Saturday, February 28, 2009

I've been feeling a bit drained the last couple of days. I think I'm fighting off the cold that both William and Hubby are enjoying. Mostly what I wish I was doing was reading. I don't feel poorly enough to actually sit around and do nothing but read, but I sure wish I was. Sitting around reading that is. Not the feeling poorly part. That tends to backfire. Last time I was sick, it was with a migraine and I couldn't open my eyes much less read for two days. Ugh.

I did finish a lovely book about Paris tonight. Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. So I thought I'd offer some "reading art" for your viewing pleasure. All photos from assorted Paris museums. You'll recognize the first artist, the others I'm not sure of. Next time I'm gonna save time and space on my memory cards for snapping photos of the descriptive plaques. Promise. Pinky Swear.






I have a particular fondness for paintings of people reading. I have a fondness for kitschy reading garden gnomes and reading faeries sculptures and reading figurines of any kind too. I have a reading witch, a reading turtle, a reading gnome, a reading faery, reading angels.... hmmm, I didn't realize I had a sort of collection going. I should go around the house and yard and count them some day.


This last one isn't a painting. Just a Paris street scene, in the Sorbonne area. I saw this woman reading and knew in an alternate life, that could be me. Of course, I've had many lovely reading moments of my very own. And of course there's no reason I can't have a Paris reading moment still. The future is open to possibilities.

Do you remember any particularly memorable reading moments in your life?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I've been meaning to pull a new faerie card for a couple of weeks now. Tonight I decided I wouldn't put it off a day longer. Maybe it was the new moon energy in the air. I pulled my Faeries' Oracle cards out of their box (y'know, I just realized I should probably make a bag to hold them in instead of the commercial box they came in) and took a general look through the cards. I divided them in half and on the first attempt to shuffle them a single card literally flew out of the deck, did a graceful flip, and landed on the couch next to me. Okay then. I guess the faeries knew exactly which card then wanted me to pick!

Card No. 6 - The Singer of Connection

I won't copy the reading here as it's a bit long and convoluted. You can go here if you'd like to read the short starter reading. Instead I'll tell you that the part that struck me the most was that it's a card of seeming contradiction. It talks about the importance of both reconnecting and of letting go. Reading through the rest of the description and trying to think of how it might be specific to my life, I realized that it's simply describing what I've been spending the last several days realizing is the next "roadblock" I need to face.

My first card - Spirit Dancer - asked me to be both focused and more spontaneous, another seemingly pair of mutually exclusive requests - those rascally faeries! I found that the combination was just the trick to get me moving in the right direction. To get me moving! The third thing Spirit Dancer asked of me was to make my work and intentions more public. I felt as if I hadn't really accomplished that aspect when I first started to feel the need to pull another card at the beginning of this month. But now I think I can say that I've even managed to honor that part of the faeries' request. I've done some art work for other people, I've been in the frequent position of having to introduce myself recently and found myself saying "I'm a photographer" or "I'm an artist" without that flinching feeling of telling an untruth, without that moment's hesitation while I thought about it. I don't think I'm finished with these requests - focus, spontaneity, putting myself out to the public - I think they'll just continue to manifest. I've stuck with them while they've been planted, germinated, made it past the cotyledons, and the first true leaves are started to unfurl. They've had a good start and now it's safe to move on to the requests of another card, knowing that with regular water and care, those first concepts will continue to grow.

The first card having gotten my started, I find myself now brushing up against old issues that have become wrapped around my goals. I've been reluctantly honest with myself, telling myself that I'm not going to be able to get much further until I confront them and find a way to release them. I've been reluctant to deal with it, not wanting to do the hard work (while suspecting that if I can just find the right headspace, it might not be as hard as I fear) and yet I've reached a point where I'm unwilling to continue allowing procrastination to keep me from moving forward. And here comes the Singer of Connections telling me to both reconnect the different aspects of the situation that have been allowed to float away from each other and to let go of those connections who's time has come, which no longer serve their purpose. I so get the "let go" bit.

The other part, about re-forming connections, I'll have to reflect on that one a bit. Maybe, like the last bit of "putting myself out there in the public more" in the first card, this one will become clearer as I work with it for awhile. I do feel as if many of the different aspects of my life have been getting along better recently. There's been less quibbling and whining amongst the many voices. It would be lovely if all the bits and pieces of my life continued to move towards finding more compatible living arrangements with each other. I can see how that would smooth my way forward almost as much as the letting go part.

