Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happy Birthday, Love!

Someone I know and love has a birthday tomorrow.

Someone tall, with sparkling blue eyes and sexy grey hair.

Whose long, comforting hugs make me remember his mother, from whom they were learned.

Someone who loves old movies and bebops to jazz.

Someone who collects and adores hardcover first editions.

Someone for whom family is everything.

Who taught me what special and unique holidays birthdays can be.

This man who truly can make something out of nothing, and turns tinkering into creativity.

This romantic man who sprinkles rose petals on our bed, and in my bath.

This passionate man who models for his children how to be thinkers and doers.

Someone who knows I sometimes must be there for friends, and says, "It's ok. Go to them."

Someone who hates drumming and loves sea shanties.

This man who is not afraid to cry, and whose smiles melt my heart.

Someone who thinks my round body is beautiful and tells me so.

This lover of good wine and my home-cooked Indian food.

Who writes and tells the best bedtime stories I have ever heard.

Who loves to laugh with his children, and loves a good pun.

Someone who taught me how important it is to be honesty and integrity in one's life.

Who turned out to be the best possible birthing partner I could ever have chosen.

This builder of treehouses, giver of studios, and creator of cottage gardens.

Who is nurtured by the mists of the ocean and the canopy of the redwood trees.

This man with whom I have had the priviledge of partnering and parenting for 16 years.

Someone I love is having a birthday tomorrow. How blessed I am to know and learn from him.

I love you Papa Dude. Happy 53rd Birthday.

Tidbit: Gratitude

We are busily getting ready for our day, but I just cannot get this post out of my head. Those of you who know me in real life know that not that very long ago, my Dude was unemployed for a long while (22 months). Today I am feeling grateful that no matter what, he has always made sure we have always had a very safe, comfortable (if sometimes rather on the small size for 4 people) place to live. May your day be filled with gratitude and joy, and a little tenderness for others.

If you would like to leave a comment, tell me what you are grateful today.
Love and hugs,

Monday, July 30, 2007

In a perfect allergy-free world...........

Got this one from Bridgit.
Caramel Frappuccino

Creative and expressive, you tend to match your Frappuccino flavor to your mood. And a flavored syrup is always a must!

Yup. 'Cept that I am allergic to dairy, so I would rather get the equivilant over at Tully's where they will make it with rice milk- no whip. But they got it right that I am a caramel fan- too bad it has milk in it. But if I am going to splurge, I would much rather have caramel than chocolate, and I am allergic to it as well.


Tidbit: Tomorrow's plans

The Papa Dude is on his way to Spokane, the Girl is finishing her math, the Boy is reading The Odyssey, and I am trying to decide between the latest disc of That 70's Show or a dose of JeanLuc Picard. I am hoping to get a bit of rest tonight, but if not, I will be in the studio, so it is all good.

The Girl is teaching a piano lesson tomorrow morning, and then we head to the East Side to take Gramma to the Dr.'s to have her stitches removed from her punch biopsy (I will explain more tomorrow AFTER we have seen the Dr.). I am hoping we can work in a visit to see the Godparents, too.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Another update on life written from the studio depths

The Boy and I marched in our first parade today. We were in the Renton RIver Days Parade. He played his french horn, and I was one of the moms who marched behind the band, in case anyone dropped their music, or anything like that. Felt a bit embarrassing not to be doing anything other than walking, but it was fun, none the less, and the kids did a great job!

I also got a chance to interact with the other moms, which is always an interesting experience. We are all alike, as we are all playing taxi driver, disciplinarian, short-order cook; at the same time as we are doing our own life's work, whether it be driving a school bus, studying to be a teacher, or trying to be an artist. Where the differences show up, and my life varies significantly is that I am teaching my kids on top of it all. It still surprises me after all these years that I can quiet down a room in two seconds flat just by saying what I do everyday.

In other news, while the others were enjoying a bit of a Star Trek marathon, I have been in the studio, working (playing) with everything from watercolor pencils to my new Lumiere paints. I will try to post photos (if the computer gods will let me this time, sigh) soon.

