Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Good Morning.

This is a typical spring morning look. The sun kisses the top of the trees and fog hides San Pablo Bay from view. About 10 am., the fog pulls back through the Golden Gate and sits off shore. Then, as evening comes, it slides back into the bay and up along the water ways leaving us with warm days and cools nights. It only gets HOT here when there isn't any fog.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I am all too familiar with these activities, but I'm working on it.

Procrastination is another word for FEAR.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fifty Ways To Live..Plus Ten More

I stole this link from MizFit, who shared it with her readers Friday. I like that if you can't do all the four main things to maintain a healthy lifestyle (not smoking, exercising, eating right, and keeping your weight in a range), there are a lot little things that Lisa Newton suggested we could try: 50 Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle That Take 10 Minutes or Less.

Some of my favorites:

Straighten your posture
Open a window
Say thank you to someone who deserves it
Throw away that pen that doesn’t work
Put your car keys in the same place everyday

To which I will add:
Stretch your shoulders and neck for 10 seconds
Swing on a swing
Hang your laundry on a line to dry
Say hello to a stranger
Rub a dog's belly
Arrive 5 minutes early
Stay 5 minutes longer
Eat a meal with chopsticks
Hug someone

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Getting a vision on creativity

I had lunch with two creative friends of mine yesterday. We ate Thai, talked, and did a very little economic stimulation. Most of the time, we caught up on what each of us has done since our last lunch.

I admit that I have done very little creatively. And that I still walk into my workroom and almost immediately feel the need to walk out.

The room is light (when the lights are on), is relatively organized, has clear work surfaces. I just don't have any desire. No heat, no hope, no vision.

And when pushed, I had to admit that part of it may be my one (unfixable) vision problem. The muscles that adjust your sight from close to distance and my lens are just very slow to change from one to the other. When I focus on something at a closer distance (like this computer screen, or my sewing machine or a book), I lose the ability to re-adjust to seeing clearly at a distance for some period of time. It's become almost an hour.

I have closeup glasses set at a 24" focal point that make it easier to work at this distance. Still, when that work is over, the blurry vision lasts. If I can engage in a task that keeps me at one focal distance or the other, then I'm fine. The switching is the killer.

So I can sew, but not really put things on a design wall and see them. I can sew, but not necessarily find a tool. I can sew, but then can't cut or press clearly.

The problem has gotten worse over the last 2-3 years. The eye doctors now know that it's a mechanical problem, so it's not fixable by lenses or surgery. It's just the way it is.

So now I look at activities different. This may be why I'm considering concentrating on dyeing, painting, surface design of clothing and home dec. That I can do at the distance focal range (I think) and not have to alternate much between close work and distance.

I said it quickly at lunch, without thinking much about it. But I think I may have hit the nail on the head.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Am What I Eat


Michael Pollan's oft-quoted line from In Defense of Food is a good place to start. I try to:

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

It wasn't that long ago that I wouldn't make this claim for myself. While I spurned "fast-food nation" except for the occasional visit to KFC, many of my meals were composed of food items made by someone else, at a place somewhere else, and at sometime in past. It wasn't that easy to look at a dish and identify it's pieces. I was all about throw-it-together quickly from the freezer.

Slowly over the past two years I've been moving back to the idea of eating the way I did when I was child. When you bought simple foods and ingredients from a grocery store: carrots, cabbage, apples, pork chops. When you then took these simple ingredients home and prepared them to be eaten. They were peeled, sliced, chopped, steamed, broiled, baked. In the summertime, they were grilled.

My food doesn't come with a nutrition label. It typically has one ingredient and you can identify that for yourself: carrot, mango, lettuce, brown rice.

That what I'm moving to do now. Today I try to eat:

Vegetables. Fresh and whole when available, frozen for greater seasonal variety. The only canned item in this section would be diced tomatoes.

Fruit. Fresh, whole and in season. Frozen berries to supplement since their season is so short. Canned applesauce occasionally.

