Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cold drippy noses

This is how we felt the other day. Like a snowman with an icicle hanging from his nose. Now, where is the hankie when I need it?

Here's a little fun test


I took an online test and this is the result. I'm happy to be a Katharine. She was always someone I admired.

I'm a Katharine!

You Are a Katharine!

"I am happy and open to new things"

Katharines are energetic, lively, and optimistic. They want to contribute to the world.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Give me companionship, affection, and freedom.
  • * Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.
  • * Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories.
  • * Don't try to change my style. Accept me the way I am.
  • * Be responsible for youself. I dislike clingy or needy people.
  • * Don't tell me what to do. (this is realllllyyyyy ME)

What I Like About Being a Katharine

  • * being optimistic and not letting life's troubles get me down
  • * being spontaneous and free-spirited
  • * being outspoken and outrageous. It's part of the fun.
  • * being generous and trying to make the world a better place
  • * having the guts to take risks and to try exciting adventures (I'm not sure about this one)
  • * having such varied interests and abilities

What's Hard About Being a Katharine

  • * not having enough time to do all the things I want
  • * not completing things I start
  • * not being able to profit from the benefits that come from specializing; not making a commitment to a career
  • * having a tendency to be ungrounded; getting lost in plans or fantasies
  • * feeling confined when I'm in a one-to-one relationship (oh my gosh, it IS me!)

Katharines as Children Often

  • * are action oriented and adventuresome (action, yes. Adventuresome, no)
  • * drum up excitement
  • * prefer being with other children to being alone
  • * finesse their way around adults
  • * dream of the freedom they'll have when they grow up

Katharines as Parents

  • * are often enthusiastic and generous
  • * want their children to be exposed to many adventures in life
  • * may be too busy with their own activities to be attentive (I plead guilty!)
Want to see who you are? go to this site and take the test.

Post Christmas Retreat

The Wackos PCR this year was fun and we had sunshine a couple days. Buddy and Nikki both were with us at La Selva Beach for 4 days. Four ladies, three with drippy noses. We all needed a little retreat with no schedule, no pressure, and no expectations. We didn't do any major art projects, mostly worked on our own things, and one afternoon we made some things with New Years images. The picture shows them partially done. Most of us got a little reading time in. I had a puzzle started and we worked on it too, and left it for Sharyl to finish when she came the day we left. She's going to be there a few days and having friends in for New Year's Day.

Let's talk about art.

I was writing to a friend this a.m. about art and thought I'd bring over part of our discussion to the blog.

I am part of a very small art critique group started by a friend in Sacramento. Her idea was to have 6 women who would learn to trust each other's opinions enough that we will be honest in our critiques, and also be open to other's opinions. So, far, I'm honest, but I'm not always open to what other people think. I'm wayyyy toooo into my own thing and only want my work to represent my voice. But, each time I come away with something to think about. One day W. asked the group - when is the last time you did something out of your comfort zone? That caused me a lot of thought on the way home.

My altered book style is getting a "we always recognize your work" reponse. Is this bad? Am I getting too set in the way I do them? Will that make them boring? Or is it the "me" that we try to strive for - our own style. Hmmmm.... I'm still considering this. I love to try new techniques in them. But I quite stubbornly refuse to do the little trick things, with lots of pockets and doors, and gimmicks. I'm so focussed on the images and the words and the backgrounds that I think those other things often distract from the impact of the piece, even though they are interesting and fun for the reader. I guess I'm the less is more voice in the crowd. And I still like my altered books to be flat to fit on the bookshelf. This causes a lot of giggles among my friends - who all like thick open books.

The other thing the little group does is bring questions and problems. Like, what do you think looks better on this? Or, what do you think I should do next? These are things that I love to work through myself. Sometimes the harder the problem the more I enjoy the process and the happier I am when I find a solution. So, I seldom ask for help. One time one of the gals suggested a different fabric for one of the book covers, and she was right. I did it the way she suggested and loved it. I was actually happy to know that I could accept help. I wasn't really sure I could. Does any of this make any sense to you?

Now, this business about collecting stuff in our studios. I swear it is a sickness and we need help. I don't think I can use anything else, yet each time I'm shopping with the girls, we all come home with more. I'm trying not to buy things for assemblage right now. Next summer I'm thinking about having a small group for an Assemblage Art Camp. I'm planning to unload lots of my stash there and I'll get to see what people make with it.

