Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I've Got Nothing

That last riveting post was my 350th! And today, I've really got nothing. Not even frozen vegetables that missed the pot. Nothing.

I'm between projects right now. I'm trying to figure out what to do with a recently completed series. I've yet to finish photographing it. Will the New Orleans series go up on Etsy, be auctioned off somewhere for "charity", or remain in my drawers forever?

New Orleans: Languishing Muses II, 24 x 24", 2009

Sorry there is nothing new.

Ideas are brewing, however. Something popped into my head about my mother the other day. I saw colors and bits and pieces. Would I want to assemble original bits and pieces of my mother's life? Has enough been saved? Would I dare to use original bits from her diary?

Yes, I have my mother's diary. If I were to leave it in her hands, it would go into the garbage immediately, if not sooner. I remember finding one of my grandmother's diaries in my parents' basement soon after she died. It was pretty grim. The diary of a woman recovering from a drinking problem and none too happy about it. I never learned of any "bad" family issues until I was in my 30's. I would never have learned anything if not for my sister. In my family, we take "bad" issues and bury them or throw them out. After reading the diary for a few minutes, I put it away intending on packing it up before I left. I mentioned to my mother that I had found the diaries. Dumb move. I never had time to pack up those books, and by the time of my next visit, they were gone. Numbly, I asked my mother where they went, knowing what the answer was going to be. They are no doubt at the bottom of the landfill. Thoughts lost to me forever. Covered over with dirt, rotting vegetables, plastic packaging, and unspeakable debris.

I would love to have those fragments of my grandmother's life. I'm sure they would mean little to my daughter. Aside from any historical significance, I don't think I would have any interest in my great-grandmother's diary. Should any of these writings be saved forever? Should we use them up now while we have the chance? So, could be that I will create a series with what has come to me (accidentally) from my mother. When it has all been used up and sent off, then that's that. It seems far better to me than going into the garbage.

Since so much of her life has literally gone into the garbage, I will surf Etsy today to find other bits and pieces. One of my mother's main hobbies (did she really have hobbies) was sewing, so I'm going to look for some interesting vintage sewing items. However, I don't want this to look like some of those mixed-media pieces that millions of women seem to be creating lately, all jumbly looking. I'm sure that no matter what I do, it will end up being on the dark side. I've got to think up what I will tell my mother, though, if she gets wind of this. But I do feel I've got certain issues to deal with. Isn't that what creating art is about? There's only so many cute little birdies I can deal with.

So, if today turns out to be another non-creative day like yesterday, and it happens again tomorrow, I'm going to do some cooking so I'll have something interesting to post here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And this is why . . .

. . . I do not cook.

In my Mother's 60 years of marriage, she did not do much in the way of honing her culinary skills. There are still words, or combinations of words, I cannot tolerate today, such as "beef stew" and "corned beef hash".

Believe it or not, I CAN boil water. I just have a problem with getting the food into the boiled water. The funny thing is, when I saw that I had missed the pot with those peas, I turned off the wrong burner. I didn't know that frozen peas could burn.

My hubby didn't marry me for my cooking, that's for sure.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It was 60 Years Ago Today

when this young woman

and this young man

went and got themselves hitched.

They look pretty darned happy don't they. I guess they must have liked each other well enough to put up with each other for 60 years.

My dad said he was so nervous that his legs were shaking and he could hardly walk. During the ceremony, my mother got the silly giggles.

For their anniversary, my Dad is getting an iPad and my mother is getting a new and improved hearing aid. I hope the combination of iPad and hearing aid do not prevent a 61st anniversary.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Words and Illustrations and Letters! Oh My!

Yummy, crusty, wooden letters. Brand New To Me! Can't wait to use them. These guys are 2" tall. Just beautiful. These arrived in the mail late last week. I'm trying not to think of ways to use them. Just yet. I have two pieces to finish first (one shown in previous post).

But it can't hurt to print them out once and see how they look. I'm quite fond of them all, especially Mr. Z. Wish I could have gotten an X, but there were only a handful of these available.