I had another thought about how connecting and letting go could be just the two sides of a coin that makes up a whole concept.... but now I can't remember what I was gonna say. It's late, my brain is starting to whisper "soft bed....." and there's a bizarre regrowing-a-face skeleton on the television distracting me. (I have no idea - the show I was watching ended, I've got it on mute, just the image.)

I'm going to set up a little creative altar - altars, another thing I've let slip for too long - so I can place the card there and allow the ideas to germinate and grow in the weeks to come. It will be interesting to see what new insights and progress might develop from it.

In other news - Tonight I started in on an idea I've been wanting to do for ages. Didn't get far, but I got started, which is a big thing. I'm so excited. It's something I hope I can get others to get excited about too, to join me in. Maybe I'll post about it tomorrow. I hadn't mentioned it because I don't have the details worked out yet, but now I'm thinking that doesn't matter. It won't stop anyone from starting to play. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I had a pretty wonderful day today. I went out to run a couple errands, including dropping a book off at the library that was due. In the entryway to the library there is a shelf to hold free books - books the library thought were too old or dated or for some other reason not saleable on the Friends of the Library used book sale shelves inside the library. Today they held two entire sets of encyclopedias and one partial set, copyrights from the early to mid 1900's. I riffled through a few of the books and was delighted to find great old photos and illustrations. I grabbed four of the books and drove off with them.

While running more errands I kept thinking of the rest of the books I left behind. I mean, they were the perfect cut up books. I'd bought other old books with the intention of using them for paper art, but I've had a hard time actually cutting into them. These though seemed made to be chopped up, they were so outdated to be useless as a whole. So I went back to get a few more. I ended up with..... nooooo, not all of them. I'm not THAT crazy! I took only ONE set. The best one. With the most goodies inside them. It only took up the entire back seat. Uhm. I'm sure I'll find a corner to stack them in. I just couldn't bare the thought of leaving any behind, all of them had something totally cool in the pages, most had tons of cool things in the pages.

Then I went for a walk on the opposite side of town. I really enjoyed walking by unfamiliar houses instead of the homes in my own neighborhood that I sometimes feel I've memorized. I loved the chance to notice so many new details.

It was cold and windy, spitting rain, but I was having so much fun that I didn't even notice how cold my cheeks had become until I got back to the car an hour later. (Dang, I still have to figure out how to change this blog format. I can't get horizontal photos to fit anymore for some reason, without changing the html by hand - too much work. In the meantime, at least now I've figured out how set it to allow you to click on the image and it takes you to the flickr page where you can click on the "All sizes" tab to see details.)

Speaking of street art (which I did in a recent post), I spied this rather tough looking mermaid on the door of an old shed.

On Elizabeth's blog today I discovered she'd been involved in some street art of her own. Or, rather, tree art. But as part of a group participating in a Guerilla Art Challenge. The deadline for having your link included in the challenge was February 23, just missed it, but I still am inspired to do a bit of guerilla art creating myself. I've got an idea. If I follow through I'll be sure to share photos with you guys. Maybe you'll be inspired too. Or at least you'll enjoy visiting the participants and viewing all their efforts to artify their local communities. Here's a link to the original challenge post and the sidebar with the links to participants.

And over on Stephanie's blog, she blogged today about walking and snapping circle photos. I had to laugh because, although I haven't put up many of the photos here, I've been doing the same thing. Here's one I took the other day. Well, I'm always taking odd photos like that, but more so recently because of course I've been walking so much more. Stephanie has shared a fun montage of circles.

This week's theme over at Shades of Inspiration is "macro photography", so I've been trying to find interesting close ups. I know, "macro photography" isn't a shade. We really should rename the group "Themes of Inspiration". It started out called "I Saw Red" and was all about red. Then we all wanted to do more colors, so the hostess changed the name to "Shades of Inspiration." Now we've outgrown shades and moved on to themes, but it doesn't matter. It's a really great bunch of photographers and bloggers. I think we just like each other. If it sounds like fun, you should sign up, participate. It's a really fun weekly idea stimulator.

