Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sense Feast

Here we are at the very last week of DebR doing the Getting to Know You feature at Create a Connection.
This one was harder than it looked at first! Thanks for a great month of questions Deb!

A Feast for the Senses
1. What are some of your favorite smells? What's a smell that many other people seem to like, but you don't?

Favorite smells include most flowers, rain, the ocean, my favorite people (clean or not), beeswax, pipe smoke (but not cigarettes, sometimes cigars), many foods.
Smells that you might like, but I definitely don't: potpourri, over-scented candles, detergent.

2. What are some of your favorite tastes? What's a taste many other people seem to like, but you don't?
Favorite tastes are dark chocolate, real cream, mint anything, intense, spicy stuff.

A taste many others seem to like, but I don't: pie or cheesecake.

3. What are some of your favorite textures? What's a texture that many other people seem to like, but you don't?

Favorite textures would include furry, soft, plush, velvety, tickly, sandpapery, complex.

Textures I don't like that you probably do: tapioca, or its close drinkable relative, bubble tea. Bleah!

4. What are some of your favorite sounds? What's a sound that many other people seem to like, but you don't?

Some of my very Favorite sounds are: music, bells, singing, cat purring, dog purring (yes, really!), seagulls (and most birds), friendly voices.
Sounds I don't like that you may: Cellphones, I don't like hearing yours ring, or hear you talking to whoever and interrupting whatever else is going on around you. I also have a problem with super loud music in cars next to me, if I can hear it in my car with my windows rolled up and my music going, I bet you won't be able to hear the ambulance coming up behind us!. A lot of badly made machinery bugs me now, if there is an askew fan, or a laboring motor it gets on my nerves.

5. What are some of your favorite sights? What's a sight that many other people seem to like but you don't?

Favorite sights are the great outdoors, my people, new things, the moon, colorful, complex surfaces. (can you spot the moon in this picture?)

A sight I don't like that you just might, the fashions being worn by women trying to keep up with their teenagers.

Bonus: If you could greatly enhance just one sense - say for instance see as many colors as a bird, or smell as many distinct scents as a dog - which sense would it be and why

I would want to be able to enhance my sight, to be able to see really super closeup, zoom in like a scanning electron microscope, and then zoom back out to normal sight.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Resolution #5

Well, here we are in the fifth week of January. Has this month gone quickly for you? It sure has for me. Lots going on, getting this year going.

I keep thinking about how many more years I have left with my kids living here at home. And the time is dwindling fast. They are now 13 and 11.5. The end of childhood really. I'm getting wistful when I see mothers with little ones. Not baby-lust wistful, just wishing I could re-experience that lovely, harrowing time. I miss those babies of mine, but I love my big boys-almost-men even more. Seeing the world through their eyes, experiencing growing up with another, is a really precious gift. One that I've been privileged and lucky to be here for day by cumulative day. But it does get exhausting sometimes, well really a lot of times, to be present, to interact, to listen, to teach, to direct, to organize, etc.
So my fifth resolution that I'm illustrating for Self Portrait Challenge is to: Be Here Now. This is the choice of the present moment.
Picture taken by Alex, while we were riding in the back seat of the car. I let Zach ride in the front seat occasionally (after all he is now taller than me!). Then Alex and I get to be silly together in the back seat which I enjoy enormously of course. And Be Here Now is of course also a well-known book title by Ram Dass, as well as a title of an Oasis cd.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Anagrams R'US

A fun way to waste some time is an anagram maker at wordsmith. (Thanks DebR)

Favorite phrases made with my name:







Words I'm glad are possible to make with the letters of my name: LIRE, LUSTER, LUST, SNEEZE, CORACLE, CACTI, RUNES, JUICIER, NICER, COZIER, CURES, ICON, COITUS, CUTE, NOTICES, ZANIER
Jello in a scanner picture is from Magda Wojtyra.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Orange You Glad?

Aren't you glad we live in a world with citrus fruits? I know I am. This time of year we eat a lot of citrus. Especially those easy to peel, seedless Clementines (tangerines).
Everytime I peel one I am struck again by that luscious colour. So this time I took a picture.
We're also enjoying drinking a lot of fresh squeezed OJ, from Odwalla. I have to restrain myself or balance out the acidity somehow though. Almonds seem to help out a lot.
No chance of scurvy around here!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Netting Some New Earrings

