Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday- 1pm

House pictures!
All along the front there will be brick on the bottom.

They are finishing insulation. Had to make sure they had all the electric, etc, done first.

Really coming along and looking good!
Another grey day in Fargo. Been dark all weekend.
I am washing clothes today. Maybe make some paper, too. :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008


More batches of finished paper--tada! Some obviously flattens better than others.

If you want them flatter, you can iron them with some spray starch. The thicker sheets usually lie flatter than the thinner sheets. If I put each sheet under a different book they'd probably be flatter--but that takes up a lot of room. I'd rather iron them later, I guess.
I took the day off from paper making yesterday. Felt like the weekend, I guess. Days off. Was so windy all day! Gusts of up to 50mph--screeching, pounding, whistling, howling--all day long and into the night. Quieter today.
I don't usually get a lot of the wind directly because I face east and the wind generally comes from the west and north. But--that's North Dakota for you--hehe!
Dexter is on tonight!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Karma has been crawling inside the stroller off and on. (Anything new, you know...)

And she has konked out, too. Slept in it for hours. So I guess she likes it? So far, anyways--hehe!

I wasn't going to show any more paper in the making--but I had to show you what I made yesterday. This is why my nails and cuticles are a ghastly color of greenish-blue today--hehe!

The two sheets closest to the front--added trimmings from Karma's cat grass that had become overgrown. I am curious to see if the grass turns brown after the paper is really dry?? It was like spring in here with the smell of newly cut grass drifting about the place--ha!

I had a nice, quiet birthday day. Keeping busy. Have a good one! :)

Friday, March 28, 2008


Look what came yesterday!! Karma watched me put it together. I got an old towel to wrap around the little pad they give you for the bottom--and rolled it over by the porch door to see what she'd do.

I decided to see what she'd do if I rolled her around the apartment with the front open like that. She didn't make a sound and she didn't jump out. She just sat up, appeared baffled, and jumped out as soon as I got her back to where we started and the stroller quit moving.
I have been moving it about the apartment--parking it in different spots--so she will be very used to it.
But where did she crawl into and sleep for over an hour last night...

...the box it came in--hehe!
Here's the latex mold Leah made of the dragonfly paper cast.

Looks like it will work?
And here are all the finished and pressed papers--so far. Ariel's, Leah's, and mine. If we want them even flatter than book pressed, we can iron them with spray starch. I only plan to show the finished papers from now on. (If anyone is interested--I showed the entire process in step-by-step detail back in July 2007 on the blog.)

Finally--here's a picture of the paper castings that Leah made.

The dragonflies are made from Leah's polymer clay mold of the original dragonfly cast -- she made three new moulds with plaster of Paris. (Well, she had made four, but the thin one broke when she pressed on it to get the water out of the paper.) The paper castings all turned out just fine! We think the latex mold will work much better. I am going to start making a mold of the snowflake. Ten layers--and let it dry inbetween layers--sounds slow enough for me--hehe!
It is 36 degrees and the sun went behind the grey blanket of clouds. The snow we recently received continues to melt. Karma is spending longer periods of time on the porch before she gets cold and cries to come in. I can occasionally leave the door propped open for her to go in and out on a sunny morning when it is close to 40 degrees and not too windy. (There's almost always at least a breeze up here in Fargo. The air rarely stops moving. I like that, actually. Didn't take me long to get used to it at all.) Spring is coming! You can smell it! :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Here's the dried sheets (Leah's and Ariel's).

Then I flatten them under a couple of heavy books for a day.

The package was from my friend, Ruby! She sent me a beginner Origami book--

A calendar--Betsy's Birds (color woodcuts)! Betsy Bowen is an artist who lives in Grand Marais, Minnesota. :) I didn't get the best photo--but the March bird is a Raven.

There was also a flowered nightgown in the package! I do love my grany gowns. :)

And three bright, colorful birthday napkins. (Which I made into three sheets of paper already.)

I also got a few birthday cards, too. Thanks everybody--so much!! All my birthday money will be going toward the Kitchenaid mixer--starting to save up again. :)
I worked on paper yesterday. Used up some of the strips I saved off the bottom of the 12 X 12" papers--you can see lying on the counter. The zip lock bags have white paper scraps and some printed paper scraps from my printer in the top bag. It feels so good to recycle.

These are the six sheets I made yesterday--laid out to dry. The three purple ones are from the happy birthday napkins. You never know what you are going to end up with, do you? These will be perfect to send cards back to Ruby--who loves purple shades!