Whole Grains. Brown rice, red quinoa, bulgur wheat, polenta, steel-cut oats. Grains that come in small bags or boxes. Grains that you cook with water. You can look at a small pile of these on a plate and know what kind of grain it is. Occasionally I eat a processed grain (a flour product) such as a whole grain slice of bread, tortilla, or pasta. Maybe some cereal. But these products make up about 1 serving/day.

Legumes and nuts. Cooked dried beans (since we are a small household, I do usually to for the canned varieties), dry roasted nuts or nuts in the shell. The beans give me a lot of my protein and the nuts provide quality types of fat. Both give me a lot of my protein.

Fats. Olive oil and canola oil are the fats of choice. A little butter every once in a while. But I try to limit my consumption of saturated and animal based fats.

Meat/Fish/Poultry. About 3-4 days a week I might eat one serving of animal protein. Last fall and winter, I was strict about only eating these on days I pushed heavy weights. It's what finally got me to lose the last bit of weight. Unfortunately, it put me in such a protein deficit that I was unable to build new muscle despite the hard work I was doing.

Protein powder supplements. I tried for a while simply eating more lean proteins. I found that I was returning to my old way of cooking and eating and was gaining back several of the pounds I'd fought hard to lose. My "leaning way" wasn't leaning anymore, though I seem to be building muscles. For a temporary period of time (I'm not sure how long), I will supplement my whole, pure foods with a powder to get the protein I need.

I have a deal with myself. I have permission to eat what I want when I want without guilt. So I can choose to stop at KFC and eat a 3 piece snack box and order an extra biscuit with fake butter and honey. I can choose to have cake or pie or cookies if I want them. Nine times out of ten, when I ask myself if I want these items, the answer is "No." So I leave them for another day.

I am not giving up eating good tasting food. If you ever tasted my grilled veggies with balsamic vinegar, you'd know that I eat for taste.

I am not giving up anything.

I am eating differently than most of my friends and most of the United States. Some might say I am depriving myself of something. But what?

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Day In the Life Of...

Crossposted at BlogHer

We are all voyeurs to an extent. We read blogs to learn about people who are like us but different, different but so-much-the-same, different and we-cannot-imagine. Without back story, human nature will fill in gaps based upon the familiar. That's why I am so enjoying a new feature at Robyn Chachula's Crochet by Faye: A Day in the Life.

Robyn decided to share: Nothing earth-shattering, just a day in the life of this...
Structural Engineer- Crochet Designer- Wife- Crafter- Dog Owner- Daughter- Friend- Me

The start of Robyn's day has a familiar ring to it:
6:00am- Turn over and look at the clock. Poke the hubbie that we agreed that today we were going to get up and start walking the puppy in the morning again now that his ankle is better.
7:30am- Actually wake up. Agreed with the hubbie that we will start tomorrow walking again, well, if it's not raining...
We learn about her boss, her new book and a little about being a structural engineer. Since Robyn works in the restoration of old buildings, she often has to create the plans herself, as any that may have existed are long gone.
This one has one plan, yes only one plan, for the 12 story, 110 apt. building. Hey, I take what I can get.
At the end of the post, Robyn invited others who are inspired by her post to write their own Day in the Life. Several of her crochet designer friends took her up on the challenge.

Kim Werker, editor for Interweave Crochet, posted a typical weekend day, then bravely posted her work day! Kim does much of her editing work from home; this day, she edits patterns for the Summer issue:
9:30: Start second-round editing of pattern PDFs. Our summer issue is going to press next Wednesday, the 14th, and we’re in the home stretch. At this point, each pattern has been edited several times by several different people. Up to the point that I arrive in Colorado next week, I’ll be scrutinizing PDFs—mostly for wee details like commas and typos, but very occasionally for an “Oh man, if we change this and that it will be so much easier to understand!”
Next, Amie, a teacher and crochet designer, shares her day:
My average day lately involves less of crochet than I’d like to admit. I’m juggling a lot of hats right now between my website, filing for trademark, being a school teacher, managing (organizing) our studio build in the basement, doing freelance graphic design, and just brainstorming/planning for other things (including a wedding…some day). This was my day this past Friday.

