Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Personal History, Week 5

The Paper Trail It used to be that all but the most wealthy or well-known of people might be born, live a full life, and die without leaving much more of a record of that life than a couple of lines in the family Bible, an entry in the local church baptismal records, and perhaps a mention or two in a census or tax record. The main record of their time on earth existed in the memories of those who knew them and cared for them. But these days nearly every person's life is documented from the day we're born until the day we die, and many, many of the days in between. Birth certificate, school records, diplomas, marriage license, driver's license, passports, published works, and much more - it all forms a trail allowing anyone who cares to look to connect the dots and form a picture of the path of my life so far. It's a bare-bones picture perhaps, but still...there it is for the world to see. Is all this documentation of our lives a mere record, or is it an anchor and chain? It says to those who come after me, "I was here. I lived. I learned. I moved. I created." But does that mean that without the paper trail I would disappear forever? It makes me think of the legend of the Manitou, who are sustained by human belief. If humans no longer believe, the Manitou start to fade away, as if they never were. How many things in our lives would become nearly insurmountable problems if our existence wasn't acknowledged by a network of computers and the records they generate? Am I more than just my paper trail? Of course I know I am. But I hope I never have to prove it to a faceless Bureaucracy. "Paper Trail" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) SPT, Personal History, Week 5

Bonus Art Thingy Photo!

Since my SPT entry today got me thinking about "trails", I decided to post another train track photo. This is my favorite stretch of tracks, yet again, but this one is looking the opposite direction of the ones I posted previously and it was taken on a day when there was just a skiff of snow scattered across the ground. I played with it in an attempt to give it the look of a still from an old silent-era movie. I like how it turned out. "Tracks from the Past"

Monday, January 30, 2006

Simple Still Life: Month the Fifth, Part the Second

Got it in before the end of the month - Yay me! To refresh your memory, the theme this month was "2 alike, 3 different". I started with two potential photos, but this is the one I ended up deciding to work with: I originally thought I would do something fabric-y based on this photo and I still might. (If I do, I'll post another photo when it's finished.) But in the meantime, the month was running out and I didn't want to feel like I had to rush the fabric piece, so I decided to do a drawing instead. I had, after all, mentioned wanting to post another drawing anyway, and this way I could kill two stones with one bird (Har!). So here ya go: "Rock Faces" graphite and colored pencil on paper February's SSL challenge should be fun. The theme is RED!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006


It's Sunday and I'm feeling kind of slow and out of sorts this morning, so y'all are mostly getting a fluff post, but before we open the jar of MentalMarshmallowCreme, I wanted to say thank you for the ideas left in the comments yesterday. As much as I'm fascinated by how rusty objects appear in photos, I've never been too interested in the whole idea of rust dyeing and making quilty pieces from the resultant fabric. But geeze, y'all are so enthusiastic about the whole idea that you're making me wonder if I'm missing something. Anyone want to steer me to a website with directions? (Clear, simple directions, preferably heavily illustrated!) If so, then I'll consider the idea. I wouldn't even have to sneak out in dead of night, Liz. Those pipes are some abandoned something-or-other that lurk behind our barn and that we've never bothered to haul away because a) it isn't in our way so why pay to haul it to the dump (Johnny) and b) it isn't in our way and it's kind of interesting-looking (me). Are we a pair of lazy packrats or what? (Don't answer that.) On to the Fluff Time for a quiz because a) it's been at least a week and b) I liked the results of this one.
You Are a Dreaming Soul
Your vivid emotions and imagination take you away from this world, so much so that you tend to live in your head most of the time. You have great dreams and ambitions that could be the envy of all... But for you, following through with your dreams is a bit difficult. You are charming, endearing, and people tend to love you. Forgiving and tolerant, you see the world through rose colored glasses. Underneath it all, you have a ton of passion that you hide from others. Always hopeful, you tend to expect positive outcomes in your life. Souls you are most compatible with: Newborn Soul, Prophet Soul, and Traveler Soul
Arty Thang of the Day Another photo, but tomorrow you get a drawing. It's finished, I just want to post it tomorrow instead of today because a) I can be perverse that way and b) there is no "b". I'm just going with a theme here. 'k? 'k! "Dreaming Water"

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Because I Don't Already Have Enough To Do (Heh)

Inspired (as I so often am!) by Julie, I've started a second blog where I can "file" just the images from my Daily Art Thangs and have them all organized in one place without any other commentary or extra "stuff". It's called Red Shoe Ramblings: 365 Days of Art. If you already read RSR, you won't find anything new there. I'm still going to post the Daily Art Thang here. But if you ever want to see just the photos all in one place, you can pop over and take a look. I've added the link to my sidebar, over there >>>>> underneath the link to my website. Speaking of the Art Thang, I kind of thought I might post a drawing today simply because it's been a few days since I've done that, but yesterday turned into One Of Those Days where I didn't get much accomplished, so that'll have to wait. Instead I'll post a slightly-altered photo that continues the theme of my fascination with Rusty Things: "Rusty Pipes"

Friday, January 27, 2006

Come Wander With Me (Someone Leave a Trail of Breadcrumbs, Ok?)

Vote for ME! Remember a few days ago when I posted my photo of the thread and fabric "landscape" for the Photo Friday challenge "Pink"? Well each week they feature a half-dozen photos they consider "noteworthy" based on viewer vote. If you think this photo is "noteworthy", then go to the Photo Friday website and look for the top center link where it says Vote. Voting will be open until midnight, CST, Sunday. My photo is entry #439. Simple Still Life? Not Quite Yet Today is the due date for January's Simple Still Life challenge, but um...I didn't quite make it. Oops. I am doing it though. I have an idea and it shouldn't take long to complete, so I plan to have something posted before the end of the month. And yes, I do realize that "the end of the month" is in four days. That's ok. Barring major Real Life complications, I can do it! What the ... ? I went to town yesterday. As I was wandering through a major discount chain store, (which shall remain nameless because I don't approve of them and I always feel guilty shopping there, but I don't really have choices coming out my ass here in Middle-of-Nowheresville so I stomp on my guilt until it's squished flat and then lock it away in a little tin box and go anyway), I just happened to walk casually past the shoe department. Yes, that's right, I said walk casually. I didn't go there on purpose. Sheesh. Who do you think I am?? Oh. Ok, never mind. Anyway, I had to do a bit of a double take when I saw an entire aisle lined with flip-flops. Yep. Flip-flops. January. Kentucky. Okaaaayyyy. Admittedly it's been an unseasonably warm January so far, but winter is far from over. And even unseasonably warm usually means accessories more like this: (I'm featuring that one for Deborah. I figure she'll like the color scheme. I have no idea what caused the weird shadow. It might have been my head.) Even Riley thinks it's cold enough to justify a fur coat: (gratuitous cute dog shot, inspired by Gerrie) Maybe they're merchandising toward those who are planning vacation get-aways someplace warm. In that case I don't think they're stupid, I just think they're hateful for reminding me that I can't do that this year. Hmph. And dare I admit I was really tempted by a pair of slides? They're peach-pink suede slides ferpetessake! I don't even wear that color. And those flowery things on the toes are just odd. But they represent the return of the sun. (They DO! Go with me on this one!) They represent hope. They represent how much I already want spring to arrive and it's not even the end of January and the winter has been very mild. Which means they may, just may represent a teensy sprinkling of seasonal madness lurking in my brain. Ahem. Speaking of Dog Shots (geeze, that sounds vaguely, well, BAD, doesn't it??) This is another photo of Riley that I played with to make it more abstract. "Riley in Shades of Gray and Tan" It is, as you've probably guessed, my Art of the Day post.

