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.



    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Nov 16, 2011

     I did not write yesterday and I am hardly awake enough to do it today. I have to say something about today.

    I live in a city nestled between a lake and a mountain . I am biased but I think it is beautiful. Today I decided to walk to a Walmart which is up on the mountain.

    Instead of following the directions Google gave me I decided to follow my own path. Unfortunatly the path I chose didn't have any sidewalks. Between balancing between cars going by and a mountainside separated from me by only a gaurd rail it was a very long walk. And yet I felt so much pride when I came to the top and realized that I had made it. I was also very, very tired by the time I reached my goal.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    The Rainbow Says So

    Its Monday right... I'm sure it is. I was going to go looking for a meme to do today because I couldn't think about what to write then I went to the SITS site. I checked out todays SITS girl. Her blog is called Freaky Perfect  and she defies it as "Things are a little bit freaky around here. And that’s perfectly fine."  words which I can really relate to. Any way I checked out one of the posts she had shared with the SITSters and asked her if I could reference it for a post of my own.

    The rainbow says so! It is the promise of a better tomorrow to come. If you look up it's history you will see it referenced as a path made by a messenger between Earth and Heaven. I have only seen one rainbow in my life and the very sight of it was enough to lighten the heavy mood I was in that day. This post by Freaky Perfect says it so much better than I could that I just had to share it with you (The Rainbow Says So)

    I get down when it rains sometimes but then like Freaky Perfect I remember that someone or something needed that rain to grow stronger. I forget sometimes that after it rains there is a rainbow somewhere and someone is feeling its magic and smiling. Its majesty and magic are awe inspiring. And what does the rainbow say to me? That things can and will change, that there is hope that beyond this moment something miraculous may happen. I know rainbows have been scientifically explained but they still hold magic for me. Do they hold magic for you?

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Day 60- 101 in 1001

    This is my regular update day.

    Eight and a half weeks since I began this journey. I have 22 items in progress and 4 completed.

    There is a plan for two of them the 52 poems and the 52 Dolls. I have some basic outlines for knitting, fashion dolls, fitness and art journal. They are very rough since most of these are based on a number to complete not  a type. The fitness one is much more complicated than I expected so I am working on a detailed plan for it using Goalscape. It is quite expensive and the free trial period is only fourteen days but I am finding it quite useful.

    I have four scarves completed and three comfort dolls that just need to be stuffed. I have three other dolls that require some extra trimmings so that they qualify as toys. The base is knitted but they need to be stuffed, sewed and decorated. Among these is my first element doll, I hope to be doing the other four elements and the four seasons soon.

    I have added a couple of the quick goals to my to do list but haven't started them yet. More on that next week

    I missed one reporting session because of my fathers death but I have been adding posts to the blog at least once a day and sometimes more than that so I am not as far behind on the daily entry as I could be.

    The work I am doing with "The Crafter's Devotional" has been spotty but hopefully next Saturday (Nov 19) I will be able to start adding one a day again.

    Craft wise I am way behind having completed only one of 365 projects. I have tons and tons of ideas and "The Crafter's Devotional" provides me with all kinds of inspiration I just haven't been able to focus on getting things done. I have one or two that I have the material for I just haven't got around to assembling them and pasting them down.

    I have written four of the 52 poems though some of them still need some work, "The Power of Two" comes to mind as one that I really need to revise. I have also written a beginning and a character description for the short story. Again I found myself unable to concentrate for long on it but at least some of it is written down which is more than it was a month ago

    I have not colored as of yet and I've only done one puzzle so far.  I have not completed a second or third page in the art journal but have two in progress.

    Well I think that is everything, talk to you next week.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    My Library

    Hi my name is Cheryl and I am a self-help book addict.

    I have what I consider a very large library, here in my room I have close to 100, back in the Professors garage I have at least 100 more. One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to read the ones I haven't read and give a minimum of 50 % away.

    My problem is as always that I get bored with any one book fairly quickly so I tend to have several partially read ones around. Compound this with the fact that they are either self-help books or DIY books about many different hobbies and crafts. I feel compeled to do some or as in the case of the Artist's Way all of the exercises included in them. 

