Saturday, July 30, 2011

Week in Review July 23-29

Oral surgeon consult to remove Texter’s wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth removed

Car ‘broken’ again and then fixed.

Worked Saturday through Wednesday (had Sunday off)

3 blog postings

Went through photo albums and trashed what didn’t need

Wrote up my 2011-2012 goals

Started organizing my writing – spent 2 hours on it

Waiting on Texter with soft food and drinks

Today There is a Mango….


There is a mango

On my monitor,

All red and green and plump.

Inches from my fingers

A kiwi rests on my keyboard.

Beside the desk

Sits a salad on the scanner

And a pineapple on the printer.

Hanging from the hard drive

Is a huge hunk of herbs,

Green, leafy and fragrant.

Faxing won't cure this fixation.

The diet must go.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sharpies and Flairs–Back to School Delight

Texter and I went on a back-to-school shopping trip today.  I already have a stash of notebook paper and a ton of pencils, but always can use a binder and always, always NEED markers.  They are kind of a grown-ups version of crayons (although, I will love you forever for a 64 count box of crayons.)

So these were my ‘new products’ for back to school.  Ok, they are for my artwork, but that’s back to school too.



TwinTipMarker_LimeGreen Yep, we discovered the new Twin Tip Sharpies – thin and thick tip.  I have these three colors, 1 black and these two colors….


TwinTipMarker_Turquoise  Aren’t they great!  Can’t wait to try some of my tangles with with different colors.

But, my bit of nostalgia, and a place in my heart remains with my FLAIR pens.

papermate flair These were the colored pens of my youth and I still love my flairs.  These 16 colors came in their own carrying case.

So all my new pens are in a bigger pencil box with my Prismacolor pens (which also have thick/thin ends).  And I found some tracing paper on sale at Office Max which will be used on some art journaling pages I’m sure.  Love my new supplies.  I’m going to play now.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tai Chi or Tired Chi?

I purchased several yoga, walking, ballywood and tai chi dvd’s when Borders had their first round of closing their stores.  They have been sitting on my shelf because my DVD player was not hooked up correctly so I could play DVD’s on my TV.  Are you believing the excuse?  Worked for me for several months.

So Monday I decided to plug the Tai Chi DVD into my computer and work through program – give it a trial run so to speak.  Tuesday morning I woke up and my arms hurt!  No one told me you used your arms so much in Tai Chi.  My arm flab hasn’t swung in the breeze that much in years!

But I know who I can blame….

tai chi  Yep, I freely admit, I was too busy admiring Mr. Cole’s abs to really pay attention to how much I was going with my arms.  Tricky, tricky.  Put some nice chest on a beach and fool those old ladies into exercising!  This is as bad as watching Rodney Yee on the beach doing yoga.

yoga yee  HIs abs not as sculpted, but he has great hair.  Ok, so this dirty old woman likes to admire the scenery while exercising.

Anyway, those flowing, soft moves you see when people are doing Tai Chi….forget it.  Wild Geese Flying, Waves, Monkey Bear….well, let’s say today my wild geese crashed and burned.  But I can still admire Scott’s abs.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I have a whole shelf on a bookcase crammed full of old – I mean 3-4 decades old – photo albums.  Those wonderful photo albums you stuck your pictures into – literally.  Since I haven’t touched them in all that time, other than to move them and after watching several episodes of “Hoarders” I decided to spend the day, scanning and/or saving what I felt was really important and trashing the whole lot of them.  My only regret – I can’t dispose of them in a green way.
So I am sharing some of those memories.
Misty and Tater  This is the colt I raised.  His name was Fool’s Tax as he was born on April’s Fool Day and I had used my tax refund for stud fees.  (By the way, the ONLY time I paid for sex!) I hated his mother.  I had bought her strictly to breed and she was an obnoxious mare.  But then I was never fond of mares anyway.  He was all white with navy blue eyes.  We sold her and keep him for a few years.  Later, sold him back to the people who owned his father, since I was then in North Carolina and at 17 hands plus (means really tall horse), he was more of a handful for my mom to handle.
Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s I had a couple of pen pals.  One, Julian Pickard, was a drummer with a rock band in the Soviet Union.  Go figure.  So I have several stamps and postcards from the Soviet Union.  I love the artwork style of this region.

russian postcards 1 

This was in the late 70’s remember, when Julian and I first started writing to each other.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any of the letters.  However, this was the picture he sent me.  It did appeal to the part of me which was into brooding Russians.

