Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Update coming soon.

Hey! I am here, but very busy.

Go here to see what I have been up to.

I promise a post later today, with regular posts coming again soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday tidbits.

It's 9:43 am. Girl is grumpy, Boy is a noisemaker. But at least he has a willing heart. I can put up with the noise for that.

10:41 am The kitchen is clean, and the living room picked up. Three loads of wash are out on the lines, and all that can be folded and put away is. Bacon has been had by all, and soon I will be hearing scales on the piano.

3:36 pm. The kids have both done a bit of work, the transcripts are stuck in my computer until Papa gets home, but they are done. I did a bit of work in the studio, and more tidying up. Everyone had lunch, and all is well.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

tidbits tuesday: chronological style

2:30 pm.
I am procrastinating on the transcripts. R is working on his reading lists for the last two years. He is definitely getting a credit for literature. I have done a bunch of AFF work between assigning him tasks. This transcript writing is tough work! I am using the model Jean put on her blog. Wish us luck.
4:30 pm
Getting ready to take E to swimming lessons. I have this to peruse, between watching and occasionally waving to the Girl, going over literature with the boy, and encouraging him to watch the Girl for swimming techniques he can coach her on this week. There is also another Mama there who visits a bit with me as well. It can be warm, but it is also enjoyable.
6:00 pm While R was waiting for E in side, I got the air conditioning going while I touched base with the Dude by phone, as he is away tonight.
6:30 pm Stopped at a fast food place, even though I said I wouldn't. Tasted good and made life easier.
9:00 pm Neighbor Girls heading home, R is cleaning up a nasty hairball incident, and then we are gonna head into the studio for an hour or so. The kids can paint papers for me while I tidy up, and then we will experiment with my new adirondak dabbers, and various spray inks. I have become addicted to these two products (I will let you find those for yourself at Joggles.) I have samples to make! And kids are great assistants in the studio. They inspire me.
10:30 pm I tell the kids to head upstairs. E painted a picture with oil pastels, R worked on a giant Lego guy, and I got all the table tops to a visible state. I changed the black plastic on my paint table, and installed a tall shelf (that we got free off the side of the road one day when we were running errands with Gramma) at the end of my paint table. It holds a lot, looks good, and is a nice room divider between the studio and the basement door/ mudroom/ laundryroom areas.
11:10 I dragged R's sorry tush out of the steamy (no fan again, sigh) bathroom, and tucked the kids into bed. I don't feel the least bit sleepy, and now that I have found the tables, want to play a bit. Do I sleep or make art?

See you later, Alligator,
See you soon you big Baboon.
Oops. Did I say that out loud?
Off to the Studio Depths of TurtleWorks,


Hi! I fell off the panet again,

but I am back in the blogosphere again.

I am so remiss in the care and feeding of this little bloggy. I have been spending much of my time working on the Art For Food blog and google group (link on the blog in sidebar), and taking action in that project. I would love it if you took a gander and let me know what you think. It could use some comments to liven it up!

Other snatches of my time are being spent here, writing transcripts for both kids, and working to meet a Friday deadline of turning them in to the online high school they both want to attend in September. I will be done teaching in two months! I will still supervise and support, but no longer will I be responsible for creating courses, shopping for textbooks, scheduling, planning and executing their schoolwork! And someone else can write their bloody transcripts for the next few years!

I can go back to just being Mom, and spend several hours a day at TurtleWorks. Do you know how exciting all of this is?

Oh- I forgot to tell you. Piano Girl will be skipping 8th grade and going straight into ninth. How cool is that? I am really proud of her.

To have that time to really devote to and really focus on my art. Happy sigh. A dream come true. A miracle I cannot wait to experience. I have to admit to being envious to many of the artists whose blogs are in my sidebar. They have concentrated chunks of time they can work in, and actually finish what they start! They are real artists, and this is another step on my path to being a full-time working artist, and being a contribution to my family through my art. Woot!!

Talk soon,

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Art for Food.

Howdy folks!

One of the reasons posting has been a bit sporadic lately is that I am working on something. Something big, and very important. It is just getting rolling, and we still have details to put in place, but I want to go ahead and tell you about it now.

So (insert big, long drumroll here), come on over here and find out what Art for Food is, and how you can play with me in this big game called making a difference.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Soap Talk, episode 1

For a long time now, I have been wanting to tell you about my favorite soapmaker in the whole world. Her name is Amy, and her company is The Foil Hat. Amy is one of the most generous and kind people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. She is also one of the few people who can really make me laugh. I mean full belly laugh. In addition to being an all-around talented and sweet person, she also makes the best soaps on the planet. Really. They are the best!

I have talked a bit about her wonderful soaps in passing, but I want to do a whole post just on them. I have used FH soaps for over two years now, and have become one of Amy's official soap testers. I think I have tried every single product and scent that she makes. I love the range of scents, too. Not overpowering at all (most commercial soaps really make me sneeze), and there is a scent for everyone.

What do I love about Foil Hat products ?
1. I have extremely sensitive skin, and usually break out from bath soaps. This has not been the case with FH soaps. If anything, my skin has gotten softer and smoother with the consistent use of FH soaps and scrubs.
2. The site is orderly and easy to navigate. Amy's sense of humour permeates the whole site, and makes shopping fun. Her consistent references to herself in the third person used to freak me out a bit and remind me of Smeegul from the Hobbit books, but I am used to it now.
3. The range of scents (or flavours, as we call them in this house) and the fact that the soaps are pretty. As I said above, Amy has a wide range of scents, from manly to feminine, scents that Gramma adores, and fun scents for the kids. The soaps are so very pretty, too.
4. The lather factor. My Mama is getting older, and in addition to not seeing, her nose doesn't work as well as it used to, so for her, the scents of the soaps are not very important. She thinks they all smell good. What she absolutely loves is the lather of Amy's soaps. They lather up rich and thick, whether your water is hard or soft. I always love a lathery soap- makes me feel like I am getting cleaner, I guess. And it is fun to see how big of a soap bubble I can make.

Okay, now that I have told you why I like these soaps, let's talk about specific products and scents. First of all, I do have some favorites.
The salt scrub is amazing. I use this about 3 times a week, and it makes my skin feel soft.

The sugar scrub is really helpful in the fight against teenage acne, especially around the hairline.

The liquid soap is a miracle. It is great in the kitchen, both for hands and for the countertops. It is also very good for cleaning paint brushes. I have tried other soaps on the brushes, and they just didn't do a good job of getting the paint out of the bristles. FH liquid soap really cleans the bristles well, and leaves them soft, not stiff.

I also really love the shea butter. Mmmmmm. This stuff is so good for those of us with rough skin. Amy will make this in any scent you wish, but my fave is patchouli lime. Wonderful.

There are so many different scents, I will have to do a whole post on them, but for now, if I am just going to recommend two:
Alpine Spring: This scent is hard to describe, but it brings to mind images of a field of daffodils, blowing in a gentle spring wind. I love, love, love this scent.

Herbal Citrus Sorbet: This scent is described as "Fresh, clean with hints of basil, citrus and a cool breeze." I think that says it very well. This is one of my hands down favorite scents. When I am unsure of a scent to suggest for a friend, this is always the one that wins out.

If you have never ordered from Amy, you should do it today! Try a scrub and soap combo- it is so much fun to have matching scents.

That's it for this issue of Soap Talk. Visit Amy today, and tell her LB sent ya'!


I haven't been journaling as much as I would like. Here is some inspiration for all of us.

Here are some tips on collaging in your art journal.

I want this book. It has come up on websites, and in conversation 3 different times in the last week. Must mean I need it.

Tidbit: Angst

I am so fighting mother angst right now. Why is it that it just doesn't seem to matter how much I accomplish or how positive I have worked to be- there is always something very important I didn't get done, one more nice thing I could have said, etc.

Monday Musings and Weekend Catchup

Howdy Folks, and welcome to Monday and the weekend catchup.

Just after I finished blogging on Friday, I had this weird feeling- I had to get to Joann Fabrics NOW- something I just had to have was waiting for me. Ask Gramma- this 6th sense kinda thing happens sometimes, and when it does, you ignore it to your pocketbook's peril. So off we went. I was rewarded in the fabric paint department. You know how I said I needed some Lumiere paint? Well, this particular Joann's was having a closeout on certain colors, and they were available not for their normal retail price of $4 to $4.99, but for .25 or .50 or .99 each! I had the Girl do the math, and she came up with these figures: We bought 17 jars of paint, for less than $11. that was worth $58. How fun is that! There weren't a ton of colors left to choose from, but I got several I use often, and a few I hadn't tried yet. No citron, but that's okay. I will use them and be very happy about this bargain.