And last but definitely not least, on my walk today I stumbled onto a lovely cemetery that, while I knew it was there, I had never visited it because I had no idea it was so big, hidden back from the part you can see from the road. Check out the photos I took there today over at Beach Treasure.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Did you know Da Vinci's Mona Lisa is actually quite small? Well, duh. Everyone knows that. And there it is behind guards, three layers of boundaries, and covered in bullet proof glass. Which I understand, knowing the history of the painting, and the stupidity of people.

And yet just "down the hall" you can walk up to Da Vinci's Virgin on the Rocks (sounds like the name of a cocktail, doesn't it) and practically stick your nose on it to get up close enough to see every last brush stroke and aging crack. You can't TOUCH the painting of course. Well, I suppose you could, if you'd like a guard to toss you out of the museum or perhaps worse, maybe you'd get arrested. I don't have a clue. Because I would certainly never try it. But I do like to get really close to see the creative process. Oh, but my point here was gonna be - this painting is quite large. This was going to be a post about SIZE. And size.

So I knew about the Mona Lisa actually being a shrinky dink painting. But I was surprised at how many famous paintings I had no idea of their real size. Like Whistler's Mother. It's really big. I should have stuck a person in the photo to prove it. But it is. Take my word for it. Or wait, I'll go get the size for you - 144.3 × 162.4 cm, 56.8 × 63.9 in. I'd always imagined it somewhere around 18 x 24 in.

Rose Harmony by Claude Monet. This was rather large as well. But I guess I hadn't drawn any preconceived assumptions about it's size, because it seemed like it was the size it should have been. But then there was Monet's Waterlilies series....

...which totally blew me AWAY! This is just one of many many paintings in the waterlilies series. Obviously the photo speaks for itself. These paintings measure huge X ginormous.

I've seen a few Georgia O'Keeffe in person as well and there my mind had drawn the reverse wrong conclusion. I imagined them as very large canvases and the few I've seen have, in fact, been surprisingly small, maybe a quarter of the size I had expected. Sorry, don't have any personal photos of them, but you can go see some of her gorgeous paintings here.

So, that's all to just give you some images to enjoy. The questions are - Do you general like your art larger than life or small and intimate? Do you like to work large or small? What's the largest you've ever worked? (I did a wall sized mural once.) What's the smallest? (Uhm, probably an ATC (Artist's Trading Card) 2-1/2" x 3-1/2". Hmmm, I might have made one even smaller, I think it was the size of a standard business card.) Do you find it easier to work in one size or another? Do you tend to plan all your work to be around the same size? Have you ever forced yourself to change the size you work in just for the challenge?
My daughter-in-law got her box in the mail from me today that had her Yule gift in it. Only two months overdue, but think of it this way - most people get far fewer gifts in February than they do in December, so it makes it extra special. Right? She really liked her gift.

And now I can show you a photo. Here they are -

And in case you are wondering what "they" are (teeny tiny quilts for mice? Hot pads for a child size Easy Bake Oven?), here's another photo of one doing it's job.

Coasters! They match the art quilt I made them for their wedding that they have hanging on their living room wall. They entertain friends at home a lot, and so when Lisa mentioned she was down to one unbroken (thanks to Joli the helpful two year old) coaster, I knew just what to do with some of all those extra little squares I had cut waiting for another project.

You can see photos of the coasters and some of the other goodies in the box, as well as the art quilt, and of course the adorable Joli, on Lisa's blog today. And if you want to see more rainbow colors, check out my post on Beach Treasure today.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The other bit of publicity about Shepard Fairey had to do not with where he got his inspiration but where his work was located. It had to do with his controversial identity as a street artist. He was recently arrested (and released) for his street art in what appears to me to be a "what was the real story behind this action?" publicity seeking staged situation not by him (although, who knows) but by the police or by the police at the request of.... who? I don't know enough about it to have an opinion on it pinned down, but it seemed sort of fishy to me.

ANYHOO, I tell you about this to ask you another question -

What do you think of street art?

The beginning of the Wikipedia definition for street art:

Street art is any art developed in public spaces — that is, "in the streets" — though the term usually refers to art of an illicit nature, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives. The term can include traditional graffiti artwork, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheatpasting and street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerrilla art, flash mobbing and street installations. Typically, the term Street Art or the more specific Post-Graffiti is used to distinguish contemporary public-space artwork from territorial graffiti, vandalism, and corporate art.

