Friday, April 26, 2013


Well, the crazy numb leg stuck around yesterday and my normal stretching wasn't alleviating the pain.  Finally googled and searched--all the symptoms and descriptions fit perfectly--I think it's sciatica.  So, I also searched out some different new stretching exercises I could do for sciatica--and tried those off and on yesterday.  Seemed to help and I could sleep last night--hurray!  Today I can walk better and the sharper pain has lessened...and I am doing the extra exercises.  Leg and my behind still feel quite weird, but things are looking up.  :)
So--since I couldn't walk or stand well yesterday...I worked on the Zendala Dare for this week.   

This time I actually took out my Tangles Binder...
...and used efilys, 2-N-5, and beadlines. 
I decided to participate in the APR challenge for this week, too.  Jennifer woke up with this childhood song playing in her head--the one that goes "Head, shoulders, knees and toes"--and we were supposed to somehow incorporate that into our art this week.  Body parts--OMG!
Well, the next line is "Eyes, ears, mouth and nose"...
As a rule, I don't draw people or animals because I know I'm just not good at it--but I decided to grab this journal page where we had wiped off the brayer from the gelli plate playing (so I would be intimidated by a white page)...and tried to paint a face over it.  You can laugh.  But at least I bet your recognize she's human--LOL!  My first face.
Well, my first painted face.  Have attempted to draw them with pencil a few times over the years (I truly lack hand-brain coordination) and was actually forced to draw a self-portrait in pastels for a college art class (which is why I knew I needed to use my little table easel so her head wouldn't end up all kittywompus and looking like one of the Coneheads from Saturday Night Live).  I have little clue how to shade with paint and am almost a virgin when it comes to acrylics--but, regardless, this is my "eyes, ears, mouth and nose" contribution for the Artist's Playroom.  Her ears are hidden under her hair--(be grateful you were spared)--but she actually looks fairly proportional!  So, for me--she counts as a success--LOL!
Dagan stopped by with the non-scratch scrubber last night.  When I can stand at the sink again I can promise you that I shall scrub those dang stencils until they look brand spankin' new!  ;)  In the meantime, I think I shall work on writing letters.  That's a most delightful sitting-thing to do on a spring-like day that's supposed to be our first day to maybe hit 60--whoohoo!!  I even have the porch door and windows open (already almost 50!).  Glorious, only-breezy, resurrected-flies-on-the-porch day!  Oh, and I've been so busy puttering this week that I haven't even watched Call The Midwife and Mr. Selfridge from last Sunday yet! 
Take care!  Be well!  
See you again soon.  :) :)
"The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have...Live!"
Henry James

