Monday, October 16, 2017


Good afternoon!  
Big old tumbleweed was sitting across in the parking lot this morning.  I've seen a few of these wandering about since I moved here.  It's gone now.  Wonder where the tumbleweeds go?  
I hadn't seen any since I was a kid until I moved here.  Well, thirteen striped ground squirrels, either.  Bit of the prairie.  :)
There's been a wild bird party going on here ever since I put out the feeder.
They went through one and a half fillings in a week!  Nothing like last year.   
Makes me wonder if they know something we don't.  The ground squirrels have taken to burrows--have been rarely seen for weeks.  The birds are frantically fattening up--and bathing like crazy?  We've already had temps below freezing at night.  Hope that doesn't mean we are in for a long cold winter.  ??
I tried to catch snoozing Annie on the footrest.  Hard to get good pics of black cats, I guess, but doesn't she look relaxed?  She snores as well as farts--LOL!
Today I swept off all the shell remnants but didn't refill the feeder...yet.  Just put out the usual cup of seed on the cement and gave them fresh water.  It looks much quieter and cleaner than this today--hehe!
They still come flying in, of course.  Supposed to be in the 60s this week so the patio door will be open and Annie will be glued to the screen.
I finally worked on the headers in my bullet for November...


...and January. 

My hands and my eyes don't always work like they used to, but it doesn't look bad from farther away--LOL!
I printed off the back worksheet pages in the new Brush Lettering book (108-222).  Too bad her book is not the size of a sheet of paper. 
So, I decided to trim down all the sheets. 
They ended up an odd size--about 7 by 9 1/4 inches.
I had printed them on regular computer paper (which isn't very good for calligraphy--feathers and bleeds)... I printed another set onto laser paper. 
It's sturdier (32 lb.) and a little plastic-y. 
Anyways, then I wanted to try the tracing paper method I had seen online.  With some digging I unearthed some old vellum tracing paper ... 
...and Parchment tracing paper (we're talking decades here, folks).
With some washi tape, you tape down the tracing paper or parchment paper over the drill page so it doesn't move around and then you can supposedly use the drill sheets endlessly. 
So, I tried the vellum tracing paper.
(I have improved with practice, BTW--whoohoo!) 
Perfect!  Didn't bleed through at all! 
Then I tried the thinner parchment paper. 
Also a win! 
On the right here you can see how much thinner that parchment paper is there on the bottom. 
I've seen people use marker paper, too.  I guess anything that is that plastic-y type paper that you can still see through would work.  So now I can use the same drill sheets over and over again!  Just will eventually need some more tracing paper of some kind.  Nice!
BUT--I haven't tried it on the large brush pen or the dip pen yet.  That will be next, of course.  I kind of ran out of steam--LOL!
McFamily came for a visit on Saturday.  Leah was working on a project in the garage (cutting holes in something) for ValleyCon this coming weekend.  (You may recall I have their Stargate suite furniture and decorations stored in my garage.)  
Dagan and I had Ian and Liam inside.  Liam slept the entire time in the car seat--LOL!  (He makes a lot of sounds while he sleeps like Ian did.)  I had been checking out my latest enrollment--Curiosity Stream for $2.99 a month--before they arrived.  So we watched a nature program with David Attenborough called Light On Earth about all the various plants, insects, fish, and other critters that can glow in the dark.  Just love these kind of programs!!  Been quite a while since I had Ian in my lap watching a nature show.  :)
They had brought with frozen vegetarian pizzas for lunch--whoohoo!  Leah didn't finish her hole cutting project so she will be back some time this week.  Supposed to be perfect weather, too--60s in the daytime and chilly at night--ahhh!!
Well, that's what's been happening in my corner of the world.  Been grateful for my pleasant, peaceful days with Annie.  Oh, and Dagan picked me up three 40# bags of wild bird seed on sale at Fleet Farm that are tucked out in the garage.  Am hoping that might last me all or at least most of the winter.  The way the birds act like they are starving, though, who knows?  Even the girls are here sometimes 3-4 times a day.  Maybe with the warmer weather this week they will slow down a bit--LOL!  I am glad to help them out.  :)
 Please, everyone have a safe week.  
Hugs!!  :) :)   
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
Ian MacLaren


  1. Someone close to you who snores and farts is the best kind of friend. So many birds!


    1. Isn't that what a husband is for?

  2. The birds are almost never at my feeder for the last few weeks.. Where have they gone?? I'm thinking either theres alot of seeds out there in nature for them to eat right now or theres a hawk or something hanging around scaring them away... Either way i hope they come back.. :(

    Pssst... got your letter the other day.... LOVED every minute of it!!! Hugs! deb

  3. My old dog farts and snores too.
    I am so waiting for the warmer weather, got a brief sample last weekend, today is rain :(

  4. Bleubeard snores, but neither of my boys fart. At least not that I have ever heard (or smelled).

    I hate to tell you this Rita, but from the looks of the age of the parchment tracing and vellum paper, washi tape was not even a gleam of it's inventor's eye when you purchase those two (grin). Hope you have a super day.

