Thursday, February 22, 2007

Road Trip

Going to see my Dad. I may be able to check in with all of you from his computer. Maybe not. Anyway, don't have any fun while I'm gone!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I've Been Switched

I went kicking and swearing but I'm here in New Blogger or rather GoogleLand for better or worse. I did write down all the information such as display name and password because I always forget.

Had my Mammo Squeeze this morning and went to the bank and then had absolutely nothing to do so I went back home and have been reading blogs for awhile and decided to post and bore you all to death with drivel. I ordered sushi to be delivered to work for my lunch. Avocado and Cucumber. Reason to live.

I'm having something with eggplant in it for dinner tonight (got to use it) and G is having lamb chops and wild rice. We'll be watching Lost. Last week's was good for a change. They are repeating last week's show at 9 and the new episode at 10. Okay, I'm done.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Post Toastie

This was made from a bag of African themed fabrics. Small scraps given to me by a friend who had made her "last" African themed quilt. I showed this small (8 inch squarish) piece to her yesterday and she didn't recognise any of it as hers. She also said it looked Aztec. I think it looks like the logo on Survivor.

A number of blogging veterans are taking blog sabbaticals. I have noticed a lack of enthusiasm on my own part for daily blogging. I have also been lacking in enthusiasm for daily journal entries in my paper and pen journal. Any one else out there feeling like this? Usually these things are general to the population. Syncronicity. Excuse the spelling. It's like creative flu. My own theory: Now that Google is blocking email addresses from the comments, they have taken the true joy of blogging: the connections: out of the mix and it really isn't any fun, or as much fun as it was for me. How about you?

I did finish reading a book. "Beautiful Lies" by Lisa Unger. It took five or six checkouts before I actually had time to read. A first novel. I like first novels. The author seems to really be trying to write something worthwhile. I have Ms Unger's second book on the stack. It continues with the original story. I'm interested to see if I will continue to enjoy reading her work.

Visited Goodwill yesterday and found a likenew 100% wool J Crew sweater for my daughter and a lovely cashmere V-neck for my husband. $7 total. My daughter says I should try Salvation Army next as they have JJill and Eileen Fisher items on a regular basis. Who knew?

Thank you all for the lovely comments on my "eating plan". I'll only report every 6 weeks from now on. As it is my own private adventure. Feel free to inquire if the mood strikes.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Good News!

This was the best picture I could take of my happy self. You can see the red nails! Woo Hoo! And the Good News! Fourteen Pounds! I had myself all set up for failure and even took homemade Banana Bread for the doctor and nurse to "help" get a positive vibe going.

So I lost weight (doctor was thrilled) my blood pressure is low and my cholesterol went down 41 points to 217. A Trifecta of good health news. I celebrated by having 2 eggs and toast for lunch. My next appointment is in May. I have to keep working and add more walking (easier as the weather warms up). I can do this.

So, since I ironed 15 shirt yesterday, I think I will do some fabric art this afternoon. It's really cold outside and I don't want to go out again to walk. I'm working all weekend.

I was going to have something to say about the Mommie Bloggers. Not all of them but some. The ones with kids that are up every hour on the hour all night long, the ones with 14 month old babies who run the household because mama and papa want the child to be "in touch with his/her own uniqueness" and the preschoolers who run over and lift up mom's shirt to "self serve nurse". To all of you-- ever heard of common sense????? Perhaps there should be an application parents to be have to fill out or a test to pass. And really, you are over 30 and well educated, why is this so difficult? You, the parent, are the Alpha dog. Not the baby. And very young babies who aren't sleeping for more than an hour-- are hungry. That's why old fashioned moms weighed the baby after nursing to see how much food the baby actually got with each feeding. And that's as far as I can go without being so totally rude I would embarrass myself.

Today's the Day

Doctor's appointment in just 40 minutes and I will find out if I lost any weight and how much. I am very nervous about this as it could depress me very much. You know. Working so hard and seeing no evidence of all that hard work. Well, I am wearing my old belt which I couldn't even fasten before.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Why Did I Come In Here?

Nothing is going as planned. Well, I did get gel nails installed on my fingers yesterday. And they are painted "Quarter Cent Cherry" Red. Where do they get these names? So I am pleased with that. But I did not get to the paper valentines. Can NOT find my watercolor paper. Have looked in all the places the pad of paper is not.