I am off to bed, as we have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow with church, Gramma, and picking up a new-to-us stove. I will try to update tomorrow evening.


Friday, July 27, 2007

We have a winner!

Lisa won the funky poster prize package! Congratulations, Lisa!

So far, I haven't won anything yet. I entered over 400 contests, so I still haven't lost hope, but as I said before, if all I get out of this is a whole mess of new blog visitors, I will be happy!

Tidbit: Bloggy Giveaway update.

Well, this has been so much fun! It is nice to see so many new folks visit the blog. I really hope some of you come back and visit again. I would also look for about 20 new blogs in my sidebar soon- so many fun people to meet in this give-away! I hope I win something, but even if not, this has been such a great deal of fun!

You still have some time to enter, feel free to still sign up! At 3:00 pm my time I will put names in a hat, and get one of the kids to draw one lucky person's name to win my funky package! Winner's name will be posted later tonight. (Updated to say that we have numbers written on slips of paper, and they are in my sunhat. Just waiting for a few more souls to enter the contest now!)

And for my regular readers, I am sorry for the lack of blogging this week. I have just been out of sorts, and working some personal stuff out. I promise to get back on it!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My bloggy giveaway- funky poster collection

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And so the fun begins! When I went to Rocks in my Dryer today, there were over 400 sites participating in the bloggy giveaway! Be sure to check out the list here and then visit a bunch of sites and enter in a bunch of contests!

Like all the other participants in the big giveaway, I'll draw from among those who leave a comment on this post by July 27th at 5 pm (EST). I HOPE YOU WIN!! (Remember: Anyone can enter. Bloggers and non-bloggers can enter, but only commenters have a chance to win!)

For my giveaway, I went down to the studio (of course) and wandered around to see what I had that I wasn't using. Here are some things I found:

1. A magnetic word calendar for '07. I know the year is half over, but there is a board with lots of magnet words, and lots of poetry, and inspiration. Besides, it's free!

2. A funky 11 X 17 Pondering Pool poster a friend gave me. She gave me two, and this one just didn't speak to me the way the other one did. But it is cute and fun, and I know someone will love it.

3. I have a funky chicken refrigerator magnet someone gave me- still in it's packaging.

4. I will also throw in a couple of pairs of homemade earrings I still have from my craft-fair days. I will just reach in and choose- we will both be surprised.

I am sorry for the lack of photos- again they are trapped in my camera. I think I need a new memory card, sigh.

I also am sorry to say, I am going to open this giveaway to U.S. residents only. As much as I would like to, I just cannot afford the high postage rates for out of the states. Don't hate me for that, ok?

And that is it! Off to Rocks in my Dryer to enter a bunch of giveaways for myself!


Monday, July 23, 2007

Tidbit #19 My man is home!

I'm working on a long update post, but also trying to get stuff done- suffice it to say I am here,and so is my Dude! We are well, and working on school and art. Look for an update (with lots of pictures, as Big D. fixed my camera/computer problem!) tonight.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday- no fancy title required

Well, the kids did a pretty good job of getting (almost-sigh) all of their school work done this week, so we are heading out for our big field trip of the week. One of my old and dear High school friends, Big D (I call him that, because I am close with 3, possibly four D's- they all have something in front of their names to distinguish them!) and I are going to take the kids to the science center this afternoon. I have my sketchbook packed.

Hopefully before we go, there will be a couple of history lessons, some piano practice, and some mega laundry-folding happening. The house is a complete and total pit, so I want them to have fun today, because tomorow is going to be nothing but cleaning! I bought Clorox wipes, and black garbage bags yesterday, so we are ready!

THey haven't fought once since Piano Girl has been home, and I have really enjoyed that.
In other news, I got 9 hours of sleep last night! Yay! You have no idea how amazing that was- I have literally been getting 2 or 3 hours if I was lucky since Papa Dude has been gone this trip. So nice hours last night was completely refreshing. I think the heat dropping from 98 to 68 really influenced my ability to sleep. Aahhh, back to my nice, wet, cool weather. I love it.

