May 13, 2019

What's Happenin'

I haven't forgotten this blog. I'm still working on getting the regular blog set up. I think I figured out where the problem is. I wrote to my webhost for advice, because I have no idea how to fix it. I tried everything I know. Sooooo ...

This weekend I didn't do a thing, but I managed to be very creative. By not doing anything, I mean the items on my list and pretty much any physical activity didn't get done. I did do other things.

On Friday I started a course at Academy of Quilting ( called More Abstract Art For Quiltmakers by Elizabeth Barton. I've taken courses from her before so I figured I'd like it. Oh, yes, I do! I spent the whole of Friday night reading the lesson and then immersing myself in abstract (and other) art. I don't know how I got to bed as early as I did. (only 2:30) I already had a lot of artists on my Pintrest board, but one of the cool things about a Google image search is that there are inevitably a few that are someone else's work, so I found many more than Elizabeth listed. Some ended up on my Pintrest Artists board.

On Saturday I started the assignment. For some reason I didn't spend very long on it. (an hour or two) Partly it was to think about what I did do and partly it was to come up and cool off. Then I guess I got distracted. After dinner, while Iqbal watched soccer, I did the same lesson on GIMP. Obviously, I wasn't cutting out paper, but I did make and rearrange circles. And because I'm such a GIMP addict, I did a lot of other things with the circles. I was having fun and didn't get to bed until 4:30.

Not totally unreasonably, I didn't feel like doing much on Sunday, so I played on GIMP with the circles some more, although by then it was way beyond the lesson. Then I had a two hour conversation with my son that was a lot about art and art philosophy, because that's the sort of thing we love talking about. I had about half an hour to muse on our conversation before dinner. As I got up to eat, a statement entered my head. It was probably inspired by what was on the TV (that I wasn't really watching--Secret Nasa Files or that type of show). It stuck with me through dinner, so when we were done I wrote it down. And then a few more lines came to me and I wrote those down. That process continued for about two hours. But it wasn't as fast as it sounds. In the end I had a 507 word page that could turn into a story. I have no idea what it's about or where it's going, but if I can continue the way I started, it might get written. Since I had no plan to write a story, if it doesn't come that easily, it probably won't be written. Oddly, I'm ok with that. I even thought I should take the many beginnings and random scenes I've come up with over the years and mash them up somehow. Again I was up until 4:30, this time reading and working on a jigsaw puzzle. (Can I roll my eyes at myself?)

So today I woke up tired and, because I was tired, depressed. I usually check my email before breakfast. Mainly I was hoping to find an answer for the blog problem which I didn't get. I ended up journaling as I ate my brunch. Although the body is stil tired, my brain woke up. And the depression left. ...Of course, the sun coming out helped with that.

I've spent my day puttering around with this and that, and even managed to do some doodling in my studio journal (which I don't do enough of). I hope that by the time the regular blog is up and running, I'll have some projects to show.

April 30, 2019

Ever So Slowly

I used to get a lot more done than I do now. Ever since I moved to Oregon, I've felt like I'm wading through honey. I've been here 14 years (!!!!!) and I still haven't figured out how to get unstuck. My brain still seems to be moving as fast as ever, but the body doesn't keep up. Actually, I think only part of the brain is as fast as ever. The rest, though faster than the body, seems half asleep.

I know at least part of the cure is to be more physically active, but activity takes energy and I can't find mine. To find it, I need to be more physically active, but activity takes energy and I can't find mine. To find it, I need to be more physically active, but activity takes energy and I can't find mine. To find it, I need ...

I'm trying to push through. I have been, but I want to push harder, because it hasn't worked so far. ... Okay, enough whining.

A couple of weeks ago I sent for some back issues of UPPERCASE Magazine. I've been getting their newsletter for a while and in giving my email some cleaning, this is one I looked at to see if I wanted to continue. I figured out that I signed up for the newsletter to see if I'd like the magazine. Obviously that wasn't doing the task, so I ordered some back issues. I like the magazine! I'd had no expectations. It's unlike any other magazine I've read. What I like about it is that has a little of everything in it. It's an art and design magazine and it sticks to its subject and its issue theme, but that still covers a lot. And every article, artist and topic has web addresses, so everything can be delved into further. Since last week was a pretty low week for me (combined light, allergies and energy depression), I spent a lot of time reading and on GIMP.

One issue was all about surface design. Since about 90% of my playing on GIMP results in designs that I could use as fabric, quilting or embroidery design (at least that's how I always look at it), I think I can call myself a surface designer. And given the degree to which I follow through on actually making the fabrics, quilts or embroideries, I suspect that's my main interest. I've always had more projects planned (sometimes in great detail) in my notebooks or head, than I've ever started, much less finished. The thing is, I really would like to get them done ... or maybe that should be I'd like to see them done.

I also like futzing around with my digital embroidery design program. I've actually stitched out several of the designs I made there, though only one or two were my own designs. (The rest were purchased or public domain clipart.) Since reading, and looking at, the surface design issue of UPPERCASE, I've gotten some ideas for using more of my own designs.