So in the broadest definition, this could be considered "street art" -

Maybe this is more "river art"? Hehe.

Okay, here's another version that's definitely near a street. A very busy one.

But I'm using the term in it's more specific meaning, of art that is displayed on or across or in front of public or private property, usually (although not always) without permission.

I'm not talking about out and out graffiti either. Although even graffiti pleases me in the right location. I don't want to see it on someone's personal property, or done to destroy the beauty of a building. But as part of the story of a large city, maybe it has it's place - along hidden railroad corriders, cave art inside dark subway tunnels. Sometimes I admire the color and vibrancy of some of this even when I know the territorial signifigance of it. My Hubby never agrees. Already two different ways to look at things.

It's hard to decide just where the art lays on a spectrum - tagging on one end, political, cultural, or artistically meaningful work in the middle, and commercial or publicly sponsored street art on the other end. Tagging can me dangerous and ugly. Or it might make one think of larger issues and move you. Posters for a commercial product or event might be annoying or overpowering, or they might be posted in an artistically pleasing manner, or left to weather until the composite end result is artistic even if it's not intentional.

These photos were left in the window of a well loved but abandoned old establishment.

Even just these nails left from illegally posted Lost Puppy and Garage Sale flyers on an electrical pole have a beauty all their own.

This writing could be defined as graffiti. Or it could be considered a collective art project. It's erased, and reborn, changing and ever new for many decades. It is photographed almost daily. It's part of a long series of surfaces along the front of the famous Abbey Road location made famous by the Beatles.

This is a commercial building and I got the impression that the word montage was specific to the purpose of the building. I'm not sure, but it's still obviously there with permission. And yet it's artsy regardless.

This isn't a famous location, nor is it along a hidden stretch of track. It's a low spot along a bridge just off of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. It's a hodge podge of intentional and legal and abandoned and illegal. The commercial sign in the corner, the art cow (part of a city wide art challenge), the old peeling paint and the colorful tagging all blend together to make this one of my favorite images from all the ones I took on this particular trip.

But here's an example, finally, of the type of street art that I think falls in the middle of the definition. Public art, highly unlikely to be put there with any permission. These particular pieces look like the artist's purpose was for creative exposure and not some political or cultural cause.

Here's some local street art on a small stream bridge wall that goes under Main Street near the high school. A odd little bird man and a memorial to a teen that died tragically in our community last year. Can anyone begrudge this expression of loss and compassion?

I drove by this local old burner for years before I realized what it said. And then for even more years I drove by it almost every day appreciating the small reminder of an important message. It says "Let Go" in large black letters and then in smaller white letters it continues "of all your fear and weakness".

And then about a year ago, someone did this to it. It makes me sad and angry almost every time I drive by it now. Both grafitti was illegal. But one was uplifting and inspiring. The other was mean and little.

Some street art is more ephemeral than others. Here's a small piece of art my son "painted" on the steamy window of an Italian restaurant. I doubt anyone would object to his artistic expression.

This chalk piece was done in a busy public square. It's certainly beautiful. Is it legal? I don't know. I know it would be considered illegal in some communities, not sure of this particular location. Would it matter if it was on a public or private wall instead of a walkway? Would it matter if it was done in paint instead of chalk? Do artist's have a right to get their art into the public eye in ways that aren't typical? Do artistic venues have the right to constrain artists to work through a middle man? Is purpose important? Is it more okay if there's an important message attached to the art - Save the Rainforest! or Free Political Prisoners! or Art Belongs to the People! - does the ends justify the means?

Walking home yesterday I walked by a popular swimming and jumping spot along the river. (Also a popular place for people to do everything from find a reason for a nice set of surgical stitches (ahem, my son) to becoming a paraplegic. But I digress) I looked down and was surprised at the new wall art.

Kilroy! Sometimes written as "Kilroy was here". I haven't seen him since I was a young kid. I didn't know the origins of Kilroy when I was little, but he was still around enough for me to recognize him whenever I saw him. I always liked the little guy. It made me smile to see him again.

I don't live in a big city, where I suspect there are more street artist's lurking about creating controversy, so my photos here weren't as representative of the type of street art that I was really pondering over, but I think they were at least a trigger for thought. How do you feel about street artists? Have you ever had any experiences good or bad? Have you ever done a bit of guerilla art yourself?