Am roasting vegetables for soup. Rutabaga, potato, parsnips, butternut squash, beets and a last minute addition of an onion. After work I will blend all the vegetables with some vegetable stock and have a "creamed" soup to eat the rest of the week. Oh, I smooched the cubed veggies with one Tablespoon each of good olive oil and maple syrup and then salted and peppered. I lined the baking sheet with parchment paper to keep things from sticking. 450 for an hour or more. Most of the veggies are "organic" from the "oh so trendy" Wild Oats.

The butternut squash is from my garden. I filled a little wagon with squash and had it in the garage all the way till January with no worries. Then we went into the "deep freeze" weather-wise and my squash are all frozen solid. I just go get one, peel, and cube and roast them till done. I know someone out in the blog-o-sphere will say "oh, no!" You can't do that. but they smell fine and taste the same as always. I don't eat the wrinkly ones.

Back to "oh so trendy" Wild Oats. I have been called a Yuppie. I drive an expensive imported car, sleep on 100% linen sheets and like the "good things" Martha Stewart loves. But on my first visit to Wild Oats I discovered that I am NOT a true Yuppie. The people in that store were unbelieveable. The clothes. The attitude. The atmosphere. In Maine! Where the hell do they work??? Do they work??? Are they all independently wealthy???? I was feeling like I lived in a cardboard box on the wrong side of the tracks. Now this is the norm when I visit my son in California and my friends in Sonoma. But I had never experienced this in Maine.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Junk Drawer of My Mind

My Painter's Keys letter today had these thoughts:

Make your mistakes with less on the table.
Have low commitment for courage and creativity.
Catch the wisdom of series and set.
Make variations on themes and motifs.
Build proficiency on the personal game-board.
Overcome the natural tendency of preciousness.
Feel the energy of the portable smug.
Use natural selection to drive potential larger work.

Make your mistakes with less on the table.
I think this means less expectation that the work will be fantastic. Just do the work and whatever will be, will be. Now that is hard. Don't we all expect so much more? And then experience such a letdown when things don't go the way we had hoped.

Catch the wisdom of series and set.
Yes. The wisdom of the "many" and not the "one". When I was making traditional pieced blocks I remember the enthusiasm for the first block, the tedium of the next 10, and then the time and space to fiddle with the remaining blocks. Guess which blocks are commented on?

Have a low commitment for courage and creativity.
Isn't making art all about courage? We put outselves "out there" and people say things about our work. That takes courage. To share and to listen. I do think we all discount the amount of creativity we have. We want things to be perfect. And really, perfect is never creative.

Make variations on themes and motifs.
I did this last winter with my red pear. I painted a watercolor of the same pear every morning. Different light each day. Different mood on my part. Different pear. Yes, the pear. It aged gracefully. Then I moved on to oil pastel. Each painting says something different but the same.

Build proficiency on the personal game-board.
I think this may mean doing what you do best even if it's not what other people are doing. And that's difficult. Working to do better each time. Learning from each piece. Accumulating knowledge and craftsmanship. Series. Making mistakes. Letting yourself make mistakes.

Overcome the natural tendency of preciousness.
Now this is the gorilla in the art room. Making things that are "precious". To you. Most likely not to anyone else. Taking ONESELF too seriously. How much is that piece of fabric you just worked on really worth?

Use natural selection to drive potential larger work.
Most of my Good Works have been on the small side. I have tried to translate them into Larger Works but it is very difficult. What worked small, does not have the depth of field in the new, larger size. But large is always more attention grabbing isn't it? So I think I must work harder on the translation from small to large and perhaps in the "doing" learn what makes the Small Works so good.

Lots to think about. I have plans today to make some very Small Works out of paper and paste. Little Valentines. I will share them with you as soon as they are finished. I also purchased some vintage red beads and plan on making a simple red bead necklace to wear on Wednesday. I'm all about the RED this week.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Where, Oh Where, Have The Days Gone?

My box of half square triangles waiting for me to sew them into flying geese. I had them all set to sew--you know, had cute ones next to each other and all, and then I needed to do some alterations to a skirt so I could wear it to work. And everything got heaped up into a pile to clear space for the skirt. Will I ever find those cute combos again.

My second project is to create additional blocks to go with the 18 antique (sort of) blocks I bought at an auction many years ago. I think the fabrics are 40's or 50's--- not feedsack for sure, and heavy on the pretty blues. I purchased old and expensive fat quarters to use in making more blocks.

