Monday, July 29, 2013

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 28

This project is going a bit slowly now as am I. As much as so many people love summer, I find that it wears me out totally. I don't mind the heat as I once did but boy sucks the energy away.  So with no further ado... Week 28.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Five on Friday - July 26, 2013

This week I  found a lot of things I like. Don't you love this kind of week/ That's partially comes from looking for things to like. Sometimes a shift of attitude helps out in that endeavor.

1. Speaking of Endeavor,  have you been watching the latest Inspector Morse series on PBS? We now meet the young Endeavour Morse, an intense young man who just doesn't quite fit in - yet.  Endeavour. Watch it if you can.

2. The SEWN class I am taking on line has opened a different window for me. I have learned that I'm not really that interested in making my own patterns, but I do like taking a technique learned (or in this case beginning to learn) and seeing where it will take me. I found I do like putting things together - collage perhaps or just assembly.  A bit more of the sadness inside was touched and this post helped me see how that works.  art/therapy  You often get more than you expected in making art, and if you're alive you CAN make art.

3. It is seriously peach time now. The kind of days when a half dozen peaches per person is very reasonable, I think. Not all at once but spread out during the day when ever the peach urge strikes.

4. It's a joy to watch someone else continue on her life's journey, going through the pain of growth, addressing issues that need addressing and walking through rather than numbing out. It's an example to me. I have, perhaps, wisdom and she has courage.

5. Photoshop/PSE Tips? The Daily Digi has a couple of well illustrated time savers. Truthfully, I only knew two of these but needed a reminder on one of those! How quick we I forget...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm In the Top 1% - REALLY?

No, no not 'that' one percent, the 1% who own all the wealth of the United States. Believe me, I don't even wish to be in that category.  Enough is enough and contentment with what I have is a big part of my makeup.

But I just got an email from Goodreads where I mainly keep track of books I want to read. You never know when you'll hit a fabulous used bookstore and wonder...what did I want so much??? However, I do write brief reviews for books I've read - just a sentence or two usually. But apparently I've reached the stratosphere of reviewers. No mention of quality was given.  Hmmm...

Thank you Otis. Please keep up with the pats on the head. Yes, I'm easily flattered.  1%...just think of it....

Monday, July 22, 2013

AAM Monday Pages from SEWN Book

This may only be of interest to those who are interested in how a very unskilled beginner makes an successful attempt at making a handmade book. Successful in that I DID it.  For a first attempt, I will easily live with the quality. I have a lot to learn but it was fun in the doing.

 We start with the inside cover and move on to the various pages. Some are my patterns, some are digital layouts that were duplicates and I tore, painted or played with in various ways.  Maps, graph's all usable.

This is the center point where the binding shows. I didn't have any of the normal binding thread so I used double strands of waxed dental floss. This was actually cinnamon flavored (!) and very old worked. Never stop for lack of the 'right' tool. Improvise!

Finally a larger view of the photo of me on the cover. Taken ...uh...about 68 years ago. I have a lot more hair these days and wear considerably more clothes.  That waxed dental floss was a royal pain to sew with here as well as trying to stab the thick paper but once again, it got done.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

SEWN - Barefoot Style

Yes, that first SEWN book is done, done always being a relative term when any kind of art is involved. But yesterday I rescued my sewing machine from the sewing machine hospital and set to work a-sewing. btw, they did a wonderful job of cleaning out the solidified oil gunk and getting my machine back to health. Aren't we blessed to still have a functioning sewing machine store?

Once I jogged my ol' brain into recalling how to actually thread the machine and get down to business, it was a lot of whirring and humming. My stitches look like a maniac was doing them and I did have a hard time controlling the foot pedal as it wanted to run away on our hardwood floors. Finally, it became barefoot sewing which is fine in the summer. No more escaping foot pedals!

This is how their stitching looked... (The paper towel and newspaper under the machine is just in case the new oil leaked at all. It didn't though.)

 I had no illusions as to my skill but I plugged along, sewing all those various shapes.

Eh voila!  She is sewn!

Next came the binding of the signatures for the inside. Oh that was another challenge! Mary Ann Moss refers to guerrilla sewing. I aspire to that peak! Mine got done but with a lot of 'use what you got' style.   More to come later.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Five on Friday: Jun 19, 2013

1. I don't do heat and humidity well. This week has been pretty hard on me because I tried to get some things done. All in all I could have stayed in bed and just waited it out by sleeping.

comatose post pizza dinner

2. I gave caffeine up about 5 or more years ago. I drink decaf iced tea with stevia all summer. Today I have two meetups both involving meeting at coffee shops.  I hope they have some green tea. My home brewed tea is usually so much better.