Friday, February 20, 2009

What do you think on the whole Shepard Fairey question? Some of you are now pondering. Others are saying "Who?"

Shepard Fairey is a contemporary street artist who was most well known for his Obey Giant campaign, but is now most famous for his iconic Obama poster.

When I ask what you think on the whole Shepard Fairey question, what I am referring to is that he's been in the news recently for legal wrangling over copyright issue for using a portion of a journalist's photograph to create the Obama poster.

Here is a humorous but pretty good summation of the issue:

It's sort of a Button, Button, Who's Got the Button? circle of confusion, yes? But it's one that all artists - writers, visual artists, musicians... have thought about at one point or another. How much of our work do we own? How much do we share, combine, merge, adapt, reflect, borrow or unconsciously reuse of other's work when we create our own? Look at the popular "boy meets girl/girl and boy fight over something important while being sexually attracted to each other/boy and girl overcome important issue to find out true love conquers all/boy and girl end up together". Does someone own that story? Because if someone owns it, then there's a whole TON of people copying his/her idea! Copywrite? There's as many answers as there are people asking them. And there are probably many different questions to ask as a starting point.

I think "intent" is a key factor. Beyond that, I don't really know. My gut tells me how I feel on an individual basis. My gut might or might not agree with whatever the legal answer would be, although I'm certain that even a legal answer is difficult to pin down.

What do I think in this particular case? I think the nature of Fairey's work and intent wasn't to steal anyone elses work. Nor do I think that the poster damages the photographer's use of his photograph. If anything, it makes it more valuable, pulls it from the anonymity of an enormous slush pile of Obama images. Also, I think (although I'm not certain on this) I heard that Fairey gave the use of the image to the Obama campaign without direct compensation.

As a photographer I would be extremely upset if one of my photographs were stolen and used by someone without my consent, even for something as innocuous as a private blog banner or other "networking" or "commercial" work. If asked, I might readily allow the use, but I'd be pissed if someone used my work without asking me first. If someone stuck it up on their computer monitor as a personal wallpaper image - well, that seems to me just a flattering appreciation. If they liked looking at one of my images enough to make it more accessible for their own viewing pleasure, that's fine. Ideally they'd let me know, just because it would tickle me. I usually ask others for such benign use of their images. Not always. It depends on whether or not I can contact them easily. And I would never use their work in a way that would go past my own appreciation of just looking at it. But, I guess even that could be construed as "use" - if I didn't download an image, could they have benefited from me offering to buy the download? You see, it gets pretty confusing.

If it was my work used in the way the Obama photo was used, even if it was my own work I'd question whether the new art was still my work. Was the photo used as a simple way of creating a recognizable face? So many images of Obama exist that it would be near impossible not to find dozens of almost identical photos of him from almost any view. Say you wanted to make a painting of the Statue of Liberty. If you used my photo as a starting point to paint it, is that gonna matter to me? I mean, you can go to the Statue of Liberty yourself, stand on the same spot I stood, paint your photo from real life, or snap your own photo and use that. It's still gonna be your painting. In fact I've often seen photos that were taken from such a similar point of view as photos of my own that they've caused me to do a "Is that MY photo!?" double take upon seeing them.

Now, if I did something incredibly unusual and recognizably unique, and you borrowed that, maybe the gray area gets bigger. But it would have to be almost an exact replica of my work, otherwise it would end up being more a parody of my work than an attempt to steal it, which would only increase the value of my own original. Which is happening to Shepard Fairey's poster at an almost exponential rate of reproduction. What, you mean you haven't Obamicon'ed yourself yet?

So, there you go, no definite answer from e. No what do YOU think of the whole Shepard Fairey thing?

Monday, February 16, 2009

I've spent a wee bit of time in the studio every day, still working on things I can't show you yet. I'm frustrated because the toppling clutter in there is making everything seem twice as slow and twice as difficult. I'm trying not to let it get to me but instead keep putting one foot in front of the other. Last night I spent half my time sorting a small box of miscellaneous stuff that was knocking around at my feet, and half the time actually working on what I went in the there to work on. It felt good to get rid of the mess in the box (a lot of it was old paperwork I could simply burn) instead of just juggling it to another stack to deal with later. Now it's really sorted and gone. And I did stop at that and go back to my project. A good compromise solution. And a FAR better solution than simply being overwhelmed and walking out and closing the door on it all, which is what I would have more likely chosen to do even a few months ago.

