Friday, August 31, 2007
When I do have these catch-up on my sleep marathons--it is wonderful! I am dreaming and sleeping so well and not getting up as often--not as restless. You just don't realize how precious sleep is until it is doled out to you--chuckle! And I had missed dreaming. That is something that has come back to me again--when I have the sleepathons--hehe! People need to dream, I think. I think my soul suffers more from being dream-deprived than sleep-deprived. :)
This morning--since it was cooler, was a nice morning, I got a lot of good sleep, wasn't really extra sore, was awake with the dawn, and if I wait for help it will never get done--I went out and started sorting thru boxes and bags in the garage. I am starting an area by the door for things to be picked up for the homeless. I didn't even last my full hour but close to it! :) My arm started to burn a little--it's not too pleased with the lifting--and I do need to wash clothes today, so I stopped right away. Listening to my body. I got a start, tho! TaDa!!
This is the third summer since I moved here and I have never gotten back out into the garage to clean up and organize since I moved in! Everything was just tossed and piled in there back when I moved in. Plus I have kept bringing things out there--Dagan and Leah are storing things out there--just a mess, of course. I barely put a dent in it--hehe! I should have brought the camera for a "before" picture--but I forgot it. Next time. As I said--I barely put a dent in it anyways--just shuffled boxes and bags over to the door. Feels good to have gotten started, tho. Even if I can get out there once or twice a week--it will get done eventually. :) I'll need Dagan and Leah for certain things. I just cannot move heavy things with this bum arm anymore and I can only do a little at a time with the fibro---but I can get quite a bit of it sorted on my own using mostly my good arm--little by little. I guess I certainly got my exercise for today! :)
Ha! I see the weather on TV as I am writing this--and today is the only nice day expected for a while. So, looks like I picked a good day to do that. Looks like rain every day again for several days and hotter weather, too, back into the 80's. I am so glad I finally got out there!! I have been telling myself to get out on a cooler day and get going before the snow flies around here--hehe! *Big Grin* Takes me so long to complete these kind of physical projects any more. They are admittedly daunting, to say the least. I guess going back on Sparks has really motivated me again. Good!
Then--I am so excited! Haiying went to China yesterday. She will be finding me (and for others from the CBP group and her students) seals and a carver--and various items like ink sticks and brushes, etc. Haiying wrote my names for me on a video--can't remember if I have put the link in here, but I'll put it in again just in case. She was explaining calligraphy practice paper to Barbara from the group and then drew my names for me--the two that I will have made into seals--"Rita" and "SoulComfort"!!
She picked my characters for my name after getting to know me. Chinese sure sounds confusing to learn. Haiying said that there can be up to 100 meanings or characters for one sound--so she picks what she feels represents the person after she gets to know them a little better. I asked her to do the SoulComfort by the meaning, since she said it didn't have a positive name by the sound/phonetically. What a sweet lady! So, I have had my characters personally picked! I am excited because her husband will be in the United States in September, so I will be getting my order sooner than I had thought (November). Yipee! I can hardly wait. I guess I had better practice learning how to sign my names in Chinese so that I can write them on any paintings I ever have that might turn out well enough to sign--ROFL!!
I feel rested--the sun is out--it is a sparkly day--the birds are singing--the washer is going--a cool breeze is floating in the open windows--and I already got something bigger accomplished this morning! What a good day, eh? Life is good!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I am totally amazed at all the wonderful people one can met online! Blows my mind! I was rather afraid to even post anywhere until the last couple of years. I have mostly been an online lurker in the past. And I have gotten a lot braver this past year, actually. :) Nice of them to Invent the computer and the Internet for this solitary lady in Fargo, eh? It is like being able to have a little company any time I am well enough to be spending time on the computer--and I know they are there.
The people in the Chinese Brush Painting Yahoo group--hard to even describe how they lift my spirits and are so kind to a beginner who bothers them with questions. :) They have the most interesting conversations. I have been introduced to something I never thought I'd feel comfortable attempting to learn--and enjoying it so much! The immediacy of the process--the alien feel of the paper--the challenge--it is all very satisfying to me even when I am not "satisfied" with my actual painting or practice strokes. There is a freedom in it that I have never felt with western painting. And that is exactly the polar opposite of what I had expected! Because it is precise and there are really no second chances in brush painting, I have been shocked by the feeling of freedom and relaxation that it gives me. Practicing strokes is almost meditative for me! :)
Anyways, I need to get a few hours of sleep. Leah is stopping by tonight to cut my hair back to chin length again. It is too thin to be this long--hehe!
I hope you all have something you love to do that brings you great joy! Something good for your soul! :)
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I had a very nice, peaceful day yesterday--playing around with brush painting, writing a letter in a bookcard, cooking, putting back all the handmade papermaking supplies up in the hall closet for now, reading, receiving calls from two friends, catching up on reading emails & digests and getting rid of junk mail--just a quiet day. Didn't feel too sore. Didn't overdo. Was a good day!! Plan on another one today. :)
Monday, August 27, 2007
...she couldn't wait to drink out of them--she just plunged right in!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I started by cutting some sheets of the 32 lb. cotton business paper in half (cutter on the far left). Then I folded them in half and creased the edges with the bone folder. I took a few of the handmade paper sheets and folded them in half and creased them with the bone folder, too.
