Wednesday, December 31, 2008


What do you get when you combine a Michael's 50% off coupon, pencil envy, and lust? You get the Prismacolor Premier 120 Colored Pencil set. I done died and gone to heaven. Now to set to work sharpening all the beautiful color pencils.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Seven things to do on a snowy day.

1. Bake chocolate chip cookies

2. Play on Facebook

3. Chat on IM

4. Eat chocolate chip cookies

5. Watch Himself shovel the driveway

6. Take a nap

7. Blog

What do you do on a snowy or stormy day?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

No surprise. Up a pound with the stress of the storm. Doughnuts should be considered a free food like carrots or celery. We were very lucky considering. My BIL put us up for the weekend so we had a comfortable place to stay. Our electricity came back on after two days. Some areas of the state are still without power. Some photographs that had been rescued from the flood water have dried out nicely. As a side note, water does interesting things to photograph paper and the technique will be fun for altered art. The Young One's school is closed for the rest of the week due to surrounding areas and cleanup making roads too narrow for the buses to get through. No tears there. The chorus concert performances are still planned to run as scheduled. The show must go on. My motto too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


It's that time of year again. The elves were busy making wreaths yesterday.

The bears are on my front door.

Cardinals at the cemetery.

Red bow for Prissy, my neighbor.

Holly bow for my folks

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

Up a pound. Ate out twice this week and had a meeting with coffee and donuts. Empty calories shouldn't add pounds. And how can a donut have so many calories when it has a hole in the middle? Empty calories is misleading and should be called Full of Calories.

On the happy side, I am able to fit into medium sized sweatpants and sweatshirt.

As I was filling in my weight chart, I'm on the 25th week and 5 - 10 lbs heavier than I would like to be at this point. I hope looking at the number of weeks and the smaller size sweats will be motivation to try harder.

Hope your progress was better.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I enjoy hanging out at Facebook. The Young One is there and has included me in her games which is fun. Puppies, Kitties, Kidnap, Twilight, but the game that amuses me most is Pieces of Flair. Seven Pieces of Flair, I've received that amuse me (in no particular order)

1. He irks me. He's irksome. A line from The Mentalist, my new favorite show. Simon Baker is sehr thuddy.

2. Facebook enabling the nosy. Now everyone can know our most mundane moments.

3. I didn't ask to be a Princess, but since the crown fits...I wear it.

4. The Ass Family: Jack, his wife, Smart, children: Lazy, Kiss, and Dumb. I've met every single one of them.

5. Why can't summer last forever? Deep sigh. Forlorn look.

6. Facebook Because I'm avoiding responsibilities. It's a happy little time waster.

7. We were friends before Facebook
Thanks to Erica for the topic. If you play at Facebook, what's your favorite game?

Friday, December 5, 2008


As the final project, my students will be submitting bookmarks to the student art show. I'm hoping the display case is available. If not, I need a back up plan. I stopped at Michael's to see if I could find an inexpensive poster frame. They had all sizes on sale for $9.99 which was great, but frames have to be hung with wire. There was only a very thin chipboard and I wasn't sure it was deep enough to take screw eyes. There were other frames not on sale. Of course. I didn't want to spend the moolah. It was a little out of my budget, but I didn't see much of a choice. The frame will be put to use if not this time then a future time. That's the rationale. I purchased a picture hanging kit and some Christmas picks on sale.

I went to stand in the check out line. There was a woman in front of me and another in the middle of her transaction. The woman conducting her business looked at the woman next to her and asked if she would be able to use a 40% off coupon. No. She handed the coupon to me.

"Would you be able to use this coupon?"

"Yes, thank you!"

The coupon brought the cost down to almost the sale price of the other poster frames and more in line with my budget. That woman was a godsend and I thank her for her random act of kindness.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2

Thursday, December 4, 2008


The cover of the sketchbook had been done back in July. The idea for the peacock came from the book Altered Imagery. The cover was collaged, decoupaged, 3D gel markered (way cool to play with), washable crayoned and then washed. A drawn wing didn't look quite right.

