Thursday, March 30, 2006

B is for

Today will be brought to you by the letter B.
As part of the ongoing series that Laume started and DebR is also doing too. At the end we will all print out the posts and make a book, right?
You too can join us, and we're not too far into this endeavour to catch up.

So. Onto the letter B.
B is for:

Boring - I hate boring, being boring, being bored, being around boring people, having to do boring things. Because they're Boring!

Buffy - I am a latecomer to Buffy-love, I never watched the show when it was originally aired, and am just up to the beginning of season 5 via the magic of netflix dvd's. Now I see what all the fuss was about.

Butter - I love it and work hard at not eating too much of it. Finding satisfying alternatives is a game for me, current one is fresh garlic in olive oil.

Butterball - A mean name the kids called me when I was overweight in grammar school. I'd like to ask those people now: " Do you as a parent remember how awful you were to other kids? Do you work hard at getting your kids to NOT do that? Or do you encourage it or ignore your kids' mean beahaviour?"

Bollocks - As in "Never Mind the Bollocks" the one and only Sex Pistols album. And Bollocks as a swear word. Look it up, it has many meanings, some which wouldn't necessarily make a good swear word basis.

Backyard - NIMBY (not in my backyard) chemicals, weed killers or inorganic fertilizers. It is an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat. I love working in my backyard when I feel good, pulling weeds, cutting flowers, harvesting herbs, letting the chickens run around.

Bush - Worst. President. Ever. Do I think he's dumb? No. Crazy? Maybe. Untreated Alcoholic? Yes. An embarrasment to Americans everywhere? Certainly. Impeachable? Hell yes!

Bees- I would love to be a beekeeper. I love honey, and bees are so good for the garden. And I love the word apiary.

Beer - We used to make it, and I have plans for growing hops, maybe in the future with the apiary...

Butterfly - I love finding plants that butterflies like, seeing them sustain themselves from flowers that I've grown in my garden is very satisfying.

Bubbly - I used to hate being described as bubbly. Or having a bubbly personality. Sounds so out of control in an annoying way. But my husband says Bubbly Toes by Jack Johnson is my theme song. Also, champagne is bubbly and I love good champagne.

Best - The best you can do, the best you can offer, the best there is, Personal Best, Best in the West.

Belief - Sometimes the only thing that keeps me here.

Boing - Just a word that's fun to say.

Boink - Wink, wink, say no more.

Blood - I love the color of blood and am fascinated to look at my blood when I have it drawn for tests. I don't like seeing other people's blood though, ewwww.

Breastfeeding - One of the highlights of motherhood for me. Such a strengthening, empowering activity, feeling like I could raise the world's children with sustenance produced by me. I sometimes miss it.

Bank - I love looking at our bank statements and feeling safe.

Bounty - Something to be continually thankful for. Lady Bountiful - a woman of noteworthy generosity or charity.
Bread - I love bread, eating it, and making it. Nothing so good as fresh sourdough.
Bower - One of the things I plan to add to my garden, preferrably with a statue of Aphrodite or Venus.
Bat - I wish we had more of them around to eat all the mosquitos. Time to build a bat box.
Blueberry - We have 4 bushes in our yard, and they're all happy, especially with redwood duff (to raise the acidity level of the soil), and I am terrible and do not share the berries with anyone (except those that help in the garden)!
Berkeley - University of California at Berkeley, my alma mater, a wonderful city and an amazing educational and cultural institution.
Bears - Go Bears! My favorite bear is the Polar Bear, not the sad green furred ones at the zoo, but the ones that rampage around the northern arctic. I recently heard they are drowning in large numbers, because the ice is melting, they are having trouble swimming the larger distances between ice floes. :(
I know I'm leaving out something, but that is ok, there is always post-editing.

Poetry Thursday

Since it is Thursday, it is time for poetry, right? Didn't I read that somewhere? Here is a poem fragment that was at the bottom of my A Word A Day email.

A wonderful time--the War:
when money rolled in
and blood rolled
But blood
was far away
from here--
Money was near.

- Langston Hughes, poet and novelist (1902-1967)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

3 weeks of 52 Figments

Three weeks of 52 Figments:

Draw your inner critic.


What are you afraid of?


Imagine you could write a message to the world with stars. What would you want to say?
My answer is LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Entangled Quilting

Entangled Quilting 66% done, using variegated blue thread, so far so good. Boy is it ever easier to do a 40"x40" quilt compared to the gigantic chuppah which is 70x80. Even with the larger harp size on my Janome, moving that much weight around takes its toll on the quilter. The next big quilt I do, I'm swearing to try my John Flynn frame for the first time. I admit it, I need the assist physically it is just too hard to do. What a whinge, geez.

