Friday, June 30, 2006

No Work Today

First, our neighborhood walk photo. Many of the yards in our neighborhood tell something about the nationality of the home's owner. This one doesn't. It's a nice fairly traditional entryway. But I'd envy them the nice glass door. Ofcourse ours would be covered with dog snot... so maybe I don't envy them too much!

I am officially taking today off to celebrate my birthday. I've got a free meal waiting at a cafe in a nearby town so we're heading there for lunch.

Then off for our traditional "birthday-summer blockbuster" movie. I chose Superman Returns. (and what does it say that when I decided to look for a link, my first choice was what they are saying over at Pajiba?). Home to walk the dogs, then hang out maybe watching some baseball. (I cannot wait for the summer tv season to begin. Atleast one more week!!)

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
tomorrow.. when I talk about the sex of some vegetable blossoms.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday's Things

The entire front yard that houses yesterday's charming little corner. That corner is the shady little spot in the back part portion of this. Isn't this an elegantly simple front yard? I like it so much better than a swath of green grass edged with hedges. And I'm betting it's more water friendly.

Things To Do:

1. Weed the veggie garden, checking for insect damage and fruit production.
2. Walk the dogs. (Jake: 2 miles; Katy 6 x 14 houses).
3. Get a new tank of propane for the grill. Who can survive a long 4th weekend without grilling?
4. Get into the studio and start cutting a batik Sudoku cuddle quilt.
5. Add to and organize our queue on NetFlix.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where I wrote myself notes on the 12 Super Foods so I don't forget.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wednesday's Way

First a moment of garden. Walking Katy around the neighborhood six times a day, I've gotten the opportunity to see things that I haven't closely looked at. This charming corner is in the yard at the corner of our court. Isn't it delightful?

Thanks to the several people who commented or emailed me about trying to figure out where my passion lies now. I am going to take the advice from Twyla and simply start working; get in the studio and improvise. See if something happens. I either find the passion soon, or I'm having a great big supply sale!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where today I give a tip for folding a fitting sheet.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tuesday's To Dos

A moment of sunset from June 21st. This is about as far right as the sun sets; by winter it's so far to the left of this photo (south) that I don't actually see where it drops below the horizon.

I actually did some sewing Monday, though nothing artistic. I tried to refashion an older pair of jeans shorts from a "normal" waist to a lower rise pair. Note to the world: doing so is not easy. I would have had to cut down the yolk (is it a yolk?) by the small of the back, and move the pockets. And those thick seams? Broke 2 jeans needles just is trying to machine baste things to fit it. Oh well!

I haven't done any successful creative sewing in so long that a part of me is wondering if I should call it quits. However, I'd thought/said at some point every year for the last 3 or 4? So am I just in a rhythmic fallow period... or am I over it? Is this the reason for my all-over-the-place attention span? Am I searching for my next excitement fix?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
where i wrote about some free pattern software from Wild Ginger.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Inspiration, yes??

Student knits her own Ferrari
Originally uploaded by hobart65.

When I graduated college I had to demonstrate my skills, yes. but that only meant student teaching, student consulting and writing a couple papers.

According to the story on ananove, Lauren Porter had to do a bit more.

First she built a steel frame that matches the sahpe and size of a classic Ferrari sports car, welding it herself!! Then she (and friends/family) knit the cover!

Yearning to Learn

First, a moment of garden. I was walking in the yard yesterday and was struck by the limey-yellow green and the rosy pink on the opening hydrangea blossom. A color scheme I haven't used that I will need to me remember.

The QuiltArt mailing list has been yammering about learning styles and Arlee Barr took a test to determine hers. Ofcourse, I followed suit.

First I took the test giving only answer to each question. In that try, I am a strong Kinesthetic learner. No surprise to me there.

But more interesting, I went back and retook it giving multiple answers when appropriate. That turned me into a multi-modal learner with a strong read/write leaning!! Kinesthetic came in second.

I love this line at the bottom of the "Read/write" help sheet:

You like this page because the emphasis is on words and lists.
You believe the meanings are within the words, so any talk is OK but this handout is better.
You are heading for the library.

And from Kinesthetic help sheet:

You want to experience the exam so that you can understand it.
The ideas on this page are only valuable if they sound practical, real, and relevant to you.
You need to do things to understand.

Both sound so much like me!! So what is your learning style?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
where I point some another way cool film from YouTube.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Must View YouTube

This is only 5 minutes or so long... and worth watching.

The Immigration Debate
A fog bank rolling into the bay. Something we are not seeing at the moment.