Julian P  Actually, I think the picture could have been taken in the 50’s based on the d├ęcor alone.  I am sure he was popular as he was a drummer in a rock band.  I remember I couldn’t send chewing gum, but I sent a pair of graphite drumsticks to him for his birthday one year.  He loved them.
Can we get more brooding Russian than this.  My twenty year old heart sighed.  julian p 2

I actually got to meet one of my pen pals.  Mike was a barrister in England.  He and his friend, Peter, came and stayed with my roommate, Leta, and I for a few days.

southfork No, Leta is not short, they are that tall.  Mike was 6’6”.  I loved his visit as this was one of the few times I could hang around guys taller than me!
Remember the TV show ‘Dallas’.  One of the stops we made was at Southfork (I lived in Dallas at the time).
peter at southfork Peter, Mike and one of our apartment neighbors, Jimmy out in front of Southfork.
One of my early crushes and why I still like Baskin-Robbins…..
fran  Jamocha Almond Fudge #1 choice and then Pecan Praline on a sugar cone.

Even back then I was interested in ‘art’ photography.  Of course, pre-digital cameras it was a little expensive to do.  I love digital cameras now and the ability to take literally 100’s of pictures somewhere and not worry about having to pay to get them developed.
rainbow flamingos  This was made at Disney World about 1986.  By some fluke, when developed, this ‘rainbow’ appeared.  I like to think this is how flamingoes really get their color.
seasheels  This is at one of North Carolina’s aquariums.  I loved the colors, shapes and textures of the seashells.
moon And this is actually a moon rise.  One of these days I will get some really great moon pictures.

Well, I am through the albums.  I have a stack of postcards I purchased at various locations over the years and will use them in art projects.  Some ephemera from trips to recycle.  There is a pile of Soviet stamps, postcards with the stamps, and small sheets of stamps.  Before I use them in artwork I am going to see if they are worth anything.  Some of them are from the 1980 Olympics the U.S. did not participate in.  So now it’s lunch time and nap time.  All this ‘work’ is tiring.

Week In Review July 16-23

I wonder why I feel tired, mentally and physically.  I had decided to start reviewing what I have accomplished and what has gone on during my week as I prepare for the week ahead.  Part of the Virgo in me, I’m sure.

sc jul23  This was yesterday’s sketchbook challenge drawing.  I mean ‘zen’ in the “watch my breathing/chill-out” way, not that I need to zentangle.  But that helps too.

So my week went like this…..

- Texter in to have her wisdom teeth possibly removed.  Too bad for the dentist, so next week is an oral surgeon consultation.  They put her on vicodin and antibiotics.  Result, this is not a good combination for her.  So a trip to emergency room for extreme nausea and a different set of drugs for pay and swelling.

- 3 Sketchbook Challenge pictures

- Made dividers for a project I’m working on.  Several pages of writing out guides for that project.

- 3 Blog postings

- 41.3 work week (46 scheduled for next week)

- Watched several hours of Tour de France on TV after I got home from work to unwind.

- 200 pages into a 1024 page book

So my project for my only day off today is actually something a little relaxing – watch the last day of the Tour de France live and scan in pictures from old photo albums, saving what is worth it and tossing the albums.  They are from the 70’s and 80’s and the only time I’ve looked at them is to regret the space they occupy and to move them.  So time to say bye to them.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It’s Not Selfish

its not selfish

Like the majority of parents, mothers in particular, it seems on the list of things to do for, we come at the bottom of the list.  For some reason, there is that nagging feeling if the kids are put first, then you are a bad parent.  Now not saying in case of fire, we should throw ourselves out the door first, but it seems if there is a new pair of shoes, a new outfit, new comforter to be gotten,  we seem to come last.

The reason for this introspection?  I have been reading 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and have been reading Secret 5: Committing to Self-Focus today.  I have been looking at a new comforter for ages now.  I put off getting one until Savvy moved out and my bedroom moved into a real room.  Texter has had a new comforter set in the past couple of years. So I am in the market for one to go with my purple curtains.  I haven’t had a new comforter in decades!  Yep, decades.  Ok, squishy pillow is selfishly mine, but new bedclothes haven’t graced my bed in ages.

