Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Cousin, Jackie -- SHE ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Meet my cousin, Jackie. photo credit: Craig Bailey, Florida Today

Tears of Joy Will Mark Spacewalk
article by Todd Halvorson, Florida Today

Jackie Townsend is bound to get emotional next year after spacewalkers slip NASA's newest planetary camera into the Hubble Space Telescope. A married mother of two, Townsend is the instrument manager who shepherded the Wide Field Camera 3 through testing in advance of a planned May 2009 launch on Atlantis.

Camera installation is the top priority for NASA's last Hubble servicing mission. So astronauts will take on the job during the first spacewalk planned for the flight. Townsend, 41, of Silver Springs, Md., will watch in a control room at Goddard Space Flight Center.

"I'll be very technical, very crisp, very focused -- just like the crew -- on what comes next, making sure that we do everything perfectly," Townsend said. "But the moment it's done, and it's in, I think it's going to be like watching your child take its first steps. It's going to be a very powerful and personal experience for me to know that I was a part of that -- that the work I've done over the last three-and-a-half years is going to be part of history," she said in an interview before the mission was delayed into 2009.

"That really, I think, is going to be very moving."

Contact Halvorson at 639-0576 or thalvorson@floridatoday.com

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Why is it that there are some folks who just HAVE to talk 'at' me, as if from some great height, even in response to the most simple of questions? Folks whose tone implies a) their wisdom and b) my vast ignorance?

More importantly, why is it that every time I interact with these kind of individuals, I have to spend 15 minutes afterward reciting my scroll of affirmations, particularly, 'This is not about ME.'

Why is it my automatic internal response is to 'accept' the "You Smart, Me Dumb" posturing? Causing the need for me to then shake my head and go whoa! Wait a second, here!

And talk myself back to my own comfort level.
Condescension combined with arrogance shatters my balance. I gotta think about that.

[googled image: cracked ice]

Monday, December 29, 2008

Update on "D"

"D" has been moved OUT of ICU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And he didn't have to take along his 24 million IVs and bag, just the drain [from his last open surgery on his colon], and the feeding tube. His lungs are staying clear on their own, so far, now. The hospital staff has had him up and walking -- evidently "D" LOVES to just sit by the window of the surgery lounge, soaking up the light. [That visual makes me tear up, every time!] Though he still needs the feeding tube, he is also beginning to be able to eat on his own (broths, liquid-y stuff), but he's holding it down, which wasn't the case up until Sunday.

Whew, this is GOOD NEWS! Cards would still be greatly appreciated, my dear ones!!! Please email for the address; my company has asked me not to post it on my blog. antoniafufu@yahoo.com

2009 Altered Calendar Begins!

I belong to an online group, TheCalendarGirlz -- the purpose is to take a current (or past) year calendar and alter it, journal in it, as the year progresses. Mine is the 2009 Nesting Calendar, by Jean Lowe and Greg Johnson, published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC. I've had this calendar for the last 3 years, but this will be my first time altering it. This base covers the last days of December. This is a new process for me, and a smaller workspace -- I'm very interested to see what evolves as I go along day by day.

Final Written Journal Backgrounds, and 1 A La Peter Beard

These are the last five backgrounds in my current journal -- I'm almost there! Grazie. The black and white image is a copy of one side of a mail art "thank you" postcard I made for a friend, and really liked. Paper and envelope scraps, otherwise, except for a transfer in the lower right corner. Lotus Rose. Postcard copy, from my collection. All paper scraps and the Lotus Rose piece from The Tuscan Rose and/or Patty. Butterfly postcard tucked in for extra journaling, and an orange-patterned index card. Harlequin stamps new, from Purple Onion Designs. This postcard always makes me grin. Chorus Line. Frame from Veronica. Tags, scrap and image from Patty/The Tuscan Rose. Acrylic paint. Inward Journey. Transfer of a portion of a postcard from my collection -- my transfers are improving. I did this one to a piece of glossy copier paper and it turned out really well. Lea Cioci rubber stamped words. Paper scrap, acrylic paint. I love this one, actually! December Woman. Rubber stamp images, mainly, and text ... some kind of butcher paper scrap, too. A La Peter Beard Side 1 - paint, funky scotch tape, hand-carved stamped images. Fun fun fun to do ... yes that IS my big paw print! This is just the first base layer -- I'm going to add more texture and rubber stamp images. A La Peter Beard, Side 2. Base only, will add more to this, also.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Home Again

