Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Blogging

Another tool I use for blog statistics is a simple and nifty feature offered by Blogger. Popular Posts. The widget can be customized to show popular pages of all time, the week, or past 30 days. I use the past 30 day selection.
Added as a sidebar widget, this tool gives me an at a glance look at my blog posts with the most page hits.  The tool also gives me a visual idea of which topics readers seem to like.  

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Friday Five

Five colors I don't care for.

1. Pink. It's not that pink is an ugly color. I rather object to the fact that the color is forced onto girls. As if this is the only color choice we can have. At least it was for me. My ma loved pink, and loved me her precious little tomboy in pink.

2. Orange and

3. Yellow are both too bright for my conservative nature.

4. Olive. Yellow-green looks sickly. Not to mention I don't like green olives with the pimento stuffed in it. Looks like a grotesque eye, and I hate the way they stare at you from the jar.

5. Puce. Like the color of dried blood.

What color can you do without?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life Lesson

"Make excuses or make progress" - Andy Fish.  The quote was said in the context of a marketing art class Andy taught. The phrase really goes beyond art or marketing, but fits as a life lesson. No matter what we do our personal success or personal best resides within us. Being busy or dealing with family issues are not new concepts. Everyone is busy and everyone has issues to deal with. You can whine about your circumstance or you can absorb the experience, move on and grow.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Instrument of Consent

I'm not much for the Royal Wedding hoopla, but the Queen publicly issued the Instrument of Consent, a legal document she grants to members of the royal family when they wish to marry.

Yes, the document was done by hand. Cyberscribes the online calligraphers discussion group was speculating on the identity of the artist. Over the weekend this beautiful piece was identified as being done by calligrapher and illuminator, Timothy Noad

You can read about the historical significance of the document here

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

This week my all time favorite movie, the 1951 sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still directed by Robert Wise, starring Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal and Gort. If I was stranded on a deserted island and could only have one DVD to watch on my coconut driven DVD player, this would be the one movie. The special effects may seem a bit cheesy compared to movies today, but the storyline holds up well. The music and lighting more than make up for the low tech special effects, and Gort is just wicked. This movie can be watched in so many ways: as an entertaining sci-fi movie, wondering how Patricia Neal was able to walk down the steep ramp while wearing high heels, social commentary on the nuclear arms race, and as an apocalypse.

Broaden my horizons. What's your favorite movie that starts with the letter D?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Alphabet Sunday

Some of you may have seen Rhett Dashwoods' Google Maps Alphabet. I thought it would be fun to try to find the letters of the alphabet in my own house. I found all the letters over the course of a few day.

And so we begin.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Blog Statistics

One of the things I enjoy about computers is the endless supply of tools, gadgets and widgets.  On Saturdays, I'll be blogging about some of the tools, gadgets, and widgets I use that help keep me productive, organized or just plain amused. And if you know of any cool widgets, let me know. You can never have enough widgets.

I love blog or web page statistics. Love seeing where everyone comes from and how they land on my page. Sure, you can wade through all that stuff in Google Analytics (and I do), but another widget I use is Feedjit. Feedjit lets you see who lands on your page in real time. Cool hunh? With a one click overview, Feedjit also shows whether people come to your page by following a link,search engines, or direct. You can customize the Feedjit widget to match the colors of your blog or webpage. Easy to install by copying and pasting the HTML code into your blog or web page. Best of all, it's free! You can buy an advanced or pro widget and there is a free trial for either of those options. I find the free widjit works just fine for my needs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Friday Five

Five changes I'm making to my blog.

1. New

2. Topic

3. On

4. Saturdays

5. Curious? Come back tomorrow

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You're Invited

Want to know what I've been finding around the house? Come back Sunday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Hobbit

Looking forward to this. And if you want to follow the news while the movie is in production visit The Hobbit Movie

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Patience is...

seldom found in men and never in women. And this, dear boys and girls, is the reason why you absolutely must be patient especially if you are a member of the Sinistral Minority. If you do not wait until the ink is thoroughly dry, you will smear your ink when you plunk your meaty Southpaw over the writing line.

