Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 109 -101 in 1001 Challenge

Wow I hadn't realized I had passed the hundred day mark.

To begin, dolls, I completed a Spirit doll and mailed it out for a swap. I have the pieces for a second one I just need to sew it. The comfort dolls are knitted but are still waiting for sewing as well. I pick up some air dry clay and will be making my next doll from it.

I did not complete 12 scarves but I did finish six so that is not bad. I have one other waiting completion though I am considering sewing it with a couple of other lengths in a similar weight to make a simple lap blanket. I knit a hat for the Professor which he seemed to appreciate, I have a second hat but I feel it needs a lining before I can give it to anyone, (it is pegged for GD1).

I have been working on a number of pages in my art journal, I completed the rage one well sorta it still needs something I'm just not sure what. I did an inner critic one, two that are just writing at this point, A couple of single page ones and I think two double page ones. One of these days I will photograph them and share them here, I hope.

No poetry, no finished books though I've begun several. Movies are complete. I have spent sometime downloading some of my favorite songs and while I haven't listened to them all I have found the required 101. I have begun prep of a book which I will be using to journal and collage about my favorites.

Before Christmas I had lost 13 lbs I think it is back again but I was pleased to even have that much success. For a number of years I have put losing weight at the top of my goal list but haven't made much progress with it. That I can say that I did achieve a thirteen pound reduction in weight and kept it there for a week or so is a great feeling. It will be even better when I take of 25 or 30 lbs and keep it off or several months. That is my 2012 goal. I figure if I make the goal small enough it will be easier to accomplish and I think 30 lbs in 40 weeks should be fairly simple. At least that is my hope.

I did do another couple of puzzles and I have colored severl pages in my coloring book.

I am trying to think what else I have accomplished since my last report but my mind is blank. All in all I would say I am making pretty good progress in a bit over three months

New Years Eve

As I hoped I will be all alone this year as the Old year becomes the New. It may seem strange to you but the fact is it will be the first time in my whole 51 years. The first time ever I have spent New Years without any company save my own. I am hoping that I will be able to be productive during this period. I need to re-evaluate a lot of things in my life which are just not comfortable, (correct).

Odd that choice of word but it is accurate. I am on a course that is headed nowhere and I need to correct it, I want to correct it. I want my silver and gold years to mean more than all the other years that have come before. The problem for me is that I am very much a spur of the moment person so following a plan doesn't work well for me. Yes I know about self-discipline I'm just not very good at it. Nor am I very good about following directions from someone else, I eventually begin to resent the person ordering me around even though I asked them for help. It is part of the problems between the professor and I, he is bossy and when I met him that is what I wanted but now it isn't and both of us have difficulty communicating especially when it is about feelings. Yes me, a woman, I have difficulty expressing my true emotions, surprise!

Maybe not so surprising given how my life has gone. But it is a barrier, a very big barrier. It is the one of the things I can point to and say this impedes my progress. Point to it, evaluate it but still stuck trying to get passed it. I think the motivation is there but perhaps not enough will power...

I have spent the last two weeks avoiding any serious thought. Avoiding it by burying myself in Cafe World and Solitare and TV and reading. Anything to keep from thinking serious thought or making any effort to write out plans for 2012. As my mother would say, What's the point, plans never work. At least that was her experience and mine too.

Yet I am driven to try. It is a deeply engrained habit here in the western world. Sometimes I wish I had been born in a poor country then I would not have a head full of so much nonsense regarding how life should be I'd be too concerned with survival of my body and any children I had that were still alive.

I often think about that or rather the Canadian version. Find some goverment land, and squat on it, make my living from nature without electricity or running water. No computers or any other things we take for granted here in the civilized part of the country. Do you know that most of the major cities in Canada are situated near one of the great lakes or an ocean. If you look at a map the major population density of our country is close to the US/ Canadian border, seldom more than a few hundred miles in fact.

I was a little startled by that when I looked at the map trying to figure out if I wanted to go North or back east. I considered the Praries but I spent a few weeks in Alberta and I missed the evergreens in my younger years so I decided against them unless I made the jump all the way to BC. South is very definitly out, I don't have a passport and here in Hamilton I am as close to the border as I want to get.

Something to come back to later. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you will have noticed the entries from the Crafters Devotional. Though I like them and have found them useful the book only covers 366 days and I do not like repeating myself, so what to do? I have a couple of other books that also have 366 days worth of things to do and a few 52 week ones as well. My problem as always is as useful as a plan is I get bored of doing the same thing every week or similar things anyway. The Devotional has allowed me to get back to crafting and yet... it is not right to share things from books without permission and even when I put it in my own words it is still a form of plagerism. The problem for me is that I seem to be creatively blocked, I need something to give me an idea, once I have an idea I can create something of my own based on it but I really, really need that input.