Even though I'm trying not to colllect more "stuff" - I'm not having much success with this addiction. I was in the little thrift shop in downtown Capilota yesterday with my friends - and each of us came home with a little bag of stuff. I got three cards (two with great images and one with a cartoon about a cat), three little plastic animals (see how bad I am?), and four little flat tin cutouts of churches and houses. I also went to a local thrift store before Christmas and got a few alterable things. I am so attracted to things that are dimensional to alter. Yet, I just don't get around to doing them. Assemblage Art Camp may either satisfy my appetite for making dimensional art - or it might push me right over the edge into wanting to do more and more of it. Either way, it will be a relief to actually do something about that addiction. I think I am a junk junkie.

Art classes? What for? Why? I like the interaction of students and the attention my work receives. I need the socializing. I really don't want to become a hermit (the mad old lady making strange art alone in her studio for days on end) - and meeting regularly with people is good. Do I learn much? Usually not. But I enjoy them. And I like to see other people's work and how they progress. Particularly the very beginners, who are just opening their eyes and hearts to the possibilities of expressing themselves through art. And struggling to get started and then blossoming as they try new things and actually produce a piece of art. It is so exciting to see this happen. It's like watching a baby learn to walk. I want to clap my hands and hug them. And encourage them to start another piece right away. I like to show my work. I like feedback. I like people to touch my work and be touched by it. I encourage people to find a class or group where you feel accepted and comfortable enough to share what you are doing and enjoy the companionship of others who are interested in art. Our instructor provides a very warm welcoming atmosphere and is very patient with the students. I'm very glad I found this class and hope to join them again this spring semester. Now that I'm well and the puppy is older, I will have free time to get out and about more again.

Now, to clean up the mess on my work table. Yuch!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bike ornaments

My brother and sisterinlaw love to ride bicycles. They usually use a tandom bike, so when I wanted to make an ornament for their tree, the first thing I thought of was a couple on a bike. This is one I found online. The other one is a vintage pc of a woman and bike. A little glitter, and a few embellishments and they will become ornaments. Just in the nick of time.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A day with friends is never lost time.

Yesterday a few of us got together for lunch. Somehow our lunches always seem to take 3 hours or more. We exchanged gifts and then headed for Michael's and Joannes for 50% off sales. I've got to go back to Joannes again as I've got a hankering for one of those plush birds that sing. Hmmmm.... they might make nice gifts too.

Ornaments on tree

Here are the finished ones and some on the tree.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let her who hath a runny nose, wipe it.

Here are the first finished ornaments I made with the vintage hankies I bought on Ebay. What fun! The ladies are from Dover copyright free images. How simple can it get? I first thought of printing the images on fabric and stuffing them to make a little figure underneath, but I rethought it to make it fast and cute. Add a little glitter and the wires and they turned into ornaments. I really hope the friends who get these will use the hankies.

I cut a second piece for each lady and cut a slit in it to pull the hankie through to hold it in place. Then attached the two pieces together with Zots.

A day in Pleasant Hill

Taking advantage of a bright sunny day in a week of mostly rain or fog - I went to visit my friend Jill, who is recently out of the hospital with a scary illness. We went to see her horse, who is mad at her for being gone awhile - did you know that horses can pout? Jill moved her from the stable to a fenced ring so she could have some sunshine too. I loved her purple blanket. Then we went to lunch at Jill's favorite Italian restaurant, and I had one of the best pasta dishes imaginable.
I didn't stay long, as she was tired and needed a nap before work.

Late in the afternoon the dogs and I went to the dog park where we ran into Bonnie and Atwood - mutual friends of Jills. In fact, Jill took Bonnie to pick up Atwood at the airport when she adopted him. We had a good visit and the dogs had a wonderful run. We were all bundled up like skiers - even with the sun out, it was bitey cold.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow in the Sierras

Snowed all day yesterday and again today. Here's the way it looked this afternoon at my country place. LOL I'm not there though! I'm down in the valley where it's rainy and COLD. They weather forecast is for sun tomorrow, so I'm planning to visit Jill in Pleasant Hill. Wish me luck.

