PERFECTLY IMPERFECT-I may not be the best at what I do, but Nobody has MORE fun trying than I do! :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Meme Trivia

I found this meme on Tammy's blog . She had borrowed it from another blogger, and I borrowed it from her. She's right, the questions are kind of crazy but fun. I enjoyed Tammy's and thanks to her for letting me borrow the questions. Here goes. :)

Ocean or Lake? If I have to choose-ocean. I don't really love to be on or in the water, but I love to sit on the bank (or beach) of any body of water and just watch the ripples/waves and listen to the sounds. Very relaxing and soothing.

Pizza or Chinese? I've never eaten Chinese food, but I love pizza.

Mansion or Penthouse? Neither. I'd like a either a studio loft or a small house way back in the woods by a stream or pond where it's quiet.

Have you been on a Jet Ski? No, and I have no desire to be on one.

Are you afraid of clowns? No, I love the Pierrot Clowns. Not all that crazy about regular clowns, but I'm not afraid of them.

How many brothers/sisters do you have? No blood brothers/sisters, but I have friends that are like brothers/sisters to me

Favorite band/group? There are several, but Aerosmith is certainly one of them. Brooks & Dunn are another. I know, totally opposite genres. What can I say? I have eclectic tastes. :)

Baseball or football? Neither. Not a sports fan.

Favorite brand of makeup? I don't wear makeup much, but what I do wear is usually Max Factor or Mojave Magic

Do you have an IPod? No, I haven't wanted one yet.

Bike or scooter? Probably a bike, but it's been so many years since I've been on one I'd probably fall over on it.

Ever go in a hot air balloon? No, and I don't plan on it. I like my feet on the ground.

What brand computer do you have? Dell desk top and Toshiba laptop

How many times have you been to Disneyworld? Never

Favorite city? I haven't spent time in too many big cities, but I really liked Montreal, Canada and I loved New Orleans pre-Katrina (haven't been since)

Do you think you are fat? Oh yeah! I am pretty fluffy. ;)

Ever throw up in a public place? Not that I remember

Do you have a pool? No, I've never wanted one, but hubby has talked about it

How many times a month do you go to the movies? None. We haven't been to the movies in years.

Last movie you saw? Failure To Launch with Matthew McConahey (?) and Sarah Jessica Parker yesterday on one of the movie channels. The supporting actors stole the movie though. Pretty funny.

Do you chew ice? Not anymore.

Have you been to California? Not yet.

Last book you read? Tara Road by Maeve Binchey

Do you like to go fishing? I'm not an avid fisherperson, but I enjoy going sometimes. I used to love to go out in the boat with my dad and hubby. When I got tired of fishing I'd take pictures or sketch.

Favorite professional team? None, don't watch sports

Do you like mohawks? No, although I did think Sanjaya's fauxhawk was kind of cute on him :)

How many pairs of shoes do you own? Not many compared to most women. Maybe 12-15 pairs gathering dust. I have a couple of favorites that I wear all the time.

Do you floss? Not like I should

Do you have braces? No, and I never have had to. My teeth were perfectly straight, just not very sound

Do you bite your nails? No, I never had that habit, but I have twisted my hair ever since I can remember

What is your last thought before falling asleep? Hope that my family and friends and I stay safe during the night to wake up to a new day

Do you fall in love easily? The last time I fell in love was over forty yrs ago and I've been married to him almost 38 yrs now, so I guess the answer's no :)

Ever have a crush and they never knew? Yes, before I was married.

Do you babysit? No, I've never been around small children enough to be comfortable with them. They would be babysitting me, I'm afraid. :)

Ever been shot at? Heavens no, and I hope I never am.

Do you consider yourself nice? Yes, most of the time. I am a nervous person though, so sometimes I'm easily irritated and snappy.

Do you go to camp for the summer? No, I've never been to camp, but I would love to go to an artists' retreat sometime

Have you been on a boat? Yes, a small cruise ship, Staten Island Ferry in NY, river ferry many times, and out in small fishing boats many times

Ever break a bone? My nose was broken, probably during birth according to the ENT specialist, and he broke it again last summer to straighten the septum so I could breathe better, and it helped a lot

What is your ultimate job? Something on the computer from home that combines art and writing

Do you want to walk on the moon? No way! She's gorgeous to look at, but as I said before, I like my feet on the ground

Can you name the seven dwarfs? Doc, Dopey, Sleepy, Grumpy, Sneezy and 2 other guys?

