31 December 2008

say hello to my little friend

For some time now, Mary has been listening to me pine away about wanting a spinning wheel. I've spun quite a bit on my drop spindle and every time I come across someone who is using a spinning wheel, I have to fight back the urge to knock them down, grab it and run away cackling.

I don't need to have such thoughts anymore.

May I introduce you to Herb, my new Ashford Joy spinning wheel:


I drug Mary out to the Spinning Loft in Howell, MI (when you go their website be sure to move your mouse over the second sheep from the left, that one has attitude issues but its funny) the other day to pick this baby up. I've been saving money for a while for it and then got some Christmas money and decided the time had come to take the plunge.

I actually got it a couple of days ago but today was the first day I was actually able to sit down and fiddle with it. There has been some cussing involved. Mostly because I didn't feel the need to go through the recommended practice exercises. I figured since I can spin on a drop spindle, this should be cake.

Um....yeah....not working so well.

When I got the wheel, it came with a whopping pound of roving so here is what I have to torture while I practice:

One of the exercises is to take commercial yarn and practice with it so you can watch how the twist gets applied and get comfortable with moving your hands around. I've been using some Vanna White that I had left over from the last afghan I finished. Its actually excellent yarn for this exercise as its a four ply that I'm spinning in the opposite direction of how it was plied so I can really see what's happening.

I plan to goof around with it a lot more today but decided Dooley needed a break from some of the swearing. I think I want to take classes, I want to spin lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of yarn. Classes are good.

I did get this book so I plan to memorize it in the hopes that it will somehow help me get good at drafting. If anyone has any recommendations on better books or even videos, I'm all ears.

So today is all about spinning. And watching movies. I have a weakness for movies that are creepy fairy tales and ones that are based on comic books. So Hellboy II is perfect since it combines both generes.

I'm still plugging away on the Babette Blanket. This one is an endurance test.

I finished the two-round squares (there are 50 of those) and the four-round squares (there are 49 of those) and am now working on the six-round squares. Those are like speed bumps, those two extra rounds really add on a decent amount of working time. Can't wait to start the eight-round, ten-round and twelve-round ones. But I'm not complaining, gives me something to do when my back is being crabby and I have to lay down.

I've been thinking a lot about the new year and how I usually sit down and make art goals for the year. I've decided I'm not doing that this year. I'm giving my muse the freedom to do whatever pleases her most, whether it is knitting or spinning or building castles out of popsicle sticks. She's calling the shots, I'm not forcing anything. We'll see what comes out of that.

Now if you'll excuse me, Herb and I have a date...

28 December 2008

Where I Stand Sunday


The sudden thaw has set the earth to rushing. Pools of melted snow and ice frantically push around everything in its path, hurrying toward a destination that I don’t understand. As I stand in the middle of the frenzy, it feels almost as if the past year is slowly leaking away to take its official place in the category of the past. The ground that was so snugly dressed in the face of winter is now peeled back, exposed and raw and set to the task of rebuilding. Its old and new at the same time, the end and the beginning that will have each one of us stepping over the line into the next year.






Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

27 December 2008

avoidance

First off, forgive me for being a total slacker and not posting a happy holiday wish to all of you. Whatever you celebrated this season, I hope it was full of love and friendship and good things. I thank all of you for stopping by to listen to my rambling here....

So on that note, here is some more....

I got to thinking a lot the past couple of days about how I spent last year's holiday vacation. I spent nearly every single day working on something, getting a solid start on many new art quilts and just generally submerging myself in all things art.

This year I've not even stepped foot in my studio even once.

I've been having serious identity issues lately when it comes to my artwork. For a long time I've skirted the line between art quilts and mixed media, really working hard to smoosh the two together and make them play nice. But there is a part of me now that is wondering why I've gone to so much trouble. Maybe its time to stop working in three layers and keeping to definitions and just let everything do what it wants to.

I feel like I have some decisions to make as we are heading into the new year but the hard part is that I'm not entirely sure what those are. As contradictory as it sounds, I feel like I need a label, a category for it. I know that I'm moving in a different direction again. I just have to figure out how to balance it in my head (its that damn Virgo logic kicking my butt again, everything needs to be defined and in order. Bah.)

Its kind of an odd thing to realize that 2008 is pretty much over. That means there is a whole new year to start working through, need to find me some new goals and go after them.

In the meantime, I've found yarn has been doing more then its fair share of feeding the creative need. I've been totally obsessed with the Babette Blanket. Here's proof:


That's around seventy-five squares so far. To be honest, the pattern is pretty boring. Very one-trick-pony kind of work. But I am incredibly amused with all the color changes. I think its probably because there is no way I would have made these color combinations on my own (some of them are down right frightening.) I've been arguing with myself when I come across one that makes me twitch about whether or not I should "fix" it. I'm trying to have faith in the fact that I like how the picture on the pattern looks and if I go messing about with all the colors, it won't look the same. So I'm going to leave it be and not whimper too loudly when I'm creating a block with pea green, baby pink, gold and taupe in it. {{shudder}}

I also realized the other day that this thing is going to be gigantic. The yarn I'm using is a much heavier weight so I'm thinking you'll be able to fit about thirty people underneath it. Should work out well.

And I don't know what the deal is but someone seriously needs to give Mother Nature a serious kick in the behind. Its 58 degrees here today. There is so much water running down the street in my neighborhood right now that it actually sounds like a stream. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to melt the massive piles of snow that we've been shoving out the way for the past couple weeks but it did manage to make a dent in some of them. At least enough snow melted in the backyard so Dooley has more then just a little path to walk around. Little man is pleased with that.

I do need to tear myself away from my crochet addiction for a bit and get some work done. I had a bunch of other projects I hoped to complete while I was off on shutdown and I've not picked at too many of them. Time to get myself moving...

But first I think I'll make a few more squares for Babette....

.

21 December 2008

Dooley love's portrait!

One of the things I love best about the internet is that I get to make friends with people that I would otherwise never meet.

Such is the case with Pattie. Pattie is also a Where I Stand Sunday poster but the thing that I think makes her incredible is what a talented painter she is. She paints in oils and I always find myself drooling over her work, its just beautiful!

So the other day Pattie asked me if I would mind if she painted a portrait of Dooley. I said of course and this is what she created. (Scroll to the bottom of the post to see him.) I showed my mom (who squealed with excitement) and she now has big plans for showcasing the painting among her favorite photos on the mantel.