Comments on the Groovin' Grovin' Comments

First of all THANK YOU to all you who took the time to tell me you liked my "baby". ::::beam:::: It made me feel all warm-fuzzy-ish. And more importantly it makes me feel more motivated to do some more of the work instead of just doing my preferred winter activities. You remember those, right? The books, the movies? Yeah. I'll still be doing them too, but maybe I'll be doing some more sewing between now and Spring and that is an improvement for me over some years when I don't lay a finger on fabric for 3 or 4 months at a time! Hope you don't mind this group reply, but when there are lots of comments, it's much simpler to do it this way than to try to respond individually. You're all pretty and you're my favorite visitors - you, and you, and you, and yes, you...over there! In response to a couple of comments: Arlee wrote: "HOW did you get the illusion of depth? Or is it real depth? Those trunks make it look as if they are in the foreground and you are looking through them to the forest--i can see the forest *and* the trees!!!" Did you mean this latest piece, Arlee? Or did you mean the original "Grove" quilt? This one is flat, but the first one in the series DOES have some 3D elements. The forest grove in the background is a separate quilt, while each individual birch tree trunk is a separate (from the background and from each other) finished piece which is wired on the edges, sort of like wired ribbon, and attached to the background with various depth spacers to make each one stand out a bit from the background quilt. I like the effect and may play with it again in the future, but it was certainly, well....technically interesting to accomplish! The next two in the "Grove" series just didn't feel to me like they needed that extra 3D element. Who knows when another quilt will demand that element though! I can definitely see myself revisiting that idea at some point. I'm fascinated by both the idea of introducing extra layers into what is already a "layered" medium" and by taking away those layers in areas and having see-through elements in quilts. (I've done that in several.) Karoda wrote: "Is the the 2nd in your seasonal series here?...the bright coloured sun is the heat of summer and now this which is all about winter!" Hhhmm...I've actually never thought of the sun series as seasonal, but I have no idea why because it certainly could be! I don't think of the "Grove" series as strictly a winter thing, but rather a series that is about the woods and spans the seasons. The original "Grove" includes elements of all seasons, while the second one is about the woods in spring and this latest one is about the woods in winter. Also, the original quilt was about something I saw in a dream, while the next two are inspired by things I saw in the real woods here on our property. But they still feel like they all go together to me. I hope I didn't miss anything that needed more of an explanation. Thanks again for stopping by and commenting, everyone! You made my day!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Quilt Content Ahead! Yeah, Baby!

Ok, y'all, I promised quilt content before the week was out and today is the day! Remember when I posted the photos of the nearly square branch-and-vine thingy I found in the woods the other day? Well this is the quilt inspired by those photos: "Grove III: Winter Glyph" (17" x 15") piecing and raw-edge applique, some fused, some not Here's a detail shot: "Grove III..." detail I kind of love how this turned out, so if you totally hate it, don't even tell me because it'd be like telling a new momma that she has an ugly baby. Heh. The colors are SO not my usual thing, but still...did I mention I love it? I have an idea for something else I want to work on in similar colors. Maybe even a couple of "something elses". Inspiration to work in fabric in January? ME? Ms. "Hibernate-'til-Spring"?? Be still my heart. Next thing you know I'll start liking snow. Naaaahhhhh.... PS: If you want to see pics of "Grove" and "Grove II", you'll find them here. PPS: Happy Birthday Dara!! Hope you have a truly wonderful day!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Project Runway: Project Inspiration

Ok, first of all, I LOVED the idea of this challenge - giving the designers digital cameras and an hour to take a bunch of random photos of anything that caught their eye and then challenge them to create a design based on their favorite photo. I thought it was, well...inspired! The execution of said challenge though? Um, not so much. The judges and I were in agreement about the top two best designs, but AS USUAL the one that would have been my pick to win came in second. I LOVED Andrae's "gutter water" evening dress. It looked elegant, expensive, and beautiful, and yet was very clearly based on his inspiration photograph. And it was also my favorite because his inspiration photo was something most of us would see as ugly and he made something beautiful out of it. I thought that was a very cool thing to do. The judges raved about how different the silhouette of Daniel's outfit was and yes, it was different, but I didn't think it was as flattering or wearable as Andrae's. And I thought his inspiration photo was "easier"...more obvious. Don't get me wrong, I liked Daniel's outfit. I thought he did a great job. But I would have been happier if he'd come in second. I also liked Nick's outfit, but didn't think it deserved to win because I think he was reeeeally stretching the idea that he was inspired by that photo. I could see nothing in common but the colors. And speaking of Nick...poor Nick and poor Nick's-former-model-Tara (is that the right name? I'm not very good with the model's names)!! They'd been a team for so long and worked so well together and she was forced, with NO SAY in the matter to go from working with one of the best designers to working with one of the worst. And I supposed that'll mean she's out next week because Daniel's model is excellent too, so I can't imagine he'd switch. It's SO not fair to her. Zulema totally deserved to go and I won't miss her a bit, but it sucks that she took Tara down with her. To start with, I thought it was UNinspired that Zulema would take her inspiration from another garment. And then she took that boring starting point and made something that looked like it came from a seventh grade home ec class. Sheesh. And now Nick is left with MarshmallowGirl for his model. Oy. At least she's willing to try harder for him than she tried for Zulema, so maybe she'll improve. I thought Kara's outfit was almost as bad as Zulema's. I wouldn't have been surprised or sorry if they'd dumped them BOTH this week. The only thing I could say for it is that it was sewn better. The fit of it on her model was horrid though. Boring AND bad fit? Come on, guys. It's getting a bit far into the competition for that, yes? And Santino. Ok, as much as I've ragged on him, I have to say I'm loving hearing his impressions of Tim Gunn. TOO funny. So I'm kind of glad he's still around. But his dress. ACK. He did TRY to listen to Tim and the judges this week, bless his little heart. It's more than he's done any other week. It is, therefore, extremely unfortunate that he ended up making something that looked like a poorly constructed knock-off of Austen's grammy dress from season one. What was UP with that weird paper-bag waistband? On an evening gown??? No, no, no...SO wrong. And that sort of wrap-halter-strap looking thing on the top that wasn't symmetrical, but not asymmetrical enough to look deliberate? What was up with THAT? It just looked like a mistake. It looks to me like Santino is currently hanging on by his curly little beard hairs. Being Mr. Drama can only carry him so far. Or at least that's what I HOPE. Oh, I almost forgot Chloe! Hhhmm...well...I'm afraid that pretty much says how I felt about her effort this week. Y'all know she's normally way up there in my list of favorites, but I thought her garment this week was, well...forgettable. Not BAD, just not especially good. I hope the Real Chloe is back next week, Tim's Tough Love talk notwithstanding. That's all the PR dish from me this week, kids. Later!