3. Even in the pm dusk, it's hot for watering the flowers. I tell them "Take what you can and do your best." I hope they can cope with that.

4. We both saw a black bird that was bigger than any I've seen in Maryland. Scary big. Ravens in the Southwest I've seen up close and personal. But here? If I'd been outside I may have shrieked and run!

5. I'm a week behind with Project Life. Right now it feels like a chore. I think I'm tired of it and just plain tired. I want temps in the 50s and 60s. I believe this is called Cranky.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Starts With a Z

After a couple of days of not feeling good, and with the sore throat coming and going, I finally decided (practicing medicine without a license...) that it was my sinuses. Not horrendous but an issue I haven't had in quite a few years. Fortunately, I keep some pills on hand just in case.

These were a mainstay of my springtime life for a long time but then suddenly I wasn't getting sinus issues any more. I had joked to my dh that I was NOT going outside at the retreat center (heat, humidity, risk of ticks etc etc) but I did go out one day for about 30min. I won't do that again. I'm also wondering if we have mold in our bedroom a/c unit. I really don't want to think about that so I won't - today. The man of the house has received a work order on the subject. He is usually very prompt.

But for me? sometimes, drugs are the answer.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Not So Good Tuesday

Still back from retreat with almost a mini flu. It came and went yesterday and fortunately it hasn't included bathroom issues. But my ears ache, my throat is sore and the headache comes and goes. I'm sleeping a LOT. The body knows. It seems like the old sinus problems which I haven't had for years. That beautiful site down on the Potomac river also has a lot of vegetation and I did go out and sit a bit on Sunday. Perhaps that was my mistake.

Whatever.  Today I plan to start the sewing of my book cover for the SEWN class.  Then I can clean up a bunch of what's on the dining room table.  We don't eat on that often but I do like to keep it free and clear of clutter ...normally.  Perhaps I'll also sort through some artsy papers today.  Whatever.  It's going to be a stay-at-home day.

It isn't all bad. Fresh peaches for breakfast? oh yes, there are good points all the time. I just have to keep that in mind.

Monday, July 15, 2013

AAM Monday: It Was a Very Good Time

This past weekend I went on retreat so there's not a lot of photos of that time, except in my head. That's how it should be.

We were all women and while it was a very good time, it occasionally got pretty loud when about 80 women were eating and talking. Boy could we raise the decibel level! We also had a tremendous rain, so heavy that the view of the river was totally blocked. We could only see a curtain of white beyond these trees.

This was a spiritual retreat so we had a retreat leader who gave several talks that gave us things to ponder. Not only did I ponder, I also had the opportunity to speak with some other women I had never met and exchange ideas and thoughts. Like the curtain of rain blocking our vision, by evening the sky was clear again, and our minds were finding clarity.

I have come to the conclusion that I do want to go on a silent retreat some time in the future. Not sure when but I know it'll happen.  I'll miss the interaction I had with these other women but I'll have a deeper interaction with my own soul. It's all good.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five on Friday: July 12, 2013

A very rainy morning, the kind where it would be so nice to just stay in bed and sleep and listen to that rain. But it was not to be...aerobics, a chair yoga and later a drive down to Southern MD for a retreat. I'm looking forward to it but suddenly a lot of stuff is going on in my life and it isn't the quiet summer I'd imagined.  But we mush on!

1. I have been keeping a mental list of some of the unusual jobs I've heard lately. Jobs I just never fathomed.... nuclear reactor sales.  Concrete sales - I knew that but strictly sidewalk installers...hmm, that was a new one. Data artist. I love the description of that one, and only wish I were younger and qualified! Do you have any unusual jobs to add to my list?

2. We have a slow but steady crop of the giant cherry tomatoes. Now if we can balance the good summer rain with hot sunny days, it will be fun to have those little gems to snack on.

3. I am finding that paper and paint and glue and scissors create a much bigger mess than digital work. Well, duh...but I'd forgotten how much I dislike the mess. My paper cover for my pattern book is glued but not sewn. Look at these cuties.

