Monday, April 30, 2007

Gorgeous Day!



view from library
Today was one of those rare Spring days that makes it worth living in an area that is mostly rainy, gets snow/ice and is economically depressed. Today seemed like all of life was high on life. The energy and upbeat feeling seemed to make the grass grow 3 inches, the winds whip around like they were the first winds ever to blow and the sun proudly shone in clear blue skies. This is the type of day that seems to wash away all pains and sorrows and says get out and go for a walk, fly a kite or admire the blossoms. Wonderful!

We did a bunch of stuff...went to the Post office and walked downtown for a bit. It's one of those things about living in a small town that makes it possible for your kids to get to see chicks (baby chickens...you know, the yellow fluffy kind) being mailed to a farm! Yes, we saw about 5-6 crates of chickies being mailed. The Farmer guy was kind enough to even open up the package and let us pet one too! Lydia wanted to stuff it in her pocket and have one for a pet...but was kind enough to inform me of this after all was said and done. I admit I had a pull of the ol' heart strings but I've also raised two chickies. Mine turned into two handsome roosters and then there was a whole other set of situations to deal with! But it was really interesting to see all those chicks.

Then, off to the library we went...there was the annual book sale and we got 3 bags full of books...it was fun and the gals got to play later in the kids library section. It's funny. The gals wanted to explore the library and I ended up finding a lot of books for my GN I needed. This was quite handy! :)

Then, we came home, had lunch, played, cleaned, I listened to a book on tape "Practical Magic", went for a walk, they had a bath and then daddy came home. Then, we went to the market and now, we're all having a break. What a busy, productive day. I love these kinds of days where it's filled with activities and time to just enjoy life. Such a good feeling.

I'll probably have an allergy headache tomorrow but it was worth it. :)



(Sorry Nelson looks so demon possessed)

New Monday!


The winds have warmed up! If I close my eyes and sit in a patch of sunlight, I can pretend I'm in California...or what I remember of it, at least. Funny how times change, things change and suddenly you're a different person or have matured in some way. What a relief, really.

For a long time, I was very doubtful and even hostile in my beliefs. But talking to various people and just listening and thinking, I came to some conclusions. The strongest of these is I don't have to know everything. I don't have to have an answer for everything and it's Okay to feel/be like this. I really do think it's about maturing and getting to that next stage or at least letting go of some of those child-like behaviors that drag us down into selfishness. Not to say, I'm wholly unselfish...not in the least. Just more aware, I guess.

Anyway, this is one of those personal growth things, I suppose. It's funny how there is a lot of media and garbage, really, saying to "be young", "get rid of those wrinkles, fat, etc,etc". And there is this glorification of being young, youthful, light as air, blah, blah, blah. And you know what? This is just so full of crap. Kids, by their very nature, are purely into everything for themselves. They want everything. It's ridiculous. Why would I want to be like that? There are so many people in the world I'd rather be like Gandhi, Mother Theresa, a kind doctor like Chekov (who was also a writer), loving mothers, fathers and grandparents I've seen at parks with children, my best friend who lives out in the country, and so many more. Most of these people didn't sit around and worry about their wrinkles or fat. And if they did, I'm guessing it was very temporary...they are/were busy with life.

Being happy with who you are is a tough thing to do. But it is doable. There is a whole lot of garbage out there about being perfect in all things. It makes me angry when I see this because I am flawed and so what? I'm also pretty good at creating things, I can get quite a bit done, am imaginative and interesting and a very hard worker. I'd rather toot my horn about this then worry about growing older (as if that was bad). It's funny how we'll look at the stages of children and young people as though that is the only time humans are developing. Believe me, these stages don't stop at High school. We continue growing, making mistakes, learning and hopefully refining who we are.

Have a good week, people! Hope this week brings you some sun, warm winds and time to admire a few flowers. :)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

New work on Ebay!


I've got lots of new works on eBay!

I don't like catty people.

Or more so, I don't like mean people. I have a sign on my fridge, "Be Nice or Leave". I really do believe in this sign. I wish I could put it up around the house, at various groups and when somebody is being mean, take a sticker of this saying and stick it on their mouth.

Mean people suck. I remember seeing a few tee-shirts out there like that. And it's true...Also, I think being mean just because, shows mental illness...

There are various types of meanness and creating a “mean” environment...
1. Self protection
(This one is understandable...esp. if you don't want to be taken advantage of at a shop or some place of business)
2. Out of spite
(I think the Greek tragedy, "Daedalus" explains this one best...and how it's not fulfilling)
3. Lacking self awareness
(Acting out on impulse and not understanding people in general because they don't understand themselves)
4. Shallow
(pretty much like number 3 but never "gets it")
5. Cynicism (bitterness of the world)
6. Pain (physical and/or mentally...either caused by someone or self inflicted or purely accidental)
7. Belittling people (Much like the film "Sling Blade" when someone says something mean, followed by "just kidding". This actually happened recently with my husband and this other guy...I don't even think the other guy realized what a jerk he was being!)

And yes, I’ve known all of these as I’ve done them myself to an extent (shamefully or self defensively). But the trick is trying not to repeat them and realizing you're doing it and stop.

I'm getting old enough (and "learned" enough) where, if someone tries something like this on me, I'm just going to kick them. lol!

Techno Stupidity

Yesterday, hubby, kids and I went to the new Martin's market in my town. This is the second time we've been there and the gals were starting to ask about the childcare spot they have. It's similar to the other childcare place at the other market we like. I had Jon take care of everything as I had to go to the bathroom which is (strangely) located all the way on the other side of the massive market.