These days I have been playing a little with watercolor and collage. Oddly or maybe not so oddly I have not been able to share them. I am afraid that they would make no sense or just look like a big mess to others, also some of them are quite personal. I know other bloggers do not have difficulty sharing their personal pages but I do. It comes back to my trust issues I think. Irregardless I am doing stuff but I don't feel there is really any place for it here on the internet or any where else either except under lock and key in my home.

My original blog got trashed around mid September. I can not remember if I deleted it or if there were other issues, either way it was gone. When I started this on I decided that I would make it less about me and more about the things I make, unfortunatly if you look at the cloud to the right you will see the category Life is bigger that the others, that is because I just can't seem to stop putting my thoughts out there. It gives me a place to vent. It also gives me a place to present ideas, notions and feelings to others who might be where I was a few years ago. Feeling, lost and alone even in a crowd.

By sharing this I feel that I am contributing something and I can only hope that you the reader get some comfort or knowledge from it as well.

Happy New Year and I'll see you in 2012!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

And now or rather tomorrow we begin the countdown to the end of the year. Yes this year the start of 2012 interests me far more than Christmas. In truth this year I would have gladly given up Christmas altogether. Christmas just holds too many memories. Oh they were really good Chrismases but with the passing of my father and more importantly his whole generation all the joy has drained from this celebration. I know that as the oldest member of my family I should make an effort but the spark just isn't there.

I wonder if there are others who feel the same angst this year. I am willing to bet any number of fifty somethings are also suffering the depression that is so heavy on me this year. Fifty something, remember when we thought thirty something was a big deal. How two decades change things :)

Is fifty the new thirty? For some of us perhaps, me I am living the life I should have lived in my twenties instead of spending my time raising two kids. Well sort of I don't have to work because of the fibro but it is still about learning to live alone, something I did not do until I was well into my thirties and then only for a few months.

Not good words for this most special of days but a peek into my mind and life at this point in my life.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dec 16, 2011

I have been pre-occupied for the last week or so with a number of life questions.

Perciptated by several changes in my life I have been asking myself what next. With 2012 coming within 15 days and all the talk surrounding it I have been forcrd to re-evaluate several of my core beleifs. That and having reached 51 I guess.

I moved upstairs in my building because I was looking for a way to make room for exercise and they are slightly bigger. With a few minor changes I can have a small exercise area in this room which would have been impossible in the room I was in.

Of course with the move upward also came a couple of different changes. First and foremost my neighbors on this floor are not as friendly as the ones downstairs which is a releif in one way and not so great in others. The other thing is that the landlord and I had our first disagreement. It is not a big thing but it may cause a few problems down the road since I basically live & die by my internet connection and that is what we argued about. I hope we will be able to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement. I am sure we can though I am likely to make a lot of people angry with me.

After the argument my flight instinct when into high gear. I beleive I have persuaded my inner child that we have to stop running away and start making the best of the here and now. Certainly after a good nights sleep the urge seems to have gone back to it's usual level. Yes I always feel like I need to get away, go somewhere else as fast as I can when I am feeling upset about something. It is a pattern I have followed since I was about ten. I think it is high time to stop running and start making the best of where I am. My inner child disagrees of course, she still beleives that someday we will be able to out run our problems. Me on the other hand, well lets just say that I've reached the point where I am tired of trying to out run myself. I want to stop running and deal with them. I aman any where near my family with all of their issues getting too old to move every 12 monthslet alone every six as I have over the last couple of years.

I like it here and while I am not looking forward to winter I would still rather be here then near my family with all of their issues. At least here the only one I really have to answer to is myself. The professor and the others can give me advise but I choose what I am going to do. It is a nice feeling not being answerable to any one but myself. But you may say yo do not need to leave your family to achieve that level of independance it is yours by right. That may be right in your world but I have always put others before myself and my needs second to those who were closest to me. Here I do not have to do that, basically I can't do that because I am too far away to be of any help. I also don't have a lot of money so I can't provide financial support to my butterfly and my tweety when they ask or their children either.

I have supported my butterfly most of her 33 years and when she turned thirty I decided it was time to stop providing support. However I actually had to move a couple of hundred miles away from her to do it. My tweety is a hard working man with a lot of pride and he very seldom asks me for help so of course on those rare occasions he did ask I felt obligated to provide assistance, here and now I can't do that any more.

I should not have taken a break to eat, whatever I was thinking about is gone. I guess I worked through some of it though since I can't think of anything else.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dec 15, 2011

I feel like crying bt there are no tears. I am sad because I thought we had a deal and my landlord just pulled the rug out from under me so to speak. It's OK it is only $20 and I figured I'd have to pay it sooner or later. I was just hoping it would be later. I know it was my own fault becase I did not get the litter cleaned p in my old room. Mainly because I couldn't find the vacuum or my brush. Ok maybe that is a lame excuse but it will have to do since it is the literal truth.