  5. Chance snores too! You have a good supply of birdseed! Birds tell all their friends so word gets around where the buffet is!
    It should be beautiful the next few days!! I am looking forward to it! :)

  6. Gracie saves her best farts for when we're sitting on the couch together. We're having amazing weather this week too! My favorite time of year.


  7. I too wonder if the critters know we are in for a hard winter. It's raining here for the next several days, if not weeks! I'll be hiking and walking in the rain and wind. So glad you and Annie are warm and content. :-)

  8. If she snores and farts she feels!
    Great letter practicing Rita!
    Have a great week and take good care of you!
    The birds also feel well as I see... here too, not many yet but they come and look what is on the menue!

  9. Wow - I haven't seen tracing paper in ages. Or carbon paper, for that matter. It makes me yearn for the "old" days when I had a typewriter.

    I'm always amazed at the wildlife that congregates by your windows. The forest animals around here (in TN) have been very active and scurrying around, too. It does seem like they're preparing for a long winter...(unfortunately).

    Black cats are difficult to photograph. I've been trying to get a good photo of my Bosco with a pumpkin, but so far no luck.

    So - Annie snores (and farts)! All of my cats snore, too, but especially my older cat Scratch (she's 12 yrs, old now).

  10. I am convinced that animals have a sense of when cold weather is coming. Weather has been so extreme in recent years that I wouldn't rule out anything. Have a good week, Rita!

  11. I sure hope this isn't going to be a cold and long winter.But this year our weather here in New England has been really unusual-cold spring, cool summer, hot fall. HMMMM. But I am most impressed with your lettering. It is looking very professional. :) Hugs-Erika

  12. I hope all I know have safe weeks, my week is the same as always pretty much except that I am dog sitting so not here at night but other wise pretty much the same as always

  13. It's so interesting to see all the projects you work on. You sure keep busy!

  14. We don't get tumbleweeds here, and you get a lot more birds at your feeder than I do on my patio. Your calligraphy is coming right along :) as is Annie's settling-in process. Sweet

  15. Anonymous12:31 PM

    you always have the best projects going on. I'm so glad you share them with us. Know that even if I don't comment, it doesn't mean I'm not reading. I read your posts in my email most of the time and often don't make it here to say hello. I'm so grateful that you come by my blog and say hello.

  16. Great to finally meet Annie...I know where have I been?
    Your bird feeder is extremely popular too which is wonderful to see. My feeders can be emptied within a day, but sometimes when the weather is mild I don't refill them...missing a day so that the birds can clean up all the seeds that have fallen into the plants and gravel. I obviously won't do this during the cold winter days though.
    I love your calligraphy and it's always been something I like but haven't done for years. You're inspiring me to have another go!
    I don't think you can beat David Attenborough nature programmes. I've seen some amazing BBC nature programmes this year. They just seem to get better and better and the photography is incredible. It must be a very special time having Ian sitting on your knee watching them together. Enjoy xoxo

  17. Hi Rita, wonderful post, so magical seeing all those birdies and all your visitors! Gorgeous creativity, love calligraphy and lettering..fantastic work! Annie is so sweet!
    Wishing you a magical day !

  18. Perhaps there’s a tumbleweed heaven?

    Nice to see that you are keeping busy as ever. I hope your health is good, your artistic and crafty bent carries on flourishing and McFamily is kind to you.

    Watch those birds, they’ll soon be too heavy to fly!

  19. I wonder where the tumbleweeds do end up? Possibly nest material for birds or small animals?

    Those birds sure do love visiting you for a feed. Too cute!

    Awwww....Annie looks so adorable snoozing away there.

    Your headers look the December style! Well done on doing your drills...hoping to get started on mine in the coming days. Had a bad pain weekend. Last physio session (remedial massage) seemed to have made the pain worse.

    Is ValleyCon where comic book artists come together? Or is it where people dress up as characters? I've heard of Comic-con before so I assume it's something like that?

    Ian would have loved watching David Attenborough with you.

    We've been having rainy weather here with the occasional storm...I've been enjoying the cooler temps thanks to the rain but the heat will be back. :(

    Love and hugs to you and Annie xo

  20. I'm glad to hear you are "in the birdseed"!


  21. You throw the best parties for birds!

  22. Thanks for your blog comment, Rita. This is my second comment this week but I was thinking about the tumbleweed. We don't have it here. I wonder how it survives with no roots. I must look it up.

  23. That's a great quote! I really enjoy seeing what you do with the pages in your bullet journal. You are so creative!


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Have a really great day! :) :)