That's all for now- still don't know how to get the photos off my camera- that will likely wait till Monday when the Dude gets home (3 days!!).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Summer fun bloggy giveaway

This looks like fun- a giveaway carnival. I'm in. Not sure what yet, but Iwill find something. Maybe I will make something!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Go visit Rocks in My Dryer for more info.

She's baaaaaccckkk. Again.

The Girl just came screaming into the house. Apparently Ida is back. And apparently, whatever scared her off ripped out every single tail feather but one on Virginia, one of the other hens. Man, this chicken keeping is stressful!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sad chicken news

We were gone all afternoon and evening. When we got home, I sent the kids out to put the chickens to bed. I looked out the window to see my Girl crying. I think to myself, "Oh crap!", and head out. Something (I'm thinking dog) crashed through the fencing fabric, tearing out two fence posts on the way, into the chicken yard, and took Ida. Remember, just 2 weeks ago, when something got her but she escaped? Judging by the trail of feathers, I don't think she was so lucky this time. THere were feathers from some of the other chickens strewn around in the same area, so whatever it was attacked several of the birds.
Girl is so very sad, this was one of her favorites of the 5 chickens we rescued earlier this year. She also feels like they aren't safe out when we aren't home. We will have to do some remodeling of the chicken run when Papa gets home.

It has been a tough day, one of those that makes you thankful for all the good ones!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Aaackk! How did this happen?????

And how do I fix it?!?!?! My sidebar is at the bottom of my blog, in the posting section!! It looks okay in the template. What the heck! Help!!!! I told you I was a computer dolt!! Sigh.
UPDATE: Thank you so much, Kathy Jo and Crissy!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

treehouse 4

These pics were taken in March, before the renovations. Here is PianoGirl, posing at the top. SHe is about 10 ft higher than the top of our house- yes, the treehouse is that high. No, I do not worry too much about them falling out. Don't ask me why- I am usually much more panic-sticken and controlling than this! This is the side facing the house and the backyard.A view from the treehouse of the freeway down the hill at the back of our property. During the summer, the foliage fills out and you can't see anything but the lush trees, but in the winter, I have been able to look out my bedroom window and judge which freeway I should take by how much traffic I see!
Also from the treehouse. You can see our shed there in the middle, and the back porch roof on the right.
Here is the Girl sweeping up in the treehouse. See the cool windows Papa put in?They face the next-door neighbor's yard. They even open. There are only walls on two sides, but there is a roof. I have tried to get some pics of the treehouse from up here, but it was tricky. I may send the camera up there with MonkeyBoy sometime and see if he can get better. Hard to take good photos up there when you are afraid of heights! I hade to climb the rickety ladder to get up there!
That's it for now! Hope you enjoyed the treehouse rennovation pictures. My Dude knows what is important- we haven't remodeled the house yet, but he has beautiful gardens, and a remodeled treehouse! Good priorities.


So here we are, standing on the first level (my hangout spot), looking again towards the new monkey bar platform, but now we will sneak a peek into my neighbor's back yard. I like to be snoopy and see how her lettuce and corn are growing. You also can see close-up how Papa used the logs to make the platforms. And here you are again, at the first level, looking down the spiral stairwell to the ground-level platform.
Another view from the new platform. You can see the weeds that frow around the plum tree. Our plan is to terrace this. The area around the plum tree is shaped like an ampitheatre, and there is a fire pit hiding in the weeds. Someday.
Here is another view from the ground level. Just call us the Swiss Family Lewis.
One more treehouse post coming up!


Here is the monkey bars, with the new platform the guys built on top. The guys built these stairs going from the top of the monkey bar platform, up to the first level of the treehouse. The platform at the top left of the photo is usually as far as I go. I love to sit there and read.
Here is the white porch swing that was peeking out from the tree in an earlier photo. It has nice strong springs, and is where Gramma sits while the kids are playing.
Here is another swing that hangs on the other side of the tree. Notice the rectangular hole in the fence behind it? This is the doggy visiting window. Our next door neighbor dogs love to stick their heads through and get hugs, play kissy-face with the kids, and eat carrots and celery. I will have to get pics of them someday. We love them.
Ok, Here is the view of the new steps and monkeybar platform from the first level of the treehouse.
More to come.

treehouse post #1

Okay, I was able to access the pictures I had already uploaded onto the computer, so here are a bunch of treehouse photos. Their order came up kind of random, so I may be flitting around a bit. It is hard to really get a good picture of this unless you see it in person, but I will do my best. You will probably want to click on the photos to get a good gander.