It is hot again today. Yesterday it was 96 in the shade here, and I dont' have much shade!

So today I checked email, took Katy out for her first walk, took Jake for a 2 mile walk, returned and took Katy out for her second walk. Then showered.

It's eleven in the morning, and all I've done is walk dogs!

My studio is just the other side of the AC unit (not a sound I love to hear. It says: hello high electric bill!), so I won't be working in there today. Instead I'll grab some hand stitching and sit somewhere shady and quieter and try not to sweat.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
where I'm sharing a new recipe for dinner.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Yellow poppies from my garden. Why does yellow seems like such a summer color? Is it all the sunshine?

I'm working on reorganizing my studio (hey, our guild has a "flea market" in a month.. what can I possibly turn to cash?), so not much creative to chat about. So, of course a quiz. This one from Heather but sans a lot of neat "cut and paste" stuff for a blog.

Are You A Yankee Or a Rebel?
33% Dixie. You are definitely a Yankee. Not surprising! Actually most of the choices I came out as Great Lakes region. Gee? No surprise as that's where I grew up. Fun Test.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where today I wrote about growing great tomatoes. (one of my summer obsessions).

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Land of the Lost...

Reading Diane's blog about lost things got me thinking. Like Diane's corningware teapot.. there are things, I'm sure, that each of us knew was somewhere then it was gone.

This happened all the time to me when I was kid. I think I bought 4 Brownie beanies because they stayed where I put them. Since moving out on my own, the two great confabulations have been my high school class ring (lost in my first apartment.. how? did the rats take it?) and the bill for the new roof on our house.

Losing that invoice happened so early in our relationship, that it's become the running joke line. Anything in the last 23 years that's disappeared is "with the bill for the roof."

Personally, I think all these things are sucked into a great mystery place, much like a giant museum. Then randomly displayed for the enjoyment and entertainment of the museum's attendees. (think something like the picture above from the Mystery Case File games where you search for odd items in a diarama). Hmm.. I even think I saw Diane's teapot in one of these scenarios!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where I've photographed my new garden path.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Katy time

I don't have much to say today, but I thought I'd give you a Katy update. We returned to the surgeon last Monday, where he declared that she is healing right on schedule. With the removal of her staples, she was given clearance to start walking a little.

So this last week we've strolled around our courtyard (7 houses) up to 6 times a day. She's feeling more confident about walking around too. When we get out to the main street, she pauses and looks down the street trying to convince me that we should travel a bit further. Starting this Monday, we will.

Jake isn't fareing too badly, either. To make up for taking Katy out 6 times a day.. Jake is getting 2 nice walks most days. And the steps on my pedometer is mounting. Guess we all win!!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where I talk about my garden path and the cool morning.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Sunset, June 3rd this year. I didn't get the sunset last night and this one from a couple weeks ago was unusual and beautiful. Plus I don't think I blogged it yet. The deep fog moving in with the layered openings is just exquisite. And I tweaked it a bit for emphasis.

Writing yesterday about how my plan didn't work out as planned was a great step for me. It let me analyze what worked, what didn't, and gave a ideas for recovering.

This weekend I will prep a piece of fabric to paint the background I wrote about (sky, hills, grass) and then play with the tree silloutte on there. Did I mention that my sillouttes are cut from felt? That means I can stitch them then distress them a heat gun for more texture. Hmm.. do that in a small sample.

I will play with the Sudoku puzzle thing separately. This weekend I may whack up a bunch of my batik fabrics and make myself a cuddle quilt.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions where today I'm talking about building my garden path.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sucking Bilge Water

The semi-secret project I've working on?? sucks. hugely sucks. Sucks bilge water.


Well, the way I was working it, it sucks... but the two parts separately have possibilities.

(huh???? you are cornfuzed and strangely curious at the same time).

I was being too clever. Much too clever. The idea was to start with 9 squares that represent parts of the landscape: the sky, the hills, the grass. (yeah, I showed you these 9, but I changed a few of them). Over this would go the sillouette of a tree. And this might be nice just the way I described it. Next time I'm painting a base for a piece I can do this.

But I wanted to be "oh so clever" I cut each square into 9 squares.. and them rearranged them all like a Sudoku puzzle. So clever! And doing with other fabrics would make a very nice quilt. Fast and easy. I'm going to have to do this again. And I hear my friend Del wants to do this with quilts for her guest room. Or use it as a piecing idea for a very neutral background. But not this one. Not these squares.