4. I cleaned my sewing machine and have my manual. Now all I need is ...thread, needles, a few more bobbins, and the patience to thread follow the instructions on how to thread that machine, ditto on make the bobbins, and then...pray that the needles don't start breaking as I sew the cover for my SEWN journal. Mary Ann I'm starting to doubt....

5. Yesterday, I asked himself to go to the Amish market for meats and cheese and anything else he'd like while I'm away this weekend. What did I do yesterday?? Mostly start the key-wording of my zillion .png files in my new Lightroom 5 catalog. I love that this version of LR 'sees' .pngs.  It's well worth all the doing but it is eye crossing. What did he get extra? Some pulled pork sandwiches sold by some cut little Amish girls.  :)  I added hot spiced vinegar to mine since I like mine North Carolina style.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wordy Wednesday: July 10, 2013

In my SEWN class, our first lesson playdate involved making patterns. Just play, says Mary Ann, and she's right...there are no rules for play. But I have to trick my mind to get to that place. It's not by accident that my last job involved legislation not loops of knitting or crochet.

Made on my iPad

When I went back to college to finish my B.A. I had to take a basic art class. One of the things we were to do was make a full BIG page of doodles. Our teacher said, just do your ordinary doodles. Gulp. I finally said, I don't doodle. I've never doodled. Even when in grade or high school, I only made lists of words. I'd layout the alphabet and think of a category and make a list.  I never doodled.

She said....Oh ...we do have a problem here.  She looked as worried as I felt

I ended up making a paper with what I would now call zentangles, and got an A in the course. I still don't doodle. AT All.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Can Spray Paint Be Far Behind???

Well, I'm having my summer fun just painting away with as little thought as I can manage. I wish I had table sized papers but I do want to use the things I have and not buy what I really don't need. I know I have some rolls of white paper so once I clear off more of the table (this means just shifting the stuff around or 'moving dust' as my dh calls it), I can put some BIG pieces of paper out and see what happens.

Right now I am really enjoying playing with my acrylics. Some of my SEWN classmates/teacher refer to these craft paints as  Under $2 paints. I believe almost all of mine were 4 for a $1 or at least 3 for a $1.  Give me a sale like that and I can go wild with a fiver!

I do want to try out my spray paints. That will take some brain time to remember what colors I can layer without getting a page of mud. Perhaps a bit of restraint will fit in to this bit of foolery. Anyhow, there was a new batch of papers. Crayons were fun but the colors were rather subdued. Still fun to do.

Then came the acrylics again. Here's the whole kit and caboodle.

And here they are individually. Let me tell you those fully painted pages are pretty solid. Some of them are plain untextured card stock, stuff that I got by the ream.The squares are just old office bond with the letterhead cut off.  When someone's no longer in office which happened  'a few times' at one of my jobs in politics, the letterhead etc is trash for the shredder. I scrounged it first! Not to write on but for this kind of thing.

There you have it. I'd never fool anyone that I went to MICA but I paid my money for summer camp, and I'm having a blast. In this camp, I can drink all the iced tea I want, sleep in a comfy bed with air/conditioning and this camp is mosquito free too! Doesn't that sound like Adult Camp???

Monday, July 8, 2013

AAM Monday : Project Life Week 25

Having that cataract surgery sure messed with my ability to do work on the computer. That's ok. My vision is different with this multifocal lens in my right eye. Seeing the computer is the hardest thing but then again, it always was. Nothing new there. I swear, computers will make us blind in the end! But what a fun way to go!

This was the week of dog sitting for me and a trip to Alaska for him.  Worlds apart and happy doing our own thing once in a while. Works for us!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Five on Friday: July 5, 2013

There have been a lot of things that tickled my fancy this week. Some were things I saw while driving hither and yon. Others were things I ate. Then again, sometimes is was a person who made my heart smile.

1. I saw a sign on a church I pass periodically - If you can read this sign, you're close enough to come in.  Nice.

2. Peaches have arrived. I bought a dozen that I thought were still a bit hard only to find that my husband ate one immediately. They are ripe & luscious and we're down to 4.

3. I had an opportunity to speak to some women who really want to change their lives. Such a welcome contrast to some others. Plus,the receptionist at the site shared some of her Old Bay Potato Chips with me. Oh that's a dangerous slope!

4. I'm painting and playing with color and paper and letting the hand just ...move.

5.After a lot of rain recently, we had sun yesterday and it looks like sun today. I bet the farmers are  really happy! I am.

How's your weekend starting?

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