My Lovely Mother and I headed out to 'The Ranch' on Wednesday afternoon, then spent a leisurely 3 days hanging out, including Christmas day. I left yesterday, after we picked up some furniture gifts from a workmate of her's. She gets to continue her Ranch days all next week and YES! I am jealous. These are my bro, Chris' few photos from Christmas Day. Ciera playing with Miss Patchy. My favorite of Chris' photos. YOU try to keep a 7-year old out of the presents once the sun comes up on Christmas Day. Santa and Hannah Montana cut a deal this year, true story, at least where Ciera is concerned. Inspecting the Hannah Montana backstage closet, before I launched into putting together the Hannah Montana stage. I tell you, 45 minutes later, with the help of a tool set and a chain saw, one MIGHT have wrestled the shite out of the package. My bro, Cam, said, 'Yea, now it's more packaging than present!' I am wearing one of Chris' t-shirts, and being that he's 6'-4" tall, it kinda goes to my knees ... I do have on shorts underneath, thank you very much!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

YOU CAN HELP! (Will you, please?)

Dear friends ... those of you who read this blog know all about "D" and his condition. I'm feeling so hands-tied, and after seeing D's hospital photo yesterday, I've been churning, aching, yearning to DO SOMETHING!!!!!!

So I've decided just to ask: any of you wonderful folks who lean toward making things, would you please consider making D a get well card? Or a support card for him and his family?

You can email me for specifics [antoniafufu@yahoo.com] -- names, where to send it, etc., if you're interested in participating. And if you have a couple of spare dollars to share (I know, I know, wrong time of the year for THAT proposal), they are in dire need, due to all the missed work to support Daniel through the innumerable surgeries he's so far had to undergo, with more on the horizon.

But cards, those would go such a long way to uplifting this very-stressed group of dear and wonderful people. So please consider buying out a few minutes from your already holiday-hectic madness.

Thanks for listening. Now I'm going to go let myself have that good cry I've been needing.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Update On "D" - 7 p.m. Friday night

I talked to D's father today and arranged to take his paycheck and my family's wee sooprise down to the hospital, to save him an extra trip. I met him down by the parking garage and handed everything off. He looked so much better than the last time I'd seen him -- rested, calm ... really did my heart good, seeing that! And my family's gift to him was met with stunned, then heartfelt, gratitude. Finally I felt I had been able to do something concrete by way of aide!

Anyway, it wasn't until after I left that my friend picture-texted me a photo of D in his bed ... an image I remember all too well from my oldest male child's post-car-accident hospital time. I instantly started bawling -- that heaving, hiccupy kind ... eesh! blimey! Shite!!!!!! That poor young guy, my gawd. Once again, they've had to leave his abdomen incision OPEN due to swelling -- I mean, it's draped, in the photo, but I know what's going on underneath. They did manage to remove the ventilator and most of the liquid backbuilding in D's lungs. The doctors all speak confidently of progress being made. Can't tell from that photo but I choose to follow my friend's lead: "I have faith."

I think a Bud Light with Lime is in order. True story. I might even share some with Zoe.

