see the skin instead of the seeds. Kept the mango in the back. Ofcourse, you can't tell it's a mango from this drawing.

I can't find my first drawing of this composition.

Here's the final drawing in the series. Now you can tell that it's a mango!! Still didn't spend more than 15 minutes on this and that includes the shading.

My eye just moves too quickly for my hand to move slower.

Next week we have to cut this arrangment out of fabric using our scissors like a pencil. Should be lots of fun!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Simple Still Life: December's:Capture the Lig

Simple Still Life: December's:Capture the Light

When I started thinking about the topic for this month... how to capture the light... I thought about prisms and reflections. Tried a couple objects placed outside or inside in the sunlight to see which I liked best. None really appealled to me until I looked closely at this glass ball...

THIS is my simple still life composition for the month. (OH, God.. what will I do from here?)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Damn!!! I had a major thought today!!

While eating lunch today, I saw a picture that I really liked. It was a simple photograph... a hillside with trees in silloutte then reflected in a lake. The top and bottom halfs mirroring each other. You know the kind of photo; we've seen lots of them.

I grabbed my sketchpad and starting drawing it up. Made up some loosey-goosey treeforms that I really liked. Then I stopped.

I asked myself questions, along the lines of:

1. does this drawing let me use some of elements I'm starting to identify as my personal style?

2. does making this photo into fabric improve the image any?

3. would making this piece help me achieve any of my goals for next year?

All my answers were NO.

At which point I stopped the sketching and wrote a note to remember those loosey-goosey treeforms that I really liked but forget everything else. Distracting myself is way too easy but doesn't really help me out.

And if any Santa needs any hints... SERENITY comes out in DVD 12/12/05.


Ok, so I survived my doctor's appointment and don't need to suffer this indignity for another couple years. Oh yeah, and we did the 6-month bloodtest, too. They'll mail me the results, but I expect no surprises. (though I bet he forgot to include the thyroid test).

Also talked to him about a couple small problems with no happy resolution. Tinnitus has to be lived with. (Phooey!!) and the keratosis he removed last spring because it itched has developed a keloid(?? a super scar) that STILL ITCHES. And sadly, he can treat the "super scar" but makes no promises about fixing the itching.

I'm sorry... I only had him remove the growth to eliminate the itching!! It itches because my bra band & strap rub against the spot and irritates it. Atleast he sympathized enough to admit that there really wasn't a bra designed that could avoid this spot.

Grrr. Someone pass me some goat or sheep cheese to go this whine.

So I left the office, stopped at the Waffle House for some caffiene and breakfast, then tried to do some wardrobe improvement. No success there either.

Came home tired and cold.. and completely unenergized. So I got very little accomplished. Finally admitted defeat and sat reading all afternoon. Called in a pickup order to my favorite restaurant and ate red curry veggies with prawns until I was stuffed.

Late in the evening I watched the first two hours of PROJECT RUNWAY. Totally knew who would be cut first...and I have my idea who will be the favorites and who will not last long.

Santino will be a fave...
Lupe will be gone soon...
Emmett will last a while but not to the end.
Rodrego?? midway.
daneill F... will last a while this time if he can manage his time.
Andrea ..needs to get his emotions in check or he'll be home too soon.
Daniel V... has vision
marla gone early...
chloe... gone early...
nick possible staying power.
kara (what another kara???) not very sure.
kirsten... is out.
diane eng... probably not going to last long.
zulema (probably spelled wrong)... won't last long.. or will be this year's Wendy Pepper.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Working on Katie P-M's exercises...

Tuesday I started working on my blind contour drawings. (I've tried once, but finished it too quickly, and never got that headache-y feeling... so I'll do it again later.)

But I thought I'd share the composition I'll be working from. Well, maybe I'll switch a whole pom for the sliced one... the seeds are great to look at, but might be asking a bit much. Oh, just turn it around!! That may work. Well, maybe I should rearrange the whole thing.


It was cold Monday night and Tuesday night(below freezing.. which seldom happens here in the Bay area), but the sun was shining brightly Tuesday,as you can see from the shadows thrown.

Tuesday afternoon I went to see GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK. You must go see this movie. And it really is impressive on the big screen. However, perhaps more important than seeing it yourself (with a couple exceptions...), TAKE A TEEN OR TWEEN to see it. Take them scratching and fighting if you have to. This is a movie that people who don't remember it should see... the parallels from this to the current day are hard to ignore. I see a couple Academy nominations here...

This morning I go in for a doctor's visit; no coffee until after the "event". (I'd tell you more but it's "too much information.") Everything will be fine... but stay outta my way till I get fully caffinated.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Ok, now think how you hear me in your head...

and see if I come close to matching your imagination.

this is an audio post - click to play

Monday, December 05, 2005

Ok... I'm getting frustrated.

This is the second time I've tried to set up the audio blogger thing. And my screen has been saying "Creating your audioblogger account" for 15 minutes already. How much longer do I wait before I chuck it?

How long did it take any of you to set up the account??

This sucks.

(thing about me #23... I'm impatient at times).

Weekend Whatevers...

Saturday my friend Linda came over for a short visit. She showed her "tell" and showed my mine, including Katie P-M's new book. I think was fascinated her most were the quilts in the back part where artists showed an original quilt that they felt failed... and the next piece (or same piece reworked) where they improved it. It's always nice to see the process of others.