When I came back, he was just finished signing papers and I waved him down. As he approached I noticed a huge white band on his wrist and started laughing. It was a bit much. Then, he showed me this walkie talkie he had stuck on him. That made me take a double look and raise an eyebrow. He looked like a bear that had just woken from a his tranquilizer shot after being tagged and collared with a radio transmitter. A bit over kill, I thought.

We finished the shopping and went to retrieve the kids. The kids opened the door and walked right to me. In the meantime, Jon was signing papers and then got a digital photo taken of himself. I thought this was creepy. The worst of it was when my gals opened the door, nobody shut it from the inside! The two people in charge were too busy plugging in the info/checking the walkie talkie/etc to close the damn door! I even waited for them to close the door because I worried about all the other kids and the women didn't even turn around. So, I closed the door and just shook my head at the techno stupidity!

It was just a really disgusting amount of gadgets to make sure the parent wouldn't run out the door and abandon their kids (I suppose) and a huge amount of care for "state of the art" toys to look safe. Basic things like closing the door would have made the lot of kids safe and honestly, I will not being using this market anymore. These are the same market where they had magazines with pics of Saddam Hussein being hung right at the check out. Oh, and if you write "too many" checks around town, they will "protect" you by not allowing you to write one at their market in case you stole your own checks. They want to make sure you are safe (unless you join the Gold Club and then you can write-up a hundred checks and they won't bat an eye). Makes sense, doesn't it? And your driver's license, that doesn't matter because this market is a higher power than the state of PA, apparently.

Things that irritate because this little market wants to look extra safe, I guess. All I really care about is if I save a few bucks and my kids aren't going to wander out the door when I leave them somewhere supposedly protected.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I got an allergy headache...

I guess it was bound to happen. I forgot to take my allergy medication and got a headache this morning. It lasted all day and zonked me for a few hours (had a nap). But I woke up with the headache pounding. We had an optometrist appointment and the waiting area smells like cigarette’s! I'm not kidding! My clothes even smell. So, odd that it has this smell. We even wondered if the building had at one time been a bar or something. Either way, it bothered me quite a bit.

We stopped at a book sale at the library and I got a few books. It was packed! Nice to see people browsing about...some people think of it as a total social event, which is good and fine and oh so small town. How do they all know each other? Where are they all meeting? I guess I'm feeling a tad lonely.

I put out two applications to several new shops. I'll see how that goes. I hope I get something for the evening and part-time.

My mom has been under the weather...either food poisoning or a bad flu. Either way, it set her eczema off and she feels ill again, poor dear. I wish they'd all move out to PA and then I could take care of them and we could help each other. Just my dream...plus, I worry about earthquakes. I know earthquakes can happen anywhere but it's more likely to happen where they are.

I feel tired and beat. I was really productive yesterday...I guess I might be a bit exhausted from all that I did. I moved my big paintings to the garage (about 20-30), painted the dining table top (this was a bit stinky and I think aided in my migraine), cleaned up my studio (still in progress), did laundry/house chores, dropped off cardboard to the recyclers, and other stuff but can't remember because I'm pooped just thinking about it. No wonder my arms and joints are sore! lol! :)

Oh, and I helped the gals to get over their fear of a little bee that was trapped on the porch. It was so pathetic and cute when they started screaming at the bee and running to me. Poor kids. I showed them bees from a google search and talked about how bees are smoked out to get their honey. Now, they love bees and wanted honey bread. Very sweet.

Well, I got to go. A part of my migraines is nausea and I'm not feeling too hot. Hope the weekend is good for you and me. :(

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Pet Peeves



1. German Shepard's barking EVERY time we step outside; and I mean every time.
2. Weed killer used by my neighbors to kill dandelions or any plant.
3. Smokers smoking next door and I get their second hand smoke! Yuck!
4. Stubbing my toe in any way.
5. Stinky trash left in the bath (I know, I'm in control of this one and to be
blamed,ugh).
6. LOUD MOTORCYCLES...I hate this.
7. People driving twice as fast as the speed limit because they are "So Important"
they don't have to heed speed limits.

5:30 am

Feeling a bit insomniac...I know I'll crash later on. The weather is damp, cold and really foggy. I went for a walk with my gals yesterday and didn't realize it was that cold until gusts of wind came down the street. Awful! I felt terrible taking them out in that...it was a really fast walk.

I was annoyed, as well, as I found out that game day was changed to Thursday and I missed this at the library. I wanted to go to our local library as well, but for some reason the gals like the one in Hollidaysburg (it's the puppets).

I started a new blog about 15 minutes ago but already deleted it. It was going to be about my feelings and family but I just didn't feel like exposing myself, I guess. I just felt like I'd probably be embarrassed by it tomorrow or something. So, that went...I'll just write my feelings out in my diary and save the world from having to hear me crying all over the place. :)

For some reason, I've been procrastinating calling a few people. I don't know why...these are people who I love and I want to talk to. I don't know why I feel sort of alienated and adrift.

------------

In other worlds, I'm going to pull out some of my "winter" work and start the varnish process. I had to wait for a few things to change...warmer days (though these last few days have been wet) and space in the garage. In a way, I'm very proud of getting the space cleared in there. I know it's silly but I did it my self and it does look pretty decent. Still needs one fine tuning but all in all good. I'm going to move those big pieces in there and put a table or two in there as well.

I think this will make me feel more productive and less stuck. Plus, when I move that out of the basement studio, there will be a lot more space for small works. I think was starting to feel Closter phobic down there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tomorrow, I think I'll go over to the recyclers and drop off more cardboard as well. Interesting how having empty space is so nice and a valuable commodity suddenly. If I had excess amount of money I'd have a dance studio with a long mirror and a few green plants on the walls. There would be a sky light and sliding glass doors leading to a greenhouse. Yeah, I know...silly dreams but it makes me happy to imagine this.

