Saturday, September 22, 2007

7 devastatingly interesting things??? Yikes!!!

I got tagged by the lovely Gina and I supposed to write down 7 devastatingly interesting things about myself. Devastatingly? Talk about pressure!

Anyway, getting "tagged" in blogland goes like this: link to your tagger and post these rules. 2. Share 7 facts about YOU: some random, some weird...all devastatingly interesting. 3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them). 4. Let them know they've been tagged by comment to their blog. (I stole this entire paragraph right off Gina's blog, so if it looks familiar that's why.)

1. I took slide guitar lessons when I was 10 and 11 years old - too bad it wasn't cool then! (to my 6th grade mind)

2. I was a leadership and life coach for 2 years

3. I worked airport security in the early's a miracle that nothing happened - I and all my coworkers were 18-22 and making minimum wage with no benefits! (Never got a raise at that job, until the minimum wage went up a big 15 cents!)

4. In the 90s I threw several huge parties for 300-500 people in artists' lofts in downtown Seattle to raise money for a local AIDS charity. My initial goal was to have 50 people show up.

5. I would rather do anything than do housework. Unless I'm really, really angry.

6. I was in speech therapy for all of 1st grade because I subbed the "w" sound for the "r" sound and even now sometimes slip when I am speaking really quickly or using a sentence with too many "r" sounds in it. I couldn't roll my Rs to save my life in French class.

7. My best friend from high school, Pam, and I found each other after more than twenty years by the bizarre coincidence of both of us being picked to be on the ZNE Design Team last spring. (Read about it on an old blog entry here)

1. Susan Tidwell, check out her way cool Halloween blocks on her September 10th blog entry!

2. Liisa Mannery, hostess of our local, altered art get-togethers in her fab studio, Room 206.

3. Robin Olson Mayberry, she has a great post about creativity on her blog right now.

4. Brandy, she's got the most adorable owl on Etsy right now!

5. Teresa, right now there's a big picture of a bottle of "Enchanted Batwing Potion" heading up her blog.

6. Jan Thomason, She made a sweet charm bracelet that's posted on her blog right now.

7. Alisha Fredrickson, Did you catch her bit on "That's Clever!" a few months ago? She does some great work.

Whew! It was hard to figure out who to tag - much harder than it should have been. I probably shouldn't think about it so much.

I guess I'll write about the Dan Hinkley lecture in the nest post...Good night everyone-

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Poetry and Life

I found the nicest thing the other day. Several years ago (1995) I was part of an artists' sale at my friend's loft. One of the artists was/is a poet and she was selling these sweet little books made of paper salvaged from a small, independent press and printed with this lovely poem. I bought one of them:

The Sky

By Amy Halloran

When Mary is sad,
I have to name the colors
of the sky myself.

She practically owns the sky,
the way she spies its shades
faster than an auctioneer
sees bids.

Before her, I swear I never
looked at the sky once.
I walked with my eyes on my business,
that is, the sidewalk,
glancing occasionally at a tree
for the source of a leaf.

Words are my colors.
I can see letters
better than I can tell vermillion from red.
I need Mary
to tell me the difference.
So when she is sad,
I am miserable.

Trying to decipher the sky,
I repeat her declarations.

Look at that lavender!
Can you believe that blue?
No one would if you drew it.
Maxfield Parrish de ja vu.

I repeat her declarations.

I fill my head with her words
so I know
what it is
I see.

Isn't that lovely? I also love what she wrote in the back of the book, "...for my friend Mary, who helps me more than a pair of glasses." That phrase just makes me happy. I'm not entirely sure why.

(The lovely Amy graciously gave permission for me to post her poem here. Please be advised that it is copyrighted - 2 permissions in one week, how about that?)

Have you ever seen that Food Network show called Dinner Impossible? A chef is given a seemingly impossible dinner to prepare (poor conditions, bad food, help with no food experience, inadequate equipment, etc.). Throughout his mission he checks in with all his help to check the dinner's progress and frequently ends up repeatedly calling out the phrase, "Nothing done? Nothing done." Well, that describes me right now. I'm working on several projects and seem to be at a standstill with every one of them. I seem to do a lot of work on something only to discover that I'm not liking the result. Do I push on? Do I scrap it and start over? Do I try to fix what I don't like? At what point am I putting too much work into one small piece. Is there such a thing as putting too much work into one small piece?

