Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Knickers, gardens, and bike posters...

Well, my current favorite blog is one I found on Teresa’s blog called Swoon. First of all, I just love that word! It’s so English-Victorian-novel-sounding, isn’t it? Its tag line is “Bringing Romance to Your Pants” which just cracked me up to begin with. Then the blogger, Gerry, is just hilarious. She posts with that wry, dry, UK wit that I am so envious of. The icing on the cake of this blog is their product; how cute are these “knickers” and bra??? Check out their Etsy store. (she gave me permission to post the picture)

Can you believe that just days after my last entry Our DSL Connection WENT DOWN AGAIN???????????? Sorry for shouting, but I tell you that Earthlink just puts me over the edge – I don’t even recognize myself when I’m dealing with them. I become so infuriated that words come shooting out of my mouth that I would never usually say to another human being ------I’m stopping myself now. I can feel apoplexy coming on.

Oh! In the last post I forgot to credit Lorraine for tagging me! Thanks Lorraine!

Rexy had her last day of school yesterday. I'm so bummed - I forgot my camera! I wanted to take pictures of her with her teachers. They all love her and several of them crowded around the car just before we left so they could say good-bye to Rexy some more. One of them even climbed in the backseat! I made up little gift bags of jewelry that I made for all six (!) of them and Rexy gave the bag of gifts and the card to the head teacher - with some prodding. She loves bags and would have been just as happy to parade around with the bag held in the crook of her arm - preferably with a hat on, too, like this:

On the art front...ugh. I'm so frustrated. I read all the time about people doing transfers with this method and that method. I see great work all the time in magazines and in the description it will say "image transferred with such-and-such method..." As I mentioned last post, I am in the ZNE Book Club this month and one of the assignments this week is to try a transfer method from Claudine Hellmuth's book Collage Discovery Workshop. Well, I tried three of them and not one of them worked. :-( I don't know what to do now. I followed all the directions and I got zip for it. I tried another method I read about on someone's website that involves using Gel Medium and it worked - but very badly. I'm trying one more thing and frankly it's the one I wanted to do the least, the packing tape method. I'm concerned about the shininess of the packing tape. I don't know. We'll see. I feel like there's some key piece of information that I'm missing. Has anyone else ever had this much trouble learning how to do transfers?

On the other hand, my garden is starting to look pretty good. The perennials are crowding out the dandelions nicely and things that I've forgotten about are popping up all over the place. Of course, every time I look at it I see a million new things to do. I took these pictures today at dusk. I did nothing to them except make them smaller. How fake do those colors look? Something about the light just made them glow. In the background of the first picture you can see a few nursery pots with plants in them waiting for planting - those pots are just the tip of the ice burg. I've got about 2 dozen things to plant right now - not including the succulents. Gah! The good news is that I am definitely beginning to realize my dream of an exuberant cottage garden in the front yard. The back is going to be left to its own devices again this year...

I took another, broader, picture of this border bed, but for some reason it didn't get saved in the camera. This isn't the first time that has happened, either. Our camera works in mysterious ways sometimes. Still, isn't digital photography great? DH and I were talking about what a fortune it would have cost us in the past to get just a couple good shots. Digitally, I was able to take about 3 dozen pictures to get two good ones (including the one above) of Rexy - imagine blowing an entire roll of film just to get 2 good pictures! Plus I was able to remove the smear of chocolate yoghurt on her cheek!

A long time ago I said I would post a picture of the other poster my DH made for the Vintage Bicycle Concours that he organizes. (It takes place at the LeMay Open House)Well, we still don't have a copy on the hard drive, but he brought one home from work that fits on the scanner (as opposed to the 24"x36" ones he's been bringing home). Isn't it great? Essentially it's a digital collage, although he wouldn't call it that. He uses Photoshop and AutoCad together to create his images. He used an illustration in a prewar vintage book and modified a photograph of a bicycle and a few other things. Below, is the other, previously posted, poster that he made for the same event. (Yes, the one on the right has the wrong date - he's corrected it.)

One of these days I'm going to make collage sheets of all the pictures of vintage bicycles that he's taken. He has some really great images. We just have to sit down together and figure out which ones he's okay letting me use. He's a perfectionist, if there's something not right with the picture he would rather I didn't use it. And of course, like all of us, he's his own worst critic.