12secrets  I know it seems silly to focus on something as mundane as a new comforter, but that has become my new touchstone.  I am slowly at least putting my doings on an equal par with the girls.  One of the quotes which stood out for me is by Marianne Williamson – “And no one will listen to us until we listen to ourselves.  The Goddess awakens in our hearts before she awakens in the world.”

Until I started taking myself seriously as an artist and writer, no one else would either.  Once I said these things were important to me, then others treated them as important also.  People often wondered how, when the girls were little, I could leave out my needlework and they never touched it.  They respected my efforts and my tools, even at a very young age.  Because, at that time, needlework was my important creative outlet.  As I have expanded my areas of creativity, and treating it as important to me, then others around me start taking it seriously also.

Sometimes it’s not selfish to put yourself first.


Monday, July 18, 2011

First Day of School Clothes

Growing up, for the first day of school each year, we always had a new outfit.  That included new shoes.  Now if you are in middle school in the late 60’s and wear a size 10 shoe, there really wasn’t much of a choice.  Saddle oxfords or penny loafers were basically it.  Of course, if was also a time you had to dress up in ‘school clothes’ to go to school.  But as a new school year looms around the corner, thoughts turn once again to back-to-school clothes.

Texter jumped on the bandwagon (and my paycheck) early.  Actually, she has this pair of slouchy, black suede boots which were being held together by prayer alone.   I offered her a replacement for them.  She searched the internet and came up with these as a replacement for her black boots….

batman shoe  Yep, Converse High-top Batman shoe.  Her laces are black and yellow dotted.  No black boots, it’s Batman.  So since she had also just gotten a couple of pair of running shoes and a pair of sandals, she is set for back to school.

Now, I, on the other hand, am leaning toward more traditional footwear.  One time, a long, long ago, I had a pair of Sperry Topsiders.  The “real” Sperry’s and they lasted for ages.

There is the traditional Sperry….. sperry 2  or one with a little different look….

sperry 1  Currently, I’m leaning toward the more traditional one.  And, of course, what is school without a penny loafer?

loafer  I have been through several pairs of these over the years. 

Ok, they are not ‘exciting’ shoes.  They are not ‘fun’ or ‘funky’.  But wear them and in a few weeks they are like an old friend, easing your feet over the miles.  And they hold up being caught out in the rain, tiptoeing through slush, going from jeans to skirts to slacks and back again. 

So I might treat myself to one Sperry and one Bass.  I haven’t had some good shoes in ages.  This might be the year of the shoes!

PS….I never had a pair of saddle oxfords.  With big feet at 12, the last thing you needed was big shoes on them!



Sunday, July 17, 2011

101 Things Redux

In April of 2009, with the inspiration of a couple of top bloggers, I made my list of 101 things I would do in 1000 days.  My end date is December 31, 2011.  Oops….that’s just around the corner!

In an effort not to be too much of a wiener, I finally remembered the list and decided it was time to revisit it.  In the meantime, I have moved a copy of it onto OneNote so it will be on the top of my computer to check out.  And since December 31 is ssssoooooo close, I will probably give myself an extension on items.  Or formulate a new list, as many things have changed.

So here is an update of my list…..


101. Keep updating my 1001 things list. – don’t really have a list anymore, other than this one.  I need to pull it out of obscurity and reactivate.


100. Review my list every 3 months and report back on my progress. – well, we all know the status of this one!


99. Knit a lace shawl. – I have knit Charlotte’s Web, but I don’t really have that in mind as the lace shawl I want to knit.  In fact, I have all the materials to knit a lacy beaded shawl for a friend.  I can get to row 8 and then it all goes to hell in a hand basket.  I think it is going to be something I shut myself in a closet and concentrate on nothing else for about a month.  Frankly, it’s not happening anytime soon.


98. Learn Tai Chi. – I now have a DVD as I can’t ever schedule time and money for a local class.  Have I watched the DVD yet?  No, but I only got my DVD player hooked up correctly this week after being out of commission for several months.


97. Visit all the thrift stores in the area and make a list of the ones worth revisiting. – Another no.  However, Savvy is due home the first week in August and we have a play day, so it might be happening then.  But I need to get my sewing machine in for a tune up, as what I would like to do is some altered clothing.