I also did glue a few of the paper moulds on to the front of a few cards--no pictures yet. Have never tried using the paper moulds before and didn't know what glue to try. I used Tacky glue. Had to put a light weight on top of the cards to get the moulds to stay put, since they were a little wavy. I did make two bookcards yesterday (no moulds), but didn't get pictures. Was concentrating on how many holes to cut, etc. I'll get more pictures next time I am constructing the bookcards.
I got so wrapped up watching the end of the Deadwood series yesterday that when I woke up at 5:15am I was lying there wondering how it ended--got up and watched the rest--hehe! So much for my Deadwood weekend--hehe! Well, the Specials DVD is supposed to arrive today so I will have a little bit more Deadwood--chuckle! I was relieved to hear that they are hoping to do a 2-hour movie. I really, really hope they can do that and get all of the actors together again for it. The storyline was just cut off when they were cancelled.
Yawn! Yawn! But I couldn't resist watching the last two episodes early this morning. Karma has been on the porch. Baby swallows (looked like babies to me--beautiful but not too bright) have been landing on the railing on the other side of the screen. Karma just freezes, but she doesn't try to catch them. She stands up occasionally and paws lightly toward them--(and they don't even fly away?) Her hesitation probably comes from living with Gracie--hehe! She is fascinated--glued to the spot--Cat TV--hehe!
Lets hope this doesn't mean they have been building another nest in the dryer vent...???
Beautiful sunny day today. Down into the upper 40's again last night, but supposed to get into the 80's today. Life in the North Country, eh? :)
Friday, August 24, 2007
Not as sore now today. Good! Is it any wonder it took me almost five months to unpack (with occasional help) when I moved here and over a month of total R&R to recover. Sad, but true.
It's going to be a Deadwood weekend--hehe! Have more DVDs coming from the third season. That will help keep me in line so that I can get totally recovered and back to normal. :) Flipping days and nights has me feeling off kilter, too--but I would like to stay mainly on days, of course.
Karma is glad I am feeling better. We played hide and seek this morning and I had a couple of her favorite pole toys on a string out and we played till she was too tired to play anymore--hehe! Now she's parked in the chair by the window watching the sun come up and people leave for work--one of her favorite morning things to do (if she's not sleeping in bed with me--chuckle!)
Have a good day!! :)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Here's a rabbit or bunny angel.
Monday, August 20, 2007
It was so nice to see them. They are waiting on an appraisal on the house to be built--I guess that is the last step before the decision is made? I sure hope it all works out for them. The loan official at the bank is helping them with it all. He seemed pretty conservative to begin with, so I don't think he'd lead them astray. Should find out pretty soon.
I have still been up all night and sleeping during the day. Karma likes to come up and sleep next to me at the computer, especially in the middle of the night. I had to put two little stuffed critters in her way or she lays her head right on the keyboard--does strange things to it and has even frozen the screen up several times. Now that the little stuffed animals are there she curls up next to them and my keyboard is safe.
Anyways, I need to rest up for a couple of days, but I am so thrilled that I am finally done with the cleaning/reorganizing project!! Relief!! And--thrill--I have a Deadwood DVD to watch!! I love that show and have waited a long time to finally start getting Season 3--which I believe is their last season? :( So, as long as I have to be good for a while, I have something great to watch tonight! Hurray! Later. :) :)
Sunday, August 19, 2007
...I made my first "bookcard" last night, too! Well, remade. I had one card left from the last batch--messed up the first page and decided to take it apart and add more pages inside. Wow! I had six half sheets cut to size--which made twelve pages. When you write on both sides--that's twenty-four tiny pages--tada!! Love it!!
I dug out one of my lined grid sheets (I have made up for letter writing on various unlined paper) and cut it down to size for the little bookcards. Then, for the heck of it--I made up a larger envelope template (just a little larger than normal to fit the fat bookcard) and made my very first envelope. I have never made one before--I know, what a shock, eh? So, I am not up to doing too much today, of course. But it is so nice!! I just need the cart to go to the garage and I can wait and clean the curio cabinet under the hanging plant later (or even have my cleaning girl do it on Tuesday--now that's a thought! Asking for help, right?) I can relax and things can get back to normal--my normal. Ahhh! I can hear the Chinese brushes and the Japanese screw punch calling me now!
I will post pictures of how I am making the bookcards the next time I get into that project. For now, Dagan and Leah should be here pretty soon. I am going to go collapse until they arrive....
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Leah helped me take it off the wall and swirl it around the newly covered pot! Took up most of the top of the hutch--hehe!
