Archive for August, 2010

the never-ending shrinky dink project
Here are some of the Polyshrink pieces I’ve completed so far.


I love how they turned out. I call them “fragments” – to me they are like bits and pieces of time past.

I have more that I baked but I want to try applying the Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks to the edges, instead of the Krylon leafing pens that I normally use. I like to color the edges – it gives a nice finished look. I used the Krylon pens on the pieces in the photo above – I use light gold and copper. I have a few more things I want to experiment with too. So stay tuned!

i’m ok and i’m on my way
Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I went to the Joyce Meyer conference in Hershey. I was so happy to go, even though I had to commute back and forth (two hours each way! At least I had plenty of good music to listen to). I have felt so worn down lately, and I hoped the conference would leave me feeling strengthened and refreshed.

I love Joyce – she is an amazing woman – I so admire her strength, her boldness, her honesty – and she is a fantastic Bible teacher. But it was a wonderful time, and I feel so privileged and blessed to have been able to attend. She’ll be coming back next year, and with my next paycheck I will start saving so that I can afford a hotel room!

creative reality tv
A bit late here, but I am so glad that Abdi won Work of Art. I always thought he was very talented, and he’s also humble and down-to-earth, two qualities that I love. Miles is very talented as well, and I have no doubt that he will go far in the art world. It was a really cool show, and I’m looking forward to the next season. Watching this show has made me question whether I really am an artist, or a crafter. I decided – who cares? I’m a maker of stuff, and I’m leaving it at that.

Project Runway has started again -yay! I just adore Tim Gunn. I like this season’s designers – although some of them are getting a bit full of themselves, which is a turnoff. I really like Mondo – his clothes are fun and whimsical. They look like they shouldn’t work, but they do. I also like Gretchen’s clothes – they are stylish and modern. Totally not me! I wouldn’t be surprised if she was in the finale.

got the dinnertime blues?
I recently discovered the Cooking with the Moms podcast, and I have been enjoying it very much. Janice and Liz are the moms, and their goal is to make dinnertime, and nutrition in general, an easier affair for families. They are inspiring, fun to listen to, quite knowledgeable (both are registered dietitians), and they have great voices! I haven’t had a chance to try any of their recipes yet, but hope to soon.


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sweet sister temperance
she of the marble-hearted innocence.
so ill-equipped in her mute despair,
with two smooth bands of reddish hair.

Sweet Sister Temperance, by Rasputina

nothing but tunes
This is the music episode – I have a lot of new music I’ve bought recently. I love my music. Music is so powerful – I think it might be the most powerful art form.

I have no musical abilities myself. At least none that I know of. I can’t sing. I’ve never tried playing any instruments, although I’d love try piano or cello, but I wonder if a left-handed person can play either one? That’s for when I retire anyway, so I’ve got time to do some research.


Rasputina – I am very much enjoying the new album Sister Kinderhook. So far Sweet Sister Temperance, My Night Sky, Afternoon of the Faun, and This, My Porcelain Life are my favorites, although all of the songs are good. This is a more acoustic sounding album, compared to the last few. I don’t think there are any electric cellos this time!

Sarah MacLachlan – got her new album Laws of Illusion – the deluxe version with the dvd, although I haven’t watched the dvd yet. It’s ok. To be fair her albums usually take some time to grow on me. And by time I mean a year or two. Which is strange because I really love her music. She went through a divorce, so there are a lot of songs about relationships ending, which I find depressing. I do like Rivers of Love and Loving You is Easy. This album seems more “rockin'” (if that’s ever a word to use for Sarah’s music!) – it just seems more solid-sounding, louder, not so ethereal. I may stop listening to it and pick it up again later.

Mozart – I bought my first non-opera classical music – Mozart: Violin Sonatas K. 310, 304, 376 & 526, with Hilary Hahn and Natalie (unfortunately I cannot find out what Natalie’s last name is right now – I’m having Itunes issues!). I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but the sonatas are light and pretty-sounding. That’s a pretty weak description – I know nothing about classical music, but I’m learning little by little. I love the piano and violin together.

Audrey Assad – I bought her new album The House You’re Building. I’ve only listened to it twice, but I like it a lot it so far. She has a beautiful voice – one of the reviews compared her to Sarah McLachlan, and I can hear some similarity. I had never heard of her before I bought this album. I like the “quietness” of her songs – they are gentle, subtle, and honest. I look forward to getting to know this album.

So that’s it for the music. Now on to…

a little bit of creativity
I’ve picked up my Polyshrink again – I had started some pieces I’m embarrassed to even say how long ago (a year!). I’m working on more of my “fragments” components, and I’m trying out the black Polyshrink as well, which I’ve never used before. I’m still in the process of punching out the shapes and holes – and one of my punches broke in mid-punch! It’s disappointing because they are not inexpensive and I haven’t had it that long, but I guess I’ll just have to get another one. At least I got a bunch of shapes punched out with it before it broke. My goal is to make some jewelry to submit to Belle Armoire Jewelry – it’s one of my short-term goals over the next three months.

