Friday, August 31, 2007

4 in One Week!

The Station Agent was on IFC yesterday- OMG I love that movie! Definitely a must-see if you haven't already. Even though I'd already seen it I couldn't help watching it.

What a day. My DH and I found some beautiful, vintage, barkcloth drapes a while back and boy, did we think we were lucky! Until we discovered that they harbored clothes moths! Yuck! We've been infested! Rexy and I made ourselves scarce most of the day and DH moved tons of stuff out of the bedroom and bombed it, tried to air it out, and moved some stuff back in. He's exhausted. He had to move stuff out because a) it's our main storage area in this small house and a lot of excess furniture and boxes needing dry storage are stashed in it; and b) because the room is so small the bomb would have splashed liquid chemical as apparently there is some liquid spurting that occurs along with the fogging. Ewwwwwwwww. Way more than I ever wanted to learn about bug bombs. Anyway, the room still smells like chemicals now, at 11:30pm, so we're sleeping in the living room (where I slept last night because of the moths). My DH is asleep on the couch and was insisting that I wake him up when I want to sleep and he will move to the floor so that I can sleep on the couch. No chance of that, he was so tired from moving everything that I think he should just stay there. I'll be making the chair my bed tonight. Poor guy, he's had a rough week.

On a lighter note - have any of you mothers had the dirty blanket issue? You know, their prescious blank-ey? When it's hard to get it washed because it's so loved? Rexy doesn't tote hers everywhere, but she always know where her blanket and Babo are. (Babo is her plush friend in the picture - aka an Ugly Doll) Well, today I was going to do some laundry and Rexy found her blanket in the basket and pulled it out. I told her that I was going to wash it and could she please put it back. Well, she looked at me very earnestly and said, "No wash! No wash blanket!" Then she put it to her nose and took a giant whiff, "It smells good! No wash! It smells good!" (Believe me, it really doesn't.) She lost that argument. If I want to wash Babo I have to be really, really sneaky about it. Babo usually gets his bath when the therapists are here and Rexy is distracted.
Okay, it's 12:25 - early for me - and I'm falling asleep at the computer! Must go sleep on the chair now! Goodnight everyone.

It's a Sad Day in Blogland...and a Haiku contest!

Threadbared is closing up shop.

Well okay, the blog will still be there for people to read but they won't be posting anymore. You can still buy their book, though. The book doesn't have a haiku about a crocheted skirt like the blog does, however.

Speaking of Haiku...

I decided to have a Haiku contest! I would love see some Haiku about altered art.

If you google Haiku you will find much discussion about the rules and whether you should use them. I say let's just start with the basics and if you break them a little...well, we call that artistic license in this house!

The pattern for Haiku is the following:

Line 1: 5 syllables

Line 2: 7 syllables

Line 3: 5 syllables

If you would like some examples, check out this site full of Haikus about lint - yes, as in dryer. My favorite might be the one that ends in "Lint, you complete me."

I did one really quickly:

Altered art passion.
New beauty made from old things.
It makes my heart sing.

I would love to see some Haiku from you guys! Also, wouldn't it be great to make some art to go with it? However! This is, first and foremost, a project about Haiku - so no pressure on the art front. Popping out a little Haiku seems like a quick, easy, and fun thing to do and having to link it to art might make it become a big project all of a sudden.

If you are too shy to post your Haiku on the comment section you can email me your poem if you want to share it less publicly or if you would like me to post it for you anonymously.

Have some fun!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Brandy's Batman Hair Gel Lesson

Just a quick note:
Today I saw Brandy's link on Kat's blog for the "Rockin' Girl Blogger" award and went to visit. Of course I see the post that most describes me right now! I haven't bought my good moisturizer in 2 years, new make-up (except for mascara, which was an emergency because I couldn't scrape any more dry, crusty, gunk out of the tube last month!) in 3 years, and I desperately need new shoes for daily use. As I looked at the beginning of crows feet on my eyes the other day I was feeling very, very sorry for myself. However, after reading her blog I had the (overdue?) revelation that no one has actually forced these sacrifices on me, I have just nobly (rolls eyes...oh, please!) ignored my own needs. I think I may be lucky that no one has slapped me up-side the head and told me to "snap out of it!"