I can't tell you how tickled I am to see him in paint! Its just so cute! On Pattie's post she says that she is willing to paint your pet's portrait too, I really recommend it, she's a fabulous painter and a super nice lady!

sometimes conforming is fun

I admit that I have been trolling the internet for more afghan patterns. I simply wasn't feeling the love for the last pattern I picked out. Mary and I have been IM'ing links back and forth to each other. There are so many patterns to choose from, its unbelievable.

I'm blaming it on the fact that we got six inches of snow and are supposed to get more today. It looks really cold out there (especially when the weather man has started factoring in time limits for how long it is safe to be outside) so I figure it is a good idea to just keep making blankets in case something catastrophic happens and there is never any heat again and the only thing that stands between me and frostbite is that one crocheted blanket I never took the time to finish.

(Okay, unlikely, but it sounds better then "I wanted to make this.")

So the place that I decided to go mooch off of for inspiration was Ravelry. This is not something I do lightly. To seek inspiration there is like locking yourself into the yarn store of your dreams with no money, no credit card and no knitting needle/crochet hook. It can turn you into a raving lunatic if you don't go in focused on one project. (I have visions of a special ward in a mental health institution dedicated to knitters/crocheters who just couldn't control themselves and now use their yarn stash to pad their cells. I'm serious, its that powerful.)

While poking around on there, I remembered a project that I had marked as a favorite. The Babette Blanket.

Now this blanket basically sucked knitters into crochet like a tractor beam. It developed a cult following almost instantly. Don't believe me? Then check out the flickr group dedicated to it, and the Ravelry group (gotta belong to the site to see that one, join if you haven't already, its free) and just for good measure, google it and see how many people have blogged about it.

So I figured in light of my desire to cover the world in crocheted afghans right now, why not join the cool kids and make one too?

I started it yesterday:

This thing is like crack. There are over 200 blocks in it. Granted, 50 of them are only two rounds (those are what is pictured above) but that's still a lot of blocks. I figure this one ought to keep me entertained for a long time. (Maybe...toss some stress in there and it could be done by the end of the week.)

Its a scrappy blanket. Which meant I actually had to spend money on pink yarn. (Yes, it was mildly painful. But I recognize that it balances the overall color scheme of the whole thing so I pulled up my big girl panties and picked out two shades of it.) I'm not using the yarn suggested in the pattern because, well, I'm not made of money to be honest. Talk about pricey pricey.

So its all Vanna White yarn again. Washable, on sale, good quality, played nice on the last one I completed. Gets high marks in my book.

I'm pretty sure Dooley will approve of this one as well. Although I had to take little man to the vet yesterday and it took four cookies and tons of baby talk to get him to forgive me. It was a rough visit but all will be well. Poor little man.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go give myself hand cramps and crochet the rest of that blanket...

Where I Stand Sunday

The decorated tree and holiday jingles push themselves into my mind and wrap around memories from past Christmas seasons. My mother cooking Polish food for Wigilia on Christmas Eve, my father trying to decide between the Elvis or the Bing Crosby Christmas music, my brother as a little boy in pajamas bouncing up and down as he opens the latest star wars toy, me in a pink barbie nightgown smiling big for the camera as I show off the cool present Santa just brought me. The magic has not gone from this time of year, simply been transformed into a different kind. Now I find myself ticking off in my mind all the people that I am happy to have in my life, for the quiet moments when I can sit still and simply be happy for what I have, and for every moment of the creative life I have discovered in myself. Its in those moments that life feels the most fragile, yet also the most real.





Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

19 December 2008

done, baby, done

A sort of totally obsessive seizure took hold of me the past two days about getting the afghan done. It could have been the tantrums of the weather people predicting that we were going to be buried alive in snow and ice.

Or it could have been the fact that I refuse to be defeated by yarn and felt the need to prove to an inanimate object that I am indeed the boss of it. (Don't look at me that way.)

Or it could have been the fact that Dooley kept dragging down squares of the unfinished thing to lay against them. (Because, you know, I am cruel to the dog and the twenty other afghans he has to lay on just aren't sufficient. What kind of sister friend would I be if I denied him this one?)

So I finished it. Here it is:

There are some puckers but there is nothing so obvious that I want to set it on fire. But I know what I did wrong and won't repeat the mistakes on the next one (yes, I plan to do more, I'm bitten by the afghan bug, I want to cover the whole world in crocheted yarn).

Little man has given it his seal of approval:



The next one will be this one. (Again, need to register with the lion brand site to see it if you aren't already a member.) I'm doing mine in shades of green, not a fan of the color choices they used. And I'm using vanna white yarn again, very cushy stuff.

I don't know what's come over me but it keeps my mind still, which is a big feat in and of itself. Although with the announcement from the white house today, its nice to know that I will be getting a paycheck for a few more months.

If you are in the path of the current monster snow storm, you have my sympathies. Here is what it looks like out my front door:


I contemplated stepping into the snow to show you how deep it is but when I noticed that its buried the shrubs almost to their halfway point, my sense of self preservation kicked in and decided to just take this picture instead. This photo was taken about an hour ago, its deeper now and just for good measure, it periodically being sleeted on. I plan to go no where today or tomorrow.

Amazingly enough little man loves this weather. Even though the snow is up to his belly, he bounds around in it and then comes back into the house where I have to wrestle him to the ground to pick the snowballs out of his fur. He thinks its a fun game. Me? Not so much.

If you need me I'll be watching bad movies and crocheting. Stay warm and snuggle in for the day.

16 December 2008

its actually worse

I didn't think it was possible, but I have discovered something even more tedious then sewing sleeves onto the backs of quilts: weaving in 1,345,981 yarn ends.

I am slowly making progress on putting together the afghan from two posts ago. And I mean slowly.

Most of the problem resides in the fact that I just can't leave things wrong. I could just fudge everything together. In all honesty, you'd probably not even really notice that the edges weren't perfectly straight because of the border I have to add after its all in one piece. But its making me all twitchy just considering it. So I'm picking apart the blocks as I go and mumbling obscenties as I sew in all the loose ends. (Yes, I know I could have crocheted over them as I went but to be honest, I didn't like it how it looked. Did I mention that I'm painfully perfectionist?)

Dooley keeps eyeing the thing. Its sitting on the coffee table and I'm puttering with it in the evenings. I think he's scheming, trying to figure a way to pull it all back down on the floor. I'm thinking its going to take me longer to do the finishing on this thing then it took me to actually crochet it.