I am hoping to make at least six sheets every day I do paper. The huge sponges Leah found at Home Depot work much easier. Not as hard on my arm. :)
Dagan came over after work. Leah went thru a stack of papers, etc, that I have been just adding to since we did Christmas cards--from her side of the table--hehe! She found a lot of parts for cards, etc. She made some of the Christmas cards she didn't use into gift tags. Leah was puttering about over at the table all night while we all watched a couple movies. The old Charleston Heston movie The Omega Man (that I Am Legend is based on) and Hitman (not that good--based on a video game that must be awfully violent). Dagan and Leah left around ten.
Tired today, of course. Was a nice couple of days, as usual. Maybe I'll get some more paper made today?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


After Leah and Ariel left yesterday, I knew Karma would come up and want to cuddle, so I had her new red collar and tag ready by my chair (that order arrived yesterday). I wasn't able to catch the quick spastic movements and contortions--hehe! A couple leaps and rolls...

...scratching to beat the band...

...laying down and grabbing the tag with her front paws and trying to bite it off.

But--amazingly--after only about fifteen minutes, she just gave up and that was that.

Not that she was happy about it.

But--that's life, right? hehe! I ignored her when she jumped down off my chair and realized she had this thing on her neck. Tried to send calm--this is just how it is--energy to her. She looks nice in her new collar. I think I might have to shorten the end of it, tho. The whole change to her person went very smoothly and quickly--tada! She's been wearing it ever since and it will now just be her necklace--hehe!

Yesterday Leah made the paper on the left out of store receipts to show Ariel how it was done (and to see what store receipts would look like as paper). Then Ariel made the other two sheets.

Leah made up some pulp for the Chinese word paper casts--and the dragonfly ones she had made from plaster of Paris. The thinnest one cracked when she pressed on it. Plaster of Paris is a little on the fragile side, so now we know to make them thicker and be a little more careful with them. We've never tried colored pulp, either. I don't think we've pressed them that hard into the casts, either.

Meanwhile--Leah had gotten a couple different things to try for making casts of the paper casts. The first was a powder and it didn't work well at all. This was the second try--it got all lumpy and awful. Won't use that one again. (There's a paper cast underneath this lumpy mess--hehe!)

The second one is a liquid (see the jar above). You brush on layers--with a lip around the object, as you can see--and let them dry inbetween. Ten layers! This is after about seven layers. Leah and Ariel had to leave before she finished. Leah will finish playing with that today.

Looks like this might work, tho? Who knows?
And I had gotten this little notebook for free from Levenger in an order a couple of months ago or so. I didn't like the Levenger ad on the front, so I flipped the cover over and put a piece of Ann's gorgeous paper on the front of it last night. Like it much better now.

So--another paper/craft day. I will press the dried sheets under some books. Today I will probably make a few sheets, too. :)
Dagan is coming over after work. I already made up some Chicken Cashew Stirfry on Monday so that we can just use the microwave, since the kitchen is filled up with papermaking supplies.
Leah will be here soon and the mail-lady just called and said I have a package...gotta go.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The new contraption arrived yesterday--a port squid from ThinkGeek. Leah ordered it for me online since the last contraption died--again--from Best Buy, I think? She said we needed to try a different brand completely. And--I hooked it up myself--tada! Ridiculously simple to genuine "geeks"--hehe!--but I was glad I figured out how to do it.

So, now everything works again without me having to unplug and plug and unplug (one port to use)--printer, camera, mouse...ahhh!! We need our electronics, don't we?
Karma actually tried to squeeze into this little box the squid came in--silly girl! Cried and raced around the aprtment out of frustration. But she came back later and found it was good for scratching her face.

I spent the entire day doing sessions to put together sixteen bookcards. All the ones I had pre-folded are finished--tada!

So--I am all set with bookcards now--for a while, anyways--hehe! All ready to begin with the papermaking!

Caroline comes to clean this morning. Leah and Ariel will be arriving after that. Going to introduce Ariel to papermaking today--fun! Love to share information like this--see how somebody likes a new craft? I am guessing she'll enjoy it.

We had wind gusts up to 38 mph yesterday. Karma wanted to go out on the porch, of course. She had just gotten out there when a loud gust came whooshing up -- and it must have come right up under her feet and moved the carpet. I haven't seen Miss Karma jump a foot straight up in the air since she was a kitten!! I still chuckle when I remember the look on her face.

No wonder cats hate to be embarrassed. We laugh at them. I am still laughing! :)

Monday, March 24, 2008


I was cutting away again yesterday--little by little. The stack with the bright stripes is the stack of "covers" for the bookcards. I had already cut the green paper for the inside pages and one of the brands of rose paper. Was working on the second rose color.

I finished all the cutting. Then realized that the paper is harder to store folded (when you have this much, anyways) and I decided to find something to store them in. TaDa! Fit perfectly!

