Friday, August 30, 2013


Woke up to a thunderstorm yesterday.  By afternoon... looked like this. 
But the proof is in the puddle, of course--lol! 
This morning there is a fog warning... you can see. 
We've still been hanging around the upper 80s to upper 90s and same for humidity.  Six Fargo elementary schools were off this entire week because they don't have air conditioning and it was deemed too dangerous for the kids.  Some of the college dorms don't have AC, either, and those young folk can't sleep.  I saw pictures on the news preview of hail bigger than a baseball--4 inches across--a couple days ago but I couldn't tell you where it was because I don't record the news and I don't watch anything live anymore--LOL!  Let's just say still hot and sticky...but we know winter is right around the corner.
Hockey tape.
I couldn't resist peeling some off of the freezer paper... make a border around that test page spread.   
I used some old matt Modpodge to make sure it stayed attached.  The freezer paper had gotten wet on the edges so that a thin layer of paper came off parts of the back of the tape on a couple of them, but that didn't make any difference because you use Modpodge or gel medium to make sure it stays down, anyways...even with the real washi tape.  I am really liking it!  Didn't add anything to them at all, but I still could with the rest of them.  I might have to try the cotton medical tape next.  ;)
For all of you who asked what hockey tape is--here's how and why they use it:

I learned how they get those ridges on the grip and that you can tear the hockey tape right down the center!  Who knew!
I am going to try to catch up this weekend on emails and blogs.  Have about 70 of them to go through at the moment.  
I am praying that next week my internet won't slow down much and that I can still watch Netflix movies okay.  Going to try a cheaper internet provider and will drop down from 10 Mbps to 7 Mbps.  If I hate it, I have 30 days to change my mind--so I am not going to disconnect my other server until I know for sure.  To save installation fee they are mailing me the modem and Dagan said he'd hook it up for me.  I think I am set to be switched over on Wednesday the 4th.  I hope it works well.  My TV is hooked up to my internet and so my Netflix streaming is, too.  Time will tell, right?  Fingers crossed!
Miss Karma?
Caught her in a glamor pose--LOL!
She sure can look sweet and charming.
Well, she can me...but not really to anybody else...and not even to me all the time--LOL!  You simply cannot readily accuse a cat of holding back its feelings.  ;)
Guess that's enough for today.  A few random sunbeams are attempting to break through the clouds and the fog is least outside it is--lol!  Have a sweet weekend.  :)
"The world is so full of wonderful things we should all, if we were taught how to appreciate it, be far richer than kings."
Ashley Montagu

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


What a dark morning!  Just took these shots of my art table and you'd think it was nighttime. 
It's WOYWW and you can see what other folks desks look like here
I think these sides of my hockey tape on the freezer paper look just about done. 
Enough color for me to finish off by hand.  
(Making my own version of washi tape.) 
Maybe some more stamps...misting...circles...some more color in a few places.  Of course, these two sheets also have hockey tape on the back side so that means it is just time to flip them over and I will do all the finishing when I have both sides full of excess paint and stamps--but I do like them, so far.
Stay cool!  :)
"More than all else do I cherish at heart that love which makes me to live a limitless life in this world."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Well, it's T Stands for Tuesday over at Elizabeth's.  Over my way--T stands for Starbuck's Verona coffee black and testing acrylics on the cheap watercolor paper.
You may remember the art journals I made a little while back. 
The two smallest ones have 90# Dick Blick student grade watercolor paper.  The next largest two have 90# cheaper Bienfang watercolor paper.  The large one has cheaper 140# Bienfang watercolor paper. 
I really don't want to take any of these apart if I don't have to, right?  I figured I would try the DB WC paper with gesso and acrylics and see how it held up.  They're all cold pressed so they have a texture, but the Dick Blick has a deeper, bumpier texture... 
...than the Bienfang.   
So the Bienfang should be easier to hand write or draw on with ink (for possible sketch journals) or to use with drier mediums in general. 
The only one I would dare actually use for my watercolor backgrounds (I do tend to be quite the juicy watercolorist--lol!) would be the giant one.  So, I got out a few craft acrylics and tested out the DB WC journal.  I coated the pages with gesso and let it dry.  Then I, quite literally, scraped some colors about in patches and let that dry. 
Finally I scraped another layer of gesso on top of that.    
Discovered that the pages held up very well with acrylics and didn't even buckle or curl much at all...unlike when I used watercolors...which is funny because it's watercolor paper.  I wasn't trying to make anything--just test the paper.  It is okay for acrylics.  Don't have to take the journals apart.  But that means I am going to have to learn how to use acrylics--LOL! 
I had my first bread disaster.  Tried to make this Italian herb bread and it stuck to the top of the bread machine.  
Topless, but it was still edible.   What a mess to clean up!!  I don't know if it was that I didn't measure properly or what the deal was, but it rose too high.  I was getting a little casual, shall we say.  (Not used to measuring that carefully when I cook and bake normally.)  Will have to measure very exactly in the future, I guess.
I saw these two guys go pick up a couch that was left by the dumpster. 

