Friday, January 27, 2006

Sunny Day Blogger

Today (well, actually this last week) tastes like pistachios. Fiddly, hyperkinetic, and salty. Like tears, if tears were crunchy. Pale green and sad.

When you have people IRL who read your blog, it makes you censor your posts. Not necessarily dropping the various midnight athletics between you and your lover, but to cut down on the email and phone calls where folks ask if you want to talk about it, or offer advice and sympathy (as opposed to tea. I could get behind tea. Unsolicited advice, even with cream and sugar, does not go down well.)

So what happens when you're one of those who has to write their thoughts to see them fully expressed? Well, you write them in your blog . . . uhm, but that won't work when things suck (because sometimes things just SUCK. That's the way it is; all is dhukka.) So you write them somewhere else; strain your writing muscles, and go to bed with a metaphorical icepack to lie down for a bit until the spasms ease and you can get back up.

That's why you see me in my housecoat and fuzzy slippers.

Meanwhile, back in pollyannaworld, life proceeds apace. I have discovered decos (heaven help us, ANOTHER paper art) and am joining swaps like there's no tomorrow. Having lots of fun making lists of themes that turn me on, as one group does group themes only and the other is all artist's choice. So when life gets in the way and I can't commit to one more thing, or when I hear about something really cool that I missed out on, I make a note to myself and plan it as an artist's choice.

I'm currently in the midst of a cardstock pogram. I'm tired of flipping past the same sheets that I started with a year or so ago when I began ATC's. They're taking up space, dammit. And I don't care for maroon, gold, or orange--so I'm unlikely to turn them into pages for a deco, or endpapers for a book, or . . . well, just about anything, frankly. So I've been slapping down backgrounds ('cause I have more artpaper backgrounds than God, that's why) on the *feh* colors and sending them into the world as round robin ATC jams. I do a background, you put some art down and send it to Susie over yonder, who finishes it. Susie keeps one, sends two back to me, and I send you one. All players get an original card. Interested? Drop me a line.

I plan to spend some of this weekend doing abstract ATC's for the perpetual exchanges, and hopefully I can actually make a small dent in the stash of colorful scraps and bits. Then there's all the pages waiting to be bound into blank books at last. I'm trying to decide if I want to make more blank books with artpaper pages, which really can only be written on with big fat Sharpies. They go fast, 'cause you can't write small. (Ok, I can't write small regardless of the instrument. My hand is solidly grounded in uncil, not copperplate. Both my parents write a fine hand--but they had teachers for parents. Or maybe it skips a generation. Yeah, that's it. Blame it on genetics.)

And then with the rest of my copious and plentiful spare time, amybe I can get a couple of decos worked in and on the road. I haven't had them for a week yet, so I won't feel bad if they don't fly Monday, but if I let the idea congeal, well . . . congealed ideas are like cold scrambled eggs. Ick. And they will both sit on the kitchen table until I make myself go in there and get them cleared away. Best to strike while it's hot and fun.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Back Up on the Horse

Trying to get back in the saddle after the holidays, but right now I’m feeling like the dude. One boot caught in the stirrup, hopping along on the other foot as the horse meanders around to corral, and all the experienced bloggers sit on the fence, pearl snaps gleaming in the sun, spitting tobacco spit in the dust and laughing.

Back to the gym, off to the spa, doing it right this time because this year I’m done fooling around. I have plans to put together a deco with that theme. My own artsy New Year’s resolution—to learn how to play a new game. Maybe I’ll even pick up Photoshop skills—I have Elements 3.0—and a husband with an extensive gallery of virtual photos. Ripping up his Playboy collection for art’s sake is passive-aggressive, so what’s raiding his pixel stash? He can have the original photo in all its pristine glory; I’ll use the one where I’ve morphed the model with a snake’s skin and overlaid a transparent apple to make Eve one with the serpent. Or whatever.