Favorite TV show? Survivor and CSI: Las Vegas

Apples or oranges? Not crazy about either, but I'm allergic to oranges, so it'd have to be apples, preferably yellow and crunchy with salt

Favorite model of car? I'm not really into cars, but I've always wanted a Volkswagen Bug or Rabbit

Favorite flower? White peonies. I just love the fragrance and the splash of pink in the middle of all those ruffled petals

Favorite color? Blue and Copper

Ever climb out your bedroom window? No, not even as a teenager. Had to climb in the dining room window once because we locked ourselves out of the house though

Do you live in an apartment or house? House

How many times in the last month have you had the hiccups? None that remember

Ever laugh so hard milk came out your nose? I don't know about milk, but water, yes

How many cousins do you have? I used to have a lot of first cousins, but as we've gotten older, sadly many of them haver passed over. I still have a lot of second and third cousins though. My parents both came from big families.

Do you believe in ghosts? Anything is possible.

If you were a bird, what would you be? A house wren. They are so cute, tiny, and brave.

Ever get stitches? Only for surgeries, but a couple of times I should have gotten stitches for injuries

If you could, would you want to know what your future was going to be? I don't think so, unless there was a guarantee that it would all be good

If you could change your name, what would it be? I wouldn't change it. I didn't like it when I was young, but I'm ok with it now

Dogs or cats? Right now we have cats, but I love really small, furry dogs too.

Do you believe in love at first sight? It's possible I guess, but I wonder how you know you love somebody before you even get to know who they are

Do you go to church? I used to, but haven't gone in a long time now, and I miss it.

Would you marry outside your religion? At this point in my life that's not even an option, but if it were to come up, I'd sure want to give it a lot of thought and consideration

Ever ride in a limo? No, and I don't really want to.

Ever drink champagne? I've tasted it a couple of times, but I don't really like alcohol of any kind, not even beer

Well that's the end of the meme for me. If you post your answers to this meme let me know, and I'll enjoy getting to know a little about you. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mondays And Groups

Happy Monday!

Most people don't seem to like Mondays. I didn't either when I worked outside the home, but now it seems like I have more energy and get more things done at the beginning of the week. By the weekend my tail is usually kind of dragging. :)

I have belonged to a couple of online groups for a long time now, one is a creative arts group and one a group on organization. I just dropped out of the second one because the activity on it has dropped to zero practically over the last few weeks. I really learned a lot of tips and got a lot of encouragement and motivation from the other members. They're a great and generous bunch of people and I will probably go back at some point, but my cleaning/organizing has come to a standstill at present, so for the time being I have dropped out.

The creative arts group has also been pretty quiet over the last few days. I've been pretty quiet myself on it, so I can't say much. I guess it's inevitable that there will be lulls in activity once in a while. It's a small group. I guess everyone is just busy working on their creative projects and with life in general. I usually have my morning coffee with them while I'm waking up, so it's like friends missing when there's nobody posting. This group has been instrumental in helping keep my creative juices flowing. They're a wonderful, talented, generous group as well, and I really enjoy their friendship.

I don't intend to get involved in too many groups because as much as I enjoy them, it takes a lot of time if you participate in them and you're still on dial-up internet. There are a lot of good ones and it's hard to choose just a few. So I dropped the one on organization for now, but I joined two different groups yesterday after looking through a bunch of groups on the topics I'm interested in.

I joined the women getting fit over fifty group and just sent in my introduction post this morning. It's a good sized group of over fifty year old women who encourage and support one another in getting healthy, exercising, and other problems that age and being overweight involves. I desperately need to lose some weight. I have been knowing this for several years. It has really affected my health and I am easily stressed, which compounds all the other health issues. I just cannot get myself to do anything about it...yet. I'm hoping that this group can help me and maybe I, in turn, can do or say something to encourage or help them. They ask that you post at least once a week and share your progress...or non progress. I can handle that. :) Wish me luck as I venture into an exercise and healthier eating program to not only get some excess weight off, but to make me feel better physically and mentally.