On the upside of things, my holiday vacation begins tomorrow. So I've got lots of time to plot and putter around the house. One of my biggest acitivites is to clean out a big portion of my mess in the basement. Sounds joyous, doesn't it? Come on, I know you're jealous. Tell you what? Since I'm such a generous soul, you are more then welcome to come over and help me do it. (I can feel all the dirty looks you all are giving me, knock it off.)

I'm also thinking about some collages and I've got to organize the website and finalize details for the 2009 Breaking Traditions Art Quilt Exhibit and I'd like to finish that afghan and Dooley dog needs to go to the groomer and I need my teeth cleaned and...um...yeah. Busier then when I'm actually at work.

But it should be good. At least there won't be 2.5+ hours of commuting in the course of the day. That's always a bonus.

14 December 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

I am one of millions standing at the center of the circle looking out at the chaos surrounding us. Knowing that our fates lie in the hands of one man is, at best, unsettling. He will either solidify our existence or let us fade as easily as the snow bearing my footprints. Imagining a different future hits too many walls as options are choked before they can even begin to formulate. Days, hours, minutes, seconds tick by as we wait wait wait wait wait….






Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

cheaper then therapy

Its been a long week. Work is spectacularly tense, its all just a waiting game now. Last weekend when things were just beginning to heat up in the senate over the bailout package, I proceeded to drag down pretty much every single skein of yarn I own from my studio into the living room. I also made a few trips with books and just sat around and tried to find something realitively mindless to work on.

I settled on this afghan that I started a while back but got distracted by other projects. (That link is to the Lion Brand yarn website. You do have to register to see their patterns but its really really worth it. They have patterns for knitting and crocheting and better then half are free. I've stalked the site for a couple years now and have never gotten any kind of spam from being registered there so I highly recommend it if you dig free patterns.)

I also find the circles highly amusing. And forcing them to become squares just makes me all giggly for some reason. I am totally entertained with this pattern for some reason.

I tend to crochet a lot quicker then I knit. Not sure why but I do. And regardless of which one I am doing, I tend to work at Wonder Woman speed when I'm really stressed. As a result, one week later I had this:

I had about six of the smallest size done when I started, the rest were completed during the week.

When I laid them out for that photo, I was not surprised (although still annoyed) that they aren't exactly fitting together correctly. I had a suspicion that they might not and now that its confirmed, I have to decide what to do. The way I see it, I have three options:

1) Sew them together the way they are and hope that the border I have to crochet on after I've done that hides any wonkiness (although the perfectionist Virgo in me just barfed at the thought of that).

2) Rip back a couple of the small ones and fix the mistake that I know is living in them and see if that does the trick (please note that I will have to fix sixteen of them if I go this route).

3) Attempt to block them into submission so they match up enough to sew together without looking like I was following two different patterns when I made the thing.

I'm not sure that I want to pursue option #3 because I used acrylic yarn for this. Its the Vanna White brand that Joann's carries and I have to say that, as far as acrylics go, its a pretty nice yarn. Anyone ever try to block acrylic? I just have visions of melted yarn blobs that will make me want to tear my hair out.

I had considered using a superwash wool for this (knowing that blocking would have been a snap if there were size issues) but here is the reason I did not:



Dooley love claims most of the afghans in the house for his own. And I have absolutely no issue with that. (He does look quite striking against the colors, no?) Knowing that little man will lay on this when he's smelling like roses and when he's...well...not smelling like roses, means that washability is a number one priority. All the afghans we do have that are acrylic wear like freakin' iron so that's why I prefer to make new ones out of that fiber content. (And acrylic has really come a long way in recent years. The stuff I used on this one is very soft and cushy, not plastic like at all.)

So if anyone would like to offer some words of wisdom as to how to tame the wonky size issue I'm having with this thing, it would be appreciated. I'm going to fiddle with it today but I don't do a lot of the types of afghans that are done in blocks (now I'm beginning to remember why).

But I know that crooked or not, it will be well loved. As observed by the fact that I had to lure the westie off it with a cookie to take a picture of it alone.


Note the blurry tail. He was all excited and wagging like a maniac.



I'm wondering if he'll give it back so I can finish it...

07 December 2008

Where I Stand Sunday


com*fort
n. To soothe in time of affliction or distress.

(e.g.: new winter pajamas with skating penguins on them, a crocheted afghan in progress in my favorite colors, the sleepy snoring of an exhausted westhighland terrier, an addictive book, a fresh layer of undisturbed snow, a house infused with Christmas decorating, the hum of the furnace battling the chill, a loving group of family and friends.)





Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

04 December 2008

ironic

When I got to work today, my boss called me into his office and gave me this:


There was no pleasure it in it this time. We just kind of looked at each other and I finally said what we were both thinking, "Hope this isn't the last one."

To be honest, I have written and deleted several posts about what is going on with congress and the auto industry. I've written and deleted several posts that have nothing to do with it in an effort to keep the blog perky and upbeat.

But the truth of it all is that I'm worn through with worrying about it. You can taste the anxiety in the air in my office, its uncharacteristically quiet as everyone has their heads down hoping to will into existence the things that we all are hoping for.

I am not going to lie: I am supremely furious at all the people strutting around saying we should just go bankrupt. They are ignorant to think that the bankruptcy of any of the Big 3 will not effect them. If they get what they are hoping for, they will find out all too soon that they were dead wrong.

These companies are not statistics or numbers on wall street or some report that the auto analysts can frown at and shake their heads. These companies are PEOPLE. Fathers, sons, brother, mothers, daughters, aunts and uncles. We deserve better.

So the blog is going to be quiet for a while. I've got nothing nice to say right now and I really can't bring myself to pretend like there is nothing wrong.

30 November 2008

a buffet of randomness

There was a huge sigh that huffed out of me this morning when I realized that there was only one stumpy little post separating two Where I Stand Sunday pictures.

It is the joy of returning to work. I went back last monday after having been off for quite a while nursing my back and the re-entry was not kind. The mood there is less then joyous (I work for GM for those who don't know), its just one huge waiting game. Keep your fingers crossed for us if you are so inclined.

On the art front, there has been some work being done. I'm still not feeling the love for art quilts so I'm continuing with my knitting assault. There has been much progress on Stonewall:


While I am really enjoying the yarn, I was feeling slightly homicidal toward it yesterday. Its Noro Silk Sock Yarn, really posh stuff - except for the freakin' knots and sections that are hardly spun that pull apart into roving puffs.

