Sunday, July 31, 2005

WIP It Good

Yesterday, when I mentioned having finished a design sketch the day before and planning to start a new quilty project that day, Deborah had this to say:
"Can't wait to see the sketch. In fact, I'd love to see more sketches on paper. I love all the in progress pictures artists have been posting on their blogs, but usually they start once we hit the fabric. Let's see whatcha got, girl!"
Hhmm...well, ok. Y'know it's not that I mind showing people my design sketches exactly, it's just that they don't show up in photos/scans all that well. With an occasional exception, mine aren't wonderful finished-looking line drawings like Gabrielle's and others. Mine are pencil scribbles on whatever paper is handy. They're a sort of visual shorthand I make to remind myself where I'm going with something. That being said, since Deborah asked and I'm all about making the Debs happy, here's the sketch I started with. Just don't say you weren't warned if it doesn't really look like anything. :-) And here is the start of the same thing in fabric. The big, mostly-formless hunk on the right will be given lots of detail with either paint and/or colored pencils and with thread so that it should eventually look like part of a tree trunk. Ditto the larger leaves. I'm revisiting an idea I played with a couple of years ago in this quilt. I still love that idea and have intended all along to come back to it and perhaps work with it as a series, but got a kick in that direction a few days ago when I approached an Artist Whose Work I Admire about a possible trade and what she reallyreally wanted was something along that line. So here we go. Naturally, since I'm doing this with an eye toward sending it to live with an AWWIA, I'm all full of doubt and anxiety and certain it will look like a hideous, rock-sucking, steaming pile of dog doody when I'm done. I couldn't even start it for days after I had the idea. I kept circling around it, putting off drawing, or pulling fabrics, hoping a perfect little quilt would magically appear on my work table one day, courtesy of the Elves or something. But not surprisingly that didn't work, so I'm trying it the old-fashioned way. Well, not TOO old-fashioned. Heh. Stay tuned... And in reply to another part of Deborah's comments, about the puzzle Debra turned us on to, take a look at this screen shot from last night: I'm feeling rather proud of myself about that Level 10 thing. So, if that looks like a glove on the ground, well...... (big evil grin)

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Despite Michelle's excellent suggestion, I saw no resemblance between any of the Richardson household dust bunnies and any famous people, living or dead, and I'm not a good enough sculptor to fake it, so I figured auctioning them off on eBay was out. Instead, I ended up spending a big hunk of yesterday on boring household chores like sweeping, mopping, dusting, laundry, and cooking. Bleah. I did one small design sketch I liked and pulled a bunch of fabrics, so I hope to make a start on that later today, after I go to town and have new tires put on the car. (Oh joy....NOT) No photos yet, but hopefully I can show you something soon. About the quilt I mean, not the tires. I finished a book last night --- "Chill of Fear" by Kay Hooper. This is the latest in a series of mysteries she's written featuring an FBI unit that specializes in the paranormal. My only quarrel with this book was I thought Ms. Hooper spent a bit too much time explaining and/or justifying her characters' special abilities. My feeling is that if you're reading a book about a paranormal investigative team you either a) already believe in that stuff or b) are willing to suspend disbelief for the sake of a good story. So stop trying to convince me they can do what they're doing and just tell me the story already! Other than that I really liked it and there were some parts of it I hadn't figured out before the end, which is great. I love it when an author can surprise me! I've finished a few other books since my last mini-review, but haven't mentioned them because I thought they weren't anything too exciting. Not terrible or anything, just not "ooh baby, you have to read this" books. And after finishing the Hooper book, I started reading a book of essays called "Finding Serenity", about the Joss Whedon series "Firefly". I've only read one so far, but it looks interesting. Obviously nothing too exciting to report from Gobbler Knob today, so I'll shut up and let you all get back to your lives. Oh yeah! One more thing! I tried Debra's "time waster" (which I'd call a visual logic puzzle) again this morning, and managed to solve level 7 with a score of 1334 before giving up on level 8. WooHoooo! What can I say? I'm easily amused. :-)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Quilts, Movies, Rock Star Wannabes, and Bad Writing

Quilt Stuff I did as I promised myself I would. I worked in the Stooooodio most of the day Wednesday, which meant I allowed my WIC to play hooky yesterday. (More on that later.) I finished three small (VERY small) things, but am not going to post pics just yet because they're all on their way other places now and I don't want to ruin the fun. Stay tuned... I also made a list this morning of "quilts I need to finish" which also just happens to be "quilts I need to start" (heh) and have to say I'm feeling a weeee bit overwhelmed. But on the positive side, none of these things I've committed to do are large and once I get an idea I like I'm pretty speedy at the ironing board and sewing machine. It's the "getting an idea I like" that's the tricky part. I DO have ideas for a couple of the things on the list, so I plan to start something today. However that pesky housework thing is going to have to be tackled sometime today too, at least for a little while. A passing-through friend of my hubby may be stopping off here this weekend and at the moment the house is disgusting. J doesn't share my attitude that we should just name the dust bunnies and keep them as pets. Go figure. I've grown quite attached to Ralph and Julio, the nice dust bunny couple under my desk. And since J is off earning money to keep the roof over my head, as well as the heads of Ralph and Julio (assuming dust bunnies HAVE heads, that is), I guess the cleaning thing is up to me. Bleah. Movie Stuff I went to see "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" yesterday. I liked it. I didn't love it in an "omigawd this is the greatest thing ever and I must now buy it on DVD and watch it eleventy-seven times" sort of way, but I liked it. The visuals were very interesting....reminded me a bit of the "Lemony Snicket" movie. I now find myself wondering how long it will be before some theme park somewhere has a "Wonka Chocolate Factory" ride, with people riding a big pink seahorse boat down a chocolate-colored river. Rock Star: INXS Stuff again Out of courtesy to Tonya, who is getting the show a day later than those of us in the US, I waited a day to dish on the elimination show. (Hi Tonya!) The things that surprised me: *That Jessica was in the bottom three. I've said before I think she's one of the weakest contestants, but I didn't think she deserved to be there THIS week. *That JD wasn't in the bottom three. He SO deserved to be there this week. *That Jessica pulled her finger out and gave a much better-than-usual performance and bought herself at least another week. *That INXS let Heather go. I'm not saying she didn't deserve it. She did. I think by a couple of weeks into the thing she didn't really want it anymore and it showed. But I still thought they'd dump Daphna and keep Heather around a bit longer. The thing that didn't surprise me: *The continuing parade of HIDEOUSLY bad fashion, especially by most of the female contestants!!! What's up with that anyway? I mean, yeah, it's rock and roll. There's supposed to be A Look to what you wear onstage and that Look isn't supposed to be the same as what you'd wear to the grocery store, or to church, or a corporate job interview. I get that. Really I do. But here's the thing. While I understand that Sex Sells, that doesn't mean you have to look like you're selling it cheap. Don't go for "give me $20 and I'll meet you in the alley". Go for "if you have to ask, you can't afford it"!! Do they really think that a successful, established band is going to want to hire someone who looks like she shops at Ho's R Us? Please. I'm not so bothered by the male contestants clothes, but the hair...sweet mother, the hair. From Brandon's "I shower once a month, whether I need it or not" grunge-head to Ty's "stuck in the '80's" spiked mohawk, it makes me wish that Tim Farriss really WAS related to Nick Arrojo, as Debra speculated, so he could help these guys out. Meow, meow, I think I'll go have a saucer of milk now. :-) Wonderfully Bad Writing Stuff And finally, for a bit of Friday Fun, check out the 2005 winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. It's a challenge to write the WORST opening sentence for a book EVER. It's named for Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who wrote this little gem in the 19th century:
"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness." --Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
The winning entry this year was by a man named Dan McKay, who wrote an opening sentence comparing a woman's breasts to carburetors. I really loved the Purple Prose winners too, especially the one by Kristin Harbuck of Bozeman, MT. And while you're there, be sure to check out the link to the Shakespearean Insults page. Love those!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Spoiled Rotten