This exercise is Lab 34, The Numbers Game, from Drawing Lab. In the lab you pick two numbers between one and ten and find the corresponding word from lists in the book. The words I ended up with were bird and ice cream. The slightly askew side of my brain came up with this. Done with water soluble crayon, Pilot Parallel Pen with Pilot ink cartridge. Kinda gives new meaning to 31 flavors.

I'm not a huge ice cream fan, but when it's hot outside, I rather enjoy a scoop or two of Almond Candy Bar (like an Almond Joy ice cream: chocolate and coconut) from the Dairy Bar down the road apiece. Shhhh, don't tell my SIL as she's comptroller for Ben and Jerry's.

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

Tonight a change of pace from the usual shoot 'em ups, The Court Jester with Danny Kaye bumbling his way through court intrigue. Produced by Kaye's wife, Sylvia Fine, The Court Jester showcases Danny Kaye's talent. Clever dialogue including a tongue twister about the pellet with the poison. See if you can figure out which cup has the brew that is true.

Broaden my horizons. What's your favorite movie that starts with the letter C?

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Friday Five

I was thinking about color, but coming up for a reason why I liked certain colors wasn't easy. Five colors I like and why.

1. It shouldn't come as a surprise to learn blue is my favorite color. I like pretty much all shades of blue though gravitate towards the darker shades like cobalt or royal blue.  I find blue a relaxing color. Blue starry skies is a recurring theme when I dream.  I also find blue empowering since I was told as a little girl blue was a boy's color. My way of being a rebel.

2. Red, my secret favorite. You can't be invisible wearing red.

3. Purple, deep shades like a jewel. Perfect for a Little Princess.

4. Green, again a dark shade. Like pine. I like that turpentine smell.

5. Black. The go with everything color. A color I associate with authority (must have been influenced by the nuns). Or maybe I just bought into the "it's slimming".

What's your favorite color and why?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spilling Over

Spilling Over was the Sketchbook Challenge for March. Working on the page spilled over into April as it took me some time to come up with colors and layout I was happy with. When it doubt, go for blue. Head in the clouds spilling over with ideas. Written in the clouds: hopes, dreams, ideas, work, imagination.

I tore our the pocket for the Strathmore Start Where You Are workshop. I thought the pocket application fit better with this page. There is a pocket in the head which is a good place to store ideas for future journal pages. I just down stuff on scrap paper and sometimes the scraps get misplaced or tossed out. Now I have a neat place to keep them.

Where do you jot down creative ideas? 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Experimenting with Glazes - End

This completes the April theme for the Sketchbook Challenge: Branching Out using a different technique or media than you usually do. I really enjoyed playing with the glazes.

With the leaves painted in, I cut out some birds and mounted them with 3D tape to make them pop off the page. I glued on a small black snap for the eye, but now the birds look creepy. LOL Or maybe it's just a gathering of birds makes me nervous as I'm reminded  of Hitchcock's thriller, The Birds

What about you? Do flocks of birds sitting in trees and on high tension wires give you the willies?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

This week, Broken Lance starring Spencer Tracy as a tough as nails cattle baron, Richard Widmark as the eldest son champing at the bit to take over his father's operation, and a young Robert Wagner, the favorite youngest son and half-brother caught in the middle of a family feud.

Broaden my horizens. What's your favorite movie that starts with the letter B?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Friday Five

Some people eat to live. I live to eat though there are certain things I don't like and other foods I won't even try. Five foods or flavors I don't like

1. Can't stand peppermint. Himself can't stand it either. Hate the fact that it's the flavor du jour of most of the toothpastes. On the other hand, neither one of us will turn down Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies. Go figure.  Must be the chocolate improves the mint.