The folded covers in front of the box are all the prefolded ones I haven't used yet. So, today I plan to see if I can just make them all into cards. Then all my papers will be in the same box for bookcard-making. :)

The covers are in the front, then the inside papers--cream, white linen, granite rose, celery with faint stripes (that go the wrong way on the page, but I didn't notice that when I bought it--up and down--hehe!), and another rose color.
Wow! Do I feel organized, or what?!
So--I am off to construct a few bookcards. Leah and Ariel are coming tomorrow to make paper--tada! Boy! Am I ever glad I am feeling better again. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Was a good day to try out the new and stronger pain pill yesterday--after hauling Karma around like that--hehe! They are not a high dose, of course, and were not enough to make me goofy or anything. The Darvocet is a little stronger than the Tramadol.
I actually got something done yesterday--so it did take the edge off the pain. :) I worked at cutting up the patterned papers that I have for bookcard covers--and I finished!

I guess they don't seem as wild as I first thought they were. They're just very different--for me. I have gotten used to them as I have been working with them and like them even more than I did at first.
Next I will be cutting the colored inside paper I bought--rose and celery colored. Then comes folding all of them in half. I want to try to get all the cutting and folding prep work done before Tuesday as I am hoping Leah, Ariel, and I will be starting on papermaking!
Once I have all the parts ready for the bookcards, it doesn't take up much room to actually put the bookcards together. I can assemble them at my desk, even. If we start making paper--the craft table will be in use--all of it--for paper drying. And no matter what--if Leah and Ariel have other craft plans for Tuesday and Wednesday--I will be making paper by Thursday--hehe!
And I won't have to worry about running out of bookcards. For a long, long time--hehe!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I didn't get to bed yesterday morning as planned. Was in my nightgown and thinking about heading to bed when the fire alarm went off! No smell of smoke in the hallway--so I quick threw on some clothes--got Karma in her carrier--trudged down the steps with a complaining cat--realized I had forgotten my keys--checked outside the building door--no smoke--left Karma whining by the exit door--ran back up the stairs to grab my keys--back down the three flights of stairs--hauled Karma over to the office. We waited there for about 20-30 minutes while the fire department came to check it out. Faulty system--as usual. All clear. This has happened approximately once a year.
Karma weighs about 17-18 pounds. She likes to hide in the back of the carrier, which tips it awkwardly and twists my wrist. By the time I got her home again, I thought my arm was going to fall off. (I can't switch arms, either, because of my bad arm.)
I decided that this was the last time I was carrying her down the stairs and over to the office. I decided right then and there that she was getting her cat stroller--ASAP. I spent the afternoon working on it. I was figuring which one to buy (I had saved a dozen websites when I was online comparison shopping a while back)--and then when I could buy one. I decided that Karma was more important to me than the mixer. So, I ordered a kitty stroller for her!

Will be much easier to get her down the stairs in the stroller. (The elevators are closed when the fire alarm goes off.) Much easier on the both of us. :) And I can take her for walks this spring. Also good for the both of us--hehe! Especially me.
Will she like the stroller? I hope so. She actually slept most of the afternoon and evening in her dusty old carrier--just because it was out in a new spot, of course, and not in the closet. See how she hugs the back of it?
So, she's not afraid of the carrier, by any means. And once we got away from the terribly loud alarm that hurts your ears--she settled down and was quiet. She seemed to enjoy watching all the mothers and children who showed up over at the office lounge to wait out the alarm and watch the fire trucks (apparently still endlessly fascinating to children). And Karma LOVES the porch--her "outdoors"--so--she might love going on walks in her stroller? We'll see, won't we?

But then--she needs to have a collar and tag (she is going to hate that!) just in case something would happen and she'd ever get away, you know? So I ordered a collar, tag, harness and leash, and also a new and better pooper scooper as long as I was ordering--hehe! So--we're all set.

I still owe Leah some money--and she said I could pay her back in May. So--who knows? I might still be able to order the mixer, too, in April if I cut back on some other things. If not--I can probably get the mixer in May. At least I don't have to worry about the terrible struggle of getting Miss Karma out of the building. What if it was a real fire one day? I wouldn't have all the time I had yesterday.

And I was really glad I finally have apartment insurance. :)

Our couple of inches of snow--turned out to be quite a few. (I didn't watch the news--was in bed by 8pm. TaDa! Slept at night again! All the excitement woke me up, I guess--kept me awake all day.) Maybe 5-6 inches? I'm guessing. Really heavy wet snow and it is melting pretty quickly.

I hope your day was calmer than mine--chuckle!