Saturday morning I lost one man at the airport, and picked up another in his stead. Meaning the Dude left for Hawaii at 9:30 am, and the Fine Young Man flew in at 9:30. We picked him up, and headed to Applebee's (I have to say that I actually think Denny's does a better job and a cheap, yet hearty breakfast.) for brekky, where we sat for over an hour, sipping orange juice and bottomless lemonade while listening to his adventures in Las Vegas at Nationals. At one point, he had us laughing so hard we were trying not to pee our pants. He had a fabu time, learned a lot from watching others, made new friends, and strengthened relationships. After that, we drove to two different Joann's, hoping to find more paints on sale. No such luck, but we had a wonderful time together.

I have heard from my Dude several times. He made it safely to Heelo, but it took all day Saturday to get there. He has been so sweet, sharing this adventure with me over the phone. He had Sunday to play and sightsee a bit before he starts working today. So far, he has let me listen to birds and frogs over the phone, taken me hiking to a volcano, shared his dinner with me a couple of times, and (the best part) showed me a wonderful hawksbill turtle in a tidepool, waiting for the tide to take her back out to sea. We have looked at the beautiful green water, watched sunrises together (He is 3 hours behind us instead of the usual 3 hours ahead when he travels.), and have enjoyed people watching. Isn't it amazing how much can be done over a cell phone? Seriously, his open sharing about how amazing a place Hawaii is has made it much easier to be gracious about not being able to share it in real life with him.

Sunday was spent at Unity, and then with Gramma. Man do I feel blessed that she is here to enjoy several times a week. She makes my day whenever I am lucky enough to be with her.

I had a hard time sleeping last night, so we got up on the late side this morning. I am just getting ready to make a do list for this week. There are errands to run, meals to cook, chores to be done, gardens to weed, bills to pay, kids to teach, and art to make. The usual.

Kids are out on the back deck, grilling a steak. The Boy is very confused by the fact that I asked him to grill a steak for brekky- I guess he hasn't tried steak and eggs before. The steak was starting to go, and this way we can nibble on it here and there. After brekky, I will hang out the wash to dry, and weed the blueberry bed. I also have a zillion phone calls to make.

Talk soon.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Shopping list with a bit of product review

I guess I have been doing a fair bit of work in the studio, otherwise, I wouldn't be out of or running low on so many things! I know some folks don't like reading blogs with lists, but too bad- this is what is on my mind today.

1. More soy silk roving. For now, I will content myself with someone else's dye choices. Here is what I am looking at- one of every color she has- I wish!

2. Dye-na-flow paints. The last time I bought these, I did so in the 2.25 oz. size, as I hadn't used them much and I wanted to sample the bright colors. The next time I order, it will be in the 8 oz. size at the smallest. I need more bright greens and more blues. These have proven to be a very versatile paint, that works well on silk, cottons, and the good-quality homemade papers.

3. Lumiere Paint in Citron. I use this color more than any other. (Side note: If anyone had told me 20 years ago that I would fall in love with the lime green color family, I would have laughed in their face. I used to be so married to blues, and told myself I hated greens. Now not only do I love lime green, but there really isn't a color I would label as ugly- not one.) I also love the Halo colors- blue gold, pink-gold, and violet-gold. I was recently introduced to Stewart Gill paints- specifically the Byzantia and Metamica lines, and told they compared to Lumiere. I bought a couple colors of each line and have been playing with them a bit. They are nice-very rich colors in a thick paint, but the colors are very similar, so for the price, I think Lumiere is the best deal.

4. What I do want to try from Stewart Gill are their Bijoux Blends and Fresco Flakes. I think these would be fun to experiment with, on some of the big panels I want to do. These are pricey too, but I think they might be worth it. I will let you know if I get some.

5. Another thing I need in larger quantities are some gel mediums. I am very disappointed in Michael's. They stopped carrying all Golden products in favor of the Liquitex brand. I am not nearly as satisfied with Liquitex- it is cheaper (which was Michael's excuse for carrying it versus Golden), but it shows. The quality is just not near what Golden's is. To be honest, I could have been getting my gels and mediums online at cheaper prices for some time, but I was being nice by buying locally from Michael's. Not anymore. Funny thing is, the day I went in, the man who helped me said that I was the THIRD person that day to ask what happened to the Golden products. I think they may seriously regret the decision to not carry them. Rant over.

I need fine garnet gel (I can't wait to try this!), more fine and coarse pumice gels, and some Micaceous iron oxide, which I hear is fabu to use with water pastels and crayons. I really want to try this, as I have discovered that they don't work too well with gesso. I also need some self-leveling clear gel, and some more molding paste, both of which you can read about here. These last two items are used with the acrylic paints I love so much, mostly for collage techniques.

6. Some other things I need but am not sure where to get them are good quality (but not too expensive) stencil brushes and also some stencils and stamps. I really, really love the inexpensive abstract (a pattern, but not a duck or a star) foam stamps you can get at Joanne's and Michael's, but have all the ones they sell already. I am thinking of checking out the dollar stores.

7. Another type of product I have tried recently and fallen in love with are the color wash sprays. These are wonderful ways to add color to the fabric paper I have been making.

I have tried the Radiant Rain misters by Luminarte, which are bright and very sparkly, but have a distinct and icky odor that lasts after it has dried. Luminarte is the company that makes the fabu Twinkling H2O's that I love so much, so I was surprised how unimpressed I was with the misters.

Another color wash spray I tried recently is the Adirondack color wash spray. The colors are interesting on these, but the sprayer doesn't work well, and I keep ending up with drips and dribbles instead of a nice even spray. I put some into a cheap spray bottle, but if I am going to spend money on these, I think they should come in a better quality spray bottle.

I have also tried the Tattered Angels Glimmer mists. I really love the colors on these, and want more. The coverage was great, the colors bright, and no yucky smell when using them. I want many more of these colors. They are a bit pricey, but the colors are amazing, the bottles large and the sprayers are good quality.

When I was in Alabama visiting Dy, we went to a HobbyLobby store, where I convinced her to spend a lot more money on art supplies for the kids than was probably necessary, but you know already what an enabler I am when it comes to kids and art, right? Anyhow, while there I came across a Memories Mist spray in a lovely blue, that was almost half off the price. I should have grabbed them all. This has become one of my faves, and I want to order some more colors of it too. The only even slightly negative thing about these is that the mist area is quite small. That you can control it that much is good for some applications, but it made it hard to cover a large area of paper or fabric without using a lot of spray.

That is all I can think of for now. I have been researching online and looking for the best prices. I wish there was one store that had everything for the lowest prices. Joggles has almost everything I need as well as exquisite service, but their prices are not low. Dick Blick and Jerry's run head to head on prices, varying only a few cents from product to product, but Dick Blick is more likely to have the larger sizes. Jerry's sends out email coupons all the time, but you usually have to spend a minimum of $85. to use them. Dharma Trading company has the best prices on the fabric paints, but you have to order in quantities of ten or more to get those good prices. Not always worth it, and not always possible to do when each container of paint costs $10. or more.

So in order to get everything I need at the best prices, I will most likely have to do 4 or 5 orders. This will take me some time. I think it is time to start a price book for art supplies. To keep track of who has what for the best price. Like I don't have enough to do!

Talk soon,

Question of the Day:

So, speaking of learning to dye fibers, does anyone know how to dye soy silk roving? Are there any tutorials online that anyone knows of? This is one thing I have come to love, and would be willing to learn to dye myself. It is so much cheaper to purchase it in it's natural state, and I am using a ton of it.

Updated to add some info (gotta love Google).
Here is a blog article with some instructions on dyeing soy silk.

Wow! Where did that week go?

Uh oh. It has been almost a week since I posted again. Where did this week go? Life has been so very full and busy, and we have done lots of good stuff, but it is hard to remember it all. In no particular order, just to catch you up a bit, since last Saturday:

We have seen Gramma twice- On Sunday the Girl mowed her lawn while I pulled weeds and talked to my big sister, and the Dude walked around the yard with Gramma, trimming this, and cutting that. On Wed, we took her shopping and visited a bit.