Yup--they took it with them.  Could have been theirs in the first place and they changed their minds, I suppose.  I only gets bits and pieces of Karma's Cat TV programs--LOL!  Even though I was sitting by the window writing a letter, I never noticed them until they were making a ton of noise moving the washer and dryer.  People do come and go here all the time, after all.
I did notice the truckbed then, though!  Filled up with toys!  (And, no--that's not from the garage you saw recently because that lady had boys and this lady definitely has girls.)  I wondered how they weren't going to lose some toys out of the back?  But they weren't driving very far because... 
...they were back shortly for another load.   
Tons of little girl things!  
Here they both were...nervous about moving...
...and wanting daddy, I assume. 
They were sweet girls.  Later, they ran around and hugged all the people who'd been helping them move goodbye...and they all drove off in many vehicles that were also packed up.  Was a nice day to move, but HOT!  Has been in the 90s for days and supposed to stay like this all week...with occasional scattered showers.  We had rain briefly yesterday, but mostly the thunder was off in the distance.
And what has Miss Karma been up to? 
Soaking up the 90s.
I don't know how she can stand it?!
Caroline comes this afternoon.  I've started the Call The Midwife trilogy of books now.  Been slowly writing letters.  Just haven't been up to much because you just hate to move.  When it is this hot and humid my wall AC unit just can't keep up.  Running it on high day and night keeps it in the mid to upper 70s in here (76 in here when I got up), but you can sweat just sitting because there's no way it can remove all that humidity.  Makes it harder to sleep well and I'm up and down all night long.  It actually feels a good ten degrees cooler when I go downstairs to check the mail.  Yup--heat rises.  So, I feel sorry for Caroline having to clean in here today.  Dagan and Leah and I were all sweating just putting up that shelf last week.
Later in the day, as it gets hotter...I will have ice water or a cold smoothie.  Ahhh!  So glad I bought a new blender!  Stay cool!  See you tomorrow.  :)
"You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose."
Indira Gandhi

Friday, August 23, 2013


I put some of Karma's plastic strips and her new jacket string out on the porch.  She parks herself on top of them and snoozes on them.  It's the little things in life that bring such joy.
I have a big thing bringing me joy!  That's a six inch ruler! 
I now have a GalaxySIII--so thin! 
Leah is so patient.  They were here till around 11pm on a work night--and all we did all night was deal with the new phone.  It was a silly time.  I have proof.  No clue why these little videos that went to DropBox dance about while they wait...or if I did this right and this will even work...but here is some silliness.  Let me know if these work, okay?  
Testing!  Testing!  