Yep. That's me. So spoiled I will soon be unbearable. (What do you mean I already am? Shut up!) Yesterday's mail included the following beauteous and wondrous bounty: A multi-strand beaded anklet by Deb Lacativa. (I know you've already seen these shoes, but the beads look so great with them, plus I currently have my toenails painted gold to match, so you get to see them again, whether you like it or not.) Don't be suprised if you see this fabulous beaded anklet show up in future photos this summer! And this card and "book thong" from my sister, Sandy. I had never heard of a book thong before she found them, but it's a beady version of a bookmark. You place the string in the book to hold your place and the loverly beads hang out either end, looking beeeee-yooo-tiful. Pretty cool, yes? Oh yeah, and in case you can't read it, the card says "If loving an accessory is wrong, then I'm as wrong as wrong can be." She said it reminded her of me. I can't imagine why. Heh. Thank you Deb and Sandy for making it a Beautiful Bead Day in the Richardson household.

Maybe it's a DebThing?

Just like Deborah....
You are dependable, popular, and observant. Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness. In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do. You are unique, creative, and expressive. You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while. And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Negotiating With My WIC* and Rockin'

*WIC = Whiny Inner Child I'm feeling unmotivated today. One might even say lazy. J is out of town for the rest of this week and I have an almost overwhelming urge to play hooky and go sit in a darkened movie theater, eating popcorn covered with who-knows-what sort of chemicals and watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which I haven't seen yet and everyone I talk to keeps raving about. I'm trying to force myself to be good though. I have told myself, "Self, if you will put in some hours in the studio today, you can play hooky tomorrow if the urge is still there". My self is feeling a wee bit sulky about the whole thing and may need more drastic measures if she keeps being such a whiny pain in the ass, but so far it's working. Stay tuned... In other news, I know some of my fellow Artful Quilters are fans of Rock Star: INXS. Is it just me or were the contestants having a bad night last night?? I felt like there were only 4 or 5 really solid performances in that episode, and even one of those (Jordis) flubbed a line of the song, although she covered it fairly well. But out of 12 people left in the competition, that means I thought 1/2 to 2/3 of them had a REALLY bad night. I was inspired to go online and vote after the show, the first time I've done that since getting hooked on it. It'll be interesting to see who is up for possible elimination tonight. Based solely on last night's performances (NOT on their past work), I'd have to say the ones I think most deserve to be up for elimination this week are JD, Heather, and Brandon. Or maybe Daphna. Those last two are a toss-up for me. I wouldn't mind seeing either Daphna or Brandon go bye-bye, but I actually think JD and Heather are strong performers who just had a bad night. But as one of the INXS members said to Heather, when you're a professional you have to be able to perform when you're having a bad night (sick, etc.) and still make it look and sound good. So having a bad night when it counts is kind of a big deal in this case, yes? The one I really want gone the most right now out of the ones left is Jessica, but I have to admit that last night, while I wouldn't rank her in the top 1/3 of the performances, she wasn't the worst one on the stage either. Who do you want to see go back to singing in bars? Who do you want to see end up rockin' on stage with INXS?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

This Good Mail Thing is Addictive

Hello. My name is Deb and I'm a Good Mail Addict. ("Hello Deb!") Yesterday was an Excellent Mail Day. Not only did I get Liz's fabric postcard (the one I purchased in the ACS auction), but I got a wonderfully hilarious surprise from Debra. Check it out: The photo is a wee bit underexposed and dosen't show Liz's card to its best advantage, but if I compensate I get too much glare on the white cloth, so I'll take a better photo of the postcard later after I've decided where and how to display it. My one teeeensy quarrel with the postcard (which I LOVE) is that it isn't signed! must sign these things!!!! I haven't decided yet what to do with Debra's gift, but I love it. Isn't it just a perfectly DebR thing? :-)


You can blame Gabrielle for this one, because this is one quiz I hadn't taken yet until I saw it on her blog. I expected to score as a hippy or maybe a nerdy girl. But popular bitch?? Oh. My. God. And 50% slut?? Well gee. I'm so proud. (sniff, sniff) I suppose I can console myself with Loser being at the bottom of the list. (snort!)

So there you have it. I'm a popular bitch with hippy, slutty, nerdy tendencies, seasoned with a dash of tomboy and preppiness. I'm sure it's true. Quizilla knows these things. :-)

What Type Of Girl Are You?

(Shouldn't that be type of "woman"??)

You scored as Popular Bitch.