Tuesday it was Mary Beth Temple's turn. She is an author and host of Getting Loopy on BlogTalk Radio. Her day begins and end thinking about fiber:
7:00 am - the alarm goes off - first the Kid's and then mine. Neither of us are particularly happy about getting up early, but there you have it - until there is a local middle school that opens at noon we do the best we can. During the getting ready process I make the first check on all my emails - the writer one, the radio show host one, the knitting book author one, and zip over to to see where The Secret Language of Knitters is, ranking wise. Sulk or jump for joy accordingly. I am going to do that approximately 1200 more times today, and may even check on other knitting books to see where I am in comparison at that moment. I am not going to cop to that here, on my official schedule. But I can waste some serious minutes that way...

11:00 pm - go to bed. Decide to crochet just a little bit more before I go to sleep to try to get ahead...11:02 and a half - pass out cold.

2:00 am - dream of yarn.... realize I am sleeping on pointy crochet hook. Throw it to the floor even though I know I will spend fifteen minutes looking for it tomorrow - go back to sleep.

This is just the start. Robyn initially set out a schedule for the whole week filled with the details of crochet designers' days. Then this idea began spreading through the blogs like a meme!

Other takes on A Day in the Life Of...

Tania del Rio draws My Poorly Drawn Life, and posted her "Hourly Comic Day! 2008". Yeah.. this happened back in February and Tania didn't post it until April.. but DO appreciate the talent it takes to draw about every hour in a day.

Coincidentally, Mike Rhode, archivist for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, chose this week to document how he spent part of his day as an archivist.

I'll be documenting my Sunday and posting it here on Monday. If you'd like to join the fun, leave a comment with a link to your Day in the Life post below so we can follow.
I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sunset, May 14th 08

Sunset, May 14th 08
Originally uploaded by darinhercules
Wednesday was the start of a projected 4 day heat wave. The particulate matter in the air, the heat and the likely several other factors combined to create this stunning sunset.

I've spent the last couple days in the South bay, working at the Internet Identity Worshop. While the discussions were way in the deep end of the pool, the people were all friendly, passionate, and a joy to spend time with.

But now it's back to my regular programming.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Make Us.. and We Make Back.

(crossposted at BlogHer)

Do you remember the first crafted gift you made for Mother's Day? I think I was about 6. I painted and collaged the frame from a free stand-up insurance company calendar, then ripped the calendar out and replaced it with a "happy mother's day" note. We shall ignore that the paint was the inexpensive water color found in tin boxes, the colored paper from her new magazines, and that nothing totally obliterated the insurance company advertising. I think it was still wet when I gave it to her. I don't remember her being thrilled my artistic endeavor, but who recalls the past that clearly??

We Who Make love the doing. We love the thought of creating something special for those in our lives. And even as we grow, we still look to the making for Mother's Day.

Kathy Cano-Murillo, aka Crafty Chica, tells a sweet story of her mother as she explains why she made her custom games.
About, oh, say, 35 years ago at my parents' house, this is what you'd hear my mom scream out every Saturday night:


Back then, my mom loved playing all kinds of board games, Yahtzee, Aggravation and Bingo.

To this day, every time I walk by the game aisle in a store, I see Mom kissing the dice, saying "Come on, baby, give me a Yahtzee!" She'd wink at me, and then toss them on the kitchen table as if she were at a swanky Vegas casino.

Now that I'm an adult, I wish I had made my mom a personalized game. That would have made her triumphs all the more empowering. But, hey, it is never too late!

A Warhol-esque picture on Craftster, by Bewitched 2982, highlighted her photoshop skills to turn a great photograph into a pop memory for her mom.

