Sunday, February 28, 2010

Perfect Day

I had a really fun afternoon on Saturday.  First, I hit the interstate.... carefully following this coffee truck.

Okay, I'm pretty sure he wasn't loaded with coffee, but I was prepared with my thermos, just in case he wrecked!

We had a great going away party for friend Myriam, who is moving back to her native Belgium.  In the years she has lived here, we have all been in awe of her artistic skills.... from calligraphy to painting to drawing to tatting... and the list goes on.  She has been weeding out her studio in preparation for the move.  She has distributed a lot of her painted papers among all of us for the past few months.  Leave it to Gaye to come up with the brilliant idea of making a book for Myriam, using her very own painted papers!  I love it.  We have all been making tags and embellishments to go in the book.  I think she was surprised, and the book was awesome.  I keep trying to tell Gaye that I think I am moving to Belgium too, so she will make a book for me, but she's not falling for it.

Here is Myriam's book, with her own papers coming back to her.  Even the covers utilize paper from one of her paintings.

Here is my tag - I made a pocket from her paste paper and the booklet tag is from her calligraphy project.

It was fun seeing friends I don't get to spend time with nearly as much as I need to, and I loved seeing Dot's studio and getting all kinds of ideas.  It was a perfect day!

Friday, February 26, 2010

And So It Goes...

My brother (on the left) is NOT 50 years old in this picture. But he will be next week.  One reason I have not been posting much the last week is that I was going through old family photos, scanning them, and emailing them to his daughter.  I'm the unofficial keeper of the photos, you see.  She is making a scrapbook for him and planning an early surprise party for tonight.  So, since it was a surprise, I could not say anything here.  My lips and typing fingers are sealed.  He should be looking at the scrapbook right about now.  I so wish I could be there, but it was not possible for me to travel that distance.  But it sure has been fun to go through the old photos.  So many memories.  He used to really know how to get under my skin, back when I was a teenager and he was "the little brother".  If he really wanted to make me mad, he would go un-make my bed.  I swear, there would be steam coming out my ears!  Funny how that all seems so irrelevant now.  Just something to laugh about.  So, now my "little" brother is 50.  That makes me.... older. Happy Birthday!  (And yes, that would be me on the right.  Hard to believe I was that young, with hair that short, and bangs!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Green Things Popping Up

I noticed this new green sign on my road a couple of days ago.  It may not seem like anything out of the ordinary to anyone else, but it has me a little curious. 
I've mentioned before that I live out in the country.  On a country road.  Although I've never thought much about it, I have thought my road is about 6 miles long.  I'll be generous and say it might be more like 10 miles, but certainly no more.  So why do we need mile markers on this road?  It must be to help 911 dispatchers or something.  I seriously doubt anyone will get lost on my road since it is so short.  And why is it on the left side of the road?  I guess that is just in case there are some British visitors.  Who happen to be driving out in rural Kentucky.  And get lost.

Then I was pondering this further (yes, my mind is like a fine oiled machine sometimes...) and as long as I've lived here, I've directed people to my house by saying it is "about a mile down the road".  I think I once even clocked it in the car and it was a little over a mile.  It might be a mile and a half, but no way is it 3 miles!

But the good news is... at least one job was "saved or created" by the installation of this little sign.  Someone had to make the sign.  Someone had to drive out here.  Someone had to install it.  They probaby had lunch somewhere along the way, so a restaurant staff kept their jobs.  See, I should work for the government.  I know how to work the numbers!!

I noticed this today.  Sorry to dirty up your screen with moldy, dead vegetation, but since I discovered poison ivy in this area, I don't touch this spot anymore.  I don't weed it, I don't mulch it, I just ignore it.  But, holy cow, there is a little area of stuff sprouting there!  Spring is indeed on the way!!

Speaking of green...