Detail of Entangled quilting, spiral in hand is a new motif for me, that came out during the quilting process on Saturday. I'm quite happy with it, and plan to include it in the rest of the quilting.

Progress on Chuppah

Progress has been made on the Chuppah! First seen here back in November 2004. (jaw drops open and hangs unattractively...)
The newlyweds are no longer so newly, and their two year anniversary is in September.

You can't see it here, but I have done the majority of the quilting now. Just have to do the four corners, checkerboard, and three pets. Then the quilting will be done. The binding is already made and I even know where it is! Quilting something this large is not something I've done in a while.

And to the right you can just see the edge of the new addition to the studio, an inversion table! It is really helping my back, I just can't do it right after the neti pot...

iPod Meme

Diane at Going to Pieces has this cool meme, fortune telling by iPod (or iTunes or whatever random music device you might have available). Fun to do on a rainy day Monday. Thanks Diane.
Here's my results:

How does the world see me?
New English by Ambulance Ltd.
Yes, I guess I always did wish I was English, or emigrated TO England.

Will I have a happy life?
Take your carriage clock and shove it by Belle & Sebastian
I'll take this to mean, that I will have a happy life IF I want to!

What do my friends really think of me?
Funny Little Frog by Belle & Sebastian
Oh thank heaps and bunches "friends!"

Do people secretly lust after me?
Smoked by Crystal Method
hmmm, is that a yes or a no?

How can I make myself happy?
A Movie Script Ending by Death Cab for Cutie
Guess I'll pick a HAPPY ending then, like Breakfast at Tiffany's or Star Wars(ep.6)or LOTRROTK

What should I do with my life?
Trance Manual by Pixel Revolt
I knew it, I'm supposed to be writing manuals (while in a trance??)

Will I ever have children?
Do It Again by Nada Surf
Uh uh, no way no how. BTDT.

What is some good advice for me?
Don’t Know Why you Stay by Essex Green
Guess I ought to think on that, and maybe tell people why I do.

How will I be remembered?
No More by The Cowboy Junkies
Well, then I won't worry about the conservation level materials in my artwork. I've read that this is what happens when you have all boys.

What is my signature dance song?
Its All In My Mind by Teenage Fanclub
Oh no, you mean I can't really dance well. Hope I'm not as bad as Elaine on Seinfeld!

What do I think my current theme song is?
Am I Awake? By They Might Be Giants
Now that is eerily spot on target.

What song will play at my funeral?
Science vs. Romance by Rilo Kiley
Hah! I love that, sums up my life pretty danged well.

What type of men do I like?
Lighten Up by Morcheeba
Skinny, yup, never did like the over-developed musclebound types.

What is my day going to be like?
Plans Get Complex by All Time Quarterback
Great, just great, another complex day, go ahead, I can take it.

So what did your iPod dish out?? Did it make sense or at least sound good?

Friday, March 24, 2006

ebay paintings

Ebay link

My son Zachary is home sick, and was painting with me yesterday. He did a couple that he wanted to sell on ebay, so I listed them for him. Go take a look and see what you think. Not bad for an ill 12.5 year old!

Ebay Link

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 16th anniversary.
Hard to believe that so much time has passed.
I'm glad that I'm on this journey with him though.
I can't imagine it with anyone else.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday - Morning Drinks

For Self Portrait Tuesday we are to capture a sequence in time, so here is a montage of my morning routine of drinks. At least it is when I actually remember it all. Some mornings it is just water and coffee. But today I did the whole thing and captured it all on film (well digifilm anyways).

Chinese Herbs, very bitter, mixed with hot water.

Water in my favorite cup

Cafe au lait, 3/4 espresso, 1/4 milk.

Coffee need more coffee, usually two cups

Pineapple ginger green tea from Republic of Tea

needs honey

Pro Greens drink, yummy compared to the chinese herbs, tastes like green grass.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Linoleum Carving

New carved stamp from lineoleum blocks I purchased via Dick Blick. This is printed on watercolor paper with three colors of ink. When I was carving, I only cut my finger once with the exacto knife, just slightly.
Somedays Art=Pain.

A is for...

Laume started this new MeMe (meme), the alphabet, words that start with A. Wow, how fun to know the person who started a meme! Usually one doesn't, it comes around to you kind of like the old telephone game.

A is for.....

Adventure - I'm dying for a travel adventure, every week at some point I'm making plans to scoop up the kids from the boring school routine and just GO, somewhere anywhere. Drive cross country or to Canada or Mexico. The Sagittarius in me is shriveling up from not travelling. Unfortunately the kids aren't Sag's so they don't get it. And DH is a Sag, but he is having to travel for work, so he likes to stay home when he isn't working.

