Friday, October 31, 2014

Planting Garlic

You are supposed to plant garlic on Halloween and then harvest it on July 4.  We planted ours on October 19.  Which reminds me... I need to start a page in the garden notebook for 2015!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Studio Update

I’m currently working on Christmas ornaments….

… and Gratitude Jars
  … for the St. John’s Craft Fair on November 8.  You are stopping by to see me, right?

Art for Stacy

My friend Stacy almost bought some art last week.  But I convinced her that it would be much more fun to make some! 

She's coming over next week and we are going to brainstorm.  She has a more complicate problem than just bare walls.....

A Taste of India

Here are some fun shots from a trip to Omaha last week.  The Lauritzen Gardens were having an exhibit about India in connection with a local opera production.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The civilized people have lost the aptitude of stillness, and must take lessons in silence from the wild before they are accepted by it. 

-- Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa

I read this book over the summer and really enjoyed it.  It is the autobiographical account of a few years in the life of Baroness Karen Blixen who received a coffee plantation in Kenya as a wedding present from her parents.  She's a Danish aristocrat, and an observant, passionate woman with a sense of humor.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Testing 1...2....3....

I've finally found time to start testing my tile coasters to see if the sealing procedure I came up with can withstand actual use.

First test: Water.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Want to Meet You!

Please mark your calendars and plan to drop by!

Craft Fair Dates

St. John's Craft Fair
7601 Vine Street, Lincoln, NE
Saturday, November 8
9am - 4 pm

Cathedral Craft and Bake Sale
3500 Sheridan Blvd, Lincoln, NE
Saturday, December 6
All day

I'll be selling a huge variety of items from recycled materials, including gratitude jars and Christmas ornaments, plus many items that were featured in the art exhibit I showed in this spring.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Thoughts: Flannery O'Connor

Either one is serious about salvation or one is not.  And it is well to realize that the maximum amount of seriousness admits the maximum amount of comedy.
-- Flannery O’Connor, “Novelist and Believer”

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Quick Hug for My Readers

Today is a dashing day..... it's all good stuff.... volunteering... get paint on the gratitude jars..... church.... board games with friends.....

So I don't have time to upload all the phones from a trip last Saturday to the Lauritzen Gardens or from all the creative stuff I've been doing getting ready for the first of two craft fairs.  (November 8!  St. John the Apostle in Lincoln, NE-- come see me!)

But I'm still thinking of you, my readers!  So more soon--- as soon as I catch my breath!  

~ J.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Library Run

Here is a peek in my library book bag....

A Field Guide to Fabric Design: Design, Print & Sell Your Own Fabric
by Kim Kight
160 pages

Someday, I want to design fabric.  When I do, this is the book I want.  It's thorough and very, very practical.  It even includes detailed instructions for both Photoshop and Illustrator.

Paper Flowers
by Michael G. Lafosse
71 pages of instructions, plus templates
With both photos and line drawings, I think I could actually make some of these.  He shows how to make a variety of flowers, including roses, daisies, water lilies, cacti, and tulips. 

Paper Creations: Easy-To-Make Paperfolding Projects
by Guy Merrill Gross
An introduction or origami that includes a wide variety of projects from simple to advance, from traditional to modern to useful.  There are a few patterns I could see adapting for Christmas ornaments, containers, and present-decorations.  Again, it has both simple drawings and photos.

Joel Dewberry's Sewn Spaces
by Joel Dewberry
128 pages
This book is filled with ordinary sewing projects that you might see in half a dozen sewing books.  The author is a fabric designer, and I think the book was designed to showcase some of his fabric.  Unfortunately, I also thought the fabric was ugly faux vintage except for some wood grain fabric that was actually pretty cool.

Art Deco Style
by Bevis Hillier and Stephen Escritt
240 pages
Just because it's big and square doesn't make it a coffee table book.  These people are obsessed and very, very thorough.  The book examines the Art Deco and Moderne movements within the multiple contexts of history, politics, technology, and location.  The writing is conversational and quite readable and there are many photographs and drawings, although not as many or as large as there would be if it were a coffee table book.  A suitable gift for anyone interested in the architecture, furniture, or art of the era.

How about you?  Read anything good lately?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weekly Round-Up

This week I....

... had my second dancing lesson with my beloved.  I'm enjoying them very much and learning what I've been doing wrong (and sometimes right) all these years.
... attended the baptism of little Dominic.  Congratulations and welcome to the family!
... had a fascinating interview with the owner of Palace Glass Co. for a freelance article.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Scarf To Make Someday

I really like this scarf mash-up out of old T-shirts from Alisa Burke's Sew Wild: Creating With Stitch and Mixed Media.
There's also a hat design that I want to try.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dear Grammarian

Dear Grammar Nerd, 

I have a grammatical question that I'm fighting about with a friend.  It may end our friendship.  Could you please save our relationship by telling her that I'm right? 

Is this following sentence a run-on sentence or not?  "Hello Bubba, thank you for letting me know." 

Thank you!

I Don't Have Better Things to Do

Gentle Reader,

I am glad you are finally beginning to contemplate the serious things in life after devoting yourself to frivolity all these years!

You are both wrong, I suspect.  It is a comma splice.

The correct punctuation should be:

"Hello, Bubba.  Thank you for letting me know." 