-------------------
Well, my neighbors dogs are barking and puffs of smoke are issuing from their yard. Very annoying and seems to be a rite of passage for Spring. It just seems to be the same annoyance over and over again. Well, I can add another one from another neighbor. I found out they were spraying the border of grass (this connects our grass with theirs) with weed killer. WEED KILLER. This does not make sense to me. They, for some reason, don't like dandelion flowers and spray this awful smelling junk on their grass (contaminating the soil and exposing my kids/dog/their grandkids/kids they watch (this is also a "daycare"! ha!) with cancer causing poison). This is what I have for neighbors. I don't know why our blessed government still allows these things on the market...well, I do but I won't go into that.

I'd like to talk to them but I'm way too angry and will only start to stutter and shout. Jon is much more controlled then me and plans to talk to them. Maybe it was fertilizer but I doubt it. Seriously. I could smell that junk floating up the breeze to my back door...this is probably why I'm feeling depressed. I hope whatever it was that was sprayed doesn't cause lung cancer. I swear the mentality for health in these parts if practically zero...people chain smoke, use weed killer in mass, are crazy for green lawns and dump toxic crap on them, drive around on motorcycles without helmets on their heads and seem to be tainted by lead chips and drugs. I'm feeling way too negative right now...I even made a "Pet Peeve" collage...I'll scan that tomorrow. It's 6 am and I need to try to sleep...I do feel a tad better now that I've vented. Sorry you all had to hear that. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Annoying...

I had completely forgotten I adjusted the computer screen (about a year ago) to be less bright. Now, I find out I've been missing small details in my work and visually on my web page. Great...But it's better to know then not know. I put the screen back to normal and EVERYTHING looks much different than I thought. I still can't believe it. I feel like I've been walking around with heavy dark shades on my eyes...good grief!

Well, now I know what I'll be doing in the next few days...oh, boy...

Earth tree

earth tree


How gentle where their beginnings...did they forget to repay the kindness?

Intelligence not linked to wealth

Interesting article that makes me feel a bit better...and I always knew wealth had nothing to do with "smarts". One example is inherited wealth and another winning a lottery.
I guess I feel a bit sore about economics as I'm on the poor end and there are a lot of people who are struggling. But if you talk to someone who is well-to-do or secure (and just doesn't get it) they'll make it as though God is punishing us for being bad or that being poor equals stupidity. It's really insulting and reflects the prejudices of that person, really.

When I first met my husband, Jon, he played a CD for me by Phil Ochs. One of the songs is exactly how I feel and think about a lot of people. It's called There but for...

Show me a prison, show me a jail
Show me a prisoner whose face is growing pale
And I'll show you a young man with many reasons why
And there but for fortune
May go you or I
Show me an alley, show me a train
Show me a hobo who sleeps out in the rain
And I'll show you a young man with many reasons why
And there but for fortune
May go you or I
Show me the whiskey stains on the floor
Show me a drunken man as he stumbles out the door
And I'll show you a young man with many reasons why
And there but for fortune
May go you or I
Show me the country where the bombs had to fall
Show me the ruins of the buildings once so tall
And I'll show you a young land with so many reasons why
And there but for fortune
May go you or I -- or I

I feel like this gives answers to so many people, really. The lines "There but for fortune May go you and I"...in other words, it could be us in those prisons, in that alley...but we've been lucky somehow in life, either through kindness of people, self preservation or good mental health to avoid those things.

Moral prejudice.
We all have this. Is it possible to remove it and be honest with ourselves. To see our selves as we are. Is it possible to understand why we feel something, instead of just feeling something and acting out of that feeling? I'm thinking about people who oppose war (like myself) to those who splashed water on a theater art performance by Mike Daisey recently.
What is valid moral indignation? For my self, this would be a non-violent peace march but not pouring water all over someone's script notes. I, also, wouldn't protest a one man monologue just because expletives were used. Now, if there was a lot of violence or garbage spoken in favor of war, I'd probably have protested that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

say cheese!


say cheese!, originally uploaded by emily999.

tired


tired, originally uploaded by emily999.

This was from yesterday, actually. I feel better today. There are days when you just feel so blah and yesterday was one of those. I had a serious case of negativity...I knew it was a stress/over-worked feeling (taking care of two kids ALL day long can make any Emily go a little dull...scary). Anyway, today was better. I did freak a bit with the rain pouring down all over me and my sunroof leaked, again, and poured all over me every time I turned the truck. I'm going to have to carry towels...again.

But by the time I drove back home after my allergy shot, I was singing with the gals and was trying to teach them a Pipi Longstocking song (we're all together). Not too bad...

Yesterday, the sun was pouring all over the place and seemed to mock my mood...we walked several times, the best being later after all the bees and things either went to sleep or couldn't be seen. We caught the smell of some foreign smelling blossoms...so enchanting like a trunk of handmade lace and gold buttons. I'm guessing it's been around for some time but I never knew. Having allergy headaches for 3 years. I'm only now truly enjoying Spring,

I still can't believe how lovely that blossom smell was...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello

Excellent video of his, "The road I must travel". There needs to be more of this...

Sittin in the grass


Sittin in the grass, originally uploaded by emily999.



I guess you could say they are polar opposites...

Good Checkup at Allergist!


Yeah! No polyps in my nose! I'm glad to see the shots, operation, medicine and nasal flushing are working. Good God...it's working and I haven't had to lie down/have a pounding headache and be so congested it feels like my sinus are 200 times normal sized. Phew.

