Thursday, July 28, 2011

... found an awesome post on happiness...

... at "The Happiness Project" website.  It's an interview with a most amazing blogger, "Mr. Lady."  Please read the post!  I am going to be re-re-re-reading this post - as well as its title below - as often as I need a dose of motivation. 

Or a kick in the pants. 

Whichever is more necessary. 


"How Do You Give Yourself a Hapiness Boost?" "I Create. It Doesn't Matter Much What."

Monday, July 18, 2011

...went on vacation and actually made a little art.

I spent two weeks in eastern Tennessee with my retired parents.  Darling Babygirl daughter and my own dear dad are two days apart in birthdays, so we got them together to celebrate their birthdays together.  Having grandfather/granddaughter birthdays close together seems to be a trend in my family; I am born the day before my dad's father, and Babygirl is born two days after my dad's date.  If Babygirl can spit out a daughter a couple of days before or after May 6th (just not too soon - like in 10 or 15 years) we have a definite trend going on here.

My dear stepmom belongs to a Red Hat Society group, and it was her turn to decorate "Ruby," an odd, elongated soft doll which is part of the group's lunch meeting traditions.  DSM was the last woman in the group to dress Ruby before her "retirement", so she decided that Ruby was retiring because she was getting married.  So the three of us - Grandma, Mommy & Babygirl - made a bridal gown for Ruby.  We worked on Ruby for a good three evenings, spent an afternoon shopping for her at a dollar store and Walmart's - my second trip into a Walmart's ever; we don't have them around our parts - and whipped up an adorable bridal outfit.  Her gown was an old blouse of DSM's, turned upside down with the elasticized hem now Ruby's bodice, her veil was an unraveled scrubby bath puff.  Her bustle was constructed from a gift wrap ribbon package...

Here's Ruby, being presented to the Red Hat ladies by my gorgeous Babygirl -
I did the sewing on the gown, while Babygirl worked on the bouquet, veil and bustle.

I particularly love the bustle.  I wish I could have had a bridal gown with a train of ribbon twirls.
Ruby's tiara was soft pink ribbon roses scoured from the bottom of DSM's chaotic sewing basket.  I cleaned it up for her.  I'm not sure if she wanted me to or not, but I did it anyway. blown away with all the " get off your butt and make a difference" messages in my life.

...and read this blog posting from Little Big Wolf's blog Daily Plate of Crazy. This should be me.  This could be me.  I need to do these sorts of things in my life - pay more attention to my world, make some noise, hold my ground, stand up for my tenets.  Damn.

Over and over I am blown away by the women of the blog world.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

... was a busy little beaver yesterday.

Yay for Summer Break!  I can actually keep my mind on something for longer than three minutes!  (Enough sleep is a lovely thing re focus, among other issues.)  I cleaned up the dining room table, so now we can easily EAT on it, and rearranged the breakfast nook to make myself an office-y space.  My computer is here, as is my sewing machine.  I dragged a bookcase from school - and yes, it's mine to begin with, I bought it - and loaded it with my education & science reference books, along with all my binders containing all my hard materials (as apposed to soft, like PowerPoints.)  One of my summer projects is to organize each as a workable system, unlike the chaos they're in now.  My sewing box and embroidery floss are there, too.  My stationary supplies are all arranged in ways I actually use them, and I am as happy as the proverbial clam.  My basket of sewing projects sits on a chair next to my computer so I can't do the "out of sight out of mind" trick that is such an important element of my procrastination sequence.

I'm finally able to articulate a difference,  that's bugged me for years, between Hubby and myself when it comes to material goods.  When we have to make a choice between style and function, he leans towards style and I lean towards function.  I also seem to be more visual in my organizational style while he's more kinetic.   Does this make sense?

OH, and as for art, I'm crocheting placemats for my step-mom.  They're striped, with the pattern as prime numbers - 1,2,3,5,7,11 and yes I am that much of a nerd - and then back again until the mat is a proper size.  She already has two, with the background in turquoise and stripe in white.  These next two are reversed, with white background and turquoise stripe. In cotton.  Lovely to work with.  Just love it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

...actually did NOT purchase the Sebring.

Hubby is concerned about some stuff, so I gave the car back to my lender instead of buying it.  It looks like I will have to learn stick shift, which has NOT gone well in the past.  A plus, though, is that if I do learn it, I will be able to drive one of the coolest, sweetest rides in the city - a near-fully restored VW Super Beetle which has been sitting in my backyard for the past four or so years.

Yes, I am that close to white trash.  A dead car in the backyard.  (Three, actually.  Hubby is a Car Guy.)  All we need is a dead washing machine in the front porch and we are ON, good buddy.

Not this one, but pretty durned close.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

... channeled my inner Michael Scott.

... and purchased a used Sebring.

Yes, I know that the brand has a horrible track record.  I also know that I drove the car for two weeks on a loan, and it works well enough for my needs, and after a series of "cool" (according to dear hubby) cars which break down, get crashed into or try to eat my legs as I get in, well enough is good enough.

It's a blessing to have a car to travel farther than I can walk or want to ride my bike or carry on my back or in the bike's basket.  When I need it.  I've been without a car at will for nearly two years now, and it's nice to have one again.

What really decided it for me is that now I have a way to get to the doctor's appointments I need to make without throwing the other household drivers into a tailspin trying to get me there & back.

Oh, and I can go visit my favorite fabric store when I feel like it, too.

Independence is a lovely thing.

It's not this one.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

... thought about obssessive consumption.

You see, I really like this new-to-me website called brainpickings, which is as far as I can tell very much involved in tracking down and reviewing incredibly interesting books on all sorts of subjects in all kinds of areas.  A lot of interesting art and graphics books especially.

This last entry is of Kate Bingaman-Burt‘s Obsessive Consumption project - "a wonderfully illustrated visual record of personal consumption running since February 5, 2006." It seems that each time Ms. Bingaman-Burt purchases something she draws a visual representation of it, its price and where she bought it.  The pictures are charming and creepy; sometimes flipping back and forth between the two.

I gots to wonderin' about my own consumption.  I live a pretty modest life, or so I think.  I watch the pennies and don't treat shopping as a competitive sport.  Even so, I still find myself  surrounded by Stuff.  Clutter.  Junk.  Kinetic Cacophony.  Part of this is because of my admittedly less-than-stellar housekeeping talents, but I wonder just how much of this collection of debris in my life is simply because I'm mostly unconscious about it.  I sometimes feel as if I'm swimming in an ocean with a layer of trash separating me from the Sun.  And I need the Sun.  Every once in a while I can get my head through a crack in the debris and enough sunlight gets absorbed to make it to the next crack.  But my mind is never far away from the debris or the next crack.  What would it be like to focus on it?

An impossibly long time ago I took a class on Art History and Criticism at UCLA extension, and the final project was to create a piece of performance art.  We had one week, and I, as a mother of a preschooler and in a troubled marriage thought that in one week I barely had time to sew a button on a shirt, much less put together a piece of performance art.

So that's what I decided to do.  Not to go into the whole insanity of the project (which was pretty danged cool if I must say so myself), but a major part of this project was to keep a running record of EVERY THING I DID.  The date/time/length/action. For a week. I got really good at focusing on what I was doing.

A big part of why I started this blog was to bring focus to my creative life.  I very strongly connect my creative life with my organizational life.  I wonder if everyone who considers themselves creative does this.