Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What I Learned Wednesday

Unfortunately, I have no pictures to show what I learned in class last night and that's only because you wouldn't really see much more than a bunch of lines and a bit of tone.

Last night, we were introduced to value rendering and drawing paper bags. I have to say, I really enjoyed it! I need to create a value scale though and really practice, but it was such a good class - even the Sunshine Sisters were in good moods last night! Until the radio came on and we were subjected to my teacher's choice of music.

Oh, Lord and Lady! It was some sort of Progressive Jazz Fusion with wailing saxaphones and blaring trumpets. It wasn't something I would have chosen...had she thrown in something along the lines of Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughn - some bluesy jazz - I would have loved it and it would have helped me with that creative groove...but it just didn't work for me. And I did give it a chance! There was a rendition of Take the "A" Train that I enjoyed but that was only one song. I know I know, to each their own - maybe it's my teacher's mood music, but I think I'll bring my mp3 player to the next class.

But the music aside, the class was great! We were missing about 7 people (though I think some dropped out), which gave many of us room to spread out and a chance to dialogue. I wish Adult Ed capped the class at 8 or 10 people to make it more intimate.

Gotta scoot! Got another meeting in Freeport - whoo hoo! Love being able to get out of the office to sit in on interesting meetings (Lands for Maine's Future this time) and still get paid for it!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


We're still doing perspective in my drawing class and I seem to be struggling with it. Not because I find it hard - I get the concept, I can see how it's supposed to look - I just find it hard to get into that space, you know, the one where everything flows and time stops and there is nothing but your subject, your medium and you...that zen place. And it's no one's fault but my own - there's no lack of inspiration, no lack of creativity, plenty of paper & ink, charcoal & erasers - I've just been feeling...rushed. There seems to be so much going on that I'm taking no time to practice at home. How sad is that? And I know that when Christmas is over, I'll have more time than I'll know what to do with...but you know, after tonight, I only have 3 more classes! Not that I need the classes to be able to draw, there's nothing stopping me from drawing once classes are done - it's just that they've been such a motivation. I guess I just need to motivate myself once they're done, because I'm really seeing an improvement in myself. Check this out:

This is my homework from the very first week of class,

and this is what I did on Sunday, after hours of procrastinating (seriously, I did housework and made brownies because I just couldn't find my zen to draw) and then WHAM! I hit that zone and it just came together!

This is what I've been trying to do in class, but haven't. I think it's the time constraint and having to share my work space with someone else - I feel like I can't spread out. And of course, the teacher stops us to point things out and talk, like she's supposed to...but it's just enough to not allow me to slip into that focus that I need to create. And I know that this is why practice at home is so important, to allow me to slide in and out of that groove with such ease.

Now I'm itching to draw! Too bad I'm at work and they'd frown at me doodling when I'm supposed to be working on constituent stuff!

Ah, until tomorrow and the new adventures in drawing that I'll get to share!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Great Big Chunks of Christmas Spirit

Remember how I said a few posts back (okay, it was a month ago) that I could get my house to look like the Spirit of Christmas heaved great big chunks of Christmas cheer up on it? Well, to quote a horrible and cheesy movie from the 90's (Mortal Kombat)...IT HAS BEGUN!

My tree (yes it's fake - I justify it by remembering that I'm not killing a real tree year after year just because I like the smell, which I will get when I trim trees out at my brother's for Christmas boughs), the archway to my hall, and my little village (well the start of a village, anyway).

These little vintage 40's candy boxes are from Inspire Company. I love Amy's blog and she posted about them one day...had to have them! And now here they sit, atop my TV (Holiday Inn was playing to help me get into the spirit). Oh how I love them!

Even Sadie got into the spirit...okay, she was forced into it. But, doesn't she look like Max from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"; that sad little face when the Grinch ties the antler on his head?

As you can see, she's not impressed with the antlers. She tried to eat them when I took them off her head. And Tallulah refused to try them on. Gave me several death glares.