Need I say more?  Actually, these are fake Girl Scout cookies.  Let me say first off that some things I will buy the generic versions of and some things are worth the extra money.  Like toilet paper... I have a name brand I stick to and that's that (okay, too much information!)  And Coca-Cola.  Sorry, but "Sam's Choice" or a generic brand just doesn't do it for me.  Anyway, the little neighbor girls all around me have all either grown up or they've moved away.  I don't run into Girl Scout cookies anymore.  But I saw a box of these at the dollar store (way cheaper than the real thing) and they taste just as good as the real thin mints. 

Thanks for putting up with my random ramblings... I'll be over in the corner pondering more meaningless and obscure things of life. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's a Collection!

I'm having serious book love for this new book from friend Jennifer.  Yummo. 

I want to sneak over to her house and watch her make these.  Well, I may need a week of vacation from work to sneak away to Alaska, but that's beside the point.

So much detail... copper etching, riveting, hammering, etc.  Thank you Jennifer!!! 
(And I love the fabric it was wrapped in too!)

And now that I added it to the other two metal books from Gaye, it is officially classified as a collection of small metal books.  Not a couple of books anymore.  A collection!!!
(It's always so hard to take pictures of metal books.  They are way better than the pictures.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Now Seen in Brooklyn

Remember my sketchbook, You Are Me?  The exhibit/library of over 1000 sketchbooks with 30 assigned themes will be seen starting this month.  The closest it will come to me is Chicago or St Louis, neither of which is actually "near" me.  Here is the schedule.

Go to this blog here to see pictures of all the sketchbooks arriving.  And go here to see an article in the New York Times featuring four of the other artists.  Seeing some of the other themes, maybe "You Are Me" wasn't so bad after all.  Although the theme of  "And Suddenly...." sounds intriguing too!

I'm still perturbed that I can't show the video of my book.  Some kind of error message about the wrong codec.  I have researched that extensively, but only get more confused.  Even the Microsoft website does not give any helpful information except to be cautious of downloading codecs to use.  Whatever.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Beignet, Anyone?

Laissez le Bon temp rouler! *

Did you get your Mardi Gras on today?  Have some King Cake and wear your beads?  I have never been to Mardi Gras.  I went to a faux Mardi Gras parade once.  It was in another coastal city, not the real thing.  But it was pretty wild for a faux Mardi Gras, so I can only imagine what the real thing is like in New Orleans!  If you want a peek of New Orleans tonight, just click here and go to one of the parade cams.  I just checked and all I saw was a dump truck and some guys shoveling up party debris.  Not very exciting!  (But then it's early as I write this.)  I wonder if all those partiers realize that to party "historically/accurately", they need to fast for 40 days after today? 

Sometime I will talk about how much I love, love far away web cams.  I routinely travel on a river ferry across the Rhein.  I sit in the little German coffee shop and watch the river all day.  Yes, I do.  Sometimes I do.  C'est la vie.

(Okay, I've used up all the French I know, so I'd better go study some more!)

*(Lazay Lay Bon Tom Roulay) - Let the Good Times Roll!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Deja Vu

Different day, same scene.

Bitter blowing wind and snow. 
All the little birds and critters hop around
outside my garage door,
saying "more seed, please"!!
Yesterday I discovered a hole in the snow where a little chipmonk had burrowed a path to "the outside".  I sometimes see him poke his head out (kind of like that Whack-A-Mole game), but I'm not fast enough to get a picture of him.  Because he had to work so hard, I will temporarily forgive him for past destruction in my flower bed. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thoughts from the Heart

I have mixed feelings about Valentine's Day.  I feel so bombarded everywhere I look.  I think Valentine's Day puts a lot of pressure on people.

Those who know me well know I'm a big fan of sarcasm, so I love these candy hearts from Despair, Inc.

It sure seemed simpler when I was in grade school.  You bought cheap cards and handed them out, you got some in return, and that was that.  I was looking online for some elementary school type cards, like the ones when I was a kid, and found these.

See--nice, simple, generic type cards.  No copyrighted characters that add five bucks to a box, just cards.  I also came across some vintage cards.  This one had me scratching my head.  I have no idea what it means.  Nothing says love like a card with an onion on it.
Hearts are everywhere.  You can't avoid it, even if you try.