Popular Bitch






Nerdy Girl


Athletic Tomboy


Preppy Girl





What type of girl are you?!! created with

Monday, July 25, 2005

Life In A Box

This is a story I read on a Tarot email list I'm on and thought it was wonderful. It gave me shivers. I think even people who aren't into Tarot might find it interesting, although you'll be more likely to get the character references if you know something about Tarot. I'd hoped to be able to link to the author, but this story is several years old and I can't find a current email address or web site for her. If she ever runs across this posting, I hope she won't mind. Life In A Box A Tarot Tale by Tea Prentice Once upon a time, three major Arcana walked into a dark and crowded bar --- the Hierophant, the Magician and the Fool. They sat down at a table and Temperance served them a pitcher of Mai Tais while a tipsy Empress greeted each one with a big hug and kiss. The Fool couldn't help but notice a robed woman seated in the corner. In front of her was a large, dark brown box surrounded by a glowing sphere of light that was hovering above the table. "What's that!?" asked the Fool in wonder. "That," declared the Devil at the end of the bar as he lit another cigarette, "That is addictive." The three Majors decided to go and get a closer look. The mysterious woman introduced herself simply as the High Priestess. The Magician was the first to notice that the box had a door on top and mentioned it to his friends. "What's inside?" asked the Hierophant. "LIFE," replied the High Priestess. "What is LIFE?" the Magician queried. "Oh," sighed the Star wistfully as she wandered over to the group, "It's anything you want it to be." "I like that," said the Fool. The Magician looked at the surface of the table in front of the High Priestess and saw 78 cards spread out. Before he could open his mouth, the Priestess said, "KEYS." "Ahhhh," deduced the Magician, "these keys open the way to Life. I wonder how it works!" "Be careful," warned the Moon, "Things aren't always how they appear." "I'll unlock the box!" declared the Hierophant. The Hierophant moved the Magician out of the way and sat down at the table across from the Priestess. "These keys," began the Hierophant "are tools and instruments of my faith. If I arrange them according to my beliefs, I will certainly unlock it." "Yes!" cried Strength, "Belief will surely do it!!" "I like that." said the Fool. So, the Hierophant began arranging the cards according to his beliefs and slowly began to build a tower around the sphere of light, positive in the feeling that it would act as a conductor, focusing the energies of his faith, and that power would unlock the box. It took him some time to pick and arrange just the right cards and after 3 hours he finally placed the last card. Boom!! There was a loud, thunderous crash and a flash of light. The card tower exploded and all the cards fell to the ground. The Magician laughed and moved the Hierophant out of the way to take his place. "These keys," began the Magician, "are tools and instruments of my thoughts. If I arrange them according to the systems I have worked out in my head, I will certainly unlock it." "Yes!" cried the Emperor, "A systematic order will surely do it!" "I like that," said the Fool. So, the Magician began arranging the cards according to his ideas in three little piles, positive in his reasoning that if he juggled the correct combination around the sphere it would focus the energies of his thoughts and that would unlock the box. It took him some time to pick and arrange just the right cards and after 3 hours he finally placed the last card and began to juggle them in figure-eights. Boom!! There was a loud thunderous crash and flash of light. The card configuration exploded and all the cards fell to the ground. The Magician shook his head and stood up, leaving a space for someone else to try. The Fool stepped forward and picked up all the cards. "I like these," said the Fool, and he put them in his backpack. The Fool then leaned forward, reached out, opened the lid to the box and fell in. The Magician and the Hierophant stared at each other in astonishment and then looked back at the High Priestess. She smiled serenely and said, "I never said it was locked."

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Good Mail Again, and An Evil Plan

Yesterday afternoon I got another art-swap piece in the mail. Take a look: Analogous New York Beauty by Leslie Blair Gallagher I love Good Mail days! It was a doubly (triply??) good mail day because I also finally got two new Tarot decks that I'd pre-ordered so long ago that I'd almost forgotten about them! Tarot of White Cats and Tarot of the Secret Forest I don't think I'm going to be using the Tarot of the Secret Forest for reading because it just doesn't speak to me that way....too murky. But from an art point of view it's very cool. Rather than having a standard back like most card decks, there are images on both sides --- a color image on one side (albeit very muted, woodsy colors in this case), and the reverse side is a print of a black-n-white ink sketch of the same scene. I was surprised to find, color junkie that I am, that I prefer the b/w drawings in most cases! The Tarot of the White Cats, on the other hand, which I bought mainly as a novelty because I have a thing for cat or dog Tarot decks, is surprisingly clever and readable! I found the same thing about the Baroque Bohemian Cats deck I bought a few months ago. I love when that happens! And finally, since Debra shared her Plan For World Domination, I'll share my evil plan with you too.

Congratulations on being the creator of a new Evil Plan (tm)!

Your objective is simple: Soul Accumulation!

Your motive is a little bit more complex: To Show Them ALL!! (bwahahahahaaaa!!)

Stage One: To begin your plan, you must first Kidnap a Town Mascot. This will cause the world to sit up and take notice, stunned by your arrival. Who is this Nightmare beyond Comprehension? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good in Classic Black?

Stage Two: Next, you will Seize control of the Moon (ooh, tides!). This will cause countless hordes of Computer Programmers to flock to you, begging to do your every bidding. Your name will become synonymous with Sheer Dementedness, as lesser men whisper your name in terror.

Stage Three: Finally, you will Demonstrate your Great Supernatural Forces, bringing about an End to Sanity. This will all be done from a Floating Fortress, an excellent choice if we might say. These three deeds will herald the end, and the citizens of this planet will have no choice but to elect you their new god.

Trust us, it'll all come together in the end.

Expert assistance in forming evil plans can be found here!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Shoes, Studio, (too)Slow, and Scotty

How is it that I managed to go to Toronto (albeit several years ago) and never knew they were home to The Bata Shoe Museum? What a brilliant idea for a museum, eh? I NEED to go there some day! No studio work today other than cleaning up from the postcard-making-frenzy and looking (unsuccessfully, I'm afraid, at least so far!) for a design sketch I'd done a while back and thought I might want to revisit. Oh well, we all have those kinds of days. Stay tuned... I've been watching for DAYS for Pamela Allen's postcards to show up on the ACS auction page and still managed to be too late to get one. Aaaarrgghh!! Anyone else have better luck? And finally, I just want to mention how sad I was to hear that James Doohan, aka Montgomery "Scotty" ("I can't change the laws of physics, man") Scott passed away Wednesday. He's the only member of the original Star Trek cast that I ever saw in person, when he gave a guest lecture at the college I attended. To this day I couldn't tell you what he talked about, but that didn't matter. He could have read the phone book and I'd have been interested because he was SCOTTY. He will be missed.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Postcard Thang - Updated!

After I posted yesterday, I heard from Virginia and I got the postcard I wanted. I am (or soon will be, anyway) the proud new owner of "Postcard #13" by Liz Berg! Yay Me!! I saw a few others throughout the auction that I would have loved to own, but it seemed like every time I saw a card I really wanted someone beat me to it, so I'm thrilled to have finally gotten a yes answer on one, and to have it be by one of the artists whose work was going lightning-fast too. YES! I hadn't intended to make any postcards for the auction myself, since a) I'd never made a fabric postcard and b) wasn't really sure I particularly WANTED to make one and c) also wasn't sure anyone would want to buy it if I did. But I'm so excited to see the donation number climbing on Virginia's site, that I changed my mind and decided to try it after all and see if I could finish a couple of things just under the wire and maybe help push that number a little higher. The first thing I did this morning was pulled out that little botanical color study I did earlier this month because I remembered it was the right size. So it was a simple matter to add a few seed beads and a postcard back and TaDa!...almost-instant fabric postcard. Then I made three little shoe quilt postcards. I'm calling this series Lime-Aid, since the shoes are all lime green and I made them to hopefully aid in raising money for the American Cancer Society. Here they are: Lime-Aid 1: Margaritaville Lime-Aid 2: Lime Wedge Lime-Aid 3: Dreams So, assuming Virginia wants these and I can get them to her in time, if you want a little DebR shoe quilt postcard, you know where they'll be! Guess I'll have to change that to "where they were". Virginia posted them this evening and they all sold. That was fun! :-)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Two Good Mail Days in a Row