She may be small, but she is a formidable little creature!

The Christmas decorating will soon as the craft fair is over and done with; Friday is set up and Saturday is showtime! I will be so thankful when it's done!

(my view of my post and how it actually looks when it's published are totally different, I find that I have to keep going back to correct it. Is it just me or...anyone else have that problem?)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Personal Notepad

As I catch up with everyone's blogs, I've been noticing a trend - that of busyness. So many comings and goings and crafts to make and goodies to bake. And it doesn't seem relegated to just those bloggers in the US who are celebrating Thanksgiving; it seems to be a worldwide occurance.

This time of year just seems to be a flurry of activity; preparing for and celebrating the various holidays, executing the many projects that have been planned for so long, getting the handmade goodies ready for selling, trying to carve out time for friends and family. The lists are miles long and time is flying away from us by leaps and bounds.

On any given day during this season, my arms and hands look like a mass of handwritten own personal notepads when I don't have a piece of paper nearby, spelling out the places I've been and need to go, things to remember, things to do.

October, November and December just seem to whiz by with little feelings of accomplishment. When it's over, I have mixed feelings. Relief that it's over, but sadness too; all that anticipation and the joyous feeling of the season. But I often wonder, did I take any time for myself during the hustle bustle? Who did I neglect? What did I forget? And every year I make the same resolution - start early, get it all prepared ahead of time so when this time of year rolls around I can sit back and relax, visit more, and feel like I'm enjoying the season rather than feeling the anxiety of the looming "To-Do" list. Then, if I take a class (like Drawing), I can enjoy it more and not feel like it's cutting into my "getting things done" time.

But I have to admit, I've gotten smart and started an assembly line process for the craft fair things - it's making it much easier. I have 1 lap quilt to make for a friend, my nephew's gift to buy and a dollhouse to make (I really, really hope my best friend doesn't read this blog - as far as I know, she doesn't because I've posted about her before and she's never mentioned or commented, so I think I'm safe). I'm really looking forward to working on that. I've been picking up little pieces to go into it here and there and just received the kitchen set in the mail yesterday, all the way from South Carolina (Ebay - gotta love it!) It's so totally cute! And I'm so impressed with each piece! The doors open, the drawers move.
I picked up the living room set about a month ago, it's all red velvet and victorian looking. I also have a bedroom set and a writing room set (well, it's stuff that will be used in the writing room that I will create).
If I didn't have the craft fair to prepare for, I'd so be working on this dollhouse! I love it! I'm going to hate to give it up when I'm done, but the look on her face will be the best reward for my work!
Alright, I've rambled enough. I have to check out of here and run errands, grab lunch and head off to an environmental meeting in Freeport - yay!
If I don't get a chance to post tomorrow (though I will try), Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the States and have a great rest of the week to everyone else!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Doin' the Happy Happy Dance of Joy

Well, it might be a premature "Happy Happy Dance of Joy", since the final vote hasn't been made but I'm doing it anyway!!

I STILL HAVE A JOB (at least that's the concensus)!!!


Leadership was chosen and my boss is still President...well Democratic Presidental Nominee to be exact. On December 6th, the whole Senate will vote...but the D's have the majority and so long as all the little duckies stay in their row, my job will be secure for the next 2 years. This session we will also have a wicked, kick-ass Majority Leader - she is so incredible smart and sweet and, as she puts it, "Tenacious as all get out!" She's just one of those people that you really enjoy working with because she appreciates everything you do (you don't mind going out of your way to do things for her!).

And another happy "work" note, this is a 2 day work week for me! Ingenious girl that I am, I took Wednesday off to help my mother prepare for Thanksgiving (and with my job, Friday's part of the holiday. WHOO HOO!)