Late Week Backgrounds

I still have six sides to complete, and man, I haven't been doing much writing the last week. Figures I'd slow down just as I'm nearing the end of one journal and a brand NEW one is beckoning! Family Blooms. Ok, I wasn't going to post this -- but this is a perfect example of one of my backgrounds GONE REALLY WRONG!!! So I thought I'd just share it instead of hiding it. The colors don't work, there are too many conflicting images, too much movement within the images, not enough room to write. I wanted to play with floors, windows, mirrors -- all sensations that arrive in me after being with kinfolk. Pfft. I'll have to keep trying, clearly. Me, Now. What can I say? Double BB does have this effect on me. Photo from a book, rub ons, caution tape remnant, scrapbook paper background, magazine text, stickers. 1st 50 Callers. Well, had I written on this background after making it, it would have reflected, PERFECTLY, my mood. Magazine images, a stamped image (I use this wacked out woman as a journal symbol for Toni in a wacked out, stressed out mood) ... acrylic paint, paper scrap, text from both a magazine and a fax we got at work. Uncorked & Unplugged. Magazine images, acrylic paint, and a negative strip I found on the ground. Makes me think of my bro', the Bobfather, who is a consummate guitar player and has always been my musical muse, turning me on to the greatest of bands, songs, lyrics, chords, and my own writing. Dancing Palm. Palm trees are a sultry brand ... this one is peeking out from the top of a paper pocket - it's a copy of a vintage postcard from my stash. So is the photo. Punched white hearts, acrylic paint. Pink, black and white feel very bold to me, like mischief and sass. Dream of Green Beeches. Paper scraps, green acrylic paint, emerald Bombay india ink. Ever since Dad, My Other Mom Judy and I went to the arboretum, I've been having intense tree dreams. My favorites have always been aspen and beech, because of their peely bark -- now I can add eucalyptus to the other two, for the same reason. This is exactly the way the 'background' (backdrop?) of my dream looked and felt

An Award!!!

Much much needed on this, a Friday, my least favorite day of any week: Laura at Laura Kay's Place nominated my blog for The Marie Antoinette A Real Person A Real Blog Award !! I'm thrilled because I'm nuts about Marie Antoinette, because it's wondrous to be known as a 'real' person, but also because FINALLY I know who my visitor from Maryland has been!!! THANK YOU!!!

Here are the rules for this award . . .
1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs.
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

My nominations are:
1. Veronica at Ramblings and Art by Veronica, and
2. Lee at Defining Me.

I have enough (& then some) to nominate 7 blogs but I know that those that I would nominate have time constraints which make it difficult to follow the award rules. And at this time of the year, especially, I don't want to add anything undo and untoward to anyone's plate!

Laura, thanks so much! Now let's talk about MARYLAND!!!!

Continued News re: "D"

I just spoke with D's father -- D is on a ventilating machine -- I did not know this! But his surgical team thinks he'll be off it sooner than they expected. Meanwhile, D has not been allowed to come completely out of sedation from his surgery yesterday, but the team is pleased with how well he's doing. Today, later this afternoon, more tubes must go in to remove the fluids collecting in his lungs, and a feeding tube is going back in.

My friend and his wife actually got six straight hours of sleep last night, he said, so he/they are feeling a little more refreshed. And right now, they're on their way to see their youngest in his school Christmas play, which I think will help lighten them for a while, also.

My Lovely Mother and I are surprising them with a small financial boost, as my friend isn't getting paid for any of the time he misses to stay near D. At the very least, I hope it buys them gas and a nice dinner, you know?

Please keep your prayers going, and thank you!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prayers for "D", Please, & His Family

12/18/08 UPDATE: Almost lost D last night. My friend got 'the call' at 4 a.m. that D was being rushed into surgery. It's 9 a.m. here now and he is still in surgery. The fear is that the repair to his colon undid itself, actually split, and spilled waste into his system. My friend said it's the first time anyone has said the 'almost lost him' phrase but he refuses to hear it, to let his mind consider it at all.

Was feeling scared and emotional ... but my friend just called to say D is OUT of surgery and everything is fine, repaired, all looks well.

Whew. What a journey for this young guy, for his family ...

My friend's son, "D", is back in surgical intensive care. The remaining portion of his liver was processing waste but sending it every which way back into his system, to the end that he got an infection in his blood. Yesterday saw him back in surgery to have a tube installed that will direct the waste from his liver in the correct fashion. But D's dad told me that the ICU nurses were clearly SAD to hear that D was back in ICU; this is not good news for them, or for his recovery process. D told his dad that his stomach hurts, severely, ALL THE TIME -- there is increasing concern about that, and about the level of the pain killers required to keep his pain manageable.