Hey! I made something!!
I was in my favorite (and nearest) bead shop, the Bead Nook (formerly in Ben Lomond, now in Felton) and I spied these wild beads. Such a different looking pattern. Instantly had to reach out and touch them to see what they were made out of kind of beads.
Turns out that they are wooden and have been screen-printed with this neato-keeno net kinda pattern. My mind is still puzzling over how this would work, screen printing on an orb!
My bead stuff is one of the things I didn't pack away, so I came home and made these earrings.
Which have been getting all kinds of comments, and falling out of my ears when bumped by my scarf.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Come for a Visit

This is a really fun one from DebR this week for Create a Connection, Getting to Know you.
"Here's the scenario this week. Imagine you've made a connection with another blogger who lives in a completely different part of the world than you do. This blogger is about to take a trip and the connection you've made is so strong that she is going to make your house one stop on her trip. (Yay!) Unfortunately she can only stay at your place for 24 hours (boo!), but she'd like to see some nearby sights while visiting with you.
Keeping in mind that time is quite limited, so you have to stick pretty close to home (although not necessarily right IN your town - just anyplace you could go as a day trip), try looking around you with the eyes of someone who has never seen your area and tell us some things you'd share with..."
A Visitor to Your Hometown
1. Your visitor wants to see something historical. Where would you take her and why?
Historical, hmmmm. Well we could go see the San Lorenzo Valley history museum, which has some amazing stuff documenting the redwood logging industry. Including a local newspaper which ran out of paper one week and went to press on tree leaves. But my favorite historical place to go is the first and oldest state park in California (established in 1902), just up the road in my town, Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Bring your hiking shoes.

2. She wants to see something hysterical...well, mildly amusing anyway. She'd even go for cute, quirky, odd, or unique. Where would you take her and why?
Definitely the BigFootMuseum in Felton. Or maybe the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. Or the steam train, Roaring Camp in Felton, you can ride all the way down to the beach.

3. She wants to take some beautiful and/or interesting photos to fill her albums when she gets home. Where would you take her?
Well, that would be forest and ocean for around here. First the redwood groves in either Big Basin or Henry Cowell are a must. Especially in the morning, so quiet and foggy with the light shining through the incredible trees. Then down to the ocean, how about Natural Bridges State Beach? Well only one bridge now, as one collapsed. Great tidepooling at the right time of day, and also some cool rocks just offshore that lots of critters hang out on, like elephant seals. If she comes at the right time of year (October - February), we can go see the Monarch butterfly groves in the eucalyptus just up from the beach. Don't forget your tripod.

4. She'd like to buy a souvenir that will remind her of your area every time she sees it. What would you suggest and where would you go to get it?
I would suggest a redwood burl salt and pepper shaker set or a gooey sticky gummy candy Banana Slug . Or maybe a tie-dyed Santa Cruz shirt from the wharf.

5. Wow, it's been a long day and you're both ready for a snack, or maybe even a meal. Where would you take her to really get the flavor of your area?
Geez, there isn't anything more fun or yummier than Ciao Bella in Ben Lomond. Or if you don't want Italian, how about eating some fresh fish on the wharf in Santa Cruz. Clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl perhaps?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Resolution #4

Already on the 4th week of the year?!?! How did this happen, time is flying by fast this year. Here is my Fourth resolution for the new year. Walk More. I'm illustrating these and sharing them in the hopes that it will keep me more motivated to keep up with these urges to do better in my life. Go see more at Self Portrait Challenge.
The picture of me walking was done by putting my camera on the road with the self timer on, running back a ways and then walking towards the camera. I kind of like the angle. Right after this shot, Zelda the wonderdog ran over and sniffed/drooled on the camera! Eeek!
The other two pictures show you what my walk this morning looked like. I love the light in the morning this time of year, so precious and light gold.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday Musings

This weekend we got a wonderful gift, our brand-new furnace finally got hooked up! Wheeeee, no more keeping a fire going day and night. Just the whoosh, click, humm of a toasty efficient heater. What a difference it makes. My ears are thawing out, I don't have to wear my scarf all day long, and no socks. My feet are enjoying being out of socks! The animals are very suspicious though, I think they've forgotten all the usual noises and smells from the furnace going. Short memories! It has only been a few months.

Saturday our sheet-rockers came and almost completely finished. So now we have walls. What a difference it makes in the sound carrying from room to room. And almost some real privacy and so forth. We really take that for granted in our modern homes, don't we? The ability to go into another room and close the door, creating the illusion that you are separate and really isolated and alone. A few generations ago, when the Westward Expansion was pushing across the plains, just think of all those one room cabins that families lived in. I don't think I would have made it! How about you?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Find the Bird Friday

Can you find the bird? The curled over brown leaf is my former bird of paradise plant that doesn't seem to have made it through the recent cold snap. A hint, the bird is brown. In the foreground. That is some good camoflauge isn't it? Hope he wasn't eating the berries on the honeysuckle, I think they are poisonous. And besides, my bird feeder is about 10 feet away around the corner of the deck.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Best and Worst

Another getting to know you exercise from DebR at Create a Connection.