Oh...and you know how I was complaining about the weird weather? We're back to normal November temps. It was 32 when I walked the dog this morning and I loved every minute of it. In a month, when it's 32 with a wind chill factor of -20...I'll be complaining again. That's just how I am, I've come to accept it! Now I want snow. I love snow up until February, then I want spring! In my perfect world, spring would start at the beginning of March, summer at the end of May, Fall - September 1st and Winter - the week of Thanksgiving! And for the week before Christmas, it would snow every day...not a lot, just enough to make it pretty and clean and white! That would be the weather forecast in my perfect world (I love those Walgreen commercials where they show the town of Perfect. Have you seen those? You can see one here and here, for those who don't have Walgreens Pharmacies or their commercials. They're described as Tim Burton-esque and I find that very befitting!

Well enough randomness for one day. Until tomorrow, happiness abounds my friends, happiness all around!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Evening Sky

Evening sky above the Maine State Museum & Library

Happy Friday all!

Christmas is coming...

and so is the craft show I'm participating in. I really need to get crackin'! I have 2 more weeks to create at least 5 more christmasy fairies & tree toppers and finish my snowman & christmas tree ornaments.

Have I shown you my little ornaments?
I haven't? Where's my head?
Well, take a look!
They're made from clay. The snowmen have a very slight sparkle to them that will catch the light when they're hung on the Christmas tree.
The trees have small colored beads pressed into them, also to catch the light.
They also make great decorations to attach to presents! My friends put in an order for 5 of each to hook on family gifts (they're the ones that gave me the idea).

These two lovely ladies with the glittery wings will also be in the fair.

Miss Olivia Tannenbaum


Little Suzy Snowflake (name pending - I'm not convinced on this name)

On the list of "to be made" (or rather "hopefully will be gotten around to") are Kandi Kane (can you guess what colors she will be?), Windy Whyte (who will be all in white), I'm attempting to create a Christmas Ball fairy by cutting a wide hole at the top and bottom of a plastic ball ornament to fit over a fairy body, then gluing the ornament hanger on the top of her head; then there are the tree toppers that look similar to this.

Well, must mosey. I've got a cell phone to go retrieve from FedEx. Did I mention that I was getting a cell phone again? It's only a tracfone - I had a cell from 2000 (that I was required to get when silly me thought I wanted to sell life insurance) until December of last year. I'm not a cell phone addict and paying that much money (for 600 minutes a month that I only used 60 of) made no sense!

Signs of Global Warming

It's the middle of November.

This is Maine.

This is the time of year when temperatures are supposed to be chilly during the day and freezing at night & in the early morning. Major sweater weather! Maybe a little snow here and there.
This morning at: The tempature was:

61.5 degrees fahrenheit! It was only 3 degrees warmer inside the house than out!

It's muggy and raining and windy.

Anyone who denies that global warming is an issue ~ come to Maine, experience it first hand!

This weather is just so wrong.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


So here it is...

At 11:11 am eastern time, I turned 30 years old.

I've had more people sing to me today. My sister sang to my voicemail, my coworker Marcia sang to me as I walked down the hall into the office, Melissa called me to sing to me, and while I was on the phone solidifying birthday plans for Saturday with Juli - her mother jumped on the other line and sang to me!

And the one person who I expected to call me bright and early this morning to wish me a happy birthday, didn't. Seriously, I had to call my mother at 2:30 to make sure everything was alright, that she was still alive, because this is her thing...she lives to call people on their birthday and sing to them! I mean, come on...everyone I know has wished me a happy birthday and the woman who bore me in her womb for 9 months, gave birth to me and nurtured me for my entire life, forgot! I'm her youngest child! I'm the spoiled one...mommy and daddy's little girl! I feel loved. My sister suggested that we disown her. I have to cut Ma some slack though - she is trying to clean the house and prepare for about 20 people for Thanksgiving dinner!

As for tonight, no great and amazing plans. There's much well wishes and singing in my family, but birthday parties are really not a big thing...unless I plan them and make my family help me, and I draw the line at planning a party for myself. That's just not as much fun! But Juli's family throws me a little party every year and their always, always fun! This year it's on Saturday and Juli is scouring her house for wrapping paper, bags and bows for my presents. YIPPEE!