We had an enjoyable visit with the B family and our group of friends there Sunday evening. Ribs and salmon, and chocolate cake (Pamela- yes, it was the same cake we made for your hunny oh so long ago- the Choc. Town Special.) were had by all. I even let myself have a Mike's.

The Girl has been catching up on her Latin and Math, and she met two new neighbor girls, with whom she has been riding bikes in the evening, while I walked around the neighborhood with the Dude. My goal (one of the many!) is to really dig in and start exercising daily. It has been nice to just have the Girl around, focusing on her, and spending time with her. She is growing up so fast, and is really showing signs of being a teenager.

I did some studio work this week. I completed all of the lessons in the online classes I was taking that involved techniques I hadn't done before. Several of the techniques in the class were not new to me, so I chose to focus on the ones that were new to me. I have also been working with silk fusion a bunch, and have started my first long panel of that. I will take pictures once it is completely dry. I made a couple of silk hankie bowls, but am not really happy with them- they just aren't appealing to me, took a lot of silk paint (need to order more Dye-na-flow paint), and just aren't very interesting or practical once finished. But I learned a lot from doing them, and that is what counts.

I have always said that I didn't want to learn to dye my own fabrics- too much effort, time and money spent- that I would rather spend time working with predyed fabrics instead, but I have been dabbling a bit with dyes and paints in these classes, on silk, and on paper. I have had a really enjoyable time painting (dyeing) the papers. One of the goals for this summer is to build up a stockpile of many surfaces- paper, fabric, lutradur, dyed paper towels, etc. that I can use this winter when I am stuck outside. I am slowly transforming the back deck into an outdoor studio- the plastic picnic table is great for dyeing, and painting; and the clothesline and water faucet are both very close to the basement/studio door.

In other studio news, I am working hard at building up a bunch of stuff to post in the Etsy shop. I met a wonderful woman last week who gave me a bunch of tips on using Etsy effectively, so I am following her advice on that. So far, I am finishing up several UFOs and getting several small projects finished. My goal is to have a bunch of stuff ready to go into the shop by the end of June. So far so good on that plan.

Speaking of the clothesline, when I got back from one of my recent travels, I discovered the kids and the Dude had rehung my clotheslines, and added more, so that I had 6 of them! I was very happy with this surprise. But the clotheslines keep falling down, so we need to get them restrung, and done stronger so that I can use them.

The Boy hasn't been in contact much this week, but I have talked to him a couple of times. Although he did not make the first cut at Nationals, he is having a good time. He is learning a great deal from watching rounds in other events. He comes home tomorrow morning, and it will be good to have him home and hear all about his trip.

The Dude and the Boy will literally be passing each other at the airport. The Boy comes in and the Dude leaves, both in the nine o'clock hour Saturday. The Dude is headed for two different island of Hawaii and will be gone all week. He is very excited (and I for him) to get to see this part of the world, and all its flora and fauna for the first time. I am only a bit nervous at the thought of parenting alone all week.

That is it for now- I need to get the Girl up and moving, and I want to do a bit of gardening before it gets too hot out (supposed to actually get into the 70's today!!), and then get some work done in the studio. I am not sure what I will work on- I need to make a list I guess.

I do just want to say that I am sorry I am not blogging regularly- I know I keep saying that, but honestly, I still haven't figured out how to get the balance right. I am no longer wasting all day away at the computer doing nothing- my house is (fairly) picked up, I am in integrity with the laundry, and I am in the studio several hours a day. So I am living life fully, and it seems I haven't figured out yet how to work the daily blogging (with photos, sigh) into that equation. But I will.

Okay, really signing off now- create a great day for yourselves!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tidbits: short and sweet

Howdy folks!
I am busy again, so here are just a few tidbits for you- link away!
1. The Fine Young Man is here. Think First Place Thoughts! And no, I am not locked up. I have come so far from when my baby girl traveled a year ago.
2. This is what Piano Girl and I did last night. We had a blast, and met lots of fun new folks.
3. This is my new phone, with which I am becoming acquainted today. This was my old phone. Quite a difference, hmm?

Okay, off to plant seeds, do laundry, program my phone, and make art.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Random tidbits.

I am here, busy excrutiatingly busy. In no particular order, I am charging my new cell phone (old one died this week), trying to get more work done on my online classes, washing laundry, helping the Boy to pack, ferrying kids to this and to that, buying chicken food, picking up the Boy's suit from being altered, folding laundry, paying bills, running downstairs to add another log to the fire, or to add a fresh layer of paint, running errands to the post office, and the grocery, supervising piano practice, doing dishes, copying cake recipes for friends, ordering high school transcripts, blah blah la la la la la.

What else? I have created my Etsy shop, and am taking photos of items ready to add. It should be up by Sunday. The only things left to plant in the garden are carrots, beets, and radishes. Hopefully do that tomorrow. The Boy leaves at 6 am tomorrow morning. I don't want to talk about it. I plan on doing as much art as possible while he is gone, to use my time well, and to keep my mind off the fact he is in Las Vegas, trying to be first in the nation in Humorous Interp.
We are supposed to go to the B family's on Sunday, after visiting Gramma, for one of our barbecues. I will try to update soon.
I have been taking photos, will hopefully post them this weekend. Lots to do, lots to do.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tidbit: Weird weather

Dy is gonna hate me for this post, poor thing. It has been normal weather for her- hot and humid, with an extra side of hot. I so wish she could be here for some of this wonderful, yet weird for this time of year weather.

Here in the pacific northwest, it has been very strange. In the mornings, it is 45 to 50 degrees out. It sometimes gets up into the mid 60's during the day, and then heads back down at night. It has been raining, raining, raining. Raining the way most folks think it does on a normal basis here, but really doesn't. Usually, living in this luscious temperate rain forest, we get rain spray, or when someone asks if it is raining, we can say, "Nope, it's just spittin' at us.". Usually, we don't really need an umbrella. But lately, the rain has been those big fat drops that mean business. And the wind! It has been so very windy here that Papa had to tie down the baby fruit trees! It blew so hard yesterday, the power was actually out a few hours. And there was snow in the pass yesterday! They were expecting a foot of snow. Can you believe it?

For some folks, this would be cause to complain. They are missing our normally sunny weather. But not me. I am loving it. The sun will come eventually, and I will be hot and uncomfortable, and wish for the wind and the rain. So for now, I am enjoying this for all it is worth. I have chili cooking on the stove, and a fire going in the woodstove in the basement. I am wearing a sweater and thick socks. I love it. Sorry Dy. You remember that commercial where Brooke Shields says, "Don't hate me because I am beautiful."? Well, don't hate me because it's only 55 degrees here.

Cooly yours,

Tidbit: Enjoy it while you can.

I have been doing my very best to be in bed by 10 pm, so I can be rested and up at 7, getting the kids up at 8, and being intentional with my time, so they get their schoolwork done, I get household chores done, and then can feel free to be in the studio. Except for today.

Last night, when I went to bed at 10:30, the Dude was already asleep- in the middle of the bed, stretched out in an X shape, so that with his arms and legs stretched out he was taking up the entire bed, and was doing that snoring/apnea thing where he snores and then doesn't breathe for a second. It freaks me out, and I worry about him, but he refuses to do anything about it. Anyhow, it was very hard to find a little spot to curl up in, and I really didn't want to curl up, so I went down and slept on the futon couch in the living room. The things we do for love, hmm?

Aaahhh. It felt good to stretch out with the cats, and it was nice to make my multiple middle of the night potty runs without having to blindly negotiate the stairwell. I actually slept very well, and woke up at 7, and was checking my email and blog-cruising. Until my dd got up a bit later, complaining of stomach cramps. She crawled onto the futon, laid her head on my lap, and crashed. I sat there, reading blogs for a bit, stroking her hair, and then it just hit me- how big they both are, and how they aren't little babies who want to be cuddled any more. So, I did what any mother would do, given this chance. I put the laptop down, skooched her over a bit, and laid down with her cradled in my arms; listening to her breathe, I conked out happily for an hour. Now it is past 10 am, and we are a couple hours behind our normal routine, but I am very happy to have been able to be with her like that. Happy mama sigh.

Off to cook bacon,

Monday, June 09, 2008

Paper quilts lesson 3

And here are some finished (and almost) finished projects from Lesson 3.

In this lesson, we used a stiff interfacing (I used Stiffy, and yes that is the brand name, and no, you cannot make off-color jokes about it.), Misty-fuse, and commercial scrap-booking papers to make an interesting surface.