Naturally, after 14 days of this up/down/back/forth, my friend and his family who are holding vigil at the hospital are feeling exhaustion. Please include them in your thoughts and prayers as well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Background Extravaganza

And I still have nine more 'sides' to go. When I was down with strep, I barely did any writing, so I'm way ahead in backgrounds for the moment. Moods. Walnut stained tea bags, paper scraps, homemade postage, rubber stamped images. There is a vellum overlay stapled to the top of this page, because I DO NOT want to write on this part. Luz. Papers and border from Veronica. Scan of a canvas I did for my older bro, the Bobfather, printed on vellum. Celebrate. My Daddy-O has moved to a new office, I'm so proud!!!! This page is all about that. Invitation, slanted pocket, paper scrap, stickers, stamp pad impressions, yellow dye background. Installation Instructions. Scan of one of my vintage mission postcards. Graphic from work. Ledger paper from Tuscan Rose. Geese magazine image. Rub-on flowers, red Basic Grey paper scrap. Yellow dye splashed on the background first. Drawn Home. Windows, mannequin from Anthropologie. Pumpkins from a Safeway coupon flyer. You know, I'd really NEVER need to buy another thing -- every possible image I ever want comes to me in the mail. This page feels sooo goooood to me, balanced, beckoning. Asian Bloom. Flowers from a Jackson-Perkins flyer that came to work, gawd they have lovely flowers. Magazine images. Green twinkling H20 paint. Crazy gorgeous. And I love that dress! Sassy. Paper scraps, #5's from a magazine, envelope liner, ledger paper from Tuscan Rose, printed out on the left side with a background from a free Roben-Marie Smith download. Wooden word. This actually started out with the image of the guy pressing on his back -- I was thinking, 'How many times must I be a pain in my OWN A**?!!' -- and the page evolved from there. Raising Sand. Ad from a Rounder flyer for an album in my top ten of perfect LPs. Have you heard it? DO. Blue, orange, and black & white scraps, the rest from the brochure order form. It's All About Me.Papers, stickers, bits, borders. Little girl with cat & license plate are Tuscan Rose images. Tucked behind the narrow strip is a print out of one my old truck photos. Masks from my masterboard. Help. A visualization of communicating with the Universe, the Universe always there. Always. 2 Magazine images. I'm in love with the blue paint, Phthalo blue ... it's beginning to turn up everywhere. Write. This is my idea of a perfect page. LOTS of room for writing, but a perfect image, also, or collection of them. Magazine images, rub ons, stickers.

On-Line Sleeve Excursion

Thanks to a gift from My Lovely Mother, I just shopped a little on-line, found a sale I liked and went for it. This jersey shirt dress, in turquoise (notice the sleeves?) ( ... and I do hereby solemnly swear to avoid the hoochie come-&-get-it stance when I wear it!)
and this dress, in this color. What, no sleeves you say? Well, I happen to have a lovely cardigan already to match this ... and I tend to do most of my shopping for the HEAT, since it dominates 10 months out of my year.

Museo del Prado

Museo del Prado (most items on this page from Mercedes, in Spain!) ... and then the scanner here at work whined, screeched, and fell over dead. That was yesterday. I was too lazy last night to scan anything else at home. Instead I did a closet purge in my bedroom, something I do every 3 or 4 months. Being that it's finally under 60 degrees and hovering there, I needed to find clothing with sleeves -- all 3 items I own which fit that description, as it turns out! Guess I'll be visiting some thrift stores and trying on sweaters. I'm liking THAT!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Confession ...

ok, I told a fib earlier, & it's been bugging me all day.

I didn't really tear out the last few pages in my current journal. I thought if I wrote it, posted it, I'd be able to do it -- but I couldn't. ACK! I've never done that with any journal, ever, except one I made using my GBC binder, and I only did THAT because all the pages were ripping out of the back.

Anyway, I couldn't lie to you. Couldn't do it. That also means there will be yet a few more backgrounds to post, eventually.

Eesh. I'm a wimp, a creature of habit ... but in the new journal, ALL THAT IS GOING TO CHANGE!!! I've promised myself. New horizons, Baby!