Speaking of Brandies (different Brandie) - have you seen Somerset Studio's new mag "Artful Blogging?" She's in it! I'm loving the magazine, too. I like reading about what motivates other people to blog. It kind of makes me want to submit my blog experience, but I feel like I should have more and better art first.
Speaking of art. Since I am woefully low in altered art pieces, I thought I would post pictures of a couple of old oil paintings. There they are on the left and above left. The first one is a detail of a painting I did for my sister after she fought back and scared away a couple of home invaders (don't ask - I nearly passed out from fright for her just hearing about it afterwards. I've never been so scared in my life.) Anyway, I was so proud of her that I decided to paint her as a boxer. This painting looks nothing like her. I modeled it on a photo I found online of a girl boxer. Somehow I ended up melding the two heads (that photo and one of my sister) and the result is this. I kind of like it in a primitive-folk art-sort-of-way...and I kind of don't like it at all. I actually took it back from my sister about a year ago so that I could "fix" it - but I'm not sure what to do! My painting teacher told me to bring it in and she'd help me, but I'm sort of embarrassed. I don't know.
The second painting is a detail of a little 12" x 12" that I did in a painting class about 4 years ago or so. This one I like, it looks better when you see the whole painting in person. A friend and her husband wanted to buy it, but since it's the only painting I've been satisfied with I couldn't give it up! They're moving away next year, though, so I may just give it to them. We'll see.
My painting class has been on hiatus for months. I really miss it. I love, love, love painting and I can only do it if I'm taking a class. This house is just too small for it. Too small and too chock full of stuff. There's nowhere to store a wet painting and nowhere to store a palette of paint - unlike with acrylics, oil stays wet for quite some time and I hate to throw out perfectly good paint. I'm hoping that this new cabinet we're going to build will have enough room for painting and paint storage. Not to mention canvas storage. I have about 10 large canvases - brand new - that I bought at Aaron Bro's 2 for 1 sale with my Christmas gift certificates. It's really called their 1 cent sale - buy one get another for one cent. It's the most fabulous sale if you buy canvases. Keep an eye out right after New Year's and right around the 4th of July.

P.S. I've tried to fix the spacing on this entry 10 times! This has happened before, too. I think blogspot is fond of ginormous paragraphs...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Art Journals, Traffic Jams, and more Bicycles

I talked to my friend Pam Carriker the other day and we started talking about art journals. The conversation re-energized my journaling bug and last night I was able to do a little work in mine. I really admire the people who can carry their art journal around with them and sketch in pictures and thoughts daily - if not hourly. I am definitely not one of those people. Call me the Intermittant Journaler. I don't have carefully prepared backgrounds, or even sloppily prepared backgrounds! I've got blank, white paper...for the most part. Lately I've taken to writing on pages that I've already done something on, i.e. writing or collaging or sketching. I like that full, busy look. In my heart, I aspire to be the Teesha Moore of the journaling world...hah! Fat chance. It's all I can do to post here once a week or so. Most of the time I forget my journal at home when I go somewhere and forget where I've put it when I'm at home!

Still, I do think it is a useful tool - when I use it. Sometimes I actually journal in it, but mostly I use it as a sketch book and sounding board (so to speak) for ideas.

What do you do?

The Vintage Bicycle Concours, Done at Last!

(Fair warning: long story follows)

The Vintage Bicycle Concours is over!!! What a journey that was... In the end it was a nice event - beautiful setting - 65 or so beautifully designed vintage bicycles............we only had the downpour towards the end, while we were trying to take the formal photographs! I got completely drenched while frantically covering vintage leather seats with garbage bags and wheeling bicycles in and out of the photo setting. And that was at the end of the 2nd day. The previous 36 hours had been crazy...

On set-up day my poor DH was running terribly behind and stressing about it the whole time. An angelic friend drove the 52 miles down to the venue and set up a little table all by herself so that someone would be there to greet the collectors as they arrived. We finally got the enormous rented truck packed up with DH's and two other people's bicycles - about 10 in all - plus all the paraphernalia for the concours and the competition. The truck was bigger than we'd anticipated and the bicycles are rare and worth a lot of money in some cases so DH was really nervous about driving it.