Check it out... This quilt --- dyed, pieced, then painted and quilted by Marion Barnett, arrived yesterday. Pretty cool, yes? Marion chose "Trifetti" in return. I also just sent off a "bid" on a postcard in Virginia's ACS Fundraiser, but I won't say which one until I hear if I get it or if someone beat me to it. So far the ones I've loved the best have all been sold by the time I see them. Obviously I'm not checking that page as many times a day as I need to! Gee, and here I thought I was pretty darn obsessive. :-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Finished Booking and Good Mail

Well, I did it. I finished HP6 before going to bed last night. Yay me! I won't say anything about it though, other than to say I liked it. No spoilers here! Now I'll get back to the book I was reading pre-Harry, and then maybe later this summer I'll start at the beginning of the HP series and read them all, ending with reading number six more slowly, so I can savor it instead of gulping it down at double speed! I got Good Mail yesterday! I didn't sign up for the whole art swap thing on a certain huge list that so many of us know, but I had mentioned in passing on a smaller list I'm on that I would be open to the idea of doing swaps for smaller works and a few people responded. I sent out some stuff last week and got my first piece back yesterday --- this wonderful Luna moth quilt by Karen Cote. It's hard to tell in the photo, since I took it against a black background, but the lower wing of the moth comes of the edge of the quilt. And there's all sorts of texture and dimension and beading. Yum! Thank you, KC! I love it! Now I just need to decide where to display it. (It's just pinned to my design wall at the moment, which is only very temporary!) If anyone wonders what KC chose in exchange, you can see a photo here. Ok, now that I've gotten Harry out of my system for the moment, it's back to the stooooodio for me today!

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Harry Potterish Day

Like a huge number of other people, I got the latest Harry Potter book on Saturday. I was in the middle of another book I'm enjoying, so I wasn't planning to read it until I'd finished the current novel, (and was even considering re-reading the earlier HP books before reading the latest one), but I've seen so many near-spoilers in the past couple of days that I decided I'd better go ahead and read the damn thing before some big-mouth spoils it for me. So I started it last night, finished around 250 pages before going to bed. Today I plan to blow off doing anything useful and sit on my ass reading until I finish it. Despite being long, it's a quick read, so hopefully by tomorrow I'll done and can get back to the other book I was reading AND to working some more on the little quilt I barely started on Saturday. In the meantime, before I disappear, here are two more photos from kristen. The first one is so that you can see the 'shape-i-ness' of Irene's quilt. The second pic is just one I loved, of Irene and her Nana (aka Mrs. K, aka Susan) painting the very beginnings of tree trunks on Irene's newly-pink room. Ok, off to read.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

"Not Quite Irene" Updated (with photos!)

I got an email from kristen yesterday afternoon that the package had arrived. Yay! And despite my feeling that I didn't quite get the quilt "right", it turns out that I got it close enough that both Irene and her little brother, Rhys, knew exactly who it was supposed to be. :::beam::: kristen sent lots of pics, along with commentary about what the kids said. Here are three of my favorites: Irene: "It's ME! It's SO beautiful! Oh look! It's when I was the dinosaur. And she made my curlies too." Irene: "It makes me feel all the loves. I want to keep it with me and snuggle with it." Rhys: "It's Rene Bean! It's my RENEBEAN!" (I must mention here that when kristen was pregnant, I tried really hard to talk her into naming her as-yet-unborn son 'Igon Spengler DeHaan [name that movie!!] but for some reason she thought 'Rhys' would be cuter! Go figure! [grins]) Thanks for the photos, kristen. I feel all the loves too.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Fun With Faces --- Updated!

The other day, I cruised through Davezilla's blog and noticed the link to the St. Andrew's Face Morpher. It's a website where you can upload a photo of yourself (or someone else) and then "morph" the photo using options in a drop-down list. You can make the person in the photo look older or younger. You can masculinize a woman's face or feminize a man's. You can see how that face would look if the person had a different racial background. And then there's the one that I had the most fun with --- seeing how a famous artist might have interpreted that face. So far there are only three artists on the list: Modigliani, Boticelli, and Mucha. (According to the folks at St. Andrew's, Mucha would have made me look really Gaaaaah-geous!!) I'd love to see them add more! Wouldn't it be fun to see your face as Van Gogh might have painted it? DaVinci? Sargeant? Picasso? Cezanne? Renoir? Kahlo? Magritte? Rembrandt? An ancient Egyptian tomb painter? I plan to check back now and then, hoping they'll eventually add more artists to the list. My only disappointment with it, other than wanting more choices, is that I can't save any of the images. Right-clicking won't work. In theory there's supposed to be an option to save the images you create, but it doesn't seem to want to work with my browser and/or server. 11:00 PM news update --- Thanks to Carol, who shared a lesson in capturing a screen-shot, I managed to save some photos. Yay, Carol!! Here is the photo I started with, along with the three "artist-styled" versions. I know my photo looks like a bad mug shot, but was nearly midnight, my face was make-up-free, my hair was uncombed, and since Johnny was already asleep and the dogs and cat don't have opposable thumbs, you get one of those "hold the camera out at arm's length" photos. Clockwise from top left: Real-me, Modigliani-me, Mucha-me, Boticelli-me Oh yeah...and I found out that if I was a man, I'd look like a vaguely creepy red-haired Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG1. Even J agreed it's true. Ok, here we go, another update. (And I really can't believe I'm posting this, vain creature that I am, but here goes.) Take a look and tell me if I don't look like Michael Shanks', aka Daniel Jackson's, much less attractive, rather creepy, possibly sunburned, red-haired brother when I morph my photo into a man. Man-me (the brother with the "great personality" [NOT]) and "Daniel Jackson" (the brother who would obviously be getting all the dates!) Ok, I'm off. I have a small quilty idea I want to explore and my hubby and I have a date tonight, so I need to get some work done this afternoon. Didn't get much done on the quilty project, but I did make a start. J and I went to a movie (Fantastic Four) and out to dinner (Mexican food). I liked both! Later 'gators...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Hanging Out In The Land Of Not Coping