Sunday at home, Monday errands and fun

Now that the tea is over and I have a few free days, I'm returning to the Headache Altered book. It keeps evolving and I never really know what twists it will take until it is finished. I'm trying to edit it back as my Altered Books often are wayyyyy too long for a quick read. I have to remind myself I don't need to use every wonderful image and quote I have collected. Not everyone has a long attention span - particularly when viewing at a show where people keep moving. Mine always seem to call for an easy chair and a cuppa tea and some quiet time.

Candis was in another concert last night. Her Jr. High now has a jazz band in addition to the regular band. She sings in the chorus. We were treated to performances by both bands and the girls chorus. It was a lovely holiday show, and put us all in high spirits.

Mixed Media Artists tea

Saturday we were at Susannes lovely home for another holiday tea. I think this is #4. We ate well, with the most interesting and delicious tidbits and treats - and then had a handmade gift exchange which was great fun. Thanks to Susanne for hostessing and the gals for their food and friendships.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wackos take over Amador City

The Wacko group took a holiday visit to Amador City on Wednesday. It was very quiet there, only a handful of other tourists in town - so we had it to ourselves. What a great little place to spend a day, either with friends, or even on your own. Decades ago, I had a shop there in the old hotel. One person I knew from back then still has a shop in town and has been very successful for such a long time. She always has new things to look at and it's fun visiting with her. Here are a few pics from the day. the little sitting ladies were made as gifts by Nancy, who saw them done on a Martha Stewart show, so check her web site for directions. And those that might want to visit Amador City, it's on Highway 49 in the Sierra foothills, just north of Sutter Creek. The snowman is a new one I bought in town. It will help me remember this fun day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Altered Kleenex box

On a whim I made this for a hostess gift. Box is covered with nurse images, and the large one is attached over some tulle. Ready for the first sniffle.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas at home

Here are some of my decorations this year. Every year I arrange things differently - but use the old collections out of the trunk. This year I left the trunk open and decorated inside the lid.

Progress on fabric book

I printed some images on silk today to use in the Asian inspired fabric book. I also scanned the covers of a couple 1892 books on Japan and Tokio. I bought them years ago at a yard sale for 25 cents apiece. They were selling paperbacks for $1.00. They said they didn't think anyone would want the old books. HA! I ask you, could you pass them up? I will probably use the scans printed on silk in the new work. Here are pics.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

State of the trees

This is how the street looked this foggy dreary morning. I'd estimate that 3/4 of the leaves have dropped now. I love cities with lots of street trees - but it makes a lot of work. Decades ago, it was fun for neighbors to gather outside and burn their leaf piles while visiting back and forth. Sharing cups of hot chocolate or other beverages. Mothers bringing out cookies. Dogs and kids on the street kicking up leaves and rolling around in them. Remember this?

Christmas browsing

I've been browsing through stores. I took some pics at Beverlys. Nikki is disguised as a dalmation with style. Pretty silly!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas decorations

A holiday tradition is to go to Ace Hardware in Angel's Camp to view their Christmas display.
There were just three of us this year, Candis, Cat and me. Who would expect to find such a stunning display at a hardware store? But, it's no secret. People come from all over to see their trimmings. Here are some pics.
My favorites this year were the gnomes and toadstools. It seemed so woodsy and cute without being cutesy.
I only come away with photos - most of their things are too expensive for my budget.

Thanksgiving was quiet with a late dinner with the kids. My pies are especially good this year, so I was proud to carry them in for a tasty treat.

I hope you all had a happy holiday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More birthday pics

Nancy sent me the group photo, and the cat that pops up out of a cone was made by Pat for Sally's birthday. I knew I forgot something important.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Wackos have birthdays!

Today we celebrated Sally's and Pat's birthdays. We won't mention the ages, but we are not Spring chicks. Here are some pics. Char made the birthday pendant swag which we will use at all the b'day celebrations. There were a lot of gifts exchanged, many of them hand made. Of course these lead to a lot of discussion of the techniques used. Char's fairy in a wine glass with wired sculptured effect on the top was great. She used a photos of Pat's granddaughter as the face. And she made a paper weight with an image she had altered and put it in a decorated box for Sally. Rosemary made an ID card for Sally that looked like a driver's license, but had a very clever twist with the photo and the text. Such a cool idea we'll all be copying it. The picture of the file folder and gift box were ones I covered for Sally who is a cat lover. We had some show and tell - Sally had a whole bunch of new books she had made at classes and on her own, and I shared the City of Bones altered book. One picture is of Rosemary looking at it. I know I'm forgetting a lot of what we saw, please forgive me friends. You probably dont' remember everything either. After a three hour lunch we moved on to the new Michael's store for browsing and buying. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Fabric Book started

