Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I didn't plan on being up before the sun.
Woke up Sunday with a dreadful sore throat where it hurt to swallow, but it lessened up during the day and wasn't too bad yesterday.  But then late last night the sniffles turned into a running faucet.  I don't know how a person's nose can run so much and still have a head that's stuffed to the eyeballs--LOL!
I discovered why I'm having troubles taking pictures out the living room windows and getting reflections.  They're so dirty!  I need spring and a few good thunderstorms to clean them off. 
I took these shots from the porch a couple days ago when it was 21 degrees (-6 C).  Since then we've had another dusting of snow and this morning it is 7 degrees (almost -14 C), but the sun is shining and the sky is clear at the moment.  I don't expect cleansing thunderstorms any time soon.   
I got the best surprise yesterday!!  A box arrived with this inside--a cute bag with bright tissue paper stuffed inside. 
An early birthday present from Andi!!  Totally unexpected and greatly appreciated!!  (You should stop by and visit her if you haven't met her yet--super lady!) 
Look at this fancy dish towel!  Beautiful., isn't it?  Looks too pretty to use...but I will.  :) 
I hung it over the chair and it looked like Karma was looking at the rabbit--LOL!  (As you can see, Karma claimed the tissue paper immediately.) 
And look at these little bird's egg candles!  Now these really do look too pretty to burn, don't they? 
But, when I finally do...I wonder what I could use those three little egg shell cups for when they are empty?  I'm sure I could think of something.  ;)
Cats pouncing on imaginary victims always cracks me up.
I'm sure the faint crackling from the crisp new tissue paper (which I will recycle for sure) made her momentarily believe in mice or some escaped cat toy (you know how cats believe toys can move on their own).
Karma does not like me laughing at her when she's a dead serious huntress. 
Pounce!  I know--lazy pouncing...but she was fast.  
She's still got her claimed tissue paper...for now.
Since I hadn't consistently felt too badly before last night, really, I did get a bit done before this bug completely moved in.  I love my new paper drying rack!!  All the sheets now have Dylusions spray, Distress paint, a watercolor swatch, a smear of gesso, and another of modpodge.  I used the rack to dry between each addition on the test papers. 
I can fold the rack back up now today because next I plan to use markers and pens.  Well, unless I plan a good puddle of black ink...hummm.
I finally googled how to soften leather and found an easy suggestion--rubbing in some coconut oil. 
I used my fingers and just worked the oil into both covers--front and back sides.  The coconut oil darkened up the leather quite a bit as you can see here as I worked my way across the inside of the cover. 
The leather soaked up that oil like a thirsty sponge!  Especially on the rougher front side.   
I got the first layer on yesterday and plan to put a few more on...when I am functional again.  Doesn't seem to be greasy or oily at all, either, so far.  I can tell already that the leather isn't as stiff as it was.  Cool!!
Oh, and note for the T-Tuesday folks--last night after I finished rubbing leather--I made a big old banana, raspberry, strawberry smoothie.  Was wonderful on my sore throat!  :)
I warned Dagan and Leah that I might be getting sick yesterday afternoon (but I was in better shape at that point) and I'd let them know today how I was doing.  So, despite me desperately needing my tech support team, they may well and wisely choose to stay away until I am better.  I have to email them this morning to tell them I am most definitely and undeniably sick now.  So, if you don't see me around online for a while...you know why.
Meanwhile, I guess I'll stay right here under my blanket and catch up on what TV shows have recorded and watch some Netflix movies...and maybe nap a little, if I can.  Might have a better chance here in my recliner, actually.  ;)  I'll be back when I feel better.  Stay well and safe!!  :):)
"When the waves close over me, I dive down to fish for pearls."
Masha Kaleko

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Good Morning!
Lots of variety in the weather up here lately.  Such an atmospheric morning on Wednesday... 
...with the sun peeking through dark clouds looking like a moon. 
On Thursday I heard a new term--"freezing fog". 
I think maybe there wasn't enough to focus on with all that white so I got the reflection of my camera in window pane no matter how hard I tried not to.  Oh well. 
Freezing Fog--now that's a new one for me.  Has anyone heard that one before?
Then on Friday we got a dusting of snow during the night and the wind was fierce and noisy all morning. 
By last night there were some dirty clouds against blue skies. 
Miss Karma took it easy, of course, while I puttered. 
I finished the "stars" challenge for Journal52.
Used a silver jar seal for the moon and spread a little white Wink of Stella glitter brush on it.  Then used every white marker pen I had to dot in some stars--and wrote one of my favorite quotes across the bottom of the page spread. 
"We are all in the gutter... 