96. Learn to sharpen my knives or have them professionally sharpened. Mine barely cut butter right now. – On my calendar is August 10 when a knife class is being given nearby.  Hopefully, I will be able to attend.


95. Put OD’s writing and Texter’s drawing into book form. – I have it all pulled together into folders, but haven’t done anything to make an official book out of it.


94. Visit the waterfalls in North Carolina. – Not scheduled anytime in the foreseeable future, but I would still like to do it.


93. Explore my spirituality more fully. – Not coming along as meaningful as I would like it to be.  But the goal is still there.  Looking more and more into Buddhism.


92. Put curtains on all the windows (tastefully).Yep, got curtains now.  Love it because the bedrooms are now nice and dark so went I have to be in bed at 8pm in the summer, the room is dark.


91. Join a garden co-op or community garden. – Didn’t join this year, but I have looked into different CSA’s in the area.  Still not out of the question for next year.


90. Plan my menus and shopping lists for better eating. – Doing better and better with this.  Not 100%, but I can definitely tell a difference with my grocery bill when I spend a few minutes planning.


89. Get a digital camera with interchangeable lens and learn to really use it. – This will probably happen with the remainder of my school money in the fall, especially since we killed Savvy’s camera with zombie blood making the movie.  I have been looking at some different options and will schedule a trip to a local camera shop to ask questions and do some looking in the near future.


88. Treat myself to new fountain pens. – No new fountain pens.  Sadly.  My desire is still there, but find my extra dollars going to other pens and inks for my artwork.  I am open to donations though!


87. Do some RAK to other artist’s with my unused art supplies. – Does giving a ton of my supplies to Savvy for her art classes count?  If not, then haven’t yet.


86. Go on a “picnic” at least once a month, inside or outside. – No.


85. Set up better study areas for all of us.Yep, in fact I have 2 study/art areas for myself and Texter has a desk in her room for her studies.


84. Wear earrings and lipstick every day for a month. – No.


83. Walk at least 10 different trails in North Carolina. – No.


82. Create a garden on the balcony for herbs. – Actually, since I am now in a trailer I have a garden in my front yard, complete with dill, several types of mints, 3 types of basil and thyme, sage and still adding to it.


81. Have a spa weekend at home. – No.


80. Take Noel to dog obedience class so I can take her with me more on walks. – No, but then I now have two dogs who could go and Noel will be moving to Arizona at Christmas.


79. Visit the art museum in Charlotte. – No.


78. Finish my doll, “Luna”. – Nothing I think I want to do to her feels ‘right’.  Maybe she is incomplete for a reason, just as I fell I’m not complete.


77. Carry a notebook and pen wherever I go.Yep, have writing stuff with me all the time.  In fact, in my work bag, I have my sketchbook challenge books and a couple of composition books.  I am really working on keeping a pad/pencil by the bed so I can jot down ideas as I go to bed.


76. Join a writing group. – Yes and no.  I joined a writing group.  But my work/school schedule didn’t allow me to participate.  Plus I didn’t get a really good ‘this is going to work’ vibe – probably all on my side.


75. Make a quilt for each of the girls. – No and it probably won’t happen.  However, Savvy did ask for a piece of my artwork for Christmas.


74. Do a craft table at work. – No and once again this will probably be removed from my next list of 101 things.  I just don’t have the time to make items for a table.


73. Lean a new technique for my journal every 2 months.I have been pretty good about this I must say.


72. Yoga more. Attend a yoga workshop. – I do have several DVD’s and have taken a couple of classes.  There are about three classes I will probably be attending before the end of the year.


71. Save my old photos. Save those worth saving and trash the rest. – Doing it as we speak.  I have gotten all the old negatives and slides I had onto my computer.  Now I am working on my old photo albums from the 70’s and 80’s I haven’t looked at in decades.  I will scan what I can and trash the rest.  And recycle all the old binders for art journals.


70. Take care of my nails for 30 days. – No.


69. Do a facial once a month, at home or at beauty school. – Well maybe not monthly, but have done more at the beauty school.  In fact, I have one scheduled for August when Savvy is home.


