Tuesday, July 29, 2014


It is Tuesday morning already and I forgot to take a picture with my trusty thermal coffee mug.  :(  Trust me.  It is right here by my side.  I'm sure the folks over at T Stands For Tuesday can visualize it quite easily--as could any of you, right?  LOL!  ;)
We have had the most gorgeous days!!!  I've even believed the weather app on my cell phone when it has said 0% chance of rain and left the living room windows open all night, too, so that it is nice and cool in here in the mornings.    
Been somewhere around 80 (26C) during the days...
...and around 60ish (15 C) at night.  Perfect, perfect weather!!
Even when we have had more clouds than blue sky there's been no rain to speak of the last couple days. 
I've been reading away because Pam from the library was coming Monday afternoon to pick up my books.  I had one book I never got to, so she renewed that one for me and brought two more.  She's waiting for some Cat Who books from another library and will bring a bunch of those when they arrive, too.  We had a great long visit.
Miss Karma loves it when the windows are open.  
She spends a lot of time watching the swallows dart in and out of the balconies. 
They love to build nests on top of the balcony lights. 
Kids run about. 
She can watch the construction workers over at that apartment building... 
...and people come and go in their cars. 
These guys scared her, though, and she fled.  The sound of the big black flapping tarp was too much for her, I guess.  Makes me wonder if cats have a natural reaction to anything that sounds like giant wings coming to snatch them up for lunch?  Karma probably knows she'd be a banquet, eh?
  No clue what they were up to.  The one guy moved a bicycle out of the way? 
They were measuring and cutting pieces of tarp.  Leaks?  Landscaping up by the building maybe?  Sorry about a few of the pictures.  Shooting through the screen...the camera won't always focus past the mesh. 
Sometimes Karma sat in her chair on the other side of the table, too. 
But this morning something else caused her to bolt from her spy perch.   
This guy was shooting water out of the fire hydrant for a little while. 
Maybe fear of loud hissing sounds is an instinctive snake aversion?  Karma definitely cherishes her well-being, let me tell you.  ;)
Haven't made it over to see McFamily since Friday.  And I can't seem to copy and paste the pictures of Ian that Leah has shared in her dropbox file.  I'll have extra pictures of Ian I can post even if I haven't been able to make it over, she said...well, if I can figure out how to move them.  Copy and paste is not working for some reason.  I am planning to go over today...we'll see...plans are always tentative in my world--LOL!  But whenever I go over next time I am bringing my laptop so Leah can show me how to steal her pictures of Mr. Ian.  ;)
This gorgeous weather is supposed to stick around for a while.  Karma and I are in seventh heaven!!  I hope you are having beautiful days wherever you are.  Happy, happy Tuesday!! 
"And we are put on earth a little space, that we may learn to bear the beams of love."
William Blake 

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Good morning!
I didn't sleep long at all last night.  Thought I'd at least post some pictures this morning while I can still see straight--LOL!  I was over to visit McFamily on Wednesday and then again briefly yesterday after a run to the post office.  Ian likes dozing in his swing now.
The patio was finally poured but they still have to come back to seal it. 
Last week Dagan and Leah and several homes in their neighborhood suffered a brown out and then a huge power surge (construction--hit a power line).  The surge killed their microwave, freezer in the garage, and three of their breakers.  May have been more, I can't remember.  They lost a freezer full of meat!  What a hassle!  The construction company has to pay everybody back for damages.  Leah has had to get people out to see if the microwave and freezer can be repaired and to replace the breakers.  Always something, eh?  Actually a good thing Leah is home right now, I guess.
Dagan left last night for Bryan's bachelor party (his half-brother).  He'll be gone all weekend so I plan to go see Leah and Ian today or tomorrow for a good long visit.  :)  
Say! Did everybody else know that they don't have bachelor (or even the new-to-me bachelorette parties) right before the wedding any more?  Their wedding isn't until the beginning of September and that totally baffled me.  But I guess it's not uncommon these days.  No more bachelor parties the night before the wedding?  Or at least within a week of the wedding?  Seems strange to me.  I'm sure some people still do it the traditional way, right?  Or am I just really old?  Anyways, makes more sense not to have a hungover wedding party--LOL!  People should get married sober and alert.
  I haven't been doing much of anything extra except read (because I believe my library lady is due to come pick up books on Monday).  I did try another experiment, though.  Forgot to take in-progress pictures--but I took this IKEA platter that I use as a paint palette and used it to soak a paper towel full of the acrylic sprays.  Just one paper towel (on the right) and then I used another paper towel to soak up the leftover paint and then sprayed a little dylusions color on it, too.  Was trying to go for a tie-dye effect.   
I was afraid they might be too thin and tear while wet or after they dried when I peeled them off the cutting mats, but I was careful and they held together.  They are Viva, BTW.
Funny--the leftovers one didn't leave as much residue to scrub off. 
My camera doesn't show true color shades very well, but this close up is more the real colors. 