A Mother/Daughter crafting night gave Kerri patience.. or something like that:
Last evening we had a Mother-Daughter Sparks meeting. Jennifer informed me we were going to make a craft together for Mother's day and then we were going to do some dancing.
We arrived at 6 and got started making our craft.
We were given a clay pot and the girls were to paint something on it that they like to do with their Mom's. Jennifer painted her and I gardening, it was a masterpiece, she painted the sun, butterflies, a rainbow and some beautiful flowers on it.
The next step was to plant some impatience in the pot, she chose a wonderful cheery pink color.
When all was finished(dancing and all) we left for home.
Just as I was driving home she piped up in the backseat "I'm so glad you could come Mom"
I said "I was so pleased that we had such a nice time"
The she added"Do you like the patience I gave to you in the pot"
I broke into laughter and told her they were called impatience.
She replied with a frown "Your already impatient"
I love this child, LOL.
Giving me a pot of "Patience", if were that easy, he he .
Beverly, aka Beestamper, was enthralled with the $1 buckets at Target. She and a friend turned them into these Mother'd Day gift containers for themed little extras.

Nathan Bowers is giving his mother a custom painted canvas sketchbook. I think his masterpiece looks great!

You need a blank canvas sketchbook from your local art or craft supply store and markers or paint. You also need years to hone your artistic ability, or if you’re like me and skipped all that pesky training, you can embrace abstract art.

Not super confident working directly with markers? You can do a design in pencil and fill it in with ink. Present for mom? Draw like you did in kindergarten and she’ll probably love it even more.

If all that’s too hard, just drop some paint on the book from about 3 feet up Pollock-style. That’s what’s great about the improvisational arts. There is no “wrong”. There’s just “do”.

While this was written several months ago, but I've holding on to it because it speaks of everything good about Mothers Who Craft. A perfect tribute on their day! Anna, younger sister to BlogHer Goddess Lisa Stone, acknowledges that her mother, who taught her how to sew, is a saint.

My mother is a saint. She taught me how to sew…’nuff said. If you do not sew, you can not fathom the patience, focus, and combination of geometry, second sight, and straight up luck it requires. It is truly an art from an era where people had endless hours of time void of distractions like television, cell phones, and email as well as a lack of unlimited, affordable, store-bought clothing made overseas.

My mother is a woman who, after spending several hours (probably about 10 or so, total) on the pattern I’d selected for my 8th grade graduation dress (a tea-length dress with a full skirt and strapless with fan-like, wide pleating in the bodice in a peach cotton) almost throttled me when I said I’d rather have store-bought. I’m not sure what possessed me, I think I was just wanting to fit in more. What a fucking princess! I would have been so much more proud to wear her handiwork. Instead, I felt like someone I was trying to be (that was new, not) instead of myself. I’m sure there’s a picture somewhere (unless I’ve burned it). I wore a strapless dress from Maurice’s, jealous much?!, with a short-sleeve shirt over it…I’d decided the strapless was a bit too risqué. Honestly.

Mom had put in several hours on The Dress in between teaching, raising 4 kids (my oldest sister was in college at that point), driving 2 of us to every sporting and musical event we were involved in, and studying for her master’s degree. Good lord. What an asshole. I remember the look of rage she shot me as she bundled the almost completed dress into a paper bag and muttered, “I’ve been sewing for Goodwill for 10 years!” I was a thankless wretch.
Happy Mother's Day to you playful, artful, impatient, creative, under-appreciated, over-inspired, buried-in-stash-and- supplies spirits. May you spend part of your day making something wonderful.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

New Mattresses and Old(er) Quilts

Hey, I'm in the middle of trying to research what (to me) is an interesting question. I'd LOVE your input in this if you can give it to me in the next couple days.

I made quilts for all the beds in my house about 10 years ago. Some older, some newer. I still have a couple bags of standard bed-sized quilting batting in a cupboard if the notion ever strikes me to make a new one.