Lastly, here's another entry into my Gratitude Journal:
1. Oranges (Rexy likes a fruit besides bananas finally!)
2. Digital cameras
3. naps
4. Ibuprofen
5. Thai food (the new/only Thai restaurant in the neighborhood finally opened!)

Extra Special Bonus Gratitude Item:

My nice husband - happy 7th anniversary of our first date, sweetie!

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm (at long last) back! This is going to be a long one...

I've decided I love Miranda July. Here's one reason, she's warm and real and articulate and I'm now anxious to read her new book called No One Belongs Here More Than You. If her name sounds familiar it's because her indie movie - Me and You and Everyone We Know - was the talk of the town a couple years ago, if you're into those things (as I am). Here's another reason I love her, she introduced me to The Blow, a girl band from Portland that I now love. I listened to one song and had to order their newest album. Does anyone still call them albums? I'm definitely showing my age.

This lovely picture is my sweet Rexy on her new swing set on Memorial Day weekend.

I was tagged again a couple weeks ago and am just now getting around to my seven random things due to the prolonged ineptitude of Earthlink. (Nearly 3 weeks without DSL and with deafening static on the land line - this is all I'm going to say on this subject as I tend to get apoplectic when I start thinking about the continuing Earthlink fiasco.) So, here we go:
1. I'm a cookie addict

2. I'm a terrible slob (even though I vowed I'd never be like my mother!)

3. My wardrobe is 90% black. I keep trying new colors, but black always seems to just look better...

4. My husband and I were married in 2001 and we still haven't developed all the film from the wedding!
5. I've never figured out what quid pro quo means (would someone tell me?)

6. My husband and I own nearly 400 movies (let me know if you ever want a recommendation - I loooooooooove talking about movies), we got together because we both liked the same indie director (Hal Hartley), and I once saw5 movies in one day - at a film festival, but we've only been in a movie theater 3 times since our daughter was born!

7. I'm currently sacrificing family dinner for art. I can't even see the surface of our dining room table and large parts of the floor due to the enormous amount of supplies standing at the ready.

Hmmm....who should I tag? I think nearly everyone's been tagged by now! If you haven't been tagged, let me know and I will promptly tag you.

I'm so thrilled, I finally got a little quitlting iron for using beeswax! I'm currently in the ZNE Book Club and we're trying techniques from Claudine Hellmuth's Collage Discovery Workshop. Okay, wax was not one of the assigned techniques (not yet, anyway) but I snuck a little crayon wax in around the edges and down the sides (It needed more than just peeling paint!). The technique we were assigned was the "peeling paint" technique. Here is the piece I did (with the little bit of red wax thrown in):

It's 5"x7" and it's called, The Worst of These is Indifference. One of the words I hate the most in the world is "whatever." Have an opinion! ...Of course it's much better if your opinion is in accordance with my own. ;-D

While I was gone (offline) we went through another bout of sickness at our house, ugh. What that means is that I'm just as behind as I ever was. I have yet to catch up. I did get a few of the Cercles d'Ame round robin pages done for some people. Here are a couple I did for Donna Cook's Rolodex journal. I've got just a couple more things to do and then I'll be complete! I wish I could go back and do some of the earlier pages I did over again. Once I got comfortable, I started being more creative and layered with the pages.

On to my Gratitude Journaling:

1. Rexy's new Pre School teacher, Erin
2. Rexy's therapy supervisor, Tracy
3. The Internet
4. Chicken nuggets (the 1st meat Rexy has eaten!)
5. thrift stores

Oh! Another thing that happened while I was gone - Pam and I submitted our reunion story and some artwork to Somerset Studio! I'm excited, but not too hopeful. I rushed my piece (the deadline crept up on me and I changed my mind at the eleventh hour about what I was going to make!) out and I was happy with it at the time - and the UPS gal was impressed - but in retrospect I don't think it was my best work. I'd show you a picture but I'm not sure if that's against their rules. I feel like I should have made it more visually layered. I don't know. It was a flag banner made of triangles, maybe it wouldn't work if were more "busy" looking. Ugh, I could second guess this forever, I bet. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Lastly, a bit of sad news. I haven't seen or heard the neighborhood rooster in weeks. I fear the worst.

We'll miss you around here, Rooster.