Now I will either layer these with some more paper towels or just save them to use with mixed media projects.  I loved how they turned out.
A couple days ago I was writing at my table when I saw this girl in her red dress hanging from the two lowest branches of the young tree under my window.  She was jerking downward trying to break off the branches and went from one to the other.  When she finally got this one branch to crack some she enlisted her brother to help her hang--even bracing her feet against the tree.  
They finally broke it down but couldn't extract it from the tree...so she came up with the idea of wrapping it around the trunk to try to tear it off. 
The mother just watched them. 
She stood right there by that car waiting for somebody...not but a few footsteps away...and never said one word to them...not one single word.  She just watched them.  Expressionless.  Broke my heart.  It saddens me deeply to see children not being taught to cherish living things...to respect other people's property...to not be deliberately destructive...
The man they were waiting for arrived and they all drove away.  
The mangled branch dangled loosely in the wind as the leaves slowly curled and paled.
I watched the maintenance man, Chris, the next day as he cut the dying branch off the young tree.
Meanwhile, Miss Karma has been keeping me company.

A girl needs her beauty sleep, eh?
Cats really do have the life, don't they?  
Well, at least the loved pet cats sure do.
Have a great weekend filled with kindness!!  :) :)
"It is not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of life you have lived."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Good Morning!
Well, it's still morning...even if I am usually one of the last people in Elizabeth's T-Day group to post every week.  ;) 
Been a whole week again.  Just seems that this summer has been very busy...even though I have not even made it back to visit the McFamily this past week.  They were busy, had company, and then were gone all weekend.  I was going to go over yesterday but it was in the mid-90s, a storm was predicted, and the Paseo has no AC.  I also figured Leah would be tired from their first weekend away with a bridal shower and all...(Dagan's half-brother Bryan is getting married)...and she was.  Today Caroline comes here to clean, so I don't know if I'll make it over today or not...but soon!
It's been in the 80s and 90s...with that heavy, sticky air that makes it feel hard to breathe.  Apparently around 75 is the best this wall AC can manage...and when it hits the high 80s and 90s it gets sweaty in here, too.  You know how I hate this weather.  The humidity makes every bone in my body creak and complain...so I don't sleep well and I don't get a lot done.  Too uncomfortable to move much so I couch-potatoed my way through the week.   I watched the first season of The Bridge and am now watching the first season of Ray Donovan--both of those are Netflix snailmail.  On Netflix streaming I watched the six episodes of Annika Bengtzon (Swedish with subtitles) and two seasons of old Miss Marples with Joan Hickson.  I guess I've been in a murder mystery kind of mood, eh?  LOL!  They were all good!
Karma kept me company...    
...while I journaled and worked on letters. 
 I did play at the art table a little, though.  Remember my sample paper towels I used as I filled the little spray bottles?  Well, I had two of them and they were dry.  I ripped them into pieces and kind of collage-glued them on to another paper towel--both sides. 
Going for more crinkling and texture.
The next day I peeled it off the cutting mat.  Here's the crinkly front... 
...and the slick backside. 
Didn't leave much mess.  Just a little glue residue that was easy to clean off. 
So I wanted to see how wet acrylic paint would work.  (Note my loyal thermal coffee mug.)  I sprayed and glued...
...and made a real mess!  Took me longer to wipe off all this splattered paint than it did to spray paint and glue the three sheets together--LOL!  I guess I need to get my cardboard spraying box out, eh?  Then I let it dry overnight. 
Meanwhile--a package came yesterday!!  From Susan who's a member of the T-Stands For Tuesday group.  Two of us won a package of goodies!  Susan had a giveaway contest for her own birthday!  How sweet.  The ribbon was wrapped around the handmade paper envelope on the left and handmade paper journal on the right.
Here you can see the backside of the handmade paper journal (right) and from inside the big envelope--the folded deli-paper, two pens, handmade tag, and handmade card.  Lovely!
Here's a close-up of the card.  Very pretty! 
Thanks so much Susan!!  What a sweet thing to do on your birthday and I was one of the lucky winners!  :) :)
This morning I peeled the paper off the cutting mat.  Here's the front... 
...and the slick back. 
Wet acrylic paint does leave some staining mess, but cleaned off okay with a bit of scrubbing. 