I experienced both.

Twice.

At the end of the first skein which meant I was already facing an upcoming join.

There was much cussing involved as I ended up with five joins rather then the one I had anticipated. *&^(% yarn...

I'm also eyeing it thinking about the blocking of it. If you click on the picture you can see all the texture that the pattern is producing. I'm kind of liking it and when I stretch it out to see what it looks like flat, I'm not sure I want to obliterate the sponginess of it. I guess I'll have to decide when I get to the end of it. That photo above? That's not even to the halfway point. Lots of knitting, dudes, lots of knitting.

Oh, and I'm also taking on some knitting for a wedding. Mary is tying the knot next september and I'll be casting on for a stole for her once the yarn winds its way over to me. I have my eye on a couple of patterns but suggestions are welcome.

On the writing front, today marks the end of NaNoWriMo. Truth be told, I sort of bent the rules to feed my needs. When I started the challenge, I already had 149 pages done. I had kind of stalled so there was nothing like the completely unreasonable lure of writing 50,000 words in thrity days to get me moving again. (I dig challenges, I must defeat them all.)

I ended my word count at 93,000 and 326 pages. And now the fun part is upon me, editing the beast:


Writing is a different monster from the kind of art I usually make. But I'm totally enthralled with it. I upgraded my version of Word to 2008 so I can utilize all the nifty comment and revision tracking tools it has. Who knows how long it will take me to work through the second draft but I've been picking at it everyday so I'm hoping by the spring to have a solid draft done.

Let's see...what else?...

I cleaned my studio today. Again. For the billionth time.

I'm considering a stash diet for 2009. With everything that is going on with GM right now, I am again in a holding pattern when it comes to the topic of getting my own place. Space is limited and to be honest, I bought all this stuff because I loved it so its time that it got to come out and play.

In the grand scheme of things, my stash is not obese. My fabric stash is contained in four of these, my yarn stash has grown considerably this year but I'm working my way through it.

The thing about my fabric stash is that I still have a lot of commercial fabrics lurking in there. As I'm moving forward with revised ideas of what I want to do with my fiber art, they aren't really fitting in so much anymore. I don't want to sell it for many reasons, among which are the fact that I know I wouldn't get anywhere near back what I paid for them and I really like them. Michele sent me some books about doing traditional quilts so I think I may attack them for that. Should be entertaining to watch me try to make accurate seams and blocks. I can hear the swearing now, should be spectacular...

We have been warned that we are getting a few inches of snow today. I suppose its time since the calendar is turning over onto December tomorrow but still, it will make rush hour more like rush hours. The new city I'm working in seems to be in the path of a snow belt, getting dumped on from all the lake effect snow. Thank goodness for my iPod...

On that note, I'm going to wander off and find something creative to do. I spent the morning cleaning up the downstairs since I'm hosting a pot luck Christmas party for the art groups I belong to this weekend. Its left my back cranky. I do believe some knitting is in order....

Where I Stand Sunday

My shadow pulls away from me, distorting in the late afternoon sun. It is stretched cobweb thin, betraying the worry that is breeding beneath my skin. I crave an outcome, a resolution, an ending that will either prop open the door or slam it shut with a deafening crack. This edge is too sharp to stand on, too demeaning to build a life on.







Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

27 November 2008

grab a fork, its turkey time....

Returning to work has been a treat. The 5am wake up call has left me snoring on the sofa by 8:30 every night, I'm fairly pathetic that way. But the one good thing about going back this week was that it was only a three day work week. Gotta love the universe's little favors.

So I'll be off to my aunt's shortly to eat turkey and stuffing and pecan pie. Should be a pleasant day.

Wishing all of you the same, Happy Turkey Day.

23 November 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

I am watching in tortured awe as the county waves its fists and clucks its tongues that my company, my career, my livelihood is not worth saving. I have spent the last decade engrossed in the automotive culture, watching as it has struggled against bad government policies, flail during the decline of the economy, and now as it grovels for the same aid that was so easily handed out to the financial sector. As thousands of Michigan residents watch the hearings in horror, there is no way to describe the tension that has now become every day life. It tears at each one of us, thick with betrayal and the unknown as we wait to find out the shape of our future.






Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

19 November 2008

its a lovely number

I am totally digging the number 27 right now. Why?

Because that's how many dollars it took to fill up my gas tank.

I was sure the number dials on the pump were broken or something. I actually tapped the little plastic cover, wondering if the gas was stuck in the hose and just hadn't made it into my car yet. Ever since gas bills began to rival mortgage payments, I had gotten into the habit of letting my gauge go down to less then an eighth of a tank. I know, I know, not wise in winter weather but if the roads were dry and I wasn't wandering far from civilization, I'd let it run down.

Normally I'd be looking at a bill in the $60s to fill her back up again but not this time. I filled up for less then half that and it looks like the price is sticking.

Which is exceptionally good news since I had back to work next week and will once again be driving the Tour de Michigan again on a daily basis. (My drive to work takes me through a good chunk of the map in my area.)

I'm working hard to take it easy the last few days I'm off. I am not watching too much of the news anymore, to say that I am frustrated by what is going on with the hearings about the loans for the Big 3 is a colossal understatement. Instead I'm hoping to just relax before I re-enter the rat race at full throttle. Because it ain't gonna be pretty when I walk back in there, I've already been warned.

So bring on the knitting again, its cheaper then therapy. And I've even messed around with writing a little today. The NaNoWriMo challenge was starting to turn me into Jack Nicholson's character from The Shining. I was starting to think he was totally rationale for writing nothing but the same sentence on hundreds of pages. Mary and Cathy suggested that perhaps a break would be a good idea. I took their advice and left it be for a couple days. Somehow, "Heeeeeeeeere's Lynnie!" doesn't sound nearly as threatening, it might not be a good look for me.

16 November 2008

*whimper*

This is the view out my front door. I like the cold weather but not having to trudge through or drive around in the slippery white junk.

If you live in a state where the weather is still warm, send us some to melt this junk away.

Thanks.

Where I Stand Sunday

It’s the perfect picture of patience. The bronze statues stand outside the library, blending in with the surroundings, becoming nothing more then a part of ordinary. The amber light is all that breaks that darkness when the sun sets, casting a wary spotlight on them. I stand with them for a brief moment, feeling a sliver of their solitude.





Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

14 November 2008

there's no stopping it now...

...when I go on a knitting binge, I really go on a knitting binge.