Atrocious - My manners, I'm soooo behind on thank-you notes! Yikes!

Angst - Teenage, Middle-Age, we've got it all around here, in buckets-full, need some?

Adore - I always feel European when I say this word, or maybe Audrey Hepburn-ish.

Asshat- a good new swear word to replace *sshole, not sure where it originated or where I picked it up.

Argyle - never worn it, ever.

Agile - I''ve never been physically agile, even when I took dance classes, I'd say my brain is pretty agile, and I hope it stays that way as I get older.

Artistic-Living a life artistic, not necessarily as an artist is what I aspire to. Doing mundane things in an artful manner, like cooking in a creative spontaneous way or arranging books on a bookshelf so that they look good.

Armoire- I've always liked these in the store, and have always wanted one, especially an antique. But it wouldn't fit in our house, and it doesn't go with our style at all. I guess I like the idea of closing the door on your possessions, so you don't have to look at them, but they're still there when you need them.

Adult- They (whoever "they" are) that you aren't an adult til you've bought a couch. I still haven't at 41, unless you count the futon couch. Not sure if I really want to be an adult, yet. Although I wouldn't mind a new couch if it was delivered to the front door.

Well that was fun, thanks Laume!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday late-ish

Self Portrait Tuesday, catching up now that I've gotten the old digital camera up and running.
(Click picture to see it bigger.) This month we're supposed to capture a series in time.

I'll call this, my day so far, Inside/Outside/Inside/Outside.

Outside before I left for a doctor appointment,

driving to the appt.,

at the appt (check out the new green crocs!),

back home before it rains more

, changing the calendar (Happy St.Pat's - Can we bring back the snakes/pagans now Ireland?),

fondling the hyacinths,

picking the one remaining lemon,

closing the door,

picking the dead blooms off the orchid,

looking out the window to see if it is raining yet again.

Scanned Scans

My kids decided to play with the new scanner yesterday, and I thought these were pretty cool compositions, what do you think? These are scans of the scans. The hand one has some rips in it, Z's hand doesn't really look like that!

Then we had a discussion about how one really should close the lid when scanning, and not place things that could scratch the glass surface. Hopefully they understood that.
Maybe not, because the very next question was, can we scan the cat mom? My answer was look at your arms, is he capable of scratching things? hmmmm.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Digital Camera Withdrawl

It ain't pretty folks.
I'm missing my digital camera. It is currently in Hong Kong with my DH. (Yes I'm actually missing HIM more than the camera, duh, of course)
It is his first time going there, and he's going to have a weekend of free time to sightsee and take some pictures.
DS#1 takes his digital camera to school everyday.
So I'm stuck with nada here, and I'm dying to share with you, all the spring flowers and the quilt I'm working on, my idea for SPT this week, etc., oh well.
I'm going to try and find all the parts for the old camera, an ancient (hah!) Kodak DX3600 and go buy a new battery for it.
I hadn't realized how important the camera is in my daily working process. I've really gotten used to it as another essential tool in the toolbox.

On another technology topic, I got a new printer! It is our first all-in-one, an HP PSC1510xi, it does color or b/w copies, scans and prints super duper fast. I love it to pieces already. We it got at Costco for a good price, and with their great return policy, I think it was a great deal.

52 Figments Week something or other

Which week of the year is it? I lost track.
Anyways, here is my 52 figment postcard for this week, which answers the question:
"Imagine having a conversation with yourself from 20 years ago.
What would you want to say?"

In case you can't read it, it says...
"Get ready to meet the LOVE of your life this year. (1986, Hint: In October). You'll know him when you meet him. Lucky You!!
p.s. Buy lots of internet stocks and must sell in 1995!)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Snowy Weekend

Well, snowy for us anyways.
Everywhere else around us got lots and lots of snow. We got what I would term a smattering early on Sunday morning. It only stuck around for two hours. Not even enough for a teeny tiny snowball. :(
Then the rain turned everything slushy and sleety.
The higher elevation passes we drive over every day were quite snowy though, makes for exciting driving. Especially here in the land of Rainfall=Headline News Story.

There was even snow on the beach in Santa Cruz! On the sand, can you imagine?!

(Perhaps it is time to watch "Day After Tomorrow Again"???)

Personal DNA

Go try this cool personality test, it is really different, and the design is fun. You can "mouseover" the color blocks to see how I rated on the different sections. I thought it was really accurate and the questions had reasonable answers (ie not a quiz made by a wild-n'-crazy (tm) preteen...

