Sunday, November 27, 2005

Its really a mystery...


...why I did this!!! But I finished the mystery quilt top. Its ready to be quilted to a fleece backing. Pattern is a little too close to Log Cabin for my tastes and it makes me DIZZY! Up close, I like it, but when I see it in a picture or in the mirror, its kinda weird. I think it needs some leaves or flowers or something! Picture is pretty bad...its really a cream color and a light leaf green, not olive!

What I did like about the process was the clever technique for building the strips that make up the block...

Made a big pot of turkey soup while I was stitching...umm, yum...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Artist Way Check In - Week Four

I am checking in a bit early since I am doing my Artist Date for next week tomorrow morning - gonna do my first mystery quilt...so may not have time to get on the computer except to get the clues...
Hopefully this links correctly to the Artist's Way blog...Artist Way Quilters: Chap 4 Check-in November 27, 2005

1. Did morning pages 6/7...skipped Turkey Day - I was just way too busy to sit and do pages!
2. Did my Artist Date - and yes, my artist gets to do more than rent a movie - we were somewhat creative this week and finished off some ancient UFOs
3. Well...I think getting the return email from my long lost friend and having her work in the same city as I work in is pretty much synchronistic!
4. No burning issues...

Task 8 - Out with the old, in with the new...
I started with the underwear drawer..all the ratty old undies went in the trash, along with a bunch of undies that I just never felt right wearing. Fresh new undies took their place. Then I moved on to the closet...in addition to evicting a low self worth outfit (a shorts and top outfit that every time I put it on I wondered what in the world I was thinking!! Unfortunately I loved the color...just not on me!), I did my seasonal 'move the winter stuff to the front, the summer stuff to the back' and got rid of two bags of other stuff that bugs me...I still have too much 'stuff'...I have to pare more deeply - one of these days.

Buried Dreams Exercise

Most of these were not too hard for me to do - except the things that sound fun that I would never do - now, if they really sounded fun, I might try them - but these are ones that are a little too scary for my tastes!

I couldn't keep to just 5 on the classes though...I love trying new things and would love to take more classes...just don't find enough time to actually go...

Five hobbies that sound fun: pottery, beading, scrapbooking, playing the harp, candlemaking
Five classes that sound fun: Java programming, filmography, balloon bouquets, pysanka, cake decorating and a couple extra, Japanese ink painting and cartooning
Five things I would never do that sound fun: Sky diving, hang-gliding, bobsledding, long distance swimming in the ocean, scuba diving
Five skills that would be fun to have: ice sculpting, ballroom dancing, antiques appraising, travel agenting, horse whispering
Five things I used to enjoy doing: intense following of archeology projects, ice skating, swimming, gardening, scouting
Five silly things I would like to try once: ice bathing, underwater basket weaving, grunion hunting, have a mold made of my body, get dressed to the nines and go to High Tea with the Queen of England

Angel Bear and The TopiaryTree


For my Artist's Date this week I finished off a couple of projects that have been hanging around for it seems like eons! They are at least 10 year old UFO's.
Angel Bear is made of a large brass bell with bear paws and head attached. He has gold wings in the back and is holding my favorite instrument - the harp! The bell used to bug me every time I would move the project, so one year I squirted hot glue into the bell and silenced it..did I take the time to finish the project?? NOPE..just glued that danged annoying marble.
The topiary tree is made of spanish moss and stasis, with tiny rosebuds...
Don't ask me what I am going to do with them though!