    My thinking in this might seem strange. Why can't I just read them then pass them on? The reason of course as any self help addict can tell you is that I bought them to help me discover something and I don't want to give them away without trying to get the benefit I want from them.

    In the case of the journalling books and drawing  books I bought them to teach myself something and by god I'm going to learn it even if it doesn't interest me right now maybe the knowledge will come in handy some day.

    See how easy it is to trap yourself. What I should do is pack half them into my bundle buggy and take them to the nearest public library. That is what I should do rather I do or not depends on just how serious I become about the downsizing.

    Gonna think on that a bit!

    Saturday is Collaborate, Gather & Experiment

    Finding Your Groove

    What is a rut? It is the absolute opposite of a groove. You know what a groove is-that happy place where words and images are flying from your mind to your hands, the living is easy and your life feels perfect. But as nice as that is let's face facts dears sometimes we get in a place where we feel like we are spinning our wheel and getting nowhere, that is a rut.

    Grooves and ruts are a fact of life and as creative persons we must accept that they both happen. If you are feeling frustrated with your work latly chances are that you are in a rut.

    Now sometimes ruts go away by themselves but once in awhile we have to help ourselves out of them. How do we do this? The process is only three steps but (and I speak from personal experience here) those three steps seem impossible to accomplish.

    1) See the rut. In our busy lives other things can overshadow our need for creative expression

    2) Admit that you are in a rut. Until you admit it you can't move beyond it. We'll tell ourselves that if we had more time or less worries our work would improve but if you are in a rut these things just won't cut it.

    3) Get out of the rut. See easy peasy or is it? This part is the hardest part of all because this is the part where the most work is. Stepping beyond what ever is holding us back can seem an insurmountable problem. But don't despair, here are a few suggestions to make it easier on yourself.

    - Change your enviroment. Get out, see new things, mix it up, have lunch with a friend, take a walk

    - Practice luxury. Light your fireplace, take a bath or otherwise "go blank". I find knitting helps me because it is very simple to knit row after row without having to pay attention to my hands

    -Challenge your assumptions. Identify what isn't working and turn it inside out or upside down.

    -Know when to quit. Sometimes you have to start over. Know when to throw it out, and begin again. No regrets if it isn't working it isn't working and you have to throw it out and come at your subject from a different angle.

    An Elegy for my dad RIP 1929-2011

    Born third from the last
    He outlived them all

    Worked hard all his life
    With little to show

    Except for our love for him
    We miss him so

    Hope the fishing is good
    On heavens shores

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Day 58- 101 in 1001

    I just noticed that I haven't updated my progress lately no wonder given what's been going on but I did promise myself I would update on a weekly basis just to keep myself on track this time.

    I am still reading Journal Spilling and it has been quite helpful especially the part about dealing with ones inner critic. The two books I have already completed are still waiting to go to the library since I have not been downtown in awhile. The Artist's way is stalled again after just the first week, for some reason I just can't seem to move past it. Maybe I should just start with the second week the next time I open the book.  :)

    I have so many books in various stages of being read. When I finish reading them all I will have at least 10 of the hundred or so books I own read.  That may not seem like a lot but since my goal is to simplify my life and gain some room in my personal space they need to go because they take up a lot of space

    I am still working through the movies though sometimes I only watch a few minutes of them before I close and delete them, mainly because they don't interest me. I am not going to watch a movie I don't like just because it is part of the list, that would be torture.

    I have begun work on a knitted angel, it is the first time I've used double points to knit in the round so it is going to take awhile. I have several completed comfort dolls just waiting for the final touches and stuffing, I need to find some stuffing.I have completed several scarves though I do not know how close to the dozen I am.

    I started NaNoWriMo but didn't make it past the first few days, I don't know if I have a short story in me let alone a whole novel! I found forcing myself to write a story when I didn't even have a story line did not work so I have decided to take some online writing courses then maybe try again next year.