I've been strolling through my stash trying to gather the supplies for working on the book exercises. I really don't have full ranges of colors (from lightest to darkest)... so I need to decide if I'm going to paint, dye or purchase some pieces so I can work through this book a bit. Our first week is doing the drawing exercises... so I have time.

Interested in joining us? (Teri and Karoda are working this, too). Then this week do a 25 minute blind contour drawing of a still life arrangement (3 different fruit). Then do a semi-blind contour drawing and draw it while look at it.

The first step ALWAYS gives me a head ache. I know it's just exercising different brain "muscles" so I don't complain anymore (simply observe the fact that it's still true). Still, I'd be happier if I could do better with the real drawing. Hopefully I better with practice... I'm signing up for a drawing class this winter.

And I took Dammit down. He was a good pup, but he was slowing up loading the page... and if people won't wait, they can't read.

And because Gabrielle started this:

The Mystery
You reflect the mystery of the spirit. A soul is a
very mysterious thing and you have proven this
to us. This mysterious quality probably means
that you know more about your spirit than most
people know about their own, and you keep this
a well kept secret, for there are just some
things that mustn't be known.
Reflections of the Spirit?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Soup-er Days and meet Dammit

The Spouser has a cold; being a good Spouse-ette I made him chicken soup.

Actually, Albertson's had one whole chicken marked down to about $3 because it needed to be sold NOW. I carried it the 1.3 miles home and immediately threw it into a stockpot with some water, salt and"aromatic" vegetables. It simmered and bubbled and imbued the water/broth with rich chicken goodness. It sat there simmering for 6 hours. He now has a pot of love whenever he needs a little "yiddisha" medicine.

Strangely, I only have very mild cold symptoms myself. I don't know if it's the vitamins I'm taking or the Zicam I used. Doesn't matter. Normally I have a cold for 3 weeks that turns into bronchitis and pneumonia and the spouser is sick for all for 3 days. It's nice when the tables are turned.

Now in my sidebar I'd like you to meet my new blue puppy, Dammit. With your mouse/pointer you can pick up a puppy treat and move it up or around the square. Then click, and Dammit will jump and get it. Have fun playing with my new puppy!!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Another project done and Crazy Aunt Purl

When I went to Artist's And Craftman's Supply the other day, I found 2 nice journals about the right size for one of the pieces I made at AQT. Came home and stitched this up Thursday. Now who needs a holiday present???

Here is the front:

And Here is the back (with more accurate colors)

And thanks to DebR, I have my monthly horrorscope from Crazy Aunt Purl. (oh, wait.. I was going to keep last month's horrorscope forever!!) She's right, I used to resist change. However, I had an epiphany back in '93 I think (the summer that the Mississippi River flooded), and I have embraced change pretty well since then. Today I even typed '06 without thinking about it!!

CANCER (June 22 - July 22)
Ends - Beginnings - the stink of CHANGE. I loathe it. And since you're a Cancer, I know you loathe it, too. Just when you thought you had a grasp on 2005, you're a month from 2006! This makes you crazy, upside-down and ass-over-teakettle. It isn't easy to embrace the coming year and make holidays cozy if you're exhausted from all the denial, and frustrated by hanging on to your comfort zone. My dad was right when he said, "The only thing you can count on is change." Embracing this concept is a radical about-face for Crabs, but I guarantee you once you have fully accepted change as a natural condition, it will transform your whole outlook. Let's go have a nice glass of spiked cider and sit in a cozy room and wear something warm and then, when we feel ok, we'll all try to look forward to a new year of ass-over-teakettle. The good news is: We may actually see a few nice asses.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Getting ready for a creative adventure

Yesterday I received my copy of Katie Pasquini Masopust's new book:

COLOR AND COMPOSITION for the Creative Artist.

In the preface they suggest that I get organized to work: make sure my fabrics are sorted by color (I'm going to have to dye fabric for some of these exercises; I don't have full range of colors in anything anymore), my scissors and rotary cutters are sharp. That I gather a sketchbook and pencils. So those are my goals for today. I'll begin working with the first real exercise: blind contour drawings. These always give me a headache as I try to push myself further into a right brain place. (so ofcourse I'm avoiding it by blogging about it.) Probably for the next week all I will be doing is the drawing exercises, though the second part ("drawing with scissors") may happen later in the week.

for teri and karoda and anyone else interested... I'm planning on working completely through this (pending dyeing the color runs... or finding them in scraps/fat quarters somewhere). So I say YES, let us all work on this together and post the results on our blogs. Today's Friday... organize a bit this weekend, and start the blind contour drawings starting next week?)

There is a French technician visiting Steve's group this week and I joined the 2 of the them for dinner tonight. Not to make you all jealous, but imagine a blend of Antonio Banderas and Russel Crowe with a French accent!! Woo- Hoo. Studying Spanish and German in school was such a mistake!!

To entertain you while I'm "working", here is The Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator.
I entered my phone number is phases, and received the following useful critique (now to make a piece that fits this!):

Although I am not a painter, I think that the sublime beauty of the biomorphic forms notates the exploration of montage elements. As an advocate of the Big Mac Aesthetic, I feel that the reductive quality of the sexual signifier endangers the devious simplicity of the accessibility of the work.

And I leave you with one thought:
Cotigo, ergo Blog.

(I think, therefore I Blog.)