Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The rest of my Amazon order came yesterday.  You can see the chair cover on the floor in front of Karma claiming the air pocket strips.  She only popped one--which, amazingly, she took no notice of at all.  Either she's lost a little weight or the air pockets are sturdier than I thought--LOL!
All that packaging in a big box for such a small amount of goods.  Which means they flopped around a bit inside the box.  The Martha Stewart doilies got curled around the chair cover.  I have them flattening (hopefully) under a big book right now.  I'm hoping I can maybe use these as stencils.  
I wasn't too lucky with the books this time, I guess.  I wasn't able to "look inside" any of these on Amazon.  With  Zentangle Basics it's easy to see why they wouldn't want to show you anything. 
It's actually a pamphlet not a real book, for one thing--if they showed you a few pages you would have seen almost the entire book--LOL!  I should have looked more closely to the number of pages.  Twenty...and that includes both sides of the front and back covers as four of them!  
I was hoping for a good reference book on how to go about drawing zentangles.  Here's the first page spread--well, actually pages 2 and 3.
Up in the right hand section is what she tells you about supplies:
A pencil.  She only mentions one type of pen--a micron in a certain width.  And a 3.5 inch square piece of paper.  Now, even I know that you can use a much wider variety of supplies than she states and you don't have to have a 3.5 inch square to work on.  You could even use a ballpoint pen and a piece of computer paper.  
When you turn the page she begins her instructions for the 3.5 inch square.  1--dots in the corners.  2--connect the dots to make a square.  3--draw a zig zag inside the square.  
But then look at number 4?  Switch to a pen...wavy lines everywhere and a different design?
Obviously, she continues on with filling in the zig-zag design on the following page, but what was that?  Confusing.
There's 20 step by step diagrams in the book, but they are really pretty simple.  I laughed out loud when I saw this one:
You can go online (and I have) and find much more.  I was very disappointed.  Wouldn't recommend the book even to a beginner.  You can learn a lot more online for free.
Then this book. 
Creating Mandalas: For Insight, Healing, and Self Expression.  I expected it to actually show how to make mandalas, right?  Nope.  There are hardly any pictures in this entire book.  I looks like it's all about the history and what the colors, numbers, and forms mean within the mandala (without picture examples, mind you).  Talk about dry.  
In the book description on Amazon it does say she talks about the history, etc--but says "She then shows you how to make your own, offering guidance on choosing art materials and techniques".  Well, it turns out that in her 24 page chapter (out of 207 pages) entitled: Creating and Interpreting a Mandala these are the only illustrations in the whole chapter!
How does that help anybody learn how to create a mandala?
And the color illustrations in the center of the book?  They're all pictures of these odd mandalas that her students have drawn.  Here's a couple page spreads.

Well, I might learn what colors, numbers, and forms mean in mandalas and some history, but this book was nothing like I expected at all.  Disappointed.
At least the third book was a winner!  The Decorated Journal goes into great detail on picking the type of journal to use (even some basic information on making your own), the types of journals people keep, the supplies used, many techniques, and tons of picture examples.  I had seen this one recommended someplace online, but I can't remember where now.   
So, only one good one out of three.  Oh well.  You win some, you lose some.
Dagan is stopping after work.  Leah has the chiropractor and a work meeting to attend, but I think she may stop by later if Dagan is still here.  We are checking out all the wiring and cords behind the triple dresser in the living room to see if it can all be moved down to the right side end of this wall... kind of to trade places with the art table.  As you can see, because of the dresser blocking the light it is always kind of dark at the art table even in the daytime.  And because of the thermostat and light switch on the wall I would have to hang the new shelf unit awfully high for somebody as short on one end as I am.  ;) 
So, the plan is to kind of switch them.  I will have more light to draw/paint and can hang the shelving lower, too.  Where there's a will there's a way, right?  Might need to buy more stuff to extend the cords/wires, but it should be doable.  I'll know more after tonight.
  BTW--that good sized box under the folding art table is what those few things arrived in from Amazon.  Three times the size needed. How wasteful.  Maybe it was a new employee?
I put on the other new matching chair cover while Karma was snoozing.  She couldn't resist waking up to see what I had done out on the porch.  I had also clipped up that one side because the wind keeps blowing it down.  Now she can always get to her water and food out there under that chair...but the way she came slinking out there you would have thought she expected something to leap out at her and steal her cat grass--ROFL!!
Didn't take her long to see there was no spooky monster under the chair. 
My smoke alarm started chirping Monday about 4:15pm.  Even with my two-step stool I can't reach the ceiling easily at all.  I called the office and they sent Chris over.  I was so glad it started BEFORE he went home for the day.  He replaced the batteries in both my smoke detectors for me.
Then I had to call Tuesday morning because the bathtub drain was nearly plugged up.  Happens about once a year.  Never had that problem anywhere I lived in the past.  The maintenance men have told me it is because of the shape of the pipes or something.  Chris came again.  He's such a nice man.  
Oh!  And the first thing he asked me when he came about the smoke alarms was if I had heard any pounding.  Nope!!  No more dryer flap banging against the building.  It has been so nice.  After seven years...I can't tell you how wonderful it is.  Let the wind howl and whistle--tis no matter to me.  Love it!
I felt a lot better by last night.  Today I am back to "my" normal and all is well.  Whew!  :)
Still hot and humid every day--whether it rains or not.  I'll let you know if this moving furniture is going to be easy or will mean things have to be purchased.  ;)  
Hugs to everybody!  
Have a super day!!  :):) 
"No matter what accomplishments you achieve, somebody has to help you."
Althea Gibson


  1. I am glad you are feeling better. It is a bummer to feel tough from a med. I have had many a bad reaction to a new med, one of them causing an emergency run to the hospital ER.