I've somehow managed to find myself committed to too many reading deadlines this month, including three library books, a book club choice, and the book 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women that I borrowed from interlibrary loan which I've wanted to post about.

I've been enjoying the book and yet finding myself restless about spending time reading it. I don't think this is a flaw of the book, I think this is all about timing. As I've mentioned before, I'm feeling very spongelike recently, sucking in a lot of information and the book is too much information and too many levels of information on too many aspects of creativity for me to absorb. It overwhelms me. It is not the right time to be trying to gulp it down whole in a few weeks.

I've had to purposely take myself away from my house to force myself to read in the book, sitting with a cup of coffee or tea in a public setting. It's been slow going as I find tidbits, ideas, or new people or projects I want to remember. I've taken to carrying a notebook around with the book to jot these all down. It's all fun and interesting but ultimately too much for me to use all at once in a useful manner. I don't know how the bloggers working on this book challenge together are managing one chapter per week. It seems like one chapter per month would be barely enough time to truly absorb the wisdom and information in each chapter, each "secret". I've come to feel convinced that I made the right choice to pass this project by this year. I'm finding that I'm still, how many weeks later, still finding myself inspired and more productive by listening to the faery card, that it's been truly useful in manifesting change. Or perhaps more specifically, manifesting focus and effort. Or all of the above.

One of the specific problems I've had with the book so far is that the first few chapters, which is as far as I've gotten, focus on issues that I've already tackled personally, some many times over in my life. Most of them I feel I know how to handle or if I don't have them under control, I know my own faults and weaknesses or rationalizations. I could rattle them all off without even thinking about it. Some of the later chapters are more intriguing to me. What I've read so far has been entertaining and validating, but nothing new. I mostly have enjoyed reading about the personal vignettes, how each intellectual idea or question translates into numerous real life situations.

A few years ago I read a book called Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspiration from Working Artists by Rice Freeman-Zachery. I really liked the book. I read it get some insight on the real working lives of artists and I felt like it delivered exactly what I wanted and gave me an answers to a lot of questions I had about whether the artist's life was right for me. The surprisingly clear answer for me, at the time, was no. I wasn't ready, nor did I feel the need to recreate myself in such a dramatic way. The answer, although unexpected, wasn't a complete surprise at a deeper level because I felt pretty happy at having arrived at it.

Now, 12 Secrets.. has gotten me thinking again about what exactly I want out of my studio, out of my art, out of my creative time. A few years down the line, I get a less clear answer to that question. I'm in a different place, ready for more changes. But I still don't know exactly what I want out of it all - simply enough time to make gifts and homemade surprises for me and those I love? The rest of my life is still in such a muddle that I'm not even managing that. Art to share with the world? Art as a money making process? Art as a therapy? Art as a pleasurable hobby? What percentage of me is my art? How big a slice of time and energy do I give to it?

I am starting to toy with the idea of letting the rest of the book go at this point, with the intent to pick it back up at a later time when I can get more out of it. I think this might be a book I will need to own instead of borrow, so I can work my way through it unhurriedly, one bite at a time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I can't get my timer on my camera to work today. And there's no one else here to take it for me, but here's a peek at my new wristwarmers. VERY useful. I want to make a green pair and a red pair and a blue pair and a black pair and....

And I have another idea on how to make them as well. Stay tuned....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's time to announce the winners of my One World One Heart giveaways. I used a very unusual method for finding the winners. First I asked hubby if he wanted to pick the numbers. I asked him to randomly pick three numbers between 1 and 216. I thought he wasn't random enough (which he argued was the point of BEING random, that there was no discernable pattern - of course being his wife, I disagreed) so then I decided to use an online random number generator which also gave rather unrandom (at least in my opinion) numbers (shut up, my husband was NOT right!) and then I decided it was obvious that the meant-to-be numbers were the numbers halfway between Hubby's choices and the random generator's choices.

So I subtracted the lower number of each pair from the higher number of each pair, found the middle (rounding up if it wasn't dividable by two) and then subtracted THAT number from the highest number of the pair. Yes, I did that entire process four times. Three times here and once on my other blog. I dare anyone to tell me they used a more confusing or complicated way of selecting their winners! But, the numbers felt right.