I am tired but I only woke up a couple of hours ago. I know it is mainly because of the weather it has been raining for a few days now. The snow will come soon. SO tired... skip that. make something to eat and get on with the day. Sweet Jesus, take me away!. OK maybe not the best wish but if it would end all this pain I'll take it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Saturday & Sunday are for Collaborate, Gather and Experiment

Basic Jewelry Making

This is not an area of real interest to me  how ever you may be. So this weekend perform a basic search for jewelry making and read all about it. If you decide to try your hand at it, share with us what you made and a tutorial if you like.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday is Artist Date Day

The Colors of Fashion

The winter season is not known for its great colours, though right now everything has a bit of sparkle to it which is nice.

Your assignment today should you choose to accept it is to go to the nearest ChapterIndigo or a similar book shop. Go to the magazine rack and choose 2 or 3 fashion magazines. Take them to a table and look through them. Grab a latte or something and start leafing through the magazines.

Rule 1: Just look!, no tearing and no need to buy

Rule 2: Make sure you have some paper and a pen

Rule 3: If something catches your eye make a note of it.

Rule 4: No pressure this is for fun!

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself if you get stuck:

a) what colour(s) pops up over and over again?
b) what colours don't you see?
c) what is your general impressionof the colour schemes? Bright & cheery? Dark and dreary?
d) what colours are often matched together?

A final note- as you go through the magazines please, please write down items, colours, words that catch your eye. They will make excellent fodder for a journal page or piece of art. Also if your mind is like mine words & ideas written down do a great job of jogging my mind when I'm stuck or just looking for a new piece to start.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday is Personal History

I haven't done this in a couple of years but here is another last minute gift idea for you.

Make a calendar for your family members that comemerates the year just past in words and images.

The premis is pretty basic, collect 12 or more photos that you have taken through out the year. Combine these with a calendar template, Microsoft Publisher has some really nice templates you can use. Add quotes or small bits of journaling. Once it is all togeather, transfer it to a USB key and take it to Office Depot or something similar to have then print out and bind. I am not sure the cost but I think it might be a bit over $10 for the printing and binding of each calendar. Alternativly you can print them out and bind them yourself. I only have a black and white printer but some of the calendars I have done look stunning when done in gray scale.

Using a Publisher template will also allow you to add birthdays and anniversaries to your calendar without much effort. Type it in once and it will appear on every one you print. This is my program of choice but there are others if you are anti-microsoft.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday is Collection, Stash & Materials

Quick paper embelishments

Because I am focused on making Christmas gifts this year without spending a bundle, I am always on the look out for ideas that will save me money. Todays tip is one of those.

You know how when you need a specific shape or design you don't have... you decide to head out to the craft store to find it. But you don't find it and you end up spending money on things for other projects. Well maybe you don't but I do!

Anyway this tip suggests that you look at what you already have. Cut shapes from those paper scraps, use your inks or paints to alter images you have to suit what you need. Don't hesitate to cut an image apart if you only want/need one small section. In other words use you imagination, tools and materials on hand to make your vision come true.

I love making Christmas cards or post cards from pieces of old Christmas cards and that is only the beginning. Have a paper with a repeated design on it. Cut out the design pieces and use them to embelish something else.

Can you think of other ways to use those left-over bits and pieces in your stash? Please share, I love new ideas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday is Recycle, Reuse, or Revive

Altering A Book

I got to thinking that Christmas is 19 days away and I still need a few gifts.

I am a regular at the local Value Village store and they often have items that can be altered quickly, given a new lease on life so to speak. My favorite section is the stationary mixed bags. I have gotten a lot of my blank journals from there.

Today though I was looking for something I could make into a Christmas gift. Then I spotted a bag with a couple of old address books in it. Ok this has possibilities.

I bought the bag and brought it home. One was blank and the other had a few names and addresses in it.

I started with the blank one. Now I had several ideas for this one swirling around in my head and was unsure which one I wanted to do. The first think I did was grab my Gesso and paint all of the pages white, you can use paint if you don't have Gesso. Once the pages were dry (I  did them in batches of 10, while the second 10 were drying I went to work on the first 10), then you can decorate them in anyway you choose. I wanted to give my sister something to lift her spirits. I searched online for quotes and poems that were full of warm fuzzies, Once I had found a few I wanted to use, I printed them out. I changed the font on a couple of them so that visually they were readable and decorative at the same time.

Next I cut them out and glued them to the pages of the telephone book. Once they were in place I grabed my sharpies and my watercolors and prettied up the pages.

The final item was to alter the cover. I decided to Gesso both the front and back covers, then using alpha stickers I put the title on the front. On the back I did that To & From stuff. Once the Gesso was dry I added some color, when that was dry I mod podged it to keep it shiny and to strengthen the pages.

Wa la instant cheering up for bad days. :) You can also turn them into a collection of service vouchers or an art gallery. Or any thing else you can think of that uses long, narrow pages.

The one with writing in it I treated with Gesso and made into a service book to give to my daughter, then I went looking for another one to do the same for my son.