Even though I was only gone one night, I'm feeling overwhelmingly behind on EVERYTHING today. The house is a mess. There are piles of laundry to do. I don't know what I'm fixing for supper tonight. I have done NOTHING quilty since Tuesday and really don't even know what I want to do once I take time to work. I'm waaaaay behind on both personal and list emails. And to top it all off, our oldest dog, Tansy, isn't doing well at all these days and J and I are starting to have The Talk about quality of life and hanging on versus letting go and how to decide when the time is right to choose one over the other. So in my best Scarlett "I'll think about it tomorrow" O'Hara tradition, I'm blowing off writing anything particularly relevant today and instead am posting my Debified version of a Meme I found on Diane Wilkes' blog. The DebR "I Don't Want To Deal With Life Today" Meme (with pictures) *Twenty years ago, I was --- in Colorado on vacation with my former college roommate, horseback riding, rafting, sleeping under the stars. (This is one of the few years where I know exactly where I was mid-July!) Here are a couple of photos of me in 1985... Standing in front of the Arkansas River, about to go whitewater rafting And learning how to barrel race In a more general sense for the year, I was single, living in the Cincinnati area, and working 2 jobs - one in retail and one in an office. This was about a year before I met my now-husband. *Ten years ago, I was --- living in Somerset, KY, married, working as a receptionist for a veterinary practice (I liked that job!), and making traditional quilts. I also think of '95 as the last year my family life felt "normal", as 1996 was when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I spent my anniversary that year ice fishing in Ontario (how romantic...snort!) This was during my long-blond-hair phase. *Five years ago, I was --- well, here and pretty much doing what I do now, except that I was running up to Cincinnati to see Mom almost every week. I was starting to get away from traditional quilt patterns a little. I had most of my hair cut off late in 1999, but it was still blond. Here's Johnny and me, with our friends Morven and Kerry in 2000 *One year ago, I was --- still here! :-) It was about this time last year that I dyed my hair RED and loved it. Morven came back from NZ for a visit in the fall of last year. Don't we make great bookends? DebR, Nancy, Bev, Morven *Yesterday, I --- drove home from Cincinnati, got my hair trimmed, bought groceries. *Today, I --- did laundry, wasted time on this meme. Heh. *Tomorrow, I --- get the newest Harry Potter book, along with about 40-gazillion other fans! *Five snacks I enjoy are --- oatmeal cookies, tortilla chips with hot salsa, popcorn, apples with peanutbutter, pretty much anything chocolate. Pretty sad, yes? I WANT to say veggies, but I went with honesty instead. Sigh. *Five bands/artists that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs are --- Journey, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, REO Speedwagon. I now feel very old. *Five things I would do with $100,000,000 would be --- eliminate all our debts, invest some for the future, try to help some of my favorite people, TRAVEL! Oh wait...that's only 4...ok, shoes. There, that's 5. *Five locations I would run away to would be --- New Zealand, Italy, Greece, Hawaii (especially Maui), an island in the Caribbean (not that picky about which one!). *Five things I like doing (I'm going to list only non-quilty things, cuz I think the quilty things are a given) are --- reading, watching movies, playing cards/games, working puzzles, doing silly computer quizzes!!! *Five things I would never wear include --- a bikini (the world is SO not ready to see that), a thong (I'd rather go commando than deal with butt floss), wool (itchy!...I'm allergic), argyle (I think it's ugly), blue eyeshadow (it clashes with my eyes). *Five TV shows I like (ever) include --- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Joss Whedon is a god), Firefly (JWiag), Angel (JWiag), Star Trek (any of 'em...pick one!), Northern Exposure *Five TV shows I like (current) include --- Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Rock Star: INXS *Five movies I like include --- American Dreamer, A Fish Called Wanda, Groundhog Day, My Cousin Vinny, The Full Monty (and so many, MANY more!...I started with comedies and didn't even dip into musicals, drama, scifi...). *Five famous people I'd like to meet (living) include --- Joss Whedon, Hilary Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Dean Koontz, 'most anyone from the Artful Quilters blog ring (Ok, admittedly that last one is kind of cheating, but still...) *Five famous people I'd like to meet (historical) include --- Amelia Earhart, Rachel Jackson, Jane Austen, Elizabeth I, Cleopatra *Five biggest joys at the moment include --- spending time with people I love, laughing at the sight of my dogs at play, reading a really super fantastic story, getting into the groove of making a quilt that feels RIGHT, blogging! *Five people I'll tag include --- no one, because I never send these things to people. But if you read this and feel like doing it too, I'd love to read it!

Thursday, July 14, 2005


It's over, I'm home, it wasn't as bad as I was afraid it was going to be. In fact, I'd have to say Grandpa was pretty much on his best behavior yesterday. (And so was I.) Whew! My dearest darling was out of town, so he isn't in the photo below, but here's the rest of the clan: Me, Ruby (step-grandma), Grandpa, Sandy (sis), Andy (bro-in-law), Merle (step-mom), Dad And here's a photo the ruler of the Keeton household, my "step-dog" Teddy, on Dad's lap. He's half Pomeranian and half Chihuahua (Teddy, that is, not Dad) and he runs circles around my big dogs when he comes to visit. And last-but-not-least, my reward to myself for playing nice (c'mon, you KNEW this was coming, right?): Nothing says "yay me" like gold flip-flops...aaaahhhh! (smile)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

You Can't Choose Your Family...

...but thank goodness you can choose your friends. My grandpa Keeton and his new-ish wife have come up to visit my dad and his new-ish wife, so I'm taking off for a familial visit. I hereby resolve to stand up for myself, yet try to hold my temper when my grandpa, who I know loves me, but who is the worlds biggest pain in the patootie and knows how to push ALL my buttons, tells me every single little thing that's wrong with my life (in his not-so-humble opinion). Sigh. I just keep trying to remind myself that he's old, set in his ways, not about to change, and that he's my only remaining grandparent. It's ok to love him without always liking him very much or agreeing with ANY of his opinions. Did I mention that he's a Republican? And a bigot? And a homophobe? And a fundy Christian? And that we each pretty much believe that the other is completely and totally wrong about every single thing under the sun?? Um, yeah. Fun times. Ok, breathe, Deb,'s only one day out of your life. Photos to follow...maybe. If I remember. Heh. Talk to you all in a day or two.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Not Quite Irene

I finished the new little quilt I've been working on the past few days. Yay me! And I'm going to go ahead and post pics because it's no longer a surprise. Here's the story... Not long ago, my friend Kristen's daughter, Irene, had her first-ever dance recital, where she danced to "Walk the Dinosaur". Kristen sent me a link to a wonderful little video of Irene's dance, as well as sending me a couple of snapshots of Irene in costume, including this one: Irene in her dinosaur dance costume All this coincides with Kristen's family moving to a new home, so I decided to make a combination housewarming gift/dance recital keepsake and turn Irene's adorable photo into a small portrait quilt. My original plan was to just send it and surprise Kristen, but when it was finished this afternoon, I was frustrated and disappointed to see that I really hadn't done what I set out to do. Oh, the quilt is ok, if you don't know who it's supposed to be. But I didn't really capture the Real Irene. I don't mean photo-realism; that was never what I was going for. But when I get a portrait just right, there's a spark of personality there that says to me "yes, that's it" and this one doesn't quite have it. It says to me "anonymous cute brown-haired girl" instead of saying "Irene". So I sent an email to Kristen telling her what was up and showing her the photo and asking her if she wanted a "not quite Irene" portrait or if I should toss it. Kristen said she wanted it and told me that "while it's not quite irene, it's very much irene at the same time!" So, there we go..."Tiny Dancer" (my original name for it) aka "Not Quite Irene" (the name I will always associate with it!) will be on its way to Nevada tomorrow and Kristen gave me permission to post both Irene's real photo and a photo of the quilt here on RSR. Tiny Dancer aka Not Quite Irene As I told Kristen earlier, I remember now why I so seldom draw children. Adult faces are much easier!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Quilts, Books, "Sacred Fabric", and Accents (whew!)