Working with a self-help book I’ve been meaning to and meaning to and meaning to . . . as I said, this is the year I’m done fooling around. No, as I explained to Gareth last night, the journal I’m using for that is not for public consumption. You won’t be seeing excerpts from that anytime soon here.

To make up for the lack of news from Lake Woebegone, I have photos of a finished object. You may remember the Spirit of the Southwest Shawl I was working on in October—it’s done now. It wants dyeing into a soft yellow ochre, I think, but as I don’t have that order placed with Dharma Trading yet, you’ll just have to raise a glass of Riesling to peer through at these next photos.

I like it—I was scared it would be too small, but after blocking it out, it fits just right. Current focused project on the needles is one for Southwest Trading, a knitted zig-zag scarf, fraternal twin of the Sybaris Scarf.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

After the Epiphany

Adverb 2006 is now officially over. The folks have left. The table is empty. Gifties have been integrated with all the other stuff. The cats are yowling about their nip hangovers, clutching ice bags to their heads and voluntarily wearing sunglasses to protect their enormous bloodshot eyes.

Me, I’m shuttling back and forth between the computer and the paper studio, trying to get with the program and make some art.

I’m feeling stuck because I really haven’t done any “art for art’s sake” projects since Thanksgiving. I’ve been rushing to get Christmas exchange packages done, and send our December birthday goodie packs (and I need to get on the stick and do January’s pack, too.) I’ve been putting together decos (a new form for me–itty bitty books. I don’t think I’ve ever bound single signatures before. I don’t think I’ve ever built a book of fewer than 100 pages before.) Y’all know I haven’t been blogging since about Thanksgiving. (And no, see? I haven’t died.)

But ATC’s? Nothing, nothing, ninguna agua. I have cardstock. I have new toys. I have potential out the wahzoo.

And that’s part of the problem. When I began doing ATC’s (was it really just a year ago???) I was struck with all the cool things one could do to make art–and I just froze up like a rabbit in the headlights. I clipped a few pictures and slapped them on cards, and I shudder when I remember those first three. I’m surprised I traded them out, and if I checked the second swaps lists, they’d probably all be right there.

And now I’m feeling the same way–there’s stuff I now have the tools to do (heat gun, anyone? Embossing powder? Dryer sheets and Lumiere paint??) I want to change my numbering system to reflect the first, and the second, and the umpty-leventh card for the year. (Why? ‘Cos I think it would be a neat challenge to average a card a day. At least, in September that sounded like a neat challenge, a way to stretch myself. I remember one card I just called “Ten” because it was the tenth card I made that night, and it felt like my mind was a muscle being worked to failure. Now–now it sounds like going up the Matterhorn in a barrel, or over Niagra Falls on a pair of rollerblades.)

Fortunately, I signed up for an alphabet swap (I lurve me a good alphabet swap) and several deco projects, one of which is waiting in the studio for me to get off the pity pot, get my rear in gear, and go pop that art cherry for 2006.

Heck, after three cards, I’ll be loving it again.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Hokay--New Year's Resolution: In 2006 I will not blog between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Period. I'll post a reminder around Halloween. And I will not feel guilty about this.

There's just too much going on. I haven't had a free minute for a month, it seems. There's still stuff to do before Adverb--last minute finishy things, and I'm still getting over a wicked cold. And rather than post goofy test results each couple of days in order to have a post, I think it wiser just to close down for the holidays.

Not that this will be a long post, mind.

I was able to continue a New Year's tradition (three times, it's a tradition now) of finishing an item on New Year's Eve/Day. The Ostrich Plumes blanket is done!

You remember it from here. And now it's all growed up.

Awwww. It's 6 feet by 6.5 all stretched out for blocking. I like to do the big blankets since everyone else likes to knit for the toddlers. The next one I start will be a scrap blanket in garter stitch based on Fibonnaci triangles/golden spiral. As Mythic Grandmaw would say, faced with an engineering problem where you're constructing a 90 degree turn in a tube, "You're turning the heel on a bloody sock!"