.....and other random stuff......

Monday, October 31, 2011

Will I or Won’t I?

It’s a well known fact that I have absolutely NO willpower whatsoever!

So it’s a real toss up whether I will break down and snitch any Halloween candy or not.

I’ve been doing pretty well trying to ‘clean up my act’ so to speak when it comes to my eating habits.
And until today I didn’t even open the candy.

Now that it’s open and waiting for the little trick or treaters I can hear those Crunch bars calling my name!

Only time will tell! LOL

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spotted Fluffalump with Pompadour

The other Fluffalumps made fun of him because he still wore the pompadour of his youth. But he didn’t care. He knew he was handsome.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Attila the Mother

I’ve been known as a rather strict task master. (I have no idea why! I’m such an easy going individual! LOL)

I have certain expectations, shall we say.
I expect people to be kind and nice and polite.
I expect them to say please and thank you.
I expect when someone uses an item, that item to be replaced where it was found.
I expect when someone makes a mess that they should clean up after themselves.
And I expect this from my children too.

So one day when I returned home from work rather tired and wrung out, I was confronted with  various toys and papers and clothing strewn on the floor from the front door all the way into the house culminating in a pile of writhing giggling children and their caretaker, I lost it.

I don’t ‘yell’, I just go into lecture (aka tirade) mode.
As I did the ‘mother stoop’ bending over and picking up toys and other detritus I went on and on about cleaning up after yourself,  putting things back where they belong and personal responsibility, yadda yadda yadda.

In a fit of laughter, my friend who was kind enough to babysit that day, looked over at the boys and said, “Meet Attila the Mother!”

It stuck!

(As an addendum to this story, I have to say, I guess it was deserved but having said that I still don’t think my expectations are unreasonable! LOL)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Can You See The Fish?

The theory is ‘the muse comes to the moving brush’.

I spilled some black watercolor on a piece of paper. Since I was in the middle of something else I just folded the paper to get the mess out of the way.
Later when I opened it I saw a frilly fish, so I went with it.
Can you see the fish?
(Hint: We're looking down on it from above.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Creative Slump

Sometimes I fall into a creative slump.
I just can’t seem to get excited about anything.
Be it sketching, sewing, or anything creative.
I can’t even bring myself to walk into my studio!
I’m not blocked in the usual sense; I just can’t work up a good enthusiasm about anything.
Do you ever fall into a funk?
What special tricks or magic do you use to pull yourself out?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Before There was a Martha Stewart There was my Mother

Before there was a Martha Stewart there was my mother.

She believed that presentation was fundamental.
To that end, every gift she gave reflected this.

One year my brother was invited to a birthday party for his best friend.

The gift was a rather mundane dress shirt (requested by the recipient’s mother.)
But my mother couldn’t just wrap it in a shirt box and let it go at that.

She made the box look like a shirt, stand up collar, cuffs, buttons and a tie!
(Back “in the day” this was heady stuff!)

When it was my brother’s turn to receive his birthday gift, the young boy’s mother tried to reciprocate by decorating her box in a crafty way.

Her son remarked, “Gee Mom, you’re almost as clever as Mrs. Cox!”

Friday, October 21, 2011


I was bored making dinner so decided to draw a sprout. Ho hum
At least they tasted good!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Aprox 1 ½ lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tbsp evoo
Scant ½ tsp sea salt
Cracked black pepper
spread in single layer on cookie sheet
Roast in 425° oven for aprox 25-30 minutes until fork tender
(shake them around every ten minutes to brown evenly) 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pampas Grass

A view of our poor weather beaten Pampas grass.
We have had six inches of rain in the past two days! 
The poor Pampas grass is wind whipped and rain beaten!
The usually beautiful full ‘fluffy’ heads look like scrawny wet cats!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Different View

More fun with wildlife!

What is more fun than watching a hawk hunt? Watching it fly away with a fish in its talons, that’s what!

The fish is actually still ‘swimming’ in mid air!

As the hawk flies past you can see the fish ‘wagging’ it’s tail as if it’s still in the water!

I always feel torn between laughter and sadness at seeing this.

You have to wonder what the fish is thinking!
"Something just doesn't seem right!"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Upcycled Journals

The Alliance for the Arts Gallery, where I sell some of my ‘stuff’, opened a new show called REFUSE REPURPOSED.

I was invited to enter but I didn’t think my upcycled journals were really what they had in mind so I didn’t submit anything.

Then the director called and asked if I had any more of my journals to put out on opening night because she thought they would tie in nicely to the theme of the show.  (They had sold all the others I had given them!)

 I scrambled like crazy to find some, and came up with a handful.  

The opening reception was on Friday October 7th and on Monday she called again to ask for more! She had sold all I had given her again and had people who asked if I could make more!

So all week I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off because I had to start from scratch!

I didn’t have any upcycled fabric paper or prepared pages for signatures! And it takes FOREVER for things to dry here because of the humidity (even in the air conditioned house!)! LOL 

I have six more in different stages of readiness but I have five I can give her tomorrow.
I hope I didn’t take too long and the interested parties still want them! 

(Here are three that were dry enough to photograph!)

This one was a special request, a folio to hold correspondence. 

