Sunday, August 28, 2011

Alphabet Sunday

I meant to photograph the letter S, but it's outside. My bad. I know, I had lots of time to take the picture and schedule this post. There were other things that took priority. And now, that I'm up in the wee hours of the morning, because I couldn't sleep, because I was worrying about the basement flooding, I can't take the shot. Mostly because it's dark, but also there's a hurricane coming.

What do you do to procrastinate?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Social Media

With all of the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Google Buzz, MySpace), it's sometimes hard to keep up. Tweetdeck is a handy way to wrangle them all on your desktop. You can add all your social accounts. You can add your various Twitter lists and at a glance see what's been happening, then delete them. You can cross post status updates from one place, too. Very handy.

Tweetdeck is also available for the iPhone and Android phones. The app was also available for the iPad, and I downloaded it. It doesn't look the same (actually it looks ghastly) as it does on the desktop. There didn't seem to be a way to add Twitter lists. I ended up deleting the app from the iPad in favor of another app. Another post for another Saturday. (-;

Do you use Tweetdeck?

To all those in the path of Irene, be well and stay safe.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Friday Five

Five things I will accomplish when pigs fly:

1. I won't just eat the crackers at parties or open houses. I will also eat the cheese and savor every bite.

2. I will cheerfully do the grocery shopping at Market Basket.

3. Pink will be the new blue and will become my signature color.

4. I will own a dog.

5. I will wear lots of lace and ruffles. (Maybe not when I'm working with paint or ink.)

Don't you just love the piggy bank pic? My Iowa friend saw it on a trip to Germany last year. When pigs fly, I will take a trip to Germany to buy it. What will you do when pigs fly?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Morbid Pleasure

One of my guilty, little pleasures is to wander through graveyards looking at the headstones. I especially like the older, hand-carved headstones. I marvel at the skill of the carver and sometimes the humor behind the stone. Apparently, I'm not the only one who likes to visit the cemetery. WCVB, a Boston station has a slideshow of Last Words

Do you like to visit cemeteries?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

Underwater action with U-571. A Navy sub commander and his crew are given a dangerous assignment. They must disguise themselves as Germans and infiltrate the crippled German sub, U-571. Once on board their mission is to locate the Enigma machine, the German's secret cipher machine. As if their mission isn't hard enough, their way home is destroyed. How will they complete their mission and save their lives? Make some popcorn for this edge of your seat ride.

What's your favorite movie pick for the letter U?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets- Screen Capture

PrtScr is a free screen capture utility. Don't be fooled by its sweet chibi logo. The program has some nice features. Not only can you capture the entire screen, but you can choose which portion of the screen you want. You can capture a rectangular section of the screen, or you can freehand your selection. You can save the image file (.jpg, .png or .bmp) directly to your desktop, or you can specify a folder. You can also show your mouse pointer in the area you are saving. A handy feature if you're trying to show someone what to do (click here).  The program works with XP and Vista though I had no problems on Window 7 (Vista by another name (-;  )

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Friday Five.

Yesterday was our 26th. wedding anniversary. Five things from our wedding day.

1. My mother made the bridal outfits for the little bears that were used for our cake topper.  The cake displayed at the reception was made from plaster of Paris.A chocolate sheet cake was cut and boxed for guests to take home.

2. It was so hot in the church, Himself couldn't slip the ring on my finger because my fingers swelled up like little Vienna sausages. I took the ring and turned slightly so the guests couldn't see, and jammed the ring on my finger.

3. On the way to the reception, a couple on a motorcycle waved at us and gave us a thumbs up.

4. The church where we were married had the bricks on the front facade pointed. I was hoping the ugly scaffold would be down by the wedding since local boy and football hero, Doug Flutie, was getting married the week after us. Scaffolding didn't come down before our wedding. Didn't come down for Doug's wedding either.