The other group is a post polio syndrome group , also a small group. I am a polio survivor so there is a risk for my developing this syndrome. This syndrome happens to many people who survived polio, went on to live normal, productive lives, then in their fifties and sixties the symptoms of the original polio come back, bringing a lot of muscle and joint pain, fatigue, etc., and completely changing their lifestyles, making them semi-invalid or invalids. There is no cure and it can only be diagnosed by eliminating everything else. Once diagnosed there are lifestyle changes to make it easier, supports such as braces, wheelchairs, etc., and medicines for pain, but no cure. Keeping your weight down plays an important role here too, as extra weight puts added pressure on already weakened or overworked muscles. The posts on this group are open to the public, but you have to be a member to post. I think I can learn a lot here. They seem like a wonderful, supportive group as well.

I forgot, I also belong to the writer's group in the Long Ridge Writing School, so that makes four groups and a blog that I post to and read. Perhaps that's why I can't get my current writing assignment finished and the housework is piled up. But it's fun. :) Have a great week!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Morning Clowns and Haiku

First, I want to thank all of you who have visited my blog so far. It’s still new and I’m still trying to find my way, so please be patient with me. OK? Thanks, also, for the comments left and emails sent. I appreciate so much your taking the time to read my efforts and tell me what you think. I hope you will continue to visit often. :)

Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day here, what I call a magic light day. The air was clear and the colors gloriously intensified under a cloudless bright blue sky. One of those “it’s great to be alive” days. We finally got some much needed rain for three or four days last week, and seemingly overnight it looked like a different world. Everything is green again instead of dead and parched. The ponds and streams are full again. We won’t have to sell our little herd of cows, which are more like pets, because we can’t feed and water them. It seems like a miracle and I’m so grateful. I was so happy when it was raining that I wanted to just get out in it and dance and twirl around, but I didn’t. Another opportunity not taken advantage of. I did get soaked coming back from checking on the cows on the 4-wheeler though. That was fun, but I still should have danced in it.

This photo was made while riding the 4-wheeler through the woods to the pond to check on the cows after the rain last week. It was early morning and everything felt so clean. The sun was filtering through the remaining fog and trees. It was kind of magical.

I wrote the haiku poem three years ago while daddy was taking antibiotic treatments in the hospital. It was a gray stormy day and I watched out the window as yellow leaves fell out of a huge tree nearby every time a gust of wind came. It reminded me of golden glitter as bunches of leaves fell loose and swirled to the pavement below. I put the poem and photo together for this month's mojoart challenge "Dreaming of Fall". The poem reads:

a quick gust of wind
golden leaves fall like glitter
shaken to the ground

" A quick gust" has been changed to "sudden gust" since entering it. Much better, I think.

I had to ask for an extension on my writing assignment because it was due yesterday and I’ve barely started it. It’s the second chapter for my novel, started several weeks ago. I got sidetracked, and just yesterday started working on it again. I first studied my text book requirements for this assignment, then I just dove in and started typing stream of consciousness, my favorite way to write. I was trying to make the transition from chapter one to chapter two, but I think chapter two has now turned into chapters two and three. I’m already way over my word limit and I'm not through, so I’ll have to go back and cut a lot out and do a lot of re-writing to pull it together and try to make it interesting. A challenge and a lot of work, but also enjoyable to me once I get focused.

My art doll pattern is still glaring at me (I shouldn’t have given her a face yet), because I still haven’t found suitable body material for her, and now she’s insisting on tiny wings for her ample body. We’re still debating that one. She’s going to be as difficult to please as Mollie Be Muse was (art doll previous post). :o

Art wise, I’ve been experimenting some. I read where someone uses a piece of watercolor paper under her stamping and painting projects, which invariably gets ink, paint, and stamp images all over it. When it gets enough on it, she cuts it up and uses it for backgrounds for atc’s, altered books, etc. So, of course, I’m having to try it. Some pretty interesting effects so far.

It reminds me of once when a friend was looking at my oil paintings and she really liked the one on the easel, which wasn’t a painting at all, but a canvas board which I put behind my stretched canvases while painting. Of course, it had all sorts of paint smudges where I had painted off the sides of several canvases, cleaned the paint out of my brushes, practiced brush strokes and paint mixtures, that sort of thing. When I looked at it through her eyes, it was pretty interesting looking though.