2. Cheese. Cheese is nasty especially if it's not cooked. Not too thrilled with melted cheese either though I will eat mozzarella on pizza, ricotta cheese in ravioli, and a grilled cheese sandwich made with one slice and one slice only of American cheese. Hate going to a restaurant and ordering a salad and then they ruin it by putting nasty cheese on it.

3. Oysters. This falls under the category of I can't even bring myself to try them. Can't get past the thought of their slurpy slimey selves. Erica, did I make you gag? Lol

4.  Liver or any organ meat. My mother made liver for dinner one night. I was about four or five years old. It smelled horrible. I wouldn't eat it. She cut a small piece and said I had to eat it. I refused. She said I couldn't leave the table unless I ate it. Obviously, I left the table as I'm still not sitting there. I have no recollection of who won the battle. I suspect I did as she never cooked liver again, or any other organ meat, while I was at home.

5. Cooked cabbage. I was staying with my aunt and she made New England Boiled Dinner one night. Even at ten years old, I thought this was strange fare for an Italian household. I was all set for my grandma's homemade macaroni. Instead she boiled ham, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. The house smelled like cabbage. The ham tasted like cabbage. The carrots tasted like cabbage. The potatoes tasted like cabbage. Blech. Cole Slaw isn't too bad though I'm not partial to mayonnaise.

What foods or flavors do you dislike?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Experimenting with Glazes - 3

Continuing working on the pages. There is no rush to get the work done. Just working here and there when I have bits of time. I love the freedom of experimenting. No right, no wrong. Mixing the glaze with goauche (gwash) yielded a nice surprise, the glaze makes the paint waterproof. Good to know for addressing envelopes. I'll have to test the glaze-gouache  to see if it can be mixed thin enough to flow through a broad edged pen.

Have you made any interesting discoveries this week?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Experimenting with Glazes - 2

I love the opacity of working with the glaze medium. I wasn't sure glaze and acrylic paint would go through the pen, but it worked just fine. Can't beat the Nikko G nib, a real work horse. Painting the leaves is turning into an exercise in meditation. I'm looking forward to filling in more leaves today. Art is cheaper than traditional therapy.

Do you find elements of your work that allow you to meditate?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Experimenting with Glazes - 1

Inspired by a journal page Angelia created using glazes, I decided to give it a try. Supposedly using glazes brings depth to a piece. I found a bottle of glaze medium purchased for some workshop, but never used. Perfect. Wouldn't have to run out and buy more materials to sit in the drawer.

With Angelia's leaf and bird motif in my head, I flipped through my quote book and found two quotes I thought would make good companions for a spread.

"Use the talents you possess for the world would be silent if no birds sang except the best."
"Every heart sings a song incomplete until another heart whispers back" - Plato

Here's the spread laid out in pencil with a bit of blue mixed with the glaze.

What are you working on? Are you experimenting with something new for you?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

I love movies. Mostly, I love old movies like me, but I love movies. I love the adventure, romance, thrill, and the escape when reality bites. As a bonus for the next 26 weeks, I have a blog topic for Mondays! I'll try not to pick too many Horse Operas.

This week's pick: Arsenic and Old Lace. If you're about to go around the bend, you couldn't ask for a better companion than Cary Grant. Put me on the bus to Happy Dale. I'm all packed and ready to go!

Help broaden my horizons. What's your favorite movie that starts with A?

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Friday Five

Mother Nature graced us with a blanket of snow. Five things I love about the stuff:

1. It looks so pretty all clean and sparkling white.

2. What a rush to drive down the hill with the back end of the car fishtailing from side to side.

3. No need to shovel as the snow will melt quickly (hopefully not into the basement)

4. There's nothing like a gentle reminder that Winter lasts from November to April. Only 29 days left. Punxatawney Phil was wrong in his early Spring prediction. The rodent is near-sighted and needs glasses.

5.  I've heard a Spring snow is called Farmer's Gold as the snow is considered cheap fertilizer.

The farmers can keep their gold. Have a Happy April Fool's Day.