The other day on an expedition to Michael's for Christmas picks, I happened to find this glittered feather pick. It was the perfect color and at 50% off, the perfect price.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

I maintained this week. What a relief because I made really bad food choices over the holiday. Too bad Hershey kisses aren't worth the same as vegetables.

Today, I had lunch at Mrs. Claus' house with Lambie. Lambie decorates every room in her log cabin home. As she describes it "Christmas just throws up all over here." LOL The decorations are just beautiful.

Lambie made a delicious seafood salad on home-made sour dough bread. For dessert, Lambie had chocolate fondue with pears and home-made marshmallows. OMG, after eating Lambie's marshmallows, you will never enjoy commercial marshmallows. She sent me home with a small bag.

Afterwards, Lambie and I had our own WW meeting as Lambie is a WW member. I wasn't worried what would be for lunch and fruit is good for you (even if it's dipped in chocolate.) I didn't have breakfast so I think I did pretty good.

One of my problems is drinking all the water. Wasn't much of a problem during the summer, but now that it's cold last thing I want is a bottle of water. Lambie told me that decaf tea would count for 1/2 a water. Herbal tea would count for a full water ration. I'm not partial to either decaf tea or herbal teas though I have found I like apple cinnamon tea. I'll put the apple cinnamon tea to work for me.

How did you do this week? (The picture is Lambie's tree from last year. a 13 footer. This year they went small with a 12 footer. (-; )

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Candy Canes

Yesterday, Erica's blog reminded me that it's time to get the house decorated for Christmas. I had completely forgot that yesterday was 1. December. This morning, I put a few things up. The small advent tree and The Young One hung 2 ornaments on it. I changed the candle ring on the dining room table from the harvest ring to the Christmas one.

Lambie aka Mrs. Claus invited me to her house for lunch tomorrow. Besides a small gift, I wanted to bring her something festive. I came across this idea from the magazine Real Simple

Take 5 or 6 candy canes and tie them together. Turn them upside down to form a "vase" then you can plop a doo-dad in. Michael's had Christmas picks on sale for 50% off. Target had candy canes on sale so I bought a bunch of picks and a couple of boxes to make hostess gifts.

Oh, and Erich, my butler, got decked out in his Christmas collar and jaunty Santa hat.

Monday, December 1, 2008


This afternoon, the Young One joined me for a cup of apple cinnamon tea. This is her mug found on a shopping expedition when she was three. She fell in love with the mug as only a three year old can. The cup came to be called The Happy Little Gingerbread Man. He's used year round for hot chocolate or chai tea. She decided she does not like the apple cinnamon tea. No matter, the tea ritual is more about sharing time.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Seven things about re-covering dining room chairs:

1. Martha Stewart made it look quick and easy. Martha lied.

2. The electric staple gun is wicked cool even if it's a right handed tool. The safety switch was under my left index finger so when I went to squeeze the trigger, the safety would engage.

3. Deciding to cover 6 chairs 4 days before a holiday is a stupid idea.

4. The hardest part of the job is removing the million and two staples from the seat frame to remove the old material.

5. Advil is a good friend.

6. The job goes easier with two pair of hands but can be managed by one.

7. Don't let anyone sit on the chairs after the job is completed so you never have to re-cover chairs ever again.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

Up down, up down. Just like a yo-yo. One down this week from last week, but it's more of a maintain weight than an actual loss. Meetings with contractors, covering dining room chairs, cleaning and preparing for the holiday, I haven't done much walking. Discovering Triscuit Rosemary and Olive Oil crackers didn't help either. OMG, they are soooo good and six crackers just don't cut it.
Hope your progress was better than mine.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


While picking stuff up, I came across The Young One's sketchbook. It was filled with wonderful pictures. Still life, mythical creatures, people in the anime style. I envied The Young One. There was obvious joy in the the pictures she created. I've wanted to fill a sketchbook for a long time. I've even started a couple, but end up being unhappy with what I've done. I wonder where the spontaneity has gone. As a kid, I used to draw and doodle all the time.

