Wednesday, September 25, 2013
We got sun later in the day yesterday and it's a sunny morning and 58 degrees right now. Lovely! I have the place opened up. The wind died down--my direction, anyways, and it's...
WOYWW (What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday) and I have internet! What happens to be on my art desk this morning is a paper box.
You've seen me drag these out from under my bed before. Well, I was dragging them out again yesterday--after finishing the prompt card workshop before I start another workshop--to find my box of artist quality 80-90# watercolor papers and drawing papers. TaDa!!
I really should label these but over the years I've kept switching the contents around. Anyways, I needed to know what I have before I order from Dick Blick next month. Got plans to attempt making some nicer art journals for Leah and my etsy shop--so I want a bit of book cloth (I've used before) and some different book boards. You may remember that the davy board was so difficult for me to cut down--so I'd like to try a couple other brands of smaller boards. Oh, and I might even go for a piece of faux leather on a cover! I've never tried that before...and I do need to practice, right? Red is greatly appealing to me right now--LOL! Or maybe burgundy! We'll see. I do need a lot of different groceries in October, though, for the no processed foods for a month thing...
Speaking of, I had Caroline take down all my various jars from the kitchen and stack most of them on a folding table in my bedroom...which already has stacks of books and magazines from the bookcase in the hall on the floor because I am still waiting for stronger shelves. My bedroom is a disaster area this past year--so I thought it won't make a difference if the jars are in there for a while. (Since my sciatica apparently moved in with a trunk and furniture, I can only do a little at a time standing these days.)
My cupboards look so bare!
No jars up there!
Oh, and the three biggest ones are waiting in the kitchen to be first in line.
You know how jars get in the kitchen--no matter how clean you try to be they get that film of grease on them. So, I am going to go through each jar and check the contents are still viable and clean the jars off thoroughly. Then I will know exactly what I still have and what I need for October. Was an overdue project, anyways, so I'll be very glad to have it done.
The new modem box arrived yesterday via UPS.
I also got a call from a girl at Century Link telling me I was all hooked up for internet. I told her that I had been told Wednesday and didn't have someone coming to hook it up for me till then. "That's okay. You're good to go."
They are not the most organized company, are they?
I quick checked my laptop and, as you can readily see, it has still been working--TaDa!!! So, these mysterious little blinking cyberspace hobbits that live in the dark corner of my desk can handle two companies at the same time.
Honestly, I think it might be that just one of them is my actual internet liaison. I can't remember what the other one is for--LOL! Might be a box that is ESPing to my TV computer for all I know. I can't keep all these techie do-dads straight.
Regardless--how about that? It worked! I'm so happy! Now, if I don't like the new slower connection I don't have to worry about paying to reconnect the one I'm using right now. We'll find out tonight if I can use the internet and watch Netflix streaming movies and all of that without much trouble or delay. Whoohoo!!
Happy Wednesday!! :):)
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
T Stands For Tuesday is another cloudy day up here.
We did briefly see a little bit of sun since I saw you last...but not this morning.
So what have I been doing?
Spending a whole lot of time on those prompt cards.
I blended the colors, one at a time, with a damp brush.
Then I put a layer of Pledge clear acrylic floor finish on the colored side to seal it. Had heard about using this, bought some, and then never tried it, right?
I ruined the first card right off the bat--smeared the colors terribly going the long way down the card. Down to 38 cards. Barely room for my coffee mug, as you can see.
I used a foam brush but had to move very quickly with the stripes...
...and do the end with the yellows and reds first...
...and then the other end with the darker colors to prevent color contamination as much as I could. Trouble is--the watercolor crayons are soluble with liquid. Duh! So no matter what I chose to seal them with I had to move fast and clean the brush a lot. I got on two coats.
Then I gessoed the other sides with two coats. Probably should have used white acrylic paint. Would have covered better and not blended and smeared the little bits of color as much?
Well, who knows. This is why I am doing these workshops. To learn about the various mediums I haven't used much or, quite often, at all.
Then I used some matte medium to glue down the prompts and seal the backs at the same time.
Thought I was so smart.
Karma found all this repeated art table activity rather boring and slept under the table on a chair.
I left them dry overnight but they were very bowed.
So, yesterday I stacked some big jars of mediums on top of them to flatten them. (The ones on the sides are just to help balance the two jars on top.)