Guess what!!! The lady I emailed IS my friend that I lost contact with and she does want to get together to catch up on the last 20 or so years! Yippee!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I'll Take Three, Please

1.Three screen names that I've had: casuzen...thats it...
2. Three things I like about myself: I'm nice, I'm a good friend and I play fair
3.Three things I don't like about myself: I have a nervous breakdown playing chess, I'm only organized sometimes and I could be a better housekeeper
4.Three parts of my heritage: German, Italian, English
5. Three things that scare me: loosing my purse, nuclear holocost and taking risks
6. Three of my everyday essentials: my handpiecing bag, cellphone, comfy clothes
7. Three things I am wearing right now: sweatpants, long sleeved cotton shirt and glasses
8. Three of my favorite songs: Celebrity - Brad Paisley, Total Eclipse of The Heart - Bonnie Tyler, Thats the Way I Always Heard It Should Be - Carly Simon
9. Three things I want in a relationship: truthfulness, consistency and adventure
10. Two truths and a lie: humpf...can't stand to lie so I'm not answering this one
11. Three things I can't live without: Computer, good food, companionship
12. Three clothing fads I bought into: hip huggers, bell bottoms and jeans
13. Three things I just can't do: wear high heels, wear makeup, spend money I don't have
14. Three hairstyles I've had: long hair, long-enough-to-sit-on-it hair and Twiggy pixie cut
15. Three things I want to do before I die: Go around the world, create some pieces of art that will last past my lifetime, get really good at longarm quilting
16. Three new year's resolutions I never keep: getting and staying more organized, writing a screenplay, getting enough exercise
17. Three of my favorite musicians/singers: Clint Black, Enya, Gordon Lightfoot
18. Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to me: tight backside, nice smile, good hygiene
19. Three of my favorite hobbies: quilting, reading, crafts
20. Three things I really want to do badly right now: I really want to read a book (but I'm resisting...), I want to take a vacation and I want to finish reorganizing my house, including possibly adding on a room
21. Three careers I've considered: Greeting card designer, astronaut(until I found out you had to have perfect eyesight), archeologist
22. Three ways that I am stereotypically a boy: I am mechanically inclined, I'm more comfortable in jeans and I can fix almost anything
23. Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: I wear lots of pink, I cry during chick flicks and I don't make as much money as a comparably experienced guy (bah!)
24. Three people that I would like to see post this meme: ?? and why is this called a meme??

Related posts: Rian, Pat, Sophie , Hilda , Jules , Jane Ann , Tracey and Debra

Sunday, November 20, 2005

NO READING FOR A WEEK???? Splut, splut!!!

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh...I just read chapter four and she says we can't read this week(exept for the tasks for the week)...no books, no magazines, no newspaper and I guess that means no forum, no blogs, no internet news services...how about snail mail (the dang bills come due this week - or are bills not reading?) or email?? I have to read the emails for work but fortunately its only part of the week...I think this just may be THE toughest thing she's asked us to do yet...I'll definately cut down...but...I dunno...I don't think I can avoid all of it...

The Artist's Way Check In - Week Three

1. Did my morning pages 7/7 this week...
2. Artist Date - went to the hardware store yesterday for some light panels and while I was there I went out into the nursery section...I was in a rather bad mood yesterday...prickly even...so this is what I came home with (I think it suited my mood rather nicely!):


Its called a "Moon Cactus" - from little label on the pot: What looks like a colorful bloom is actually a special cactus that has had the green chlorophyll bred out of the plant...then its grafted onto the strong green upright stock. The Moon Cactus comes in a variety of colors - yellow, orange, red and pink...very cute cactuses! It's been transplanted to a green bowl that I got at Target for a buck.
3. No synchronicity that I can remember this week - have had lots of it in the past though...(by the by...any of you read "The Celestine Prophecy"? The first of the insights is 'to be aware of what seem to be coincidences'..very similar to synchronicity. DH and I like to say when it happens: "There ARE NO coincidences..")
4. No burning issues...

Task 6:
Called my best friend and chatted with her for a while. We were going to try to get together to go see Harry Potter but she's been working a lot of overtime and it just didn't work out this week. But we had a nice chat! She is very supportive - in fact, she is the one that got me into quilting in the first place!
Also...I found the email address a couple of weeks ago while doodling around in Google of what I hope will turn out to be a good friend from work that I had about 25 years ago, around the time my son was born - we lost contact when she moved to Hawaii (no email back then!)... I finally got up enough nerve this weekend to send an email to find out if its the same gal...I really hope it is!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Searching for Sherlock...