I've bought books on how to keep an art journal and I flip through the pages of the beautiful drawings and watercolor. But I hear a voice saying "you're not good", "you sux", "what an abortion you drew", "you're not good enough" so I abandon the sketchbook.

Not long ago, Erica shared with me an exercise she did at a writer's workshop. The participants where told to draw a picture of their inner editor and then seal the picture in an envelope. Then they were to write.

The idea made so much sense so today, I began the sketchbook with a picture of my inner critic. And just to be sure I can't hear her negative comments through the envelope, I sealed her mouth with a strip of duct tape.

Silence is golden. On the way to pick The Young One up at school, I thought of a song by the late Harry Chapin. Flowers Are Red. I added the chorus and the verse to my page as a reminder. You can listen to the song here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Latest Project

I've been wanting to recover the dining room chairs for a very long time. My cousin's grandmother had a beautiful dining room set and all the chairs had a needlepoint seat. Six different floral patterns. Ideally this is what I'd like to do. The reality is I can't afford to as the price for each needlepoint kit is out of my reach, unless of course, Auntie Rose comes through with that windfall she's been promising.

I thought it would be fun to paint illuminated initials on the fabric. Did it, but the concept looked much better in my head than on the fabric.

Still the idea of the needlepoint seats was banging in my head. Himself suggested I buy fabric I could live with and then could find the needlepoint kits at a more reasonable price some other time.

Jo-Ann had fabric on sale today for 40% off so Himself and I went to buy fabric for the chairs. I got the selection down to two patterns that I liked. One was a very muted floral like a watercolor. The other a bolder floral pattern. Himself liked the bolder pattern better so that's what we got.

Neither of us has ever recovered a chair, but we managed to get one done.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Seven more things about me. After all, it's all about me.

1. My favorite childhood book is Green Eggs And Ham. It's the first book I could read all by myself.

2. I've been bitten by a spider. Nope, no super powers, but a trip to the ER for an allergic reaction.

3. I took an honorable mention in the archdiocesan art fair when I was in 5th grade. I did an ink print of St. Michael the Archangel. The art show was broadcast on the archdiocesan channnel and we got to watch in school. Michael was printed in red ink so didn't show up on the tube very well.

4. I had a crush on a German tour guide when I took a trip over there while in high school. I was seventeen. Met him in Salzburg, Austria and had to say goodbye in Heidelberg.

5. Since I was the shortest girl in the 2nd grade class, I got to sit in the first row, first seat closest to the door. I got to be the errand girl and had to collect the hot lunch and attendance slips for Sister and bring them to the office.

6. I rarely use salt at the dinner table.

7. I use mechanical pencils. I like always having a sharp point. Have 'em scattered all over the house so I can jot notes or doodle.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas Cards

It's that time of year again. The elves are in the middle of Christmas card production. As usual there was a design change at the last minute. Himself just shook his head. No sympathy. "You do this to yourself every year." Deep sigh. What can I say? It's tradition.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

A day late, a dollar short, and a two pound gain this week. I'd love to place the blame on the Bavarian Creme doughnut I had yesterday. My problem is I haven't been walking or drinking much water. With the cold weather, the last thing I reach for is water. It seems so, well, cold. I drink several cups of tea per day, but as I recall from WW meetings from several years ago, the caffeine negates the water and doesn't count towards a daily total. Is that rule still part of the WW plan? They suggested drinking decaf or herbal tea and each cup would count 1/2 of a water. I like a real robust cup of black tea. Decaf tastes very weak no matter how long it's steeped. I don't care for the fruit herbal teas or green tea, same complaint weak, though I do like cinnamon apple.

How was your progress and do you manage to drink all the water?

So this week I'll have to concentrate on walking more and drinking more water. Too bad WW doesn't make a one point Bavarian Creme doughnut.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

I completely forgot today was weigh in day! We had an early morning meeting with the new contractor to go over the contract and plans for the bathroom. Between getting the Young One off to school, getting dressed and last minute tidy, I didn't even think about stepping on the scale.