Go to remove them and they were all stuck together in one solid mass!! From the matte medium! LOL! I was both annoyed and laughing--forgot to take a picture.
So I peeled them apart--with all their new little sticking flaws--thinking I should probably have put another layer or two of the Pledge on the white side with the prompts because I don't think that side was sticking very much.
Anyways, they are done and in the tin. Time to move on to the next workshop.
I learned that I should have used acrylic paint for the coloring and not the watercolor crayons and that Pledge clear floor finish actually seals okay and isn't very sticky, but doesn't leave a solid appearance--kind of mottled. Matte medium stays sticky and makes interesting crackling, smacky noises as it is being pried off that Karma did find very entertaining...but, for me...just a snappy reminder of how very little I know. ;)
Caroline comes today. My new modem is scheduled to arrive via UPS. I am supposed to get the new internet service hooked up tomorrow. I didn't stop my other service (or I wouldn't be writing to you now) and Dagan doesn't know if I can have both companies coming through my phone line or not. So, I may end up without internet altogether for a while if that is an issue. I am praying not because I don't want to pay a fee to hook back up to the service I have now if this new one doesn't work out, you know?
The new service plans to hook me up (remotely) sometime tomorrow before 5pm. Dagan and Leah are coming over after work and Dagan will hook up the new modem. I guess we'll find out if a person can have two services at the same time through the phone line, won't we? Wish me luck! If I am not here tomorrow morning, you will know why.
I read Mama's Bank Account and the two diet books over the weekend. I also signed up for the October pledge (on my sidebar) to not eat processed foods all month and have been trying to figure out my online grocery list for next month. Challenging.
It follows that I need to go through all the different baking flours, etc, that are above my cabinets to check and see if they are still good. I'm sure I need to toss quite a few of them and clean the jars out. Big project. I'll be asking Caroline to take them all down for me this afternoon.
Oh, and just a note: I wanted to say that it's truly impossible for me to get around to everybody in the groups I try to participate in each week. I do really appreciate the visits and try to respond to each comment, but I don't do word verification. So if you haven't heard back from me, that's probably why. Sorry.
Anyways, got to get moving. Caroline needs to come earlier today--noon. I need to gather up the trash and pick up Karma's toys. (You are never far from a wastebasket, pen, ruler, scissors, or kleenex at my place--lol! )
Happy Tuesday!! :)
I have been thinking of Ruby the past couple days. :):) She was such a bright light in my life. Always makes me smile to think of her. Miss her.
"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our souls."
Friday, September 20, 2013
Feels wonderful to have been busy creating this week! I forgot to take a before picture of the Zendala Dare template for this week, so I borrowed it off of Erin's blog over at The Bright Owl.
Back to doing my own thing...
...with nothing but dots, circles, straight lines, and a couple curls with a pop of color. So relaxing!! I thought it looked kind of lacy.
And this is a two birds with one stone happy coincidence--for both Jennifer's Artist's Playroom over at Just Add Water, Silly and the next workshop I started of the 21 Secrets Workshops. Jennifer's challenge this week was your favorite color or colors. I don't really have one because I like them all, so I thought the rainbows were appropriate. ;)
This next workshop is called Games Journalers Play and in this one we make our own deck of prompt cards in a tin. I already had a generic Altoids tin...but what to make the cards out of?
Scrounging through my stuff, I found a couple of bristol ATC cards--20 in a pack. (Never did get into making ATCs.) I ruined one trying to cut it down to the right size, but figured it out and cut them all down.
Then rounded the corners with a corner punch...
...and ended up with 39 cards.
How to decorate them?
You know I would want them to basically all be the same like a real deck of cards, right? I came up with the rainbow idea using my Lyra crayons. Of course, I wanted them to be as even as possible...
...so I made a guide I could use to double-check.
Even practiced on some of the removed strips as to how to blend them. A damp brush with plain water worked the best. I know--I am so anal.
Then I started in...assembly-line fashion, as I am wont to do. Also had a small bucket with a damp washcloth to clean my fingers on the right there.
As you can imagine, this took me a lot of my time sessions!
Ended up wrapping the crayons in pieces of paper towel because I took off all the wrappings long ago...but I've never held one crayon for this long and they (unlike M&Ms) melt in your hand--LOL!
But I finally finished this step. They are all colored and ready for a damp brush...one color stripe at a time. Perfect activity to do while watching TV (some program that doesn't require my full attention, of course) or listening to an audio book.