I've taken to surfing etsy for different yarns and obsessively scouring sites for free patterns and trying to mentally calculate just how much I could actually knit for gifts this year. (I've actually abandoned the last activity. I've heard tell of perfectly sane people who drool in the corner on Christmas Eve, needles in hand, and muttering about how they will finish that sweater by the morning. I'm already half there, I don't need the extra nudge.)

But today demonstrated to me just how strong its taken root.

It would turn out that I am a lace knitter. I'm being sucked into it, especially by patterns like this one. Even though Mary teases me that the only reason I wear so much black clothing is because they haven't made a darker color yet, I am inexplicably drawn to the icy blue color of that yarn.

But that's not proof that I've gone off the deep end. Wanting to make this is.

Come on, say it with me, "Ooooooooooooooooooooooo, that's puuuuuuurttttyyyy" *sigh* Yes, yes it is.

I bought the pattern. It scares the crap out of me. I have no idea what I am looking at but since I am an incredibly stubborn person and refuse to be defeated by something as simple as sheep hair and sticks, I'm going to give it a shot once I've wrapped up the scarves I have on the needles now.

Now I can hear you saying that this would make a good winter wear item and since winter is here I should knit it now. No, no. I believe this will take me approximately twenty years to knit so I'm really not in that much of a rush. I also want to pick someone's brain about how to adjust things to fit me better.

And be sure to take a nice long look at the online magazine it comes from, Twist Collective. I hadn't heard of it before today and its a really really really nice publication. The patterns are available for purchase (obviously since I got that sweater/coat pattern, duh). Just hold your mouse over the pattern title and it pops up with more pictures and info. Its yet another in the long list of knitting crack dealer/enablers who just add fuel to the fire. But in a totally good way.

And so the knitting obsession rages on over on this end. I suppose there are worse ways to be.

11 November 2008

easily entertained

I admit that in the realm of the pet world, I lean more toward the pooches then the kitties. But that's not to say I don't love them, I find they incredibly entertaining. I saw this video on another blog and giggle snorted. So I thought I would share it here too:


10 November 2008

it was inevitable

Four things happened all at the same time:

1) I art quilted myself to death. I sat down the other day to work on something and was so disinterested in it I knew I'd hit tilt. Luckily I have overcommited myself in the hobby department so there is always something to turn to when I get sick of one thing.

2) Winter has arrived in Michigan. It is wet and cold and dreary...and I love it. (Quit giving me dirty looks, I can't help it that I like it.)

3) I'm seriously stressing out. I have my appointment to see the surgeon on friday and at this point I'd rather walk naked through a rainstorm of falling cockroaches then hear what he has to say.

4) I finished knitting Rivolo. There is nothing like the end of a knitting project to turn me into a raving lunatic to start more.

So I did.

But first I blocked the scarf. What an adventure that was. Thank goodness I had the foresight to buy blocking wires. I shudder to think at the cussing that would have ensued had I attempted to try to create straight edges with pins.

This was my first time doing any kind of serious blocking. (I think I will be asking Santa for blocking boards, my bass ackwards system seriously left something to be desired.) I give you lace blocking in photos:


Straight off the needles. Looks like a blob of ick.





Drowning in the sink. (I'll never get over the smell of wet wool. Blech.)




Stretched and pinned (after much cussing).




All pretty and lovely.


I seriously love this pattern. There are a few screw ups in my execution but it was my first lace attempt so I'm okay with it. There wasn't any serious mangling going on. The only thing I didn't do was add on more repeats like I originally said I was going to. I needed to, mostly because I went down one needle size since my yarn was on the thinner side. Its so light weight, I totally dig it.

In fact, I like it so much I started a second one:


This baby will be whisking its way to Colorado when its finished to a pink loving chick. (You didn't really think it was for me, did you? Tsk, tsk.)

But I didn't stop there. Oh no, there was serious knitting binging to be done. (Its also a great procrastinating tool when you are a NaNoWriMo chick.)

I cast on and boogied through a couple repeats of Stonewall:



You'll notice that this is not the lovely laceweight I was thinking of using. Since the thing I love most about this pattern its its monstrous size, it seemed counterproductive to knit it in yarn that is the equivalent width of eyelashes. I apparently can be taught.

Instead its Silk Garden Noro sock yarn, which actually works out in my favor since I need 800 yards of it to make the size on the guy modeling it. (I figure it will come down to my knees since I'm so stumpy. But I'll be a warm short person so I won't care.)

This yarn is different for me, its 25% silk and 25% nylon and doesn't have the regular boing-boing stretchy factor that straight up wool does. There were tension issues and frogging at the beginning. But we are in a good stride now. I still figure I can make a career out of knitting this thing. There are nearly 100 stitches in each row. So that means there are 1600 stitches per repeat. I hate math...

I felt a little disconcerted when I realized that I was going to be trapped in this project forever (even though I think its gorgeous and do totally love it) so I dug out some other yarn and started a brainless 2x2 rib scarf:



This bugger is for when I'm laying on the sofa resting my back and can't concentrate on a chart. I'm going to randomly stripe it. This yarn is bulky and huge and in the time that it takes me to knit three rows of Stonewall, I had this much done. Brainless knitting rocks...can I get a whoop whoop?

So its all about the yarn for a while until my nerves have calmed down a bit and my hands have cramped into claws from knitting too much. But they will be happy claws so I won't complain.

We lost power this morning at 3am and DTE didn't manage to get us up and running until around 12:30. Since I get up around 7:30 every morning, it left me a whole lot of time without TV or computer. (Shut up, I know I have a laptop and it doesn't need to be plugged in. I didn't want to drain the battery by writing, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

So this was a total knitting day. I don't think I'm done yet either, yarn binge yarn binge yarn binge.

Although I'm thinking Dooley has an even better idea then that:


Knitting and wesites. Life doesn't get much better.

09 November 2008

Where I Stand Sunday

Its one of the hardest things to do: to look through what you know to be solid and see the possibilities on the other side. The water and fish life below the glass floor pulses, working to create its own world. I stand separate from them, in a reality opposite in every way. How often we find ourselves separated by such a thin line… how many times we struggle to be the dominant one. Fate scoffs at us, knowing that without each other we would be nothing. Its not until we learn to look through the glass that we will really see each other.







Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

08 November 2008

it's beginning to look a lot like....

...Christmas?

That was the song that my radio alarm clock woke me up to today. I was vaguely aware that this radio station's insanity was close at hand but seriously...Christmas?