For the first one, I tore 1 inch pieces of the papers. I was supposed to make a triangular vase, but could not get into the idea of that, so I procrastinated for a week, going back and looking at the surface every now and again, and then I decided to make a bowl.

Here is a 5 X 7 piece of the surface. I can turn this into a card later. You can get an idea of the colors and stitching on this piece.
Here is the bowl. This photos shows the inside surface.
Here is the bottom of the bowl. When I make these out of fabric, they are reversible, but the paper surface made this very stiff, so it is not reversible.
Here is my Fine Young Man, taking a break from his studies to hold the bowl for me so you could see it in scale. It is twelve inches square. Isn't my Boy handsome? I am working on not hugging him constantly in anticipation of his being gone all next week at Nationals.
Here is the other surface I made for this lesson. For this one, instead of squares, I ripped strips of paper, and then Misty-fused them to the Stiffy. Stop that. I heard you giggling. Then I stitched it down, and stamped it up a bit. This is supposed to be a kleenex box cover, but I think I will turn it into a box.

That is all for now. In order to post more, I need to get my bum down to the studio depths and do some more work. You have no idea how messy it is down there right now- when I am working hard, the floor is just covered with threads, paper bits, etc. Guess a messy, creative studio is better than a clean, empty one, hmm?


Photo update: Paper Quilts lessons 1 &2

Here are some photos from my Paper Quilts class. Here are my finished assignments from lesson one and two. The first thing we did was to make some fabric paper. I had made this before (see this post, and this post.), so was familiar with the technique. This time, I wanted to make a rainbow of colors of fabric paper to have on hand to use. I used both the wet technique of putting dyes, inks, and color sprays on the wet fabric paper; and the dry technique, where I painted the white paper once it was dry, with watercolor crayons, and twinkling H2O's. I really like the results I got using the last method- the colors seemed brighter and more intense.

Here is the pile of fabric paper in a rainbow of colors:

In lesson one and also in lesson two, we were supposed to make a little paper quilt of tulips. Instead, I made 3 birthday cards, which I needed to get done by Saturday. Sorta killed two birds with one stone in that I needed to make cards, and each one has fabric paper in it. I attached the 5 X 7 paper quilt to canvas cards. Simple beauty.

The first one is so shiny and glimmery- I love the color variation on the tulip and the leaf.
This next one did not photograph well, but uses green and purple fabric paper, Angelina fibers, and a scrap motif of a paper fan in the shape of a peacock.
This one is a bit different, and you have to look sideways. This is a batik fabric frog patch, surrounded by strip piecing of more batiks, that I had in my UFO drawer. The dark purple border around the edges is fabric paper.
There is one more project I was supposed to accomplish in lesson 2- when I get it finished I will post it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Yay! Art Content! One Assignment complete!

Howdy folks! I actually have accomplished something in my online art classes! I have several sheets of fabric paper, and other surfaces completed, and now I am working on turning those surfaces into actual things. One of the assignments was to make a triangular vase from 3 long rectangles out of a fabric-paper surface. I wasn't inspired by this vase at all, and kept putting off it's assembly until it hit me- I could use the surface to make something else! So, I made a bowl. I love how easy to assemble these bowls are, and they are simply elegant. (Note: Blogger is not cooperating at the moment, so I will post a photo as soon as it will let me.)

Today is East Side day- Youth group at 6 pm, and taking Gramma shopping before that, as well as making sure school work gets done this morning, but I am hoping to squeeze in a bit of studio time before we leave. I have already washed, dried, and folded 3 loads of laundry (I am telling you- it is so much easier to be integrity with the laundry when I am only responsible for the Dude's and my clothes, plus the linens!) this morning, the dishes are done, and the kitchen has been swept. I was actually okay with the moms coming into my living room during art playdate on Monday. I like having a bit of order in the house.

About that studio time I mentioned above- I am working hard at being intentional in my studio time, and finishing some projects that have been sitting unfinished for close to a year now, so I can put them into an Etsy shop. This is another step towards being a "real" working artist, rather than a wanna-be artist who never finishes anything. I am focusing on being intentional, and being committed to my art as a career (in addition to being good therapy as well) from which I can be contributing to my family.

And a note about homeschooling- I have been homeschooling the kids formally for over 10 years now. Those who know me in real life know that over the last several years, this has become less enjoyable for me, and a great deal harder as the kids have become teenagers with attitudes, and as their work has gotten harder. I have decided that I will not be schooling them next year. We are looking into several online highschool/homeschool programs, and my role will become that of supervisor/cheerleader, instead of planner, executor, and administrator- in other words, I am giving them much more control of their education, so that I can focus more on the things that are meaningful to me. This should give me much more time to dedicate to my art. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about this new change- don't get me wrong- I still believe in home education in a classical manner, but it just hasn't been working well for us lately, and I am just so ready to be done, and on to new things in my life. I have been putting the needs of my children before mine for the last 17 years, and I need to be able to focus on my own life without feeling guilty or selfish about it. Congratulate me and the children as we begin this new adventure! Of course, we will be schooling hard this summer to finish this year's work.

Well, that is all for now. I am going to head into the studio, and see if I can finish something else, and then when Blogger lets me upload photos, I will have a few for you.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

2 word meme

What the heck- I have nothing better to do and I am awake. Got this one from Miz Booshay over at Quiet Life.

Two-Word Meme

1. Where is your cell phone? charging, table
2. Where is your significant other? snoring, bed
3. Your hair? ultra short
4. Your mother? loving, intelligent
5. Your father? no contact
6. Your favorite thing? smiles, hugs
7. Your dream last night? Jungle Book
8. Your favorite drink? pomagranite juice
9. Your dream/goal? successful artist
11. Your hobby? reading, blogging
12. Your fear? armed break-in
13. Where you want to be in 6 years? successful artist
14. Where were you last night? at home
15. What you're not? thin, patient
16. Muffins? cinnamon rolls
17. One of your wish list items? art supplies
18. Where you grew up? Oregon, WA
20. What are you wearing? bath robe
21. Your TV? no cable
22. Your pets? 3 cats
23. Your computer? broken, overused
24. Your life? busy, blessed
25. Your mood? insomnia-laced
26. Missing someone? Dy, Mom-Bob
27. Your car? Manly Mazda
28. Something you're not wearing? hair bands ;-)
29. Favorite store? art supply
30. Your summer? garden, art
31. Like someone? every one
32. Your favorite color? all colors
33. When is the last time you laughed? just today
34. Last time you cried? during headache

Midnight tidbit from the studio depths

Howdy. I want to be asleep, but am wide awake. I slept soundly from 10:30 to midnight, then woke right up. Happens sometimes. Doesn't help when the queen size bed seems to shrink- what with the 6 ft. tall Dude sleeping in the middle, the two cats occupying the bottom, and these pesky hot flashes, the bed seems much smaller than it is. So I am down here in the basement depths, in the dark, hoping to get sleepy again soon. Seven am is going to be here before I know it!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Monday Tidbits

This weekend was full but good. On Friday, the kids cleaned (I supervised and cleaned the pantry/laundry room some more) the living room, kitchen, and bathroom in participation of having a little party for on of the Boy's Debate team members (I have written about her before) who was turning sixteen and hadn't ever had a party. She ended up coming over by herself on Saturday, and we ate fruit and chips, and gifted her with a ginormous chocolate cake, and a promise of a "real" party next year. And boy, did my living room just shine, it was so clean! Loved that I didn't have to do it, but wish it would get done with less constant supervision (Notice I didn't say "nagging".)

Early Saturday morning, the Dude and I headed for our local nursery, and got some more tomato plants, for a grand total of 38 plants this year. Less than we have had in the past, but they are in a smaller bed, and it is just crammed full! I also bought 2 peppers (which still have to go in the ground), two kinds of lettuces, bok choy, and some chard and kale starts. Those are all in the big bed now. All I have left is to plant some seeds: carrots, beets, radishes, and beans. Our friend from the debate team helped plant and did some weed-wacking with us. This most definitely is a young person I enjoy and would love to have hang around with me this summer.

I got a little bit of art done this weekend. Still plugging away at the lessons in the two online classes I am in. One of them has ended, the last lesson is delivered today on the other one. I still have four weeks to get stuff done for both of these classes before the yahoo groups are finished. I am making headway, but need to really push myself if I am to get the work done this month. Whose big idea was it for me to take these classes during a month when I was going to be traveling?!