This time it is:

Best and Worst

1. What's the best place you ever lived? the worst?

The best place I ever lived is right here! I love it here in the redwood forest, it really suits me. Our land that we own is always surprising to me, I walked it the other day and discovered some new features I hadn't noticed in the 10 previous years! That's what happens when you have more than an acre. I really enjoy having space between me and my neighbors, turns out that is important to me. I was going to say Berkeley, because I really loved being in a smallish city, and Berkeley is so cool and weird and inspiring, but I'm much, much happier here.

The worst place I've ever lived is the apartment in Oakland that my friend J and I got, right out of college. There were gunshots ringing out on occasion, hookers walking the street a block away, really noisy cars driving by, etc. And oh my goodness the commute I ended up with was horrific. I thought I'd land a job in San Francisco, but ended up down in Palo Alto, it was quite a daily grind of a drive. But it was really fun living with her! Just wish it had been in a better neighborhood.

2. What's the best place you ever visited on holiday/vacation? the worst?

The best place I've ever visited on vacation is Hawaii. I loved it there. The air was soft on my skin, the light was more beautiful, the plants were amazing and exotic, it smelled good, there was so much to do, or beaches to lie on if you didn't want to do anything. Oh and volcanoes, 'nuff said. And snorkeling, which is like flying under water. I really want to go back. Especially to see my cousin C and her new baby boy C.

The worst place I ever visited on vacation was, Portland, Oregon. It rained a lot. It was boring being stuck indoors in a hotel with my parents and little brother. I dislocated my knee in the hotel and had to go to the hospital. Not necessarily Portland's fault, but there it is.

3. What's the best job you ever had? the worst?

The best job I've ever had is being an artist and mother (ie:now!). I've got to say this is the best!! Thanks St. Husband, I like having an art patron who doesn't get too mad if he has to make dinner.

The worst was being a Santa's Helper/Elf at the mall's Santa Photo stand when I was a teenager. Bleah on the pushy mothers, bleah on the nasty children, bleah on the drunken santa.

4. What's your best talent or ability? your worst?

My best talent is seeing the big picture and the small details at the same time, which most likely leads to:
My worst ability is being on time and prepared.

5. What's the best decision you ever made? the worst?

The best decision I ever made was to marry my husband. Far and away, no contest!! Hopefully he would say the same!

The worst decision I ever made was to give up on working outside the home seven years ago, because of my disease. I let myself be limited by pain, and now it is too late to step back in and work at the level I had achieved.

Bonus (so we can end on a positive note!): What's one good thing about you that isn't covered in the questions above, but that you'd like to share with the world? One good thing about me I haven't mentioned is that I'm a really good multi-tasker. Like a lot of women (and a few men, although I haven't met any), I'm able to do a lot of things at once, and think about other things at the same time.

Mug Swapping

How fun! I received my Create a Connection mug swap in the mail and got a great mug from Buffawhat: He was sweet enough to include chocolate Buffalo Wings (made by Fowler's Chocolates). Which were thoroughly enjoyed by the family (read ***devoured***). The mug is great, it has a snug top and a big comfy handle.
My husband is happy to have another Buffalo mug in the house to remind him of his hometown.
Thanks so much Buffawhat!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Dream Dinner Party

For Create a Connection , getting to know you, this past week, DebR has come up with a good one that took some real thinking. Thanks Deb I needed to get my brain going today.

Dream Dinner Party
1. Guest one must be someone who is/was creative with words - a novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, journalist, etc. Who would you invite? I would invite Kurt Vonnegut. His novels and essays have been an inspiration to me ever since I started reading him way back in high school. The dark, despairing vision of the world cut through with absurdist multi-layered humour is how I wish I could write. He's a very feisty old man now, I think he'd be a hoot at a dinner party. His most recent book "A Man Without A Country" made me laugh out loud and cry in despair. Did you see him on the Daily Show last year?

2. Guest two must be someone who is/was creative with images - a painter, photographer, sculptor, fabric artist, collage artist, etc. Who would you invite? I would invite surrealist painter, Frida Kahlo. I would want to share with her how influential her lifes' work has been for so many artists. How deeply touched I am by her art and by her writings, especially those about making art even though one is in tremendous life-long physical pain. And how her imagery still resonates to this day. I'd also want to show her my quilt that I did based on her life and love with Diego Rivera, "Frida's Eyes Say It All".