...but some of us are looking at the stars."
Oscar Wilde 
I love that quote.  :)
Then I finally got around to starting on my paper testing.  Since the Dylusions sprays bled through the student grade Dick Blick watercolor paper so much, I grabbed the Calypso Teal and sprayed some in the corner... 
...of each of the sheets I'm testing. 
Stuck some paint rags and background sheets inbetween in case they bled through.  Didn't want them contaminating each other.  Next I am going to use a dark watercolor paint and probably one of the new acrylic Distress Paints, too.  The mad scientist work has begun--LOL!  ;)
Then I carved out notches on the stiff, rough leather for my fauxdoris. 
I left them uncovered during the night and there was still a very slight bowing, especially on the larger one--so I don't think they are totally dry yet.  Back under some lighter weights they went. 
But I took measurements and will make some inserts for them.  I never did google how to soften leather...
It has not been electronically, technologically good for me lately.  I have had TV computer issues, recording issues, antenna issues, laptop issues...and now I am unable to log on to my Cashwise account for groceries??  I even called Cashwise and it made no sense to the lady at Cashwise Delivery, either.  She could log in as me on three different browsers, but it won't let me log on?  Yet another mystery issue for Dagan and Leah when they come over on Wednesday.  I can always open a new account--but what an elaborate pain in the patoot.  The Techie-Gods have not been smiling down on me.
Leah's better, but the tail end of the cold and cough is still lingering on.  Other people have had this and it doesn't like to let go of a person without a long drawn out battle.  It will be good to see her this coming week since it will have been a month by then.  I'll try to remember to get a belly shot.  How time flies!  We'll be a month closer to the arrival of McBaby!  
Yes, they sometimes call it McBaby!!  Absolutely cracks me up--LOL!  I love it!!  (Our last name is McGregor, for those of you who don't know.)  Perfect!!
I woke up thinking about how people are like icebergs.  What we see and hear and truly know about another person is like the tip of an iceberg.  There is so much more to each of us--depths that are beyond words.  A vastness lies beneath the surface that even we do not completely know and understand ourselves...let alone in another.  What a world, eh?  How can one not be fascinated just by being alive?  ;)
 Well it's a sunny 16 degrees F (-9 C) with a few white clouds meandering across a blue sky.  Karma is crying to go out on the porch and I want to go mess with some paper.  Have a great weekend!  :):)
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."
Julian of Norwich   

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


I forgot to post pictures of Karma out on the porch...
...when it was just warm enough... 
...to sit and watch for bugs or swallows. 
She had no sightings, of course, and it's been too cold once again since our few days in the 40s.
Challenges for Journal52...Create for a Cause. 
Note the thermal mug for T-Stands For Tuesday over at Elizabeth's.  :)
I decided to put those green moleskine pages to use.  Just printed off an earth from google images and wrote "Earth... 
...is a good cause." 
Kind of cheating to do so little, but I couldn't think of much else.
We had sun one day.  I've still been tending to the flipping of the fauxmidori covers... 
...and crumpled up a ball of the waxed paper... 
...but Karma wasn't impressed.  She still prefers those ties from the paper drying rack--LOL!
The current (yes, I said current) Journal52 challenge is "Stars".  I sprayed a page spread in my junk journal with blues and purples. 
The colors are deeper and more varied in person.  (I am really loving my Dylusions sprays and the Distress Paints!!)  My camera always changes the shades, too.  I took several pictures and this was the best I could do.  Anyways, now I just have to add stars, I guess.  But... 
...this is why I call it my junk journal.  See what happened to the pretty multicolored page I had done that was on the backside?  Mostly destroyed by bleeding blues.
And this is the next page...already blue seeping through here, too. 
Told you this is really cheap watercolor paper--LOL!  That is why I do not get attached to anything I create in here.  Not that I can't totally mess up in any journal whatsoever, but the odds are increased ten-fold in these I made with the low-quality WC paper.  ;)  I should probably only do the one page at a time, I guess, eh?
Caroline will be here this afternoon.  No sun today.  Snoring cat.  Quiet.  I am off to nuke some lunch.  I'm still not back into my old routine quite yet--easily side-tracked and didn't post when I got up.  But I am getting there--and so happy about that!  
Short and sweet today.  
Have a good one!!  :):)
"Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you’ve lost time."
Asha Tyson

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Good Morning!
We had such warm weather since we last spoke.  It was in the 40s for three days and then 57 degrees I saw on Thursday!  Friday we were back to the 30s and today is supposed to be high of 20 degrees--then supposed to linger around 30s for the highs for a while.  Of course that could all change rapidly.  ;)
But look at how those melty days took care of all the surface snow! 