Random Items from the Junk Drawer of my Mind #5

1. Thank you to everyone who commented on my SPT post yesterday! In response to a few comments - yes, I wish I could have known all my great-grandparents better, including Great-Grandma Kizzie. 5 out of 8 of them were alive when I was born, but only 3 out of 8 lived long enough for me to have even vague, hazy memories of them. None of them were the sort to have diaries or journals, and there aren't many photos, so most of what little I know is from hearing about them from older family members. I'm not sure how much, if at all, my personality is like G-G K. Our lives were so radically different! She was the wife of a farmer and part-time fire-and-brimstone Baptist preacher, and the mother of 9 kids (or was it 10? I'd have to find a pic and count!) so I doubt she had much time for writing, or artwork, or even dreaming. Did she wish she had time for those things? Are they things she would have done if her life had taken another path? I don't know and I wish I did. 2. Proof that I've been doing a little sewing: "Ray of Sunshine 1", 6" x 4" It's just a little fabric postcard (one of a small series I finished yesterday) but it's Fabric! It's STITCHED, dammit! I have a non-postcard fabric something put together that I'm planning to start quilting today. Depending on how far I get, I *may* have photos to share tomorrow or Friday. 3. Take a look at what I saw from the back deck yesterday morning: "Fairy Frost" It looks like snow, doesn't it? But no, just an extremely heavy frost. I thought it was pretty. Here's another view looking toward the barn: "Frosty Barn" The sunspot in the upper right is a lucky accident, not a filter. Cool, yes? 4. Back to the topic of Self-Portrait Tuesday for a moment, I have no idea what I'm doing next week to finish out January (ok, that's a lie...I have an idea, I just haven't done anything about it yet and if it turns out to be a Crap Idea, I have no OTHER idea), but yesterday Kath posted the theme for February. "all of me" embrace your mistakes, love the ugly bits. (whimper) Hold me. I'm scared. I'm very, very good at Select-a-vision, y'all. It's what allows me to walk past herds of dustbunnies and teetering stacks of books for weeks at a time without doing anything about them. They aren't important to me at that moment, so I mentally tune them out and simply don't see them! (That drives J nuts, by the way. I know he's convinced that I'm being deliberately annoying when I do that, but really I'm not. I'm being naturally and unconsciously annoying. There's a difference! Heh.) Select-a-vision is also what allows me to ignore bags under my eyes, a sagging jawline, fat rolls, and much, much more, and choose to still see myself as attractive. And it took me a long, LONG time to get there. I look back on photos of myself when I was younger and thinner and firmer - more attractive by current standards of physical beauty - and I hated the way I looked then. I didn't like myself much at all. It took a lot of years of living for me to understand - TRULY understand, deep inside - that no one is perfect and that the less-than-perfect bits of me - both the physical and non-physical bits - didn't make me worthless. But I admit I did that not by embracing them, but by choosing to no longer see them. I clicked the Select-a-vision button on my mental remote control box and filed them away under "unimportant". And now Kath wants me to not only consciously LOOK at those sorts of things, but to share them with the world and yet still choose to see myself as attractive...To not merely dismiss the imperfections as unimportant, but to take them in and name them and embrace them and love them?? AAAaaaacccckkkkk!!!! I am horrified. Seriously. I'm freaking out a little bit here in my corner of Kentucky. And of course I don't HAVE to do it. But if it isn't difficult sometimes, it isn't really a "challenge" right? So. Well. Damn. I still hate it. I'm still scared. But I'm going to try. (whimper) We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Personal History, Week 4

Finding Myself in my Ancestors This isn't super-original I suppose, but I still like it. (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) On the left is one of my great-grandmothers, my father's mother's mother, Kizirah Blevins. On the right, obviously, is me. I don't have enough hair to quite nail the Gibson Girl 'do, but I did the best I could with what I have. My great-grandma Blevins, who died when I was just a baby, was notoriously camera-shy, so I only have two photos of her - this one (which is actually a photo of a photo!), taken in her early 20's and a family photo taken when she was in her 70's. I, as regular readers of RSR will know, am in my early 40's. Well, ok, almost mid-40's now. Sheesh! Still, allowing for the difference in our ages, I think the resemblance is pretty striking, yes? "Spanning the Generations"

Monday, January 23, 2006

Walk the Line (no, not the movie, just one of my usual play-on-words-crappola subject LINES - har!)

For the art of the day: yet another visit with the rusty circle thingy: "Shining Circles" (clickable if you want to see a larger version in a new window) This one is taken looking through the Thing from the opposite direction of the previous two photos, late in the afternoon when the sun was starting to get low in the sky but it wasn't yet sunset. I used a filter, obviously. I wanted it to be about line and about light and shadow, not about color. And speaking of things being about line and light and shadow (smooth, Deb, smoooooth), I sewed yesterday! Yay! And while the segue may not have been very original, it was accurate, because the fabric piece I'm working on is about some of those same things. (Should I have told you to sit down before I talked about the sewing thing? Oops.) I'm not ready to share pics yet. There's still a good chance I could fuque* it up today. But if all goes well I should be able to share some photos by mid-week or so. Fingers crossed, stay tuned, and all that rot... *Fuque: It means exactly what you think it means. But if I spell it "cute" it foils some of the icky search strings. HA!

And while I'm busy posting links

...you might want to check out this post, from Karen who lives in Prague. It's photos of a Mardi Gras parade and the costumes are just too fun. I'm kind of crazy about the Leaf Guys in the last couple of pics. Karen says "The costumes were, well, bizarrely wonderful and there is nothing (really, nothing) like hearing Ravel's Bolero played on a moving glockenspiel." Makes me want to visit Prague!

Some things you just have to share

If you've never followed the link in my sidebar to la vie en rose...a sweet life, then go now and read this poem. Seriously, GO. What are you still doing here? I'll catch ya later!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Gimme a Hand

Time to post a drawing, just because I said so. My blog, my rules. This is a sketch I did a few days ago, of my left hand holding an earring. "Two Purple Beads" It kind of sucks, although I wouldn't go quite so far as to say it sucks rocks. But the perspective and proportions are all wrong and I'm not entirely happy with the shading. But that's ok. Considering how long it's been since I did much drawing beyond quick-n-dirty quilt plan sketches, I'm bound to be rusty, so I choose to be pleased that it's remotely recognizable. Heh. Now to practice, practice, practice... Birthday wishes going out to the superfantastic Sonji! Hope your day is everything you wish for, Sonji! I'm almost afraid to say this lest I jinx it, but I pulled fabrics yesterday y'all. I have a PLAN. And it involves actual cutting and sewing of fabric. Yikes. Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Curses! Foiled Again!