Other than that, all I got done last week was laundry, cleaning cat items for Friends of Felines, a teeny tiny bit of digital file organization (a massive project), and helping my sister a little bit. I'm sure there were a couple dozen other things I wanted to do and didn't. Highlights: 46th wedding anniversary, son came to help sister (with and a lot more than) me.

April 21, 2019

Memory or Dream?

I know I saw a photo of my mom's 3rd birthday on the social page of her hometown newspaper. I don't remember who showed it to me, but I asked the people who may have (except mom, obviously) and they don't remember. The'd never even seen it. However, I can see her, as clearly as a digitized potocopy of an old newspaper allows, standing with Granny in front of their house with some other ladies. I've been going through the newspapers' online archives, and though Mom was listed on the honor roll and/or perfet attendance list all through grade school, I didn't find her on thhe social page. Grandma was never mentioned (which, despite her shyness, seems odd-- not even her obit. Weird!). For Grandpa was there a lot--in articles about local power (he worked for the Electric & Gas Co), Rotary club, Boy scouts and other community things, and at least once on the social page when his brother visited him from Annapolis.

It's not all that important, except it's the only photo, that I know of, of Mom in her first decade. One of the big UFO's I need to finish is my Mom Crazy Quilt and I wanted to put a photo of her for each decade of her life on one each of nine blocks. I have let this keep me from doing the stitching for way too long. This week I plan to look through more of Mom's boxes of photos and hope that she had a copy (and that that's what I'm remembering seeing). Otherwise, I need to move on without it. Maybe I can just put her birth information in the center of that block.

And, I suppose, just because I am who I am--a little crazy and very ADDy (distractable), I didn't let my sister throw away all her late brother-in-law's slides. I now have several large boxes of slides. I expect some of them will be boring, but he was a nature photographer. I've seen some of his photos and these are probably just a few of the stunning ones I probably have. I'll have more about these as I get them scanned to digital. Besides having some great photos, I'm sure i'll have a lot of fodder for my kaleidoscoping and art journal, which I hope will lead to more crazy/art/mixed media quilts (or crazy art, mixed media quilts).

Now all I need to do is get my duff in gear and get going!

April 19, 2019

This Isn't a Blog

It's not impossile to write a blog without the proper blog software. It is more difficult and has none of the bells and whistles a "real" blog would have. I'm annoyed that I'm having so much trouble getting the updated blog software to work. No one else seems to have the problems I'm having.

Basically, all this is is a regular webpage with a table for my posts. Hopefully, I won't have to use it very long because I intend to figure out how to get the software to work. It said it worked, but it didn't. No one knows why. And then my connection times out, which is another pain in the... that's why my "cheeks" have been achey this past week or so!

Besides fighting with the blog software, I've been doing a few things. My word for the year is "Finish." I have So. Many. UFOs. I haven't done much finishing so far, but I have worked on a few of small things. One is almost as finished as it's going to get. I'm pretty out of shape, blogging-wise, but I'll try to remember to take a picture of it when I get the last bit done. I have a basket of these little projects next to my chair in the living room so that when I get off the laptop I can stitch.

It's pretty much a neverending process for me to be cleaning/organizing the studio. As with the rest of the house, as soon as I get one end cleaned up, I have to go back to the other end and start again. In the rest of the house my husband helps--a LOT! He won't touch the studio, though, unless I'm right there telling him what I want. It's easier to do it myself. I'm still slower than molasses in January.

Anyway, one of the things I'm doing as part of that process is sorting my way-too-large fabric stash into 10" canvas cube baskets. My reasoning is that I can pull out one basket and see what's in it at a glance. That way, I'm not messing everything up by going through stacks and/or trying to pull out something from the bottom of a stack. The fat (and skinny) quarters are in smaller baskets for the same reason. It took a bit of time, but I finally have evrything folded. At some point I'll sort the baskets by color.

The only stash larger than the fabric is embroidery designs. I had a ton of hand embroidery designs, but ALL my needlework pics and pdf's were stuck in an inaccessable folder, and now I can't find the folder, so I can't have my pc tech get it open for me. Fortunately, I had copies of some of them on the computer drive (it was my storage drive that had problems). But none, or very few, of the machine embroidery designs were lost. Again, very good since they were a lot more expensive. I'd started my project last May just before the drive problem. That project is to make an index of the files. I keep them sorted by designer/source so that if I ever need to credit my use, I can. But if I'm looking for roses, or cars, or lace, I need to go through every folder. I have a LOT. For the index, I'm sorting shortcuts in topical folders, I'd need only to search the "roses" or "cars" or "lace" folders to find what I want. This is a long term project, 'cause making file shortcuts and duplicating and sorting them is boring work.

That's it for tonight. I wanted to get the blog going again because it helped me focus. I'm still at sixes and sevens about everything, but I'm hoping that by posting every few days once again, I'll help myself get some things done beccause I want to have something to write about.