Today I was wondering why, why my eyes were burning. I put my make-up to look beautiful for my kids or any passer-by, and my eyes start burning. I mean really burning and I feel yucky and yawny. Then, I realize I forgot to take my zyrtex and I'm feeling all itchy and twitchy. Plus, I have the doors open (for once) to let in some of that good ol' Spring pollen filled air. This and cleaning out the lint several times doing laundry, has taken it's toll. Still, I think I won't get sick as I took my prescription. Ah, the joys of being allergic.

Anyway, between all of this and thinking one of the cats jumped out the second floor window I had opened (the gals said "the cat jumped out of the window, mommy!!" Translated: "The cat was sitting on the window sill, mother. She then jumped on the landing of the steps and went to our room"), I'm doing all right.

We tried out the new market in our neighborhood. Not bad...has a child watching feature and it seems to be always busy. Some people were annoyed they moved half a mile away because it wouldn't be in their "well to do" neighborhood (translated:” I have to drive to the market instead of it being behind my backyard.") Some people are a bit much...

It was a bit funny as we drove to the new market we went down a bumpty neighborhood (as in needs some work) and got evil eyes from the people hanging off of their porches. I thought that was funny...though, I was glad nobody had a rifle.

***************
Last week or so I got a huge aloe Vera plant from my freecycle group! I'm pretty happy with it too; it's gorgeous. The neighborhood we got it from is mostly beautiful and there was this lovely pond in the back. Apparently, this is owned by the neighbors in the very back of this extremely pot holed road. I mean EXTREMELY pot holed! I thought the old truck would get stuck in a few of these...awful. Well, we made it to the end and turned around. The house was beat up and there was a burn barrel with all this garbage everywhere and old mattresses, etc. I started feeling like someone might run out with a rifle then too and we drove back, bumpity, bumpity bump, real fast. Also, the folks who own the pond don't like people to walk/use the pond, I found out later. That's too bad.

Lydia overheard us talking about the pond and chirped, "Mommy, I can't swim! I haven't had my swimming lessons, yet!" We had a good laugh and then she started thinking about crocodiles...what an imagination.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

hedgehog


hedgehog, originally uploaded by emily999.

New artwork at my ebay shop!

Actually, they'll be up tonight at 5:30 pm (PST)

Chronicles of Narnia

Saw it last night...First, I enjoyed the film. It was an interesting story and the digital work didn't overwhelm me with being too obvious or used out of control like other films. I did think the opening scene was too graphic and scary if this was supposed to be a children's film. My daughter kept asking what are they dropping from the air planes and I had to say bad things. It was too complex for a child to understand and too violent. I'm glad they fell asleep before the big battle scene as that was too gory as well.

I did think the director caught a lot of the innocence of childhood with the actors expressions and mannerisms. I don't know if I like this however...As I listened to the behind the scenes with the director/actors, I found they used a lot of manipulation for various scenes to create a world of wonder/surprise. I started feeling sorry for the children actors and all they went through. It seemed close to abuse/mind control at certain points esp. when the little girl went home sobbing because a scene was so emotionally intense.

I understand films/art are exciting and there is a lot of money involved but it just seemed sickening to me. I guess I'm too prudish and would not allow my child to go through something like this. There was another scene apparently, where the two boy actors had to have a fight and the younger was supposed to cry. They yelled for hours and the next day the younger boy was hoarse. Why do I think these kids are going to need therapy of some sort (if not already)? It's so ironic in many ways as the kids (in what we see in the film) are represented as innocent, natural child mannerisms but the reality is frightening to me. So much was manipulated on the child actors and a sense of forced maturity that comes out of them, it makes the films seem kind of ugly.

I'm glad I have the info and I'm going to show the behind the scenes of Narnia to my kids so they know it's all pretend. I'm annoyed by the marketing of this film as a children's movie as it's not. And I think using kids in films is very, very difficult and just wrong if so much has to be done on trickery. Children believe what they are told. Not because they are gullible or stupid but because they trust (if they are lucky to feel trust). I know there are different methodologies to acting but with a child, there should always be the standard of ruling on the side of the child and limiting their exposure to situations that expose them.

I know my opinion is not worth much as the film has done what it set out to do...tell a story and make money.

Ads vs. Reality

I love this! Ah, reality...does it bite? I guess if you're hungry enough...

This also reminds me of when I was in 7th grade and had one of the best teachers in my life. Mrs. A, our English teacher, had us analyze and dissect commercials by understanding the various gimmicks/strategies of companies to sell their products/goods. We learned how companies would claim to be the best, put down their competitors, appeal to snobbery, use colors and people types to make products appealing, etc. It was, as a 7th grader, very eye opening. Oddly, this was the only class (until I took college level art classes) that talked/showed all the gimmicks used in visual arts/advertising. I think more English teachers should do this...have kids think critically about commercials and what they are trying to do/sell.

For years now, I've been telling my kids (when we see a commercial) that this one is trying to sell you junk food, this one wants to take your money for cheap plastic toys (this one, I admit is a hard sell...for Pete’s sakes, they're selling fairy dolls! very cute...) and so on.

Anyway, we've also talked about not smoking/doing drugs and to tell mommy/daddy if someone does this. We tell them these people are sick and this is why they do those things.

We've also stopped going to McDonald's and if we have to have fast-food we go to Wendy's (this is probably once or twice a month). We told the kids we don't go to McDonald's because they put bad things in the food (still use trans fat) and Wendy's does not. Also, if there is a toy from McDonald's you must have, you can actually just buy it for a dollar. I know because my brother-in-law bought one for my niece once...something Hello Kitty.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Volunteered at the local art gallery today...