Then... like whacking up the background wasn't enough... I whacked up the silloutte piece too, mapping out where it should lay on the puzzle grid.. and placed the pieces back on their "home squares" (yeah, my original plan was to over lay everything first, then cut. but the seams? Not so pretty! I atleast rethought that).

And the irregularly placed tree silloutte pieces on the puzzle background? It just looks confused and muddled and not at all what was in head. I was trying to be so clever and I forced it. Lesson learned.

Fortunately, it's not all sewn together. So I will be starting from point B to rework this. Hmm.. maybe I should pull out the paints and paint that background...

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday's Monologue

Last week I received two silk screen that Gerrie made for me!! It's great having talented friends!

After playing on scraps for a while, I bit the bullet and screen two of the "trial" summer shirts I dyed a couple weeks ago.

I'm thinking I'll be wearing to BlogHer next month.

Here the tank is shot so you can actually read it! The font is called Matisse... isn't it perfect? The dyed shirt reminds me of Monet's garden paintings.

Do you think anyone would like to buy these? Because they are Dharma blanks, I can make them almost style and size.

I'm thinking that the tank and basic tshirts should be $20. The "nicer feminine tshirts" would be $25, because the blanks are just more expensive.

The other screen and the basic tshirt. I am not going to get into the discussion of art vs. craft. I can't tell if I screened this crooked or I'm crooked.

This one is in a font called "batik". Good for me!!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions
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Wednesday's Wondering

OK, how did I not blog yesterday? It felt like I lived online.. even though I got 11,000+ steps in!!

Remarkably, this leads to my daily little take on Twyla's book: Perfectionism, Procrastination and Planning.

Yep. I've hit my weak spots. I tend to think about a project for a very long time... it can be months with an idea rolling around in my head.

Now if I actually journalled it, making notes and sketches and reasons for changing and altering a step, I might learn something from it. Might have a place to return to when I want to continue in a series making something different. Might actually have to do some work.

And it's not like when I get down to the work I'm all that much of a perfectionist. But I can procrastinate about a project by thinking that I don't have the steps planned out. I don't have the concept perfected.

I need to just get in there and work. Let the plan and project from something...And there isn't any "quick fix" for this except to walk myself into my studio and get working.

So, where do you fall in the perfectionism/planning/procrastinating play?

For my Moment Of Sunset... this was taken last Wednesday. Fog was sliding in gently softening the light and turning everything peachy/purply. Isn't it pretty, in a soft, dreamy sort of way?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday's soliloquy

From DebR.:
The ABCs of Me Meme

Accent: Midwestern, Great Lakes. So I say "pop". though some have heard "Chicago"...

Booze: Beer. Ale. The darker the better. And the rare straight up shot of Irish whiskey.

Chores I hate: Cleaning the bathroom and picking up dog poop.

Dog/cat: Dog. Don't get cats at all.

Essential Electronics: Laptop, microwave, TV, Tivo, Sewing machine, lamps with 250W bulbs.

Favorite perfume: Clothes dried on the line outside.

Gold/silver: Both. But I don't wear jewelry.

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio. And, yes Cleveland DOES Rock.

Insomnia: Unfortunately, yes. Kind of. I seldom have trouble falling asleep, but I wake up way too early.

Job Title: The TechnoMage.

Kids: No Thanks.

Living Arrangements: Share a too-large with the spouse and 2 dogs.

Most admirable trait: I don't know the term. I can keep track of who has an interest in what, and actually call/write/inform a friend of something they would be interested in. It's not just being considerate... what is it (besides "cruise director")?

Number of countries visited: If you count just stopping in the airports? 6. If I had to actually see the country.. 4 (USA, Mexico, Canada and Singapore.)

Overnight Hospital Stays: When I was born.

Phobias: Deep water with no life preserver.

Quote: "Always cut the cards. It can't hurt and it might help." Lazarus Long.

Religion: Again, pass. If I had to choose one, it would probably be Unitarian... but why?

Siblings: Three. Older brother, Michael. Younger brothers, Mark and Kevin.

Time you wake up: Should be 7am. Too often recently it's more like 5:30 am.

Unusual talent: I can read upside down and backwards.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Lima beans. White potatoes are a close second.

Worst Habit: I bite my fingernails.

Xrays: Yes. Head, shoulder, hand, back, knee, ankle, ankle, knee, elbow, neck. Plus MRIs. And ofcourse teeth every year. Jeez, you think I'm a little clutzy??

Yummy food I make: BBQ. Thai peanut sauce.

Zodiac: Cancer the crab. Get those birthday greetings warmed up!!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Red Shoe Ramblings: The ABCs of Me

Friday, June 09, 2006

Saturday's Spout...