68. Visit all the botanical gardens in North Carolina and draw and/or take pictures there. – Not yet, but with my new camera……


67. Blog at least weekly. – Doing pretty good on this one.


66. Update my wardrobe to suit “me”. – Getting there, but still not as far along as I want to be.


65. Do at least 1 challenge a month on the different groups I belong to. – Due to my school schedule I have had to drop out of most of the groups I had joined.  I just didn’t have the time to commit to them.  Maybe after I am finished with school.


64. Get published somewhere, whether it be writing or art. – Not yet.


63. Reconnect with an old friend. – Maybe in January when I drive Savvy and Noel to Arizona I will stop by and see a couple of old friends on the way home.


62. Make a vision board. – Not yet.


61. Have nice bookshelves in my living room. – Not yet.


60. Send a card/postcard or surprise to a friend every month. – Actually at one point had it up to once a week and that seems to be pretty consistent.


59. Get a henna tattoo on my hand. – Not yet.  What I really want is another tattoo on my left arm.  On the inside between the wrist and elbow – a hand holding a quill with the word ‘Create” under it.


58. Stick to my budget and record my expenses. Be sure updated every paycheck. – Not as formal as I want, but getting there.


57. Save $10,000 for emergency fund. – Everyday seems like an emergency, but still striving toward that goal.  Might need it when I retire and become a team member of the Team Radioshack cycling team.


56. Complete a Nanowrimo. – 10,152 words last year, hopefully, will do better this year.


55. Have fresh flowers or plant in the house once a month. – Often, but not good enough.


54. Make a will. – Sadly, no.


53. Decorate my home with art I know where it comes from. – Yes, all my art that is currently hanging (minus Savvy’s and Texter’s art they have up) either I made it or I got from an artist I know.


52. Wear biking shorts and not be embarrassed. – Still need to work on that a bit.


51. Do a gift advent calendar for the girls. – Not last year, but since Savvy is not at home, will do one this year.


50. Get new living room furniture (haven’t had any since 1984). – Also in the works.  Especially since Amani’s pastime seems to be eating my current couch.


49. Get a birding guide and start a list of birds I’ve seen. – No.


48. Have my makeup done by a professional and wear it to work every day for a month. – No.


47. Get fitted for a bra and have 2-3 good bras on hand. Get some sports bras. – Didn’t get them professionally fitted, but do have several now.


46. Take a watercolor class. – Hopefully this will happen in November.


45. Meditate more. Create a space to do it in. – Have the space now, just need to take the time.


44. Make a set of Soul Collage cards. – No.


43. Set up a more functional area for my art and sewing. – Carving it out now.  With my art classes for next semester, it is especially important now.


42. Set up an alter and have a candle on it every day to burn. Have a water feature. – I did have an altar set up and then had to dismantle it when I took over Savvy’s old room.  Need to set it up again.  And I want a water feature like I saw at Dancing Moon.


41. Pick a month and do a picture a day.I have actually done several months of this with the Sketchbook Challenge.


40. Do something active at least 30 minutes every day. This does not include the quickie “pee and pooh” trips with the dog. – Have my ups and downs with this.  Maybe if it wasn’t 100 degrees outside.


39. Offer a giveaway on my blog. – No yet.


38. Lean to make illuminated letters and do the complete alphabet. – No.


37. Have an art-journaling-to-go bag.It’s sad looking, but in my work bag are a couple of quart-size ziplock bags with pens, pencils, watercolors and glue stick.


36. Scrapbook my high school stuff. – Not yet.


35. Create a garden area at the new Renaissance Faire area.Unless something changes, the Ren Faire group we belonged to is split and there is not a permanent location.


34. Find my “scent”. Wear perfume every day for 30 days. – No.


33. Cook a new dish once a week. – Like keeping my menus, this is up and down.  Actually, Texter is very encouraging with this idea.


32. Finish my family cookbook. – Have it all together, the recipes that is.  I am reformatting the cookbook to be more of a memoire than a cookbook.


31. Canoe down the Eno River. – No


30. Go visit a new or long-lost friend in another state.- Didn’t realize this was basically a redo of Number 63.


29. Go to the theater in NYC. – No.


28. Buy a new towel every pay day. My current towels are spiritual, as in very holey. – Started, stopped, need to start up and continue.  Also need to add sheets to this.