Quilt Progress The latest quilt on the design wall is coming along ok. I think. It's at that weird, formless stage where it doesn't really quite match the vision in my head and yet it hasn't really taken on a shape and identity of its own yet. But I have faith that it'll get there. Stay tuned... Books I've finished a couple more books in the past few days --- "Superstition" by Karen Robards, and "Undead and Unappreciated" by Mary Janice Davidson. "Superstition" is a murder mystery with a (very slight) supernatural twist. I found one aspect of the solution to the mystery to be slightly unsatisfying, but it wasn't a huge issue and I don't want to say more because it would be a spoiler. Other than that, I liked it enough that I plan to try more books by this author. I'd recommend it if you're a fan of mysteries that tend toward the romantic suspense side of the genre. "Undead and Unappreciated" is the third in a series of hilarious novels about Elizabeth Taylor (no, not THAT Elizabeth Taylor!); a.k.a. Elizabeth I, Queen of the Vampires; a.k.a. Betsy, who would much rather go shoe shopping than be queen of anything, especially a bunch of boring, icky, dead people. Need I say more? For fans of Janet Evanovich or Jennifer Crusie...picture if Stephanie Plum became a super-vamp and you have a general idea of what these books are like. "Sacred Fabric" I noticed in the comments section of Jenny's latest blog post that Sonji asked, "Do you ever have trouble cutting into a nice big piece of delicious fabric? " So I you? Do you have any fabric that's so superfantastic that you can't bear the thought of cutting it and using it? At its most extreme, that's what I refer to as "sacred fabric". I used to be much worse about doing that --- putting certain fabrics on a pedestal --- than I am now. Now I'll pretty much cut into anything. I may ruin it, but if I do, better me than whoever gets my fabric after I die. HA! The one and only sacred fabric currently in my stash is a one-yard piece of rainbow-hued Artfabrik that was a birthday gift from my friend and CosmicTwin, Morven. (I would love to turn her name into a link to her website or blog so you could see her lovely self and her quilts, but she doesn't have a website or blog! hint...hint... [grins]) Maybe someday I'll use that fabric in something, but for now it gives me more pleasure to look at it in one piece than it would to cut it up. Accents Speaking of Morven, she sent me a link to a really cool website this morning. Well, actually for me it was the middle of the night when she sent it, but that's because she lives in New Zealand, which is currently 16 hours ahead of Kentucky in the whole time zone thing. She's from NZ originally, but spent three years in 'tucky, which is when we met and became friends, but now she's back in KiwiLand. (sob!!) Anyway, it's a website where you can listen to dozens and dozens of people from around the world all reading (in English) the same short paragraph and hear the differences in the various accents. The one from Wellington sounds just like Morv's accent to my ears. There's one from Louisville, but while I think it sounds like many Kentuckians I know, I don't think it sounds quite like me. But bear in mind, I actually grew up in southern Ohio, in the Cincinnati area, and have lived in Wisconsin, Missouri, and North Carolina before landing in Kentucky. So while I think of Kentucky as home, I'm not actually FROM here. I think the recording from Columbus, Ohio, sounds a bit closer to my accent, but isn't quite right either. Maybe I need to record for them, so they have a Cincinnati-native sample! Do any of them sound like you?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

What Kind of Blogger?

I started a new quilt project yesterday (yay me!) but I can't show in-progress pics this time because it's a secret surprise for a friend. I know said friend sometimes reads RSR, and the design of the quilt is such that it would be a dead give-away who it's for if she saw it, so you'll all just have to trust me that I'm doing some studio work and wait for the end result to see a photo. HA! Meanwhile, back in Blogland... I appreciate the feedback from Michelle and Gabrielle about "One Hundred Years of Solitude" but I still have my doubts that it's my kind of book. It's described as "magic realism". The last book I read that was classified that way was "Like Water For Chocolate". That book was also widely acclaimed and had tons of positive reviews, both from critics and from friends of mine, but I hated it. Really. I had to force myself to finish it and in the end I found it arty-in-a-bad-way and pretentious, and felt like I had wasted my time. I know that's probably hopelessly shallow of me, but so be it. I REALLY suspect from the descriptions and reviews I've read that I'd have exactly the same reaction to "One Hundred Years of Solitude". But who knows? I've been wrong before! So maybe I'll check it out of the library one of these days and give it a try. I DO appreciate the comments about it. Before reading them I wouldn't have even put it on my "maybe" list of books to read. I took a quiz this morning called "What Kind of Blogger Are You?" and I think they nailed this one.
You Are a Life Blogger!
Your blog is the story of your life - a living diary. If it happens, you blog it. And make it as entertaining as possible.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Book Quiz (and others!)

When I was waxing rapturous about the Return of Unkymoods, I mentioned the book quiz I took after reading about it on Joshilyn's blog and Lisa asked, "Ooooh, but we MUST know... what book was it?" It was "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I haven't read the book, so maybe I'm misjudging it, but it quite frankly sounds like one I would detest. On the other hand, when I went back and took the quiz again, changing one answer early on so that I ended up getting a different series of questions, "my" book turned out to be "The Return of the King" by J.R.R. Tolkien. That answer made me much happier. :-) I took the other Blue Pyramid quizzes while I was there too. It turns out that.... If I were a country, I'd be Mexico. If I were a US state, I'd be California. If I were an animal I'd be a pelican. Anyone else want to try? You can find all four quizzes at the Blue Pyramid website. (Scroll about halfway down the page for links to all four.)

On Freedom

I seldom post about politics, but because I so appreciated the editorial Gerrie posted on her blog today, I just have to share another link with you. It's an editorial that appeared in our small local weekly (The Flemingsburg Gazette) this past week and is called "On freedom...and tolerance" If you have time, you might want to read some more of Mr. Townsend's editorials while you're there. He takes a LOT of heat for expressing his unabashedly liberal opinions here in our extremely right-wing-conservative rural county. This is very much a "praise the Lord and pass the ammunition" sort of area and he's been called "unAmerican" and "unpatriotic" more times than I can count for trying to tell the truth about the current administration and for urging people to become informed and to take action. But every week he keeps right on saying the things so many people don't want to hear. Kind of reminds me of some "unpatriotic" men who eventually wrote a little thing called the Declaration of Independence.

Unkymoods Is Back!!

Never mind that the world is being overrun with crazy people. Never mind that I got my blood results back today to find out that my triglycerides are twice what they should be, and my blood sugar numbers are wildly erratic (and that's with meds and after doing the 20 days of virtue thing...gggrrr), and they aren't quite sure where the results of the CA-125 test even ARE. Never mind that my body has decided to revert to menstrual cycles that remind me of the ones I had when I was a teenager (NOT a good thing). Never mind that a quiz I took today after reading about it on Joshilyn's blog tried to tell me that if I was a book I would be one that I refuse to read because it sounds both weird AND depressing. I could handle weird and fun. I pretty much AM weird and fun, or so I'm told. But weird and depressing? No thanks. But NO! Never mind ANY of that. Unkymoods is back to brighten up Blogland and I will now sleep peacefully one more night. Welcome back, little Unkymoods icon. I missed you.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Happy Birthday, Sandy!