I'm feeling a wee teensy bit bummed this weekend. (Cue sad violin music) You see I was supposed to go away for a couple of days and have a Girly Time Weekend with a couple of friends. We were going to go to fabric stores and bookstores (yes, bookstoreS...plural...I have a LIST, dammit!). We were going to see "Memoirs of a Geisha". We were going to play with Bev's new toy - a long arm quilting machine (oooooh!). We were going to eat too much, and drink too much, and laugh a lot (not laugh "too much" because there's no such thing). But at the last minute a problem came up for one of my friends and we had to cancel. It was nothing serious in a long term sense, everything will be fine in a few days. But in the short term it was something that made it impossible to have our Girly Time this weekend. So I'm home instead. Now don't get me wrong, I LIKE being home. It's truly one of my favorite places to be. But still, I'm bummed. It's like having your heart set on a fabulous gooey dessert at your favorite restaurant only to have the server tell you that they sold the last serving 5 minutes before you ordered. Nuttin' much in the ultimate scheme of things, sure, and no doubt better for your figure, but disappointing nonetheless. We're hoping to reschedule Girly Time very, very soon, so fingers crossed that it works out. But in the meantime it makes me feel better to have just the teeeeensiest bit of a whine about my disappointment. 'kay? 'kay! So, onward... (End violin music) Since yesterday was absolutely gorgeous - freakishly gorgeous for January in Kentucky in fact...it felt more like late April! - J and I spent about an hour in the afternoon taking another nice long ramble through the woods. You'll no doubt see many more pics as time goes by. Hey! I see you trying to sneak out there in the back! Get BACK here! You'll LIKE them. You WILL! Hmph. But for today I had to show you this: It's a dead tree that's fallen partly over the path and there's a wild grapevine on it and check out the bizarrely rectangular shape they've made! I took the above photo so that you could get some perspective by seeing J and a couple of the dogs on the path below, but here's a close-up: "WildWood Frame" I LOVE the lines of the intersecting branches and vines. They almost look to me like an oriental language character...like the shape should have meaning. This is going in my "quilt ideas" folder. One of these days I suppose I should actually MAKE something from my quilt ideas folder, yes? Um, yeah. FWIW, I did TOUCH fabric this week. In fact I did a little cutting, sewing, and fusing, starting what was intended to be a small project. But it's not to be. I hate it. It reeks. It sucks rocks. Loudly. I definitely need a Plan B on this one. Stay tuned.

Photo Friday: Pink

This week's Photo Friday topic: Pink "Pink" I wanted to create a still life with a landscape feel, using only pink fabric and thread found in my sewing area.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Daily Art Thang

I want to revisit the rusty circle tractor thingy for another version. "Geometry" This one is looking at it from the same direction as the photo I linked to above but instead of being about looking through the circles, I wanted to show the interesting geometric shapes of the shadow it casts, contrasted with my own more organic (and sort of headless!) shadow. Also, gotta wish a big happy birthday to Deborah and to Jaye! Hope you each have a wonderful day, preferably one that includes cake!!

Let's Face It...

...this is silly, but fun. What do Uma Thurman, Condoleezza Rice, Marie Trintignant, Greta Garbo, and Toni Morrison all have in common? They all look like me! Or rather I look like them. Or some small part of my features looks a teeny bit like some small part of their features. Heh. I was reading Julie's blog the other day and found the link to the "Find the Celebrity in You" thingy. This is a site where you can upload a photo of yourself, or if you're obsessively inclined like Certain People Who Shall Remain Nameless, but who happen to be writing this post, you can upload several photos of yourself and others, and computer face recognition software will compare your photo to a database of 2,400 celebrities, living and dead, and will tell you who the program thinks you most resemble. Come ON! Who could resist?? The celebrity database isn't just film stars (although many of them are), but also singers, writers, political figures, sports stars, religious leaders, astronauts, and others. I found it completely fascinating to see who they came up with and to see if I could spot what similarities the computer was finding. I discovered that my hubby has Kiefer Sutherland's nose. I have no idea what poor Kiefer is currently using to breathe. (har!) I discovered that when we tease my niece, Amber, by calling her "Buffy", we aren't too far wrong. The computer ranked her resemblance to Sarah Michelle Gellar at a 68% match! And me? Well, first of all I discovered that evidently I'm a total hottie when I'm drunk. And see, that's something I totally did not know. I thought I was red-cheeked, bleary-eyed, splotchy, and silly-looking, but when I had them search for comparisons to the photo below, it assured me that I'm a 71% match to Uma Thurman. Wow. All righty then. Since I, being both very optimistic and having poor eyesight, really believe that (REALLY!...would I lie to you??) I obviously need to get drunk more than my usual twice a year or so. Margaritas anyone? On the other hand, when I'm stone-cold-sober and have a brand new haircut, I discover that the computer sees a 64% resemblance to Renee Zellweger. I denied it at first. I said No Way, UnhUNH! I'm not a fan of Ms. Z's look. She has squinty eyes and a weird mouth and chipmunk cheeks. And ok, I own up to the chipmunk cheek thing, but I do NOT have squinty eyes and a weird mouth, at least not Zellweger-weird. Do I? DO I??? Oh dear. It appears that I do. Excuse me while I go get drunk. All smart-assedness aside (well, ok, not all, but most smart-assednes aside), what I actually found the most interesting was seeing not who showed up as the most "matchy" on each individual photo, but seeing who showed up repeatedly for photo after photo after photo, even if they weren't the top match. Those are the ones where I figure there may really be some small similarity of bone structure or something. Some of the celebrities who showed up repeatedly for me, with anywhere from a 50% to 71% match each time, included:
  • well...Uma! (I have to admit she showed up not just on the top spot that one time, but several other times, although I don't see it at ALL, not even a tiny little bit)
  • Elisha Cuthbert
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Toni Morrison
  • Beyonce Knowles
  • Kate Winslet
  • Charlize Theron
With some of the people on that list I can pick out a feature or two here and there - nose, cheekbones, eyebrows, jawline - and see why the computer matched them to me a few times. With others, I have NO freakin' idea what it's seeing that I don't. I'd mentioned Marie Trintignant in the first line. She's someone I'd never heard of before this. I guess I need to watch more French films. She only showed up as a result for one pic, but the computer was calling it a 70% match - my second highest of the day. I'm thinking jawline (sort of), cheekbones, and maybe nose. Another thing I found interesting is that there have been a few celebrities that people have told me I remind them of in recent years and almost none of them showed up in my computer-generated results. Hhhhmmm.... Since I bet someone will ask, I've been told at various times that I reminded people in some small way of Marcia Cross, Katherine Heigl, and Drew Barrymore. Of those three, only Drew showed up on the 'puter searches - twice, both times at around a 45% match. Ironically, of all the people mentioned on this page, Drew is the one I think I most resemble, although I'm not much more thrilled with that than with the Renee Z thing. Heh. If any of you decide to play, I hope you'll tell me so in comments. I'd love to hear your results!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Flashback at the Mongolian Grill

Remember last month when we were talking about 80's hair and fashion? And remember how I said I'd heard that look might be on its way back in but that I deeply, fervently hoped it wasn't true? Well, heads up, kiddies. It's baaaa-aaaack. At least if what I saw yesterday is any indication it is. I was out running errands - nothing special, grocery shopping and so-on and so-boring-forth, and stopped for lunch - Mongolian grill place...yum! And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Naw, not a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, that was LAST month. What I saw was a teenage girl (I'm guessing 15 or so, but I could be off by a couple of years either direction) and it was like a flashback to the era of Madonna: The "Desperately Seeking Susan" Years. Starting at the bottom and working our way up, she was wearing bubblegum pink Converse hightops, sans laces, with slouchy socks; white leggings which were probably Capri-length but were pushed up to sort of wrinkle around her knees and end just below them; and the leggings were topped by a floofy-swirly black skirt with a dropped yoke, in what looked like a t-shirt knit. She'd layered two tank tops, one pink, one white, and topped those with a black hoody. And finally her hair - and she had a LOT of hair - was either quite naturally curly or (and this is MY bet) she was sporting a spiral perm. Yes, you read that correctly. Spiral. Perm. You could tell she totally thought she was HOT. Hell, maybe she was. What do I know? I'm obviously ancient. I SO wanted to snap her pic to share with you all. I even had my camera with me! But I suspect that taking photos of teenage girls who are strangers to you and posting them on the internet is the sort of thing that could earn one a stay at a facility where one would develop a close personal friendship with a large woman named Helga. I generally prefer other ways of making friends, so I didn't do it. But wait!! I DID draw her when I got home. Well, ok, not HER exactly because a) I was too busy staring at her outfit and having flashbacks to my days of drinking frozen strawberry margaritas (yes, I was THAT lame...shut up!) and dancing to INXS songs to pay much attention to her face and b) if I made it LOOK like her I might as well have just used the damn camera. So while the face is simply "generic young girl", the hair and outfit are exactly what I saw. "Flashback" I'm currently making plans to be out of style for a while. How about you?