Since it is so cold today, I dragged out the flannel-lined jeans, mock turtleneck and polartec half zip. No way am I getting on the scale while wearing a ton of clothes not to mention having a donut at the meeting.

Tomorrow's another day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


This taken from Erica's blog. Seven random facts about me.

1. I wear my wristwatch on my right wrist with face on my inner wrist.

2. Though lefthanded, I crochet right handed.

3. I don't like coffee, but I love the smell of fresh ground coffee beans.

4. My second favorite color is red.

5. I don't like to go barefoot.

6. I had a talking Casper the Ghost doll when I was little. Pull the string and he'd say a few phrases. Things like a ghostie Ooooo and "I'll play with you." Casper fell out of bed some many times the record in his head became scratched so he said "OOOOOOOOOoooo play with youoooooooo"

7. I love Croc/Croc knock offs. The rubber clogs. I own three pair. Light blue, black and my latest cobalt blue winter "crocs" with a sherpa lining. Comfy and toasty. The Eldest hates my crocs and calls them fugly for umm very ugly. This morning I had on the new pair and she said: You're not wearing those to work, are you? Lol. Shoe's on the other foot.

Wanna play?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

Today marks the 20th week. I lost the pounds I had gained last week and finally am down a total of 15 pounds. I wish I was pound for week, but still the down turn is good. 15 down and 23 left to go.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wind Turbine

A blustery day on the second highest hill and the wind turbine happily spinning. The Young One's school has gone green and off the power grid with their own wind turbine. What a pleasant surprise on Sat. night while attending the drama club performance to have heat in the auditorium! Course I was dying of the heat because I had dressed in heavy layers expecting the auditorium to be like the inside of a freezer.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wrapped or All Tied Up

This month's ATC exchange theme is Wrapped or All Tied Up. Here's Ink with his tail tied up in Celtic knots. Gouache, Sharpie marker, Schminke Gold watercolor on Diploma Parchment.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Seven things I accomplished this week

1. Met with contractor #1 to talk about bathroom remodel

2. Planned the color theory exercise

3. Met with contractor #2 to talk about bathroom remodel

4. Planned the 3 hole pamphlet stitch book exercise

5. Thumbnailed a new project

6. Drew and scanned in design for this month's ATC

7. Studied the Golden Mean concept and finally got it!
What was your week like? What did you accomplish?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

Almost forgot today is weigh in day. I'm up 2 pounds. The cheesecake I had last week caught up with me as did a bit of Halloween candy and those darn Cheeze-Its. It was a busy stressful week and the Cheeze-Its were too handy so I stress ate and ate. It didn't help that I didn't do much walking on the treadmill either. Back to the grind.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Say It Ain't So

I am abostively heartsick. I saw a trailer for a movie. My favorite movie of all time. The Day the Earth Stood Still. It's been remade. That is so wrong! Like remaking Gone with the Wind. The trailer looks horrible. Gratuitous special effects.

The movie made in 1951 was based on a short story by Harry Bates,and directed by Robert Wise starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal. Looks like the new producer/director didn't bother to read the story or watch the film or to understand the significance of the film at the time it was made.

Made in 1951 at the height of the Cold War, this movie certainly touched the raw nerve of fears, invasion, the bomb and annihilation. Though a science fiction film, it's also an allegory with a message of hope. So important for the times and our own time too. Though the special effects are hokey by today's standards, the original story line still holds up.

A visitor to the planet brings a message, but he's shot, captured and held hostage. He escapes to get a sense of the people of planet Earth and relies on the help of an ordinary woman for an extradordinary task. To help him bring a message to the people of Earth.

The new trailer showed a leather-clad, government agent type Mary Sue amid explosions and special effects. Will I go see it? 'Spect I'll pass.

I have the real version on DVD.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Seven on Samhain

Out of all the holidays, I think as an adult Halloween is my favorite. A holiday based around candy can't be bad. Dressing up in costume is fun. The biggest appeal is no expectations beyond a bit of candy for this holiday. No huge preparations. And most important no shopping and wrapping of gifts or trying to cope with a gift list that gets bigger and bigger each year.