On a MUCH happier note, 30-something years ago today, my baby sister made her grand entrance to planet Earth. She spent the first few years bugging the crap out of me, as little sisters tend to do, but has now become one of my favorite people in the world and I don't know what I'd do without her. Here's a photo of the two of us, along with our brother, Mark, just a couple of years after that big event. (You even get to see my original hair color. HA!) Happy Birthday, Sandy! I love you and I hope you have a wonderful day.

What To Say?

I thought about posting something last night about the horrible acts of terrorism in London, but I just couldn't do it. And I won't say much today other than to say that my sympathies are with everyone who was injured and the families of those who were killed. I also have to say how much I admire the attitude of the British people who are determined not to let the cowards who did this awful thing interfere in their lives any more than they already have. That sentiment is expressed forcibly in "A Letter To The Terrorists, From London", printed yesterday by The London News Review. You have to love that kind of courage and determination. I'll be thinking of you, Londoners.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

SUTIC* Exercise, Day 2

(*SUTIC=Shut Up The Inner Critic) I had multiple errands to run today, but did another mini fabric sketch, same rules as the one I did yesterday. This one is based on a photo I took of a winged sumac with it's chartreuse summer flowers. My results were way off from the actual photo, but that's fine. I like how it turned out. This one is about 5" x 6". AND, I have a possible quilt idea, other than these little sketches. Yay! It isn't the quilt I need to make for an exhibit I've committed to in the fall, but's only July. And at least it's an idea. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Hey, That Sewing Machine Thing Still Works After All!

It took until nearly dark to get rid of the stoooopid headache, but at least it wasn't one of those multi-day horrors. By the time I felt better I wasn't inclined to get into any sort of major project, but I was determined I wasn't going to let yet another day go by without doing SOMETHING creative, however small. I've been really avoiding doing any studio work the past few days as I wait for exactly the "right" idea to come along. Well the hell with that. I'm tired of listening to my inner critic. If I can't come up with a good idea, I'll just do a bad one. HA! So here was the challenge I set for myself --- Remember I said I took some color study photos on my walk yesterday? I decided to do a tiny (4 x 6") fabric "sketch" based on one of them, a photo of a sprig of butterfly weed that I stuck into the branches of a cedar tree. The catch was that I wasn't allowed to look at the photo before I started. I wanted it to be my quick and dirty impression of my memory of the photo, not of the literal photo itself, in an effort to tell my perfectionist side to shut up for a while. The end result isn't great art, but it doesn't totally suck rocks and it was fun to do. And I did the whole thing in about an hour and still get to post this and go to bed by midnight. Yay me! :-) So here are the pics below, of my fabric sketch and the photo it's based on. I wish I'd remembered that leaf sticking up through the center of the flower. That's cool! I did remember that the background would probably be more "accurate" if I made it dark instead of blue, but I wanted blue, so there. Here's hoping it shakes something loose. But if not, I'll think of another Shut Up The Critic Idea tomorrow.

Thinking Up A Title Is Too Hard Today

I'd love to say I have something marvelously clever to blog about today, but the truth is that while I feel emotionally better than I have the past few days, physically I'm fighting a bad headache that's trying hard to go migraine on me. If I could still use my Unkymoods characters, I know just which one I'd choose. BTW, for other Unkymoods fans, that domain is now showing "under construction" so I'm not going to give up yet. I have my fingers crossed that the artist is just moving hosts and redoing his website and not that his domain has been let go and overtaken by someone nasty. I took some photos last night on my walk, including some color studies of plants and an "arm stretched out" self-portrait, but I don't feel like dealing with editing and uploading right now, so we'll save those for later in the week. I also finally may have a spark of a quilt idea, but you'll have to wait on that too. Hopefully my eyes will focus better soon. Gggrrr.... In the meantime, if you want to see a rather wonderful collection of quilts made by artists in Western Canada, take a look at the Fibre Art Network website, at both the gallery and exhibit pages. I browsed through them while having coffee this morning and enjoyed it immensely --- nice range of styles!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Neurotic Natterings

In glancing back over yesterday's post, I realize I didn't even mention WHY the Manolo mentioned my site, but I'm sure y'all figured out it was because of the sisters shoe quilt. I'm not surprised I forgot to say what the link was for though. It's been that kind of, well, not a week yet, but more than a day....that kind of Past Few Days I guess. I've been feeling very scattered and restless and unfocused and I'm not sure why. I'm feeling uncomfortable in my skin. I'm having trouble concentrating on anything. I start things and then abandon them, barely realizing I'm doing it until I wander back later to realize I've left something half-done. I make "to-do" lists and then forget to look at them. I feel a distinct urge to walk into the back yard and lift my face to the sky and scream until my throat is hoarse but I don't want to scare the shit out of anyone. Is it hormone fluctuations? A weird alignment of the planets? Emotional "seepage" from all the bad stuff going on around the planet? Who knows. I know it doesn't seem to be JUST me. It seems like several people I know, both online and face to face, are going through an emotionally weird time right now. I just know I'm SO ready for it to stop. I want to feel good again. I want to be calm and productive and a unrepentant smartass. I want to feel like me again. I have things to do, dammit! Oh well, never mind. I'll get over it eventually. I always do. In the meantime... Here's a link if anyone wants to see the "Rent" trailer I was talking about yesterday. Ever since I saw it, I keep going around singing "Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes, how do you measure, measure a year?...." And here's the trailer for Joss Whedon's "Serenity". I am seriously considering hiding for a while in another movie today because I am just so piss-useless for anything else at the moment!! Bleah!! Oh...well except maybe for puzzles. The average solve time for today's Jigzone Puzzle of the Day was 11:33. The fastest time was 5:01. My time was 5:49. (That's for the 70-piece bulb version of the puzzle.) I never QUITE beat whoever it is out there that's faster than I am, but that's pretty damn close, yes? Maybe someday. Hey, we all need a goal, even temporarily-crazed-in-a-bad-way (as opposed to my usual crazed-in-a-good-way) artists.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Manolo, The Witch, and The Fun Reads