1. My favorite childhood toys were my sewing basket, the puppets my Grandfather made and the 'Moon Jumpers' my Dad drove a really long distance to find.
2. My favorite childhood game was make-believe, especially about foreign places and exotic lives.
3. The best movies I ever saw as a kid were Misty of Chincotequea and the Prince and the Pauper.
4. I don't do it ever but I enjoy ice skating.
5. If I could lighten up a little, I'd let myself spend a little more money on stuff for me instead of just the bare minimum I need.
6. If it weren't too late, I would homeschool my kids.
7. My favorite musical instrument is the harp.
8. The amount of money I spend on treating myself to entertainment each month is getting better now that the kids are grown.
9. If I weren't so stingy with my artist, I'd buy her a treadle sewing machine.
10. Taking time out for myself is fun but a bit scary.
11. I am afraid that if I start dreaming I might have to take risks.
12. I secretly enjoy reading almost anything, including computer language books.
13. If I had had a perfect childhood I'd have grown up to be just what I am...I think I had a pretty darn perfect childhood...(except for the math thing!)
14. If it didn't sound so crazy, I'd buy a yacht and sail away.
15. My parents think artists are special and a gift from God.
16. My God thinks artists are necessary.
17. What makes me feel weird about this discovery is its liberating!
18. Learning to trust myself is empowering.
19. My most cheer me up music is old fashioned downhome Country/Western - yanno, the 'twangy cheesy' stuff...with the whiney fiddle and the banjo...
20. My favorite way to dress is jeans and tees.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Re-Organizing The Office...

Well...so far the nearly manaical desire to re-arrange stuff has persisted for at least today! I managed to give the ol' heave-ho to the contents of three lateral file drawers, 15 to 20 notebooks and two drawers in one of my offices today (I have three!) This office I don't go in to very frequently (its 55 miles away from home!)...its been months since I showed up there for any significant time...but its where the majority of my older historical files live..er, used to live!! Its just so liberating tossing stuff...a couple of the guys walked by and were amazed I was humming and just having a grand time stuffing the recycle bin...
I deliberately picked a Tuesday to spend the day..."Taco Tuesday"...the chef in the cafeteria at that office makes 'THE BEST' tacos...I have been hankering for those tacos...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Yawn....

One of the odder things that has come out of writing the morning pages is a desire for more organization of my 'space'...having to organize my time to actually do the pages seems to be spilling into other areas... Now... I really don't particularly care much for 'cleaning' per se but every so often a good re-arranging is definately theraputic...So...I spent most of yesterday starting to organize the California equivalent of an attic - the 'back' room, the 'junk' room, the 'I will put X in here because I can't figure out where else to put it' room...Filled up a 33 gallon Toter with recyclables and a good part of another 33 gallon Toter with trash...the room looks better but its far from being done...I have this almost anxious desire to attack it again tonight - the trash cans are freshly emptied - but I wore myself out yesterday and after working a full day (Mondays I drive 34 miles each way to the office)...I'm just plain bone-tired. So...hopefully I still will want to work on this project in a few days..though its usually best to catch those waves when they are fresh...I will be tucking myself in shortly..Good Night All!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Artist's Way Check In - Week Two

1. Did my pages 6 out of 7 days...missed same day this week as last week...I think there is a trend here...Wednesdays are the hardest day to get into this stuff for me...its the middle of the week, I have to get up early to get to my office...will have to try harder this next week! Still not sure I am 'getting' the morning pages but I do seem to have a bit more energy after I do them...a slightly 'virtuous' feeling too...

2. Was annoyed a bit that I didn't have the camera for my walk in the park...but other than that, the artist date was great. Went to a different dollar store too...I just love dollar stores!