Got to watch shop for a few hours at the Albert Michael's Gallery and Gifts today. A quiet time, though I did get a lot of work done...did some house cleaning, sorting and then mounted lots of new photos of my digital work. Looks pretty good and I have some at the gallery and I'll put a few on eBay as well. I also got to meet John Rita and his mother, Mrs. Rita (she owns the building). Very nice people. John is a local artist and does restoration of artwork.

The owner, Karen Special, was doing a demo for a few hours at the local A.C. Moore. She was teaching "One Stroke" painting. Very nice stuff and looks beautiful on glass. I'm eyeing a small cake dish at the gallery...hehe

We stopped by later that afternoon and looks like there was a huge crowd there. Glad to see people out and about. Now, how do we get them to go to the gallery? hmmm :) Actually, I have a few ideas but I'm always open to more.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We got a movie from Netflix, Chronicles of Narnia. We've never seen it so, I hope it's all right. From what I hear it's pretty exciting and the animals are beautifully done. We shall see...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did some home cleaning as well...finally dusted the bathroom. Good grief, there was inches in there. And the best news of all, it's warm!!! Today was at least 72 degrees and its seemed like the grass was singing praises (till the neighbors obsessively mowed theirs...very tidy people, I guess) and the bugs and birds zoomed about in delight and fright (fright being the bugs trying to get away from being eaten). All in all a good day. Jon walked the entourage of kids and dog to the park where he bonded with fellow fathers. Apparently, all the moms in the area threw their families out the door. ha-ha! I know I was ecstatic to leave the house and be on my own doing something I like. All in all a pretty good day. I feel a bit sad I did miss the book sale at the Hollidaysburg library...but there is the Altoona library sale coming up.
-----------
All this warmth is giving me creative bursts, apparently. I've come up with a few new ideas I want to try in regards to my artwork. I'll see what happens and fill you in as I go.

Also, I finished my Graphic Novel...that is the written part. Now, I'm in stage two of editing/adding historical bits and then the illustration begins. I'm thinking of just skipping the the publishers (for now) and doing it on my own. I'm having visions of local book signings....:)

Well, more to come...Have a good weekend!

New Cards at Cafepress!

Just made some new cards on my cafepress site! These are perfect for Spring and so sweet! :)

flowerfairyboy

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Going for a ride...


Going for a ride..., originally uploaded by emily999.

One Day Hat: How to

Hope this is somewhat coherent...here is my how-to on a "One day hat":

First, I used two yarns for color and bulk. Then, I did about 7 loops for a chain:

one day hat #1


Next, I connected the ends to create a circle shape.
one day hat #2


one day hat #3

Then, I single crocheted around the circle:
one day hat #4

After this, I worked about two rows of single crochet. I then added an extra "stitch" or single crochet to make the rows longer. This makes the hat start to form and widen. Otherwise, you'd have a doily or pancake shape.
one day hat #5

Keep adding a bit here and there in the rows. Once it is wide enough, I begin to reduce by removing or skipping a stitch and tightening it up with the next single crochet. This creates a smaller row. I did about two rows with reduction.
one day hat #6

There we go! All done. My main purpose of this is to make a warm cute hat, hopefully covering the ears.
 Finished! One day hat


Once the hat is done, you can flip it inside out and give it a bit of a rim...looks sassy! :)
One day hat: The flip

Thought I'd share...

This was my banner for whipup
Since I didn't get in the final eight

Thought I'd share it...it was a bit rough but fun to do. Basically, it was a collaged piece that I glued onto paper and then photographed. Then, I digitally altered it/lightened/darkened aspects, added text and the side bar colors. I thought it was pretty good for a try at the contest. Ah, well...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

a little jam session


a little jam session, originally uploaded by emily999.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

piano dreams


piano dreams, originally uploaded by emily999.

illustration friday "Fortune"

Dreams of peace are fortunate indeed

witch cutie


witch cutie, originally uploaded by emily999.

Here's another paper doll! She's a "Witch cutie"! :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Princess


Princess, originally uploaded by emily999.

Sweet dreams paper doll


Sweet dreams paper doll, originally uploaded by emily999.

Here's another little doll I made. This was actually from a few weeks ago. I've made about 12 since then (maybe a bit more). They are really fun to make/experiment with, though I've learned that I do not like my hot glue gun very much. It has a lot of power and just burns really easily. I've burnt my fingers on that thing three times just tonight and on Christmas eve I ripped off a piece of skin when finishing up a last minute gift. That owie took forever to heal, let me just say.

Anyway, I may need to take out the slow glue gun as this one is probably too big/hot for small pieces. It hurts to even type. :(

Otherwise, we are in the middle of a monsoon. It is raining and snowing in the most awful way; so cold and icky out. I can't even step outside in my winter coat (get's soaked and wet down feathers are not fun or smell good). I may take the girls to the local library as an outing. Otherwise, it's just too miserable lately.

We had some family over this weekend. They stopped by for a mini-trip. My sis-in-law is pregnant with number two and looks as though it may be a boy. Everyone is excited! :)

On a different note, it's interesting to me how some people make misconceptions about pregnant people and people who are heavy. Some people seem to think that heavy people can't tolerate the weather (if it's warm), are dull and are just sloppy. All of this is utterly ridiculous and quite painful to have remarked in little ways (or big ones). It's even more painful when it's people you regard as close or family. I could make quite a few remarks on people who say such ignorant things but I'm more embarrassed for them than anything. I'd be more specific but for some reason when I write something here, often some people in my life get to hear this. Yes, I know I'm vague...oh, boy...supposedly.