Comments on Comments

Hi y'all. It's been One of Those Weeks (not in a bad way, just in a not enough hours in the day way) and I've gotten behind on comment replies. So since the vast majority of them would basically amount to telling people "thanks for stopping by and commenting; glad you liked what you found", I'm going to take the lazy way out and do a big group reply right here.
Dear RSR Reader who has stopped by anytime in the past couple of days, Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I luuuuurves me some comments, so you made my day a little brighter. Hope I did the same for you. Y'all come back now, y'hear? Love, DebR PS - You're pretty!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Project Runway: The Skating Challenge

Usual Spoiler Warnings, etc. * * * * * * * * * * First of all I have to say, did you notice the big X shape across the bodice of the costume Santino designed?? HELLO. I predicted that. HA! The back though, was worse than anything I could have imagined. That was supposed to represent fire? Really? It looked like it represented a bird who fell through a paper shredder. I know, I know...Eeeeuuuwwww. But come on, tell me I'm wrong. It was a shame because I almost - ALMOST - liked the front. But again this week, like at least two other weeks in the past I think Santino squeaked by because he makes for interesting TV. This is at least the third time that the final two designs have included one design with little or no imagination or innovation, and one that is so far over-the-top that it looks like a really bad theatrical costume. And rather than consistently going with either the "too boring" or "too theatrical" every time, the judges (and producers!) seem to choose by dumping the designer who makes less waves. Lemme tell ya, if I was a contestant on that show (which I have NO desire to be!) I would release my Inner Diva from Day 1 and make Waaaaves. Tsunamis, baby! It seems to be the Way to Stay! Poor Emmett. His design WAS both boring and ugly, just like the judges said, so I can't say it's wrong that he's gone, but I still feel sorry for him. No one - NO ONE - should have to experience being "fired" while wearing a hot pink, poofy-sleeved, stretch satin body suit. {shudder} I really think the producers should be required to pay for a few months of therapy for the poor guy. Or at least a nice massage or something. ByeBye, Emmett. I lovedLovedLOVED Chloe's dress. I loved the color, I loved the flow, I loved the girliness of it. I loved that it was different from the typical skating costume shape, but still had wonderful lightness and movement. Of course that means I jinxed her. The designs I like best have come in second almost every week. Ppppfffttt. And I did get the thing that Sasha C. wasn't sure the shape would flatter her figure. But still, Chloe would've had my vote to win. That being said, I really loved Zulema's winning dress too. It was sexy, it was elegant, it was "princess-y". The basic shape was much more standard-skate-costume than Chloe's design, but the detailing was original and lovely and I could picture it being very flattering on Ms. C. I wasn't surprised when she chose it. So congrats to Zulema! I loved Nick's design too. No surprise there. I've been rooting for Nick and Chloe for spots number 1 and 2 in the finals practically from day one. I think if they'd still been keeping six designers on the runway instead of five he might have been there to round out the top three. The shape was just lovely. I didn't like his color scheme quite as much as some of the others, but that was my only quibble. And speaking of color, what was UP with that gawd-awful burgundy shiny stuff that Daniel V used?? I usually love Daniel V's designs too. I want to see either Daniel or Andrae (not sure which yet) as the other person in the final three, but I didn't like this design at ALL. In fact I, personally, disliked his more than Kara's design. I didn't mind Kara's. I didn't mind Andrae's. For me, those two were the middle-of-the-pack tonight, and for similar reasons. I thought they both looked a bit too "Vegas show girl". Not hideous, but not particularly flattering or original. Which, frankly, is where I put Kara's designs most of the time. I think they are adequate. (yawn) And next week we get what? Not a lot of hints about the topic of the challenge itself, really (or if there were they weren't exciting enough for me to remember them as I'm typing this 30 minutes later...heh), but evidently some tough talk from Tim and a reappearance of PR1's Jay as a judge? Ooooohhh...can't wait!

January Bliss List

If you have no idea what I mean by a Bliss List, take a look in the archives at this post first and then come back. Seriously, go ahead, I'll wait. Are you back? Good. Then here's a list of some of the little things making me feel Blissful in January. A lot of them seem to have to do with warmth and comfort - go figure!
  • Starting to draw a little again, after not doing more than quick design sketches for many years
  • A brand new box of colored pencils, rearranged so the color flows just the way I like, still unsharpened and ripe with possibility
  • Walking in the woods without bug spray
  • Jane Austen
  • My favorite acid-green leather gloves (J calls them my "Grinch gloves")
  • My soft, oh-so-warm, wonderfully ridiculous-looking fuzzy black hat
  • Snuggling under quilts made by friends
  • Penguin slippers (just like Whoopi wore in "Jumpin' Jack Flash")
  • Cinnamon schnapps on the rocks
What's giving you moments of bliss this month?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Personal History, Week 3