But, so is chocolate, and that's a good thing!

In spite of my sarcasm, I don't dislike hearts.  In fact, I was in a heart swap a couple of years ago, and I still love my basket of fabric hearts!  I get so happy when I look at them, and the basket is out year round, not just at Valentine's Day.  This one is the one I made.

Here is Gaye's.

Here is the whole set.

And there is good news.  The sun has been out the last couple of days, so the snow is melting.  That just melts my heart too.  That's the great thing about living smack in the middle of the north and the south.  Even though the weather is very unpredictable and can go either way when a "weather incident" rolls through, snow doesn't usually last very long.  It doesn't even bother me that we are supposed to get more snow in the next few days.  I can dig it (literally).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Above and Beyond

Attention shoppers - only 4 more days until Valentine's Day.  Therefore you will temporarily see hints of red around my blog.

It's cold today.  Too cold for me to frivolously go outside and write in the snow, or stage photo ops with clowns and sock monkeys.  The wind blew all night and all day.  What little shoveling I did yesterday was covered up by more snow last night and today, as well as snow that blew from somewhere else.  My path to the road disappeared.  The trash collector did not come yesterday.  However, they did come today.  After they left, I looked outside to make sure they had not left my trashcan too close to the road.  With the winds blowing like they were, it would blow into the road in no time and become a trashcan pancake.  I didn't see it.  Great.  It was probably already in the road, out of my line of vision.  I got all bundled up and prepared to shovel another path to the road.  I opened the garage door and saw this.

Not only had those wonderful souls fought subzero temperature, blowing snow, and howling winds in doing their job, they had brought my trashcan all the way up my driveway to the garage.  AND they brought my newspaper.  I am most impressed.  Who does that?  Who goes out of their way to do more than is required these days?  Kudos to those frozen figures who passed by today.

This is (a) a Himalayan moutain range, or (b) snow that was shoveled from my sidewalk.  Could be either!

Stay warm, boys and girls.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


7:00 am - More snow.  Again.  Enough already.
(Excuse me while I adjust my attitude)
I meant to say... look - pretty snow - we love it, don't we. 
(I know... by the time it rains and freezes tonight, I'll be wishing for this pretty fluffy snow to come back)

(Later that same day)

 11 am - Make it Stop!!!!

(Yes, I know I should be thankful I have electricity and that it's not three feet of snow.  I am, believe me!)

1:00 pm - sigh.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Few Loose Ends

A few posts ago, I mentioned some things I could not post here because they were birthday gifts.  While I have still not finished my own "Remains of the Day" journal I have been working on, I wanted to make one for Gaye for her birthday.  Unfortunately, I have not finished hers either.... so for her birthday, I wrapped up the cover with some padding inside and gave that to her, then promptly took it back!  Most of the fabrics on the cover are goodies she found at yard sales and shared with me.  The keyhole is one of the infamous leather keyholes we came across together a few years ago.

And speaking of Remains of the Day, that class has me so into sewing things, I even sewed one of Gaye's packages closed!  Hey, why not? As far as I know, there are no published Rules and Standards for Gift Wrapping.

Another thing I had mentioned was something I had ordered.  I can now reveal that I had ordered some custom fabric labels (after seeing sources listed on Pam Sussman's blog).  As usual, I ordered some for Gaye, and some for me.  Gaye's turned out fine... look, she even put one on an envelope she sent me.  Clever Girl!!!

The set I ordered for myself..... well.... instead of labels with my name on them, this is what I received.

(Since this looks like someone's phone number, I obscured the numbers before posting it here.)  I guess poor Bill is wondering where his labels are.  I know I'm wondering where mine are!

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Things to Heart in February

Paula hearts Gaye's little metal book.

Gaye hearts Paula's soldered necklace.

We heart Paula's clay necklaces.

We all heart chocolate cake.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Age is Only a Number

Happy Birthday to Gaye !!!!!
Age is only a number.
Sometimes it's a Big number (the one above, not your birthday).
And you are older than I am, but only for 56 days.
Maybe we need a birthday trip to this Kentucky location...