The only challenge, besides not eating all the Halloween candy before the holiday, is making the costumes. I don't sew. I can do embroidery, cross stitch, needlepoint, and I can sew on buttons. Anything out of that realm is beyond me. Costumes for my girls began with a sweatsuit base. (it's usually cold here on Halloween so a winter jacket could be worn under or over if need be.) and then makeup and the odd accessory made or bought.

In honor of Samhain, seven costumes I put together for my girlies.

At four years old, The Eldest fell in love with Thomas the Tank Engine. I had seen a Thomas apron in a catalog and it was ridiculously expensive. Sewing the apron was beyond me, but not beyond my mother who was a seamstress. I showed her the apron. I embroidered the Thomas face, and she did the rest. I found an engineer's cap and I had a blue bandana. Grandpa found the railroad lantern. A ghostie costume for the three month old Young One was easy, a white nighties, a white bonnet and tiny Halloween socks, a baby gift from a friend.

Kindergarten brought us Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Eldest just loved those dwarves. Sweatpants, my turtleneck with giant buttons, a belt to blouson the jersey, and a stocking hat courtesy of Grandma. The Young One wore hand me down pumpkin pjs.

Killer bees started with black sweatsuits and bee wings and hats from Oriental Trading Company. Glow sticks were pinned to their backsides for a stinger.

The Eldest wanted to be a fairy. We had a leotard and fairy wings, crown and wand from Oriental Trading. The Young One wore the bee costume again.

While doing some shopping in Wallyworld, The Eldest spotted a pumpkin princess costume and she fell in love with it. Her school was having a costume parade and party. The costume was ridiculously expensive, but how often would The Eldest be 8 years old. I bought it. The expression on her face said it all. Now, at 20 yrs old, she still has fond memories of that costume.

The Young One dressed as our kitty, Mitty. Hooded sweatshirt, sweatpants, mittens and kitty ears, tail and a makeup kit from CVS.

The Eldest wanted to be a hula dancer. A trip to I-party garnered the grass skirt and lei. And so she wouldn't freeze off her coconut mcguffies, a warm sweatsuit in her favorite color.

My piece de resistance was the year The Young One wanted to go as Hedwig the owl from Harry Potter. A children's craft book furnished the pattern for an owl mask which was cut from foam and decorated. A white felt chest plate of feathers for a bit of realism. The hardest thing to find that year was the white sweatsuit.
Any Halloween memories for you? Have a blessed Samhain and a Happy Birthday to Ink.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

After a long expedition to the Mahket and coming home to fight with Vista, here I am with the Wednesday Weigh-In, a day late and a dollar short.

No loss for the week, no surprise there. No gain and that was a very pleasant surprise. The Young One and I went out to dinner Mon. night at the Longhorn Steakhouse. I had planned what I was going to order ahead of time. House salad with balsamic vinaigrette on the side, The Renegade steak, and a baked sweet potato without the signature butter and brown sugar. The steak is an 8 oz cut and the potato is usually large so I planned to cut each in half and only have half for dinner. It's what I usually do because the portion is so large, I can't really finish it.

All went according to plan until The Young One ordered. She ordered the same thing, but had the butter and brown sugar on her potato. Well, how many extra calories could that be? So I had it too.

While eating dinner we both eyed the dessert menu. We've eaten at this restaurant before and the fried cheesecake just sounded so appealing. Usually Himself and The Eldest are with us and they make comments about how the dessert sounds so disgusting. So when the Young One asked if I would split dessert with her, I didn't hesitate. The only way to improve a good thing is to deep fry it.

The picture of the dessert was very deceiving. The waitress brought out a footed punch bowl filled with 8 petite four-sized fried cheesecakes on a mountain of vanilla icecream and strawberry sauce. The dessert was so big we barely made a dent in it. We did eat the little cheesecakes but left behind most of the vanilla ice cream. Fried cheesecake is so goooooooood.

