Thursday, October 17, 2013


Back in the land of the living.  :)
First of all, I want to thank everyone who left comments and sent emails.  I may have been too sick to respond to much, but I did read blogs while I was gone.  Even if I didn't comment, I am all caught up reading what you all have been up to.  Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and well wishes!!  :)
  You might as well grab something to drink and a snack.  I may have been sick, but I was still taking pictures--lol!  I have no idea how long this baby might end up.  ;)
Wasn't sleeping well for quite a few days... 
 ...(cough and runny nose).
Caught this beautiful sunrise one morning last week.
My feeling more human was slow and gradual like this. 
I started to feel better, but the residual exhaustion continued to hang over me for days.  I am still not quite back to normal.  Quite tired and blowing my nose--but the worst has passed.  :)
In the Dick Blick order arrived.  You know I was totally miserable if the boxes sat unopened. 
Finally got out my trusty box reveal all the Dick Blick acrylic craft paint I bought.  
I had tried a single white bottle months ago (left front) and liked it.  Since Joe only had a very few basic colors that are on the thick side now (old), I knew that if I could get used to acrylics I would eventually have to buy some more colors.  (Especially need a more fluid paint for working on the gelli plate.)  I would like to buy some of the retarder or flow enhancer additive, but it didn't win out in priorities this time.
I did get two different brands of book binder's board--packs of four.  No clue how easy these will be to cut down for covers, but they look nice and are thinner than the Davy board I have. 
 Needed a couple of mediums.
Well, needed the PVA--for gluing the paper, cloth, or whatever onto the journal covers...
...but wanted the Absorbent Ground.  (This is what beat out the acrylic retarder--lol!)  I've never used this before but it is supposed to make surfaces good for using watercolors--like even cardboard or whatever.  So do you think it might work on the cheap watercolor paper?  ROFL!  I couldn't resist giving it a try.  Going to be cautious using this, though, because it was quite spendy for such a small jar.  (Still a watercolorist at heart, I guess.) 
Five more boxes of crayons arrived, too.  
I forgot to take pictures of the empty flip-top bottles--but I got them in small (size of the new craft paints) and 8 oz.  Decided they'd be handy to have around after I found myself emptying my Agave Nectar bottle in the pantry that one day--LOL!  
I learned that I really shouldn't be at my art table when I am sick--but I kept puttering with the layers on that next workshop from 21 Secrets... 
...while Karma slept. 
I knew we had to add many layers...with stencils and stamps. 
So I would randomly go over to the art table for a few minutes and slap something down on the page. 
Oh, and last Thursday Karma and I were shocked by the sound of jackhammers in parking lot! 
They drilled random holes around the curbing of that sidewalk peninsula...
...either one or two of them going at once. 
And they drilled holes in the sidewalk, too. 
Does anyone have a clue what this would have been for?  I told Dagan and Leah about it and they had no idea.  I had wondered if they were maybe trying to permanently drain the parking lot puddle (I wasn't watching them all the time and thought they might have gone and drilled holes in the parking lot, too--LOL!)--but we had a couple of days of rain...
...and the puddle remained unscathed.
If anyone has a clue why they would have drilled random small holes all over the cement curb and sidewalk, let me know.  Quite mysterious.
Back at the art table--kept adding layers over several days...
...and was not particularly thrilled with it at all. 
We had rain... and on...  
...and just clouds sometimes. 
I was too sick to notice, really--but any morning we had sun Karma was snatching rays.
Okay, I'm chuckling before I even show you.  I made the mistake of thinking maybe I could just tone down the page with gesso.  I see people do it on youtube all the time, right?  So I put a thin layer of gesso over the page...go to rub some off...and it doesn't seem to want to come off.  I rub...rub...rub.  Baffled. 
This is why I shouldn't be at the art table when I am sick--LOL!  I do kind of know this--but, obviously, not enough for automatic recall from the recesses of my snot-filled brain.  You apparently have to have a layer of something slicker underneath--like modpodge or gel medium.  Duh! 
So, what can you do--I laughed and decided that was enough for this workshop.  There was only one more technique she used that I wanted to try before I called it quits--using said gel medium on a stencil and then sprinkling glitter on top.  I haven't been one for using glitter as anything but a small accent--and I guess I'm still not.  ;)  
Anyways, it was still fun.  I'm not up to starting over on this one, but I could at some later date if I change my mind one day.  Time to move on to the next workshop.
Oh, and having purchased the crummy watercolor paper I used in these journals has turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to this OCD inclined girl because I don't care what I do to it.  That has freed up some part of me to try anything and everything with abandon.  Who cares?!  It's crappy, buckly paper in the first place, right?  The "loose woman" is emerging folks--ROFL!  
Always a silver lining.  :)
Also, had forgotten to show you that they have finished off the siding on that new apartment building.  The balconies aren't done yet and the lawn isn't in, but they may have to wait till spring for sod like Dagan and Leah because of the unpredictable weather this year.
The leaves have turned and begun to fall. 
The straggler geese are passing through. 
Karma isn't asking to go out on the porch every morning anymore. 
The sun comes in at a different angle in the mornings. 
You may remember that right before I got sick I had started to clean in the kitchen and had a folding table full of clean jars in my bedroom.  Well, I also had been taking some things out of the pantry and so the entire time I was sick what little counter space I have was mostly covered with jars... 
...and cans. 
I did manage to make a big pot of bean soup in my new stock pot so that I had soup and bread to eat all week.  The kitchen hadn't really been conducive to cooking.
I had cancelled Caroline when I was so sick.  She came on Tuesday this week this chaos!  So I asked her if she would pass on the usual cleaning in the bedroom and living room and help me with the pantry.  No problem.  :)
So she moved all the big jars up on to the top shelf on the right side...
...and emptied out three of shelves on the left side for me, too! 