Papa and Boy did this the day the Girl was flying, about 3 weekends ago. It was such a surprize for her when she got back. I have great pics of Girly seeing it for the first time, but they are still trapped in my camera.

Here is the new platform they built, and the view of the play structure from it. See the swings to the right? And on the section where the ladder is, are the monkey bars. To the far left tucked behind the tree trunk, you can see the white porch swing peeking out. Still standing on the platform, but looking on the other side of the tree, are the stairs leading up to the first level.
Ok, this pic is out of order. Realistically, it should have been first. This is the view from the platform, if you look straight up.
Hmmm, how to describe this one. Papa Dude had made a rope web all around the treehouse steps. It needs to be redone now, so many of the ropes are hanging loose. The steps circle all around the tree as you make your way up- many of them are made of cut branches nailed together. The stepladder is how you get up to the treehouse. I rarely get up that far- it wobbles and my fear of heights kicks in. Half the kids that play up here don't even use the steps or the ladder- they just climb up the branches.
Here is another view. You can really see the rope webs and the way Dude used the cut logs to make the steps and platforms.
See next post for more treehouse pictures.

Birthday Card

Here is the card I made for my friend Patty in WA. The picture quality isn't the best, but thought you'd want to see them regardless. It came out nicely, but it was all I could do to coax my machine to finish the stitching around the edges. That is because it is very thick! It stands nicely, but I will need to learn how to make a thinner fabric "sandwich" if I don't wand my poor little Janome to die. Anyway, this is the front. Three panels , 2 of them using batiked frog squares. I also used a variety of fibers and put tons of beads on them. That was time-consuming, but enjoyable. Each panel is 5 X 7 inches.Here is the back side. I used the prettiest of my silk fusion pieces. The colors are so sumptuous. This is also the reason the card is so thick- the silk fabric is hefty.
Here is a detail of the center front panel. You can see the fibers and beads well here. I had a lot of fun making this, and as usual, learned a great deal during the process. Patty knew I was making something, from the hints here on the blog, and on the WTM boards. She loved it, and is displaying it right where I pictured it in my mind when I had the idea for it. Cool!

Patty threw herself one humdinger of a 50th birthday bash. Her birthday was 7-7-07, supposedly the luckiest day of the century! It was certainly a lot of fun. I got to see lots of people I hadn't seen in a while, and catch up, while the Boy got to play with other boys, and the Papa Dude talked treehouses with other papas. It was a fun day.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dang it! I think I am frustrated.

In no particular order:

1. I cannot post pictures! I have a ton on the camera, and a ton on the computer, but I cannot access them! I keep getting these messages: First it says I can't open a database because one is already open. I click on close, and then it says, and I quote: Please open or create another database using the database dialog which is accessed via the database menu command. I have no idea what this means, other than my photos are trapped on my camera, and I cannot access the ones already in there. Sigh. I have Piano Girl, treehouse, art, and other photos to show you. I promise to figure this out and get them up soon.

2. It was a good day parenting wise- I kept my cool, but I did find it stressful to do so. Better than last night, though (when my Boy said something disrespectful to me in the car, it was the straw that broke the camel's back after a loooonnnnngg day of backtalk, and I kicked him out of the car. Sigh. We worked it out, but it was horible and tough.), and that counts for a great deal. It means I set the example of thinking carefully before I spoke to the kids. At this point, my kids are too old for me to control their actions, but I can still model the behavior I expect, and it can be powerful as well as extremely taxing.