Sunday I woke with a big headache that just got bigger and bigger as the day went on. I did do some studio work through it, but not as much as I would have liked. I didn't get over to see Gramma, either, which saddened me, but I will try to fit an extra visit in this week. I ended up sleeping much of the day, which was the right thing to do, as I awoke this morning feeling wiped, but not as headachey.

Today we have our art playdate, and are hopefully finishing up our fabric journals. After this, the girls want to start on sewing doll quilts, and doing some clay work for the summer. That should be fun! This has been a nice, low-key way to spend some time with three of my fave teen girls, and still do a bit of teaching.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cleaning up.

Howdy folks.
I didn't update last night, so here is one for you. After piano, the kids and I headed over to the East Side, took Gramma shopping, and then after we dropped the kids off at youth group, we went back to her house and packed up a few things so she could come spend the night last night. We got home at 8:30, and I was in bed asleep by 9. Up early this morning to get the Boy off to classes, and then we three women hit the house. We hung about 6 loads of laundry out on the new clotheslines, and then we hit the laundry room. We pulled out the washer and dryer, cleaned them inside and out, dusting, vacuuming, and cleaning. It looks so much better in there. I realized as we were cleaning that one of the reasons this particular room is so dirty is that it is used for so many things: laundry room, pantry, kitchen, mudroom, and entryway. No wonder it was so messy!

Good news is that Gramma is going to come down again this weekend and help clean. We were trying to come up with a way to have a family beach weekend, but it didn't work out, and now I am glad, as my Mom is so good at this cleaning thing, and it really makes it more fun to do this deep cleaning when you have good company- someone to laugh at you when you fall through the trap door that you didn't know was under your dryer because of all the crap and crud covering it! Found many lost socks- I just hope we still have their mates.

Other plans for this weekend include more gardening, and some art time.

Gotta go- I have been so very tired lately- the Boy just informed me he has a band concert tonight (Why does he always wait till the last minute to tell me these things!!), so I think I am going to take a bit of a nap so I don't experience narcalepsy (sp?) during the concert.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tidbit: Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

I'm here! I made it home Tuesday (stayed an extra day!), with the help of Dy to keep me awake on the long car ride home. Got to do something about the narcaleptic car rides though- I was nodding off and had to pull over way too many times. Sleep-reading is one thing, but sleep-driving isn't working for me.

I slept hard last night, and am well this morning. We have a piano day today instead of tomorrow. I will update again tonight. Hope all is well with everyone.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tidbit: On the road again..........

Howdy folks!
So, it is 8:30, and I am just now leaving, 2 hours later than I had planned. But it was probably better that I got 7 hours of sleep last night, rather than fall asleep on the road, hmm? I have my flutes, art supplies, and walking stick packed, but still cannot find my camera. Sigh.

I will be back late Monday. I may blog from my sister's, but may not. My goal is to be support, however she needs it, so blogging may not fit in. But I will try to make some art while there, and will take pics with the Boy's camera on return. I so have a hankering to use my fun watercolor paints on an Oregon sunset. I am not happy about the reason for my trip to the ocean, but my soul will rejoice in going home to my birthplace, I know.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tidbits: Gardens, art, laundry, and support

Howdy folks! I am here, keeping myself so busy I have little time for blogging. I miss blogging, but I am getting stuff done in my life, and that is worth it.

Mr. B. came over on Friday and tilled both my big garden beds. The Dude bought me 20 bags of steer doo, which I need to get into the bigger of the two beds this week. Once that is done, I will need to plant it. We went to the glorious garden party on Saturday. As a result, I have 24 tomato plants in the ground, but I still need to buy about that many more to have enough to can and donate. I have several squash and cuke plants to still get in before this weekend.

On the art front, I spent all last week working down in the studio, getting it organized and cleaned up. I am currently enrolled in two online mixed media surface courses, so I got started on the first lessons in each of those. I don't have anything finished to take photos of yet, but I am planning on working daily, so hopefully will have photos soon.

I am officially on laundry strike: I am only doing the household laundry (kitchen and bath towels and our bed linens), and the Dude's and my clothes. It is still a lot of laundry, but I am making headway. Not worrying at all about the kids' laundry is very freeing.

My oldest sister lost her mama (we share our father, but not our moms) on Sunday morning, and is doing about as well as you would expect, and needs some lovin', so I will be leaving Friday morning to drive down to the Oregon Coast (my birthplace, and one of my fave places in the whole world) and spend the weekend with her. I may go down again next weekend for the memorial if she needs me to. I plan on taking art supplies, but will do whatever she needs me to do.

That is it for now. I am headed to the laundryroom to put another load in, will fold a bit, and then down to the studio for a bit.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

new coop part 2

Here is the inside of the new coop. So far, there is this one rimmed shelf running all around the edges. We can add more shelves above or below this one as we get more chickens. See? They like it. Today was the first day one of them actually laid an egg in the new coop!
Here is Lucy, mad as heck that she is on the inside when there are bugs to eat (I was weeding- she loves to follow me around and eat the slugs off my garden gloves), trying to peck Winnie, who seems fascinated by the big lady-birds. The white bits on the ground are shredded paper bits the Girl had used when we were out of cedar shavings.
Here is Piano Girl, holding one of the new babes. Again- except for Winnie, they all look the same to me, so who knows which one she has! Look how grownup and serious my Girly looks!
Here is the Boy, sitting in the bed he is supposed to be weeding, taking a wee break with one of the babes. I think this was Sweetie. Look how long my Boy's hair was. It was all poking out in all directions from his head. I say was, because we shaved it all off for him this morning, just about a half hour after this was taken. He looks very handsome. And serious.
That's it for chicken photos for now. Thanks for visiting the homestead. Amy, are you hyperventilating at all the bird photos? I promise I make the kids wash very good with your soap when they are done holding the birds.

New Coop part 1

Howdy folks! How 'bout a chicken update? Before I show and tell the new coop and the new babies, I would like to let you know that we lost the Girl's favorite pet chicken, Goldie, while I was in AL. She got sick, seemed to get better, and then I got the fateful phone call from a teary Girl, all in the space of a few days. We don't know what was wrong, but none of the other chickens are sick, so that is good. My Girly handled it all by herself, with her usual grace and strength, prying the dead chicken's cold feet off the perch, wrapping her in an old towel, digging the grave, and giving Goldie a nice prayer and a few kind words, before burying her next to her chicken-sisters' graves. Only at this point did she let herself shed a few tears. I was so sad for her, and so proud of her. Rest in peace, Goldie, you were a great chicken, and a good pet to the Girl.

(Click to enlarge the photos, if desired.) Here is the part of the chicken yard where the coops and runs are. On the left, is the little coop where the 8 new babies are staying. Then you see the run next to it, where the old girls are for now. When the babies get a wee bit bigger, we will move them into the run, and the old girls will go into the little coop at night. Inside is the old rabbit hutch that came with the chickens we rescued 2 years ago. The boxes poking out from the sides of the hutch open up, as does the top of the hutch itself, for easy egg gathering and cleaning. If you click on the photo, you can see six of the new little girls exploring the yard.

Sorry about the chicken wire, but that is the way it goes. Here is a good shot of the remaining three old girls- Annabelle is the Rhode Island Red in the hutch, and Chickie-Boo (the Golden) and Lucy (the silver one), the Wyandottes are on the ground inside the run, trying to peck the littles on the outside there. The little white one is Winnie the Peep, and I have no idea which one is with her- they all look alike to me. Look how big they are getting though! For the record, the new babies' names are as follows: Annie, Clarabelle, Henrietta (these three are all inspired from Thomas the Tank Engine stories, in honor of our two-yr old friends), Dottie, Hannah, Sally, Sweetie, and Winnie.

Here is the door to the run, and the new coop.
Sigh. I took these on the Boy's camera, and don't know how to make the photos go right side up, but will post it anyhow. Here is the new coop. It butts up against the shed. That is Lucy in front, and Annabelle's behind there to the left of the door opening.
See the next post for more coop photos.

Tidbits: Self-pitty in the past and garden time.

Howdy! I am here, and done feeling sorry for myself. That is pretty much how I spent the whole day yesterday, and it felt so wasted, and I felt very isolated. Enough of that!

Today, we are schooling, and working on clearing the garden beds. I also have some bills to pay.