Well he seemed to get down there okay and he called me when he arrived. Two hours later he called me again because the police had just come up and tried to arrest him! Apparently he'd brushed up against the back corner of a pickup when he turned into a left turn lane near the venue; what with all the noise the truck makes and things scarily shifting around in the back he didnt' even notice. The woman driving the truck followed him honking and waving and says she even made eye contact with him and he kept going. Well, my poor DH with his autistic tendencies doesn't notice people at all a lot of the time (much like Rexy!) and we've had good friends waving at him like crazy outside of their house and he still didn't think they were waving at him. To me it's no surprise at all that he didn't notice anyone. Luckily my poor, most-benign-person-in-the-world husband was recognized as such by the policeman. It was clear that my DH was shocked beyond belief by the whole situation and the fact that he'd parked the truck in plain sight in an area crowded with people made it obvious that he wasn't trying to hide anything. He did get a ticket, though. I think it's the only one he's ever gotten (I haven't been able to say that since I was 17!).

Then, the next day, it was my turn. I stayed up until 4am finishing up the trophy (DH made most of it, I just glued some things) and a few other signs and things. (I was so tired I fell asleep with my glasses on and bent them all to heck. I have to take them back to Eyes on Fremont to get repaired just a few months after the last time! Now I'm wearing the alternates.) Then I had to get up early the next morning, get the car loaded with all the Concours stuff plus all the toddler-related stuff (the bigger pile), get Rexy up and ready and myself ready and head out.

(Could hardly get a single picture of her standing still - I think the spirit is there, though.)

Well, about halfway there the traffic came to a complete stop. We stopped and crawled for about 5 miles before being turned around at a Police u-turn point and shunted into traffic going the other direction (the freeway was completely closed - terrible accident right before we arrived) and then we went back 5 miles to the previous exit. The whole 10 mile round trip took TWO HOURS! Add that to the 45 minutes we'd already been on the road and the addtional 15-20 minutes it took to get to a place with a restroom and that adds up to disaster for my sweet potty-training girl. Outfit #1 was history before we even got to our destination. So, with the potty stop and the surface route we had to take for another 1/4 of the distance it ended up taking us Four Hours to get there. Did I mention that DH's cell phone had gone dead and he'd forgotten the charger? Or that he doesn't have my cell number memorized yet? Or that the friend who I'd hoped would get there before me who could put his mind at ease was stuck in spillover traffic from the accident? Or that my sister who I'd hoped would get there before me and could put his mind at ease was running late? Oh, boy...

My poor DH was frantic - frantic! - by the time my sister got there (just 30 minutes before we did). He'd heard there had been a big accident and of course couldn't help being terrified that we'd been in it. I felt worse for him than I did for myself!

(Best in Show Award winner)

Rexy had a high old time. During the awards ceremony she was just beside herself with joy when everyone was clapping. I think she thought everyone was clapping for her! (That going-potty-in-the-potty thing is really appreciated!)

(The pictures are blurry but they still exemplify her delight at all the clapping. )

For her, the rain was the icing on the cake! My sister took her out for a walk and while they were gone the downpour started. One of Rexy's favorite things is jumping in puddles and she was with her adoring aunt. Hence the demise of Outfit #2.

The picture was strangely focused so I just enhanced it in a different way...I kind of like the effect. You can't tell just how wet and muddy she is in this picture unless you look closely at her socks and realize they're not supposed to be that shade of gray.

Must go to bed.


1. Peanut Butter 2. Dry Erase Markers 3. EZ-up Canopies 4. Sleep 5. Coverse Chuck Taylors

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nice Matters and Rockin' Girl Bloggers...

I forgot! I got some lovely awards from a couple of delightful women! First, I got the "Rockin' Girl Blogger" nom from Altered Kat, a Rockin' woman if there ever was one!

Bloggers who rock my world:
Brandie Butcher-Isley
Gail Schmidt
Robin /Alchemy Studio
Dana /Eccentricities Studio
Chelise Stroud Hery
(Look! I spelled her name right!)

