Monday, February 28, 2005

Fallen Tulip Petals

Sunset Drive

Pretty sunset on my drive home from work.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Foggy Mornings

Abnormally high temperatures during the day, is making for thick fog in the early mornings. Fog that you can taste, and cut with a swipe of your hand. And I love it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Sweet California Greetings

Eunco company in California has some very sweet designs.

And I know someone needs a
kittypod for their furry sleeper, forget the price, you know your cat deserves the best!

Not For The Timid

Living lively with the In The Mix Mug with Lid Set from NotNeutral. Bold and colorful dinnerware from FrenchBull makes dining an eye-popping event. Elegant European dinner service from Panek Tobin, Rain is more my style.

Echo Design Group Contest

I did not know about this, and the ECHO Design Group's first design contest is over now. But I know many of you that should submit to this next time 'round. And it appears a 'local' person won!

Exotic Furniture

This is a lovely Beaded Cocktail Table or this Brighton Cocktail Table from Carson and Co. The twig mirror is not bad either. So many tables, so little money.

SHHHHHH! is giving away free, yes, free, these ssshhh cards from ( I found via my weekly Veer email) for annoying cellphone user, oh, excuse me I have another call coming in...
They also have the Museum of online museums or MoOM list here.

From Russia, No -- Oregon With Love

Look, more nesting dolls by real artist.

Funny Fleas

My co-workers are trying to get me fired by sending me silly sites like this one from fabuland. I laughed so hard, I think I knocked my sinus headache into tomorrow. Thanks, Paul. Favorites -- 31: The Cheerleader, 63: Army Marching Through Beer and 57: X -Fleas. I might try and make a little animated gif. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Illustration Friday -- Sorrow

Illustration Friday this week is Sorrow. It feels like the world needs us to see it's sorrow, before it is too late.


Bitmap Font Maker

Create your own bitmap font with BitFontMaker from pentacom. It looks fun, I have not made one yet. There is also a collage maker on that same exhibition page. Better soon, we will not have to make or draw it, just think it.

Hey, CA, Give Us Back Our Rain

With the dryest winter in Washington State that I can remember in 14 years, we are really having a weather pattern mix-up. California is getting hammered. The slideshow on the story is unbelievable.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Distort & Tranform

The same distort filters that apply to circles and rectangles, can make a single rule a thing a beauty, a wave, a zig zag. Apply it twice to same rule, and I am not sure what you call it.

Paint Chip Greetings Cards

I been sporting a terrible sinus headache for a couple of days, yesterday, took a late afternoon nap after some sinus Tylenol. Woke up later and headed to the art studio for some fun. Paint chip, some punches, a couple of books to cut up, glue. I love the simple design and of course the colors; some reminded me of beach glass. Have been trying to conjure of some ideas for summer cards for sellling at a friends' card store (if she will have them.) So I spent the night brain storming. Also made more Easter Egg cards from photos from last year. I love them.

Spring Garden Cleaning

Spent some quality time with my pruning shears today. Cleaned up the hydrangeas, all sticks and little leafy buds right now. I know they want and need it, just always confused about where to cut. Also cleaned out peony bed and planted a couple of new ones that a friend of a friend GAVE ME. Pruned up the climbing hydrangea, that is pretty much out of control. When I planted it my husband said he would build me an arbor-thing for it, that was years ago. Watched some birds that built a nest in the honeysuckle, about where I need to cut it down. Guess I will wait for that. Pica chased the squirrels. And all was sunshine in Seattle. Very weird weather for us right now. This is what we look forward to -- hydrangeas in the fall.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Bloat, Distort, Zig-Zag

Abobe Illustrator is my favorite program. It is fun, user friendly, and has a billion command Z's! Some fun distortion filters in Effect, Distort & Transform. Also try Object, Path, Add Anchor Points to any polygon, before distorting and see what happens. It is all an experiment!