As soon as Halloween fell off the calendar, these nut jobs started playing Christmas music. By the time Thanksgiving has been tucked away, it will be nothing but jolly tunes and that hippopotamus song that makes me twitch like I'm being electrocuted.

I would like to cheerfully beat the program manager of that station about the head and shoulders with a soggy flip flop.

I can only imagine what the DJs working there think. The unfortunate thing is that its the only radio station that comes in clear in my bedroom. Its a cruel twist of fate to be sure. The only other option is to allow the high pitched beep on my alarm to wake me up and as I am already severely handicapped when it comes to be being pleasant in the morning (just ask Mary, when we travel together she gives me lots of personal space until I've had coffee), the idea of being woken up to a sound that reminds me of fingernails on a chalkboard could be bad for public safety.

I think there should be a law: no Christmas music played on the radio stations until there is snow on the ground. And snow that sticks, none of this flurry-that-dissolves-as-soon-as-it-hits-the-grass crap. Of course, poor South Dakota would be listening to nothing but right now if that were the case.

I'm still busy enjoying fall, not to mention the few days of Indian Summer we got. Let's not rush things, shall we? Besides, I'm tired of the stores and movies and radio stations starting in with the advertising so early that by the time the holiday gets here you're sick of it. Kind of sucks all the fun out of it. And I really dig Christmas so it would be nice to enjoy it without wanting to slap the retailers.

Anyway...I'm happy to report that I've hit 207 pages on the NaNoWriMo challenge. Of course it helps that I gave myself a giant blister on the side of my right index finger. I was making hanging slats for my quilt exhibit which is soon on its way to here and after attaching 36 eyescrews to the 18 wood slats, I managed to basically skin the side of my finger. I can't bend it or I whimper like a two-year-old. Which means my procrastination plot to knit was foiled. I can, however, type well. Rock on...

06 November 2008

ramblings of a NaNoWriMo participant

I need to write a total of fourteen pages today in order to keep up with my goal for NaNoWriMo. So far I've written about half a page. (Do you think it would be cheating if I increased the size of the font to 20 point? Yeah...I thought so...*sigh*)

Instead I've spent the day puttering at anything but. Which really is stupid because I've got a piece of paper sitting next to me covered in scribbles of where I want the story to head next. Its just been tying myself down to the computer that's been the problem. I blame the internet, its too easy for me to become distracted. (Hence the blogging.) But I also blame Mary. And here's why...

Ever since I hurt my back, I've taken to yarn shopping online. Its not nearly as fun because nothing beats being able to wander around a store a few (or a hundred) times and petting all the fibery goodness it has to offer. So every once in a while, when I'm on that fine line of going loopy from extreme boredom, Mary will swoop in like an angel from heaven (or hades depending on how you look at it (love ya Mary)) and drive me over to a yarn shop. (I've turned her into a total yarn whore as well. Its nice to have company.)

As usual, she didn't disappoint and I came home with new friends:


Gorgeous lace weight that will shortly be made into this. (The scarf, not the man.) I'm all about over sized scarves so I'm eager to get this one on the needles.



The other is a massive glorious lump of Fleece Artist yarn. I drooled heavily all over this display. I don't know what I will do with this yet but it is mine and I will admire it intently until it becomes something other then a massive glorious lump of yarn.

Something did happen on the drive home that struck me dumb. (Shoosh all of you out there that are taking that comment and running with it.)

We saw not one, but two, gas stations with unleaded regular for $1.97 a gallon. Has anyone checked to see if the sky is still where its supposed to be? I never thought I'd see the day again when it fell below $2.50 much less under $2. Hot diggity dog, bring me my gas can...

Now I'm home and its just me and Mr. Laptop. And that page count nagging at me....

I just checked, this blog post has over 400 words...do you think anyone would notice if I slipped it into the story?

04 November 2008

did you?


I stood there, ballot in hand and felt amazed that something as simple as this piece of paper could help change the future. I darkened the circles, fed my vote into the machine and as I walked from the building, the anticipation for the results took root. I am longing for a new beginning, a new face for my country, something I can truly be proud of. Now I wait, watching the news and keeping my fingers crossed.



**This is a bonus Where I Stand photo, marking this historic election. Where I Stand is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

02 November 2008

Where I Stand Sunday


I am mesmerized by the talents of nature. Trees use each season as their own personal canvas, creating their own brand of artwork. They throw themselves into their work with everything they’ve got. I am humbled to stand at their feet, soaking in their expertise.





Where I Stand Sunday
is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

01 November 2008

awwwww, shucks...


I will admit that a lot of the time I feel like my blog is just a socially acceptable means of talking to myself in public. I know people read it but you just never really know if when they do they are muttering about what you just wrote. So it was a bright spot in my day get this award from Suzanne over at Yarnhog today!

Probably the coolest thing about this award is that I now get to hand it off to five other bloggers that I really enjoy. I will admit that I am a blog junkie so it was kind of tough to choose but I managed. So according to the rules I found over on Suzanne's blog, here's how it works:

The rules for award acceptance are as follows:

1. The winner can put the logo on their website/blog.


2. Add a link to the person who gave you this award.


3. Nominate at least 5 other websites/blogs.


4. Provide links of the nominated websites/blogs.


5. Leave a message at each website owner that you've nominated.



So here goes, I really dig these people and if you go check them out, I think you will too:

1. Eyembellishments - Michele is a kick butt mixed media artist who also goes on adventures with the sock creatures she creates. There is always something interesting brewing in her studio.

2. Kathy Nida - Kathy's art quilts always slay me, they are outstanding.

3. Knitspot - Anne Hanson is the lace knitting queen, I bow before her.

4. The Funky C Fiber Spree - Cathy Arnett is always getting into some kind of trouble. She is an awesome fiber artist and a totally funny lady!

5. Turtle Creek Quilts - Mary Dyer is a fledgling blogger, she just began. She is an awesome friend and artist and very funny! Her blog is one to watch!

So thanks a bunch to everyone for reading - I appreciate it!

31 October 2008

yes, i am...now leave me alone....

I swear to all things that are holy in this world and in the next...if I get one more political phone call or email or have to watch a commercial or listen to speculation about who will win (seriously...did they not learn after the 2000 election to just shut up and wait?!) or pick up a flier off the driveway that's been squashed into pulp from the rain...I'm going to go ballistic.

Totally postal in every way.

