Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Skate Update

My new Moxies!

Here's my husband skating outdoors for the first time:
I'm looking forward to hitting the bike trails!  I'm just not sure how one stops when one gets going really, really fast....  (YouTube videos on that topic have me shaking my head.  I guess I'm going to learn by experience....)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Skating with Arwen

The photos say it all, I think....

Thanks to my husband for thinking of Arwen and her daddy for bring her!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly Round-Up

Since my last Weekly Round-Up I....

.... had friends over for a game time.
 From left to right-- my boss,  my husband, my prom date from high school.  Yes, when we played The Settlers of Catan I got completely ganged up on!

.... planned a craft afternoon.
..... lunch with friends

.... scored a small pile of very old and mostly broken bricks for free on Craigslist.  Mom helped, bless her heart!  She spent the whole time laughing and muttering about how I take after my Grandma Rose.
... tried on my new skates in!  More on that later.

.... make a black velvet headband in my newly cleaned studio.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Alligator for Lent

In case anyone was wondering, Catholics can have alligator on the Fridays of Lent.

(Why anyone would want to is anyone's guess.)

Belovedest reports that it "is a cross between chicken and pork, and rather chewy."

You heard it here first....


The leeks have come up!

Lavender plants grown from seed are supposed to poke their little noses above ground between 15-45 days after they are planted.  I took this to mean:  "We have no idea.  Just go with it."

We planted ours March 1, along with the leeks.  And finally this week....

and here's another one:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why I'm Glad My Husband Can Make Stuff

This plant stand is on the someday list.

Belovedest and I have been making garden plans/fantasies, and the current arrangement calls for little garden “rooms,” each with a centerpiece.  This would do nicely, and it folds up flat for storage. 

It is from Easy-to-Build Outdoor Projects: 29 Projects for Your Yard and Garden written by “The editors of popular woodworking.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

From my library bag….

by Diane Maurer-Mathison
160 pages
This book is useful as a survey of the many techniques you can do with paper. It doesn't go into depth much about any particular technique.  You can, for example, find entire books on papermaking or marble or collage. So it is more of an inspiration, a reminder of the amazing versatility of paper, then it is a how-to book, even though instructions are included with each technique.  The instructions are fine, but not thorough enough for me.

Visual Chronicles: The No-Fear Guide to Creating Art Journals, Creative Manifestos and Altered Books
by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino
127 pages
Organized around the fears that might keep someone from making an art journal, this energetic book written by two sisters was charming.  It includes techniques, specific journaling prompts, and lots of examples from the sisters' personal journals.  It was fun and accessible and made me want to play, and while I suppose highbrow, hard-core arts-journal-makers might look down their noses at its fairly simple techniques, it's a good starting place.

Creative Concrete Ornaments for the Garden: Making Pots, Planters, Birdbaths, Sculpture & More
by Sherri Warner Hunter
176 pages
This looks like so much fun!  I really enjoyed this book and I am definitely planning on checking it out again when it is time to make some sculpture for the garden.  It has the right level of detail, plus photos to go with the instructions.  I'm going to try to start with some mosaic paving stones first.  But I really like the idea of working in such a durable medium.  The book also has lots of inspiring photographs from artists with many different aesthetics.  This is definitely on my to do list!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Meaningful, Not Expensive. Love you, Mom!

Here a fun and not-too-pricey gift for a little pick-me-up for someone who needs it: favorite photos in a magnetic frames to stick in a locker or on a fridge.  Thrift stores always have gobs of these, and I’ll bet you have photos your friend, teenager, relative, etc. would like.

I made some for my mom, who is counting down the days until she retires in May.  She can put these in her locker at work and hopefully smile when she sees them.

It’s the little things, yes?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Thoughts

To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.
-- Mother Teresa

This is one of the many, many reasons I go to church every Sunday.  I need it, whether I admit it or not.

Friday, March 20, 2015

And Then I Ran Out of Red Paint...

Here's what I've done with my day.

Belovedest did this part:

I did the rest:

I'm thinking that the lower right corner got literal.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  We were going to go totally abstract and I should be feeling like I messed it up, but truth be told, I rather like it.

But then it is going to push viewers into trying to decide what the other items represent.  And my husband has a bunch of abstract geometry planned....

Play Time!

I've reserved today for myself.  All day.

I am playing in my studio, my hands are speckled with paint, and I'm blissfully happy!

My current project:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Thoughts

Don't think that in what concerns perfection there is some mystery or things unknown or still to be understood, for in perfect conformity to God's will lies all our good.
– St. Teresa of Avila

Friday, March 13, 2015

End the Itch! A Remedy for the Bearded

My husband made a new video, this time answering the crucial question: "How do I get my beard to stop itching?"

It is part of his 1 Minute Beard Tips series.  (It is a little over a minute, I confess.  But that's because his beard is so long....)

Please watch and pass on the link!  Sales have been up in March, and I'd like to think that that is in part because my loyal readers are watching all the way to the end of the videos which bumps up Charlemagne Beard Oil in the search rankings for YouTube.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Quotables: Travel

We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves.
- Pico Iyer, “Why We Travel”

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


There’s a German food that is sort of a dumpling made with potato flour.

It’s called a kanoodle.

I cannot pronounce the word ‘kanoodle.’  My best attempts have been laughed to scorn.

So, naturally when I needed a birthday gift for Belovedest and saw this solo game, I had to get it.

(Plus the name kinda sounds like cuddling...)

Monday, March 9, 2015

The First Green

A tiny bit of green has poked its head above the soil--a leek emerges!

Sadly, we planted 16 or so, and thus this one leek is pretty lonely.  I re-seeded and we'll try again.  It's really hard to know how much to water.

Nothing on the lavender front, but the germination on those is "15-45 days," which I read as "who knows?"

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Organizing Done!

I did three rooms, starting at 9:30 and finishing up at 5:30, with a break, of course, for lunch.  I'm going to post a How To Organize a Big Mess later, but first, some Photos of Triumph!

The studio

The table where I'm supposed to create stuff....

Organizing Update

I've spent two and a half hours organizing so far, and it's going so well I'm thinking of tackling an additional area....

I'm really bouyed up my my progress.

Lunch break is over, though--back to work!

Friday, March 6, 2015


I'm going to spend all day Saturday organizing my studio so that Sunday I can actually make stuff in it!

That's the plan.

If I post it here, it's more likely to happen, right?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Attempt to Re-Use Light Fixture Leftovers

Sometimes experiments sort of flop.

When we took down our ceiling fan, we had these glass tulip-shaped bulb covers.  Of course, I wanted to use them for something.

I thought maybe they would amplify the light from tea light candles.

From the far end of the room

What do you think?  I'm thinking: donate the light fixture left overs....