3. My Dude has been gone a full week, and I have another to go. I am so glad I am not single parenting. As Melissa so elegantly (and timely, I might add) wrote tonight, I am not a single parent. My partner is away, but he is working his sweet little tuckus to the bone for us, so that I can stay home, and devote myself to these amazing (albeit bratty sometimes) children we created. He is still very much an active part of this family, whether he is here or away. I do miss him terribly though, and not just when I could use some tag-team parenting. There is so much to share, so many smiles to give, so much to enjoy about this life! I know it is much harder for him than me, so I do my best to support him, and not complain, though I know I do a bit. Truly and deeply I am grateful for him and how hard he works, and how much he loves us, and I am grateful he doesn't have a more dangerous job, and isn't away from us more. Getting to know Melissa has helped me a great deal with this!

The biggest thing is that he didn't call me tonight, and I am just really missing him. But it's okay. It really is.

4. This was a long day. Piano Girl really wanted to see her Gramma and Godparents today, so we went to the East Side, and went to church (there was a wonderful speaker- ask me about him later!) with the GP's, and then spent the afternoon at Gramma's. After that, we dropped in on the B family, to touch base about this week's actions on the kids' community service project (details later),. We didn't even get home till 8 pm.

5. The best part of the afternoon for me was going to Value Village with Gramma. You need to know that my Mama is the best truckin' buddy a gal could have, and when she lost her eyesight, she decided that shopping wasn't any fun anymore, and up and stopped going with me. My Mama grieves her sight for many reasons, but this is probably the toughest thing about it for me- for my entire life, if I wanted to be spontaneous and go thrifting, shopping, antique hunting, etc. (my Mama always called it truckin'), my Mama is the one partner I would always ask. I just haven't found anyone who is as much fun (though the Girl is learning fast, and comes in second.) We have similar tastes, like to do the same things, and wear out and need to eat at the same time. I so miss this.

Today was really fun- I got some storage stuff for the studio, found a couple of neat things for upcoming birthdays, and had a lot of fun, but it was also bittersweet, as shopping with her is different now. First off, I have to be my mom's eyes. I have to tell her what EVERY SINGLE THING IS: explain to her colors, sizes, and shapes; check prices, and help her navigate the stores. Second thing is I cannot leave her for very long at all, as she sometimes forgets things (don't want to lose her!), which means I cannot just go off to the skirt section while she looks at the kitchen stuff.

I guess as I think about it, I have been very blessed, and really have no complaint. I love my Mama, and will spend as much time as I can with her. I love to help and support her, and spend time with her doing whatever she wants or needs to. We will adjust (You have no idea how far we have come, the two of us!!) and adapt.

6. Gotta get myself to bed right now, as we are schooling tomorrow, and have a lot of ground to cover. I also need to be in the studio for a few hours- there are two sweet babies turning two in August, as well as my love's birthday. I also still have a bunch of fabric postcards in process.

That's it- I feel better- writing this down was a bit of a release, and was also an update for you!
See you tomorrow!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tidbit #18: She's home!

I promise to update on Piano Girl blog tomorrow- tired, tired tonight. I have a bunch of pictures as I had promised, just need some uninterupted time to get them up. Hah!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

To the Zoo- the critters

It was a good day for seeing the African animals. The giraffes were running all about, and so were the zebras. The hippos were out, too. We always take a vot- will the hippos be out or in the water. These two were in, but were swimming all over the place. We love hippos.
As I said earlier, this was the first time I had been through the butterfly exhibit. We saw tons of butterflies, all over the flowers. It was cool. That's about it for the critters- when you are keeping the pace of a toddler, it forces you to slow down and appreciate it all.
The other animals we saw were the elephants, but I didn't get any pictures, because I was holding the todler at that point.