My work wasn't finished, then I had to count, count, count through the comments. And the winners are.....

Winner of the box of crafting goodies is PattiV of 7 Rose Petal Path. From the look of her blog, I bet she'll find a use for all her new bits and bobs.

Two bloggers won a celtic window cling each -

Karen Klomparens of Fire-n-Sand Glass Art: The Journey.


Michelle of Mosaic Queen.

Congratulations to all three of you!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Time, time, time..... never enough time in a day. I had several topics I wanted to blog about here tonight but now it's late and my brain is voting for an alternative activity that doesn't require active thinking. It's suggesting bed, book, tea.... and oh yeah, some delicious pumpkin oatmeal bread. To go with the tea? Great idea, brain!

Funny story about that bread. You want to hear it? Okay - last night I had a real craving for something sweet. I'm trying to use what I have in the house instead of running to Starbucks or the store for something so I grabbed some frozen peaches out of the freezer and started thawing them in the microwave while I preheated the oven and began to whip up a crumble topping. I'd mixed all the dry ingredients already when I removed the peaches from the microwave and began to spread them in the pan..... hmmmmm....
I suspected..... tasted the peaches..... oops. I'd thawed out two cups of not peaches, but PUMPKIN.

Not wanting to waste the mixed dried ingredient, I looked up some recipes for pumpkin, doubled the amounts in a basic quick bread recipe to accomodate that much pumpkin, tweaked it a bit, popped it in the oven, and crossed my fingers. An hour later - YUM! Sometimes having decades of cooking experience comes in handy. Luck probably had a bit to do with it as well. It made a LOT of bread. I wish I could have some of you over for a pot of tea and a few slices. I doubt my boys will help me eat it all. Maybe it freezes well?

I'll save my more complex topics for tomorrow and just give you a quick update -

My photo shoot for my friend and her family yesterday was a lot of fun, but cold, oh so cold - we took photos in the snow in the mountains at dusk! The dusk part wasn't part of the plan, but an unavoidable complication. I think they were really happy with the photos. I was pretty happy with them myself. Except that the last round of shots aren't as sharp as they could have been because of the low light. As long as they don't blow those up too large though, they're still cute.

I got about an hour of studio time today. I spent half of it cleaning up a box I flipped over, spreading bits and pieces of unsorted "stuff" all over the place, and also trying to get a cat to come out from behind a row of boxes in the closet. The dogs were trying to help. Which didn't help. I finally gave up (with the cat, I did pick up the spill), spent the rest of the time working on the project I can't show you (a gift) and too quickly it was time to leave for a preplanned outing with a friend. Several hours later I came back and remembered to check on the cat who by then was only too happy to be let out of the room.

I started on my third grey wristwarmer the other night. Forgot to work on it tonight, dang, I coulda finished it up while watching Harold and Kumar Escape with the teen. Funnier than the first movie I thought.

REMINDER! Tomorrow, Wednesday February 11, is the last day to leave a comment on my OWOH post (click here) for a chance at winning my giveaway, a box of craft supplies. I'll close the comments at midnight and post the winner on Thursday, February 12.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I'm juggling "C" words. They're keeping me busy.

Clear, clean, coordinate, carpool, carry, conserve, call, coffee, cram, complete, cull, consolidate, cache, cook.....

I'm doing lots of those C things. The C word that is missing, and the one I'm most itching to be doing is.....

Clean The letter E a letter T RustE

It's nice to have all this energy, don't get me wrong. And doing all those other C things is a good thing. It means I'm that much less behind on life in general. But ARGH! I'm often spoiled by having a far more flexible schedule than many women and yet the minute I get energized, it's as if every task, job, person, and appointment hiding in the corners comes out to claim it for their ownself.

I'm pretty happy about being productive, even if it's not in the way I'd hoped. I'm not annoyed at all the roadblocks more than I'm worried about the energy tap turning off again before I can get to where I'm headed. But, a fun C word is shoving the rest of those chaps out of the way tomorrow afternoon.

Copper Square Letter c cAfe The Letter "M" RustE R A24

I have an appointment with a social friend to take some portraits of her and her family. But shhhhh, keep it between you and me please. It's a Valentine's Day surprise for her sweetheart.