Traci Bautista actually got me started playing with this idea. I do these infrequently, usually for a head-clearing exercise. Then I scan them and use them in all kinds of different ways, on cards, in my journal, for tags. Thought I'd try the grayscale feature on my scanner today -- looks pretty cool. Paper scraps and favorite images and rubber stamps and embossing, stickers, postage stamps, you name it, I probably threw it on here. It's so relaxing, doing these! Anyway, feel free to download these and use them if you like them. Cut them up, re-work the images, get crazy!

New Journal, and Saturday Backgrounds

It's official. I've committed to a new journal. Can't scan it -- it's just a Strathmore spiral bound sketchbook, 60 pages, 60 lb. paper -- except it's 11 x 14. Yup. Toni's going BIG!!! I decided to try a format that fits these huge hands of mine. I decided to force myself out of my comfort zone, too. And while I'm telling stories on myself, you should know that I did something this morning I've never done before: I ripped out the last 11 blank pages in my current journal, as I'm SO EAGER to get to this new one. Cheatin' little wench, ain't I!? So here are the remaining backgrounds in the current written journal, folks. Wild Girls. Tuscan Rose postcard, stickers, photo of my love, Ciera, tags, Twinkling H2O paint, mad fun! Ciera would like this page, too. Autumn Dress. Stickers, rubber stamp image, rub-on border. Simple, I like this. Java Mermaid. Mermaids will surface for a good cup o'joe. True story. Just scraps and leftover rub-ons, a magazine image. What A Day! Magazine image, homemade postage, acrylic paint, scraps. Like this page a lot -- it's got good energy. Dream and I Am.Background papers and borders from Miss V, magazine image, homemade postage with a folded Basic Grey sheet for more journaling.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


This just in from my Daddy-O: "We have a Nikon 4300 with four batteries (my overkill). It's a nifty camera with very professional features. Probably five or six years old, so it's only 4.3 megapixels. But 5x7, even 8x10 at highest resolution setting is possible. It's yours if you want it. Has original box, instruction book, charger, even a focusing magnifier that I find essential."

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!! Amazon says: "A compact, lightweight digital still camera with 4.0 effective megapixels and a powerful 3x zoom lens, the COOLPIX 4300 is an easy-to-use mid-range model with superior image quality. The camera's core users include everybody from beginners to advanced amateurs. It is ideal for those who want a high-quality camera that takes exceptional pictures. People seeking a deeper experience with digital photography will be attracted to the COOLPIX 4300's portability and image quality. Superb optical performance, a big part of the COOLPIX 4300's appeal, is delivered via a 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens with an 8-24mm focal range (equivalent to 38-114mm in 35mm [135] camera format). Its 4.0 effective megapixels provide ultrahigh definition and, combined with Nikon's advanced image processing technology, ensure images of remarkable color, contrast and clarity. Shooting is further simplified by general-use AUTO mode and 12 different Scene Modes, which allow users to capture the essence of every situation and fully experience the fun and convenience of digital photography.The COOLPIX 4300's compact and lightweight design makes it extremely portable and its ergonomic, easy-grip design ensures easy operation. Managing pictures has never been easier, thanks to features like one-button data transfer and a Small Picture function that configures photos specifically for e-mail and Internet applications. The camera comes equipped with all the accessories necessary to immediately start taking better digital photographs. An array of optional accessories - such as an adapter that accepts Wideangle, Telephoto, Fisheye, and other lenses - will further any photographer's journey into the digital world. With so many features and accessories, and a remarkably easy-to-use design, the COOLPIX 4300 both advances the impact of Nikon's successful COOLPIX line and promises to bring the thrill of digital photography to more people than ever before."

Toni says: "WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!!"

Of course you realize this camera will be called the Daddy-O-Cam, right?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Journal Crisis

I'm having a journal crisis. True story. For the last 2 months, I've been obsessing about the way in which I'm keeping a journal. You've seen the backgrounds; I write on them as they occur, in the order they appear on the page.

I don't like that, especially, because 99% of the time, the images, colors, papers, etc., don't relate whatsoever to the thoughts in my head on the day I finally get to writing on a page.

I do like that because I just love the process of creating the backgrounds.