Birds In The Belfry

Our Texas red-headed nut-hatch friend, Ruth, called this morning to tell us she discovered birds building a nest in her bookcase, yes, in the house. She leaves her doors open all day while at work for dogs to come and go. She discovered a bird in the house a couple of times, but thought nothing of it, until yesterday, when she saw them with a Sparrow Express moving van full of leaves and twigs! I say: leave it, my mom says: move them out. Well, there is all that bird poop to consider, but what fun, to have little ones in the house again.

She is also learning how to use, download, send her digital images. I love this white peacock she saw in Arkansas.

Another Good Mother

I woke up early Sunday, worried I had posted an angry, wordy, self indulgent, self-searching message about motherhood on my blog. (Which I had.) So I came out to take it down, while trying to decide, posted a few other items. As fate would have it, Kathleen appeared in the nick of time. I ask her opinion, too angry? I asked, for readers without children? I love being a mother, I love my son, I love the fact that I have a son that I never thought I would have. But it appears that Newsweek story struck a cord with many of us, Kathleen's sister wrote on the same subject. Hers, being a little more upbeat than for another perspective, from a mother who is 4 times as busy, please read Christina's intrepretation, and her getting her groove back!

Virtual Garage Sale

The age of the internet has really hurt my local antique merchants, that is what they tell me. Ebay and now my favorite, CraigsList. I have been listing stuff on craigslist, hardly worn snowboarding gear that my son grows out of in a year! Stuff my husband buys, still in boxes and never uses, that drives me insane. There are some really cool, old and new funky furniture to be found there. And if I had time to paint furniture, which I don't right now, I would buy these dressers. Or had room in my house for an architectural birdcage (can you use this for a real bird?) or an antique carved table and mirror, who knew you needed this...but I think I do/would/could, if I had the room.

Happy Birthday David

My husband's birthday was yesterday. We had a family, sit-down dinner that we normally have no time for. A few presents, a cake and will take in a few movies on his days off.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Ugly Side Of Bliss

I was not going to get too personal. or long and wordy, on my blog, so this is a little different. But reading Feb. 21st Newsweek issue 'The Myth of the Perfect Mother' struck a nerve in me. I am know, and I have known, but maybe seeing it in writing, in a major magazine, makes me feel less crazy somehow. It is all about motherhood, so turn away if you don't want the ugly, working side of bliss.

About ten years ago I saw a therapist considering why it was so difficult for me to quit my job entirely after becoming a mother. Exhausted, stressed out, (and pre-menopausal, I found out later) -- still hanging on to my part-time job seemed the right thing to do. In reviewing my life I concluded that my single mom (until my age of 12) HAD to work to keep food on the table, and that lingering sense of survival was at the core of me. The ability to feed myself, and now, more importantly, my son. So I worked on in my part-time capacity as employers would allow. Sometimes they insisted I be full-time, and then I would become so wiped out, quitting would be all that was left, and then the company store would offer up part-time. I remained part-time in a freelance capacity until my husband had a heart-attack at a young age, my part-time opportunity was being eliminated because of the Microsoft employee lawsuit, and full-time was all that was offered again. Thinking of possible future heart-attacks, or the unspeakable...I opted for full-time which is where I have been for many years. At least, I concluded, I could care for us, not be blind-sided by chance. I thought it was a clear-headed, mature thing to do.

I also discovered in this quest for figuring out what was the 'right' thing to do, that most woman who had given up their careers for motherhood were having a very difficult time getting back on track. Either no one would hire them because the technology had changed so quickly; they were out of the loop. Or even more devastating ... I saw that some had lost all confidence in their ability to even go out on an interview. I saw this, felt this, and decided at least staying in the loop, at my age, was a prudent choice.

So I worked, volunteered in my son's classes, did the day-care newsletter and then the school newsletter, made elaborate Valentine's for classes, did the parties, and most of the after school activities, cleaned the toilets, the floors, remodeling, gardening and my crafts, when time allowed.