I've so had enough of all the campaigning. I am voting. I've decided who for. Now leave me alone before I poke you with a double pointed knitting needle. (I just got a set of metal ones, they could do some damage, trust the crazy red headed knitter on that one.)

I don't think the campaigning is any worse this year then the others but its annoying me in a big way. Everyone is so aggressive about trying to convince you that their way of thinking is the right way, makes me want to scream and just run in the other direction.

I do hope that you all go out and vote. Seriously. If you don't go vote, you are not allowed to complain about anything for four years. That's a pretty tall order to fill so go stand in line (and don't whine about having to wait your turn) and tick off the box for who you like best. Considering all the things we have to do in our lives, its such a crazy easy thing to do, there's really no excuse not to. Especially when they will even mail you a ballot if you can't physically go to the polling site.

So go vote.

And then we can go have a bonfire with all the ads that have been piling up in our mailboxes.


**Edited to add: The first comment on this post was deleted by me. Not because they disagreed with me or voiced their own opinions about politics but because I'm not so big on porn links on my site. The spammers got me, move along, nothing to see there...

29 October 2008

because sanity is overrated

I decided that I didn't have enough things to do....so I signed up for this....





I've seen it in past years and was always intrigued by it. I can only imagine the frenzy involved in participating in this. I guess I'm about to find out. The challenge is to write a novel during the month of November - the whole thing. We're talking 175 pages/50,000 words.

In all honesty I'm a little bit of a cheater. I've already got 139 pages of a story working but really want to make that total much larger so I figured I would join the challenge and see if I could tack another 175 onto it.

Why do I think I can do this?

Well, my leave just got extended again and I've got all the time in the frickin' world right now to just sit around and wait for my surgery consult. (No, I'm not bitter or aggravated by that, why do you ask?)

Who knows what kind of literary spew I'll produce but hey, there are always revisions. Nothing needs to be perfect the first go around. (Its just a little something I have to chant over and over again about a thousand times a day. Being a damn Virgo has ingrained that perfectionist tendency into my bones and its a hard thing to beat.)

Ignore any weeping from the general direction of Michigan, its nothing to be alarmed about....


28 October 2008

Botany: Beyond Flowers Art Quilt Exhibit


Botany: Beyond Flowers Art Quilt Exhibit
Livonia Civic Center Gallery
32777 Five Mile Road
Livonia, MI 48154

Exhibit runs November 3 - 29

Opening reception Monday November 3, 6pm-9pm


I am honored to be part of a new art quilt exhibit, Botany: Beyond Flowers. The exhibit will feature work from members of Running With Scissors. The group explored the beauty of botany and in order to challenge ourselves, we decided to not do any pieces about flowers. The work is varied and creates a very dynamic show!

In addition to displaying fiber art, there is also a fundraiser for the Greenmead Historical Society. Mini 6" square art quilts will be available for a donation to the society. The photo above is a sampling of the pieces available for the cause.


I will have four new art quilts based on the seasons in the show, including the one below:




Woven Season II: Spring


If you are able to stop in and see the show, please do! We hope to see you there!

**Edited to add: You can see all four art quilts that will be in the show on my website. They are the first four pieces under "Fiber Art"

27 October 2008

job posting


WANTED

Full time studio minion to do my bidding on a whim.


Responsibilities include: sewing hanging sleeves and labels onto the back of art quilts, washing out paint brushes, vacuuming the floor, changing movies in DVD player when they run out, cooking gourmet meals, searching the web for exhibit opportunities, obsessively organizing, tending and watering of pitiful plants within studio, winding yarn skeins into neat balls for leisurely knitting, quietly hand dyeing cotton fabric in the corner for future projects, talking artist off the ledge during angsty bouts of panic, holding artwork up at a distance for review for long lengths of time and various other unspecified activities that will grow into a never ending list of tedious boring tasks that are currently making the artist bald and insane.


Required skills: Skilled in the archaic art of hand stitching and no whining


Compensation: Undying gratitude, beads and donuts.


Application process: Stand up and wave your hands wildly to draw attention to yourself. Bounding up and down repeatedly is also helpful.


Sincerely,

She-who-used-to-be-known-as-Fibra-Artysta-but-has-now-lost-her-mind-from-sewing-down-six-sleeves-in-one-day-and-has-more-waiting **sob**

26 October 2008

Where I Stand Sunday


Standing here, in this place where stillness reigns supreme, I can only feel the silence. The spaces we leave behind speak volumes to the lives we lead. They carve their own stories into the air, leaving words and thoughts and memories hanging in the breeze, waiting for a chance to fall.



Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

25 October 2008

my own personal hades

I am by no means a squeamish person when it comes to movies/television shows. In fact, my favorite shows are Dexter and True Blood, neither of which are for the faint of heart. I've loved Carnivale, Six Feet Under (during which I was nicknamed Claire for the duration of the series) and a whole myriad of creepy macabre things.

I fully admit that I have a teensy sliver of a dark side that I often indulge. (Quit snickering, Leann...)

However, I do take issue with what is on the movie stations this time of year... Its gotten to the point that I turn the channel to QVC when I shut the TV off at night so that I'm not greeted by some poor girl getting her face sucked off by a zombie first thing the next morning.

I am a complete and total wimp when it comes to all things ghost. I am fine with the fact that they exist. I respect them. I respect them so much that I stay away from them entirely - and hope that they do the same for me.

The movies on right now (in honor of Halloween) cross the line in a big way for me. There are apparently many different ways for ghosts to terrorize people that I just didn't know about. The include, but are not limited to: inhabiting the TV and sucking you into it when you least expect it, skulking around the basement until you practically bash your head into the wall trying to run up the stairs to escape, possessing innocent looking dolls that will cheerfully stab you to death while you sleep, turning house pets rabid and resentful, making the walls bleed, covering the bathroom in maggots and bugs the size of monster trucks, sawing off pieces of you bit by tiny bit, and so many others that it would take me the rest of the night just to list them all.

My problem with the ghosts is that there really doesn't seem any way to stop them. They are as persistent as Dooley when he wants attention (believe me, if you experienced his tantrums, you would understand the power of that comparison) and it makes me uneasy that should I come face to face with a ghost who wants to suck my soul out through my ear, I would not have a way to defend myself.

Its a bad time to have a mental block when I'm starting to look at the TV like a torture device. And as I am in the middle of a block, I have nothing fascinating to blog about. It seems that a vicious circle is developing.

I think another trip to the bookstore is in order...either that or an online course in paranormal self defense...