The History (or Origins) of a Personal Philosophy This is kind of pathetic compared to my last two entries, but I'm struggling a bit with this theme. There are FIVE freakin' Tuesdays in January, and I only had two ideas I thought were really good, and I've used both of those. So now I'm streeeeeetching. Bear with me! This week I am going to share with you a philosophy formed in the very earliest days of my childhood and one I fervently believe to this day. Are you ready? Are you SURE?? Ok then, here we go. No matter how much Life blows, things always look better with CAKE. And you thought I wasn't profound. HA! "Forming a Philosophy" Me, various ages from three to twelve, all wearing red, all blowing out the candles on a cake. It's clickable if you want to see it larger. The lame-o cake cartoon is because not one single photo I have in all the years of all the birthdays - mine and others! - had a decent enough photo of the cake to enlarge it and mess with it in Photoshop. So I dug out my sketch pad and my Prismacolor pencils and drew one. And yes this rather bizarre whatever-you-call-it is, in fact, my art for the day. I'm awaiting calls from top galleries as I type. Heh.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Quilts? Did someone say quilts?? Are you sitting down? Well ARE you? If not, do so. I'll wait. LalalalalaaaaaLalaaaaa.... Ready now? Good. Because I'm about to post something quilt-related. Ok, ok, don't get TOO excited. I don't mean that I, personally, have done anything Quiltishly Creative lately. Pleeeease! I'm much too involved in my coffee-drinking and novel-reading schedule to bother myself with such trifling endeavors as accomplishing something Quiltishly Creative. PishTosh! However my friends Martha and NP (aka North Pole Sue) have been taking up the slack and Martha just sent me a linkthat features pics of quilts they made, so I thought I'd share it with you, both because I think there are some fun quilts there and to show that I do, in fact, remember what a quilt IS, even if I'm not exactly burning up the ol' sewing machine lately. These quilts were for a challenge project between the Queensland Quilters, in Brisbane, Australia, and the Alaskan Quilters (which would be where Martha and NP fit in). The quilts have already been displayed in Australia and will be displayed in Alaska in March of 2006. But you can see photos of them now on the Alaskan Fiber Festival website. Martha's quilt is in the fifth row, second from the left. NP's is in the sixth row, third from the left. Enjoy! Books! Someone definitely said books! Remember a while back when several of us were talking about Time magazine's list of the 100 Best novels since 1923? Well in a discussion that would appear, at first, to be unrelated to that other than having to do with books, there has been a huge brouhaha (don't you love that word?) spanning several blogs over the last week or so having to do with reader reviews on Amazon. It all started when MaryJanice Davidson wrote a comment on Romancing the Blog wherein she basically said that writers shouldn't get worked up over Amazon reader reviews, either the good ones or the bad ones, because you don't really know who wrote them or where they're coming from, so you should just hunker down and keep on writing - keep on doing the work. Unfortunately the way in which she wrote the comment led a lot of people to misunderstand and think she was saying that most readers shouldn't write reviews - that only "qualified" people (like someone who has a lit. degree, perhaps) should write book reviews. That is so SO NOT what she meant, but nevertheless people ran with it, as people are wont to do, and at last count there were something like 98 comments on the original discussion, 86 on another blog, 46 on another, many of them by people who were thoroughly upset and indignant at being told - they thought! - that they shouldn't review books. And those are just the ones I've been following. Who knows what else has been said other places!! Me being me, I found a lot of it funny, (albeit sometimes frustrating that some people were being so obtuse). What, you might be asking yourself, does any of that have to do with Time's top 100 list? Well, I'll tell you! In an article that has nothing to do with the brouhaha Thang, but seems to me to prove MJD's original point about taking Amazon reader reviews with a grain of salt, Matthew Baldwin has collected and posted some one-star Amazon reader reviews on each of the classic books on Time's list. Naturally - me being me - they made me laugh. Art. Pretty sure someone said art. "Sunset Field" For a Limited Time Only!! Special Bonus BEAD Feature! Call Now! Operators Are Standing By! Ok, that whole thing about limited time and operators was a big fat lie. But just wanted to let you know that a friend of mine from a quilt list I'm on, Caty Porter, now has a website up and running called Caty Porter Beads. Caty creates one-of-a-kind lampwork beads and while she doesn't have a lot of photos posted yet (stay tuned!), what she has is gorgeous!! Yay Caty!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Daily Art Thingy

Didn't want to stick this on with the stupid time-waster meme, so here: "Fallen" A weirdly filtered shot from my recent woodsy hike. Enjoy!

The Time-Waster Meme

Because y'all don't know nearly enough stupid and useless things about me. (And because my brain doesn't seem to want to function well enough to do a "real" post.) Got this particular time-waster from Julie (and have since seen it at a few others) and decided to go ahead and play even though it's very obviously geared more at teenagers or early 20's adults than middle-aged women. The instructions were this - Bold what is true about you So here we go... APPEARANCE I am shorter than 5'4". I am taller than 5'11". I have many scars. I tan easily. I don't shave my legs. I wish my hair was a different color. (I MAKE my hair be the color I want. HA!) I have a tattoo, or more. I am self-conscious about my appearance. I have/had braces. I wear glasses just to read. I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free. I've been told I'm attractive by a complete stranger. I have/had more than 2 piercings. I have/had piercings in places besides my ears. I have freckles. FAMILY/HOME LIFE I've sworn at my parents. I've run away from home. I've been kicked out of the house. My biological parents are together. I have a sibling less than one year old. I want to have kids someday. I have children. I've lost a child. SCHOOL/WORK I'm in school. I have a job. I've fallen asleep at work/school. I almost always do my homework. I've missed a week or more of school. I've been on the Honor Roll within the last 2 years I failed more than 1 class last year. I've stolen something from my job. I've been fired. I've skipped school. EMBARRASSMENT I've slipped out a "lol" in a spoken conversation. Disney movies still make me cry. I've peed from laughing. I've snorted while laughing. I've laughed so hard I've cried. I've glued my hand to something. I've laughed till some kind of beverage came out of my nose. I've had my pants rip in public. HEALTH I was born with a disease/impairment. I've gotten stitches. I've broken a bone. I've had my tonsils removed. I've sat in a doctor's office with a friend. I've had my wisdom teeth removed. I've had serious surgery. I've had chicken pox. My vision is better than 20/20. TRAVELING I've driven over 200 miles in one day. I've been on a plane. I've been to Canada. I've been to Mexico. I've been to Niagara Falls. I've been to Japan I've been down under. I've Celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I've been to Europe. I've been to Africa. I've been to Hell. EXPERIENCES I've gotten lost in my city. I've seen a shooting star. I've wished on a shooting star. I've seen a meteor shower. I've gone out in public in my pajamas. I've pushed all the buttons on an elevator. I've kicked a guy where it hurts. I've been to a casino. I've been skydiving. I've gone skinny dipping. I've played spin the bottle. I've drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour. I've crashed a car. (I've had minor fender-benders, but have never "crashed" one - knock wood!! I've been skiing. I've been in a play. I've met someone in person from the internet. I've caught a snowflake on my tongue. I've seen the Northern Lights. I've sat on a roof top at night. I've played chicken. I've played a prank on someone. I've ridden in a taxi. I've seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I've eaten Sushi. I've been snowboarding. SEXUALITY I've had a crush on more than one person. I've had a crush on someone of the same sex. I've kissed someone of the same sex. I've had a crush on a teacher. I am a cuddler. I love to flirt. (Sometimes anyway, although I can be pretty picky about who, when, where, and how!) I've been kissed in the rain. I've hugged a stranger. I've kissed a stranger. HONESTY/CRIME I am a terrible liar. (I have no idea what this means. Terrible like not good at lying?? Or terrible like doing it all the time?? I refuse to answer on the grounds that I don't understand the satement.) I've done something I promised someone else I wouldn't. I've done something I promised myself I wouldn't. I've snuck out of my house. I have lied to my parents about where I am. I am keeping a secret from the world. I've cheated while playing a game. I've cheated on a test. I've run a red light. I've been suspended from school. I've been in a fist fight I've witnessed a crime I've been arrested I've shoplifted (I hated that category because it makes me sound horrible, but nearly everything I bolded is based on things that happened many, many years ago!! Also, when did "bold" become a verb??) DEATH & DYING I'm afraid of dying. I've fantasized about my own death. I hate funerals. I've seen someone dying. Someone close to me has attempted suicide. Someone close to me has commited suicide. (Actually this person's death was ruled an accident. But he'd tried to kill himself before and, given the circumstances of both his life at the time and how he died, I've always believed that the "accident" wasn't so very accidental. So.) I've planned my own suicide.--In the past--Don't worry, I'm not suicidal now. I've written a eulogy for myself. MATERIALISM I own over 5 rap CDs. I own an iPod or MP3 player. I have an unhealthy obsession with anime/manga. I own multiple designer purses, costing over $100 a piece. I own something from Hot Topic. I own something from Pac Sun. I collect comic books. I own something from The Gap. I own something I got on e-bay. I own something from Abercrombie. POLITICAL/SOCIAL ATTITUDES In general, I don't like people. I'm a feminist. I'm very outgoing. I listen to political music I'm Democratic I'm Republican. I'm liberal. I don't like Bush because he is dumb. I don't like Bush with my own reasons to back it up. I am for Bush. I'm religious. I dress fairly modestly. (but I wouldn't if I had a better body image) My attitude is, "If you've got it, flaunt it." RANDOM I can sing well. (sometimes...heh) I've stolen a tray from a fast food restaurant. I open up to others easily. (if I trust them) I watch the news. I don't kill bugs. I hate hearing songs that sacrifice meaning for the sake of being able to rhyme. I curse regularly. I sing in the shower. I am a morning person. I paid for my cell phone ring tone. I'm a snob about grammar. (Hard to believe, I know. But I think people should know the rules and then decide whether or not to break them.) I am a sports fanatic. I twirl my hair. I have "x"s in my screen name. I love being neat. I've had Spam. I've copied more than 30 CDs in a day. I bake well. My favorite color is blue. I would wear pajamas to school. I like Martha Stewart. (I can't really bold this, but I don't DISlike her.) I know how to shoot a gun. I am in love with love. I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS. I laugh at my own jokes. I eat fast food weekly. I am online 24/7, even as an away message. I've not turned anything in and still got an A in a certain class. I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room. I am really ticklish. I love white chocolate. I bite my nails. I play video games. I'm good at remembering faces. I'm good at remembering names. I'm good at remembering dates. I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life. My answers are totally honest. Oooooh, did that last one surprise you?? Everyone else has bolded (shudder) that line about being totally honest, so I deliberately lied about one item just to keep you on your toes. Bwahahahahaaaa! I'll try for real post tomorrow, honest.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Photo Friday: Success