Thanks to the superfantastic Gerrie, I was blogged by the Manolo! That means I've had about 600 new visitors to RSR in the past couple of days. What fun! Maybe I should've dusted. I mentioned a couple of days ago that I planned to go to a movie. I ended up seeing "Bewitched" and it was very cute! Silly, of course, that's a given. But it was silly in a good way and I laughed out loud in spots, always a good thing. Well, ok, not ALWAYS a good thing. I can think of times when laughing out loud would be wildly inappropriate. But during a comedy movie it's a Good Thing. One of the interminable series of pre-movie trailers included the preview for "Rent". It looked SO good! I got teary-eyed just watching the preview, so I hate to think what I'll be like during the actual movie. It was strange though, seeing a story that's normally told on an nearly-bare stage, with not much more than scaffolding and folding chairs and tables for a set, translated into a real world sort of setting, with buildings and cars and extra people. Between "Rent" and Joss Whedon's "Serenity", I'm REALLY looking forward to the fall movie releases! I've finished two books in the past few days and I give them both a big thumbs up. For fans of fantasy novels, there is "Smoke and Shadows" by Tanya Huff, which brings back Henry Fitzroy (romance novelist, vampire, bastard son of Henry VIII) from the Vicky Nelson novel series, but pairs him with Tony Foster, a secondary character in the Vicky books. They're fighting an evil wizard from another world, who is known as the Shadowlord. My favorite line from the book is when Tony says "a world where Joss Whedon got canceled was exactly the kind of world where the Shadowlord could win". Ya gotta love it! I also just finished the latest Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich. This one is called Eleven On Top. In it, Steph has decided that bounty hunting is not for her and her life is going nowhere. So she quits her job and tries a series of new-but-not-necessarily-improved career options, while still dealing with the usual madness that is her life. It's hard to beat Janet Evanovich for screwball comedy and this one is no exception. Ok, now I suppose I'd better think about pulling myself away from the distractions and doing some real wo...hey!...something shiny!.....

Sunday, July 03, 2005

You Know You've Seen Entirely Too Many Episodes Of "What Not To Wear"...

....when you go out for a nice quiet Sunday lunch with your sweetheart and the running commentary inside your head sounds something like this:
"Oh man, that dress is MILES too long for her and at least a size too big. It's like a sack! Say it after me, honey - 'structure'. Ooh, the hot 'n' sour soup is good today! Ack! In WHAT UNIVERSE would anyone think it's ok to be seen in public in that hat when you aren't fishing?? That's just so wrong. And you could be such a nice-looking young man if you'd lose the hat and wear some shorts that actually freakin' FIT. Don't you WANT to get laid? Hhmmm...speaking of wrong, I have my doubts about this shrimp. I think we'll pass on the rest of the shrimp. Geeeeze, THAT skirt, on the other hand, is both too short and way too tight. Does your mama know you're out in public in that, girlfriend? Maybe I should introduce you to guy in the hat. The stirfry needs more broccoli. The shoes. Oh dear lord, would you just LOOK at all the ugly shoes. I could just weep. Oh, the pineapple is nice and fresh today! Yum!"
Don't worry, I didn't say any of it out loud (well except for the parts about the shrimp and the pineapple). But still.....I think I'm gonna lay off watching TLC for a little while. Sigh.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Bad News and Good News

The Bad: Where's Unkymoods?? Does anyone know where the Unkymoods site went? It just disappeared yesterday and still isn't there today. I sure hope it's just a temporary server glitch or something and that the artist hasn't decided to discontinue it without warning. Not that I'd really have a right to bitch, since it's something he does for free, but when has that ever stopped me? (snort!) I LOVE my little Unkymoods icon!! I miss her!! The Good: For Yarn and Thread Junkies Here's a new site for you to check out: Farm Fresh Textiles The owner, Cherie Ekholm, is a friend of mine. We've been on a couple of email lists together for years and even got some face time a couple of years ago when we both attended the Spring Quilt Festival in Chicago. She's been dyeing fabrics for years, but has recently gotten into dyeing yarns and threads in such a big way that she's decided to turn it into a business. The website is new, so she doesn't have a lot of stock yet, but what she has is YUMMY and she's dyeing and updating nearly every day, so check back often. She has a good eye for color and besides that she's just a really nice person! If you decide to place an order, I promise she'll treat you right. Other Stuff I should probably get some work done, but I've been so unhappy with everything I've tried the past few days that I'm seriously considering taking yet another Hooky Day to go see a movie. The almost-local cinema is showing "Bewitched" and "Batman Begins" and a couple of others that I can't remember right off-hand. Decisions, decisions...

Friday, July 01, 2005

Art Stuff and Shoe Report

Diane has started an interesting discussion about pictorial quilts over on her blog. I actually prefer the term "representational" since, by the definitions I use, pictorial quilts are representational, but not all representational quilts are pictorial. But whatever, semantics aside, if you haven't read Diane's post and the subsequent comments yet I encourage you to do so. Good stuff! Here's my take on representational art in general and representational** quilts in particular, FWIW. (**From here on rpl=representational, because I'm already getting tired of typing that word! HA!) I love rpl artwork, both viewing it and creating it, but for me the point of rpl work, whether painting or fiber, isn't to make the artwork look as much like the "real thing" as possible. Hundreds of years ago, before there was photography, I could see the point of that, but these days I think the camera does it better. So trying to make a painting or a quilt that looks EXACTLY like the object it's depicting is, IMO, a student project. There's nothing wrong with that. We have to have student projects to learn new skills. It's a helpful exercise in mastering the medium because it can force you to really SEE what you're looking at and figure out how to depict that in a way that fools the eye. Those are useful tools for an artist. But when it comes time to move past student work and on to creating our own artwork from the heart and mind, I want to see Reality With A Twist in rpl work. If there are a half-dozen artists creating a portrait of the same person, then I think every one of those portraits should look different, even if they're all recognizable as the model, because we all are hopefully filtering our vision through our own experiences and incorporating our own personal symbolism. Since Deborah asked to see a photo of my sister, Sandy, I'll kill two stones with one bird (hardee-har! Sorry, couldn't resist...that's a Keetonism) and give you an idea of what I mean. Below is the photo most of you have already seen of my last quilt "Sisters - Shared Soles". Directly below that is the snapshot I used as a reference for the pose and faces. I think you'll see that while the quilt image is recognizably my sister and me, I wasn't attempting to replicate the photo. I was using it a jumping-off point and from there I tweaked colors and lines and expressions, and popped it out of "reality" and into DebWorld where I used it to say something about my relationship with my sister --- about our shared obsession and our often uncannily-similar thought processes and attitudes. The photograph makes me smile. The quilt makes me smile, but not for the same reason. Others may "get" that or they may not, but that's ok, since as Gabrielle says, I make my art for myself. If others enjoy it too, that's wonderful. I'm egotistical enough to love positive feedback. But even if every other person who looks at it says "huh?", it was still worth making for what it says to me. And to Sandy. I knew she'd Get It. :-) And the Shopping Results Are... I listened to the helpful advice of my fellow bloggers and rewarded myself with some shoes yesterday. Two pairs, which means one shoe for each bruise. Instead of posting two pics, I just put a shoe from each pair on and took a pic. Here they are: I'm such a SparkleSlut. :-) It was lovely spending the afternoon with Sandy and the Indian food and frap were both yummmmmmy. Oh, and in case anyone wonders, Sandy bought a pair of pink pants, a GORGEOUS multi-colored filmy-floaty skirt, and yes, a pair of shoes. It was a Good Day. Oh, and before I close.... Happy Canada Day! to our northern neighbors. You guys go ahead and start the party and we here in the US will join you in a few days, eh?