I also purchased a print from the extremely talented Aimee Myers Dolich over at Artsyville. This was just so me. Yeah, I'm guilty of watching the ground when I walk. Amazing things can be found on the ground. I do find, that when my eyes are on the trees and sky for too long, I find myself face down on that ground.

My subscription to the fantastic newish magazine Uppercase started last week. As the cover says, it is a magazine for the creative and curious. Text, illustration, art, letters, colors, design. Its a candy store of a publication.

And here is the newest addition to the family. The Oxford College Dictionary. I looked through every dictionary in the bookstore before I found one whose text I liked. The kid said her childrens' dictionary didn't have enough words. She's so right. But now I've got to talk her into keeping the old dictionary, cause, really, I like the way this one looks so much better.

And, yesterday there was a letter. I saw a handwritten return address and assumed it could only be something good. I don't get much mail, so this kind of thing gets me all excited. I wish I had looked more closely before I tore the envelope open. I would have realized that it came from a gallery in New York state. And that since the damn thing was so thin, that it would have been a rejection letter. Every year I enter their small quilt exhibition. Every year I get rejected. Its really becoming easier and easier. Not bothered at all. It's really not necessary to each chocolate.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Muddy

I've been wanting to do a few more pieces in the New Orleans series. And so I did. Then the pile of scraps kept calling out to me. "Just do a couple more," the scraps begged. And so I did.

Once again, I put some motivational music in the CD player. New Orleans and southern Louisiana tunes. Plus the Be Good Tanyas, naturally. They NEVER leave the CD player. The CD on the bottom right is hard to read. My fave: Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas "Hang it High, Hang it Low". Never fails to light a fire under my kettle.

Those begging, pleading scraps:

Looks like I just don't have enough of the window material in brown. Will have to make more. I'm quite fond of making simple stamps. Sometimes, just a rectangle is all that is needed.

And a white paint pen.

Now to lay out some ideas:

Need some more of the white letters on black and white swirls:

Time to sketch out some ideas:

Making progress:

Final layout (?) with some beading ideas:

Now the real work will begin. Sewing the pieces together. Quilting. More quilting. Applying beads and other embellishments.

Big Muddy is named after the Mississippi River. I'm also working on a smaller version of this piece.

I'm still thinking of a plan to have these auctioned off for a charitable organization in New Orleans. Lots of planning to do there. I have NO idea where to start. Maybe I'll contact the new mayor!

Many of the other pieces can be seen on my website.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Benefits of Sunshine

Benefits of Sunshine I, 10 x 10" SOLD

Just one and half more days of school left. Then several days of child freedom before summer camps begin. I guess, at least one day this week, I will be forced to go to the swimming pool. I'm not one to enjoy sitting out in the sun. But I guess that soaking up some Vitamin D is one of those benefits of sunshine.

Benefits of Sunshine II, 10 x 10"

I'm scratching my head for other activities. I guess we could loiter at the bookstore one afternoon. Mmmmmm. Coffee and magazines for Mama. We could walk onto campus and feed squirrels and hang by the duck pond. We just did that on single-parenting weekend (two days ago), but I'm sure I could sit and stare at wildlife again.

Benefits of Sunshine III, 10 x 10"

We do have one of those kid fun centers in town. One of those with games, paint ball, climbing towers. We don't go to this place unless it is for one of my daughter's friends' birthday parties. I hate to be political here in my blog, but since they hang Tea Party rally posters in their windows, I just choose not to support their business.

I'm not going to pretend that these pieces are new. They are still some of my favorites, though. One sold over the weekend. Yay!!!! I never tire of this color combination. They can be found in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Name is Nobody

Presently Untitled, 9 x 8"

I took a photo of this new piece a couple of weeks ago. I still have not thought of a title for it yet. I thought today would be the day. Unfortunately, it seems that a migraine has removed all thought ability from my brain. There is only room there for pain and cravings for Town House crackers and M&Ms. There is not even room for thoughts of coffee. I probably wouldn't be able to tell you my name if it weren't stated in the title of my blog.