Wasn't all those men and machinery last year supposed to do something about all the standing water?  Maybe not?  LOL!  We still had a pretty decent parking lot puddle--and the sidewalk was under water.  
It did drain away fairly fast, though.
The TV tray by the window has become Karma's favorite place to snooze during the day.  Not sure if it's because her new favorite cat bed was moved over there or that she loves spying out the window--LOL! 
By yesterday, the standing water in the yard had diminished and even the field across the way is brown again. 
 Hard to believe, but we are down to the snowbanks and snowpiles!   
Not that we won't have snow again before spring.  It's only mid-March, after all.  But being able to open the windows in the afternoon for a few days---ahhhh!!!  This could have been a very late February Thaw, since we never got one this winter.  Who knows?  I hadn't been able to crack a window since October, so I loved it!  Fresh air!!  Whoohoo!!
I did a couple more of the Journal52 challenges.
The found poetry one. 
Mine reads like this:
Shed light where no light is cast
Words have impact
Open new doors to wondrous things
Bright, happy joy
Embrace your path 
And then the next challenge was to use something as a color palette.  I wanted to try this technique with the distress paints where you dab the colors on the non-stick mat, mist with water, and then place the paper or page right onto the craft mat. 
Obviously, my junk journal has buckly pages--LOL!  Didn't even get any paint in the center in places, but I left it. 
I had more paint on the craft mat so I misted some more water on, grabbed my old moleskine WC journal, and slopped up some more paint.  Cool! 
On the other side I really swished it all around in what was left and noticed that, instead of the plain brown mud you'd normally get mixing all those colors, it was kind of a multicolored mud.  Cool! 
Oh, and here is what I used for my color palette--a spool of thick multicolored thread in blue, green, red, orange, and yellow.
So that was fun!  Not sure what else I will do with the pages, but I sure do love the richness of the distress paint colors!  
Meanwhile, I watched All Is Lost with Robert Redford.  Was so impressed with his performance in this movie--had to google and find out how old he is--77!  Amazing!  Except for a voice-over reading of his final note in the beginning, he says one (swear) word in the whole movie.  It is just one man trying to survive in the middle of the ocean.  I watched the specials and Robert said he wanted to get back to just being an actor...so he never watched the dailies or got involved in the film making end or did anything but take direction and act.  He definitely had my riveted attention until the last second!  You never know who this taciturn, elderly everyman is or anything about his background.  You are like a fly on the wall...just suddenly there with him from the time of the freak accident to his boat.  I'd love to hear what other people thought about this movie if they watched it because it was definitely not your typical movie.  
Dagan was over for a little while Wednesday night, but Leah was home sick with a sore throat.  She's feeling better now, but annoyed that she has been catching everything recently.  She just got over a cold and cough, poor thing.  Maybe this will be the end of it.  :)
      I've been gradually getting back to being on day hours, but had a rough week.  Tuesday night I didn't sleep at all--napped a couple hours during the day on Wednesday and collapsed that night.  But starting Thursday night I have doubled up on the melatonin and finally been sleeping better.  I have to chuckle.  After two years on melatonin my body is probably not bothering to make any at all anymore--and, in all likelihood with my sleep track record, it never knew how to make much to begin with--ROFL!  
Next month I am going to make an order from Swansons and get a variety of doses so I can experiment and find what works the best for me.  I am anything but normal, folks--LOL!  Most people can take melatonin 20-30 minutes before they want to go to sleep.  I was taking it 5-6 hours before I was able to sleep.  No lie!  I had to take it at 7pm in order to get to bed by 12-1am.  With the double dose now, though--so far, I am in bed within about 2-2 1/2 hours!  And I'm only up a couple of times and sleeping like 8-9 hours.  Whoohoo!  But that's 20 mg.  Maybe 13 or 15mg would work just fine, you know?  But it comes in a capsule form, so I am stuck with only a 10mg dose right now.  But--whatever works, right?  Like I said--anything but normal over here.  ;)
But--I slept and played at the art table the last two days, so it's looking quite promising!  After another night or two of catching up on my sleep I'll probably try to drop back to one capsule and see how that goes.  Meanwhile, I am doing the usual--writing letters, playing in junk journals, tending to Miss Karma and all the usual daily chores.  The taste of spring was wonderful!  We're back to nippy normal--more drab brown than glistening white out there right now, though.  But I do so love the change of seasons.  Can't imagine life without these extreme shifts.  ;)  
Have a great weekend.  
Be good to yourself.  
Hug somebody!  :):) 
"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead."
Oscar Wilde