I'm not sure if I feel any older or wiser or different...but I've only been 30 for little more than 4 hours and I didn't expect an immediate change. I firmly believe that you're only as old as you some days I'm still 10, other's I'm 60. But no matter what age I am, so long as I'm learning new things and having fun, it'll be a good age!

So hello 30, I'm interested to see what lies in store for us, what adventures we'll go on and what fun we will have!

What I Learned Wednesday

"still life - bottles on cloth" - india ink and china brushes
Yippee! It's back!

I missed two drawing classes in a row due to family gatherings on Halloween and then the David Bowie Disease, but I went last night. We started playing with India Ink and seeing how China brushes worked and the variations in the lines that it makes. I have to say that I didn't like the ink and brush at first. I felt that it wasn't a controllable medium and I was suddenly back to drawing like a little kid...but then, I let go. I stopped trying so hard make what I was drawing look so exact. I gave in to the flow of the brush and I really enjoyed the freedom of it, the shape of the lines and the texture.

My teacher then went on to discuss perspective (which we will be delving more into next week) and geometric shapes, letting us play with them by drawing stacked books. I wasn't exactly impressed by how my pictures turned out. I just wasn't getting the hang of it! I was having issues with the angles and trying to get them the way I was seeing them; they looked so skewed, but that was toward the end of class when I was feeling a bit dizzy. It was all that focusing, it made my head spin.

I really enjoy this class but...I'm a little disappinted. You see this was the first class of the second half of the course, so our numbers changed and a handful of the fun people from the first part of the course didn't come back. The change in numbers doesn't bother me, it's just...well, some of the people, 3 in particular, do. I like to call them the Sunshine Sisters ~ like rays of FREAKIN' sunshine, these women are. And if you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic!

To start with, they're all deaf, so you have to speak loudly and repeat yourself continously. And. They. Are. Sooooo. Negative! Everything they create is horrible and every other sentence out of their mouth starts with "I can't". I want to ask them, "Well if you can't, why the hell did you pay to take this course!?!", but I hold my tongue and try to ignore them. I'm in this class for me, to learn and hone a craft that I enjoy!

But last night was almost a "straw that broke the camel's back" moment. My teacher kept asking them to show her their work so she could make suggestions and help, to make them see what she wanted us to learn. They would hide their work and say they didn't need help, or complain that they just didn't understand what she wanted or just bitch saying, "Well I can't do that". We had the radio on just because it gets so quiet in the room and some christmas song started playing. It was random and kinda nice - a bit of a holiday jolt to get you in the mood for the coming season. These women were so vehement in their hatred of hearing Christmas music and kept repeating, "I just hate it - it's horrible. Nothing Christmas should be put out or played until a week before!" Being a lover of all things Christmas, it made me want to slap them! I am not a violent woman, I'm pretty easy going and laid back, but these women just get on my nerves!

I'm trying to see from their point of view that maybe something traumatic happened to make them hate the holiday season, or maybe they just don't like it on principle, but why spread your hate and discontent to others - does it make you feel better making others as miserable as you? And here I am blogging about it, spreading it even more by relating it to others around the world - okay, I'm stopping. They're hate and discontent is rolling off my back like water off a duck.

And on that note, I'd like to say...I love Christmas! I love the whole rosy feel of the season! And so long as I'm not battling traffic or shopping on a crazy busy day, I have a permanent smile on my face. I know better than to work in retail during the holiday season, or shop during peak hours during holiday. Some people thrive on that. I avoid it. I go out in the woods and collect pine & spruce boughs and twigs of red berries to decorate the outside of my house with. I cook, so the house smells delicious and christmasy. I watch old movies like Holiday Inn, the Bishop's Wife and White Christmas (they are my personal holiday mood booster movies).

So be prepared, I will be posting much about Christmas!

Have a wonderful day all! I have to go down the House of Reps and see if my friend's husband still has a job...oh the stress of working in an ever changing political environment!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Artistic Inspiration

Must share this link to a You Tube video that is totally amazing. It's so artistically inspiring and the details, the! It's long, but seriously worth the watch!