    I still bite my nails but much less often now. I am thinking if I get a manicure set I will stop altogether because I will be able to clean and shape them without them getting anywhere near my face. I know from prior experience that if I have polish on my fingernails I will scrap of the polish with my teeth before I'll bite the nail so I have been looking for a polish color I like. I haven't found one yet but I keep looking.

    As far as I know the only debt left is the one I owe the Professor. I need him to give me an amount so I can figure out the best way to pay him. I may ask him about that when he calls today.
    I have been writing in this blog at least once a week though I think it has been about 10 days since I did the last one for 101

    The professor took me to a new restaurant a couple of weeks ago, it was All You Can Eat Sushi which we both love. I missed one other in my reporting that means I'm up to four out of ten
    I have not begun the 200-100-200 challenge yet mainly because there isn't any room in my room to do squats let alone push-ups or sit-ups.

    11-11-11- Remembrance Day

    I have been noticing an odd restlessness in my mind during the last couple of days. It's not physical its like a reminder of some sort. There is something I should do but for the life of me I do not know what it is.

    I don't know how to really describe the feeling other than I feel I should be doing something but I have no idea what. I know I'm repeating myself, can't be helped. A niggling is what my mother would have called it, a persistently troubling in my mind.

    I just tried to sleep and my mind was everywhere, the internet issues in my building, the relationship between the Proffessor and I, needing a new fountain pen, giving away all of my craft stuff and finding out how the professor really sees me.

    That last is a little weird, I remember wanting to tell me what kind of person I was besides flighty and clumsy. It is hard knowing that what I think I am is not how others see me. Not at all sure why, its like I want to know what my character is so I can correct it somehow. Nuts right? Maybe I should get the good doctor to send me to a loony bin except that I am not a danger to others or myself so they probably wouldn't take me.

    Peace and Goodwill to all of our fine military personelle and the work they have done and do.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Nov 7, 2011

    Analysis is the keyword for today. Consider undertaking a challenging mental quest.: That is what my horoscope says today.

     Since my brain is still quite foggy I can not imagine how I am to do that. I fight with myself nearly every day just to get out of bed. Beyond figuring out what I'm going to eat or drink next I do little thinking let alone on the level the horoscope is talking about.

    I am not suicidal since I made it past my fortieth birthday I have planned to make it to at least 80 and further if I can. I want to see at least one or two great grand-children. Since my youngest grand daughter is only ten and she is the only one who has stated she wants children I may have a bit of a wait especially since both my grandsons are under five.