Our dear friend Mr. B. is going to bring his tiller over on Friday and help till my garden, so we must get it ready! The kids are already outside, so I must get out there. PG has her baby chickens out- I will try to find my camera (I *THINK* I brought it home from Dy's, but cannot find it anywhere!) and take some photos of them and the new coop- they have really grown!

That is it for now- I will post more later, just wanted you to know I am here and done with yesterday's pity party.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I started a post for you way back on Saturday, but just haven't had the heart to finish it. I have been cleaning, reorganizing, decluttering, teaching, and sleeping, in that order, since I got home, and it seems to be taking all my time and energy, so when I get to the computer, I just don't have the interest or fortitude to blog. At least that's what I have been telling myself. Sigh. I need to work on my attitude, don't I?

My mom was going to come down and help me with this house today, and she just called and canceled at the last minute, and now I am starting to go into overwhelm. I need to get a handle on this house, the messy, unused studio, and these disobedient, unruly kids. I will try to get to the blog later today, but can't make any promises.

Sigh. I wish I was still on vacation at Dy's house. I miss her and we made a really good team. Two mamas make dealing with everything all at the same time so much easier, and so much more fun!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tidbits: Blogging from Dy's, part 2

Howdy folks!

I am having such a fantastic vacation here! I am not sure I have ever been made to feel so welcome and so much a part of the family when visiting. Alabama is beautiful (except for the ticks- I have now witnessed the removal of two of them, and the scorpions-ewww), the birds are singing all the time, the trees blowing in gentle breezes (and it isn't too hot- we timed this visit beautifully), and I am being so well fed and regularly loved on by babies and big kids- how could I not be having a wonderful time?

yesterday I held the wee babe for 3 hours straight- what bliss!!! And the children and I made art out under the trees for several hour, too. This is better (and cheaper) than therapy.
Friday is going to come way too fast.

Dy took a mess of photos and posted them today. Go here to check them out.
Love and hugs,

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tidbits: Blogging from Dy's, part 1

Happy squeal! I am here and doing fine! So far I have seen a cardinal, and heard unfamiliar birdsongs, experienced a thumderstorm (all we got of the tornadoes), had blackeyed peas and roasted chicken, kissed and cuddled a sweet little mouse of a babe, shared my tea with toddlers, and listened to kids play Ode to Joy on the keyboard. Happy sigh!

It is beautiful country here, and I have been made to feel so welcome. Dy and Zorak have done such an amazing job on this house, and the children are just about the most well-behaved kids I have ever met. Very sweet and affectionate.

Tat's it for now,

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hi! Did you think I fell off the edge of the planet?

I didn't (the earth is ROUND, ya' know!), but it has been a crazy-busy time here lately. We got in from our conference trip about 2 am Monday last week, and hit the ground running. I was single parenting, and managing all our commitments, and trying to get well, and just couldn't make myself care about blogging. You know I still love and appreciate you even when I don't blog right? I have to admit, being away from the computer has been a great thing, and I am doing so much more in my real life.

Yesterday was my baby Boy's birthday. He isn't a baby or a boy any more. He is a tall, kind 16 yr old. Happy Birthday to the Fine Young Man! We spent the day at the zoo and had a wonderful time. One thing we reall love is to go into the day/night exhibit and having close encounters with the animals there- yesterday it was a slow loris, Edward the armadillo, and a tawny frogmouth. We also got to visit up close with a siamang. Love the zoo. What a fun way to celebrate.

Today I am desperately trying to get into integrity before I leave for Alabama tomorrow. This means advance prepping for my S.E.L.P. class tonight, running errands, packing, finishing up unit study plans so the Dude can easily monitor the kids and they can teach themselves (lots of websites, reading, and narrating back to him), etc.

I will try to blog from Dy's and I know she will take lots of photos and blog my visit, too. Have a safe weekend and next week, and I will see you all soon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tidbits: Freeform to do list

Okay. It is Wed at 11 am. Freeform is all I have in me.

I rose at 6 to wake the boy, had him to school by 7. Enjoyed a good morning call from my Man.
Head pounding, back to bed till 9:30. I slept right through the alarm I never sleep through.

GodFather's peptalk, Excedrine, and a loooonnngg hot shower have me feeling human again.
Today's aromatherapy: The Foil Hat's Green Tea and Linden soap. Her Sinus soap (can't remember the catchy name with my head like this.) would have been perfect.

The luggage is on one couch, laundry on the other.
Off to run yesterday's errands, love on Gramma, and buy a bunch of meds.
Deliver chicks to our chicken-sitters, and be chicken-sitters ourselves.

Race to pick the Boy up on time, and get ready for our weekend adventure.
Will pack art journaling supplies, tarot cards, and my sunhat.
Some C.S. Lewis, and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, too.

Thanks for the thoughts, I am ever manifesting my healthy, joyful self.
Hugs, and I will talk to you on Monday. And I will be healthy and happy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tidbits: In no particular order.

Tidbits- In no particular order:

You may have noticed an absence of your favorite turtle fan. I seem to be taking a blog break due to being sicker than a dawg, and sounding like one too. My aim is to be well enough to fly to Los Angeles and the end of the week so the kids and I can represent UnityBellevue at the AGAPE conference there this weekend. Yes I will blog about it when we get back, and yes I will pack my camera, and the Boy's replacement camera came in the mail today, so he can shoot movies and learn how to post them for me. And I will be sure to put the pics on my camera onto the computer, so I can take lots more this weekend.

There is a pool at our hotel so Girly can practice her swimming- at 13, she is finally taking lessons. I know, she is old to not know how to swim, but we have let her take her time on this, and not being able to go into the water at all at Interlochen because she didn't swim was a bit of an inducement for her to overcome her childhood fears and start swimming. We all have new swimsuits (even me, sigh) , and new dress clothes we got at Value Village. They grow so fast!

A friend took the kids swimming for me tonight so I will fold laundry now and we will be in bed early tonight. The FYM has to be at the high school at 7 am for WASL testing. Errand running tomorrow- We get to be with Gramma, pick up her scripts and do a grocery run. Then check on the chickens we are sitting. Head back to the west side of the lake, finish delivering the bills and pick up my scripts. Come home, eat easy but healthy dinner and start packing. Kids each took on several household chores and washing my car (thanks for the suggestion Amy in O.

My Dude called and talked to us while we were in Value Village. He is so sweet. Even though he is on a business trip, he is keeping his promise to go swimming with the Fine Young Man tonight. He bought a swimsuit and is swimming laps at his hotel while the Boy is swimming them here at the community center. What a Papa. Smooches.

Here is a true tidbit for you- an interesting fact about the women in my family. For many generations, we have developed a fear of heights and claustrophobia usually beginning in our late 20's to early 30's. Piano Girl was hit early and was born with severe claustrophobia, agoraphobia, and aquaphobia. In her short 13 years, she has come an incredible distance! (Ask me to tell you her story some day- you can be sure her bathtimes weren't a ton of fun. ;-)

And (not quite) last but not least, a thank you to all y'all my invisible friends for your fun comments and kind words and well-wishes. I really soaked those up and and sending hugs back to you. If I had a voice more than a whisper right now, I'd sing to you. I'm proud of you.
(No really, ask them- I would. :-)

Speaking of singing, it makes me smile when my son hits his low notes. For a skinny Boy, he has a rich, deep voice.

Okay, going to rest while folding laundry eating a salad and strawberries, and watching Dancing With the Stars on YouTube. I know, I know. The dancing is just so beautiful and poetic. It reminds me of the fact that I wanted to be a gazelle when I was a girl. I loved to practice my leaping in the back yard.
Hugs to all y'all.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tidbits: various

The whole family is sick with a really bad cold- green guckies, hacking coughs, bad headaches all around. It is after 11 am and I am the only one awake. We all feel really yucky.

We went to the Seattle Art Museum (google it please, I am too tired to link today) and saw the Roman Art from the Louvre exhibit last night. It was well worth the effort and was fantastic. If you live locally, you should really try to go. Having studied history with the kids made it so much more enjoyable.

I am going to try to be a weekend warrior even being sick, and
1. get the front section of fence weeded and my vines planted.
2. I also want to keep going on the decluttering of the studio project.
3. I have a slew of photos to upload, with lots of studio and baby chick photos.