The David Bowie Disease

So for the last 11 days, I have been suffering from Labyrinthitis...or as my sister calls it, The David Bowie Disease (as in the 80's Jim Henson movie Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly) - it's a form of vertigo caused by an inflammation of the inner ear making you feel like you've got a severe case of the spins. My doctor thinks that it was triggered by having a flu shot 2 Wednesday's ago...and can I tell you how much this has sucked? I really couldn't watch tv, I couldn't get on the computer, I couldn't drive - I felt like I was continuously motion sick without getting sick. I had to take a medication that made me sleep and made me loopy, it was horrible!

I was walking through my house holding on to things and my mother had to come up to stay with me. I feel better now, though. I'm not 100%, but I can drive again. I still have moments when I feel like the world is pitching to the left and my vision goes blurry every now and then when I stare at the computer, but it's not near as bad as it was.

I'm back to work today and thankfully I still have a job! Well for now. With the recent election, my job relied on two things, 1) having more Democrats elected to our State Senate. We only have 35 Senate members and the D's retained the majority by only ONE Senator. ONE! Do you know how nerve wracking that is? and 2) the Leadership vote, which means that the nerve wracking sensation continues until Sunday, when the caucus will meet to vote for President, Majority Leader and Majority Whip. This didn't bother me before, my boss was a shoe-in, everyone loves her and there were no rumors floating that anyone else wanted to be President of the least not until this morning, when I found out that there is one Senator who has made his intentions known. He will be running against my boss for her job as President...and it worries me. He's a former long running Speaker of the House from Northern Maine who has been either a Senate or House member for the better part of 40 years!! He's a very smart man, who's actually not that old (he started here when he was in his 20's) - he's the one that everyone goes to with questions because he's been here so long and he remembers everything! The consolation that I'm clinging to is that the last time he ran for Senate President, it was against my boss...and she won. So here's hoping she'll win again.

Working here is so touch and go. You're job is only guaranteed for a two year period of time. Basically, if the other Senator is voted in as President, he could keep me or he could eliminate my job or give it to someone else. There are no guarantees.

Bear with me my friends, for this will be a bit of a nail biter week for me...coupled with the labyrinthitis. ugh!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What I Learned Wednesday, 100, 16 & 30

What have all of these to do with each other?

What I learned...

was that almost my whole class was off celebrating Halloween and that we would be having a catch up session next class, so off I went back home to the scents of chicken pot pie and magic bars, but my mother adjusted the recipe and instead of a graham cracker bottom, she crunched up pretzels! YUM!!!

My family stayed for a few hours and chatted while the dogs ran rampant through the living room, wearing little doggie witch costumes, stealing toys from each other. (Yeah, we're that sad family that dresses our dogs. Sadie has a santa hat and my friend, Juli, got Molly an elf costume - Christmas is going to be great).

100....this is post number 100!!Who knew that 100 posts ago, I'd still be blogging; I'd still have thoughts and ideas and pictures and recipes and craftiness to share; that I'd virtually meet so many interesting and like-minded individuals. I'm really happy to have found my way into this little Blogiverse!

16 & 16 days, I turn 30. The big 3-0! I haven't really stopped to think what turning 30 means. I still feel 25. Things haven't really changed...well, no that's not true. 5 years ago, I was going through a rough patch with the man I was going to marry (it ended with us splitting). I was working in a retail job that I hated, passionately (I'll give you a hint - it starts with old and rhymes with slavey). I was living with my parents. I had no social life (due to the job) and really wasn't the happiest, most fun person to be aroun. So yeah, things have changed quite a bit. But I don't feel *different*, I don't feel like I've hit a turning point or anything. It doesn't feel major yet.

But I am curious. What will the year of turning 30 bring?

Alas, it is time to pack up and head home for an evening of creating! I hope your Wednesday brings wonder and joy!