Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dog Tired

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This just in from my bro', Cam: "A half hour later, daddy and doggy are still sound asleep ...... "


Prince & Patchy

This just in from my bro', Chris: "Prince is three times bigger than the puppy, but he's scared of her." [Zoe woulda had that puppy for a bedtime snack last night. But I boast ... ] Patchy is waving hello -- really looks like it, too! Bonding. Best Female Friends. (Poor Snowflake the Hamster ... will she be abandoned?) Daddy Chris and The Patch, flaked out!

My Older Bro', The Bobfather

Bobfather (center, white T-shirt) is one of the original blues brothers. He had a rock band in the early 80's out here in these parts, called Bigg Business, for which he blew harp (harmonica) and played rhythm guitar. Every once in a while, he still stands in with a band. This time he did 2 sets for a band at local blues bar called 26th Street Blues. [Note: once upon a time this bar was called Warsaw Wally's, AKA "Wartime Wally's" as we affectionately called it]!! I missed this particular jam because my cell phone was at home in my studio, on the charger, when Bobfather left me the details, and I didn't even visit my studio when I got home that night. Otherwise, you can bet I would've been there! I NEVER EVER miss it when Bobfather gigs and I still want to use very unladylike language when I think about missing THIS event.

Spreading the "Love Bug"

I can't tell ya how long I've believed in Herbie the Love Bug. Actually? -- yes I can. The original movie came out in 1969, & I saw it now too long after its release. I was 8 years old in 1969, so I've believed in Herbie for 39 years. That's LONGER than I've believed in mermaids, but not quite as long as I've loved all things French. That's a long dadblasted time, huh? Today, I decided I'm going to have a Herbie Party [Love Bug party, BIPPY party (as in 'you bet your sweet')]. Something. Certainly that means My Lovely Mother will be invited, and both of my male children (who will invent reasons to be elsewhere, I'm sure), and Miss Ciera, at minimum! Double BB might indulge me; he sometimes does.

Then it occurred to me that maybe there are other Herbie-Philes out there like me, in Bloglandia, who would be interested in spreading the LOVE BUG (ha! pun intended!) and joining me. Of course, in order to make my Herbie party I reality, I maybe sorta kinda need to get a copy of the DVD or VHS, for myself. So what do I do? I go to my on-line movie/DVD club to order it, and eesh! Blimey! SHITE! Can you believe they don't have it? Columbia House doesn't carry The Love Bug! [I think a strongly worded email is in order, don't you?]

Meanwhile, I'll be snooping on Amazon and hoping anyone out there who wants to partake will stay tuned for date and time. And if you have ideas for how to make this share-able via Bloglandia, send them my way -- i.e. I want to have my face painted with hippy flowers and hearts. I have NEVER had my face painted. Shouldn't one have flowers & hearts on her face to watch The Love Bug? And what kind of treats should I serve? Decor? Costumes?

As you can see, I have some research to do. Much as I love and believe in Herbie, I haven't actually watched the movie in ... ??? I think it's been 4 years.

[all images Googled]

Today's Burning Question (Thinking Aloud)

Why do teenage [±] sons constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Addition to Ciera's Menagerie!

THIS JUST IN FROM MY BRO', CHRIS!: "Ciera and I went and got a puppy today!"
"Jack Russell. She's 2 months old and ADORABLE. Has a ton of personality." "You should've seen Ciera when I took her to the pet store and told her she could pick out a puppy. She was so excited and happy -- it was priceless." "They are now inseparable."

I want to go live at Chris' house; maybe he'll adopt me even though I AM his older sister and then take ME to the pet store and tell me I can pick out a puppy. Meanwhile, you can bet I'll be headed back out to visit them ASAP!!! Like I told him, 'Oh, yea, sure -- wait until Mom and I leave THEN go pick out a puppy. Brat!'

Swept Away

[googled 'updo', this is some celeb]

This angle, and only this one, causes me to start thinking yea, maybe I should grow my hair out again. The bare back, the exposed neck [Double BB likes exposed neck], the whispy soft tendrils tickling my collarbone.