3. Guest three must be someone who is/was a performer - an actor, singer, musician, comedian, acrobat, etc. Who would you invite? I would invite Dave Matthews. Wouldn't it be great if he would sing us a song after dinner. And wiggle his eyebrows too? please? His music has gotten me through some tough times and I'd want to tell him that. His passion and emotion comes through in his songs. I'd want to ask him what it is like to perform for so many people at once, and how it is to be a father travelling all the time.

4. Guest four must be someone who is charting/charted new territory - either in the physical sense, like an explorer, adventurer, or astronaut, or someone like a groundbreaking scientist or inventor. Who would you invite?
I would invite Christopher Columbus. I've always been interested in explorers, that was my absolute favorite part of fifth grade in Mr. Robledo's class. And the story on Columbus has changed soooo much since when I was in school, to what my kids have learned in the last couple of years. So I would like to talk with him about his motivations for taking this leap into the unknown, and how he really treated the people he met with, and did he have any regrets. Did he know what an impact he would have on the world?

5. Guest five must be someone who is/was a leader of other people - perhaps in the area of politics, like the literal leader of a country, or perhaps a leader in the area of religion, military, business, or even a great philosopher or teacher, or an inspiring athlete. Who would you invite? I would invite philospher Bertrand Russell. An anti-war, anti-imperialist deep thinker whose writings have influenced society for decades now. I'd especially want to ask him his opinions on how we use language now, as that is one of his most interesting areas of expertise. I'd want to discuss religion and the existence of God, here is one of my favorite quotes of his: "Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. […] A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
—Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects"

6. Guest six must be someone from any field who you believe is/was underrated and under-appreciated by most people, but whom you admire. Who would you invite? I would invite Bill Moyers, television journalist. I just read that he is returning to PBS with a new show. I'd want to ask him about his years covering our country, what he sees as our greatest strengths, and how he predicts this war will come out.

7. Guest seven is a wild card - your choice! Is there someone you'd like to invite who didn't seem to quite fit into any category, or was there a category where you'd have really liked to invite two different people? Then this is your chance to add the person you missed to the table. Who would you invite? I would invite Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Oh to have a chance to talk with this witty, brilliant man. And to thank him for all the laughs. And all the insight on the days' news. I'd have to ask him what he likes best about doing this show, who has he wanted to literally strangle or yell "bullshit" at, etc...

Bonus: Uh Oh! The dinner party is just about to end, and all your guests are about to disappear, and you realize that you've forgotten to ask one important question of one of your guests. You just barely have time to squeeze in that last question, so quick! - what was the question and who did you ask? Oops, I forgot to ask Bill Moyers his favorite memory of interviewing Joseph Campbell.

Cabin Fever

Well, cabin fever seems to have set in. The pets are reluctant to go out in the cold. (everyone say awwwww). I tried to explain to them how they were lucky not to live in the land of icestorms, snowstorms, etc. but they weren't in a listening mood.

So they spend their time cuddled up together. Or fussing and fighting with each other.

Here you can see they are fighting over the latest issue of Fiberarts magazine. How about that cover, yikes! It scared me when I got it in the mail. It was a good issue though, once you got past that freaky cover picture. This is one of the magazines I plan to keep subscribing to forever. It always has something fresh and new. Not always the same ol' same ol' quilty stuff, but really wild-out-there, pushing the envelope apart stuff. That's inspiration for me!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Resolution #3

Up to resolution number 3 already, the year seems to be flying by at break-neck pace! For more illustrated resolutions, check out Self Portrait Challenge.

As you can no doubt guess, my third resolution is to: Stop and Smell the Roses. And my goodness in the dead of this frigid winter, a rose growing on my nevergiveupneversaydie climbing rose.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Resolution #2

Continuing into week #2 of Self Portrait Challenge, my second resolution. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Last year I got out of the habit, resorted to too much dried fruit and juice. Very stupid since I'm in California where we have fresh stuff all year round.