I did accomplish one small thing today. I made a small change in my "Magic and Wonder" piece and then I hung it on the wall in Rexy's room. It looks pretty cute. I was going to take a picture but forgot and now she's sleeping.

My goal is to get her room decor finished. It will be the only room in the house that is finished. Her speech therapist from school - and her teacher, too, in a couple more weeks - will be making a home visit next week. The rest of the house is its usual disaster so I'd like at least her room to be in good shape. They (SLP and teacher) are going to come and observe Rexy's therapy to get a feel for what the UW is doing. I so glad they're doing so. Rexy is much less verbal at school and they don't require her to be more verbal because they don't know what she is actually capable of. Hopefully this will make a difference.

The other school issue is that she absolutely refuses to use the potty there. On Thursday they actually called me to come down and bring her another pair of shoes after she had a big accident (there's always a change of clothes in her backpack - a preschool requirement). Oh, boy. I'm not sure how to fix this one. She was getting really good, too. Now it's like she's taken a huge step backwards. She's started having accidents at home again, as well, and I've gone back to using the timer. Hopefully this setback is only temporary.

Lastly just one for my gratitude journal again today:

1. I am grateful for Phil, my sweet husband of exactly 6 years and 4 hours.

Happy Anniversary Honey!

(Our heads look sort of spookily disembodied, don't they? My head, btw, looks nothing like that anymore. Can't do the upkeep on red hair these days, I'm back to my semi-natural dishwater blond)
Note to Amy H. - Here's your photo!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Yes, I've gone Halloween!

I'm trying to get in gear for Halloween. I'm just starting to make Halloween art (I know I'm way behind some other people in that arena.) and I'm planning on getting Rexy into the spirit of it this year. She hasn't really been interested before, but I think she's old enough now.

I'm working on a shrine using my cute little skeleton that I got at the Stamp convention a few months ago and an old cigar box that we found in the shed at my grandmother's house when we were cleaning it out last winter. There were about 9 million extremely rusty things in it and I had to clean out a lot of pulverized-by-rust metal dust. The top was hanging on by a little 1/4 inch of paper, I decided to just help it off the rest of the way. The brand of cigars is El Sidelo and underneath the brand name is the word "Lily." Which seems appropriate for the subject matter.
Speaking of Halloween, my friend Liisa Mannery found this site full of Halloween fonts - check it out!

My girl started school on Tuesday. I cried all the way home after dropping her off - and then I had a little alone-time party! I'm never in the house alone except when she's at school. It's supposed to be my time to work out, but the lure of being completely alone is strong. She looked so cute in her new school clothes. I tried to take a picture but someone (could his initials be DH?) forgot to charge the camera battery after he used it last. I got one picture from extremely far away and then it died. I'm having a hard time getting a feel for this teacher, I can't tell if she's truly a nice person or not. Her teacher last year was extremely nice and very affectionate towards the kids. This one seems to have something going on under the surface, like a buried anger. It makes me nervous. Am I crazy to think like this?

Here's my question: Is this guy a delinquent because he's eaten doughnuts - or because he's been deprived of doughnuts? Please answer in the poll at right!
(Note: Poll is now closed - doughnut deprivation won!)
(Image courtesy of Stella Mars)
(And, can I just point out that I have, over the last couple years, emailed many people to ask if I could use their copyrighted images for one reason or another and the kind Stella was the first person ever to grace me with a reply - and an affirmative one at that! I urge you check out her website - very fun - and even consider purchasing! I promise I don't know her personally.)

Hey all you ZNE members! (And potential members) Have you joined the new ZNE network? It's a great site that gives you huge amounts of photo room, a blog if you want, and a great forum full of ZNE members! Plus a lot of other stuff, I haven't really explored the whole thing yet. If you're interested in being a part of ZNE's mixed media online group, visit our original website to join, then come on over to the network and make some fabulous new friends!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Last night I watched a couple of history channel (Biography channel?) shows about September 11th. It still makes me cry just as much. Please take a moment today to honor the memory of those lost.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm Speechless! (except for Haiku)

I was taking a look at Michael de Meng's blog and in it he mentions his girlfriend (who lives in Australia - what a commute!). So I checked it out. Her work is stunning. I truly am speechless in the face of it. You've got to check it out.

Pictured are a few tags I made for Halloween, I haven't punched the holes or added the tassels yet, obviously.

Most importantly...
Here are the Haiku entries so far:

Creating each day
The mind and hands join as one
A new piece is born

Friends think my art's nuts.
I say it's "altered," you putz.
Who needs friends? Got ZNE!