Then, the next day, I got the "Nice Matters" award from the extremely nice Steph Stargell!
And the nominees are........

(For some reason I'm unable to get any Typepad blogs up on the browser today, if you have a similar problem just try again later)

I tried not to double anyone else's efforts by nominating an already nominated person!

Thank you, everybody, because everyone I've come in contact with in the blog world should probably be nominated for the "Nice Matters" award.

Happy Tuesday everybody!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A winner! (and I can't seem to load any artwork on ZNE, so.....)

Here it is!

What we have here is my ZNE Book Club final project; to create an homage to Claudine Hellmuth's Collage Discovery Workshop by recreating the cover.

We were supposed to use some of the same elements; a map, a landmark, and a car; and the words, "I discovered Claudine Hellmuth's Collage Discovery Workshop," plus some technique words and our names.

I thought mine turned out pretty okay. Two things I wish I'd done differently, though: 1)I wish I'd noticed that Claudine's name was on a piece of torn paper and then affixed to the image. I don't like the way my initials look just sitting there bare; and 2) I'm not fond of the way the title turned out at all. And I struggled to get what I got! I think I shouldn't have tried to work on such a small scale. The entire piece is only 4" x 5 1/2". Otherwise, though, I'm fairly happy with it. I like the colors and the cute car - that's my Grandmother in the driver's seat - and I'm from Seattle so I'm liking the addition of the Space Needle.

These tags are the August ZNE Design Team Assignment. We were to make two tag templates, slated to be included on a future ZNE collage sheet and then we were to make two tags using the templates we created. We were to incorporate butterflies and/or stars. The sales of the collage sheet will benefit the Hope Sees a Star project that resulted from the tragic deaths of two young women.

This was a lot of fun for me. We were supposed to decorate the edges of a tag so as to leave the middle free for individual embellishment. I wanted each template itself to be interesting. I had just done three projects incorporating stars (2 of them are below and one of them was a page for the ZNE Cercles d'Ame journal project) so I opted for the butterfly theme.

The results are both similar and completely different. I didn't set out to create two different moods, but I'm pleased with the results. I created the striped tag using my Microsoft Word "draw" options. I love that program. I make my own digital Christmas gift tags each year. I'm planning on putting some in my eBay and Etsy shops this year. I'm still trying to figure out pricing.

Anyway, I'm just thrilled with contrasting black elements.

The last two pieces are my July ZNE Design Team Assignments. Yes, July. We were having some kind of weird uploading problem wherein your pictures all came out tiny. Well, I didn't want to upload tiny pictures so I waited it out until the problem was fixed. Then, when I went to upload (okay, a week after it was fixed, I admit) my pictures - I couldn't. For some reason it's not accepting the "add pictures" command from me.

The July assignment was to take a ZNE collage sheet and make two pieces with it, one of which was to be an ATC/ACEO. I got the collage sheet featuring ATC backgrounds designed by Joanna Grant and featuring stars. The ATC features a picture of my Aunt Laurie (who I was named for) at about 6 years old. I like the faraway look on her face. On the background I used my cool new rolling pin stamp that, it turns out, features designs inspired by Klimt. I saw it advertised on the Cloth, Paper, Scissors website.

The house piece used kind of a stream of consciousness design process. I'm not sure about how it turned out. I just started cutting and gluing without any planning (very unlike me) at all.

In other news:

Big, big, big, GIANT spider in our house last night..................................................gulp!

I’m not a fan of spiders of any size, but this was huge! I saw it out of the corner of my eye and I thought for a minute it might be a little lizard. But, noooooooooooooooooooo! My DH managed to capture it and take it outside – although he did protest somewhat. I don’t know why, I can’t imagine he’d want something of that size in the house either. He’s kindhearted, that one, I’m not sure that capturing is the first thing I’d think of if I were by myself. Luckily I wasn't.