Not sure when things will be up, but will try. Sorry the blogging has been so boring and sporadic lately.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tidbit: It's Thursday again

Uugghh. Again. Headache still hovering. I am wondering if it is pollen or sinus related. It is wearing me down, though. On top of that, we're all coldy- coughing, runny noses, really sore throats. Sigh. That just happened overnight- the kids were fine last night. We are up early anyhow, getting ready to head for piano lessons. I won't let the kids breathe on the toddler, and we may duck out early. I am doing my very best to not be discouraged about how prone we are right now to get laid out flat by every little virus and cold bug that we encounter.

I will update later today. I hope this doesn't come off as too whiny, because I honestly am feeling grateful that other than a cold and a headache that we are all alive and well, and that our lives are full and filled with love. So many folks I know are going through so much worse right now.

Hanging in there, and hoping you are too.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tidbits: Uggh.

Another migraine. I am so tired of this- the last month has been really bad, and today's was the worst of them- I haven't had this many migraines since I first started this blog 2.5 years ago. I was fine today, until about an hour after lunch (It was a wonderfully fun lunch with the Godparents.), during which I ate a large quantity of corn chips. I think tomorrow I will start eliminating corn, and the following week, take away wheat. It is a start. Something has to give here- I want to be fit and strong, not chubby and migraine-laden.

The Boy is coming down with something too- he is snarfing, snuffling, and coughing- again. I thought Spring meant being healthier- what am I missing here?!

Gramma forgot she was supposed to fast, and had coffee with cream this morning, so we didn't do the blood draw, which means I will get to see her several times this week: tomorrow night I will take her grocery shopping after dropping the kids at youth group, and then we will do the blood draw Friday morning.

Things will be better tomorrow, right? Off to bed with me now- I promise, promise, promise to put photos up tomorrow.

Tidbits: As the white rabbit would say........

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! Can't say hello, goodbye. I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!

Thank goodness the Dude called this morning, or I would have slept straight through! I didn't completely set my alarm last night, and had taken a benedryl so I would rest, and I did- a good seven hours. Way better than my usual 3 or 4 when the Dude is traveling.

We now have to leave in 30 minutes, in order to take Gramma to the Dr.'s to have her blood draw (just routine for her thyroid & cholesterol levels, no worries).

Yesterday was good- hectic but good. I am very amazed that we progressed as far as we did on our fabric journal-making project. I had a total of four kids, and they all were helpful, patient, and just delightful as they learned how to safely irons, rotary cutters, and my sewing machine. It was crazy-busy, but really good.

I didn't do much in the studio regarding my week-long warrior project, but I did rearrange the tables- we shall see if that helps some.

I did take lots of photos, but need to get dressed and ready and out the door now, so I will do my best to post them later today. Meant to get some up last night, but Blogger was being poopy.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Weekend Warrior: Another "during" update

Hi! Thanks for all your kind comments and support so far. I am still working down here. This is quite a task! I have been taking photos as I go, and will post some tomorrow. I got through a lot of boxes and piles, only to fill other boxes and make more piles. I am keeping sight of my goal though, no matter how long this takes. Dy helped me a great deal by reminding me to think about the kind of art I want to make down here, and to really just keep the materials that will be used for that kind of art. A great deal of the stuff I have been tossing has been in our art cupboards for 5 to 10 years! I have to admit- I still have concerns about getting rid of some of it- spools and spools of ribbons, skeins of acrylic yarns by the boxful, piles of felt squares, etc. But if we haven't used it in 5 years, I am not goin gto miss it right? Right? I saved it for the kids, but that isn't the stuff they use- as long as I have tons of paints, papers, and sculpey, they are happy, so why is it so hard to give up the huge box of ribbon bits and bobs?!

The other thing I have to do is think about how I want my space arranged (thinking of moving the tables around to make more usable space), and how to best store the supplies I really do use often: fabric, paint, collage materials, fibers, paper, etc. The Dude came with me to the hardware store tonight, and I got some ideas, and he is going to help me come up with some storage solutions for the things I use the most. This is where the Studios magazine is both helping and harming- I will be happy if my after photos look as good as the before photos in the mag, lol. But the mag had lots of low-budget ideas for storing and organizing, and I do have a lot of options already.

One thing I have decided, with help from Dy, is that I want to put some of my fabric on the shelves behind the design wall. Mostly the stuff I love the most (batiks, japanese, bright colors, etc.) and want to be using for fabric collage. The unusual fabrics will still live in the plastic bins on the fabric wall, as well as some other supplies. I am not sure where I will store my books and bead boxes, but will figure that out this week.

The Dude is going to help me fix my wire baskets (I have some that don't have the side rails, that I got for free.) so I can put them under my paint table, and that will get rid of a lot of my paint table mess.

My paper cupboard is much more useable, but the little paper drawers need to be re-sorted and labeled. This is where my embellishments, and little doodads live, but they are a mess because I just throw stuff into any drawer after I use it- lots of that problem down here- little tubs and boxes with misc. stuff from a finished or set-aside project. Gotta get a handle on that.

Funny thing- it is hard to do this organizing and live my regular life too! As for what happened today that didn't involve the studio: I worshiped at the church of flannel sheets again this morning- sigh- this is getting to be a habit as I haven't been in 6 weeks, but I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night, being wide awake until 4 am.

After a nice brekky of avacado and bacon on toast, and a hot bath, I fetched Mama and she folded an entire couchful of laundry (I really should have taken a before photo of THAT!), helped with the dishes, and scrubbing of the kitchen, kept Piano Girl company while she baked bread and banana bread, and chatted with me while I made homemade chicken rice soup. We sent her home with two tupperwares of soup, half a loaf of bread, and lots of kisses.

The Dude and the Boy started the patio project, too. I will get photos of that tomorrow. I also owe the ladies on the WTM boards a photo of what I see from my front door. I better go charge my camera battery.

That's all for now- the Dude leaves for a trip tomorrow, so I want to go snuggle with him while I can, and get some rest tonight. See you tomorrow with photos. Not sure when I will post, as the Girls come for art playdate at 1 pm, I still have to get the studio ready for our big project, and I do want the kids to do some school tomorrow- it is Spring break at the high school, so the Boy will be able to focus on Green Dragon classes for a while.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Weekend Warrior: A "during" update

Well, I am pooping out, and don't feel like I got half as much done down here as I would have liked. I filled 3 boxes and a black garbage bag with stuff to donate, and half a black plastic bag with garbage. I cleared out many rubbermaid tubs, large and small, and decluttered the storage shelves in the little pantry under the stairs. I put supplies I don't use often but don't want to get rid of in those shelves, and labeled as I went. I cleaned up the paper cupboard, and there is room now to put other papers as I come across them.

I also made supper- we had roasted chicken, rice, green and yellow beans and carrots, and baked squash. I think part of my being tired is that there were various bouts of yelling and frustration on all parts, as the Dude and I tried to do our own projects in addition to supervising (read nagging) the kids getting last month's jobs done- The Boy finished up his wood stacking/chopping chore, and cleaned the moss off the roof and cleaned the gutters; the Girl got her baby chickens moved to the garage, and then cleaned up from them being in her room- all floors mopped, doorknobs sanitized, room aired out, etc.

I am tired, my feet really hurt, and my heart is heavy, but I guess it is some progress after all. I think I will keep going a little bit here- at least take some photos to post tomorrow.

Weekend Warriors: before pics part 2

More before pics. Scroll down to the post before this one if you don't know to what I am referring. Much of the problem is how much stuff I am trying to store, and the fact that like items are not being stored with like items. Lack of labels is another issue I will try to deal with this weekend. Can you tell I was also inspired by the special issue of Studios magazine?

Weekend Warrior: before pics part 1

Okay folks, both Miz Booshay, and Amy (there is a link to Weekend Warriors at Amy's blog) are participating in Weekend Warriors this weekend, and they both inspired me to take up the challenge. This was on my to do list anyhow, as I am supposed to be teaching a class in the studio on Monday, and it is horridly scary down here!

I am not going to comment on the individual photos right now, just going to post them, and then get to work. I will add comments above the photos later- if I spend time doing it now, I will never get to the hard work and there won't be after photos. I cannot believe I am saying this, but if you dare, you can click on the photos to enlarge and see all the mess, sigh.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday Feast

I occasionally partake in Miz Booshay's weekly tradition of serving up a wonderful Friday Feast for her blog readers. I found today's questions particularly inspiring. I thought that I would post my answers here in addition to the comments section on her blog. Feel free to join me in the comments section with your answers.


Invent a new flower; give it a name and describe it.


Name someone whom you think has a wonderful voice.


On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how clean do you keep your car?