Once these are all blended then I will see how messy the white sides are. They will probably need a coat of gesso. Next I will glue or tape on the prompts to the white side. I printed off the two lists she gave us, picked out 39 of the prompts that I liked the best, and cut them out.
I think that's all I am going to do to the side with the prompts--we'll see. Last step on the cards will be to seal both sides with a liquid sealer of some kind--some mod podge, gel medium or something along those lines. Then if I want to decorate the tin, I can. Not sure I want to, though, because I'm really not sure if I will use these much and I might want to use the tin for something else later on, you know? We'll see.
I'm having a good time on these dark, damp days. It was 51 degrees when I got up this morning and it's been drizzling away. I have been at the art table or writing letters and haven't cracked a book open yet this week! That tall stack of library books is calling me--and I need to give my back a break today after all that coloring, anyways. I am so grateful my body has been in a cooperative mood lately and hope to put a dent in the prompt cards over the weekend. Time will tell. ;)
I hope you have a really good time this weekend...no matter the weather, no matter what bumps in your road. :) :)
"The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts."
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Not much different on my desk.
I've been busy with other things this past week...
...and only wrote all over the dream page spread.
Couldn't think of anything else to do to it and got bored with it, to be honest.
So, I am going to move on to the next workshop. Have so many to get through, anyways, right?
Dagan and Leah came by last night. I made bread so the whole place smelled like fresh, warm bread when they arrived--because I know they love it! ;) They got the chair cover on for me--tada!
Yup! I would have had a tough time doing it.
And since Karma had been lying on that one piece, I discovered that cat hair not only shows but it clings mightily to this stretchy fabric! Mightily, indeed. So it turns out I had to Karma-protect the chair with the throw, anyways--LOL!
But now we can pull that off when any of us want to sit down and we won't be turned into fur-bunnies! No lie! It took a long time to get even most of the cat hair off that one piece with a lint roller and I could not get it all. Finally had to pop it in the dryer for a while with my dryer balls to beat the hair out of it! Never got rid of all of it.
Miss Karma, who gets brushed regularly, couldn't imagine why a bit of fur would be any problem at all. The chair was just beginning to feel like home, for goodness sake!
I just wanted to show you what Karma does when I bring out the camera--well, usually--you know how moody cats can be. A couple days ago when we had some sun...
See how she starts to stretch and twist...
...and pet herself on the carpet.
Here she was pawing the carpet slowly...dreamily.
Somebody in the hallway.
Rubbing her head again.
Pretending she's asleep.
Okay...are you done yet so I can really go to sleep?
Karma is not camera shy.
Oh, and before I wrap this up today...several people were surprised at how much the 300# watercolor sheets cost. Well, I haven't actually been shopping for any for years, myself. I think it ran somewhere around $9-10.00 regular price for a sheet about ten years ago, right? So, I snooped around online at my favorite art stores (Dick Blick and Cheap Joe's--and even checked Jerry's Artarama, haven't shopped there for years) and they all pretty much have watercolor paper on sale right now. Now, when you buy the sheets (22" X 30") they usually have a minimum purchase of 5 to 10 sheets because they are a pain to package and ship, I'm sure, and they don't want to do all that for one sheet of paper, right?
Anyways, I almost fell over, myself! Arches is up to $16.46 a sheet for the 300# paper--ON SALE! Cheap Joe's had Arches the cheapest at 5 for $54.49. Fabriano, Lanaquarelle, Saunders-Waterford, and Strathmore were running from about $9-13 a sheet--on sale. Even the Kilamanjaro I just bought at the special price of 5 for $25.00 has now gone back up to 5 for $37.89. Wow!
So, I got an even better deal than I thought I did--LOL! ;) Double whoohoo!!
We're talking the 300# paper, though--and the artist's quality. The normal watercolor paper is 140# and the thinnest paper is 90# (which as you know, I hate because it buckles so much with watercolor, but I found out works pretty well for acrylics). Those run anywhere from around $3.50-7.00 a sheet each depending on sales and brand. Now you know why I never buy watercolor paper unless it's on sale...and why I wanted to try the even cheaper student grade paper for the art journals I made...and what a fantastic bargain the 5 for $25.00 was for 300#--no matter what brand. ;)
On this dark, damp morning--have a good rest of the week! Keep smiling!! :)
"There is more difference in the quality of our pleasures than in the amount."
Ralph Waldo Emerson