Honestly, it irks me to no end when people pick on someone for their size/height/body/etc. It really bothers me even more so because there are worse things in this world then a person's body. I'd rather those complainers go and attack cigarette companies or war mongers. But I guess that would be too hard.

Breathing in, I know I am breathing in....

Guitar...
Had a "jam" session at the parent's house. It was nice except most everyone complained and stared and just were so negative. You'd think we were playing electric guitars hooked to amps or something. All we played was "you are my sunshine" and various melodies of this variety! Geez! I told a few folks, "if you're holding a guitar in your hand, you can make a comment. Otherwise..." And yes, we sounded like a first time playing guitar group but you know, it was the first time we're playing together. Sometimes, I think people are very hung up on perfection in life. But what if we were perfect? What then? Everything would be down hill from there or else aimed at keeping that "perfect” state. Is that really a good idea or feeling or happiness? I certainly don't think so. I think perfection is over rated. I think perfection is a state of being in the moment. Being there and feeling what is around you and not caring about the dissonance...in fact, it's about embracing those broken chords and seeing them as making the times there are harmonies even sweeter. Does that make sense? I hope so because this gives my blistered fingers some reason for being burned at least...lol. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Letter to editor


letter to editor, originally uploaded by emily999.

was published 4.13.07

Rather nice see this in print...hope some of our elected officials capitalize on this.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

One of the best things I've heard in a while...

I love this new group called the Zimmers Band. I love this as it crosses generational gaps and is just fun. I hope this catches on in a lot of places.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Homage to Vonnegut


Homage to Vonnegut, originally uploaded by emily999.

Mint tea, again

I'm up at 4 am and the air feels too dry. So, I made some tea and it's helping. The ol' sinus/allergy thing is annoying but I now know what I have to do. So, I do my nasal flush, make sure there is water in the furnace and keep dusting. I need to get a few more of those face masks (the kind to filter out the air) as when I do dust it/use spray it bothers me.

I read that Kurt Vonnegut passed away on Wednesday at 84. I was saddened to learn this but glad he had a good long run. I remember reading Vonnegut in my early twenties and was amazed/shocked/depressed by what I was reading. Sometimes, his work gave me instant pictures in my mind and I'd have to illustrate them. "Cat's Cradle" had that effect on me with the infamous Ice-Nine...

Vonnegut was an interesting writer and person. More people should read his work and esp. those in positions of power.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fairys at night


Fairys at night, originally uploaded by emily999.

gathering blossums at night

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

And this is why you need to have labor unions...

Ah, Circut city...we shall not be meeting as I'm boycotting you, baby. If you didn't hear, apparently Circut city decided to cut just under 4,000 jobs. Why? Because they were being paid "too much money". Then, Circut city says, they'll rehire those who lost their jobs in 10 months if they re-apply, at a lower wage per hour. Hmmm...yeah...right. Next thing you know, they'll ask you to pay to work there!

Can we really help?


I just heard about the attempts of a woman, Julie Zickefoose, on NPR trying to save the song birds from this awful cold snap we're having here back East. Basically, the birds which migrated back to the East are suffering because nearly all the insects have been killed/gone to sleep from the cold. Apparently, she flicks spoons filled with dead crickets for the woodcocks because they are only attracted to flying insects. I hope this helps. Now, supposedly what usually happens is migrating birds will move back to warmer places but not always.

I don't know too much about the woodcock and apparently it’s even worse for the gnatcatchers but I do know robins. I saw a bunch of them pouring over my compost these last few days. Then, it dawned on me as I listened to NPR. They're trying to get to the bugs/worms in this little warm spot. So, of course I just ran outside and dug up a bunch of the compost and plan to do so till warmer weather reaches us. I don't know if it will help a lot of birds, but the few that frequent my backyard, I think it will help.

Then, I got to thinking why can't more people do this? So, if you have a compost or were planning to start a path in your yard, why not turn it now so a few birds can get some grub? ;)

I hope more people will read this and share the info to other bird lovers or those who have a bit of earth to share. I don't know if this will really help in the big picture, but in the small one, it just might.

(above photo is my first visitor to the tilled compost)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Gray today

Supposed to rain tonight. It's better than snow but it's bad when it's a cold rain. I've just eaten a big bunch of malted chocolate and now Lydia has found them.

Actually, I think it's still snowing. Oh, well.

I don't go overboard of the whole candy stuff as it's just too much after about the 1st hour. The gals are just too hyped and the difference in personality is not good. Some people say that it's not a sugar high...maybe not. But if there's chocolate there's caffeine and that is the problem usually. Though, I'm pretty sure sugar gives energy too (depending on the source good or bad).

Lydia just asked why I'm eating the candy. I said, because I'm a bad mommy. lol. I told her I wrote this on my blog...Now, she's embarrassed...sort of. lol :)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Ah!


Ah!, originally uploaded by emily999.

I think they're happy! :)

birthday gal


birthday gal, originally uploaded by emily999.

yummies


yummies, originally uploaded by emily999.

For a bit of sparkle and instant pretty, add a bowl of water, sparkles and floating candles (I only had one...more would be even prettier!). I think I'll do this once a week...

4am:Met with the Easter Bunny

We exchanged pleasantries but set right to business...packing two Easter baskets with goodies. As supplies we're short (and I do not like plastic Easter straw...cats will eat this, you know!), I used green tissue paper ripped in strips and various sizes. The Easter Bunny nodded her head in approval and we both smiled when placing the eggs/goodies in the basket. In a blink of an eye we were finished. I nibbled on several malted chocolate eggs (very yum) and the Easter Bunny said she's got to be going. I understood and waved her good bye.