The first image is kinda rote, and boring although I love the deep colors, and I always love pictures of my hands. (Why is that by the way, that I am taken by images of my own hands?Hmmmm)

But then I thought to take some action pictures of me following through on the resolution. I found that it is hard to take a good pic of oneself while eating. And I left the flash on, so I'm very washed out. Which is, quite frankly, how I feel at this time of the year. Completely washed out.
But then I took it through the filter factory and swapped red and green. I always wanted green lips! Really. And who knew that red broccoli is actually appealing? It looks like it would be spicy. By the way, from this angle I actually like my nose.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Bag of Stuff, Completed

Here are some pictures of my completed quilt made for the CQFA Bag of Stuff swap. I hope Linda likes it! I finished it just before our November meeting (when it was due), but I hadn't tacked down the binding, put a sleeve or label on it. So I showed it and took it home with me fully intending to do those little bits and send it right back to her.
Then I got sick for a week.
And there were all the family birthdays in November.
And the construction upheaval.
And then all of a sudden it was the holidays and I didn't want it to get lost in the crazy mailstream.
Oh, and I had started putting beads on it. Which I should know by now is hard for me to stop. Anyhoo. Now she has it (gave it to her at the meeting on Saturday), and it is off my to-do list.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Filling in the Blanks

Over at Create a Connection, my friend DebR is guest blogging, and she has these questions for us to answer. So please do! And check out the C.A.C., a great idea, I'm doing their mug swap this month! Because really, can you truly ever have *enough* mugs in the cabinet??
Here is a picture of my new mug (purchased at the Disney Store).

Fill in the Blanks

Fill in the blanks to each of these statements - it's as simple as that! These don't have to be one-word responses. Use as few or as many words as you need to fill each blank, in order to tell your story.

My responses are in purple.

1. I have never wanted to _be a waitress__ ; but I've always thought I might like to _be a maitre'd____________ .

2. When I was _18___________ years old, I believed _that men and women were now treated equally in the workplace_______________ .

3. If I was my own best friend, what I would enjoy the most about spending time with Me would be ___my ability to find humor in just about anything or my active listening skills;____while what I'd find the most irritating would be ____interrupting to finish sentences, being unreliable about doing stuff together and being late. ____

4. If the story of my life up to this point was being published tomorrow, it would be titled "_She Almost Made It____________" and it would be dedicated to _"My patient, loving and supportive family"_____________ .

5. When my time on Earth is over, and the people who loved me are remembering me, it would please me if they said _her smile made the world brighter, her presence made me happier, and her love was seemingly without end________________ .

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Poetry Thursday

For more poems and writing about poems, you should go check out:
Poetry Thursday

Rain, Again

by Julie Zaccone Stiller

Dark morning

Sunrise obscured

Dampness arriving

Nearly dried, now disturbed

Rattle and gurgle

Water down drains

Expecting a shower

Receiving wet panes

Unclean, now sodden

Debris of a storm

Rusting in place

Not waiting til dawn

Rain, again

Resigned to the season

Stay locked indoors

Dry, unless there's a reason

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

She is done

My quilt about Peace Pilgrim got done just in time. Pshew! After a very trying morning discovering that my CD writer is dead. D-E-A-D@*##)(%!! Shoot Well, luckily my dear son has a working one, so I was able to create the entry cd. My envelope is winging its way to Arizona right this very second.
This is a very detail shot, so I'm not giving too much away about the overall quilt...

I'm really pleased with how the quilt turned out, and I'm really proud of myself for getting up off my ass and getting it done. I looked at myself, bleary eyed, exhausted, still recovering from pneumonia, and thought, you know? Peace would have been out walking anyways. Why can't you suck it up and just make the quilt you know you promised you'd make? A little self-talk like this usually works on me (I'm a pushover!) And then I contrived to send the boys and husband out for some Rocky Balboa movie action. So with the inspiration, the time alone and the materials I eventually uncovered from the construction came together as I'd hoped and planned.

I just hope it conveys the beauty and power of her life that I admire so very much.

A beginning to my artist statement is: The black is the highway she walked so many miles along, through the varied American landscape over the years.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Self Portrait Challenge - Resolution #1

This month for Self Portrait Challenge we are to illustrate with self portrait, our resolutions for the new year.

One of my new year resolutions is to:

Take time to be with my pets.

This is Spike, he is our teenager cat. Very hard to cuddle unless he wants to be cuddling. He is completely insistent though until you drop everything and cuddle him now dammitt!

So here I am, giving in to the kitty love fest. Oh and you can see my super cool new purple glasses!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you!
This is what I've been working on, a quilt about Peace Pilgrim for the She Made Her Mark show. Hope it gets finished, and I hope my entry gets there in time. Now that the post office is closed for president Ford's death, I'm not sure about that!
Oh well, that is what happens when I wait til the last minute I guess. This is only a small section of the sky, we aren't supposed to show the whole thing on our blog to keep the surprise going.

And here is how we looked last night on our way to our friend's house for a small and short New Year's Eve party. I'm still getting over pneumonia unfortunately, and it is hard to talk and be social for long periods. I've lost my wind so to speak!

Today I will work on some goal setting and maybe some resolution making. we'll see!

Hope your new year is filled with good surprises, joy, love and health!