Thursday, April 25, 2013


We've had some sunny mornings and have hit the 40s!  This was Tuesday, I think.
Snow has been having a chance to melt for several hours during the days. 
But it takes a while for it to actually warm up to melting temps.  Can you see the ice floating in the parking lot puddle? 
The steady sound of hammering rings in the air all day as they work on that apartment building across the way.
Every morning that it's not too windy on the porch Karma sits in that patch of sun and watches the swallows swooping about building nesting spots... 
...smells the wafting scents... 
...and listens to the chirping and traffic as she soaks up the rays--even though it's only been in the 20s in the mornings--lol! 
I glued the cover paper on the front and back, trimmed the paper down, clipped the corners, and let it dry. 
Re-poked the holes.  Then glued the cover paper around the edges and let that dry. 
Hard to tell, because the inside paper I chose is almost the same color as the davy board, but I glued the inside paper down.
Re-poked the holes on that side and the covers are done. 
The handmade paper with the inclusions folded easier than I expected.   
Next will be punching holes in all the signatures and then sewing the whole thing together.  After that I have four smaller ones to put together.  ;)
In the meantime--from another of the 21 Secrets workshops (I've Got A Secret)--I threw together this pamphlet-style journal.
Yes--it has a manila envelope for a cover!
 She used cardstock for the inside few pages, but I had an old drawing paper pad that I wanted to use up so I cut a few sheets down to size and sewed them in.  Next we cover everything in gesso and use watercolor crayons to blend swirly colors all over this.  I had everything at hand and so I thought I'd at least slap this together so I'm ahead of the game when I get to that workshop.
What a look!
I almost caught Karma cleaning her bottom!  She does not like to be watched, so I backed off.  After all, I wouldn't want her posting pictures of me cleaning my bottom--so that's definitely off limits.  She really glared at me.  And she doesn't even know she's on the internet--ROFL! 
Dagan and Leah were here last night.  Leah's on different hours at work for the next few months for a project they're doing (time change coordination with another office out west) and is working 10am till 7pm, so she came later after she was done.  Dagan updated my TV computer and helped me figure out how to finally be able to scan and size photos.  I have to use Windows on my McLap (I forgot I have both Safari and Windows on here) and then transfer the pictures over to the Mac side later or something.  For now--I just have to see if I can remember how to get to Windows and how to scan and save.  I shall have to practice.  Eventually I will be able to show you some old pictures.  (Yes, for those of you who have been following me for years, my life moves at glacier speed--ROFL!)
Okay, my art table has become a temporary dumping ground, but I wanted to show you...
 ...that Leah put up this old wall pocket for me by my art table last night.
And then...drumroll, please...we played with the gelli plate!  I tried a couple prints and then I let Dagan and Leah take turns and play till they were tired and ready to go home.  I had to chuckle that Dagan tried to form a pac man eating a ghost (didn't work) and then Leah tried it, too (didn't work).
Shows you what generation they are from by what came out when they were feeling like kids playing with paint--LOL! 
My OCD self was freaking out over what acrylic paint does to...well, everything!  The stencils and brayer were coated with this thin layer of paint that crusts on with fervor.  It took me half an hour standing at the sink last night just to clean the brayer and one stencil with a toothbrush, soap and water.  (The gelli plate cleans fairly easily, though.)  Leah said she has this white non-abrasive scrubber they use (we don't want to scratch things up while cleaning them) so Dagan was going to try to remember to drop one of the white scrubbers off after work tonight.  
I will have to be able to clean things off.  You know me.  Dirty stencils with paint buildup will drive me bonkers.  Leah, too.  We are already thinking...  If anybody has any helpful hints--please let us know!  :)
 This morning I was up at 4:30 and couldn't get back to sleep.  Standing at the sink last night scrubbing--well, my leg started this going to sleep thing it does on occasion.  I think it's bone on bone arthritis in that hip or possibly even my neck.  (The nerves go down the whole side of your body and I have heard people having leg problems from pinched nerves in their neck/shoulder area before.)  Anyways, my leg still has that odd numbish, tingly feeling and I couldn't get comfortable to get back to sleep.  Got a dramatic picture of the pre-dawn sky, though.
The sun is now coming up on the other side of the skyline--right behind the water tower. 
You can see how much of the snow is gone since Tuesday.
But in the morning there is still frost on the cars and ice. 
We're supposed to get into the mid-40s today and might hit 60s by the weekend--whoohoo!  Most of the snirt pile might even melt away by next week.  ;)  We didn't get as much rain as they had thought the last week so they are thinking the flooding may not get as super high as they first expected--but the flooding will be upon us soon.  I've been here since 1999 and I still can't get used to the fact the Red River flows to the north up here.  Well, I grew up next to the Mississippi River...water that definitely flows south from Minnesota--LOL!
Last shots for today...
...are of the very first gelli plate play... 
...that went on last night. 
Not sure standing for any length of time is going to work well for me till my leg quits being a poop, but I can find something I can do sitting down--never fear.  If I can quit yawning.  ;)  And I am going to try to stretch it out--work that wrong pressure spot out, you know.  Well, have a good one!!  May you life have no bad kinks.  See you soon!
"Trouble creates a capacity to handle it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, April 22, 2013


Monday morning confession.  
You see how things are still set up for gluing paper on the journal covers...sitting there untouched?
I have been immersed in the 21 Secrets workshops since Friday.  Have made up a 3-ring binder, as you can see...
...highlighted the workshops that I have read through and watched every video for so far. 
I am having just waaay too much fun!  ;)
You know how I was kind of searching for another workshop or two that I could incorporate into my critter journal...well, I already discovered that it is difficult to tell exactly what is involved in a particular workshop until you dive in and watch the videos.  
Then on Friday night I attended an hour with the first teacher in the 21 Secrets chat room and noticed several people had been apparently perusing the classes first...and I thought--Great Idea!!
The next five scheduled chat room sessions (April and May) are with the next five teachers--in sequence--so it would be nice to at least know what people are talking about in the chat room and to be able to ask any questions I might have.  Plus, just in case I have anything else come up this year where I can't get to the workshops for a while I will have all the information printed off, videos watched, and notes taken so that I can finish up whenever, you know? 
So, I have made it through nine of the workshops so far!  What fun!
Miss Karma, though, has been suffering with a serious dilemma.  I had to wash her cat beds again after she was finally well, right?  Her favorite blue bed had gotten fairly lumpy after the first washing--and after the second one...well, there was this huge mound in the middle of the bed.  Karma was finally so frustrated trying to get comfortable in there that she started sleeping on the ottoman rather than in her formerly favorite blue bed when it was on her chair.  Was a much bigger issue than the princess and the pea, I assure you.
  So yesterday I finally decided to cut open the side...
...dig out the huge mound (you can see how far beyond a pea problem this was!), laid her self-heating mat in the now flat bottom... 
...and Karma is a happy camper once again.
The new brown bed has washed like a charm, BTW.  A tiny bit lumpier, but nothing like the blue bed mound disaster.
So, that's what's happening up here.  We actually had sun on Saturday most of the day, not much precipitation, and hit 40 yesterday, I think.  Lots of melting going on up here.
I thought I should clarify more on the movie Django Unchained.  I really liked it, but it is rough to watch--with racist language and cruel treatment--lots of splattery shooting.  But it has dark humor and a separated lovers story, too.  If you liked Pulp Fiction or Fargo then you would probably like it.  Well, Fargo is pretty tame and heavier on humor now that I think about it...let's say a lot more like Pulp Fiction There are good and bad people on both sides--and lots of bad people get shot or killed--sometimes quite dramatically.  But I thought you should be prepared for something along the violent, dark humor lines of Pulp Fiction.  I loved it.  But it might not be your cup of tea.
This weekend I also watched the new musical version of Les Miserables.  It was okay.  I know people are raving about it but, personally, if I hadn't seen a few other versions I might have liked it better.  Compared to all the story detail and character development in my favorite version so far with Gerard Depardieu (2000) or even another good version with Liam Neeson (1998)...but then they were not musicals.  It's not that I don't like musicals.  But most musicals have breaks in-between the songs, you know?  They don't sing almost every single line--even when it's not part of a song.  Or maybe it's just that the musicals I like have more regular conversation breaks in them--like Sound of Music or The King and I or Singing In The Rain or countless others.  
With this version--it was a noticeable relief to me the few times people spoke naturally and weren't singing.  I felt the story was rushed (with holes) and the characters weren't as developed--but, because I knew the story (which is a great one) I still shed a few tears in the appropriate places.  I may be one of the few people who wasn't blown away by this version, I guess.  It was worth seeing, though.
And now...
a new week lies before us.  
Choices will be made.  
Fun will be had.
Life will unfold.
See you again soon! 
"In the measurement world, we set a goal and strive to achieve it.  In the universe of possibility, we set a context and let life unfold."
B. Zander 