I worked full-time, 9a-5p (just shoot me, okay) ended up spending 2 hours a day commuting. And having a difficult time, because I am not a morning person. Which led me to ask my boss if I could work the crappiest shift in exchange for 4-10 hours days, and was refused. After being told by someone who did not have children, that it would be okay. Tears streamed down my face. I had a melt-down. And an epiphany all at the same time. I realized since becoming a mom, I had been working, scheming, figuring out how to work weird and crazy shifts, days, hours, so that I 'could’ work and be an available mom, involved, a volunteer, all of the mom stuff. Well, if you are waiting for some happy conclusion to all of this, stop reading now. I am still trying to figure it out. How I can make money, have a career, be a mom, be a wife, a daughter, a friend, be a bill-payer, be a gardener, .... without losing my mind. My conclusion; is that, there probably is not definite answer that fits one person. If you are lucky enough to have someone to provide for you, or, fortunate enough to have had reliable male figures in your developing years so you don't have 'issues', or just not care about having a career (and that is okay!). Then, you will probably find this all boring on the happy side of bliss.

Later: Before you think I do it all, I don't. I do need to add, that my mom is here now, and does most of the cooking, laundry, picking up my son from school so he never had to do day-care (I spent my life in day care, and hated it) AND I do have my 4-10 hour days back. After some negotiations. So that makes me a very happy camper.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Recycled Paper Tags And Other Paper Treats

I love paper and I deem it my duty to recycle old paper whenever possible. We had lots of the paper samples at work that I took, cut down and made into gift tags. With that handy corner curve punch. I use old photo that I have scanned, bits and pieces of paper I have saved from other projects. (I have boxes of paper bits that I can't make myself discard -- I can make tags, those Christmas Tree Paper Chain, background in greeting cards ... okay, I drive myself crazy with the little bits of paper).

I also made many of these little gift bags one year for my son's Valentine's Day gifts at his school (when we used to have to make 30 or so for his class, he is too old for that now). I
carved rectangle of rubber, the same size as the (about a 4x6) paper bag (oooh, they have colors!) and printed it on both sides. The bags are adorable, even if I say so myself.
This is my best pal, Katie's birthday treat bag. Happy Birthday to my extraordinary, loving and generous friend.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Illustration Friday -- Flight

Illustration Friday this week is Flight. The best flights that I can remember (besides the time I was bumped up to Business Class on a long flight to Korea, right before I took 2 Tylenol PM's and missed it all!) are my own personal flights in my dreams. I had 'flying' dreams all the time before I got too tired and overwhelmed with life to dream. Do you run, take off and glide? Or do you flap your arms like a bird? Or do you swim? You other flying dreamers out there ... I was something between gliding and swimming. I usually really fly in my dream fully clothed, during the daylights hours, trying to miss the birds and and not fly into the powerlines, worry about how I am going land. But I couldn't resist the blue of a nightsky and a sheer nightgown (don't own one.)

Later Post: Thank you to everyone for the delightful compliments on Night Flight. Worked up in Illustrator. And the new Illustrator has that wonderful TRANSPARENCY feature now, that it did not have before. When I would make transparent in the past, I would have to manipulate every single polygon. NOW, with a quick flip of a slider-bar...'tis done! And I love the distort feature, take a circle and make a flower. It is all Adobe Illustrator, I have had a love affair going with this program for many years.


Favorite Daily Learning

Thank you! Cindy Woods for helping me add favorites to my blog.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Valentine's Day

Although my husband thinks that these are the silliest movies ever made, he bought me my own copies for Valentine's Day. 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' and ''The Russians Are Coming' . Two movies I watched sometime in my youth and that still make me laugh until I cry.

Tulips, Daffodils, Grey Sky, On My

Mark you calendars, those of you living near and around La Conner, Washington (Erica, come on up and join us!). The Tulip Festival is around the corner. The idyllic place to take perfect pictures of the ones you love.