You know what a neat-freak I am.  I will never be a truly messy artist.  I clean everything after I use it...palettes, stencils, brushes, bottles.  I even washed the outsides of my water spray bottle and the watered-down-glue bottle because I had picked them up with gluey, painty hands.  I'm the same way in the kitchen...clean as I go.  By the time I am done putting a recipe together (whether baking or cooking) the counters are already wiped down and things are in the dishwasher and ingredients are all put away.  Very annoying to some people, I know.  I can't help myself.  Even if I am having a serious pain day and am forced to leave things overnight--then it's the first thing I do the next day.  Compulsive, eh?  It's easy to tell if I've been in really bad shape for a while...if you came over and my kitchen or my art table was a big old sloppy mess--LOL!  And that does happen on occasion, believe me.  ;)
    But today--the cutting mat is scrubbed clean and the kitchen is clean.  I may have things piled and stacked about all over around here, but to me it's clean and sorted.  Thank goodness Caroline comes to deal with the floors and the bathroom for me.  Which means I need to go pick up the cat toys and gather the trash together.  It's only supposed to get to right around 80 degrees the next few days, so maybe it will genuinely cool off in here by tomorrow.  Even Karma has been lying on the kitchen tile and the new hard bench in the entryway to be cooler the last two days of 90s.  She loves to go outside when it's hot if she can come in and it's cooler in here, I guess.  It even got too hot for Miss Karma in the 90s--LOL!  She wasn't asking to go out.  But low 80s...
...and out she goes. 
That's enough gabbing for now.  
Happy Tuesday!!  :):)
Whether a hot or cold or perfect day.
"I try to remind myself that we are never promised anything, and that what control we can exert is not over the events that befall us but how we address ourselves to them."
Jeanne DuPrau

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Happy Tuesday Morning!
It's been cooler here again the last couple days.  I believe we missed the record for the lowest high temp since 1908 yesterday by one degree (68).  I'm loving it, of course.   
Karma's been keeping me company.
Glad I was home all week--LOL! 
(How can that be comfortable?)
My packages finally arrived.  I now have some beautiful thinner red leather that I am going to try to turn into journal covers... 
...and a gallon of Elmer's glue.  [Was cheaper online with no delivery charge than going over to Office Max in town.  I do worry about local businesses.] 
I'm still using up the rest of my watered down ModPodge first, though.  I wanted to test out gluing the paper towels together on one of the cutting mats I bought to use as liners for the drying rack.  I wanted to see if they stained...cleaned easily...would the glued down paper peel off?  Dried it overnight. 
Peeled it off (no problem) in the morning.  This is the other side.  Notice anything? 
It absorbed the black logo right off the cutting mat! 
So I will just have to be careful which side I use--LOL! 
Since I have only been using water reactive color (Dylusion sprays and watercolors) I decided to make up some acrylic sprays to test.  Karma kept me company. 
You may recall I purchased some little spray bottles quite a while ago.  Well, this was what I had in mine.  I used the Dick Blick tube artist's acrylics, distilled water, and some steel ball bearings to mix up a dozen colors.  I was testing them out on one of the paper towels...while drinking my Sumatra (favorite of mine) black for all the gang over at T Stands For Tuesday.  ;)
I lined them up with their tubes as I went so I could come back and make the labels for the spray bottles... 
...with the new erasable labels I got on Amazon.
Was trial and error.  I got a couple of them too thick, I think, but at least I will have some acrylic paints to test out on the cutting mats, too.  That stack of paper towels I found gives me all kinds of play time.  I want to try crinkling, collaging torn pieces, varying the number of towels I glue together, different mediums for adding color, using different amounts of glue (I am too heavy handed, I think), and find out whether I can draw or doodle on the paper after it is dry.  Lots of experiments to come!
Meanwhile...I made an envelope for the really odd-sized bookcard I made from the first paper towels I glued together.  (That We R Memory Keepers envelope punch board is great, BTW!) 
 And then yesterday... 
...I spent the afternoon... 
...visiting Ian and Mama...and got in some personal gramma-time, too, of course.   
He is three weeks old today! 
I will have to learn how to take pictures of moving objects.  (No offense, Karma.) 
Ian did sleep soundly with Mama for some time while we visited.
Well, as soundly as Ian sleeps--LOL!  He is constantly making sounds and wiggling--even if it is very softly and just twitches.  Ian is seldom silent or still for long.  ;)
I stayed long enough to spend some time with Dagan after work, too.  :)  Ian's up a couple times at night.  Mom and Dad are tired, but very happy.  Ian has already been out and about to a restaurant and shopping.  They want babies back up to their birth weight in two weeks and Ian was 11 lbs 1 oz at his doctor visit last week.  He's doing great!  :)
I always check with Leah before making arrangements for a visit.  They are still quite busy.  That hasn't changed much--LOL!  They've had out of town company staying for nine days (he comes and goes, though) and Leah's sister, Ariel, is coming up from Minneapolis for an overnight this week.  They have two weddings coming up, I believe, and various plans and appointments here and there.  Are hoping the patio might be poured this week if all goes well.  Busy.  Busy.  I'm not really up to visiting two days in a row, either.  So once or twice a week seems to be working well for me right now.  I could certainly go more often if I wanted to, but I want to be able to still be functional at home and able do things here, too.  Kind of playing it by ear, you know?  Makes me wish I was younger and healthier sometimes, but it's all good.  We're all adjusting to life with Ian--LOL!  ;)
Anyways, it's a gorgeous day up here with windows wide open and birds singing.  Happy, happy Tuesday!!!  Life is good!!  :) :)  
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
Marcel Proust