Then I remember 'the growing out process', 25 varied-&-exciting phases of looking like I slept on my lawn and the lawn critters slept in my hair, going from hair that is approximately 2/8" long to wispy tendrils long enough to pull up off my neck. I mean, my neck is exposed now, right? WHY doesn't it create the same effect/response? I may have to present that question to Double BB: "Is it my neck itself, or the idea of it being exposed with the wispy upswept long-hair tendrils? Huh? HUH?"

[P.S. Double BB is way too smart to get tripped up by such a question, no matter how cleverly worded (ha!). Anyway, I already know it's all about the long hair even though he would answer 'Oh, darling, of course it's your neck!']

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And Then There Are Places of Poetry

[Sukhothai Historical Place, Thailand, another postcard]

The lily pond.
The taste of water in that thick opaque air.
The whispers among the Buddhas sitting in repose.
The echoes of chants, bells, steps of wild animals, the serpentine crawls of reptiles, amid the crumbling, leaning, exquisitely shaped stone places.

What wild gorgeous running dreams would I have if I slept overnight in a world like this?

from an Internet Search: Sukhothai Historical Park
Sukhothai is the first unified kingdom of Thais.
It's located 440km north of Bangkok, around the middle of Chiang Mai and Bangkok.
(It takes half a day by car from Bangkok.)

The Sukhothai kingdom had flourished for about 200 years until it became a vassal state of the Ayutthaya kingdom in 1378.

After the Ayutthaya kingdom, Sukhothai was left alone in the jungle and became an abandoned place, but it was restored with the support of UNESCO in 1960's and registered as a World Heritage site.

By the way, " Sukhothai " means " The Dawn of Happiness ".

The capital of Thailand’s first Kingdom (founded in 1238), Sukothai has considerable historical significance and is a pleasure to visit. There the original city was surrounded by walls with 4 city gates. Today the walls house a number of sites worthy to visit. These include:

• The Royal Palace
• Wat Mahathat,
• The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum
• The Ramkhamhaeng Monument
• Wat Si Sawai
• Wat Traphang Ngoen
• Wat Traphang Thong
• Wat Chana Songkhram,
• Wat Sa Si
• Wat Mai
• San Ta Pha Daeng (the Deity Shrine)

I Want to Do This

I would DIE to grocery shop like this, wouldn't you? Just mosey up (or down) river in a smooth narrow canoe, stop by the rice boat, the asparagus boat, the noodle boat, the kumquat boat. What an incredible way to maintain the thread of a community! I mean, I love Farmer's Markets, or stopping roadside to buy sweet corn from a vendor, that sort of thing. But this by far takes my cake!!! Grocery shopping on a river -- that needs to be a cool blues song! [image is a postcard I won from Ebay, place is Thailand]

Message from the Universe

[photo from September issue of Romantic Homes - retro salt/pepper shakers]

"Contrary to what would seem like logical thinking, Antonia, putting up your defenses actually inspires others to put up their offenses. The truly defenseless need no defense, if you know what I mean." -- En garde, The Universe

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Weekend Activities, and Journal Backgrounds

Home again -- errands run, Zoe's litter box de-poopified, a short patio roost writing fest, some scanning done. I drove over to my bros' house on Friday evening. My Lovely Mother was already over there. So nice to just be a couch potato, to play with Ciera, go along when she gets a new Hannah Montana outfit and 3D glasses (so we could watch the 3D Hannah Montana movie later), to sit on the patio sampling a new-to-me and DELICIOUS wine (which is saying VOLUMES cuz I just don't like wine). For you winos out there, or whatever the official name is, it's by Oak Leaf, Pinot Grigio Chardonnay. Anyway it was so good I went back for seconds, unheard of. We watched In the Valley of Elah, a deeply depressing, thought-provoking, and stunningly acted movie with a cast that included Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon. That was Friday night, to be followed by the lighthearted flick called Sideways -- lots o'foul language in that one, got really old as I don't consider the 'F' word much of a display of vocabulary. But it IS the reason we decided to buy a couple of bottles of wine the next day, as it takes place in the California vineyards ... lots of wine discussions if you're into that and can tolerate the 'F' word every other word. Today, Ciera asked me to 'spot' her on some backbend and back walkover attempts. She takes gymnastics, and was thrilled to learn I spent most of my adolescent life doing the same thing. My bro, Cam, took and sent me these pictures. Eesh, blimey, shite, I look like death warmed over, so just look at Ciera, will ya? Ok, tumbling mat ready, spotter ready, Ciera acknowledges the camera!
The girl is smiling! She's upside down and she's grinning! Only Ciera! High Five, Baby!!!

As for journal backgrounds, did these Thursday.
I've set a couple goals for myself: 1) use my rubber stamps and I DON'T mean my favorites, and 2) use my paper scraps. This rubber stamp guy came from a Tuscan Rose sheet on which every other stamp is to die for. This guy? Well, it must be said -- I just don't 'get' him. So I used him first -- kick it off with a serious challenge, why not! What can I say -- sometimes you feel like a nut! Sources: My stamp, sticker, and paper stashes. I have almost every imaginable animal rubber stamp ... and each one represents someone I know or have known. Except for the skunk, none are derogatory whatsoever, not even the ant eater! The panda is my brother, Cam, because he fell in love with the little panda (we call him Buttuh, cuz he melts us) who was born at the Washington D.C. zoo, and we tracked the PandaCam daily for the first year. So Cam is a Panda in my head. More of my stamps and paper stashes. I have 2 file folders stuffed with images I printed off some ephemera CDs ... those are getting used, too! In this case, the sewn looking thingie. The raccoon represents one of my favorite crew guys at work. The REALLY COOL THING about making art is that when you receive 2 million insufficient funds notices from your bank in the mail, and when said banking institution has already taken more of your money than they deserve, you can make journal backgrounds and still enjoy the sensation of having the last word! Sources: papers from Mary Mata's scrap paper pack, bar mop cloth wrapper, Wells Fargo notice, rubber stamp. Sources: Wells Fargo insufficient funds notice, my slide mount/word play image, rubber stamps, hilarious little rooster boy a gift but it's a Tuscan Rose collage sheet. Of course we know who the BITE ME! comment is directed to, eh? [Did I say Wells Fargo?!]

Monday, July 21, 2008

Update on Bank Fiasco

Double BB, my darling, worked at Wells Fargo for 15 years. He made one phone call today, and ten (TEN) of those stooopid insufficient funds fees went away. OOH yea. It's so nice having a husband who once was in high places, and didn't burn bridges when he changed banks!

My Dad said it quite succinctly, "They're willing to take that money from you? Banks used to be a service institution. Now it's just a profit machine."

But whew, ten is better than none ... there were four more, but I can handle that a whoOOOOOle lot better!

Thank you to everyone for advice, sympathy and cheer. It was obvious I needed it, and you wonderful folks delivered! Sometimes, I swear, Bloglandia is better than Oz. True story. You women plain rock the Munchkins right outta Munchkinland!

Journaling, & Backgrounds

Journal Entry, Sunday, 07/20/08:
Not feeling sure about the journal backgrounds. I'm in one of those self-doubting places -- why do I do them? What's the point? Usually they aren't at all related to what I write on them, either. How do some people make the backgrounds seem like an integral part of the writing? If I do a background, it's then not ready for the writing, not until later (drying time - I HATE drying time!). And by then the interior mood that suits the background has altered.

Even if I did unbound backgrounds then selected the one that goes with my mood at the time I write, I'm not doing them concurrently.

It's bothering me now; but normally not.

The exercise of creating a layout is a separate one, for me, from the written expression. I background for relaxation, experimentation, fun, beauty, play. I write for reality, to go inward. One is an accompaniment to the other by virtue of accident. SOMETIMES (& I do like it when this happens), the layout and the events of my day coincide exactly. But obviously, given the pages and pages of journals I've filled, that's not a prerequisite.

Each background, I think, has to be "read" separately from what's written on it. I made the one today, for instance, 10 or 11 days ago. It's relevant on its own. All the images and combinations speak to me, and OF me. Today's words are a second layer, an overlay of sorts.

Sources: envelope liner, which opens (as does the one on the next scan) for more writing, various papers and stamps. I made this page the same night I posted about my pitiful banking error, trying to wrestle myself out of that foul mood! Sources: Envelope (looks like wood grain, huh?), various of my papers and stamps, text from my box of words/phrases I collect from -- EVERYWHERE!!! Sources: Envelope liner (SRP), stickers/tag from my collection, Lea Cioci rubber stamp image. I need to tuck my legs into my tail and churn some water, undulate, frolic, jump & leap with dolphins ... it's becoming critical! Sources: various papers, mine. Wisteria postcard from my collection. Grid/ledger, Gibson girl, women in a row from Victoria Trader magazine, also gold border. Rubber stamped image top left. I felt funky-feminine while making this (polka dots and wisteria, ya know?) But dreamy, summery, fresh, and sentimental. Sources: My papers, new and old. Images from a Victorian Trader magazine. Sunflower/Lily bouquet piece from a bouquet my mom ordered for a friend while she was in England. Woman from Mary Mata.
Sources: Vogue magazine image, my papers, rubber stamped image. Feeling -- well, sometimes don't you just want to be Catherine Zeta Jones in the first Zorro movie? I mean, admit it!
Sources: Palm trees/shells - Mary Mata. Tag - Tuscan rose. Papers - my stash. Stamped woman-with-text image. Words - Vogue magazine. I love Vogue magazine not for the fashion crapola, but for the kinds of imagery and words I always find in it. Oh, I am a mermaid in need of salt water, wild waves, jagged rocky cliffs, white spray, hidden black-sand beaches, driftwood. Image and stenciled-looking paper from Vogue magazine. Men in red, Mary Mata. Blue/gold tag, The Tuscan Rose. papers - my stash. Sources: castle photo a gift from Veronica. Swan is a copy of a postcard I recently won from Ebay. Papers from my stash. Stamps on top right from Mary Mata. Swans and castles, to me, both symbolize romance, a difficult one of course, battles and kings and swords and musketeers, but romance always wins out in the end. Picture 'First Knight' (Richard Gere, Sean Connery, Julia Ormond). Sources: Vogue magazine page, paper from The Scrap Diner. The woman with the bird was a gift, but I'm certain it came from The Tuscan Rose, one of her collage sheets. I saw this exact scene both in Paris (at Versailles, and one of the parks near the Eiffel Tower), and just about everywhere in Tuscany ... I ache/yearn inside, looking at it, to walk those paths again.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Siren Sisters

This package was waiting for me when I got home, bawling, yesterday. I decided to save it for today -- BRILLIANT PLAN! This masterpiece is a gift to me from Veronica ... tears again, but the GOOD kind. [Pitiful scan -- I do apologize!]

Friday, July 18, 2008

Behind the Pretty Pictures

I'm bored with journal backgrounds.
Truth is, what gets written on them doesn't always match the images, mood, colors.
Today, in fact, I wrote about making a hairbrained banking mistake that ended up costing me $400 in insufficient funds fees. FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS. I forgot about a monthly automatic withdrawal for my truck payment. That withdrawal hit at the same time my other myriad paid bills hit. $400 later ...
So I barely made it out of the office (after one of my usual HORRID Fridays) and into my truck before I was sobbing.
Four hundred dollars. You know, basically vaporized, because I had a blond moment.
As if I ever have enough money for groceries as it is.
Why is it that when I'm the most angry at myself, I suddenly find myself hating everything and everyone else -- in particular, right now, anyone with money, ANY money, of ANY kind, that isn't measured to the second digit to the right of the decimal point every waking moment of every waking hour. I'm viewing my checking account 12 times a day, just to make sure, make sure, the money is stretching far enough.
Then there's the newly-turned 47 year old 'woman' having to ask her Lovely Mother for assistance to cover said $400 (being as I don't have it, anywhere, not even up my butt), assistance which was kindly and immediately given. But let me just add $400 to the I.O.U. I had almost entirely, diligently, with exceeding effort, paid back. I'm still paying Mom back for one of the lab fees from my oldest male child's accident a year ago, but that's another story. [And before anyone asks why isn't HE paying it, it's because he has about $5,000 in other bills the insurance didn't pay that he's taking care of. Personally, I'm happy enough to have him alive & coherent that one lousy lab bill seemed like the least I could do to show my appreciation.] My point is that, at my age, it's more than a little excruciating to turn to Mommy (or anyone else) to get bailed out, and it's months (now) of continued eking payments out of non-existent monies to pay her back. Because I WILL pay her back.

I bawled all the way home. I came in the door, went directly to the bathroom to change clothes, bawling. I walked back to my studio (past my youngest male child at the computer in our back room) to retrieve my diet coke and journal, bawling, scaring both said child and my cat. I told my son what happened, bawling, and went to sit outside. Bawled. Opened my journal then dropped my face into my hands and bawled full force. Kept bawling but decided to try to write. Wrote the "F" word at least 25 times, in dark black ink, but the bawling then started to subside. Today's journal background happens to be one of lacy flowers and beautiful girly happy images. So much for that.

I was tired of pretty pictures. Felt like my blog was becoming ... stale, superficial. Decided to share what goes on behind the scenes. Four hundred dollars. Four. Zero. Zero. No groceries this week, or probably next. Gas? who knows, have half a tank right now. Lunches? I hope we've got eggs cuz I can make egg salad last an eternity and never get tired of eating it.

NO. I don't feel sorry for myself. I'm angry. I'm frustrated at this feeling, AGAIN, that every time I start to loosen the financial choke chain, some stoopid shite happens and I'm back being throttled again. There is NO such thing as 'free money' in our situation, here. And I'm so disgusted with, frustrated by, the stupidity of my mistake that I don't even know how I'm going to tell Double BB. THAT is the worst part.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Journal Backgrounds

Sources: hardware - Tuscan Rose. My photo of the storm/sky/trees. New post-it papers, flourish sticker, and some Basic Grey scrap. Sources: Vintage Gent image - Tuscan Rose. Basic Grey papers. Redcane Kola flyer from Borders. Hiding behind the yellow post-it is a friend's photo who didn't want it visible on the post. Sources: License plate and large paper piece - The Tuscan Rose. Truck photo by my Dad. Butterfly - Mary Mata.
Sources: Center Image and tags from The Tuscan Rose; everything else from my stash (new green apple paper!)
Sources: Crazy lady & scalloped blue and gold tags: The Tuscan Rose. Sunflowers - Mary Mata collage sheet. Papers from my stash. New papers and stickers; photo from my collection. Text from an Anais Nin book. Paper scraps everywhere else, 'danger' tags by me, business envelope inside patterns. Same below. Underneath the striped paper framing that Come-Hither Woman is ... well ... I'm not telling. Let's just say Toni was in a Purty Sassy Mood last night.

My Altered Book Returns to Me!

My Altered Book, with the theme "A Sense of Place", returned to me two weeks ago -- I wanted to bring it into work for scanning (better quality)! Oh, the women who added their art to this book did SUCH rich layouts. A million thanks to Cher and Ellen! This is the sign in page -- I think if you click on it you can read my 'instructions' to get a better idea what the basic theme was meant to be. I made a sign-in pocket for each participant out of small cone coffee filters that I glued in-between some cut-off pages. The beach girl riding the wave is the pull-out Cher included in her pocket. Cher's first layout -- a Hawaiian sunset -- can you see the beading work on the right edge? Holy moly gorgeous!! Cher's second layout -- she wrote, 'As much as I tried to diversify 'my place', they all ended up being at the beach, in the ocean, near a sunset or in the mermaid's realm!' (AS IF I MIND!!!) Cher's last layout -- she wrote me a note, " On this page, I made all these 3-D mermaids using molds. I used colored hot glue sticks (& paper clay on one), and then highlighted the colors using pigment powders. I used a gold leaf pen to edge them and sealed with a gloss sealer.' WOW TO THE ZA!!! Ah, yes ...
This is Ellen's first layout, about New Mexico. She lived there and just loved it. I've visited and also driven through a couple of times, so I can really relate to this! So much culture, beautiful raw nature, artistic expression. Ellen's second layout, on Autumn (also MY favorite season) .... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Ellen's 3rd layout -- she loves being at home, and I love the peace and ease of this spread!