    Give Karma a pet for me. :-)

  2. Sorry to hear 2 of the books weren't as good as you thought they would be. Glad the third was at least.

    Maybe they were out of smaller boxes?

    Excellent about the dryer flap noise no longer happening; I can only imagine how happy you must be about that!

    Glad you're feeling better today.

  3. It's nice to see you are feeling better, but I would be so mad at Amazon, I'd insist on a refund. Seriously! Of course, that's why I have never bought anything online. I know it's hard for you to shop, but I would do without before I got that disappointed.

  4. What a fun box of treats! I know nothing about mandalas, other than they are beautiful.

  5. Sorry to hear the first two books weren't what you thought they would be. The perils of ordering online. :(

    I'm glad you're feeling better today. It's hard to get anything done when you feel as you did.

    I hope moving the furniture will give you the light for your art table. (still looking forward to seeing how that shelving will be attached to your wall) :)

    Hazy, hot, and very humid here today. The counties south of me got big thunderstorms and rain this afternoon and still are right now. We didn't get a drop here. We didn't need the thunderstorms but sure could have used the rain. I've been taking pictures of huge thunderheads down the valley to my south...billowing up and up. Will see how the pictures came out tonight.

  6. I hate it when the books aren't what you hoped they would be... such a disappointment ... and how on earth do people publish art books without pictures.... that is just wrong... at least one out of the three is good and that Karma get some new play things....
    I do enjoy the glimpses into your days and so glad you are feeling a bit better... Phantom asked me to send you a gentle hug if I got to your blog today...xx

  7. Glad you are feeling better Rita!! You know, Amazon must be a bit off on their packing; I ordered a book from then the other day and it came in an envelope that looked like it had been pieced together, not their usual professional top quality packing. Hmmmmm.....

    Glad the fire alarm started chirping at 4:15 p.m. not 4:15 a.m. :)


  8. Well, at least ONE of the books is good. And that is worth something, I'd say, Rita. I chuckled at the picture of Karma stalking the... something. :-)

  9. I think amazon should refund some money to you for the two silly books. I quite often receive items from amazon in boxes that are much larger than necessary. Then other times they put my books in a box that's barely large enough and the edges get bent. How can I be expected to read a bent-edged book? Honestly!

    Kisses to Karma.


  10. I'm wondering, if you switch around the dresser and art table, won't the cabinet with your supplies also block the light? And will you have a problem with the tv being in front of the thermostat?

  11. I hate when books I order online don't meet my expectations. I guess it's the risk we take. Sorry the first two weren't satisfactory for you. I happen to have The Decorated Journal too...a wonderful book. Another great journal book I'd recommend is Cathy Johnson's Artist's Journal Workshop.

    I hope the dresser can be moved...power cords and wiring is always a pain at times....never long enough when you need them to be, particularly the aerial/antennae to TV cord. lol It makes sense to switch them if you can because the lighting should be better for you.

    The chair covers look great!

    Lucky you were able to catch Chris before he went home....chirping smoke alarms can be most annoying. He must be quite pleased to hear the dryer flap is no longer annoying you.

    So good to hear the side effects from the medication have worn off. I would have hated the dizziness and nausea.

    Have a lovely day, my friend,

    Love and hugs,
    Serena xo

  12. What a bummer about the books. Even though I prefer something I can hold in my hand and thumb through, I find almost everything by reading online these days.

    Glad you are feeling better. Karma stalking unknown invaders tickled me.


  13. So I looked at that Zentangle Book at Barnes and Noble and put it down almost as soon as I picked it up. One I read it in like two seconds being so thin and two I thought, geesh I could learn more about Zentagle online! I was thinking of you however when I saw it! :)

    The Mandala book I also saw and was not happy with it either. I want to know what book you were using to do your mandala the other day. IT looked cool.

    HAven't heard og the the hird book.

    BTW I have started getting magazines online for Artisty etc and have fell in love. I am going over to BN today to pick up this FAshion Book I saw that had model templates on the CD. I hate having to draw my models over and over just so I can design an outfit, dress, etc. I will let you know how I like it. (Not sure if you would like something like that)

    Also I bought some new Tarot cards I have been wanting to tell you called Shaowscapes.

    I really like teh design and bought them for drawing ideas but I am so drawn to them I have been doing a four card layout in the mornings and through that I HAVE thought about design ideas but loe the messages.

    Hope all is well with you...

    if you wouldn't mind email me if you get time about the Mandal book or thing you used to do that kewl Mandal you did. :) lova ya. I don't say much sometimes but I read all your posts honey! :)

  14. I am sorry that the new med didn't work out for you. And the books jeesh..what a rip off... I am going to start making a copy of the patterns online in a composition book...I hope to work on that on my day off Tomorrow..well actually today! :)

  15. I can see why you'd be disappointed with the first two books. The mandalas in the book look kind of odd...for a lack of a better word. I'm happy that at least one of the books was helpful and inspiring.

  16. Dear Rita, that's a bummer about those two unhelpful books. Are you going to send them back to Amazon and get a refund?

    As to the moving of the furniture. That really sounds like a good idea--more light as you said.

    Your quotation today is from Althea Gibson. Wasn't she an African-American runner--maybe in the Olympics????


  17. With the cleared drain pipe, the no longer chirping smoke detector, and the dryer flap that no long bangs, it must be soooo quiet there... betcha can her Karma chewing her cud and smacking her lips...


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