Yesterday I replaced the old mattress on the double bed in our guest bedroom. The replaced one was purchased in 1978, so it's lived a good happy life. Since most of it's time was spent as a guest bed.. it probably had about 10 years of real sleeping on it in that time.
Old Quilt, New Mattress
The new mattress is a new mattress. Which means it's deeper than the old one. And the quilts I made to fit the old bed no longer fit. They are about 10-14" too small in both directions. Check out the photo with another quilt underneath.

This side shot really shows the problem. Major mattress gap-osis:
Old Quilt, New Mattress Side

I've "solved" the problem by moving a queen sized quilt onto the bed. It's not perfect, but it seems to work OK.
Full Mattress, Queen Quilt

But it led me to think:

Are publishers adapting sizing recommendations for bed sized quilts to accomodate the new deeper mattresses?

Are batting manufacturers adapting the size of their batting?

It looks to me that we are in another period where the quilts that we have made no longer fit the beds that they are being made for. I remember the adjustment period when everyone switched from full to queen and then king. It was not joyous! I'm looking for answers, solutions and directions from both the industry and the quilters concerning this.

Please leave a comment with your reaction. If I'm thinking about this, other people are too. Can you point me to any good discussion or information online that I've missed? I'd appreciate it.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Maker Faire. Permission to Play

Permission To Play
Saturday, I left my house at dawn and headed down to San Mateo for a day at Maker Faire. It was my first experience with this extravanganza, but it won't be my last. As the sign says: the day emphasized the permission to play.

I started with a four hour volunteer stint: first directing the Bizarre Bazaar crafters on parking their cars (whee! fun! I felt like the Safety Patrol all over again!). While at my station, Tamie Snow and Missy Ballance wandered by wearing these fabulous aprons! The vendor who sewed them sold out to other vendors before the fair even opened! Check 'em out!
Tamie Snow and Missy Ballance Model GREAT aprons

Afterwards, the killer opportunity to help set up Make. Play. Day. The guys running that show admitted they were not crafty-types.. much more into the makey part, so they welcomed my crafty enthusiasm! Boxes of papers, googly eyes, dingle balls, stuff were divied up (half for Saturday, half for Sunday) and spread out on the supply tables. Then the "project" tables were "salted" with goodies to kick-start anyone's imagination.

After the doors opened, families would wander innocently wander in, find a space and begin to play. Violet Blue (site NWS), said of her time working there:
Play Day was so much fun: there’s nothing as cool as watching kids smash keyboards with mallets and hammers, or seeing little girls make elaborate buildings out of circuit boards (or make their own armor and stage combat with weapons made from colorful industrial scrap). I think Play Day needs to be happening somewhere every day.
At one point, I revisited the room, stood in the center and quietly filmed the experience.

After putting in my time, I began my wanders through the Craft Section. The Crafty Chica was there helping people make beautiful little matchbox alters, complete with images from her new line, paint and glitter. LOTS of glitter. I wandered through and until I found myself in the Swaparama.

Swaparama! Imagine a cross between GoodWill and Project Runway with a maximum 8 hour time limit. People were invited to bring clothes they no longer used, then choose items from other people's donations. You could take whatever you wanted with a catch: they wanted you to refashion the clothing that day! There were people slicing and stitching, embossing and screening, creating something new and wonderful from a pile of discards. I saw someone making what looked like it would be a fetching corset from the top of some overalls. (now why didn't anyone think of THAT during the PR denim challenge?).

Again, a quiet (by me) look around the room. Note to self: learn to talk while shooting video:

Finally I hit the great outdoors. There was so much to see!

A pedal-powered shuttle bus that carried folks from one part of the fairgrounds to another! All the travelers looked happy as they cheered their way along.

A Jeep covered with "lego base material" plus hundreds of legos for kids to add! This is Art Car 101!
Lego Jeep

Janine, the fabulous glass bead maker. Check out her necklace!
Jenine Making Glass Bead

A variety of contraptions turned into bicycles. This lawn-mower bike was not as easy to manuveur at one might think!

Corey Fogel, a musician and performance artist, whose knitting needles play his drums.