5.  We share our wedding date with a famous actor's birthday. Can you guess who?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Year Meme

A year meme is going around Facebook. Iowa gave me 1980

Age: 25
Status: always a bridesmaid
Work: assistant office manager at Marquette Cement Co.
Car: 1979 Ford Mustang
Lived in: Natick, Massachusetts
Likes: weekends at York Beach, Maine
Kids: Not even a twinkle in my eye

What were you doing in 1980

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Green Man

I was first introduced to the Green Man while studying Medieval English Literature. He appears in the 14th c. poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. You can read a translation of the poem here. (Though it's much better in it's original West Midland dialect edited by J. R. R. Tolkien  here.)

The Green Man is a fascinating creature. One of the natural world, often depicted with a face made of or surrounded by leaves. He is the symbol of  the endless dance of birth, growth, and death. 

Quite some time ago, I painted a three page spread in my journal green. It's a color I like, but not my usual color so I didn't know what to do with it until I read  the poem Horned God/Green Man by Gwydion Wolf on Sue's Site. Sue put me in touch with Gwydion, and he graciously gave me permission to use his words and bring my page to life. Thanks again, Gwyd.

Acrylics, Ziller Sweet Grass Green, Nikko G nib.

Have you met the Green Man before? I know you have. Want to take a guess?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies - A to Z

Richard Widmark plays tough drill sergeant Thorne Ryan in Take the High Ground. Taken from the field during the Korean War, Ryan's duty is to turn rag tag civilians into fighting men. He's good at his job, too good and his requests for transfer back to the battlefield go nowhere. Real life buddy, Karl Malden, plays Ryan's buddy, Sgt. LaVerne Holt. Holt has his hands full trying to keep Ryan from killing the recruits. All goes well until the sergeants fall for the same girl.

I was 8 years old when I first saw Take the High Ground. In the middle of my Combat phase crawling through the dirt and bushes in my back yard with Himself, this movie was right down my alley. Richard Widmark became my number one hero and this clip is my favorite scene from the movie.

What's your favorite movie that starts with the letter T? Who's your favorite movie hero?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tools, Gadgets, and Widgets - Social Media

I was looking for a way to share information about classes and workshops I teach. I have that information on my website and blog, but how do I share them on Twitter when I'm not around to tweet?  The information is repetitive so I don't want to keep typing the same thing over and over, and I also don't want to spam Twitter. This is where Social Oomph comes in.

Social Oomph is a free productivity utility. Social Oomph lets me schedule things I want to tweet. I can even save the information as a draft so I don't have to retype dates and times of classes. I can choose when I want to send my information out. Marketing is a an all important chore, but it can be time consuming. Social Oomph is like having a virtual assistant. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Friday Five

I found this beach meme at The Queen's Meme

1. When was the last time you saw the ocean?
Two years ago we took a day trip to Misquamicut in Rhode Island

2. What is your favorite stretch of beach?
Long Sands in York Beach, Maine.In my twenties, I spent a lot of summer weekends there. Very happy memories.

3. Are you planning a beach vacation?
Nope, no time.

4. Bikinis or one piece?
At this stage, a burka is best for all concerned.

5. Do you sunbathe or sit under an umbrella?
In my young days, I used to deep fry myself in baby oil. We didn't know any better. Now, I opt for the shade.

Wanna play?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Patina or Tarnish?

I found these forgotten grande dames in my parents' attic.  The lovelies are sterling silver not silver plate. The photo is overexposed so it's hard to see that the pieces are tarnished a dark, matte grey. Will polishing the pieces to a high lustre devalue them? When is too much patina too much?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens

Jake (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert, but can't remember his name, where he's been, or why he has a strange manacle on his wrist. He makes his way to the nearest town, Absolution. The town residents have been plagued by the the antics of the town bully's (Harrison Ford) son. Jake just wants to be left alone and left in peace as he tries to remember what happened to him. Town residents scatter in anticipation of the showdown between the bully and the stranger. The showdown turns out to be the least of everyone's problems.

If you're looking for a way to beat the heat or a way to fritter a couple of hours, Cowboys and Aliens fits the bill nicely. Chase scenes, gun fights, and lots of explosions will keep you entertained. More Sci Fi than Western, the movie nicely captures the spirit of the Western right down to the setting sun. Only tell Craig real cowboys don't post as they ride.

Have you seen it? What did you think about it?