Friday, April 19, 2013


Good Morning!
I decided to use something from playtime past for The Artist's Playroom challenge this week...just because I wanted to participate and this immediately came to mind.  Our challenge was to use two colors to make art and then make up a word for it.  Example: Blue and Orange makes Blorange.  So since my art is Blue and Red--that makes (quite dramatically, I thought) either Bled or Rue.  
Yesterday (since my hand was actually a little shaky all morning from overdoing it with my good arm the day before) I passed on the journal gluing.  Last night, though, I tested out my arm on the Zendala Challenge doing my own random doodling and my hand was much better.  Took pictures this time.  Here's the template:
I had no clue what to do with it--started out with one small circle in an outside corner and went from there.  

I felt this one needed color. 
Was a very relaxing contrast to watching Django Unchained.  Violent (but also humorous) movie--loved it! 
Took forever to finish this because I kept finding myself frozen--pen in hand--glued to the screen--LOL!
Anyways, it's a sunny morning!!
28 degrees and not too windy--so Karma's already been out once sitting in her little corner of sunshine on the porch.  :)  They're talking rain or freezing rain over the weekend so Karma and I will enjoy the rays in our separate fashions today.  
I hope to get some gluing done before we meet again.  ;)
Have a refreshing weekend!
"This world is a mountain, in which your works are echoed back to you."

Thursday, April 18, 2013


We did have a very short visit by blue skies after the blizzard.  I took this picture so I had proof--LOL!  (Been pretty dark and gray up here most of the time lately.)
I heard we had gotten almost a foot of snow in just a few days but, as you can see, a day after the plows went through half of it was melted away. 
Really big snirt pile, though, between the garages!
Karma is back to her zen-self...except when it's bug-on-a-string time (which if she had her way would be all her waking moments--she's crying for it right now). 
Yesterday it snowed all day long.  The big, fluffy, wet flakes (that I absolutely love) danced around in the wind outside my windows... I picked the rest of the cover papers and tore them down to size...

 ...folded the watercolor papers for the insides...
...into stacks...
 ...and then (using my awesome big heavy ruler)...
 ...tore all those in half...
...(a long process with many arm and back breaks--lol!)... 
...and then folded those all in half again so they will now fit in the four smaller davy board covers.  Ahhh! 
The backordered gelli plate arrived yesterday, too!  (Not that I will play with it until I have at least one journal finished.) 
This is what it looks like this morning.  Got cold enough last night for some snow to stick to the cars and parking lot.  But it's supposed to get into the upper 30s today--and more snow or rain is possible.  
Not good news for the flood potential this year.  I heard they said we need 2 million sand bags now within the next 14 days.  Almost there.  (Don't worry about Karma and I or Dagan and Leah, though--we're not in the flood area.)  
This morning...
...well, I got the craft table all set up for gluing covers last night, but I'm not sure whether I will actually begin on that today or not.  Depends on how my body feels after yesterday.  (I never know until I am up for quite a while--am always hobbly-achey-sore the first few hours after I wake up--lol!)  But I made a lot of progress and the big, flat boxes are all back under the bed--hurray!  ;)
Hope you've been having a stupendous week!
See you again soon!  :)
"Everything you say should be true, but not everything true should be said."