The other day I carved an atc sized piece of linoleum and made several trial prints in my sketchbook and other papers. It is of a Pierrot clown face with a harlequin motif background. I love the painted faces of Pierrot clowns, mimes, the Cirque de Soleil and Cats characters, etc. Not as crazy about regular clowns. Anyway, I drew it right out of my head directly onto the linoleum with a pencil (not always a good idea), and then went over the places I wanted to show with a black sharpie. The rest I carved out. Since I don’t do this on a regular basis, I forgot and carved a line between the eyebrow and the iris in her eye, which of course left a blank line when I printed her off. Thus, she looks kind of frightened unless I make an adjustment with a brush and ink.

To the right is a picture of a sketchbook page with a few trial prints, which are really plainer than the photo shows. The black one is done with printer’s ink brushed onto the design, then stamped onto the page, which doesn’t leave as sharp an image as it does when it’s rolled on and a barren used. The other three are dye ink pads stamped on. I’m not real happy with the way the design wound up, but I am going to make some real prints (probably altered) with it before I toss it…or not. Now that I look at her again, she does have a unique character about her. :)

Enough rambling for now. Ya’ll have a blessed week, and a creative one.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Over The Slump

Well, I did kind of get over my creative slump finally. I wrote a three and a half page piece which has nothing at all to do with my writing assignment which is due in nine days and I've barely started (the second chapter of my novel). I just can't seem to get focused on it.

That's probably because I've been focused more on art the last few days. I have an art doll pattern cut out and the face drawn on (she's standing nearby glaring at me), but since she refused to be made out of the fabric I had in mind, I'm still looking for something to suit her.

I've also been re-working some artist trading cards that I wasn't happy with, plus I started a couple of new ones with my new face stamp. Love it! And I love my new alphabet stamps. I'll post some pics when I get the atc's finished.

This month's mojoart challenge is "Dreaming of Fall". I'm beginning to have an inkling of an idea for it. I have written a haiku poem, now I have to come up with a background collage for it. Only have a few more days though, so I'm going to have to work fast.

I read an article in the last Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine about making paper beads that I just had to try. They were gorgeous and really easy to make...and addictive. I made a dozen in just a few minutes. I just made the basic ones, but the article showed how to dip the basic ones in powders, tiny beads, etc, to make them even prettier. You can also cut really small strips of words, really thin wire or fiber, etc and wrap around the basic bead for decoration to make them more interesting. They're pretty sturdy too. A great way to use up pretty scrap paper. I plan to use mine for decorative purposes on altered art, journals, whatever, but they make pretty jewelry too.

For the basic bead you cut a triangle (1-1/2"x around 7" or 1/2"x 7") out of decorative paper, magazine pages, etc., wrap the wide end around a straw, knitting needle, etc a couple of times, put glue (I used gloss acrylic gel medium) on the back of the rest of the strip, and roll it on, trying to keep the point centered. You can rub a small amount of olive oil on the straw every so often to keep the beads from sticking to it. I also put a coat of gel medium all over the outside of the bead before drying. Hang on a string, wire, or I used a wooden skewer laid across something to dry. The gel medium makes them relatively hard, so they don't crush easily. You can also make them out of rectangle strips the same size. The thinner the paper the longer the strips should be, and the thicker the shorter. No two are exactly alike. Once dry they make pretty jewelry or decorative beads for art projects.

Plus, I did a simple design of three pears on a thin piece of linoleum and cut it out, which left a positive and negative pear trio design. Then I made prints of on various papers and in my sketchbook. Very simple design, but I like it. Thought I could use some of the prints for cards, collage, etc. I have several sizes of linoleum pieces cut out, ready to draw the design on and carve out. I just love making prints.

Also printed some in an altered book on printed pages, a work in progress, which looks cool, and a couple of hot pink ones in the sketchbook (my red ink wasn't handy, besides it's oil-based and would have taken forever to dry.


I always have a bunch of things going at once. Sometimes I wish I could focus on one thing and get to be really good at it instead of being kind of good in so many different things. I want to try every new art technique or media I see, so I dabble in a little bit of everything. But sticking to one thing wouldn't be me, and I would get really bored, so I will continue to be a dabbler, or a Jill of all trades, I guess. :) Have a happy, creative day!