Here's another covered pot across the room. I guess they don't look all that bad.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I had to bend the corner of the newspaper under. The wind came and flapped the paper up onto the side of the pail when I had been painting them--made a mess of it. So much for the weathermen saying there was absolutely no wind for once in Fargo last night--hehe! There's always at least a little breeze up here. :)
It is morning, the sun is shining, and I am about ready to go to bed here pretty soon. Yup--my days and nights are still totally flip-flopped. Living the crazy, wild life over here, eh? (I think the fumes from the polyurethane are getting to me--chuckle!)
When the pails are good and dry I can get them off the table--then, whether I finish my big organization project right away or not, I can set up again to paint, to draw, or to do something creative. If my OCD tendencies can be held at bay, that is, and I can ignore the mess. Hummmm??? That is a big question....
I have been spending some time snooping around on YouTube--looking for painting demos (of several kinds) and searching for demos on bookbinding. When I am searching around on the computer, I can use up all my good hours pretty quickly--and I don't even get to all my emals! It is amazing to me how fast time disappears at the computer! :)
I was looking for a demo on coptic stitching for book binding. Leah has these leather scraps she got at a fair--the scraps aren't very large--so we'd have to make smaller books (~3-4" by 4-5"). I'd love to try to make a little sketchbook with watercolor paper! I found one demo that had enough of the actual sewing that if I find the instructions in one of my books (no, I haven't looked yet--duh!)--now I could probably figure it out. Cool!! Another little project I've had on the back burner. I had a short bookbinding class for two days within an art class at college. It was a voluntary thing--I jumped at the chance! Have been collecting supplies since then, but haven't actually made any books--yet!
I do have quite a few of the supplies: davy board, specialty papers, awls, waxed threads, glue, and I think I have needles, too? When I saw Leah's thick pieces of leather--just looked like they'd be really cool for a rough looking book cover. Leah agreed and wants to go for it! Hope it works! :) Leah also got a bag of thinner leather scraps. Not sure if they're large enough to cover a piece of davy board or cardboard--even if it is small--because that actually takes a larger piece of leather, of course. I'll have to really go thru them and see what is actually there. They've been shoved into two plastic bags for quite a while--accidentally came over here a year or so ago with the beading supplies, but I never took them out to look at them. Time to come out and say hello, eh?
Well, hopefully next time I can show you what at least one plant looks like parked in a painted ice cream pail--ROFL!! Have a great day! :)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I watched some movies, of course. If you like very dark, sick humor, I watched a movie with a lot of twists and turns in it. Kind of reminded me of that old movie The Ladykillers--Tom Hanks made a remake of it that was pretty good. Only this one was faster moving and a little darker--but funny--to me, anyways. Called Big Nothing:
Strapped for cash after being fired from his new job at a call center, former teacher Charlie (David Schwimmer) teams with a low-level crook and his girlfriend in a scheme to blackmail the Rev. Smalls, an easy target known to visit adult Web sites. But their simple plan quickly falls apart when Smalls dies. Now, Charlie's got way more trouble on his hands than he ever expected in this crime caper co-starring Simon Pegg.
I also watched a movie about a mail order bride coming to Minnesota in the early 1900s called Sweet Land:
In Ali Selim's Independent Spirit Award-winning tale of how love triumphs over ignorance, German immigrant Inge tells her life story to her grandson after burying her husband on their farm in Minnesota in 1968. Inge begins her tale in 1920, when she's just become a mail-order bride to Norwegian-American farmer Olaf. Discovering that Inge's heritage is actually German, both Olaf and the community struggle to overcome years of anti-German propaganda and prejudice.
I was fascinated by this movie, of course, being from a Swedish immigrant background. Yes--even though my (formerly) married name is McGregor, I am a 100% Swedish "Johnson" girl from Minnesota. My grandfather worked his way over to Canada on a ship and became a lumberjack up there before he moved down to Minnesota. Does that make me second generation or third? I think if you go back--within a couple more generations everybody had come over from Sweden, but I am not positive? My sister has been studying the family tree the past few years--she knows. I'll be interested to see a copy of the information one day. All I know is my brother, sister, and I were the last of the full-blooded Swedes in our immediate family--and I am sometimes accused of having a Swedish accent--chuckle!
Anyways, I really, really enjoyed both movies. :)
It has been cooler at night lately--makes it feel like it's fall already? Was a dark, cloudy day today. Not very hot--but still humid--have had the apartment open. And that's the news from Fargo for today--chuckle!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I have been being good and not cleaning or organizing anything. That kind of physical activity just does me in, I guess. No doubt about it. Can only do so much and I become crippled up with pain. Sucks to be me--hehe! Well, only in some ways. :) In other ways, I am blessed of the blessed!
But--for today--I am sticking with the ordinary daily tasks again and nothing extra. Maybe tomorrow... :)
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I got so sore from doing all of this that was as far as I got. The rest of the place is in a mess. I still have stuff all over my bedroom floor and this is what the table looks like.