All in all, I think the kids made out this year. Plus, we celebrated Miss Lydia's b-day on Saturday and good grief the pink, the pet shops, the my little ponies and fairies! I may have to build a cupboard to store all these goodies. I also found out an auntie wouldn't mind starting a Pet shop collection of her own! :)

I sometimes feel like the The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Du Bose Heyward. If you have not read this book, you should. This is for anyone who has had dreams put to the side, regardless of being a mama or not. It's for the mothers of the world and realizing we can get our dreams if we are open to change and are brave.

**************************
Happy Easter to everyone! Spring is here (even if it is hidden in 28 degrees, snow gusts and half an inch of white on the ground). I have a slight ear infection and sinus pain but am starting to feel better. I think I'll make some mint tea...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

"We are all made of star stuff..."

-Jon Gottshall reflecting on Carl Sagan

Friday, April 06, 2007

snoozing fairy


snoozing fairy, originally uploaded by emily999.

Things that I love

1. My family
2. My pets
3. Seeing bugs and blossom pics slowly pour into flickr
4. Quiet moments after a full, somewhat hectic day
5. Talking to my sister/mom or girlfriends on the phone
6. Going for walks on a warm afternoon and running into my parents-in-law
7. Feeling comfortable with the guitar and memorizing the chords
8. Creating some artwork from bits of random pieces
9. The seasons
10.Sitting with my dog across my lap, and my cats around my shoulders
11.Watching old TV shows with my kids like Sigmund the Sea Monster or H.R. Pufnstuf and seeing their reaction

Mama and baby on a Spring walk.


Mama and baby on a Spring walk., originally uploaded by emily999.

I wish I could say it was like this outside...we're getting snow at the moment. Tuesday temps were 70 degrees. Today it's 28 and snowing. It will be green again, I know. I guess I don't like being taunted by Mother Nature...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Snow...

It's a dusting of the last snow of Spring, I guess. The temp dropped yesterday from about 45 to 28. In one hour, it dropped 10 degrees. No wonder my wrists were aching (slight arthritis). Ouch.

But we had a few good days...Tuesday was 70 degrees and we had a lot of outdoor/porch play. So, I don't feel Closter phobic, yet. The gals are surprised to see snow again and started saying Christmas is coming. I had to laugh and said, well, actually Easter is coming but what the hay.

We're celebrating my eldest b-day on Saturday...I wish had it on Wednesday, it was so nice and warm. Ah, well. It's supposed to be cold the rest of the week, if not weeks.

Last night, I finished typing up the last bit of my written part of the Graphic Novel. I realize I need one more scene and then it's editing time. I'm excited and fascinated by the story and events. I'm basing it loosely on real people...it's going to be from the 1800's.

I've started sketching out a scene or two and trying to describe the way people look. I'll see what happens.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pandas for Peace


Pandas for Peace, originally uploaded by emily999.

The Teapot and the Fairy Mouse


The Teapot and the Fairy Mouse, originally uploaded by emily999.

a new one to share...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Busy day...

and yet, I still need to clean out the rat grrl cage and Odie's bird cage. I'll do that tomorrow as I'm beat.

Yesterday, I pulled something like 25 bags of garbage to the front of the house, boxes and screens and junk for the pick-up. They came (much to my shock) and got rid of it all. There is, a bit more I still need to get rid of...another old carpet, two old toliets (one might be from the 1930's), more junk and I think that's it. There are a bunch of old encyclopedias from the 1930's that I would love to take apart and use as fodder for collages but Jon is grunting about this. Maybe I'm being overly eager about dismantling these things...I don't know. I do admit there is something so beautiful in the binding, and the prints color and workmanship that is just not at all found in modern printing techniques. So, these books wait and sit in boxes because I don't know what to do with them. There is one shelf dedicated to old newspapers and what nots I found in the garage. But mostly I'm disassembling the mass. I need to put up some more shelves as well. I actually made my own...just nailed a few boards up on the raw walls and there you go! I feel a bit proud about this...:)

I'm imagining putting in a work table or two...one for garden stuff and the other for wood working. This seems to be a more practical plan. There will be more than enough space for large canvas work and in the Winter a car, if I really wanted one in there.

Tomorrow I think I'll work on finishing up another room in the house. What I need for that room is a gallon of the basic paint color of off-white for the ceiling. I know we have some somewhere but nobody can find it. Very annoying.

I can't believe it's already April 3rd. Time flies, I tell you. This week we are celebrating my eldest's birthday. I'm so amazed at the way changes have happened and happy that we are doing so well. I wrote a poem about my kids but I feel a bit shy sharing it. Oh, well...here it is:

Love notes to now and the future you and I

My dears, my little ones, I love you.
My hearts, they dance on the grass and run down the street and back again.
Little shapes, full of grace, full of testing, full of joy.

I watch you grow in and around me. I see your eyes and hear your words, blurred and swirling, entwining in my heart thick with roots and shoots of growth. Oh, my dear sweet seedlings, I see you grow and am filled with awe.

Will I still love you in your teens, when wild you will want to run? Growing over fence and valley, tumbling away just for fun? I will love you still though thorns may prickle between us, I will still.

And in your twenties and thirties I hope, we will still be there to embrace as woods shelter themselves from cold winds and heavy snows. You do not need to fear, our roots are strong and deep and will last storms and dread.

And even if our time grows short (or if luck be on our side, so long), my hearts, our love will remain strong whether in the heavens or on this sweet Earth.

Though the world was weary on her shoulders,

her dreams would keep her spirit strong.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Feeling a bit better...