Recycled material and old book pages from a damaged book.
Recycled tissue paper from a gift that I stamped on and stiffened with glue.
This was packing paper that cushioned something Husband ordered. I glued fabric scraps  leftover from other projects,  and free motion stitched.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Newton Goes Abroad

“I’ve always wanted to go to Paris! I can’t believe I’m really here! The food is FABULOUS!
“The people here speak very fast, and it’s a strange language, but they are all very kind and take the time to try and help me.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

365 Days

My mother was a gourmet cook. But she didn’t start out that way.

She was always a good cook, but came from a rather mundane background (gastronomically speaking.)

Her mother was Irish and her father was English.  Two cultures not exactly known for their wild culinary dishes.

She knew how to make the basics, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, fish and chips, Sheppard’s pie, bubble and squeak.

All good food but not exactly inspired.

Which is what my father said one day, “We seem to eat the same thing over and over.”

You didn’t throw down the gauntlet in front of my mother and expect her not to rise to the challenge!

So she started her plan.

She researched (and this was way before the internet made researching so easy!) This was in the days of actually going to the library! Which is what she did.

She scoured old cookbooks, she read all the women’s magazines, she wrote to friends and relatives for recipes.

She read the papers every Sunday to see what was on sale and planned accordingly.

She prepared meals that would have made Escoffier weep!

One night as we sat at the dinner table, my mother came out of the kitchen with my father’s plate, set it in front of him and said, “This is the three hundred and sixty fifth meal, not counting lunches, I have made for you since your complaint. And NOT ONCE did I repeat one single meal! Including leftovers! I never want to hear you complain again!”

He didn’t.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


My father was a pacifist. He didn’t believe in corporal punishment. He lectured.
But that’s a post for another time.

This is about my mother.

SHE was the one who believed a spanking never killed anyone!

My father thought it showed a decided lack of control on the part of the adult.

But at some point a child grows too big to be spanked.

So when my brother reached age twelve or so, and grew taller than our mother, and developed a bit of an insolent attitude she was at a loss.

One day he mouthed off at her and she reached up to slap him.

He did what any self respecting person would do, he blocked her hand.

This infuriated her even more and she began to chase him around the dining room table, hand extended yelling, “Stand still so I can hit you!”

My father and I looked at each other incredulous at the scene playing out before us. He said to her, “Really? You expect him to stand still so you can hit him?”

She said afterwards she realized how ludicrous it was, but in the moment her frustration outweighed her logic.

It was a fun home to grow up in! LOL

Monday, October 10, 2011

Age is a State of Mind

I'm just a YOUNG person in old packaging! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It’s Good to Know a Second Language

Seventh grade.
The powers that be decided we needed to learn a second language.
(I do give them credit for at least trying to teach us a language that would have some relevance.)
They decided we should learn Spanish.

The way they taught languages in ‘the olden days’ was to have us memorize scripted ‘dialogs’.
These were little exchanges between two people.
No wasting time learning vocabulary or conjugation! 
No sir, not for us!
We jumped right into conversations!

The sum of my four years of Spanish can be summed up in one sentence!
"¿Donde está la biblioteca?"

But if I ever go to a Spanish speaking country and need to find the library, I’m all set!

I’m sure it will come in very handy! LOL

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I take so many pills, Husband says it sounds like I’m playing the maracas! LOL

Thursday, October 6, 2011


“I don’t know why you went to all the trouble of having people vote and give you suggestions for my name. 
"You could have just asked me! I would have told you!
“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Newton. And you are quite right I am English. Although how you knew that without my saying anything is truly uncanny.
“I come from Ipswich.  
“Until recently I lived a very quiet life, but lately I’ve had a desire to leave the wood and travel. 
"There is a slight drawback to my plans though; I tend to get lost quite easily.
“But I resolve to look at this as an advantage rather than an obstacle.
“Perhaps it will lead me to even more exciting adventures!
“We shall see!”

Thank you to everyone who voted and left comments for this little creature’s name. I will keep them and perhaps they will become Newton’s companions. Even though he didn’t choose any of the names we suggested, your comments did help him decide on his identity. Thanks again for playing!

Before I Go To Sleep

This is the best book I've read in a long time!
I highly recommend it!
"Before I Go To Sleep" by S.J. Watson
(check out the trailer!)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Flashing Flashing Flashing

(To be sung to the tune of "Rawhide")

Flashing flashing flashing
Oh my god I’m flashing
Damn these things are lasting

Strip me down, hose me off,
Wring me out, wipe my brow
Shave my head, where’s the fan?
Hot Flash!

Cool me off, ice me down,
Fan my face, where’s the breeze?
Oh my god! Kill me now
Hot Flash!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Group Photo

Trying to get everyone to cooperate for the class photo proved fruitless.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Sketchbook Challenge--'View'

I was just fooling around. 
I didn’t have anything particular in mind. 
Thinking of The Sketchbook Challenge theme for October 'view'.
Just grabbed a piece of charcoal and started to make marks. 
Then started smearing with my fingers and using a kneaded eraser to pull some of it up.
Suddenly he/she appeared! 
Isn't the subconscious interesting?