Dagan was later dozing in my chair and Leah was still filling my head with so much information I fear quite a goodly sum has fallen out my ears.  But I do want to learn how to take pictures with this phone.  My other phone took pictures but it was quite the process for me to get them into my computer.  Now I am hooked up to this thing called DropBox and they are automatically in there--on my computer!  
Oh, and I can take several photos in sequence--a rapid fire click-click-click.  I think there are something like eight of them--and then I can pick the ones I want to keep and delete the rest.  Sounds like a great plan for capturing a moving cat.  Well, not that Miss Karma moves a lot, but...what a world!!  
I can share pictures and videos with Dagan and Leah on DropBox, I guess.  Goodness!  I just have to learn all these various steps and remember them--LOL!
Meanwhile...back at the ranch...
I was following the Wild Winds Workshop and did some stenciling and then stamping.
Covered the whole thing with gesso.
Then misted it with apple and patina Glimmer Mists.
Sprinkled a little copper drips and drops on it...
...and this is what I have so far.
I think this might qualify for "abstract" over at APR (Artist's Playroom) for this week.  I haven't been over there for way too long, too.  You can go here and see what other people did for abstract this week. 
I was supposed to add more layers.  Truth is--I hate this student grade 90# watercolor paper.  I should know better.  I've been using 140# paper for a couple decades.  I honestly do know better.  Guess I forgot why I hate the thin WC paper and thought I could get away with it in these journals (and save some money) because I just planned to play and goof around in them doing mixed media.  Not working so far.  It buckles terribly and is bleeding through to the back side. AWK!
I think I'm just going to experiment on a few more pages--prime with gesso and use acrylics and see how that goes.  If worse comes to worse, I can always dismantle the journals I made with the #90 paper and refill them with better artist grade paper.  I can save all the 90# for making collage paper or card fronts or something.  
The more I think about it...maybe I should just go find one of the journals I made with the student grade 140# paper (different brand)--just bite the bullet and find out how that works with watercolors and layering.  *sigh*  Because I may just have to dismantle all five of them!  I'd really only be out time and the waxed thread.  The paper won't go to waste.
You really can't scrimp on supplies.
That's it from Fargo for today.  Let me know if the crazy dancing videos even worked, okay?  Or are they moving and dancing for you as they sit in wait?  (Very annoying, if you ask me.)  See you again soon.  :):)
Apparently the videos are not working and are just the dancing little series of photos and nothing happens when you click play.  I watched them download on blogger and it took a long time--but--no videos.  Just this strange jerky mess.  I guess you can't get videos directly from DropBox?  I don't know what I'm doing.  *sigh*  I'll have to deal with this later.  Regardless...
Happy Friday, folks!
"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I can actually participate in two things today, believe it or not.  Both the zendala weekly challenge and What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday!
Erin's Zendala Dare #70 over at The Bright Owl--goodness!  I don't think I've done one of these for a couple of months!
I actually used a couple of legitimate tangle patterns (Girdy and Meer)--or my variations of them.  Looks better from far away. 
I have an astigmatism and those close lines kept blurring on me--LOL!  But I finally got back to doodling and it was fun.  :)
You can go here to see what other people did with this template.  :)
Then for WOYWW #220 (talk about being late to the party, eh?)...Dagan and Leah were over last night and put up my skinny shelf above my art table!
Before you are too puzzled, I asked for the shelf to be shifted over to the right because I will always need a lamp on my left and the lamp gets in the way when you're reaching, you know? 
It's low so I can fit taller bottles on it (and also so that it's easier for somebody short on one end to reach it).  The shelf is actually the Ribba Picture Shelf from IKEA and has about 2 3/4 inches of space to set things on.  Not deep enough for anything large, but handy for getting smaller items off the table while I am working.  I'm sure it is going to become a mess because of spray bottles and scissors and the like, but even the bigger one I got was only $14.99 so it wouldn't be expensive to replace. 
And what did I do yesterday?  Remember those mysterious spots and dots?  I decided to scribble some of my Lyra watercolor crayons all over the page and use the baby wipes to smear the color around...thinking maybe it might cover up the spots. 
Really deepened up the colors... 
...and the mystery spots!  ROFL! 
Just to show you how cheap watercolor paper buckles--this is what it looks like when it is wet/damp.  I always have to book press it to "mostly" flatten it down again.  
But I just made the art journals for myself for play-play-play...and for practice on coptic stitch.  I'm going to try using gesso first next time to see if that might give the paper more weight and structure.  I'll have to order some absorbent ground if I want to keep using watercolors, I guess.
If you want to see what a whole bunch of people have on their workdesks--go here.  I think it's fun to see what other people are up to and what their creative spaces look like.  I randomly snooped for a couple years before I finally joined last week.  Time commitments are hard for me these days, but I'll participate when I can.  :)
Anyways, Dagan and Leah took my cell phone with them.  I can get a new phone (this time I didn't fight the idea for two years) and there is some deal going on at Costco.  They wanted to treat me to a fancier smart phone with a bigger screen--took my old phone with so they can transfer the brains into the new phone.  Leah was working on setting the new phone up for me last night and they are bringing it over tonight--whoohoo!  (Not that I will know what to do with it--never knew much of what my old not-as-smart smart phone could do--lol!)  I know I have said it so many times, but Dagan and Leah are so very good to me.  :)
Oh, but they did startle the heck out of me arriving at 7pm!  Here I didn't know that Leah is back to regular hours and working till 5pm again AND the contractor had to switch to tonight.  So they really won't get here till later tonight--LOL!  Anyways, it was horrible out yesterday.  Not sure if we hit 100 degrees but the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife--awk!  Supposed to be close to 90 today.  Don't believe the myth that it is always cold in Fargo--LOL!  ;)  
Till next time!
"Goodness is about character--integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like.  More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people."
Dennis Prager