Example of my 5 things to do list for today:
1. Take Jake for a walk.
2. Get the bottom part of the path ready up to the weedblock. (maybe get the sand base down?)

3. Write article for BlogHer.
4. Cut up trees blocks and piece back together.
5. Bake streudel.

Question du jour from The Creative Habit...

Names. Although my name is my name.. I'm not sure that it defines it. If I could change it to anything, though.. I'm not sure what I would change it to. As a child, my family knickname was Gretchen... and I'd be tempted to adopt that. There is something about it that feels right and familiar. Gretchen means "little pearl" does that improve my outlook any. Probably not. Debra means "the bee".. with all the meanings of fertility and industriousness. Except for me at the moment it's more about the flitting habit.

Does your name match your image of yourself? If you could choose a name for yourself, what meaning would you want attached to it?

Twyla wrote in part that parents choose names for thier children that have some kind of power and substance to them. Names from history (world or personal) of people with strength and fortitude, a sense of humor or charm. With so many of the younger generations choosing names based solely upon "how it sounds" and "making it unique".. I wonder if that's part of the lack of substance in their kids? Does having a name with no historical power in it weaken the child?

I'm not saying this well. I'll think about this while I'm working today and see if I can write a better discussion later.

And now, the moment of Sunset. This is from Thursday evening. The fog moved in, making the sunset all soft and blurry. And peachy.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Friday's Free-for-All

First, a moment of fresh air. This was taken at Pt Pinole Regional Park a few weeks ago.

Since I'm reading The Creative Habit again... I'm curious not only about my own stuff, but everyone else's. Yesterday I asked you to tell me at what distance you view the world... thanks Rayna for responding (Yeah, I know blogger was down off and on all day. I'm really not complaining that nobody else commented. really. I'm not!).

Today: what are your habits?

The first 2 hours of my life are pure habit (yeah, you can tell I don't have kids). Internet stuff, 2 cups of coffee, breakfast for me and the dogs, and reading in the bathtub. The rest of the day is made up of "habitual units" that I pick and choose from for the day: cleaning, walking the dogs, sewing, painting, dyeing, gardening, shopping... you get the idea. Evenings are watching tv, knitting, writing, planning for tomorrow.

The one habit that when I remember to do it that is most success? Late in the evening, I write down the 5 things I want to accomplish the next day.

So what are your habits? And what is your most successful habit?

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

I'm re-reading Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit. Just ended the chapter where she talks about our personal creative DNA and the way we prefer to view the world. She called it the focal points. She mentioned three fairly standard views, though I'm paraphrasing her terms:

panorama: the full long shot.. distant view. You can see the "whole picture".

arm's length: what I think of as portrait distance.

close up: tiny details, but not necessarily the whole picture.

In reading this I realized that I skip from the panorama to the close up views all the time. Big picture, tiny details, big picture. I don't particularly care for the "arm's length" view.. which might be why I don't like pictures of people.

Anyway, my question to you all:

What are your preferred creative focal points?

And for our moment of healing. Here's Katy, spending the afternoon on the deck. "Fresh air," she says, "is beneficial to healing." Most of the bruising and swelling is gone, and her fur is starting to grow back.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wednesday's Way

Still working in a fairly distracted way. Yesterday I spent most of the morning going between cleaning up things in the sewing room and making a mess in the sewing room.

Today I am working on those squares I showed last week. Maybe next week there will be more than a clue where these things are going. (smiles).

I leave you a moment of sunset.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Reading materials

I've gone back to re read Twyla Tharp's book. I read it the first time at the winter holiday season, when I first got it. I devoured the text but didn't work much at the exercises. I wanted the spouser to read it while he was off work. Her work ethic and his are quite similar; I thought the book might be a good resource for him.

He read it, liked it, and took it to work with him when he returned in January. I believe he's been passing it around for people who might need a little help with tackling research. I hadn't really planned on that happening; I figured it was that important he could request a copy be placed in the research library.

So I asked for the book back and finally got it a couple weeks ago. This time I'll work through most of the exercises.

I truly recommend this book for people who are having trouble figuring out a work habit and think it might be a worthwhile present for any new grads just entering the workforce.

What else am I doing? I have a possible plan for finishing Green Mars. I have to work it up and see it in place before I know if I like it. And those 9 squares.. are quickly on thier way to becoming something else.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Monday, June 05, 2006

Guess is shows (atleast here) that I my undergrad major was English.