This week's entry for Photo Friday: "Success"

Lame-O Filler Blog Entry #532

Do y'all just roll your eyes and cringe when you see "Lame-O Filler" subject lines on RSR? I hope not, but I wouldn't blame you if you did. Oh well. Some days are just like that y'know. We went from the unseasonably gorgeous weather we've had the past week or two to cold, windy, gray, and a scattering of snow on the ground this morning - you know January weather, which totally annoys me because I don't LIKE January weather. Unless we're talking about January in Australia or New Zealand, that is. Then it's probably fine. I wouldn't know because, while some of my quilts have been to Australia and New Zealand, I personally have not. Dammit. But January in Kentucky makes me just want to settle on a corner of the couch with a warm blankie, a stack of books and old movies, and a humongous mug of coffee or hot chocolate, and just sort of hibernate there for a few weeks. I don't want to work on art stuff. I don't want to write. I don't want to talk to people. I want to watch Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn have sparkling, witty conversations to the taste of a Hazelnut French Vanilla latte. February is usually even worse. SO...you've been warned. I'll be myself again along about March (probably...heh), but in the meantime lord only knows what you might find here. Fasten your seatbelts. So somehow it seems appropriate that I would take a quiz as completely STUPID as "What Donut Are You?". Who comes up with this stuff?? Even I, Quiz Queen Extraordinaire, sometimes have to shake my head in bewildered disbelief. (But of course I'm taking the quiz as I'm shaking my head!) I must admit I kind of loved the results of this idiotic thing, so that means I'm now turning around and inflicting it on you. It really does sound a lot like me!
You Are a Powdered Devil's Food Donut
A total sweetheart on the outside, you love to fool people with your innocent image. On the inside you're a little darker, richer, and more complex. You're a hedonist who demands more than one pleasure at a time. Decadent and daring, you test the limits of human indulgence.
I "test the limits of human indulgence". Well. I almost feel I should be insulted but since I can't argue the point I won't bother. I'll just laugh instead. That's always more fun. I just wish they would have allowed me some coconut sprinkles. I got the fastest time on the Jigzone jigsaw puzzle yesterday morning!!! YEAH BABY!! Is it completely pathetic that I get so excited about that the rare times it happens? Don't answer that. Here's our Daily Dose of Art: "Twisted" Obviously this is a "Phun with Photoshop" dealie, but I like how it turned out. Here's the original photo if you want to see it in a new window. It's of some twisted metal roofing and barn lumber from a small, decaying barn addition that J tore down a while back. Ok, time to hit publish and get off this thing. I have some serious hibernating to do.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Project Nightmare

Something about the previews for the next episode of Project Runway inspired a strange-but-persistent vision in my head and I just had to share it with you all, because why should I be the only one haunted by this? So I scribbled it down on paper. Aren't you lucky? And here you have my vision of what we might see next week if a certain someone's model doesn't show and that certain someone has to model his own skating creation on the runway: Sweet dreams, everyone.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Feeling a Bit Rusty

I'm having one of those mornings when I feel like I don't have a whole lot to say. I guess reviewing last night's epi of Project Runway just took it all out of me. [snort] But I'll throw out a couple of items and a photo I took a week or two ago as my art of the day. I'd meant to draw yesterday and share a sketch, but um...no. Didn't happen. Yesterday was J's first full day home from a business trip and it just turned into one of those days where it was all about catching up on boring-but-necessary STUFF and I didn't draw, sew, write (beyond blogging), take photos, nuttin' honey! Oh well, never mind. Today is another day and so forth. I had a very nice email the other day from Ami Simms, who is coordinating a fundraiser called the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. She asked if she could post (with design credit, of course) a slightly modified copy of my fabric postcard instructions on her site as a guideline for people who want to make something for the fundraiser and might not know how. Having had a grandmother who had Alzheimer's, I'm interested in Ami's fundraising efforts, so I said yes. The web page is now up and running here. There are guidelines for both donating and bidding on fundraiser quilts on her website, if you're interested. In a topic so completely unrelated that I can't even think of a good segue, I wanted to share a link to a photo with you. Regular readers of RSR will know that I've been posting photos for Photo Friday lately. Well, their last-of-2005 theme was "Best of 2005" and the list of winners is now posted on their site. They show the top six vote-getters. At the risk of sounding like Ms. Snarky Sour Grapes of Kentucky, I have to say that in the case of a couple of those photos I don't get it. I think they must have a LOT of friends who go vote. Ahem. But I thought 3 or 4 of them were very deserving of making the list and in particular, I lovedLovedLOVED this one. It was the photo (other than mine) that I voted for. (And I freely admit it was a thousand times better than the one I submitted, but hey...if I don't vote for mine, who will? [grin]) I hate the way the page it's on loads but the photo is worth it. It's superfantastic. And speaking of photos (ooooooooh, now THERE'S a smooth and original segue!), here's my art du jour effort: "Rusty Circles" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window) I'm not totally sure what the rusty thing is except that it goes with J's tractor somehow. But hey, it's rusty and it has a pattern of circles on it, all of which act like little windows into what's beyond. I think it's way cool and plan to take some more photos of it at different times of day and from different directions while it's still sitting out there near the garage. Because I assume at some point J will be actually using it for, um...something tractory. Heh.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Project Runway Weekly Dish Session