Grass Green Hippie

Thanks to DebR, I now KNOW for SURE that I am indeed a Hippie. Thanx a lot girlfriend.
You Are Grass Green

Down to earth and a bit of a hippie, you are very into nature and the outdoors.
You accept the world and people as they are. You don't try to change things.
You are also very comfortable with yourself, flaws and all.
Optimistic about the future, you feel like life is always getting better.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Peace Tree

52 Figments: If you could plant a tree that would grow anything, what would it be?
Peace .
Man oh man whatta hippie I am.

Carved Postcard Stamp

I hand carved this stamp for Postcard backs. Obviously I haven't the skills to do a really really professional looking one, but I wanted the dorky home-made look (check! Achieved!).
I actually am quite pleased with it. What a mess it made though, I love making messes. And since this block was Speedball eraser type material, it really cleaned up easily.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Self Portrait Tuesday - Series

For Self Portrait Tuesday our assignment this month is to capture a series in time.

Three Last Things of the Night.

The last view of me at night.

Last Petting of the Night,
Zippy is so demanding.

Last View of the night,
the book I read until I fall asleep (Jane Goodall "Reason for Hope"),
Zippy now taking a bath,
and the pile of laundry on DH's side of the bed.

Monday, March 06, 2006

School Days

I made this little quiltlet (postcard sized about 4"x6") for a School Days challenge on Habiliments yahoogroup. It has buttons and beads, and the shapes are meant to be an abstracty kinda book and paper. I even did some chickenscratchy handstitching with embroidery floss, but it is in pink which matches too well to see.

Friday, March 03, 2006

52 Figments Week 9

52 Figments: Week 9
It's the closing ceremonies of the Olympics tonight, what will you be getting a gold medal for??

Precious Residue

Several of us on the art quilting blog ring have been showing process, since I was into the process today, and my camera was nearby here goes.
Step1 - Beginning with a piece of cotton that was a failed attempt at photo transfer, the blue is what transferred, it is quite stiff and crinkly with gel medium, it also was folded, you can see the lines. I started overpainting with acrylic (golden yellow).

Step 2 - Keep painting, now with metallic copper.

Step 3 - Added some gold, really old drippy paint, got too wet, I'm impatient so out comes the heat gun.

Step 4 - A closeup shot, so you can see the texture.

Step 5 - Layered with batting and back, I begin stitching. Even after ironing those folds are still showing and I don't like them! Solve it with Stitch (ooh, a possible book title).

Step 6 - A kinda grid of big satin stitch with a gold rayon thread.

Step 7 - Straight stitching over the top.

Step 8 - Start of an outline connecting the beginning spot of each straight stitch line.

Step 9 - Did two sides, didn't like it, time for the frog stitch (rippit rippit).

Step 10- There's a better outline. This is two rayon threads, the gold and a dark khaki green, around and around entertwining.

Step 11 - Trimmed the backing to the stitch lines. Ripped the white fabric along the stitch lines on the front, and then pull/ripped the batting.
Voila', done! Title: "Precious Residue". About 13"x13"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Tears for Mardi Gras

I've been so sad about Mardi Gras and New Orleans bravely soldiering on, listening on NPR to all their stories this week of people trying to make it back to their city and finding nothing changed, except the toxic mud has dried up.

Then comes the recent breath-taking jaw-dropping amazing video obtained by the AP showing Chimpy McFlightsuit lie lie lying his way through the end of his precious vacation. How much more of this can we stand?

And reading on the BagNewsNotes about this video and how it reminds the author of a 7-11 security camera catching the criminal in action. There he also notes a tragic snub by the NewYorker.

William Joyce, one of my favorite illustrators and children's book author did a heart-breaking cover for the New Yorker about Mardi Gras and New Orleans, which got bumped in favor of the Cheney"Brokeback" cover(click here for a .pdf of his powerful cover that SHOULD have been). SO sad.
He writes about that on Bourbon Street Journal New Orleans Rising.

Definitely Time for the Lenten season.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Celtic Knot Sweatshirt

As part of my new year's resolutions to make myself some cool stuff to wear, I finally followed through on a QuiltUniversity class that I took last February (as in the year 2005). I like how it turned out, and it was way easier than I had thought it would be. And now I have something new to wear, as well as the satisfaction of actually Checking Something Off My TODO List!!
Celtic Knot Sweatshirt

Battle Hardened

"Battle Hardened", another quiltlet made for my daily art devotion.

Take Me to the Star Party

As part of my daily devotion to making daily art, here is a recent quiltlet (about 4x4"). I titled it "Take Me to the Star Party"
Take Me to the Star Party quiltlet