I know I should be remorseful, but I'm not. The whole evening would have been worth an extra pound or two. I enjoyed the company of my youngest. Before dinner, we browsed the mall and went into her favorite stores: FYE, The Game Stop and Barnes and Noble where she dropped hints for Christmas. Over dinner she told me the goings on at school, the subjects she likes, the subjects that bore her. She told jokes and made me laugh.

Not losing an ounce this week was so worth it.

Ok, ok. I know. Three Our Fathers and Three Hail Marys and I promise to be better next week.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Was trying to think of a topic so trawled the Internet to get some ideas. Came up with this: 7 things about hand-me downs.

1. Have you ever worn hand-me downs? Yes

2. Where did you get them from? I was 2 yrs younger than my cousin so I wore all her hand-me downs. My aunt used to call me the rag picker.

3. Have you ever given hand-me downs? Yes

4. To Whom? To friends who have children younger than mine.

5. How do you feel about hand-me downs? As a kid I didn't like the nickname the rag picker. As a mom, kids clothes are expensive and kids hardly get to wear some items more than a time or two. So I don't mind accepting hand-me downs from friends or giving hand-me downs to friends. To or from only people I know.

6. Do you frequent yard sales? Nope. I have enough junk of my own without buying someone else's.

7. If you were given $25,000 to purchase furniture for you home would you buy new or an antique? It would depend on what I was looking for. I coveted a cherry pie crust table. If I had the money, an antique. Didn't, so settled for a round cherry tea table from Ethan Allen. On sale!

What's your take on hand-me downs?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

Finally 16 weeks, 14 pounds and I broke through the first mental block barrier. I had to weigh myself 6 times this morning just to make sure. I thought hitting this number would make me happier. Don't misunderstand, I am happy and lighter. It's just a lot harder and taking longer than I thought. Then there was someone this week who asked if I had lost weight. I thanked her for noticing, but couldn't help wonder how huge I must have been for her to make a comment.

When I was in my mid-20s, and needed to drop a pound or two, I wouldn't eat for a day. Not that I ate much anyway. My eating habits were atrocious. I didn't eat breakfast, just had a cup of tea. Lunch was usually a can of soda and something out of the snack machine at work. If I was travelling to a client, I'd skip lunch so I could bolt home an hour early. I did go out for lunch with the fellas I worked with or dinner out. Fast food. I was also hustling tennis games at the club where I hung out.

I've been trying so hard to follow my plan. An old WW exchange plan. 2 milk, 2 fruit, 3 or more veg, 4-6 bread, and 3-5 oz. protein per day. I also have an extra 700 calories per week (This takes care of real sugar in tea or a special treat) Roughly it works out to a 1200 - 1500 calorie diet. I try to weigh and measure. I used to write down what I ate, but now just keep a running tally in my head. It's so much work and sometimes I find my self obsessing about what I can eat next or how many of something I have left to eat. I'm also frustrated by the gain a pound, lose a pound, gain 2, lose one, plateau, my body seems to go through. I also try to walk the treadmill every morning. Half an hour at 3mph, a little over a mile and a quarter. Sometimes I play with the incline and walk up hill both ways. Today, I increased the walking speed by .2 mph. My little legs were flying!

What I really want is to "have lost weight". To have the commercial of me standing next to my beach ball before picture and me now in my cute, tight jeans. Voila! I lost x number of pounds. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

I think I need to find a thin picture of me. The me at the end of the tunnel. Something tangible to aim for. Me and my first car, Hubbell, a '79 Mustang. (No, I don't plan on getting down to that weight again. At 53, it's unrealistic, and I doubt I could maintain it.) Look at those tube socks, can't get much cooler than that.

What are the things you are doing to keep yourself motivated and on track?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Words to Live By

This month's ATC theme is Words to Live By. From She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, John Wayne as Captain Nathan Brittles: Don't aplogize. It's a sign of weakness.