La Conner Tulip Festival

Blogger, Bah, Humbug

Some of you will understand. Some of my friends do no understand the content of my blog. Some of friends, old friends, high school friends, college friends get tired when they read my blog. "How do you do that? I am exhausted just reading your blog!" And you know who you are! I don't do these things everyday. Some are old projects that I want to share with that might inspire yet another idea. The things I post about, are the things I do THAT FILL ME UP. The blue sky that keeps me going, thinking that inspires other thinking, conjures up new ideas, moves me ahead. When I DON'T do these things, THAT makes me tired. Not just tired, that makes me not want to get out of bed. I just had to address this, because I have heard it more than once from people who have known me for more years than I care to admit to here. And I still love you even if you don't physically feel up to the task of reading on.

Valentine's Day Effort

This little snow storm blew through on Valentine's Day morning and lasted about an hour, turned to rain and sunshine in the afternoon. I thought only in Texas you had to wait an hour if you did not like the weather.

Instead of my before mention hair coloring afternoon, I decided to make cookies and biscotti. I am not sure the cookie result was worth the hours I invested! While my son helped me with the cookies, he also ate most of the broken ones, hence, wasn't hungry for the feast my mom prepared. Biscotti was easy, and results were great. But I had wanted to make these, and I had those cute metal pails I found at Target for $1 each and had plans to use them.

And it was time to change the wall offering in the studio.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day will find me in my pajamas all day, watching Sex and the City, cleaning house primarily toilets, coloring my hair, and working on an illustration for my son's health project due tomorrow! Do you feel the love?

Later post: Thank you all, you made my day with your wonderful comments.

Northwest Flower and Garden Show

It is fun to be inspired in gardening ideas, even on a snowy February day, like today. Yesterday the family made the annual trek to the the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. I found the displays to be lackluster and less whimsy this year. Still fun, collected a few good ideas and manage to buy a bunch of birthday gifts that I have needed for this month.

The most inspired entry was a round hot house of recycled material. The exterior of colorful windows that opened from the bottom, to tip out and expose the interior plant boxes to the sun. This was such a cool, innovative idea.

Round Hot House

There were several minature gardens which reminded me of
Kathleen's magical minature "Alice in Wonderland" garden.

Mini Gardens

The Thai Spirit House surrounded with pattern of grasses. Orchids, exotic seeds and stripped coconuts laid out in wonderful patterns as offerings for peace.

Thai Spirit House

Thai Spirit House

Thai Spirit House

Zen garden, and more photos on Flicker.

Japanese Zen Garden

Japanese Zen Garden

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Friday Five Saturday Post

I found Friday Five at Cassi's and am also taking a whack at it.

1. Would you rather live in a world with or without technology such as computers, cars, airplanes, bombs? With technology and the ability not to abuse it.
2. If you had to live without either heating in your house or air conditioning, which one would you keep? Must have heat.
3. If you had to own five dogs, what kind would you get? Brussels Griffon, Chihuahua, 3 Cocker Spaniels just like my Scooter.
4. If the world had a front porch, what would you do on it? Paint, read magazines, swing, and watch the foot (star) traffic.
5. Would you rather live in a neighborhood where you know all of your neighbors by name, or where everyone sticks to their own business? I live in a neighborhood where we know everyone by name, and some of their business, and it is perfect.

Brain Should Be On Drugs

Illustration Friday, pre-submission. I am cheating again, but this feels so appropriate, and seems to be a common theme. Full head, over-worked brain, too many "I want to do's". So I am re-submitting for Illustration Friday prompt of Crowded.

My original post: My brain is too full. I was thinking about that this morning, wondering what it looks like on the inside. By the way, how DO you archive ALL OF THOSE PHOTOS you take, collect and store in your computers? I have been trying to do that for days now, and figure out a better solution than I have going on now. Suggestions?

Texas Cowboy