She also emptied out a lot of the wall shelves...and put everything on the folding table in the bedroom that had the jars before... 
...and she got out the other folding table and set it up for me in the living room...and we filled that one up, too... we stacked stuff on the floor in the kitchen. 
Always worse before it gets better, right? 
Caroline saved me hours of work!
Because I have so little space to work with...okay, and too much stuff (I can hear you thinking!) I have to shuffle around in the pantry to make room for the stuff that's already filling the folding tables and counters before I can shuffle any more out.  Every time I do a big cleaning project in here I think of that sliding numbers game.
Since Caroline left on Tuesday I finished emptying and have been working on the wall shelf units.  Done!  They now hold beverages--teas and coffee mostly--and the foils and plastic wraps and bread bags, etc.  Plus I have reorganized Karma's shelf, too.  This Snail Lady is finally moving again--LOL!  
Dagan and Leah stopped last night and we ordered Chinese!  What a treat for me!  (I love fried rice!!)  Leah changed my laptop over to Chrome (?) instead of Safari--so now things look different again and I am having to learn my way around a bit.  She said I will probably like it better--and it's not too bad, so far.  
Which reminds me--I have to decide on which internet service to keep.  I think I am going to take the plunge with the new cheaper company.  There have been some new glitches, but Dagan says it is probably not internet related.  My TV computer was already having troubles and crashing on me before I switched, for example.  It might be a little slower at times, but I guess it's been okay.
Leah left me some banana muffins.
Dagan forgot his leftover sweet and sour chicken in the frig--so he called last night and said if I could make up some rice and he'd come over today for lunch!  You betcha!  Nice!!
So, there you go.  A week and a half of photos and Fargo action--LOL!  For those of you who made it through the entire post--wow!  If you thought that took forever, it's already 8am!  Obviously, I'm still not sleeping well some nights.  Might have to go take a nap before it's time to put the rice in the steamer.  But a banana muffin with my coffee sure sounds good right now, too.  ;)  
It won't be so long next time I hope.  
Bless you!  
Keep smiling!!
"Life is so hard, how can we be anything but kind?"
Jack Kornfield 


DJan said...