The time required to complete one of these is one day because of the drying time required but if you use a hair dryer to dry the pages you can probably make one in less than 8 hours and if you are like me you can work on two at a time. While one is drying you are prepping or working in the other.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday is Journaling

Visual Journaling

I have talked often over the last few weeks about art journals and visual journaling. If you are like I was a couple of years ago this is interesting but you have no idea of what is involved. Also if you are like me the idea frightens you a bit. "Art? but I am not an artist, I can barely draw". If you keep a journal I am betting that though it mainly holds your thoughts & feelings in words, here and there I would find a poem or a doodle or even a shopping list, maybe you even glued in the ticket from that fabulous movie or play you saw . All of these are instances of visual journaling. If you don't do these things try them. They make your journal a much better record of your life than simple words can.

Here is a really simple way to start:

As you go through your day keep those receips and paper cups that you collect through out the day. Take your camera with you and snap a picture of something that catches your eye. If an amazing quote or conversation crosses your path make a note of it on a sticky or what ever else is handy.

When you are about to do your nightly writing, grab a pair of scissors, all those bits and pieces that you collected and a glue stick. As you write about your day, glue in the bits that you gathered through out the day. If there is only one part that really resonates with you cut it out and just glue that piece.

When you are done writing and gluing, look at this page. Does it not give a better more complete view of your day than just writing did? If you agree than keep it in mind for future entries.

BTW you have just done a visual journaling page. See I told you it was simple!

Enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 82 -101 in 1001 Challenge

I am not sure how I missed so many weeks but I`m back and I`m doing fairly well

I have finished the third Art Journaling book and selected the fourth.

I have begun to sew the comfort dolls togeather

I have made and sent away my first rag doll

I have been watching various videos nearly every day. My desktop gave up the ghost so I`m using a laptop. Not quite as nice as a wide screen monitir but not that bad

I have not added any more scarves to my collection as I have been working on Christmas presents, I`ll be getting back to them next week

Not much to show for two weeks but I guess it could be worse, I could still be where I was two weeks ago

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday & Sunday are for Collaborate, Gather and Experiment


I do not crochet though I have tried it. I simply haven't been able to get from the starting single chain to the next row. I keep stumbling over that. Since it is one of my goals to crochet a lap blanket I decided this week end would be a good time to go exploring for some really simple and/or well explained tutorials on beginning to crochet. Here are a few of the ones I found:

How to Crochet for the Absolute Beginner- YouTube Video

Beginners Guide to Crochet-

How to Crochet- Lion Brand Yarns

Learn to Crochet- HubPages

Google has lots more for you to check out, for now this will get you started. Grab that dusty crochet hook and some lion brand yarn and learn how to crochet this week-end. I have a doll to finish but after it is done I may even join you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday is Artist Date Day

The Colors of Nature

I reckon that you are either just entering winter or in that time between spring and summer. For me it is beginning to get colder and winter will be here soon.

When someone speaks of the colors of spring I usually jump to the reds and oranges of Autumn or the pastels of Spring. I know Summer is full of color too but it is not one of my favorite seasons and neither is winter. In most descriptions of winter it is described as a black and white month or a gray one. While winter is stark there is much to be said for it as well. I live in a place where there are various kinds of evergreens so forest greens are part of my winter as are the browns of unexploded cat tails and golden brush grasses. In the snow there is a pale and beautiful rainbow of colors, they are just barly there but if you look you can see them tinting the snow. There are also all the colorful coats and other winter accessories that people wear.

For your artist date this week take a walk and pay attention to the colors all around you. Let them sink into you and lift your spirit. Take a few photos of the colors and patterns that especially capture your attention.  Enjoy the scenery!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dec 1, 2011

And so the 12 th month has begun.I want to take a quick look at things I am grateful for today

We had snow here yesterday but it didn't stick.

I got up at 9 am and did not have a nap today.

Cooper my be big and old and white with a bit of black instead of the other way around but he is also for the most part a well behaved cat. And his fur is soft like angora

My landlord cares and works hard to keep the building clean and the residents well behaved (he is very choosy about who he lets in). I really appreciate that.

I think I'll stop there. I want to watch the next video (its about half done) then I want to sleep.

Thursday is Personal History

My Life As....

What is your life like? A dresser full of drawers all different sizes? A collection op poetry, images or clip-art? A mobile with many parts or a book with many chapters? A house with indoor and outdoor rooms? A climate map of different temperatures, growing seasons or weather zones? A garden with flowers and stones, sun and shade or dirt and weeds?

Create an artistic representation of your life. Use the metaphor exercise we did on Monday to help you with ideas for a piece of art that represents your life to you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas in the 21st Century

Like most everyone else at this time of year my thoughts turn to Christmas or is that Xmas. I object to taking Christ out of Christmas and most everything else. I am not a religious fanatic, I am simply a believer. For years I tried to be politically correct and use the term Great Spirit or some other euphemism for what  created this world and us. From here on out I am no longer going to hide the fact that I believe in the all-knowing father, the holy son, and the divine spirit of forgiveness. 
I have watched for over 50 years as Christians have become more & more relegated to the religious ghetto. Enough is Enough! I stand tall and say I believe in God do you!
Below is a story that I think illustrates my point much better than I ever could:

Christmas in the post-War United States
Image via Wikipedia

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece which I would like to share with you. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America .