I am anxious to get this piece named and posted on Etsy. It seems I have 99 pieces there and that number just rubs me the wrong way today.

I'm calling on my readers to help me out in naming this piece. Not that you'll get anything for your efforts. Recognition perhaps. And my thanks. I'm going to go away now and take with me my huge aching head. I'm not sure where to put it, though. I really don't want it attached to me right now.

UPDATE: Thanks, readers, for the title suggestions. I am going to go with Susan's "Which Way is Home." Will put this on Etsy this evening.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Lightweight Summer Reading

Planning on spending the summer by the pool with some romance novels or the latest self-help book? Dandy. But while you're at it, throw these into the beach bag also.

Want to know what would happen to the world if there were suddenly no people left on earth? What about the animals? The buildings? Radioactive waste? Plastics? Etc.? Would the earth be able to heal itself from the damage humans have inflicted on it? Check out Alan Weisman's The World Without Us. Fascinating read.

Are residents of New York City "greener" than an unshaven man sitting in a cabin by the lake? Most definitely according to David Owen, author of Green Metropolis. Pretty much comes down to high use of public transportation. Really, this book is not as dry as it sounds.

Every time I travel to a destination worth the purchase of guide books, one of these purchases is always written by Rick Steves. Yeah, I used to think he was a bit of a goober, but now he's pretty much one of my heroes. According to Mr. Steves' in Travel as a Political Act, travel can help to change the world for the better. Not just by lounging on the beach, but meeting folks from different countries and seeing how they really live. You could travel to the center of crowded Indian cities, across your own country, discover how content citizens of those "socialist" countries are, meet the folks in the beautiful but war-torn cities of Eastern Europe or just hang out in the public squares of any city or village in the world. His idea is to learn something new about the people of the world.

And, on the lighter side (really) there's Mike Leonard's The Ride of Our Lives. A fun book whether or not you've ever thought about putting three generations of family in two RVs and traveling over a large portion of America. Worth getting a sunburn to read.

Any advice for me as I sit by the pool "watching" my daughter and her friends play this summer?

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Thanks to all you who commented on my earlier post about being published in Sew Somerset magazine.

Now, I'm going to be rich and famous!!!

Perhaps a book deal will come my way!!!

Thanks Lynn for the suggestion that I submit my work. I think it only took about a year to act on your advice.

And thank you, college fellows, for cleaning up that garbage. I guess taking photos of someone's mess in front of them gets results. Garbage karma is working for me. Now that Garbage Karma Lady is on my front porch, I have a more positive outlook on life. I'm going to give her a small offering and see if I can come across some free porch furniture.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Garbage Karma

While getting my daughter ready to take a bath yesterday, I looked out the bathroom window. Among the nasty garbage, there she sat.

The kid put her shoes back on, and we went out to investigate.

Originally, someone apparently paid $80 for her at Pier 1. She's obviously had some rough times. Anyone living in a houseful of male college students is bound to take some abuse. Up close, she looked like a mafia hit. She had been decapitated and kneecapped. However, someone had lovingly glued her back together.

She now lives on my front porch. At least until she is stolen.

I should receive a freebie every now and then for all of the garbage that comes my way from these people.

My hedge is off to the left. There's garbage piled up along it. I did not photograph that as I was being watched. My husband has spoken to the landlord a couple times when he's been spotted about the garbage problem. Apparently he doesn't give a damn. A few weeks ago, we had a terrible windstorm, and the young men who live here came and picked up garbage from out back yard. According to them, the landlord is a supreme dick. The students, the borough workers, and hubby have spoken with the landlord with no results. We have been unable to get his home address however. Does anyone know of a website, such as a real estate site, where one could get such information?

Now, I'm going to wait for some chair Karma. We've had two stolen from our front porch. I'm expecting to find a couple waiting for me in the alley.