27. Finish up on the family history. Visit and take pictures of some sites. – Better organized, but still in the very beginning stages.


26. Buy or make a white, gauzy dress. – Done.  In fact, I wore it so much I have to repair the straps.


25. Attend a goddess workshop/gathering. – Not yet.


24. Learn more about aromatherapy. – No.


23. Get Photoshop and learn more about digital photography. – This will happen this semester in school and I am ssooo looking forward to it.


22. Walk/run a half marathon. – HA HA HA


21. Get a good bike for myself. – Still planning and drooling, especially since it’s TDF time.


20. Learn to spin wool. – Not yet, but I still want to learn.


19. Learn calligraphy. – Not yet.


18. Get my college degree in Creative Writing, English or History. – I will finish up my Associates in Arts in 2012 and then transfer onto another school for my BA.  I could finish up this semester, but I am adding Web and Graphic Art certification onto my schedule.


17. Work on botanical drawing certificate. – Postponed for a bit.


16. Visit another Ren Faire in another state. – Arizona actually looks doable since Savvy lives there and there is a big one in February each year.


15. Learn to read tarot better. – Not yet.


14. Go through and index my journals. – I know where they all are, but feel this is a project better suited to a later date.


13. Get another tattoo, possibly the one Texter drew for me. – My henna tattoo I want will probably turn into this.  Already have two designs I want to get done and Texter is really getting into tattoos.


12. Enter a writing contest. – Not yet.


11. Finish a pair of knitted socks. – Does one count?


10. Take a fiber arts class. – Not yet.


9. Have acupuncture done. – Not yet.


8. Write everyday. – Getting better and better at it, even if it is a blog posting only.


7. Go on a silent retreat. – Not yet.


6. Visit Biltmore Estate. – Maybe in December.  Some people from work want to go and I may join in.


5. Design my own Christmas cards. – This year might be a good year for it since I will have Photoshop experience and several good snow pictures from last year.


4. Write the first of my novels. – Working on it now.


3. Learn belly dancing. – Not yet, but have a Ballywood DVD.


2. Take some art journaling classes. – Plan on taking some art journaling classes in November.


1. Take a writing workshop. – Not yet.


So there is a recap of my 101 things and hopefully I will have a new list by December 31, 2011 to replace this one with.  I have realized what seemed important to me 2 years ago, is not that important anymore.  So standby for an updated goal list coming soon.  There is a plan there too!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hypocritical Snob on Her Artist Date

Those who have read any of Julia Cameron’s books will recognize the term “Artist Date”.  This is a date with yourself to play, recharge your creativity, have fun.  And that it what I did yesterday.  I will post more about that later. 

However, I treated myself to a couple of items.  The first is paper tape.  Sometimes it is called Japanese Wasabi Tape.  Regardless, it is a patterned tape and used in scrapbooking and art journaling.  I have wanted some for myself and took myself to Archiver’s in Raleigh.  I have never been there and it is essentially right around the corner from me now.  And that is where I discovered I am really a hypocritical snob.

The store is lovely.  However, it is the home to ‘scrapbookers’ and I have this thing about scrapbooking.  Ok, I’m a snob, even having done a couple of journal scrapbooks myself.  I just do.  I think it is because they are too cutsie for me.  In fact, Archiver’s tag line is “The Photo Memory Store”.

Now this store is the other end of the spectrum from Askew-Taylor near downtown Raleigh.

askew taylor  Askew-Taylor is in a what feels like an old house (and is right next door to this killer cupcake bakery).  However, when you go into their store, leave your purse behind.  The aisles are just wide enough for one person to squeeze through and you better not be carrying too many extra pounds.  Things are stacked practically to the ceiling.  It is organized by art supply types, but the rest of the time you are poking and peering and exploring.  Whether you are pen and ink, watercolors, book binding, print making, sketchbook searching, they have it in there somewhere.  The staff can reach in and lay their hands on anything you need, like magicians.   In my opinion, the perfect store for artists of all kinds.

On the other hand, Archiver’s is organized by category….papers – divided into themes, stamps, punches….all neatly categorized.  And the staff is so helpful and nice.  You can enter the store and go right to what you need without having to look for it.  There is a lot of things I can use for art journaling and creating in general.  There are stamps, inks, patterned papers I fondled and fingered.  However, I only walked out with some 7 Gypsies paper tape and a couple of Uni-ball white gel pens.

paper tape  Their uses will be discussed later.