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God ? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it.... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein
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Wednesday is Collection, Stash & Materials

Crocheting/ Knitting with Non-Traditional Materials

Why not try your fiber skills beyond the standard threads and yarns? There are all kinds of fiber artists out there that use non-traditional materials for fiber. Below is a list of alternative materials you could try:

  • Wire
  • Shoelaces
  • Cord
  • String
  • Leather lacing
  • Fishing line
  • Ribbon
  • Novelty Yarns
  • Stripes of fabric (cut or torn)
  • Strips of plastic (use those old grocery bags up)

Here are a couple of images I found on the net made from non-traditional materials:

This cuff was crochet from wire

This wallet was knitted using fabric strips. The fabric used is pictured above it

knitting with plastic bags

This complete outfit was knitted from plastic bags. Including the belt.

I even looked up a few tutorials for you:

How to Knit with Wire

How-To Knit or Crochet With Fabric

How to Knit a Bag from Plastic Bags

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday is Recycle, Reuse, or Revive

Words to Inspire
"As an artist, what's important is to express what's inside you. Don't worry about being good enough; just do what your heart tells you. Play and don't get stressed out."
---Sarah Fishburn
Mixed Media Artist
Today reach for the most basic tools of your favorite media be it a needle and thread or crayons. Now don't think about it just let your heart guide your hands as you make something. Give yourself at least 30 uninterrupted minutes for this.
When the 30 minutes is over put down your tools and go have a cup of tea or coffee. After you have finished it, go back to what you did and look at it.  Don't think too hard just grab a writing tool and some paper and write down what you see while you look at what you did. Is there anything that stands out and grabs your attention? Do you see any kind of pattern to the work? How does it make you feel? Does it evoke any memories? Write it all down. Walk away and sleep on it. Tomorrow look at it again and read what you wrote. Between the two I'm thinking there will be a message or an idea from your heart. Something you need or need to do.
See you next Tuesday!

BTW this is post 100 Whoo-hoo!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday is Journaling


A metaphore is a figure of speech in which a specific word or phrase is used to suggest a similarity between two unrelated objects or ideas. They are a powerful tool for journaling and creative writing. They can add color, depth and meaning to your writing or art work, and they allow for interpretation. William Shakespere was a master of the metaphors, as seen in this snippit from Sonnet 18:

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate"

Don't confuse a metaphor with a simile, which is is a comparison using "like" or "as". Here 's an example of both:

Simile: Her face was as pale as the moon

Metaphor: Her face is the moon, lighting up the darkened room

Metaphor is a well that never goes dry... once you have decided to tap it.

Today's task: Create your own metaphors for use in your art work. Choose one concreate item or idea or phrase and pair it with a figurative item, idea or phrase. Here are some prompts to get you started:

  • My heart is a _________. (flower garden, glass vase, etc)

  • My smile is a _________. (flash of lightening, cool breeze, etc)

  • Life with you is a ________. (sunny day, stormy sea, etc)

  • Those memories are ______.(raindrops, musical notes, etc)

  • Your face is a ______. (thunderhead, lit firecracker, etc)

  • She thinks love is ______. (frozen ice, gooey syrup, etc)

  • Our home is a ______. (sanctuary, prison, etc)

  • The day was a _______. (never ending nightmare, carnival of delights, etc)


Give it a try! See you next Monday for more Journaling fun.


    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    Curious as a Cat- Week Number 297

    What specialized rooms does your new multi-million dollar yacht have?

    The Professor and I have talked about what we would do if we won several million dollars so I have had time to think about  this.

    I have my own live theatre. There are seats for 50 people and I have my very own acting troupe. The actors have a personal dressing room each  and all the support personnel they need. They also each has their own room on the yacht

    Next door to that I have a movie theatre that always has the latest movies and a snack bar complete with popcorn and pop.

    Down the hall I have a set of room that are specialized craft rooms. One for sewing, one for painting, one for miniatures and one for other crafts

    On the other side is a complete video lab where I can make my own movies. There is even room for stage settings and a small prop room which the video lab and the live theatre people share.

    The final specialized room is a greenhouse park. I grow all the fruits and vegetables we use in our kitchen there. It also has roses and other flowers. There is a complete ecology with bugs and birds within that room. It is my favorite place on the whole yacht.

    Curious As A Cat Link
    Daily Meme Site - Where I found it!


    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Saturday + Sunday is Collaborate, Gather and Experiment 11/26/11

    Wow!,  the weekend is here already.

    Listening to Other's Stories

    Everyone has a story to tell. Some stories are more compelling than others--and that's why they end up on television or in magazines, newspapers or even books--but the human experience is a rich source of inspiration on many different levels. No two people are exactly the same, and no two people experience their time on this planet the same way.