And finally, after years (years!) of desiring to learn how to solder, I purchased all the supplies I need to get started. I am so excited! I decided to make things simple and purchased the Simply Swank Simply Solder Creative Art Kit, by Lisa Bluhm (I got it from Stampington). I have her book, Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories, which is excellent (you can read a review of it on my Librarian page), so I figured that her products would be excellent as well. The kit comes with all the basic supplies you need – soldering iron and stand, clamps, solder, flux, copper foil tape, glass. I bought some extra glass too for practice. As soon as I am done with the Polyshrink I will be happily diving into the world of soldering. Yay!

Not sure if I mentioned before that I submitted a few pages of my Sweetie Darling book to Somerset Digital Studio. Wish me luck!


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bright red feeling
The year is more than half over, and what have I accomplished? Pretty much nothing. I feel stuck in a world that consists of being a “mom” – going to work, taking care of Lily, doing housework. I feel dull.

I started off this year feeling so bright, so optimistic – well that wore off months ago. I feel like I’m not doing what I should be doing, just drifting, with no purpose. I feel frustrated a lot. I feel strangely unmotivated lately in my arts & crafts. I’m just tired of everything in general I think; a change is needed, but I’m still not sure exactly what to change.

strawberry blonde
Well over a year ago I mentioned that I wanted to write about the girls & women who have been a part of my life, whether fictional females or factual. I’ve always been drawn to women in one way or another, whether through books, music, history, movies, or literature. So here we go. I decided to write about a young woman who dates back to my childhood, with whom I spent many many wonderful hours….that enduring girl detective, Nancy Drew.

oh, How many summers did I spend entwined in the adventures of Nancy and her friends George and Bess? How many times did I read and reread those books? How many times did I long for similar adventures of my own?

How I wish I still had my beloved Nancy Drew books. I would give anything to get those back. I even had one book that was from the 1930’s!

Nancy was athletic, intelligent, adventurous, brave, bold, compassionate, and determined. And beautiful, of course. Books were my refuge, and Nancy was someone that I looked up to and felt that by reading her books, I took part in her adventures. Driving around in her convertible, traveling the world, and solving mysteries – all with her two best friends. What’s not to love?

I’ve always enjoyed mysteries too – they appeal to my analytical side. And I also loved the slightly old-fashionedness of the books – they were quaint and charming. At one point I did buy a couple of the “modern” books, but I never liked them as much. I guess even back then I was drawn to old stuff!

I found this great website about all things Nancy Drew – I really want to get a Nancy Drew tshirt!

~dreaming about hidden staircases and old clocks~

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let’s celebrate!
We had Julian’s graduation party last Saturday, at the clubhouse where my Grammom lives. Our house is smiply too small for more than 15 people, and even that is pushing it. Anyway, it turned out quite nice – everyone enjoyed themselves (I think!) and Felicia got to meet the rest of the family (poor girl!). I made most of the food, and then we bought hoagies, tomato pie, and soft pretzels. My Mom of course had to make a speech. Some photos…oh, and I never did make Julian’s scrapbook – I realized about two weeks before the party that there was no way it was going to happen. I decided to focus on making a photoboard instead, with the plan of finishing (and starting!) the scrapbook at a later date.

my little boy

my little boy

my little boy

my little boy

my little boy

To make the photoboard, I bought a foamcore poster board and covered one side with white cardstock, folding it over the edges to make it look nice. My Mom had jotted down notes about Julian when he was a baby and then a toddler – things he did, things he liked. I typed these in Word and then printed them out onto blue and green cardstock. I trimmed these and glued them on top of the white cardstock. I gathered my photos, scanned them, edited them in Photoshop, and printed them onto white cardstock. Then I glued them on the photoboard – most of them I glued flat down, but for several I used foam squares to give the photoboard some dimension and extra interest. Silver star stickers were the final touch. I like how it turned out, and besides gathering, scanning, and editing the photos, really did not take that long to put together.

not a fan of country, but…
I recently bought Jewel’s last album Perfectly Clear. This is her foray into country music. Now I am not a fan of country music, although I have tried it out from time to time (I like to try out different musical genres occasionally – you never know what might strike your fancy!). But Jewel is one of my favorite artists, so I figured I’d give it a try.

I’m not loving it, but it’s not too bad. It’s just…country music. Which to me seems to be simpler in terms of lyrics and messages, whereas I prefer music that is poetical and metaphorical and the more complicated the better.

I do think her songs on this album are simpler than on her previous albums – I miss the political edge and social commentary from her other work. The songs on Perfectly Clear are pretty much all about relationships, which does not do a lot for me.

Jewel has a new album – Sweet and Wild – again a country album. I’ll get it eventually. I’m willing to give it a chance, only because it’s Jewel.

Lately I’ve been listening to The Beekeeper by Tori Amos. I purposely chose to listen to this album when the weather got hot – it’s a very “summery” sort of album. The vocals and music are lush and warm, and it’s definitely her “lightest” album in terms of sound. I don’t know why, but certain of her albums I will only listen to during certain seasons.

~bon soir!

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