MonkeyBoy goes to the Zoo/ Baby Fix

Here is my Monkey Boy. If you haven't already figured it out, we use many nicknames here. We are not comfortable with names on the blog, but even at that, we use all the nicknames you read here. So this fella here, known as the Fine Young Man, is aka Monkey Boy. Even as a tiny infink he used to have such a strong little primate grip, I swear I could have let go, and he wouldn't have fallen. As he got older, he would wrap his littl e arms and legs around you, whether in the sling or not, and hang on for all he was worth. So there ya' go, why we look for any and every opportunity to photograph this child with statues of primates.Ok, so here we are, all of us, at the zoo. First stop was the African Savanah. You can see the Girl's Piano Teacher Lady holding her son, (whom I call Abe on the blog) in the bottom corner there.
Here is the Fine Young Man. He was so happy to see Abe, and did such a good job looking after him while we Mamas talked a bit. Piano Girl called while we were together, so that was cool. I got to relay all the good bits to PTL, and FYM got to talk to her, too.
Here's a picture of Abe. He had just woken up, hadn't had lunch yet, and wasn't quite with us yet. He has such a sweet face, I couldn't resist. By the way, Abe picked out his own hat. It is as orange as can be! Notice the ever-present Engines (Abe at 23 months old, is in love with all things Thomas.) in both hands, and the teddy bear. Also there is the ever-present lovey- a bear named "kitty".
Here is my favorite photo of the whole day. This is how these two spent most of the zoo trip. Notice how patient and relaxed the FYM is- when he is in service, he really shines. These two play Thomas, read stories, and eat snacks together every week while Piano Girl has her lesson. They are14 years apart, and yet, enjoyed a playdate together. This is one of the bonuses of homeschooling- here is the answer to the socialization question. Life is good.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dangerous Book for Boys Part Deux

This one is even better! Now I REALLY want to get this for my Boys.

Dangerous Book for Boys

Check this out. Now I want this book.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Picture of the day, no idea of the blinking #.

I visited the Butterfly Garden at the Woodland Park Zoo last week for the first-ever time. It is just as cool as the butterfly house. I was taking pictures instead of drawing, and kept getting pics that looked like the butterflies were the flower. This is not the best quality photo, but it is cool for the image itself. I have been looking for an image to use in a triptych challenge (more info soon), and I think this might be it. Without further ado, I give you

The Butterfly Flower.



Tidbit number correction: THis is #17.

I am simultaneously being Boy's life coach, decluttering the house in fits and starts, and trying to post these picks. I have our Classical Ed. meeting tonight, and the College Match Guy is talking. Boy is going with me, we will stop by Gramma's, Boy will spend night at Gramma's, play with his Boy Cousins, hopefully do a bit of school in the morning, a chore for Gramma, then will be picked up by the B family and spend Wed. afternoon with them getting started on the kids' summer volunteer project. Which means I can have a few hours to myself Wed pm! Bear with me. It may take me a few days, but I have pictures and posts of lots of stuff for you!

Treehous remodel, zoo trips, MonkeyBoy, Cute Baby, and Fibre Art are just a few of the things I have to show you!
And a shout out to Amy- I am not sleeping and panicking at night again. OK to give myself permission to go down to the studio for a couple hours instead of laying in bed awake?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Tidbit #15: Not sleepy and it's almost midnight!

You would never guess I am going on 3 hours sleep. So far, one of the few things I am finding frustrating about creating art is that I get so excited, happy, and joyful that I find it hard to sleep. I feel challenged, and my brain is working overtime. It is more fun than studying latin, logic, or the progymnasmata, I can tell you that!!

Hiya people!

I am here, working hard on a special project in the studio. I have a bunch of photos to post, but the Boy is using the computer to work on a history essay, so I will do a post later. Just wanted to let you know I hadn't fallen off the planet.

Oh! And did you hear that Amy had her baby girl? If you haven't yet, go check it out- she is a firecracker baby!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Well what a surprise.......

As Nan said, "I can't imagine what 100% looks like!"

87%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Silk/Bamboo Fusion part 3

Well, here they are! The finished product. I took these pics in the studio (read dark basement) about midnight, so they may not be quite as bright in these pics.

I learned a great deal from this experiment! First off, I need to make sure my fibers overlap more- there are some small "holes" in them, so they wouldn't work too well on their own. But- I was looking, and I think I could make the holes a bit bigger, and lace some silk yarn through the piece.

The pink and the light blue are the bamboo fibers- they are beautiful, but Sue was right- they don't have the sheen of the silk. Still beautiful in their own right.

I love the colors on this one, but see the iron marks? This was the first one I ironed (to set it). I had to use a really thick pressing cloth (piece of cotton batting) to not get the iron marks on the other pieces.
This one is two silk "hankies" with skeleton leaves between them. I love its delicate look.
Here is silk (the yellow-purple) next to bamboo.