    This weekend, talk to at least two artists about what inspires them. Beyond just talking to them, though, practice being an active listener. The goal is twofold: to gain new perspective on the creativity of others and to absorb as much information (and possibly creative energy) as possible.
    1. If you're housebound, many artists are only a few keystrokes away via the Internet. Find artists you like, cruise around their website, then find the "contact us" link and send them an email. If you're out and about, try taking a class or visiting galleries, open studios, craft fairs, craft supply stores or book signings
    2. Be prepared for your interaction with at least three or four questions. (No journalist goes into an interview without doing some background research and working up a list of questions, and neither should you.) Your questions may depend on what you'd like to know, but here are some ideas for how to get the conversation started:
      • What is your personal favorite work of art and why?
      • Where do you find inspiration for your work?
      • What do you do when the idea well runs dry?
      • Whose work do you admire most and why?
      • What is your favorite material or tool and why?
      • If you admire an artist's work, ask what inspired them.
    3. Being an active listener means absorbing the words, perspective, and story of the people you're talking to without interruption or judgment. Although you may recognize common ground or shared experiences, it doesn't mean talking over them or derailing the natural flow of their thoughts. Remember, your goal is to deepen your well of information, not to tell your own story.
    4. If the conversation stalls or dwindles, use either of these sets of magic words: "Tell me more" or "May I see your work?"
    Inspiration may be as near as your next conversation, even if it's with a random stranger or someone you've just met. All you have to do is ask.

    Friday, November 25, 2011

    Friday is Artist Date Day 11/25/11

    Art to Inspire

    On Wednesday I talked about displaying your Art online. Today take at least half an hour and wander around Deviant Art or Flickr 

    If you find something that inspires you give it a try. Even if nothing in paticular hits you today that's OK. Trust me on this: Someday something you saw today will provide an inspiration for a project, maybe two.
    Sometimes our minds take a long time to process things. But when it does what comes up from your sub-concious will amaze you.

    Thursday, November 24, 2011

    Thursday is Personal History 11/24/11

    Words to Inspire: Know Thyself
    "When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from other, too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. Only when one is  connected to one's inner core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can be re-found through solitude... Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone. The artist knows he must be alone to create; the musician, to compose; the saint, to pray. But women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves; the firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships"
    --Anne Morrow Lindbergh
    Gift from the Sea

    Do you agree or disagree?
    For myself I agree, I am finding my time alone here very rewarding. I don't have to present myself to anyone which means I can be the person I am instead of the one people expect me to be. I am finding my writing so much easier because there are less distractions. Not sure the quality has increased but the volume certainly has.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Nov 23, 2011

    For some reason I thought it was the 25th anyway...short and sweet tonight. I spent the whole day fussing with my computer because facebook especially my favorite game cafe world would not load for long or reliably. I found out talking to the professor why this was. 1) Facebook was apparently under attack by a hacker so it was jammed and 2) there is a Beta test of the new Star Wars game this weekend and I guess a few of my neighbors play it. Even if it was just one the file they have to download is huge and that is what swallowed up all of our bandwidth

    Needless to say it was very, very frustrating. Things seem to be back to normal now and I have a lot of catching up to do, night all

    Wednesday is Collection, Stash & Materials 11/23/11

    Today I want to talk about displaying your art online.

    The Internet is a wonderous place that millions of people go when they want to find information or inspiration. Why not add some of your art work to that world?

    You never know you may inspire someone like me to try something new or rediscover an old favorite.

    Within this world there are many different subjects and themes. There are many respected communities for artists in various media. In my searches I have found everything from art journals to zentangles.  Some of the sites even offer free critiques if you ask.

    One of the most famous places to share your art is Deviant Art  but you can also use services like  Picasa  or  Flickr  to get your work previewed my millions of people including fellow artists. You will also find tons of inspiration for your own work.

    I did a google search for free online art galleries and it came up with lots. Why not go to the list and check a few out.? And later if you are feeling brave upload a picture of something you have done. You will have to join the site but no worries there are lots of free ones.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011

    Nov 22, 2011

    Wow, when I titled todays post for some reason I put 2003. Something life changing must have happened on that date but I don't remember what. It happens these days my memory is like swiss cheese, holes everywhere

    I have begun work on the angel I'm doing for my swap partner, sheesh I can't even remember that site's name, if I recall it before I'm done typing this I'll add a link. It is a great place to make pen pals and try your hand at many different crafts.

    I just woke up from my nap and I'm doing more yawning now then I did before I laid down. I think it is because my window has been closed most of the day, it is freezing outside. Need fresh air but not sure I want to freeze to get it.

    Ah there it is, it's called Swap-bot, you have to join but it is free. I should also warn you that swapping can be addictive and occasionally expensive but it is so much fun!