I made it to the end! Whew, Rita, that was a LOT to absorb. I kind of like the pictures, even that first one which you don't like. Thanks for the pictures of Karma, too, looking fat and happy. :-)

Zue said...

Phew, what a read!
I wish I had OCD.
You are buying new stuff and I am throwing out similar things I no longer want to use.
I got to de-clutter before I get depressed.

Strange goings on in your neighbourhood, you will find out eventually what the drilled holes are for!
Take care!
Sue x

Deanna said...

I'm glad you are finally feeling better Rita. It is quite a task, but reorganizing things gives such a feeling of accomplishment! I have no idea what those holes are for. We have holes drilled in our parking lot at church so that when we have festivals they can anchor tents in them. Maybe they are going to have a parking lot festival lol! Hopefully the mystery will be solved for you soon.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Love that Kornfield quote. So glad you're feeling better ... mmmmm ... fried rice... :)

GrandmaG said...

Your emptied kitchen and pantries with stuff sitting all over on card tables and the floor remind me of how things looked here during the remodel. OMG I was so happy to finally clean and put everything away. I hate clutter!

Glad you're feeling better. Looks like you're all set with projects for the long winter months :)

TexWisGirl said...

sorry you've been sick, but glad you're fighting your way through to the other side. :) beautiful sky photos. no idea on the concrete holes.

Intense Guy said...

The Truck in the photos with the "random cement drillers" says "Rise and Level Concrete" I think they were "mud-jacking" or "slab jacking" to level up the sidewalk.

I'm glad you are feeling better!!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to the Land of the Living!!

Anonymous said...

I have NEVER won the sliding numbers game.

Dee said...

Dear Rita, now it's about 1:30 pm and you've been up a long time. I hope you've napped or are planning a nap because my take on being ill is that is we expend too much energy right away--when we feel well again--we have a relapse.

I'm suggesting--pretty broadly here--that you GO SLOW on the pantry and the art and the visiting. Be good to yourself in every way you can think of. Peace.

Janie Junebug said...

I know nothing about drilling holes, and you can't make me tell anyway. The pantry looks gorgeous. I want to reorganize my office supplies shelves to make room for my laptop. I can't get my bedroom closet under control. Rice is a good idea. It's "binding," if you know what I mean.


Shelly said...

Oh, I hope your recovery is complete and soon! You are still so productive even when you aren't feeling well. Loved the sky pics and of course Miss Karma and her sunrays!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Since it's now Saturday morning and I started reading this Friday night (JOKE), I hope you are now feeling much better. I think I could have used a Caroline when I was working in my basement, too. I bet your Caroline really DID save you time.

I actually LOVE wonky pages when I've finished an altered book. It seems to give them character.

Hope Karma is doing well and I'll see you on the internet soon, I hope.

Serena Lewis said...

Don't you just hate when art endeavours flop like that. Did you use the gesso straight out of the tub or did you water it down? I would think a thin layer of watered-down gesso may have been the way to go. Ah well, more play time. ;)

I would be interested to know what you think of the absorbent ground. I've heard that Liquitex MATTE medium (not gel medium) works well. I have it but have never tried it.

No clue at all on all the drilled holes. Weird!

I must say you certainly put your organisation skills to the test. So many jars!

Nice that Dagan and Leah visited.

Beautiful cloud and sunrise pics!

Have a lovely weekend ~ xo

andi filante said...

Wow...I'm officially exhausted, and yours is the first blog I read this morning! Glad you're feeling better!


AliceKay said...

I'm glad you're feeling better. (when you wrote this post anyhow) Re-organizing and cleaning out unwanted stuff is a real chore. Been finding that out myself lately.

I'm thinking of downloading Chrome to use when on Facebook. Internet Explorer has been causing me problems while logged in there and I haven't figured out why.

Beautiful sunrise pics!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Glad you are still with the land of the living! Cleaning a kitchen and being sick at the same fun:(