Power tools (like this Ryobi circular saw) turned into racing vehicles!
Power Tool Racer - Circular Saw, flower power

And impressive Heavy Metal sculpture abounding:
Steel Cable Man

Heavy Metal Woman

There was a little fire, this courtesy of the Flaming Lotus Girls.
Flaming Lotus Girls Structure

I made through most of the exhibits in the day, though I never caught the robot wars. In the Maker Shed (I think) Lion Yarns set up a demo area, complete with a "living room"-like knitting area. It was jam-packed with women relaxing and sharing.

This year, Maker Faire made the decision to add a number of fire exhibits in the evening. After my early start, and without gloves or a jacket, I just couldn't make myself stay there and wait until the sun went down. But next year? Next year.. I'm throwing extra stuff in my car and hanging out till close to the bitter end!

And if you couldn't make Maker Faire in the bay area this spring, you might plan to make to Maker Faire Austin, October 18th and 19th.

What others said about the event.

Again Violet Blue:
What I love about Maker Faire is that it has gone from an outcropping of a seeming O’Reilly side project into a full-blown arts festival, in the most serious and international sense. On the surface it has the feeling of a homegrown arts and crafts fair slash outsider arts gathering: in truth it’s the closest thing we have to something that reflects current, modern American artists (and contributors from other countries) in their most essential, non-hippie or homogenized state. Really: it’s the nearest we have to an authentic , slightly guerrilla international arts gathering. Simply for the sake for sharing and growing with other artists, not for some BS highbrow grant-gathering art machine, or for impotent bourgeois conceptual salvos onto an empty landscape of Kooons’ and Barney’s. And I’m not just saying this because my friends organize it and produce it: I’ve been there every year, I’ve worked international arts festivals and orgs since 1996, and I know what I’m talking about. It’s a place to *be*.
Matt Cutts shares some great crafty photos and explains it all:
Man, I love Maker Faire. It’s almost as if Burning Man mated with Slashdot.
LifeClever says: Maker Faire is the Magic Kingdom for Geeks.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Wrap-up and Make Me Giggle!

Hey, I'm slaving away on my post about Maker Faire. I wish I had had the technology (read phone) to blog it while I was there, because by the time I got home it all faded into a blur of people and cool things. I'm checking other people's blogs to remind what I did.

In the meantime, how about this tasty little wrap up post I did for BlogHer on Saturday? Refashioned sweater (just like what they were doing at the Maker Faire Swaparama), a clever decorating idea with cheap frames and whatever cool stuff you have around the house (from Betty, who I was supposed to meet up with at Maker Faire)! Looblylu's Friday Archives sounds like something we could all grow to love! And today begins Virginia Spiegel's Collage Mania! Check it all out.

I intentionally left Angry Chicken's clock to mention here. I LOVE her non-traditional icons used for the hours. I Love her husband's reaction about half-past soup. And I'm going to challenge you: Check out her clock and find your best reaction to an icon. Leave a comment here with your wittiest reaction. The one that tickles my funny bone the most will win a small prize. Come on, now.. put on those thinking caps and make me giggle!

Now to the article, previous posted on BlogHer:
One Pearl Button wrote a wonderful tutorial on refashioning a sweater. In five quick steps she turned a stained pullover into a cute, embellished cardigan.
As I was getting dressed this morning, I thought "a yellow cardigan
would go perfectly with this outfit." Unfortunately, I don't have one.
Then, an old yellow pullover caught my eye. I used to love this
sweater, but I haven't worn it since I spilled soy sauce down the front
(I'd like to say that I'd had too much sake, but honestly, I spill
stuff on myself all the time). It has probably been over a year since I
last wore it. I grabbed it, did some quick alterations, and threw it on
to run errands with Nate. I love getting new clothes that aren't
actually new at all!
Angry Chicken posted photos of a great clock using small, non-traditional images for the numbers. Her husband's reaction: "Now we can say it's half-past soup." which looks like supper time, to me. Mine? Like a clock that tells me it's "wine bottle hour." Comments on this post continued to show how each person found meanings in the images. How many different meanings could you apply?