    It's strange even though I had the day planned I didn't get as much done as I wanted to. It seems my time guesstimates fell a little short of the actual time needed to accomplish certain things. A for instance in the morning when I get up I have six  seven things I do every day. I feed my cat, I clean his litter pan, I make cofee, I eat breakfast, open the window blinds & the window and I check email. Now I figured half an hour should have been enough time to do all that but it turned out it actually took me 45 minutes. I forgot to factor in cooking time. If I only ate cold cereal I think the timing would have been perfect but the cold weather makes me want a hot breakfast which means cooking time.

    Live & learn. :) I was whistling this morning I think I missed having some kind of structure to the day. I don't do well just going with the flow it seems. Some others may be able to do that but I need my routines.

    I didn't get any writing practice in today, I had to go out to get a few things and by the time I got back the scheduled time had expired. Now I don't intend to let that happen very often. This is a learning or rather re-learning period and I have several things to unlearn and relearn as do many people. I am taking action and it feels good.

    Tuesday is Recycle, Reuse or Revive 11/22/11

    Stones, Pebbles and Rocks

    Do you remember painting rocks when you were a kid?

    I do and I remember it was fun to look at the rock and to see an image in it's shape. A few weeks ago I went to a Maker's Fair which is a monthly thing they do here. It allows a crafter to sell their stuff.

    One of the things I saw was a largish stone, like the ones used to fill in around trees and bushes, painted with a beautiful black cat. The cats form followed the shape of the stone amazingly well. My first thought was I'm not going to pay $15 for something I can do myself, my second was that it was beautiful.

    I've seen stones at the dollar store that have words painted on them like love and laugh and live. I want to make some of those for myself. I have also heard of people putting quotes on them which I think is a great idea.

     Cute Cat 
    Rocks, pebbles and stones are symbols of gravity, weight and being grounded. Think in multiples: Start a collection of rocks and see where the process takes you.
    Some links to DIY's:
    EHow Tutorial

    Youtube Video

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    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Nov 21, 2011

    Here I am with my daily peep. It has been a fruitful day though I haven't done my monthly processing yet. I'm determined to get it done today. It is only supposed to take an hour but I find myself bewildered by it now and then. It is basically cleaning up all of the things said and done ie finances, appointments etc this month and planning for the next month. The process takes five days but I find the first one difficult because I haven't done the tutorial that teaches me to do it quickly and painlessly. I am told that the tutorial is incredibly helpful and it is on my list of things to do. Go figure I need to do the monthly processing to schedule the tutorial for monthly processing. LOL.
    Today I located a pattern for a rag doll that I want to make for a swap. I also got my printer working with this laptop so I could print it out. I added several more rows to the scarf I am working on. I downloaded a torrent downloader and am in the process of downloading the second half of season one of Flash Forward. I watched half of them on my desktop but when I went to watch the second half they were in German so I didn't get to see the end of the story. I found an english version on Pirates Bay. Last time I checked it was about 15% done and that was in less than 30 minutes. I am really liking Final Torrent even if I did have to uninstall a lot of add-ons I didn't want. Since they help keep the app free I'm not complaining much.
    There are five words in this post that were required by Smash 365 I signed up to three months ago but this is the first time I have used the prompt. It has been fun trying to fit the words into my normal writing style and I am hopeful that this exercise will launch me forward into writing practice. If it is fun I am more apt to write every day. Todays word prompt are in italics for your edification. They might even get you started with this challenge
    Good Night, see you tomorrow

    Monday is for Journaling 11/21/11

    What are your writing rituals?

    We all have them, those things that are essential to the process of writing for us. A specific place or time of day that allows the words to flow easily. 

    Your assignment today is to think about the how, when and where you write. What setting, time of day, or location works best for channeling your thoughts?

    Ask yourself the following questions:
    1. When do you do your best work- morning, afternoon or evening? Consider doing some writing while your energy is at it's highest.
    2. What are the objects or items that allow you to relax and tap into your deepest feelings? Perhaps you have a favorite sweater, a pair of slippers, a lap quilt that makes you feel secure. Consider the ambiance of the room: the lighting, the music, or even the specific chair you sit in.
    3. Do you have privacy when you write? Accessing your innermost thoughts can be emotional---make sure you can write in a place where you're free to laugh, cry or just be quiet  and not interrupted.
    Rituals help ease the transition from one task to another: writing rituals, practiced over time, will let you eventually move seamlessly in and out of journaling mode.

    My answers:
    1) most of my best thoughts come to me around 1 or 2 AM but I usually do the actual writing between 10 AM and 1 PM
    2) I either use the computer or an easy flow pen, (gel), I have a cup of coffee in front of me and I'm wearing my glasses. I haven't reached the point where it is seamless yet but I am getting there.
    3) I have privacy, I just shut my door and begin

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Day 67- 101 in 1001

    Update time again!

    I have not been working as hard on my goals as I should be this week. Mainly because I climbed the local mountain four days ago and have spent all those days recovering. Fibromyalgia kicks you hard when you over do it.