3. Issues - not anything really interesting...but I have noticed I am getting more obsessed with this process...

Task 6- Imaginary Lives:
From week 1:
  1. Ice Skater
  2. Acrobat in the circus
  3. Archaeologist
  4. A good witch that can do real magic
  5. Greeting card company owner

From this week:

  1. Famous chef
  2. Inventor
  3. Writer of books like the Harry Potter series
  4. Quilt pattern designer
  5. Architect

What I noticed about these two lists is that week one's were things I really wanted to do in high school...week two's are more what I would want to do as an adult...though I think the greeting cards still holds a lot of promise...

Observations:

I dont' think I really know any true Crazymakers...at least not at this stage...there are people who occasionally are a bit crazy, but its not a constant thing. Scepticism is more of a barrier...I think I am just waiting for the 'magic' to happen...

Link to Debra's check-in post

Friday, November 11, 2005

A Walk in the Park

Took my artist child to the park - No..no camera and the lighting was kinda yucky (we are having a bit of liquid sunshine in So Cal), so I will have to hope you can 'see' the park through my description...

This is a smallish park but its one big drawing point is a duck pond in the middle. The main part of the park is nestled into a hollow. The duck pond is surrounded by wide concrete walkways with occasional gazebos for picnicing. At one end of the pond there is a waterfall making that lucious musical sound that waterfals make. Close to the waterfall is a series of graded 'steps' that make a wide staircase down to the edge of the water. From the parking lot, I walked down a narrow staircase that opened onto a brightly colored childrens gym. Since the park is below street level, its is mostly filled with park sounds - the waterfall, children laughing, dogs barking and the ducks quacking...There were even a couple of pairs of Canada geese walking stately around the pond. As I was walking down the stairs, a cute, fat, bright-eyed brown bunny hopped across the stairs and vanished into the undergrowth on the hillside. Since it was too darkish to take pictures even I had rememebered the camera, I decided not to do the bubbles and save them for another day. We (artist child and I) gathered a large bouquet of red, yellow, orange and green leaves...It was quite amazing the range of colors that are possible in sugar maple leaves.

When I spied that there were ducks in the park, I wanted to add this place to my list of possibles for feeding the ducks - another possible artist date...but...there in big bold letters were signs...NO FISHING ALLOWED and DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS...at least there wasn't a KEEP OFF THE GRASS sign...

OH, and the clouds broke up just a bit before sundown so the sky was all pink and blue...love that!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Decisions, Decisions: Which One Next?

Some ideas I have for future Artist Dates:

  • get a facial or a manicure... I haven't done this since I was in high school
  • ride a bike - hum...have to make sure the bike still has tires...
  • go to a theatre production
  • go to a concert
  • go bowling - or maybe just watch!
  • take a walk in the park
  • listen to choir practice at the church
  • visit a museum - there are a couple in downtown that I keep passing but never stop in
  • go to a toy store - I probably will skip the Barbie and the HotWheels sections though
  • go on a thrift store shop hop - there are a couple of thrift stores in small area in downtown
  • get a new musical instrument like a tin whistle or a lap harp and learn to play at least one song
  • watch a sunset - hope I have the camera with me
  • visit a second-hand bookstore - I have books to take with me to sell
  • buy a loaf of bread and feed the ducks
  • poke around in an antique store
  • visit the library and look at the sections I typically bypass
  • get some herb plants or seeds and make an herb garden
  • learn to make strudel - have my granny's recipe
  • get frozen breaddough and sculpt turtles or some other animal
  • fly a kite
  • build a sandcastle
  • paint a picture using my toes
  • visit the hardware store
  • cook a pot of stew or soup - mumm...and a loaf of bread too
  • make cinnamon dough ornaments
  • roll down a grassy hill - might have to be careful with this one
  • make snow angels - dunno when I will find snow in So Cal but I will be on the lookout!
  • make a greeting card and send it to someone
  • make a locker-hook rug
  • do some flower pounding
  • get some bath crayons and draw all over the bathtub
  • write a poem about the colors orange, purple and silver