Chrysalis, time for change
Talked to dear husband, Jon and he helped put things in perspective. Thank goodness for a calming person in ones life. Everyone should have at least one calm person to know and reflect with. I feel better.

Also, I found out a negative person in the area is gone! I did a search and found out that this someone (who was very mean to me) has left the area. I could hardly believe it and feel as though a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I overcame the negative words this person used by knowing the truth about myself...this person actually said, I shouldn't work with kids! I have to laugh as having two kids, being a pretty great auntie, great tutor and just a decent (most of the time) person, I know this is not true. But it hurt me so much because it came from a person with supposed authority. Now I know why this person said this. She either quit her job or was fired several months after my situation! Most likely, she was saying things about her self. Strange and sad. I just wish I had found this info out 3 years ago.

But all is better now as I feel totally vindicated and liberated by this new information. What a relief.

frustrations...

So, I wrote previously how I'm sending my eldest to kindergarten. I've home schooled her for preschool and we're ready to go. I go to a school in the area that is supposedly pretty good on sign-up day and do all the paper work.

I then get a rejection from the principal based on something to do with the district and boundaries. Darling husband calls the district and they inform him to fill out a form, etc and all will go well in choosing the school. Husband does this and then calls today. They inform him that they were wrong and that boundary letters have no application to kindergarten and it's really a matter of the principal wanting your child in there or not.

I'm thinking, what? Does this make sense? Why did the principal send us a letter saying it was ALL ABOUT THE BOUNDARY? And then, now it's not? But a matter of preference? What? I'm feeling sick, actually about all of this. I really am. Do I fight to have my daughter go to a school that apparently is doing the least amount for a potential student? I don't know but wouldn't this be a nice case for a lawyer? I'm guessing by not allowing our daughter to go to their school, this is against freedom of education.

Honestly, I feel like this principal took one look at my "Home schooled" for preschool and said, I don't like homeschoolers. I feel this in my heart. I just read up on the 14th Amendment of the US and it states:
Generally speaking, a student has a liberty right to a good reputation so any action that would stigmatize a student interferes with this liberty interest. The property right of a student is the expectation of an education, which is established by state law, so any action that would alter this expectation interferes with this property right.

I definitely feel this principal is interfering with my daughters right to an education and I don't really know why but can only guess at the homeschooling aspect. I feel sick.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Beads in her hair


Beads in her hair, originally uploaded by emily999.

sent to my tea swap partner in Australia! :)

What's that buzzing?


What's that buzzing?, originally uploaded by emily999.


"Princess Dreams"



"Black laced Fairy" (this is probably one of my favorites)

Rainy day Sunday

The lilac bush is starting to show the tips of leaves. It seems each day they grow by a full 1/2 inch...amazing. I pulled out a bunch of trash from the garage and now it's all wet. Great.

I just had my first coffee in two days. I feel a bit more awake. I have to say black tea peach with ginger is almost equal to java. Almost...

I made banana bread and it's nearly finished baking. The house smells good and I just finished listening to "Here in California" by Kate Wolf. It's such a touchingly sad song. Makes me think of California, of course, and my family and friends, and my love for them. It's funny, I watched this one show called "Raines" last week and it made me a bit nostalgic as the main character said why he loved California...from the sunsets, to the colors and even with all the problems there is something beautiful about this land. I understand that. Of course, now I'm feeling that way about two places. Pennsylvania is quite amazing even if I have to live on allergy medicine and get my desensitizing shots.

~~~~~~~~~~~
I have to say clearing out all that stuff in the garage, I'm amazed to see all that space. We moved the massive rabbit cage to the side and there are still boxes of books to deal with but it's not as horrible. I'm sorry to repeat all this again but I'm just so pleased with having space. And mom, don't worry, I'm not throwing out anything I'll regret...believe me.

I did find some treasures...an old chair I'm going to clean up and paint (it's beautiful, really with a 1920's look) and two attractive frames. One is small and may have been a mirror. The other is big and is a mirror. I'm thinking shabby chic. I might put that over my China cabinet if it comes out well. I'm still debating painting the cabinet...Right now, it's not so bad and looks handsome actually. I might need to rearrange some furniture in the dining room as it looks cramped. I found out if I use all the leaves in my dining room table, I get more surface space but it's a bit tight to move around in. Ah, well...

Sometime this week, we're supposed to get an Onion snow meaning "A light snow in late spring, after onions have been planted." Others have used this term to mean a layer as thin as an onion skin on the ground, or onion grass (?) growing. Interesting meanings.

Well, the banana bread was a huge success! I added dried apricots and let in the 1/4 extra of milk. The bread came out so soft and the perfect coloring. Hope it stays soft. I think I'll try this again...maybe next Sunday for Easter with chocolate chips. Just remembered. my brother, Daniel, likes banana bread with chocolate chips...hmmm, maybe for his April birthday? We shall see. I still owe my other brother, Dave, a b-day present. I have plans for both of them. :)

Yesterday was one of the best Saturdays we had in awhile. First, we dropped off two batches of cardboard at the recyclers. It was a really busy place! Surprising and quite nice to see so many people recycling. There was one bad part where Jon closed the car door on his finger and I thought he was going to faint. The nail will probably fall off...ouch!! But we got more things done...made some copies I've been meaning to make, mailed off a swap, and then the garage. At about 5pm we had tickets to a pasta event for several fund raisers. We got the take out as the place was packed! So, we had that for dinner. Not a bad day. I also got some artwork in, put up some eBay auctions, submitted a few more things to card companies and finished a new batch of ACEO's. Oh, and I put up two dolls on Etsy as well. Not too bad for a Saturday. I like things to be productive and this was one of those good days. :)

Sociable

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