23 October 2008

{{insert mental image of banging head against wall here}}

There are a lot of things that I really enjoy about being an artist. Knowing that a part of your brain works in a mysterious separate way from the rest of you, being able to see inspiration in things that others overlook, feeling that thrill when something comes together in a way that really speaks to your intent.

But then there are times like today that I just want to chuck it all into a corner and forget about it.

I wandered into my studio today, intent on finishing up a couple new pieces that will shortly be heading off to a show. When I say finishing them, I'm talking about needing to do a few more tiny details, sewing the sleeve on the back and calling it done.

I picked up one of them, spent all of five minutes working on it and...got really really bored.

I sat there, looking at all the work I've started lately that I was so excited about and thought..."Eh."

This is not a good thing.

My blocks usually begin with boredom. The really frustrating thing about times like these is that the ideas don't go away, just the drive to execute any of them vacates the building. My studio turns into "that" room. I shun it in a big way, end up watching a million hours of TV, read about a hundred books and knit until my fingers hurt.

I really don't understand what brought it on this time. Usually its stress of some kind and while I'm antsy about the outcome of my back, I'm not feeling stressed. But the block is there, creeping its way into my studio. I am actually feeling pretty relieved that it waited this long to strike and I was able to get as far as I have on the stuff that needs to be done.

One of the good things that come from times like these are the cleaning fits. I figure if I can't make anything out of the supplies I have, I can at least organize them into submission.

So I'm wondering...what do you do to pull yourself out of a block?

I'll try anything at this point...including doing the chicken dance while wearing a pink tutu in the middle of a crowded mall.


_

21 October 2008

an honorable mention

I recently sent work in for an invitational exhibit, Breaking Boundaries: The Art of the Quilt. Its being shown in the hallway just outside Gallery 50 in Traverse City, MI. Curator Desi Vaughn was kind enough to send me a couple shots of the show since I wasn't able to make it out there. Below is a shot of the exhibit space.



I was also very tickled (perhaps even tickled pink) to learn that one of my pieces, Talk to Me I, (shown on the left in the photo below) earned an Honorable Mention.



I am thrilled to have one of my new works noticed from among the 100 works hanging in the show. You can read about all the award winners in the latest post on the gallery's blog.

The exhibit hangs until December 31, 2008 - please stop by and view it if you are able. Many thanks to Desi and the gallery for putting together a beautiful exhibit and inviting me to be a part of it.


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19 October 2008

Where I Stand Sunday's One Year Anniversary


It is the burning decay that sets the color on fire in this season. The idea that beauty can be found even in endings is somewhat at odds with its normal definition. Yet as I stand still and smell the dank earth reclaiming what the summer took so long to grow, a calm stills over me. There is a schedule and a purpose to be met, an agenda that will override everything else. The loss of control is soothing as time slips between the cracks.



This photo marks the one year anniversary of my Where I Stand photo essay. In order to celebrate, I am putting together a 7"x7" book containing all the photos and journaling for the first year of the project. (It will be available in a few weeks.) If you are a fan of Where I Stand, leave a comment on this post telling me which photo is your favorite and why. Next Sunday I will select a winner and that person will receive a free copy of the book. You can see all of the images in one spot here.


Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. The ground we tread on has its own stories to tell.

18 October 2008

he is plotting


I've said - on more then one occasion - that the only reason that Dooley gets away with being such a stinker sometimes is because he is so cute. He'll look directly at you when you tell him not to do something (and don't tell me he doesn't understand because he's a dog, he does. He learned what the word 'no' meant before he learned his own name. He was a challenging puppy.) and then turns around and does it anyway.

I've known for some time that he has issues with my laptop. He views it as an attention sucker and that means there is not as much of the coveted stuff thrown his way. But this morning I witnessed a long thought out plan put into action.

I set my laptop on my foot stool that I keep by my chair to go get some water. I do this all the time, its not unusual. One of the nice things about Dooley dog being an older boy is that he doesn't get into trouble as much as he used to so I don't hesitate to leave things near his level or on the floor. He usually just stares at it, gives it a sniff and then gets bored with it.

Not this time.

I walked back in to see him working to nudge my laptop over the edge of the foot stool!!!!

He very nearly had it past its center of gravity and it was beginning to tilt. When I shouted for him to knock it off he stopped, gave me a dirty look and then proceeded to lick it. I've known he has a hatred for the little silver block of machinery since he's figured out how to unplug my power cord (its magnetic so it pops out of the port easy, no harm done aside from annoying the hell out of me) and he has even taken to pushing on the screen with his paw when he wants attention.

But there has never been an attempt on its life before.

He's sitting under my chair now, snoring. Obviously he is in no way upset over the scolding I gave him. *sigh* Its a good thing I obsessively back up what is on my laptop, especially now that I know there is a hit out against it. He is more crafty then I gave him credit for. I have this image in my mind of walking into the mac store with a mangled laptop and me having to explain, "Well, I have this westie and he just doesn't care for your products..."

The laptop will be residing on top of the coffee table from now on. Little man has a severe disadvantage in that he is only about 18 inches tall. It doesn't take a lot of effort on my part to outmaneuver him.

I have a feeling this is going to be an ongoing battle....Dooley vs. the laptop....this could get ugly....


_

17 October 2008

hot off the presses

2008 Breaking Trad...
By curated by Lynn Kr...


The 2008 Breaking Traditions exhibit is finally on the road, traveling to different destinations and I'm quite proud of it. When I decided to make the exhibit travel, I knew some kind of catalog would need to go with it. The artist statements for all the work in the show are really what drives home the intent of each piece and it was very important that people be able to read them when viewing the artwork.

I spent a lot of time shopping around on various book publishing sites and finally settled on Blurb.com. The catalog came together pretty easily and its now available for purchase from their site.

If you click on the image above, it will take you right to the catalog. This is an opportunity to have a permanent record of the exhibit. Although I also publish an online catalog, I will archive it off when the 2009 exhibit debuts. That means that the images of each quilt will be shrunk down to a thumbnail size and all the artist statements will be removed. So the catalog will allow you to have all of this information in a printed form forever.

Its a truly moving exhibit, one that is especially important during these times when all you hear on the news is about negative things. This exhibit highlights positive individuals and organizations that make our world a better place to live in. Its incredibly inspiring.

In fact, the catalog has been so popular since I announced it was available, it has made it to Blurb's bestseller page.

I hope you will consider getting the catalog and enjoy having this little piece of positive energy in your life!


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