Usual Spoiler Warnings Apply, yada, yada, yada.... I'm sorry to say I found tonight's episode a wee bit dull. When I saw the previews last week, including a glimpse of Kara's meltdown and Diana and Marla essentially going "what do you think?", "uuhh, I dunno, what do you think?", "uuhh, I dunno", etc. I was expecting some excitement, but in the end...not so much. I'm not sorry to see Daniel and Andrae win. They worked well together and the gave the client what they wanted. Their dress wasn't my personal favorite, but then it didn't need to be because I'm not Banana Republic's target market - not even close! So yay for them for listening and following through! I think they deserved the win. I loved Emmitt and Chloe's effort, both the outfit and their window design. I get why they came in second, but based on what I liked best rather than who best followed the rules of the challenge, they'd have been my pick to win. So I'm glad they were at least first runner up. Much to my surprise...no shock!!...I liked Kara and Zulema's dress, if they just hadn't put that bizarre vest thing on top. Oh well, based on what they started with it's a wonder they got anything done in time. And their first dress attempt?? Oh. My. Gawd. I just...I...I...I have no response to that. Santino should be strung up by his beard hairs and beat with pinking shears until he learns some basic courtesy and consideration. Geeeeze. He's so sure he's Mr. Fashion God and that anything he does has to be the best. I'm all for self-confidence. Really, I am. But that man has delusions. He's rude to absolutely everyone from fellow contestants to judges and I'm tired of it. I felt sorry for Nick and hope if they do any more team challenges that he'll run away from Santino as fast as his little legs can carry him!! I would have liked to have seen Nick stand up to Santino a bit more, but realistically, Santino being Santino, they'd never have finished on time if he'd fought for any more control than he did. I regret that Nick didn't team up with his first choice of Chloe. I'd love to see what those two would have come up with together! And what can we say about Diana and Marla? That was just plain sad - both the outfit and that bizarre window design. The outcome was pretty much inevitable. I'd like to hope Diana will do something with her designs as she matures. I think she has talent, but just not nearly enough experience yet. Marla? Well, I'm sorry, I don't want to be mean, but the less said about Marla, the better. So I'll shut up now. Next week's challenge: looks like they're going to design a figure skating costume?? Holy sparklin' sequins, Batman!

Four Things (but not a meme) +1

Comments on Comments Thanks to all of you for so many positive comments on my self-portrait series yesterday!! :::beam::: To respond to a few things - Amy asked about quilted self-portraits, so Amy, I added one for you if you want to pop back and take another look. (Anyone who saw the post later in the day will already have seen it.) Kristen (can't link, no blog!) asked about whether I couldn't solve the "looking pissed off thing" by drawing from a photograph and the answer is yes, I could. The un-pissed-off-looking fabric SP I added is done from a photograph. But there's a certain difference to the look you get from working from a photo and working from life - a difference beyond the pissed-off look, that is. Heh. Terry even mentioned that in her very perceptive comment. Plus if your goal is to improve your drawing skills, drawing from life is more difficult because your brain and hands have to be the ones to translate the 3-D image into 2-D instead of looking at a paper where the camera has already done that part of the work for you. So working "live" is really good practice. I don't think of working from a photo as "cheating" but I think of working from life as more advanced, if that makes sense. Alex asked if they were for school or fun. Let's see...The first two older ones (with the big glasses) were definitely for school. I'd have been 18 then, so it would have been either late in my first year of college or early in my second year. I'm not sure about the one drawn with marker. I'd still have been in school then, but that one is a small study in a sketchbook which makes me suspect I probably just did it as a practice thing. The next three were just because I wanted to. And the last one was drawn specifically for the SPT challenge post. Alex also asked what they say about me now. Hhhmmm...Well, I'm not sure how much I want to go into this here, but let's say that the two from around 1983 - 1986 or so...I can look back on what was going on in my life at the time and find it very significant now that those two are essentially "fantasy" self-portraits. They showed my features but didn't really show ME in the same way that any of the ones that came before or after did. Those two were about hiding, not revealing, yet that fact is, in itself, revealing, yes? Blogging 4 Books Bummer I SO wanted to play this month!! The book that will be the prize for the winner is one I've had on my Amazon wish list for weeks...maybe even months! But I just couldn't wrap my head around the theme of writing about an Ex. I tried. Really, I did. I tried ideas about the obvious thing of ex-boyfriends. I thought of non-romantic friends I've lost over the years. I mulled over possible ways to interpret "Ex" in an off-the-wall way, and where I might go with that. Nuttin'. Not one single idea that came to mind was worth the time it would have taken to type it out. This is the second month in a row where I haven't managed an entry. I am displeased with myself about that. Next month I don't care if the theme is "Rutabagas: The Forgotten Root Vegetable", I'm going to find SOMETHING to write about!!! Because I Haven't Inflicted a Quiz on You for at Least a Week Here's one I took ages ago and only just now found tucked away in my file of "things I'll get back to at some point before hell freezes over": Which Literature Classic Are You? Lord of the rings J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings. You are entertaining and imaginative, creating whole new worlds around yourself. Well loved, you have a whole league of imitators, none of which is quite as profound as you are. Stories and songs give a spark of joy in the middle of your eternal battle with the forces of evil. Which literature classic are you? brought to you by Quizilla And Last (but hopefully not least): Daily Dose of Art "Raven Log" (see the shape of the bird?) This is yet another photo from my woodsy walk the other day - Photoshopped, obviously. I made it "grainy" because I wanted a sort of surreal quality to the scene. Somehow in the strange recesses of my mind, it seemed to me to fit the theme of quiz. No, I can't tell you why. I often don't understand my brain either. PS... Just in case you think you're lucky enough for me to have dropped my AustenObsession, I just HAVE to mention that the release date for the new-version Pride & Prejudice DVD has been set for the 28th of February. HOO-rah!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Self-Portrait Tuesday: Personal History, Week 2

My History as a Self-Portaitist (Is "Self-Portraitist" a real word??) This topic got me thinking about self-portraits in general, not just self-portrait photos. This deal of photographic self-portraits is fairly new for me, but years ago, primarily when I was in my teens and twenties, I used to do a lot of drawn or painted self-portraits. My own face was an easy, readily available subject! I don't still have them all, by any means, but I have a few around here, so I decided to dig them up and post a few, and to do a sketch of myself now and post that too as this week's entry on the topic of Personal History. So here is me just after I finished my current self-portait sketch: "A Self-Portrait of a Self-Portrait" (you can see the drawing in more detail at the end of the post if you like) And now for some blasts from the past: Oil paint on primed paper, 1980 Graphite on newsprint, 1980 Magic marker on paper, 1982 Colored pencil on paper, 1983 or '84 Graphite on paper, 1986 or '87 Commercial cotton fabrics, cotton thread, colored pencil, 2005 (Added especially for Amy who asked in comments about fabric self-portraits) Graphite on paper, 2006 One problem with doing these things by looking in a mirror instead of from a photo is that it's too hard to smile consistently when drawing myself from life, so I always try for a neutral expression and usually end up looking pissed off instead! Oh well.