    I did manage to finish another scarf and I made a cowl though I haven't tried it so I'm not sure how well it will work, if nothing else I will have a great neck warmer. I am about 1/3 through scarf number six which means I am almost half done. Yay Me!

    I did pick up the fiberfill during the week so I can finish the dolls. I also bought the material for my first rag doll. Since it is being mailed out to someone I wanted it to be the best I could make it. I plan to get started on it tomorrow.

    I am still working on the third Art Journal book. I am not sure why this one is taking so long. My guess is that Dad's death has set me a couple of weeks behind my planned schedule.

    I played around with water soluable crayons during the week adding a border and some texture to a page but other than the base the page is still blank. In Journal Spilling I'm reading about a quilt layout. SInce it deals with telling positive things about yourself I think it will really work well with the 20 things I like about myself goal.

    I did manage to stay away from CafeWorld for a whole week

    ! Next month I'll try to make it three weeks in the meantime I have made a deal with myself. I can play Cafeworld only if I have completed my tasks for the day and I am not allowed to sit and stare at the page while I wait for things to finish cooking. Nor am I allowed to play any other games to fill in the time unless I have completed my tasks for the day.!

    The next step of course is to add tasks to my Calendar. MTM suggests no more than three a day. Doing three things a day over seven days means I will have taken 21 steps towards my goals. That sounds pretty good to me.

    Whoops off topic there a bit. Thats it for this weeks 101 in 1001 challenge update

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Nov 19, 2011

    I am so pissed right now I can hardly tell you! After months of small issues my computer up and blew a hard drive now I'm stuck using my laptop. The upside is that thankfully nearly everything I use on a regular basis is on the laptop. The down side, my &*%$ computer fixer won't/can't take a look at it until after Christmas.

    No matter my notes are intact and I can follow my usual publishing routine but I am sure gonna miss those two big screens and the speed of my desktop.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    November 18, 2011

    It is the third Friday of November already can you beleive it? Why is it that the first fifteen days of a month go crawling by and the next fifteen fly by? I just don't get it! 

    I have been exploring so many things lately yet it feels like I haven't done anything. Well to be totally honest I haven't. As with things most of my life I have ideas, make plans and then it stops there. I seldom get past the planning stage.

    I do know that I have blogged almost every day so far even with the death of my father. Actually yesterday it was one month after his death. It seems different somehow his death compared to moms. Perhaps because I am older and thus more able to cope. I said my goodbyes nearly a year ago so that might also been part of it. I have had time to adjust to the fact that he was going to die, he was 81 after all nearly 82.

    My mothers death was sudden, she had been in a wheelchair for awhile but she was still strong and involved. Her death came as a huge shock because she went from fine to dead in 24 hours. I spent many years blaming myself because I was the one who dressed her that day. I can't help thinking that when I tested the catheter that I opened the path that let the infection into her bloodstream, however it got there it was swift and deadly. She was young, I think she was just 50. You would think I would remember that but it has been 20 years.

    Hmm that is not the path I thought I would take but I guess I still need to talk about them. I suppose because I have several unresolved issues where they are concerned. Not going there today.

    My first blog was called RambleTime. It was closed by google because I tried a different desktop writer and it totally messed things up. To get your account back after google has locked it is nearly impossible unless you keep every post you make as well as things like the day you started it and other things like that that I simply do not remember. So I created a New ID and a New blog. I suppose I could rename it Ramble Time, I did think of that but decided against it. I am seeking a name the really, really describes me. So far it has not appeared

    Lost Soul, Survivor, Wild Child all ring bells but are not quite right as they do not address everything I share here. I did own Creative Indulgences and that name still hits me where I live unfortunatly it is not available because it was part of the account that was closed. I don't know if I can change the title or not. I suppose I should try. Changing the URL is much harder as the most useful URL's are already taken.

    I am wearyand I think I shall be in bed early tonight, at least I hope I will it depends on where I go and what I do from here.

    Have a good week-end all

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Nov 17, 2011

    Hello, how was your day?

    I have fibromyalgia so big efforts like yesterday's tend to wipe me out and today was no different. My alarm went off as usual at 9 am. I fed Cooper and took my meds then went back to bed. I did not wake up until nearly 3 PM.

    It worry's me sometimes this need for excessive rest. I know it is just another symptom of the syndrome but on days like today I wonder why I do anything physical when I know what it will cost me. When I do it though it just feels so good and I ignore the consequences.Then I spend the next two days or so cursing my foolishness. Such is the life of someone like me.

    I suppose for those who don't know what fibromyalgia syndrome is I should explain it:

    Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.

    You can read more about it at PubMed Health. I live with this everyday and have for the last ten years. With a lifelong  history of depression this was just one more thing to deal with. Then when I reached fifty all the other things that go with old age began.

    I am not whining just explaining why I slept most of today and will probably do the smae tomorrow. I wrote a poem once called,  "Just One More Thing" , but I can't find it any more. I think maybe I will try to rewrite it.