Which store will I be going back to?  Well, with my Art Materials and Methods class and a Basic Drawing class this semester, Askew-Taylor is the hands-up winner.  Of course, I will have to wander around Jerry’s Artrama too.  They are a half-way point between Archiver’s and Askew-Taylor.  Neat, organized, knowledgeable staff, but definitely an ‘artist’ store.  And, keep your fingers crossed, I might be taking some classes through them in November.

A.C. Moore and Michael’s?  They are ok.  And if you know exactly what you need and have your 50% off coupons, they are acceptable.  But honestly, I don’t think 90% of their staff knows are darn thing about anything in the store.  I’ve given more advise to customers while I was in there.  They are my last-minute, need something and they are literally right around the corner store.  They are not my give me a gift certificate, shopping experience store.

So, yes, I am a snob.  And a hypocritical one at that.  So while my nose will be in the air when I walk into Archiver’s, I hope I don’t hurt myself walking around and shopping there.  I’ll probably get a crick in my neck.

Friday, July 15, 2011

2000 Pages Plus and Only 1 Month

I picked up a couple of books today.  One was a book I had been waiting for, and in fact, thought it was not out until September.  The second was one recommended by one of Savvy’s friends.  When Poogles says a book is good, I usually enjoy it.  She turned me onto Anne Bishop for one thing.

So I have 2000 pages sitting on my bedside table and need to finish them by August 17.  The first one is the fifth book in the series by George R. R. Martin, Dance of Dragons.

dance of dragons  This book is suppose to take up the storyline of half of the characters in the book and then blends them back toward the end.  I am sure this is going to be an ‘exhausting’ read, as his other four books have been page turners.

The other book is by Elizabeth Moon, The Deed of Paksenarrion.   What I gather from the book it is actually the combination of three books.  I have read Elizabeth Mon in the past when she has written with Ann McCaffrey, so this should be interesting.  But like I said, if Poogles likes it, it has to be good. 

deed of pak  Of course, tomorrow is my cleaning day and fight the cockroaches day.  I also want to declutter and straighten a couple of bookshelves.  And there is the Tour de France to watch, but I can do that while cleaning.  But hopefully, I will have a chance to get started on my reading for the next month.

By the way, as much as I want to strangle Amani (the dog), I do have to say if she can get out of the puppy, I-will-eat-your-furniture stage, she will be a pretty good dog.  She is smart.  She knows if she is hot to lay on top of the air vents.  Doesn’t do too much for me getting any air, especially when she’s gassy, but shows a little intelligence on her part.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Tour Crashes, I Splashes

Well, the Tour is getting a bit too dangerous for my liking.  I like the thrill of man and bike against 199 other men and bikes, but this year’s Tour has had more than it’s share of crashes and they have been a more severe than usual.  Broken collarbones seem like just a boo-boo now compared to the broken pelvis and getting knocked off your bike at 30 miles an hour and sliding down the road and tossing another rider into a barbed wire fence.  Luckily, today is rest day, so maybe every one can rest up and stop playing bumper cars when the race starts again Tuesday.


feb 24  So I got out the watercolors and started splashing some color around.  Tangles are run, but feeling a need for something a little different – adding a little color seemed the way to go.  I splashed on some colors and then drew over the colors once dry.  A sunflower-type flower in honor of the Tour.

But this is my favorite.  Not only is it purple, but I am really pleased with how it turned out.

feb 25  The bottom left flower is the first one I drew and it’s petals are more rounded.  I like the feel and look of the more squared off petals on my purple flowers. 

Since the temperatures are suppose to start hitting triple digits again, I think some indoor ‘gardening’ is called for.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More Sketchbook Catch-up

Mar 1  I decided in March I would do the alphabet and add a little color to the tangles.  I particularly like the holes I left for the color to show through.

Mar 2  I also did not want them to just be centered in the middle of the page and static.  I wanted move of a feel of movement to them.

Mar 3 This is actually a ‘C’ although it looks more like a G.  I also like the perspective on the ends of the letter.  It does give it some depth. 

Mar 4Mar 5


Switched from capital letters to lower case letters.