Now here is where the bamboo shines. This is the blue one in the picture above. I did it with just two very light layers. In this photo, I am holding it up to the light- look at the lacy texture! Can you see this as a sconce or a lampshade? Or a candleholder? Cool!!!
Ok, there you go. Now it is off to bed with me. I hope I can sleep- it is hot here!!

Computer Dolt Questions

Why all of a sudden do I have these big long spaces at the bottom of my posts? I try to delete the space, and it doesn't happen.
Also, how do I change a label? If I want computer nerd to be instead, computer dolt (it fits better- nerd somehow implies I know my way around a computer and nothingelse!), is there a way to change all of the posts with that label to the new one?

Playing with Paintsticks

Last week I was experimenting with my Shiva Paintstiks. These are quicker-drying oil paints in a crayon form. The point is to eventually use these on fabrics- I would love to make some oilcloth rugs. But for now, I had some canvases, so decided to play a little. Here is my workstation:

This is not a great pic, and there is only one layer of paint on it, but I will show it non-the-less. I want to post all of my art endeavors, whether they are good or not. For these, good or not doesn't matter, as I was using something brand new, and exploring techniques. I was trying to achieve Asymmetrical balance in my design. This was an assignment from Art Quilt Workbook. This is done on a 5 X 7 canvas.

The next thing I tried, on a 8 X 11" canvas, was to play with a ghinko leaf. First, I checked my old nature study sketchbooks, and found some drawings of ghinko leaves.

In the top corner of the canvas, I used my woodless pencils to draw the first leaf. These do not work as well on gesso-ed canvas as they do on cotton. The other two leaves I did as contour drawings. I did not do so well on the symmetry of this piece, and at this point, they look like blue brocoli rather than ghinkos, but the beauty is that this is still just the first layer of paint. Hopefully I can do something with this.

I tried for a close-up, so you could see the pencil, but it"s not very good.
What is good, is that I have no fear. I am putting myself out there, and that brings me one step closer to truly being an artist, and not just a wanna-be artist!

What's in your bag?

Hey LB!

Who me??
Yeah you! Whatcha' got in your bag?

Well, I have some watercolor pencils, and 2 boxes of my fave woodless colored pencils. Also have some lip balm.

I have my pencils, an eraser, one big sketch book, and a tiny one, my Art Quilt Workbook, and an old bus transfer.
And to be honest, this post is an excuse to show two things: the Dude wanted to see a picture of my mural with me in it, so he could get the scale of the design better. I haven't painted on it in months, though. It needs some work! I also had a request to show off my short, short hair.

I also used to love it when people would do those what is in your purse posts. My art bag is as close to a purse as I get most of the time, so I thought this would work.

Silk Fusion part 2

Okay, so in the last post, you saw how I laid out all the fibers. Once you have your two layers of fibers, you cover them with another piece of screen, and then you use a brush to soak them thoroughly with soapy water.

I let the soapy water sit a while and really saturate into the fibers. Then I took a clean sponge and sopped up some of the excess liquid.

Then using a dry brush, I applied Jo Sonia's textile medium. It only takes a little bit of this to cover the whole piece. Now the fibers are soaking wet and milky-glossy. At this stage, I hung them on the line in the shade to dry. It is supposed to take up to 10 hours to dry, but it is almost 90 degrees out today, so I am hoping they will be dry by bedtime. See how the medium is dripping off? For some reason, the chickens thought this might be something tasty, so I had to go throw them some grain to get them to not perch on the line, or peck at the puddle of goo on the ground.
From left to right: Pink bamboo fibers in screen fabric, soy silk in screen fabric, bamboo in tulle, soy silk in tulle, and last but not least, 2 silk "hankies" with skeleton leaves between them.
I promis to post pictures tomorrow when they are dry. I have to say, I am feeling proud that I am actually doing some art! As I said before, this is not a tutorial. For that, you need to talk to Sue B. Now down to the studio- someone I know is having a birthday on Saturday, and I need to get going on that gift!