    I think that will have to do for today, I can't think


































    Saturday, November 5, 2011

    Rolf- Trying to flesh out my main character

    Rolf is nearly 16. He has failed one apprenticeship and is about to fail a second, Most Woulvens find their place in the pack the first time very rarely needing the second in their youth. The Pack Mistress (Trina) and her mate (Kyron) run the pack and as leaders were not bad.  Rolf worries them, partially because their daughter Lira had taken a liking to him and partly because he has not found his place in the pack.
    In just six days Rolf will be told that he did not have the makings of a Gamma. With this second failure Rolf will have to leave the pack They worried about Lira, she knew what was coming for Rolf. Her reaction to the fact that Rolf was to become a lone wolf had seemed accepting. Something told them that she might be hatching some way of preventing that from happening. Getting expelled from the pack was hard on a young woulven. Forced into the world with only the most basic supplies to find their path. SOmetimes they returned and found a place in the pack but much more often they were never seen again.
    Rolf had  other worries. He had been having the same dream over and over again, a young Azizii(furless ones) had been crying and calling for help. The call was not directed at Rolf yet it pulled at him. The Azizii youngling needed help, any help, though against what he did not know. It's fear was strong. There were no words only a sense of a looming prescence behind her and her fear. Yes it seemed female.
    Today he was supposed to meet Lira, for him that ussually meant hours before the mirror combing his coat till it shone but today he just couldn't muster the energy. He dressed and went to meet Lira as he was.
    She was understandingly startled, she had never seen Rolf in such disarray before. That he approached slowly and wearily also concerned her. She depended on Rolf to keep her cheerful and light. He helped her forget for just awhile that one day she would be Pack Mistress and her fear that she was inadequate for the role.
    Upon his approach she questioned him about his appearance, he explained about the dreams. She said your apprenticeship is almost over why don't you follow the call and see where it takes you. She knew that it would be easier on him if he left willingly rather than being evicted by her parents. She would have prefered to find him some place any place in the pack but rules were rules and if she were to be Pack Mistress she had to follow the rules.
    Rolf considered her proposal, the call kept him awake at night and he admitted to himself he was curious to know what was going on plus he felt a strong need to help out the Azizii. He thanked Lira and returned to his cabin. He had no lessons today  so he figured today was as good a day as any to hit the road.
    He packed up his bow & quiver, some food and a change of clothes. His parents were out hunting so he just left a note. He was sure they wouldn't miss him anyway. He was their youngest son and they were disappointed in him he was sure for his inability to fit into the pack structure.
     The call came from the east so he pointed his nose away from the sun and began to run. At first he loped on two legs but finding the pace to slow he got down on all fours and was away. Woulven were much faster on four legs than two though few of them traveled that way any more.
    As he climbed out of his home valley he marvelled at himself. I am really doing this. I am leaving the pack to follow a strange call from the East. He reached the top of the last ridge before the final climb to the top of the mountain. He turned snd fsaced the sun. He looked down, down, down...He saw the village. His home was a place of caves & rivers. There were the training tracks and just beyond the archery racks. A little to the left some young woulven were wrestling while their parents watched. Home...he sighed he knew it might be a long time before he came back.
    Turrning his nose East again he began his climb to the top of the ridge and the end of his home territory

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Friday, November 4th 2011

    Eighteen days since my father died only 11 days since we buried him. It does not seem that long. I find myself sometimes wondering how his day is going. As I stated a few days ago I have not seen my father since Easter of 2010, his death was not unexpected, he had been fighting prostate cancer and one of those damn mega virii for several years. In the end it is hard to say what got him but I think he just gave up months ago and that the only reason he was still here was because they brought him back, the doctors I mean.
    My thought wander and I want to blame the doctors for not trying hard enough or myself for not caring hard enough. My brother and his wife were dad's caretakers not me. I do not know what duty says but I feel and have felt that as the eldest daughter I should have been doing that but I simply couldn't
    I put my trust in my brothers, one betrayed that trust and the other has been an absolute saint. I think it must be a lot harder on John than on any of us others. If I could find a way to repay him I would
    Damn the tears have begun again. I do not often give in to them but they are never far away. I have lost the words I wanted to write, perhaps if they come back I'll add them to the bottom of this entry.

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Thursday November 3, 2011

    Blehhhhh I cannot continue with any of the challenges I had planned for this month, I just can't focus on writing or anything else. On top of my father's birthday I received a letter rejecting my ODSP. I have to choose rather I will fight it or not

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    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Wednesday is Collection, Stash & Materials

    Sharing Your Art Online

    Thanks to the internet there are hundreds of Artist original art to view. Sometimes when my inspiration is running low I will wander the internet looking at other peoples work.

    My most often visited sites are Flickr and Deviant Art .

    Flickr is first and foremost a place to store photos but search any color, place or thing and you will find many images of them, some are available for download but some are not, it depends on the owner. The other thing I find here a lot are vintage images that you can download and use in your own work. Because of today's blogging prompt I chose to search food. Flickr found 9,212,218 instances of the food tag. Nine million plus images of just food, now there's some kitchen inspiration. Below are nine randomly selected images from those nine million.

    From My Blog

    Deviant is a place where you can find art works in many different media (digital, traditional, body), being shared and sometimes sold by the creative behind them. It is a literal smorgasbord of color & design. Here are a couple of samples of what you might find there

    food by ~MonkeyBuisiness on deviantART

    Food by ~Vixie87 on deviantART

    The other resource I use a lot is Google Images which will find every image tagged with your search term on the whole internet. Click on the link to go to the results of the search term food in Google Images

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