Inexpensive frames are used for ever-changing decor in Bitter Betty's house.

Frames without glass come cheap, Homosote board (noise dampening fiber board) bigger than your car is 10.00 and batting and fabric tend to be spilling out of the craft cave.. . .It takes about 25 minutes and a box knife, straight edge and a staple gun to make these. . . .Grab those frames! Make yourself a gallery of delights. Just buy every little print you see on etsy and change them out weekly.
The Friday Archives is a new weekly feature for Loobylu and Claire is encouraging any crafters/artists to join in. First, check out her archived "if my life were a romantic comedy" comic in two parts. Then consider joining the fun:
I have started this thing where every Friday I post some work
(illustration, art work, craft, writing) from my past and I invite you
to play along. This week I’ve even made a button.
Virginia Spiegel kicks off this week next week with Collage Mania 08. While this is the newest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, Virginia's Fiberart for a Cause has raised over $150,000 in the last several years. This year's two day art-aquisition-fest offers 235 collages created by over 100 artists. Instead of the auction Virginia's run in the past, these collages are offered on a first-come-first served basis. The minimum donation for a piece on Monday is $80; Tuesday it drops to $40.. but will your favorites still be there?

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Brief Update

#1. My legs haven't died and given up the ghost on me. I'm please.

#2. I was volunteering right around the wall from where Steph spoke. Did I remember to check my watch so I could watch her? Nope.

#3. Never found Garth and his paint ball project.

#4. Saw a little fire, but most of it was going to happen after the sun set. When I left after 7pm, I was already getting chilly and sunset was an hour away. I missed most of the fire (pout).

#5. Met some new people, saw some old acquaintances. None of the folks I expected to.

#6. The guys who run "Play.Make.Day".. basically a giant room with stuff where kids and families can come a create to their hearts content? They want me back next year as one of their volunteers.

#7. I liked the entire day.

#8. I didn't eat well or enough or drink enough water, but I survived.

#9. I timed it to avoid all traffic jams on the drive both ways.. and got there early enough that I didn't have to pay for parking. W00T!

#10. I'll be there next year. Look for a mention to put it on your calendar.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Off to Maker Faire

Saturday I am spending the whole day at Maker Faire. First a couple hours of volunteer work there (they call my position a runner. Glorified name for a Go-Fer).

The rest of the day I'll be walking around, taking pictures and gawking like all the other folks there.

I hope that I need to "run" close to the Yarn Harlot while she's speaking.

I want to do some zen paintball art with Garth from Extreme Craft.

I want to see robot wars, and the mouse trap, and Swap-a-rama...

and I've got phone numbers of some of the people I met at CraftCon, so ideally we meet up for something to eat and drink.

and there are lots of other crafters and makers and people there

and I am almost as excited as a little kid of Christmas Eve.

One local tv show called this Burning Man meets Martha Stewart. But I'm thinking it much better than that.

There may be a "OMG my legs have died" post on Sunday. There will be photos and story by Tuesday.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Best Story Ever!

I don't care if you like baseball as much I do. I don't care if you like sports at all. There is humanity and character and strength of purpose and honor when players exhibit the level of sportsmanship and honor that most games hope to inspire.

I don't know if you've heard about the story of the Washington college softball game played last weekend. When Sara Tucholsky hit her first home run ever, she looked up to watch the ball go over the fence and missed first base. She pulled up quickly behind the base to turn around and seriously injured her knee. She had to crawl to first base to touch it. In the meantime, her two teammates who had been on base ran and scored their runs.

There were none of her teammates on the field to help her and the rules strictly forbid anyone not on the field already helping her to continue. They could have put in a substitute runner, but to do so would have erased her home run.

So two members of the opponant's team volunteered to carry Sara around the bases. In doing so, they helped her score a run that would eliminate their own team from advancing in NCAA competition. I can't think of a better example of sportsmanship or better examples of how exactly we should all live our lives.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.