Main Course

How do you feel about poetry?


What was the last person/place/thing you took a picture of?

My answers:
Hmmm, it would be a rich lime green color with some bright lemon yellow highlights, have lots of beautiful long wide petals, like a daisy or a zinnia, and bloom prolifically on long stems so I could cut lots to bring into the house. I could call it "Bright Sunshine" or the "Glowflower".

There were some great voices listed at Miz B's blog- Patrick Stewart, Julie Andrews, Sam Neill, etc. This is a bit weird, but one voice I love is Dy's husband Zorak- he has the deepest, richest voice- I love it when he answers the phone. Don't worry, Dy knows I love her hubby's voice already, lol. But really, in all honesty, I love my children's voices the best- they took voice lessons this last summer, and they both sing beautifully. The lessons strengthened my Girl's voice, and smoothed the rough edges of my Boy's low deep voice, and it just makes me smile whenever they sing.

This last car has been kept the cleanest so far- it is about a 6 or 7, but I plan on making it a 9 this weekend.

Main Course
I love it! I love basic, children's poetry that is easy to remember and quote. I love Margaret Wise Brown's poems for children. I love to compose simple poetry to make kids laugh, or to put in a love note. My dh has written several poems- the ones I love the best are the birth story poems he wrote for each child.

I also adore A.A. Milne's poems-
The more it snows, tiddly pom,
the more it goes, tiddly pom,
the more it goes tiddly pom,
on snowing.
And nobody knows, tiddly pom,
how cold my toes, tiddly pom,
how cold my toes tiddly pom,
are growing.

Luckily, my kids like poetry too, and still remember many of the poems I had them memorize when they were little. They say them to our borrowed kids now and make them laugh. What a wonderful tradition!

My Girl reading to our borrowed toddler, and the model of DNA my kids made out of K'nex. I hope to take some today of my new shoes.

See you in the comments!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Easter Egg decorating:

And the long-awaited new haircut (and double-duty gratuitous kitty) photo. We used the 1-inch blade on the electric clippers.

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Tidbit- For all of you..........

Hi there guys.
Howdy ladies.
Just a tidbit for my pals and my blog buddies.
A simple poem is all I can muster-
Guess I am a feather duster.
Headache and spelling quells not my mood,
with 8 windows open, vicadin and dwts- I'm doin' good.*
Therapy and love from blogs and boards- real or real not they may be.
But they are swell for chicks like you and little round turtles like me.

........for all you are to me.

*And I do have a migraine- all y'all know you wouldn't have passed up the chance to use the verb quell.
Insert Smilies and Hugs,
aka Needleroozer

Monday checkin

Hi. It's Monday, and I am down with some sort of flu yet again. This time it is body aches, a migraine-type headache, and severe dizziness. The Boy has the same symptoms. I will try to post later- it is hard to think enough to write at the moment. This has been a hard winter for me physically and I am looking forward to the warmth and health of spring.

I can tell you that the Girl did amazingly well at her adjudication on Thursday, and her Piano Teacher was just gushing with pride at Piano Girl's progress and her performance. Good stuff.

As Tigger says in the adulterated Disney versions of Pooh,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tidbit: SNOW in March!

Oh. My. Goodness. It is SNOWING!!! At the end of March!! The latest snow I can remember was in 1989, when it snowed on my birthday in early March. This has got to be some kind of a NW record! I will let you know if it is still here in the morning. I hope it doesn't stick, as Piano Girl has her last adjudication of the season tomorrow. Good thing we put the chicks in her room instead of the garage! Way too cold for 2 day old baby peeps.
Edited at 7 am to say that although the snow was particularly beautiful last night- big fat flakes falling in the dark, it thankfully did not stick. So we can safely get to piano lessons and adjudications today.

Wordless Wednesday- Bonus round

Tidbit: Oh man! It's lost! And then found!

I cannot find my camera anywhere. I am pretty sure I had it after the tournament on Saturday- I remember it being in my coat pocket. Only I think I took it out as soon as we got home, and now I can't remember where I put it. Story of my life. Sigh. I just hope I am remembering correctly, and it is in this house somewhere! I have something very cool to take a picture of to show you, not to mention my new haircut, and of course I have misplaced my camera. I will keep looking.

Updated to say I found it, sitting on a chair in the living room- Yeah. Right where I left it! Pictures are being taken as we speak!

Wordless Wednesday

Snowshoeing cousins

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Tidbit: She had the baby!!!

Dy had a beautiful baby boy yesterday, on Easter! His name is Jason Thomas. He weighed in at 7lbs 4 oz, and was 22 inches long. And in less than 6 weeks, I will be able to hold and cuddle him, and smell his sweet baby head! I am so excited!

Go to Classic Adventures and scroll down a bit to see amazing photos of each of Dy and Zorak's big kids lovin' on their new baby brother. And while you are at it, say a little prayer, and wish them well, because when I talked to her earlier tonight, the big kids were all barfy and sick.

That's all I got. I am off to bed.
T.T. F. N.

Just a note:

To the young man from out of town who rang our doorbell 4 times last night beginning at 11:50 p.m.: I am glad you picked our house with the porch light on instead of the one belonging to our gun-toting neighbor. You must have been very tired and a bit scared to be lost in a strange city at that time of night after riding the Greyhound all day. I am also glad that all you wanted was to find your mama's house, and not to hurt anyone in ours. I hope you found your Mama's house.

But you should know that you did freak us out, and make me glad you rang our doorbell on a night when my Man was home- if he hadn't been, I would have had to call the police instead of answering the door to you. You should also know my Man was holding a huge walking stick with a metal cap behind his back, and was prepared to beat you to a bloody pulp if necessary. After you left, it took us quite a while to get to sleep, and it is going to be hard for me to go to sleep tonight, when my Man *is* away.

And I have a tip for you- in this city, it is probably best not to tell folks to call the police to help you if they are a tad reluctant to help, because the police may not have given you the type of help you were asking for- I'm just sayin'. I am also sorry that our world is such that we had to think twice (thrice, actually) before we opened the door to you.

But ultimately, I am glad you rang our bell- at that precise moment, both my Man and I needed a reminder of what truly is important in our lives, and how important we each are to each other, and you provided us with just that reminder when you scared the crap out of us by ringing our bell 4 times! Thank you, young man.

The lady willing to let her Man open the door to you.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tidbits: Life is good.

Well, the Boy took 3rd in Washington state! He took 1st, 1st, and then 2nd in his 3 rounds, then took 3rd in finals! Woot! Woot!

Other amazing things for today:

I am very proud of all our kids- In addition to my Boy's 3rd place in H.I., we had a first in state for dramatic interp., and 3 finalists in H.I., as well as one in duo. 6 out of 7 of our kids went to finals.

I stretched myself and judged a humorous interp round, and a duo round- my first time judging. A bit stressful, but good to learn a new skill. His coach has been wanting me to judge for 2 yrs and I am glad I finally gave in.

I have to acknowledge my Fine Young Man here- I was sort of grumbling inwardly to myself that I thought he should have at least gotten second place, and was not feeling very gracious about the girl who took first place. I asked Boy what he thought about taking third, and he said he was so glad that the girl got first, as she is a senior and has really worked hard to improve her piece. He was so gracious it made me get off it fast and realize that he was right- she has really come far since the beginning of the year, and her piece really was very good. Is he not a Fine Young Man? He is actually capable of thinking of someone other than himself! He does listen, and I am not a lousy mother.

Another good thing: The High School Principal showed up for the final H.I. round, and stayed for the final ceremonies. The reason this is good? We are in danger of having the S & D program either cut completely, or the funds for it cut drastically next year. He was very impressed with the caliber of competition, the comraderie of the kids from different schools (very different than how competitor schools are treated in sports programs), and the commitment of the parents and teachers. This bodes well for the program continuing next fall.

I drove a total of 4 kids today, and one of them confided in me, and asked my if I would be her "mother figure". She and her brother lost her mother to a combo of MS and suicide when they were 10 and 12, and their dad is, well, tough. She has asked if she can come over and play in the studio with me. It made me feel good that I could be of service to her by simply listening.

All in all, a good day, but I am pooped. I think I may attend the church of the warm flannel sheets in the morning- I know it is Easter, but I am so tuckered!

Thanks for reading, and letting me brag on my Boy, and all my S & D kids and their coach- now we all get a break until it is time to start preparing for Nationals in June.

Happy Easter!