True English Nerd
You scored 78 erudition!
Not only do you know your subjects from your objects and your definite from your indefinite articles, but you've got quite a handle on the literature and the history of the language as well. Huzzah, and well done! The English snobs of Boston salute you.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on erudition
You can take the test here.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Get the fork ready. Yeah, that line of couching needs to be knocked down a little... and I need a better edging than simply the zigzag stitching. AND I need a sleeve and label. But this piece is basically done.

Time Off

I took the weekend off to start recharging. Off from the internet or many other activities. I napped, I read, I worked in the garden. I watched tennis and baseball on TV. I did lots of Sudoku puzzles.

Last night I finally slept for more than 4 hours... so I think the time off was valuable. I'm still cutting back on things for a few days, so probably won't be too chatty.

But what am I doing creatively?

I think I'm done with the beading on the Green Mars, and will be working out the edging. I will be couching yarn or string there, then adding stitching and beads. Think I'll put a sleeve on first.

And Gerrie made me a couple screens for my t-shirts. Today I'll play with how to screen print with them!! Stay tuned for photos.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Friday, June 02, 2006

So not directly "art related"...

I know.. but Crazy Aunt Purl's horroscopes inform my month. We won't talk about the fact that LAST MONTH SHE DOWNRIGHT LIED!! She knew that things might be dicey for us Crabs.. and chose to "pollyanna" it. And the stars smacked her back with big honking vet bills too. Hands up on the Crabs personally responsible for the vet's new vacation homes!!! (raises hand).

Anyway, she wrote a relatively accurate warning for friends of crabs:
June and July are Cancer birthday months (and Gemini, hi! yes, I know!) but I'm a Cancer and ya'll know how I can be. So. Around birthday time crabs become … melancholy? dour? moaning piles of self-loathing and pity? woe is me nobody loves me here let me eat this whole pie? I'm addressing that this month in the crab forecast. Just so you know, we're now the largest street gang in America. Hi!
So I'll be better in a month when my birthday is past, the celebratory movie is viewed, and I can get on with figuring out what the heck I'm taking to BlogHer at the end of July. In the meantime: Pie!! Send lots of Pie! Fruit pie (hey, it's a food group in my mind!) It may keep me fueled in this role as nursemaid/therapist/dogsitter/artist/writer/distracted beyond belief is there a nap in my future? woman.

And without further ado, what Purl projects:

CANCER (June 22 - July 22)
This month, you may have the feeling that you need to ask others what’s been going on in your own personal life since they’re all up in your bidness. (See me with the cool slang? That is how I roll, people. Don't hate.) Cancer folks have a knack for appearing too soft for this world, but people are always surprised (and maybe you are, too) to find that when the going gets tough, crabs get tougher. Do not mess with us, world! We will bust a claw up in yo nether regions!! I’ve always thought that the last (wo)man standing will probably be a Cancer. When it comes to clich├ęs, we are truly born with the knowledge that success is its own greatest revenge. Learn it, live it, love it ... for this June is our month! Listen, I have a PLAN here, OK? The stars have been fucking with us for MONTHS, and I for one am sick of it. So tell me what you think: There are a WHOLE LOT OF CANCERS in this world. We're very stubborn. We can be the most tenacious and committed people you will ever meet. Right? So if we band together and put our collective weight behind this whole DO NOT MESS WITH CANCERS thing, surely June can end up being the month of me, and you, too? We'll be like ... a gang. The Cancercrips. Or something. We can have a gang sign, we can have a tattoo (or maybe just a logo? a logo would be good), we'll be rep'ing the hood down in the 12th house of KICKING ASS. What do you think? Are you in?

OK, instead of pie.. since I don't really need the calories.. will somebody design us a cool logo so we can all have tshirts? Crabs with tats or something. (Oh god.. the search parameters that are going to create hits for this post!! I shudder to think).

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Work of the day...

While cleaning my studio (trying to find my bottle of discharge paste), watching the National Spelling Bee on ESPN, I will take a turn at blogtipping.

If you feel the Spirit of Blogtipping stirring your soul, join us on June 1st by sneaking up on a few blogs and offering them three compliments and one thoughtful suggestion each. (Or adapt according to your own preferences.)

WARNING TO ALL BLOGGERS: Look out for blogtippers. They know where you blog and they're comin' a-tippin' your way!

If you are a blogtipper, I thank you for showing your fellow blogger some love and sharing a bit of advice. Do this sincerely and you'll emerge a better blogger - yes, maybe even a nicer person - for having done so. And you'll make some blogger's day in the process. Feel free to blogtip at any time, and always remember that the first day of each month is a special Blogtipping Day!

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions