November 20

Creative Space – After (Part 9)

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Just a quick “check-in” on my creative space.  You’ll notice a new table in the corner, and now the shelves need to move.  I think I’ll but them on the other side of the window, over the table. 

In October, I worked hard on organizing my room to make sure I had a place for all my supplies  Having a specific place for things made it possible for me to keep the room relatively clutter-free…except for the desk area.  In an earlier post, I mentioned the book Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley has been very helpful to me as a recovering “hoarder.”  One of the things she describes in the book is a “Hot Spot.”  A Hot Spot is a place where as soon as you lay one thing on it, things begin to multiply and before you know it, the surface is covered.  Around my desk looks like a blazing Hot Spot. 

Here’s what I did:

1.  Bought a few pocket portfolios to keep projects I’m working on, my blog schedule and ideas, and notes I make and want to follow-up on.

2.  Cleaned out the desk drawers so I’d have room for my portfolios, notebook and paper.  I didn’t do this last month when I did the big organzing project.

3.  Got a basket for tossing things that don’t get put in their proper spot right away.  Then, I can see when I need to stop and do a little filing and organizing.

Here’s what I need to do:

1.  Go through all my notebooks and consolidate them.  I have more idea notebooks than is helpful.

2.  Play around with the location of my desk.  I don’t like to face the wall.  I’d like to see if I could face my desk toward the door.  That may have to wait until I get a new computer that doesn’t have 50 wires and cords.

3.  Get the printer off my desk.  Whenever I work on something, I have to put it on the floor because I don’t have any desk surface.

4.  Figure out what I want to put in place of the shelves I’m planning to move.  I’m thinking of a thread holder, a long-term planning calendar and some pockets for file folders, magazines, etc.

Art Every Day Month – Day 19

Box of Tiny Cards

Made by me under the careful supervision of my niece prior to Art Every Day Month

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 11 Comments

November 19

We Were the Mulvaneys

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We Were the Mulvaneys centers on the Mulvaney family, a “perfect” family…until.  After the pivotal event, the family begins to fall apart.  Joyce Carol Oates’ writing is dense, highly descriptive and slow-paced.  This type of writing gets in my head and under my skin because you get to know the characters, their lives and their world in a very intimate way.  This book doesn’t offer answers, just a story that leaves you wondering how you would respond.  The family doesn’t experience a cataclysmic explosion or implosion, but rather a slow, painful unraveling…which makes you consider what could cause something like this to happen in your life or family.  Sobering, sympathetically written, tragic, beautiful and very realistic.

Art Every Day Month – Day 19

 

Key to my Heart Canvas

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 11 Comments

November 18

Love Story

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This is a sentimental favorite.  I remember seeing it as a teenager several years after it was release in 1970 and thinking how sophisticated and grown-up it all was.  Now when I watch it, some parts seem silly, but it still is a beautiful story of young love, class differences, parental disapproval and tragedy.  It’s an uncomplicated film, but wonderfully moving.  Of course, no matter how much I love Love Story, I still snicker a little when I hear the line, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  WHAT!?  Not in our house it doesn’t!

Art Every Day Month – Day 18

 

 Bird in the Fog Canvas

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 11 Comments

November 17

Felt = Wreath

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Inspiration:

Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication (Holiday Crafts 2011) – Pg 87 (Door Prize)

 

 

Supplies:

 Felt (I used fuchsia, lime green, turquoise, royal blue and white)

12-inch-diameter beveled styrofoam wreath

Pinking shears

Scissors

Straight pins

Glue

Light cardboard for poinsettia leave pattern (not shown)

Pen (not shown)

 

1.  Using the pinking shears, cut eleven 1″ x 7″ strips from each of the four felt colors.

 

2.  Wrap the strips around the styrofoam wreath with each strip slightly overlapping the previous strip.  Pin strips to the back of the wreath.

 

3.  Cut a large and a small poinsettia leave pattern from the light cardboard.  Trace the pattern on the felt.  Cut out the leaves (I cut out five large and five small).  Cut out a circle base to glue the poinsettia leaves on.

4.  Dab fabric glue on the base of each poinsettia leave and pinch it together.  Let the glue dry.

 

5.  Glue the poinsettia leaves on the felt base.  Cut out four small circles in a contrasting color for the center of the poinsettia.  Glue the circles in the center of the flower.

7.  Pin the flower on the wreath.  It’s retro, it’s in the colors you choose and it’s lightweight and easy to store.

Art Every Day Month – Day 17

 

 Ivory on Ivory Canvas

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – WE WON!

Last week, we participated in Mayzie’s Rescue Me Week challenge, and we won!  Thanks to Mayzie and her mom’s desire to honor Grampa J, who loved and cared for animals his whole life, 233 animals who are looking for their forever homes, were featured on different blogs.  A random drawing was held, and five posts won $100 for the rescue group of their choice.  You can read about the drawing on Mayzie’s blog, Rescue Me Week – Grand Finale!  My post, featuring Vandyke, was selected.  I was playing for Freedom, Casper and Nikki’s rescue group, Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan.

It was a lot of fun to participate in the challenge and awesome to win, but it was also a reminder of the beautiful nature and generosity of a life of kindness and compassion.  Grampa J passed away this year, but his legacy lives on and continues to touch and help animals who want nothing more than a place called “home.”

Posted by lori . Filed under Look What I Found! Now What Do I Do With It? (Crafts) | 13 Comments

November 16

In Case I Get Lost

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Have you ever experienced a lost pet?  We haven’t, but we had two “close calls” both involving Casper.  The first time, our backyard gate was left open, and the second time, I walked out of the house and didn’t close the door all the way.    Fortunately, he didn’t make it too far before we got him back, but both times were terrible when they happened.

Before we went to Dewey Beach, I had Freedom, Casper and Nikki microchipped.  A microchip implant is an identifying integrated circuit that is placed under the skin, usually at the back of the neck between the shoulder blades.  The chips are about the size of a large grain of rice and are encased in biocompatible glass.  Microchips use passive RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology and contain no internal power source.  They are designed to not act until acted upon.  Most animal shelters, animal rescue groups and veterinarians scan for microchip information when a lost pet is turned in to them.

Freedom, Casper and Nikki also wear a collar with tags.  Currently, they wear their rabies vaccination tag with their veterinarian’s phone number and a tag from our Greyhound rescue group (Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan) with their toll free number and “reward” offer.  I also want to get them tags with their name and address on them.

Finally, it is a great idea to have several “Lost” posters made-up and hope that you’ll never have to use them.  Our Greyhound rescue group suggests this when you adopt your Greyhound and even provides a blank poster for you to photocopy.  By having the posters ready along with a good picture, you can get them out quickly and easily in those early hours.

I hope I never have a “lost” pet, but hopefully some advance planning will pay-off if it ever happens.  If you have any other good suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Art Every Day Month – Day 16

 

 Fabric Flower Canvas

Posted by lori . Filed under Greyt Hounds (Greyhounds) | 15 Comments

November 15

4 Faves – Mayzie Version

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November is the final month of 4 Faves – Friends Version for 2011, so that calls for something special.  Every week, I have special guests who will share their favorite things…4 pet and 4 people things.  Today, I’d like to introduce you to Mayzie, author of Mayzie’s Dog Blog.  Mayzie was rescued from a bad situation by her Angel Donna Fostermommy.  You can read how Mayzie was rescued and adopted by clicking on the links (it is a story worth reading).  I met Mayzie through Puddles (We Three Doxies), and I was immediately struck by her sweet, optimistic personality.  I’ve been a follower ever since.  Mayzie isn’t the only one over at Mayzie’s Dog Blog…there’s Brudder Ranger and Abby (the kitty).  It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Mayzie and her mom.

Mayzie and I were thrilled when Lori contacted us about doing a guest post about 4 of our favorite things. We love her blog and her creativity and felt honored to be asked. We immediately put out heads together, but unfortunately (and not surprisingly), we came up with very different favorite things.

MayzieMom – Breville BJE200XL 700-Watt Compact Juice Fountain

While I try to lead a healthy lifestyle, I’ve always had trouble getting in my 5 fruits and veggies a day. I started reading up on juicing and decided that this might be the solution to my problem. After doing a lot of research on juicers, I settled on the Breville BJE200XL. Hard-core juicers will probably shake their heads in dismay because it is a centrifugal juicer, not a masticating juicer (centrifugal juicers generate more heat, which kills some enzymes). However, I knew that for me to use it, it would have to be both quick and easy to clean. This juicer is both and it is one of the more reasonably priced juicers on the market, with lots of great reviews on Amazon. Now, getting my 5 fruits and veggies a day is easy – and tasty! $99.99 from Amazon.

 

Mayzie – Tripett Green Tripe

Okay, I don’t really likes fruits and veggie-tables and I sure as heck don’t like ’em all runny so I dunno why my mom picked that. If she really wanted something tasty and good for her, she’d put Tripett Green Tripe on her dinner! This stuff is SO good, it makes me all drooly, even while it’s still in the can. Plus, mom says that it’s all-natural and it’s got all kinds of good things in it that make my coat shiny, my teeth whiter, and can help dogs that have the itchies. But all I care about is that it’s DEE-lish! $2 a can from Amazon.

MayzieMom – Nambé Tri-Corner Bowl

I first fell in love with Nambé products 20+ years ago on my first trip to Santa Fe. I was enchanted with the elegant, graceful designs and the rich beauty of the alloy it’s made from. However, it wasn’t until recently that I received my first piece of Nambé as a gift and it is displayed proudly on my dining room table. Nambé Mills, Inc. has a long, rich history dating back to 1951 when it was founded near Santa Fe during Modernism’s mid-century movement. Created from a proprietary alloy that does not contain silver, lead, or pewter, it is safe for cooking and serving. I am always amazed at the masterful way their designers are able to craft pieces that are as functional as they are beautiful. While not inexpensive, these are the types of pieces that will be handed down from generation to generation. Starting at $79.99 from Nambé.

Mayzie – Stoneware Dog Dish

Well, that bowl is pretty and all but mom won’t let me or my Brudder Ranger drink OR eat out of it! Can you imagine? Now if you really wants a bowl that’s pretty AND useful, check out our water dish! It’s nice and heavy so we don’t knock it over (and makes for some bark-out-loud moments when mom stubs her toe on it). It’s made out of something called “Sir Amick” so it’s easy to keep clean and keeps our water cool. And it’s blue inside so it makes our water look pretty, too! PLUS, it’s lots less green papers than mom’s bowl. So tell me, which bowl would YOU choose? $5.99 from Amazon.

MayzieMom – Therapedic Deluxe Contour Memory Foam Pillow

I’m a side sleeper and for years, I’ve had pain in my right shoulder when I woke up. I could never find a pillow with enough support that was actually comfortable enough to sleep on. I’d been intrigued by the contoured pillows but had a hard time justifying spending that much money on a pillow. One day, when I received the ubiquitous 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath & Beyond, I decided to take the plunge. And I am SO glad I did! It’s made a huge difference in the quality of my sleep and I no longer wake up with achy shoulders. Worth every penny! $59.99 (or $47.99 with coupon) from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Mayzie – Guardian Gear Soft-Sided Collapsible Crate (aka My Condo)

Hmmmm…I don’t know anything abouts pillows but if you REALLY wanna be comfy, this is the way to go. This condo is super luck-sure-ee-ous! It’s nice and roomy, has lotsa windows to look out of, and has a zippered door for whenever you wanna spend some time alone without your neighbors bothering you. PLUS, since it’s got soft sides, it can go wherever you go. It takes just a few minutes for your humans to fold it down flat and then set it up again when you get where you’re going. How nifty is that? Starting at $39.99 from PetEdge

MayzieMom – The Other End of the Leash

When we adopted Mayzie, she had lived her whole life tied up in someone’s back yard. Because of her lack of socialization, she was scared of pretty much everything. I knew the old theory of “dominating” your dog wouldn’t work with her. She was too scared, too shy, and too soft. Plus, it just never sat right with me. Luckily, I discovered this wonderful book by animal behaviorist Patricia McConnell. In an entertaining and engaging way, she explains how different our primate body language is from our dogs’, and how easily our actions might be misinterpreted by them. She puts the emphasis on OUR behavior (you know, the ones with the supposedly big brains) and how we can use our voice and body to more effectively communicate with our dogs, all the while strengthening our relationship with them. If I could just recommend one book to dog owners, this would be it! $10.88 from Amazon.

Mayzie – Plubber!

I know humans like to entertain themselves by sitting around and reading books and stuff. But why do that when you can PLAY? Now, I don’t mean to brag but I’m a master de-stuffer. This is Most Impawtant to do so that you protect your family from whatever skeery, dangerous thing might be lurking inside. But with a Plubber, you don’t have to! It’s got a nice soft squishy body and it’s covered with the same kinda stuff they cover stuffies with. But there’s no STUFFING inside! So you can chew on it and play tug with it to your heart’s content and sleep really good at night knowing your pawrents are safe from Stuffing Monsters. $8.99 from PetSmart.

Well, there you have it! I sure hope you liked all our favoritest things (even my mom’s, no matter how kinda boring they were).

Thank you, Mayzie!  That was an awesome list.  And…Happy Anniversary to Mayzie’s mom and dad.  They celebrated 19 years together, yesterday.

Last week we participated in Mayzie’s “Rescue Me Week.”  If you want to check out all of the pets featured during “Rescue Me Week,” head over to Mayzie’s blog.  They are all listed on the right-hand side.  Guess what, Vandyke has a forever home!

Art Every Day Month – Day 15

 

 “Create” Canvas

 

Posted by lori . Filed under 4 Faves (Favorite Things) | 13 Comments

November 14

Creative Time and Space…Week 5

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I’m working my way through the book, Creative Space and Time by Ricë Freeman-Zachary.  This week, I read the chapter “Jumpstarting Time: A Nudge to Get Going When You’re Spinning Your Wheels.”  In last week’s reading, Ricë talked to the featured artists about what they do when they hit a dry spell.  This week, the artists shared about what they do when they find themselves in a creative rut…the creativity is there; it’s just not going anywhere.

The solutions the artists use include, (1) Rest…stepping away from creative work, business and media; (2) Going to the source of their inspiration…idea files, art books, nature, journals and sketch books; and (3) Challenging themselves…a new technique, color or business move.  The main point is to play, experiment and spend a little time in the world of “What if?” to shake things up.

This chapter is a bit ahead of where I’m at.  Creatively, I haven’t determined a style.  All my work falls into the category of play and experimentation.  It’s fun and the pressure is low, since I don’t do my work as a business.  Carter Seibels made an interesting point when she commented about the “making-art-and-making-a-living” combination and its ability to produce all kinds of “rut-inducing” problems.  Carter said, “Reconciling those two parts of your art can be tough–one of the reasons it’s a good idea to stop and think about whether you really want to make art your career or whether you’re perfectly content to keep the two completely separate.”

Art Every Day Month – Day 14

 

 Doodle Canvas

Posted by lori . Filed under Creating the Creator (Creativity) | 8 Comments

November 13

Frogs

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First Frog

Since I was a little girl, I’ve collected frogs.  I can’t remember how it started, but my first one came from my Grandma.  Pretty soon, I had a collection of miniatures on top of my chest-of-drawers. 

Frog Pencil Holders & Frog Keepsake Boxes

The great thing about collecting is it makes it really easy for people to buy you gifts.  The bad thing about collecting is…same answer.  At one point, it just started getting ridiculous, and I began to pull away from my collection.  Over the years, many of my pieces have “moved on,” but I still enjoy a good frog now and then.

Frog Knickknack & Frog Bookend 

Art Every Day Month – Day 13

 

Stenciled Canvas

Posted by lori . Filed under Want to Talk About (Whatever) | 7 Comments

November 12

Absalom, Absalom!

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This is a difficult book with a complex structure; but if you love a challenge, Absalom, Absalom! will reward you handsomely.  William Faulkner created the fictional world of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, the setting of several of his novels and short stories, including Absalom, Absalom!.  It’s here that you’ll get a taste of the legacy of the antebellum South…honor, heritage, the burden of the past, the Civil War, race, gender and class.  It’s the complicated story of the rise and fall of Thomas Sutpin and his dynasty; and through the story of this man, lies an allegory of the Old South.  Absalom, Absalom! is a masterpiece. 

 Art Every Day Month – Day 12

 

 Variegated Yarn Vase II

Posted by lori . Filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books) | 10 Comments

November 11

Marie Antoinette

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This movie made me consider a historical character in a new way.  Opulent and visually stunning, Marie Antoinette not only lets you see the excess of the French court before the revolution, it allows you to see it with contemporary eyes through the use of 80’s New Wave music and energetic cinematography.  What makes this tragic fairy tale truly interesting, is the empathy you feel for Marie Antoinette, a teenage girl who was sent to the French court to marry a young boy who should never have been king.  Directed by Sophia Coppola, Marie Antoinette captures this ill-fated life in a fascinating manner.

This week, in addition to the Art Every Day Month challenge, I’m participating in Mayzie’s Rescue Me Week challenge.  Mayzie is the author of the most brilliant, Mayzie’s Dog Blog, and she is going to have a drawing on or about November 16 and award 5 rescue groups $100 each!  Mayzie is doing this in honor of her Grampa J who’s love of animals inspires his family to this day.  I’m playing for Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan, the group who rescued Freedom, Casper and Nikki.  This is the final day of the challenge and today, I’m featuring Preakness Prince (aka Prince).

 

Prince is currently in a foster home, and here’s what his foster mom has to say about him:

“Prince…oh he’s just so sweet and loving and playful. He loves to be near his people. He has a spot right next to my computer chair that he likes to lay in. He occasionally stands up every once in a while waiting for you to pet him. He’s learning the house routine very quickly. He doesn’t mind his crate and has been crated for 8 hours with no problems. He pottys on lead, gets along with all the other critters here…lizards, fish, dogs, cats. He loves to go for rides and tolerates grooming very well (bath, nails, ears). He can sometimes be a bit unsure at first, the first day he was here he was a bit unsure, by the second he was playbowing at me to play with him. It just takes him a few to warm up…but don’t let that deter you…This Prince can’t wait to meet his new royal family!”

To find out more about Prince and other Greyhounds waiting for their forever homes, go the the Allies for Greyhounds of West Michigan website, click “Adoptable” on the left-hand side and scroll down the list.  If a dog is in foster care, you can click on their picture and you’ll see a link that says “Foster Profile.”  The Foster Profile will give you even more information about that particular dog.  Found one you want to join your family?  Click on the “Apply” link on the left-hand side and fill out an application.

 Art Every Day Month – Day 11

 

Variegated Yarn Vase

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies) | 8 Comments