Mar 6  This was just the letter and some flowers.  Between this circle flowers and my zinnias I have some florals going on in my pictures.


Mar 7  I have made it to ‘g’ so far.  I have to go back and do other letters and some numbers to fill out March.

One thing I have noticed with these sketches is that I am not finding the ‘bad’, but rather the ‘good’ in them.  I am looking at them and saying “I could have done that differently”, but my inner critic I am managing to keep quieter these days.  Maybe she’s on vacation!



Friday, July 08, 2011

Larry Crowne Affair

Ok, I will admit going to watch Larry Crowne was not my first choice.  It’s not that I am not a Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts fan, but without the CG, I didn’t see the point in seeing it on the big screen.  However, I needed to bomb my house for bugs, the dogs were going to be on a friend’s porch and she is a huge Tom Hanks fan and wanted to see it.  So after depositing dogs on her porch, setting off the bug bombs, we left for the theater for an afternoon showing.

First off, I must have the most magnetic personality in the world.  We were the first people in the place.  The next dozen people that came into the theater all sat right in front of us, beside us, behind us.  Everyone was within about a 4 row radius….what gives?

larry crowne poster

What I liked most about the film was Hanks or Roberts were not romanticized.  They were likeable, everyday people who were not perfect.  Shit happens to them.  They have to go on day by day, just like the rest of us.  I think that is what made it most appealing to me – they were me.  I have experienced some of the things they were going through. 

Hanks is a 20 year navy veteran who is let go from his job due to not having a college education.  He realizes he has to do something to move forward, so off to his local community college.  Roberts is a college professor who is supporting her blog-writing, porn ogling husband.  Hanks is bewildered with the new directions in his life, Roberts is bitchy about hers.  And the two meet for an 8am class, 3 days a week.

Now for those of us who have been to college (my seated class days were back in the 70’s), those early classes are not always the best for students who really care about taking the class.  Coincidence, my speech class was at 7am.  Luckily, the Vietnamese couple who owned the local donut shop opened at 6am and they had the best cinnamon rolls.

One of the best parts of the movie was George Takei as the Economics professor, author of Econ Prime, the textbook for the class.  He was actually a little scary.  Makes you wonder how much Botox and plastic surgery he has endured.

Hanks is taken under the wing of a cute co-ed who helps him navigate the waters of community college, the scooter gang, and his new life.  Some people might feel that is a little far-fetched some young 20 something hanging with a 50 something, but I can see it. Those young whippersnappers will actually socialize with us old fossils and fun can be had on both sides.

Hanks is just the nice guy who comes into Roberts world at a time when she is getting rid of the old.  And slowly, but surely, they both realize it.  Like I said, a nice movie.  No wild action scenes, no CG, just a nice, feel-good movie, one that you can go back and watch time and time again.

Spoiler Alert:  cute scene…when Larry tells Talia her new tattoo in Chinese characters does not say what she thinks it says, but rather is Chinese for soy sauce.

Will I buy the DVD, probably.  And watch it with ‘Runaway Bride’ for a feel good weekend.

By the way, I now want to take seated classes at my local community college and ride around on a scooter.


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge Update

It’s been awhile, but I have not forgotten the Sketchbook Challenge.  And yes, there are some gaps in my drawings.  One of the advantages of 3 weeks of watching the Tour de France is that I can play catch-up on my drawing.  Plus, I do have to say there has been some improvement in my drawing.  Most of what I am doing now leans toward zentangles, but there are some other sketches intermingled in there.

So to give an idea of what I have been up to, here are some selections from February.  My theme for February was mandalas, and for the most part that is what I drew.

feb 13  I was aiming toward a floral mandala here.  In fact, I got on this whole zinnia-looking for awhile.

feb 14 Was going for a compass rose style with this mandala.

feb 15 And this is one of my zentangle mandalas.  It’s not symmetrical, but I like it any way.

feb 17 I didn’t realize this one looked a little Celtic.

feb 20  I was really pleased with how this one turned out.

feb 21  And another one I particularly I like.

feb 22  Getting better I do believe.

feb 23 Another attempt at a mandala, which I am pleased with.  I think I am getting a little better at judging size and getting things the same size and shape.

The sketches through May are all 6 x 6 in size.  Starting in June I graduated to 9 x 9 and I have some nice sketches yet to debut.