And Lastly...We have a winner! A few posts ago (was it really over a month???) I posted a contest. Basically a list of my favorite movies and a list of my reasons for loving them. The contest was to match the reasons to the movies. I got just a few entries, but one person got more answers right than all the others - Kathy Wasilewski!!! Yay!!!!!!!!! With just 3 wrong answers she is the winner! Kathy, I've been gathering up a box of goodies for you! Email me your snail mail address and I will send it out to you! My email

Here are the correct answers for those of you who are curious:

1. Wings of Desire
n. The most poetic movie ever, it uses actual lines of poetry by Peter Handke.
2. The Usual Suspects
g. I love a good plot twist - whenever it occurs.
3. A Room With a View
j. "Poor Charlotte!"
4. All That Jazz
c. The whole movie is about flirting with death.
5. Charade
h. Could Cary Grant be any more attractive???
6. Persuasion
k. The look between Anne and Captain Wentworth when they finally realize they love each other makes this better than the Oscar winner that came out the same year and that was of the same ilk.
7. Breakfast at Tiffany's
d. Did you know that every single song in this movie is a variation on the main song?
8. Best in Show
a. "Oh, they always jump."
9. Auntie Mame
o. "We need a little Christmas! Right this very minute!"
10. Election
i. Every expression that emerges onto Tracy Flick's face is priceless.
11. The Unbelievable Truth
e. I agreed to go on that 1st date with my husband because he said he had a "Hal Hartley" sense of humor.
12. Existenz
m. This entire movie is a plot twist - at the end you have no idea what was real.
13. The Professional
b. When is the last time you could say you loved a hit-man this much?
14. Swingers
l. I knew these guys - and that answering machine scene, yikes!
15. Four Weddings and a Funeral
f. I love this because it reminds me of my single years and the great group of friends I hung with then.

It's taken me all day and part of last night to write this post. I'm trying to catch up on my housework so that in case there's a parade of bike guys roaming through the house in the next couple weeks I won't have completely humiliated myself. Cleaning and organizing, cleaning and organizing - it's becoming my life, ugh. I'd really rather be doing anything else.

Rexy's not helping at all, either. First of all, she's three. She doesn't see the point of hiding all her toys from herself. Secondly, due to the Autism, we're fighting this thing she does where she'll just dump a container on the floor and walk away from the next container where she does the identical thing. She doesn't like some things to be in containers at all. The therapist says if we catch it early we can keep it from becoming a compulsion (like an OCD thing). The only problem is that she does it in her bedroom a lot and I'm not constantly with her when she's playing so I'm not there to immediately tell her to pick the stuff up. Telling her later on or the next day makes her feel like she's being punished (her mother's daughter?).

Last, but certainly not least, my Gratitude Journal:

1. My sweet girl (yes, again! and again, and again...)
2. Pole Pruners
3. Car CD Players
4. Summer days
5. Sesame Street

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bicycles and Potty Training, sigh...

Yikes, I’ve been completely absent from the art and blogging world. Things have been wild here at our house. We’re in a frenzy of activity getting ready for the Vintage Bicycle Concours. Plus, I’m trying to keep the blog for the Concours, too. Well, I’m trying to work with my DH on it. We’re both a little opinionated and can’t always agree on what picture to use or even on grammar!

On top of that, we’re potty training!!! Woo hoo!!! I was disheartened for a while. It looked like it might be a repeat of our failed attempt 6 months ago. Things are looking up, though. I’ve resorted to bribery. She gets a small prize for being dry and a big prize for using the potty. (I’ve pretty much cleaned out the dollar store and Archie McPhee of all the $1 or less items) Well, she’s really into the prizes – whew! I don’t know how we’re going to make the transition from a schedule to communicating a need to go. More prizes? How do I stop? Will I still be giving her prizes for this when she’s 19 years old???

Oh, btw, it was Pam Carriker’s birthday on the 27th of July. Stop by her blog and wish her a happy one!

Artistically, I’m at a standstill. I can’t seem to find 5 minutes to get anything done. I still haven’t posted my design team project for July in the ZNE gallery – although partly that’s because there was some weird glitch with uploading the pictures and I didn’t want to post a miniscule picture – I never did post my last ZNE Book club project either, and it turned out pretty well, too. I don’t know when I’m going to get the August Design Team project done! Maybe this weekend...

I know, I know, I could be doing that now! But this is just a quickie before I go design and order the prize ribbons for the concours. I’ll be glad when August is over...