These are the two blocks I have managed to produce. This seems like a simple technique. Not much going on here. Patches sewn down with a topstitch. Well, let me just say the woman who made the other 18 blocks did a mighty fine job! This is harder to reproduce than I thought. I worked on these all day Sunday while watching The Closer on TNT instead of the Super Bowl. Which was the WORST Super Bowl I have seen. Da Bears should be mighty embarassed. All they had to do was rush Manning on every play and the guy would have had a meltdown (he's SUCH a whiner). But the Patriots could have done the job if THEY had even TRIED in the playoffs.

But I digress, Making things to "go with" something else, especially when you can't find fabrics to match the older ones--is very difficult. I don't want the blocks I make to stick out and call attention to themselves. And I only have 6 different fat quarters to choose from with the addition of some solid cheddar and deep red. I had contemplated taking some of the less wonderful blocks apart and mixing the fabrics in with mine--- but now that I've almost made two blocks-- I am NOT taking finished blocks apart. I'm crazy but not that crazy!

Now to shower, dress (in the skirt) and go to work. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, February 04, 2007


My pyramid of red grapefruit from WallyWorld. These little gems don't disappoint. And I'm looking forward to "one a day" till they are gone. Why is it that we can't get good tasting grapefruit all the time? A good one is cause for a parade here in Maine. And Navel oranges? Just awful. I've had to return recent purchases to my supermarket--they give me my money back, plus a dollar.

Yesterday's paper collage. I took some pictures from some sort of publication--I think it was a promotional piece--- which I found in the trash at the library. Anyway, I tore out two pages, cut them up and reassembled the pieces with some additions from my bucket of scrap materials. My daughter said it was a "neutrals study". Perhaps it is but only after the fact. Wasn't what I was doing.

The days are just flashing by. Already February. And G just carried the Christmas Tree up to the attic!! I got my squash seeds from Burpee. Now, to wait for the remainder from Fedco.

We're driving to Ohio to see my Dad at the end of the month. G and I both need a bit of a breather from work and Maine (much as we love both). We always enjoy a nice "road trip" so I hope the groundhog was correct and Spring will be right around the cornah when we get back. And the mud.

I spent the afternoon piecing 2 foundation, crazy patch blocks to match the other 18 from the late 40's. Maybe the 50's. I'm using gathered fabrics and trying for something that looks like it belongs together. Not like that Sesame Street song--"Which of these things doesn't belong here ?" Not easy. Pictures tomorrow.

Friday, February 02, 2007

28 Days

No pictures. It's been that kind of week. Lots of self doubt. Lots of poor food choices. I did find a book in the bookstore yesterday to help with "restaurant food" and I did better with that problem. Disaster on Monday. Good Choice on Thursday.

Been walking with my daughter on Tuesday and Thursday. She says it's 3 miles. But with company and lots to talk about--well, it feels like one mile. I've ALWAYS envied two people walking together. Thank you, Sam. We walk tomorrow if it doesn't snow heaps.

Been reading a Nutrition Book. I took my list of vitamins and RDA's to the grocery store with me trying to find a brand that matched up. In the end, I purchased One a Day for Over 50 and a box of Viactiv chews for the calcium. Caramel. The first one made me a bit queasy. And I don't think I need calcium but there are only 60 in the box and then I can stop.

Made my friend Monika's Linsensuppe. I did almost what she wrote in her recipe but I didn't cook it for 2 hours like she said. Smells fantastic. I have to run all the ingredients past the calculator and figure out the per cup. Had a whole wheat flatbread, veggie burger and lots of Romaine for a late lunch. I usually "skip" lunch and that's part of my problem here. So I bought things for "lunch".

Wally World for grapefruit. Got one yesterday and had it for breakfast. Delish! So I drove back out there to get 10 more. You really have to be excited by good tasting citrus. So often it's crap.

Also purchased spray starch for the "big day of ironing shirts". Either Saturday or Sunday. The guest bed is covered with piles of shirts. Good news is--my husband found red sweatshirts at Wally World and now he can wear those with a turtleneck. No ironing.

Fabric related news: I helped a friend thread a bobbin. I also have a half square triangle pair wedged under the presser foot of my machine with about a thousand feet of thread balled up in the seam allowance. I'm letting it have a "time out".

I was doing the "Happy Dance" yesterday. I got to wear, comfortably, a pair of sage green wide wale cordoroy pants that I haven't been able to wear in 5 or 6 YEARS!!!!! Love those pants.