What I really want is something like what Judy Wise does in her journal. Have you seen her pages? ooohhh, sweet goodness! Her post of December 6th finally helped me connect all the dots on her process. The thing is, see, well, I'm a verbose wench -- I do way way way way way more writing every day than Judy does. But what I want to incorporate from her journaling process is the way the visuals correspond to the entries.

How? I mean, if I'm in the middle of a writing flurry, which happens every day, then I'm going to stamp my not-so-tiny feet if I have to interrupt my writing process to glue down images, or paint them, or insert the papers that go with my thought flow. And that, of course, would also involve the dreaded drying time. eeewww.

So then I thought -- well, what if I didn't have a bound book? What if I used loose sheets, whatever I wanted, and then punched and bound them as I finished them? I have a GBC binding machine, and all kinds and sizes of spines to go with it. But then I'd have the same problem with the images and paint and stuff, though, and with the dreaded drying time. And if I went anywhere, not having a bound journal would truly make me NUTS.

You see. Crisis.

Because I'm dangerously close to finishing my current journal, and I know THIS system isn't really working for me, so a decision must be made. I'm just more than a little skeered of launching into a completely new format and deciding, 12 pages in, that I hate it. Or that it doesn't work.

Any ideas? Now would be a GREAT time for 'em.

Meanwhile, Double BB left me in charge of the steaks on the grill while he runs an errand - lord help us! So I better go pretend to at least scope them out, grab the fork and turn 'em over, and hope he gets back REALLY FAST!

Back to the Backgrounds

My soul bird. THIS IS THE CULPRIT!!! THIS IS THE BIRD THAT'S ALREADY APPEARED IN MY CURRENT JOURNAL 62 TIMES!!! I mentioned this on a previous post -- I tried, I did, I truly did, not to order another sheet of these Basic Grey rub-ons, but eesh! I gotta have this bird. Never again will Toni run out of copies of this. It's a soul image for me; it's a MUST-HAVE! Anyway, so I ordered this sheet and one other from The Tuscan Rose, received them yesterday, and Ms. Patty enclosed a plethora of luscious surprises for me. I had to get busy right stinkin' NOW!! so I could use them. The Page Seed Co. Ah, Patty, she owns my heart. This page is all straight out of the goodies she sent me along with my order -- the ledger paper, the blue striped wallpaper piece, the little girl in the beret and spectacles! The rest are Basic Grey paper scraps but you know I get those from The Tuscan Rose ... confession: there were days, in my grade school past, when I resembled this little poppet -- big coke-bottle glasses, little sailor collar, and a happenin' hat! Very nostalgic picture for me and the reason I came to the studio table still feeling so s l ooooo ooooOOOOOOoooooo wwwWWWWW. THANK YOU, PATTY!!!! Ricos Sno Ball. Among the goodies from Patty, the Woods of Windsor paper, the kitten in the shoe (a whole COLLAGE SHEET of different images like this) ... and the Ricos Sno Ball container. This cat looks especially like Zoe Toes! The rest are scraps either from my blotter or my stash. Toot! Toot! Don't you love SnoCones? I do, raspberry and cherry are my favorites! Tuna Cats. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Patty's sooprises included these 2 little ladies ... HAHAHAHAHAHA. I love this picture, I do. The rest is bits from inside a business envelope, work graphics (those each open up for little journaling tidbits), Tuna Cat label also from The Tuscan Rose, border from Miss V. Fun fun fun. Yellow acrylic wash over it all. Fancy Bird Nest. Yea, a sweet page! Acrylic paint, paper scraps from Patty, graphics from work. Love this! Ripe. A page constructed entirely of leftovers. I'm digging into every stash, every cigar box, every folder, every envelope. Eesh, blimey, but do I have a LOTTA shite! True story. I like this page, though. I made this homemade postage over 18 months ago, and still have about 25 pieces of it in a glassine envelope. I'm determined to USE it. One Telegram. A newspaper article, desert picture, then a map of Portugal ripped into 3 strips. I didn't like how it looked, but it was already glued down to the page. HELP me, Gesso! HELP me, purple acrylic paint! Some leftover blotter paper bits, and an embossed rubber stamp ... kind of ended up murky but there you have it. Pfft. It happens!