A-T-C for me.
A-C-E-O for me, too.
Can't think of a better gift!

Just want to make art.
There's no time to sleep at all.
Who needs sleep? Just art.

Wack-y Wed-nes-day
Word Warr-i-or here a-gain
Haiku, make me stop!

Woke with poems in head
Would much rather be in bed
Whose idea was this?!

all by Gina

something unwanted
nothing left for me to do
but change that somehow

by Lorraine
(you didn't leave your blog address!)

And there was Jan's hilarious not-really-a-Haiku:

Everyone that knows me
will tell you the truth.
I talk entirely too much
to use just five syllables on anything.

And here's another one from me:

Haiku happening
could it get any better?
Just more entries please!

(because I'm loving this!)

Wait! That wasn't about altered art! Hmmmmmm........

Altered art frenzy,
stay up until 3am,
wrecked, but satisfied.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Art Every Day!

I was reading Robin's Blog today and she was talking about making art every day. (Well, she quoted Teesha Moore saying it and then seconded it.) I had to thank her because I lose sight of that sometimes (like just recently) and I get all antsy and cranky and I don't know why...until I do a little art, and then it's like my whole body relaxes, you know?

I was on the Funky Finds blog today and saw mention of this gal's Etsy Store. Cute, cute, cute stuff!!! This is not a picture of what I bought. I can't show a picture of my purchase because I bought something for someone who's a regular visitor! Still, I'm tempted to go back and buy one of these, they're so adorable! And so is this:

She's also got some clay embellishments for halloween if you're interested!

So, on top of our moth problem (that is, hopefully, fixed now), on Saturday our dryer went out! Of course it goes out at a time when I've been avoiding doing laundry (we were busy!) and so had huge piles of it built up. So, I had to lug it all to the laundrymat. Or is it laundromat? Let's just call it a laundrette like they do in the UK. I love that name and it reminds me of the fab movie, My Beautiful Laundrette. I'll never forget how shocked I was to find that the geeky guy in A Room with a View was the punk in My Beautiful Laundrette. It took me at least half the movie to realize it. But I you know how much it costs at a coin-op laundry these days??? I guess I hadn't been to one since 1997. Yikes! $2.25 to wash and about 2.40 to dry - it cost me over $20 and I didn't bring the bedding! (I did that last night.) So that load with the Blankey was the last one I did at home, I would have done a lot more if I'd known. We're waiting on a part, hopefully this won't last long.

This is one of my early ATCs. I made it for a swap on the Yahoo Artist Trading Cards group. Its theme was "My Hometown" and the gist of this one is that it's represents a memory of my Great Grandma hanging out the laundry on the back porch and keeping an eye on the neighborhood. The shadowy figure is her and the child is me. The town is my actual hometown - Auburn, Washington - about 30 years before I was born. This is very, very early in my altered art education and I hadn't even heard of transparencies yet! So it's a little rough in spots. Still, I worked really hard on this swap, I made nine, different original cards to swap for 8. I didn't realize that people often made prints for these things. When I was done I loved them so much I wanted to keep them. I'd really put my heart into them. It was the first and last swap I ever did. Of the eight that I received only one was an orginal and no one seemed to have put a lot of thought into theirs. It was my first introduction to the "I've got 19 card albums filled with ATCs!" school of thought. To me, each one was a little work of art and the thought of them stuffed into a card album with 200 others made me cringe. I've loosened up on the cringing part (I think part of that was just shock), but I still feel that each one is special. If you would like to see the whole collection you can see it on the ZNE gallery I made for it here. I was going to put this one, below, on my blog for Illustration Friday's theme "Hero" but I forgot when I was posting and now there's a new topic.

That's my grandfather in his B-17 in England during WWII. You may recognize the picture of my Grandmother, I use it a lot - and that's my mom! He named his plane after my mom.

Right around the time I was finishing up the My Hometown swap is when I discovered ZNE. I was thrilled! I still am. What a great group of artists. The discussion boards and the Yahoo! Group are unvaryingly filled with kind, supportive, nice people with none of the silly fighting and grousing and mean-spiritedness that you sometimes find online. Every day I'm just happy to be a part of it.

Which brings me to my gratitude journal today. There's just one thing in it:
1. ZNE

Thank you all for being the great people you are. You've made my life richer and my world larger. I hope that I can return the favor in my small way. Thank you.