Screen capture taken from the movie and then sepeia toned thrugh the magic of Paint Shop Pro X2, Walnut ink, gel marker, Rubinato pen on Diploma Parchment dyed with burnt sugar.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I was trying to decide the topic for today's seven when inspiration hit my mailbox. Seven things in my mailbox.

1. Reader's Digest, along with the nag card that this is my last issue. Dad gives me the digest every year for Christmas.

2. PC World Magazine, along with the nag card that this is my last issue. I renew this subscription every year at the annual school magazine drive fund raiser.

3. Notacheck. The check stub when your pay check is direct deposited. Across the face of the check is printed Not A Check.

4. The Pyramid Collection. One of the catalogs from the mail order house The Eldest works at. I love browsing catalogs and then into the recycle bin.

5. American Girl catalog. It's been years since we purchased Samantha for The Eldest and received this catalog. Hmm, wonder if Land's End or LL Bean is selling mailing lists and I got on this one.

6. Whatever Works, a home and garden catalog. Part of the mail order house where The Eldest works.

7. Young Explorers, an educational toy catalog. Ditto second part of number six

What was in your mailbox today?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Burnt Sugar Dye

While cleaning the studio, I came upon an issue of Somerset Studio with an article on antiquing paper. That provided the perfect excuse to take a break, so I sat down with the magazine and a cup of tea. The article by Lea Everse had a recipe for Burnt Sugar Dye. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to procrastinate so I made the dye.

Burnt Sugar Dye

1 cup granulated white sugar

a pinch of salt

enough water to dissolve the sugar.

In a heavy sauce pan, place the sugar, salt, and enough water to dissolve the sugar. I had no idea how much "enough" was so I used 1/2 cup of water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar burns and turns a dark brown. You can judge doneness by the reek of carbon in your kitchen.

Pour the burnt syrup into a foil lined baking sheet and cool thoroughly. I used a foil pie plate. When cool, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Sounded simple enough. And it was. What is not mentioned is humidity effects the end result. If the weather is humid as it was yesterday and today, the mixture remains tacky. I've moved the pie plate from the kitchen to sit on top of the dehumidifier to see if that will help to dry it out.

To use, place a lump of burnt sugar in a small container,dish, or whatever you use to mix small amounts of paint. Add a few drops of water until you get the desired shade of brown. Paint onto your paper. The author also suggests you spatter drops to get interesting gradations of color. If applied too thickly the paper will be sticky and can be sprayed with a fixative.

I haven't gotten to the usage part yet. So here is my burnt sugar sitting on top of my immaculate drafting table.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

I know where your two pounds went, Erica. I gained them this week. I was bad. I need my jaw wired shut.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Today, I went to see Sepeia Memories - 19th Century Photographs an exhibit currently on display at the Worcester Art Musuem. Seven things about this exhibit.

1. I understood it! Every inch of it. Sometimes looking at modern art, I think the emperor is naked. Why is this art? But no such thought while viewing the photographs

2. I was amazed that a photographic process was in use as early as the 1840s. Such as the Daguerreotype, a process of exposing an image on a copper sheet fixed with silver and exposed to iodine vapor. Only one image could be made from the negative.

3. The sepeia refers to the warm, brownish tones in the photographs, but doesn't involve real sepeia ink from squid.

4. There was a stereoscopic viewer in a glass case. The viewer was made from cherry or mahogany and had intricately lace-like carvings.

5. I had to stand on tiptoe to peek in to the viewer to see a reclining nude. Her back was to the viewer. Her pose was positively chaste compared to the models in a Victoria Secrets catalog.

6. Since the early phographic process took so long, the subject had to stand still for a long time. the exhibit had a picture of a bull calf and another of a cow. Guess the animals wouldn't fidgit.

7. There were photographs of lots of famous people: Robert E. Lee sitting in front of his home just after the surrender at Appomattox, Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln and Dorothea Dix to name a few.

Do you like looking at old photographs? Wondering about the people in them or why a picture of a cow was taken? The cow above is not from the exhibit. It's clipart and then through the magic of Paint Shop Pro X2, I turned it into a Daguerreotype. Fun!