I bought a fabric childrens book at the flea market and it looks like it was never used, so I thought it would make a good base for a fabric book and save me the trouble of backing my fabrics. In my stash there are quite a few really lovely Asian inspired fabrics. The pictures show the base book, and some of the stash. I'll post more as it takes form.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall clean up

Today was a blissful fall day, temperature in high 70s with the sun out and no wind. It was the perfect day to dig in and get the fallen leaves cleaned up and some of the overgrown plants cut back. Nikki found a big flower pot that I had pulled the lambs ears out of, that just fits her for a nice little seat. She looks really cute sitting in it watching me work. But, tomorrow I'm planting something in it so she will have to find another spot to claim. Also a good day to do some clean up in the studio.

Tomorrow I'm giving another tour of our new super store, a Michael's which is so deluxe you would hardly know it. Wide aisles, a fantastic inventory, clean as a whistle, and the help knows where things are. The shelves are well stocked with the latest of everything - even Goldens paints and gels are on display. So far everyone who has come to town lately wants a personal tour, and I'm delighted to oblige. Bobbi is going to be in town tomorrow and we will head there after splitting some lunch. We haven't seen each other for a few weeks and have lots of catching up to do.

I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Altered books update

City of Bones is done, done, done. Photos will be posted soon. I started the Headaches book awhile back and set it aside while I worked on this one. So, I most likely will pick it up and finish it off. Having this extra time by not doing the arts and crafts shows this fall has made all this progress possible. And it even gave me time to experiment with using wax in the book. I like the look and it was so easy I'm kicking myself for not using it before. I knew a more difficult way to use it with a pot and brushes, but one of the gals in the Sac group (thanks Yoli) posted her way of using wax which is sooooo easy I could not resist trying it. Basically, its just heat some of the beeswax and let it drip on the page, then use a heat tool to move it around until you get the coverage you want. Then I buffed it with an old sock.

The Nature inspired Altered book is finished also. Last little touches done. Here are some pics. There are about 25 spreads and then a tin box mounted inside back cover which contains little tins with nature treasures that I'll be adding to.

Nikki is learning the WAIT command using a single index finger pointing up. And the Shake Hands command offering her my hand upturned. We gave up on High Five command because the hand signal too closely resembled the STAY command, so whenever I wanted her to stay she'd rush over and slap my palm with her paw. Now I have to train me! to use the proper signal and the right command.

Life at the dog park is more and more interesting. It was really crowded today as the sun was out and it was a perfect day for a pet outing. We go almost every day, and see different people all the time, with only a few that show up at the same time we do each time. It's lots of fun for dogs and owners alike. And Candis goes with us and often brings Pokey, one of her family's dogs.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November set in

Can you believe it's already the 9th of November? This week sped by. The critique group met in Sacramento on Wednesday and I came away full of new ideas and enthusiasm for the Altered book I'm working on. Since then I have put many hours into it and by tomorrow night it will be finished. Yesterday there was a Wearable Art show in Sacramento and Sally and I went. It was fun and very interesting. We may participate next year with a booth to sell some of the things we make that were not in evidence there. Who knows what this year will bring?

We make daily trips to the dog park. I decided Nikki is part Jack Russell Terrier, as she can keep up with them and even outrun some of them. And she jumps like a JRT. She just looks like a long legged, long bodied chihuahua. But it's a disguise. I'm convinced. While I was gone the other day she got on the kitchen counter and walked off with the Brillo pad. Thank goodness she didn't eat it! I've got to be so careful what I leave around. Nothing is safe! She's very sly and notes where I put interesting things. Then later, she'll try to find a way to get them. Thank goodness she won't be puppy forever! She's my little darling and sweet as pie. Just young and foolish! And dear old Buddy is feeling so much friskier with his youthful companion. He no longer cries while I'm gone. I am really so blessed by having my two pets.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween is over - life moves on

Nikki and I have a little game we play every morning. She follows me everywhere, and helps with everything. She loves to make the bed with me. She dives under the covers, chases my hands as I work, and wants to have her tummy rubbed. Isn't she a doll? Such a cheerful little soul.