Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Woo hoo! I'm Back!! good friend, Jason, came by and fixed my computer for me and I am back on-line!!!! Woo hoo!!! (is that too many woo hoos?) Anyway, the last week has been a productive one and my Lab is bubbling over with new projects and my house is cleaner than it's been in a long time (even my laundry room has been swept and re-organized!).

Go figure.

I do spend a lot of time in Cyber World. I belong to several art groups, some in EBay, others on Yahoo. I have no regrets about that, as I get so much great inspiration from some very wonderful people with whom I have much in common. I also learn a lot about a lot of different art forms, but every now and then, the Universe (good 'ol Universe) points out to me that I am spending too much time in here and not enough time using what I've learned (too much in-put, not enough out-put).

So, I've learned not to freak-out when my computer goes on vacation. I use the time to clean and organize and create...not to mention that I get a lot more exercise walking to the Library to check my email.

I want to add some pics of my latest projects, but will do that in the next blog, as they are birthday presents that have not been delivered, yet. (No spoilers, here!)

I'll be back....with color.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Computer's Down!!

This is just a quick post to let anyone, who makes it this far, know that my computer has crashed. I have no idea when I will be able to get it back up, but I am able to go to the Library a couple of times a week, to check emails and such. So if you are trying to reach me, know that I will get back to you. I'll just be a little slower, for a while!

Ah well...I'll use the time for more experimentation in The Lab!


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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Back to Library Pockets...

Just thought I would pop in and add some pics of the latest stuff I've been making.

While zoning in front of the TV, during all this heat, I kept up with my "thread noodling" and came up with these little guys. They are made from two pieces of plastic canvas, so they are puffy and two-sided (the pics show front and back). I think they might make pretty cool charms (maybe I'll add some beads). If you want to know more about artist charms, here's a cool link.

Before it got too hot, I was in the studio, creating more "supplies" for myself. Here are my latest papers and library pockets. Yes...there's a new book, stewing.

I'm off to do some housework, now. It's about time.

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Plastic Canvas... a New Appreciation.

I had seen others make it. Looked closely at it at craft fairs, but until recently, I'd never tried it myself. I'm not sure why that is, except maybe because it seemed to require patterns and I'm more of a cook, than a baker, if you get my drift. I like to experiment and throw things together and see what happens with the color and the texture and such, rather than follow hard and fast rules.

I'm a rebel.

The other night, I was watching Lance work his plastic canvas. It's something he has done for a while, "because..." he says..."It's a great stress-reliever and if Rosey Grier can do needle point, I can do plastic canvas". He learned from his ex, Jan, who gifted me with an extraordinary little Christmas cottage that she had made, last year. I really loved that gift and certainly could see the time spent creating it. I still did not think I would be trying it, though, because, as you all know, I have a lot of creative on my plate and the last thing I need is a new hobby...especially one that does not get the attention...or the monetary rewards it deserves. In fact it breaks my heart, just a little, when I see this work sold at craft fairs for far less than it should, considering the time put in.

While I watched Lance work, I kept wondering what it would look like with variegated yarn. The wheels started to turn and I picked up one of his scraps and asked him to show me the little box stitch he was using. Oops.

I kept saying to myself "I don't have time for this...I really don't", but it was too late. As I started pulling and pushing the yarn, in and out, seeing all those pretty colors magically forming those little squares and, especially after I was holding my first bookmark in my hands...I was hooked...sigh...

I won't follow patterns, though. I'm still a rebel. I'll learn stitches. I'll learn how to use my tools, but I'm most excited by trial and error and I love to experiment with my own ideas. To that end, on my latest bookmark, I got out my old "Knit-wit" tool. Remember those? Yarn flowers that just pop off the tool? They still make them...but mine has got to be, at least thirty years old!! After fiddling with it for a bit, I managed to remember how to make those flowers and soon I was popping them off, as I did when I was a child. I added one to the top of my second bookmark and, abracadabra! Innovation.

I've tried crochet. All of my afghans turned into mufflers...if I even got that far, but with PC I can do tiny projects that are finished in an evening...and it IS SO relaxing. Actually, it's a form of meditaion for me, now. It's something I can do without making a big mess. Something I can do in front of the TV at night, when I am too tired to do anything else.

I'm still a rebel. Honest.


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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Family Reunion and Book from Library Pockets!

My recent family reunion and performance with my family singing group, was wonderful fun. I had more than a dozen extra people in my home, but managed to stuff them into all the corners where, I hope, they were comfortable.

I live a long way from family, so it was really nice to have so many of them here, with me and wonderful to sing with "The Makley Family" again. We all wore beautiful, tie-dyed dresses, made by my sister Ruthanne and my niece, Mary (Mary-n-Mom) and after much rest, tea and prayer, the laryngitis that I had, all week, cleared up in the nick of time and our performance went very well, I think. We sold a few Cd's and received some nice comments, anyway. (The pics, above, are by J.H. Mason.)

Now that I've had a few days to recover, I've been working in the Lab, again. I've become fascinated with the idea of altered and hand-made books and journals. I've altered journals, among other things, for many years, but this week I made my first book from scratch...sort of. I found some library pockets at the local teacher's store, here. I thought they might make cool embellishments and we even talked about an altered-library-pocket swap, in an online group I belong to. To that end, I started slapping paint around on a few of them, thinking I might be ahead of the game, if there was an official swap. As I stacked them on top of each other, I got the idea for this BOOK.

I'm waiting to see if my pics turn out, but I hope to add a tutorial, of sorts, to my Website, as I took lots of pictures, throughout the process. I really had fun with this project and look forward to creating more of these, colorful journals.

Well...that's the latest from the Lab! Have a beautiful day, everyone!

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