Hello, Bubba = an independent clause.
Thank you for letting me know = an independent clause

(Independent clause = part of a sentence that can stand on its own as a sentence if it needed to.  For example, if the rest of the sentence packed up and left, perhaps to run off and join the circus, the independent clause would just shrug its shoulders and point out that it didn't really need the rest of the sentence, so there!

Two independent clauses linked with a comma and no conjunction = comma splice

I hope that your friendship will continue, despite the gravity of the issue.  There are more important things in life, after all, like chocolate.

Grammatically yours,
J. Pario

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What the !? (Or is it: What the ?!)

The Interrobang is a combination of an ! and a ?.  It was designed by New York ad executive Martin Spektar because "he was looking for a way to express astonishment, and disliked the clumsy combination of ?!" (page 268). 
 ~ From Just My Type:A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield.

 Here are some variations on this theme:

I really like this.  I wish it had caught on more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tile Testing... in 7 Days

I'm experimenting with making some tile coasters, using reclaimed tiles from the EcoStore.  (The heart tile is a failed experiment.  That's why they call it research!)  The mosaic looks fun, but would look better on black.  The photo tile unfortunately has a problem right around her cute little smile, so that one is also labeled a learning experience.  I'm using this first batch to figure out what techniques will work.

I tried to seal one with polyurethene, and the alcohol ink promptly smeared.  So I added three layers of ModPodge before adding three layers of polyurethane. Then it didn't smear.  (I used leftover polyurethane from one of my dad's woodworking projects, the kind you apply with a brush.  I wanted something I could do indoors.)

Now I'm waiting 7 days before putting the tiles through a series of tests, including grape juice and boiling hot tea.  Once I know what works, I'll do a tutorial.

Stay tuned!

Jane Perkins and Plastic Pieces

I stumbled across this artist and thought: "Now THAT is cool!" 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Thoughts

[St.] John [of the Cross] and many of the Saints point out that God may then withdraw the feelings and sensations that initially encouraged us, in order to give us the opportunity to more maturely, deeply, and purely seek and follow Him in faith, for his own sake rather than our own gratification.  God does this, of course, with great wisdom and love.
-- Ralph Martin, The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints, page 345

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Weekly Round Up

This week I...

... helped paint the window ledge that Handsome made:

.... did some playing with tile.
... hosted a movie night with Auntie Em.  (That's why everyone is smiling--Aunt Em brought amazing desserts!)  We watched Les Mis, the newest one.  Yes, I cried.

... met our Goddaughter Isabel's new baby brother.

She just gets prettier every time we see her. 

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Love it!

Men with power tools are SEXY!

(And before anyone accuses me of promoting gender stereotypes, he’s borrowing MY sander!  ... The one he gave me for Christmas because he is a wonderful husband!)

Posh Planter

I won this planter from the website Cut Out + Keep.  It's from Uncommon Goods, it's concrete, and it was molded from a particular pineapple.

I think it's rather fun that we put aloe in it.  Keeps the pineapple vibe going...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Drying Oregano: DIY spice jar

Or how to neatly label a baby food jar..
1. Dry the oregano.  I left the leaves on the stems.  Big mistake.  Next time I will get rid of all extraneous material before I dry them. 
2. Pick out stems and other stuff you don't want.  (Put them in the compost bin.) Vow to strip the leaves off of the stems before drying next year:
3. Crumple the dried leaves into the jar.
4. Labeling the baby food jar the no-hassle way.... Take some cheap name badge stickers.  I had them lying around the house because I use them to quickly and easily label boxes.  Punch a circle with your paper punch.
5. Write what you want on the label BEFORE applying it to the top of the jar.
If later you need to relabel the jar, just slap another label of the same size right on top.
Dried herbs are more intense than fresh, so use less of them than you would fresh ones in a recipe.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Anniversary #14

We haven't changed THAT much, right?

Thanks, my dearest, for love beyond my wildest dreams, and certainly far beyond my just desserts!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Amazon Update: Thanks!

Amazon revenue for September was $3.23.  Thanks for making purchases through the blog link--every little bit makes me feel warm, fuzzy, and loved.  (Is any getting an image of pink bunny slippers? Yes, that kind of happy!)

Wish me luck--Handsome and I are starting dance lessons tonight....

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weekly Round-Up

What a great week!

First, an art show in Omaha on Saturday.  The weather was lovely!  I’ll post links to the artists’ websites as soon as I get straightened out which business card goes with which artist…

It's a beard thing...

Then, hanging out with Anne M., always a pleasure.  We sat on her balcony enjoying the breezing, playing Settlers of Catan, and pretty much being as content as three human beings can be in this fallen world.

… especially when there is steak for dinner.

Plus Anne bought one of my tiered trays and we got to use it that evening…

On Sunday I went with Gen D. and the darling Madeline to a church fall festival in Wahoo.  These two pics sum it up nicely:

Maddie in Motion – Seriously, this is the least blurry of all my Madeline photos except for….
Maddie All Tuckered Out
 Next week we start dance lessons....

Friday, October 3, 2014

Turn a Drawer into a Set of Shelves

Easiest, quickest DIY ever!  (If you have tools, that is.)  Seriously—about 15 minutes.

I have a tiny worktable in the bedroom and I need to make good use of space.  So for the cost of one board (about $2) and a free shelf, we made this:

 ...out of this:

1. Take off the drawer handles.

2. Measure and cut the board to fit.  Think snug.

3. Test to make sure what you are going to put on the shelf actually fits:
Two screws on either side will hold it in place.