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Artist's Way Check In - Week One

1. Did the morning pages every day but one. Yesterday I recorded a really cool dream I had the night before...and I made my Christmas list (this is pretty early for me!)
2. Did the Artist's Date and had a grand time - did notice that like a little kid, my Inner Artist wanted me to buy everything I picked up - had to tell Inner Artist that some of those things we can get or do in upcoming Artist Dates!...next week I am going to go to a park that I haven't been to that is on my way home and blow bubbles...I will try to take the camera, but it remains to seen who gets ahold of it first...we really need another digital! (On my Christmas list for DH)
3. Issues - resistant to the idea of having to do the morning pages...but I 'spose they will get easier to do if I just keep it up. No issues with doing the Artist Dates - I love the idea!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Here There Be Monsters

In searching for my monsters this week, I found one that is not so much an enemy of creative self-worth, but just self-worth in general.

Let me set the stage...In third grade, at least at the time I went thru it, there was a big emphasis on learning the basic skill set for mathematics - adding, subtracting, muliplying, dividing...My parents were house sitting for a guy my Dad knew that was on sabbatical in Europe for a year...so we knew the housing situation was temporary. A couple of weeks before we were to move out - in the middle of my third grade year - I came down with chicken pox...missed the last couple of weeks of school..arrived at the new school, barely got to know how to find the room, and I came down with measles...so that shot another couple of weeks..

When I left the first school, the class was barely starting on subtraction...the new school was way futher along - they were into complex multiplication and division...So after spending weeks in bed or in quarantine, I was faced with the ugly realization that I had no idea what was going on...the teacher called on me to do a math drill, not my favorite sport under any circumstances, and as I opened my mouth to attempt the answer, I hurled all over the desk...In my weakened state, I had come down with the flu and it just picked that moment to make itself very shockingly public...The boys in the class were not at all kind...

And unfortunately, I was too embarassed to let my mechanical engineer Dad know I was struggling...Mom and Dad had other stuff on their minds - my sister came down with every thing I did, two weeks later like clockwork, and my mom came down with Mono...so we were all really sickies for several months...

So...that 'You don't know anything about mathematics' monster has been hanging around for eons...definately damaging to self-worth - sometimes I even hear the laughter. I have been working really hard on changing that this week to 'Of course I CAN do mathematics', but the blurts have been ferocious - like 'I don't know that I will ever enjoy mathmatics' or 'What do you need to know mathematics for? You have a huge machine that will do any math you type in and Google will tell you any formulas you need'...Tragic when you think about it that this monster has been hanging around for almost all of my awareness..

I need a huge monster-swatter... this one may take a while to kill off..

Nibbling Your Way Thru Costco

I've only this year been introduced to the seduction of Costco... The first time I went I had a distinct goal - to get pricing for my new glasses. It was obviously NOT a demo day...the aisles were clear and I got out of there under $30 bucks.. But its so much more fun to go on one of the demo days and nibble on the tasty goodies as you try to make your way thru the crowded aisles - reminds me of salmon swimming upstream... and then of course those tasty goodies just have to jump right into your basket...and it rapidly becomes a $100 or more shopping trip...but, I didn't need dinner by the time I got out of there!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Out of My Gourd



This is Gourdy the Turkey...my creation from my first Artist Date. I finally made him a hat. Since I could not find the little straw hats I was sure I have somewhere, I made him one out of felted wool. Felted wool is such an easy material to work with...no raveling and cotton thread just melts into the fabric and is nearly invisible.

I am trying to keep up with my morning pages...so far have only missed one day. I have noticed a couple of things... 1. I keep going over the same topics and 2. My handwriting is getting sloppier and sloppier...such a pity too, I used to do hand calligraphy, but its so much nicer (and easier!) to compose and print out calligraphy on the computer these days that I have retired my pens.