And the winner of the Log Cabin quilt square is Kath. Thank you all for helping me to celebrate 900 blog posts.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies A to Z

I must have seen Shenandoah a hundred times, and I never get tired of it. I just love James Stewart as no nonsense farmer, Charlie Anderson. Anderson won't support his Confederate homeland because he doesn't believe in slavery. He's opposed to the North because he doesn't believe in war. His hope is to mind his own business and his farm. Charlie's plans are dashed when his youngest son, mistaken for a confederate soldier, is taken prisoner. Charlie moves heaven and earth to try to find his boy.

As many times as I've seen this movie, I always get teary eyed especially at the ending.

What's your pick for the letter S? I think I know your pick, Erica. Something to do with yellow ribbons? (-;  I was torn between that movie and Shenandoah.

And don't forget, there's still time to enter the drawing for the log cabin quilt square. Just leave a comment. Winner will be announced tomorrow.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tools, Gadgets and Widgets - Copyright Free Clipart

The Graphics Fairy
If you're looking for a source for copyright free clipart check out The Graphics Fairy. Everyday she posts a beautiful vintage image(s) you can download for free! The images are perfect for crafts or your blog.

And don't forget, leave a comment here. You'll be entered into a drawing celebrating my 900th blog post and a chance to win the log cabin quilt square. Winner to be announced on Tuesday.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Friday Five

1. Last week, Erica made cute log cabin potholders for her book signing giveaway.

2. I can't sew, but I'm hell on wheels with a glue stick.

3. This is my 900th. post. Who would have thought I could be so wordy? Don't answer that!

4. To celebrate, I'm giving away my version of a log cabin quilt square. Leave a comment, and I'll put your name in the cowboy hat for a chance to win.

5. Contest winner will be announced on Tuesday.

Do you sew? Have you made a quilt?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Journal from One Sheet of Paper

I needed a journal for a personal project. The project wouldn't be large so I didn't want to go and buy a journal to work in. So, I made one following Teesha Moore's instructions. She used one sheet of Fabriano, but I didn't have that kind of paper so I used a sheet of Arches Text Wove. Since the ATW wasn't the same dimensions as the Fabriano, I had to fudge things a bit. I sewed the pamphlet from the outside so I could hang some doodads from the tails. The journal is 7 1/2" x 10" with a few pages that fold out to flaps, with plenty of room to work in.

What are you working on today?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Growing up, I didn't resemble anyone in the family. I was lighter in complexion and everyone in the family had black hair and dark brown eyes. My hair was a warm brown (it turned darker as I got older and now it's greying!) and my eyes Hershey bar brown with gold flecks. Until I was four or five my hair was blonde and my eyes blue! Unheard of in my Italian family so I was teased. I was the milkman's kid.

While cleaning out my Dad's home office (aka The Attic), I came across a photograph. It's not labeled, but I'm pretty sure this is a picture of my paternal grandmother. I did not know her growing up as she had passed shortly after I was born.  Her real name was Raphaella but when she came to this country at the age of 16 it was shortened to Fanny.

What surprised me about the photograph was the strong resemblance I bear to her right down to the glasses. Same shape face, same Goddess shape, and even though her hair was probably pulled back into a bun, the hairline is the same. She is probably the same age in the photograph as I am now. I'm no longer the milkman's kid.

Do you resemble anyone in your family or are you a milkman's kid?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Night at the Movies A to Z

R is for revenge in Run Silent, Run Deep an action packed underwater Moby Dick story. A year after skippering a desk after his first command is sunk, hard bitten Commander Richardson (Clark Gable) is given another chance to command the sub USS Nerka.  Command of the Nerka was supposed to go to its XO, Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster). Richardson pushes his crew to the brink of mutiny as he pursues the Japanese ship he believes sunk his first sub. Taking the boat into the Bungo Straits, a submarine graveyard, Richardson gets to confront his white whale unaware of a greater danger to his command. Over look the fact that both of the major stars are a little long in the tooth to play their roles, the acting is superb in this gripping tale.

Edumacate me. What's your favorite movie that starts with the letter R?