Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Thoughts on Gardening and I touched a Dead Mouse!

I thought it was the potato chunk I planted in a bucket.
What I thought was a root was a tail.
Yuck!
The mouse was a special gift with the soil.
Oh.
My.
Goodness!!!!!
Yuck!
I  touched a dead mouse.
I washed my hands 
6 times.
Luckily, my neighbors were walking by and Dean came to the rescue with my shovel.
He carried the corpse to it's final resting place in the back.
I still don't know if the potato chunk was growing.
I don't care.
I touched a dead mouse!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Worth Repeating: The Art of Relaxation (Remembering my Dog, Spike)

When it comes to relaxing, my dog, Spike sets a wonderful example. Right now, on this beautiful fall day, he laying by his tree, in the sun, sleeping a peaceful sleep. I feel like joining him, but the lawn chair in which I am sitting doesn't recline, and I don't want to go and lay in the leaves under the tree, so I'll just close my eyes for a bit, and see if I can relax enough to sleep. When I relax, I like to turn on a good movie for a snooze, melt glass, lay down for a minute, do you see a pattern here? I'm following the example of Spike who never lets anything or anyone get in the way of his naps. I usually torch in the morning when I am widest awake. When I finish, I go upstairs to check email and check on Spike. This morning this is what I found. He was in a total state of relaxation! He didn't even hear me come in the room. I had covered him up before I went downstairs to torch. While I was relaxing by doing, he was relaxing by not doing. Don't you just love it? There are plenty of days that I wish I were a dog.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Two of My Favaorite Tools to use When I Work with Polymer Clay: You Won't Believe what They Are!

This is a tool I just started using for texture on polymer clay.
Can you guess what it is?
Of course,
It's aluminum foil.
You can use it in two ways.  

1) You can wad it up in a ball like shape and press it into the clay.
You get great texture this way, but only on one side.











or
2) You can wad the piece of aluminum foil up,
open the foil, the encase your clay in that foil.
(This will get you texture on both sides of your clay, if you want it that way.)
Run the encased clay through the largest setting on your pasta machine.
Open the foil up again.











Look at that beautiful texture!
Every time you wad up the foil, you will find a different pattern on your clay.

Not only is this technique versatile,
it's very inexpensive.















"



The other tool I love is this little, wooden skewer.
I use the skewer to make dents in the clay,
to poke holes in the clay,
and I use it to add a light texture to my clay.
















The best thing about these 
"tools"
is that 
you can buy a package of
100
between
$1 and $2.


So, now that you've seen my favorite tools,
what are yours?










Monday, May 16, 2016

If the Night Could be More Perfect, Honestly, I don't Think it Could be...

I feel blessed.
The early evening air is cool, but not cold.
The air is scented with lilac trees and bushes.
The light is soft, more like early morning light.
The only sounds I hear are the birds chirping.

I sit in the Woman Cave looking out at the world.  
The peace of the evening envelopes my soul.
The joy of that peace floats into my heart.

I am blessed.
I am truly blessed!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Whispers

The sun slides along the quiet street
where sleeping bodies 
rest
in the blanket filled wombs of their beds
on this
quiet,
sunny morning.
No one moves,
except in sleep,
then the neighborhood begins to stir.
Sleep filled bodies,
rested, move
along the shore of sunlight
on a quiet street
in the morning

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Found Poetry: It's Really A Lot of Fun!

Today's found poetry: 

 Journal all the conversations of my mind, 
A single though, quiet conversation in a stream of consciousness, Therapeutic.

Have you tried it yet?

I bought this book at a thrift store.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way. 

1) Memories.  I am so grateful for memories of my children!  I have two wonderful adult children now.  I am so proud of them!

2) Writing found poetry is a good stress reliever!

3) It has been warm for awhile, and now it's cool again.  This, too, shall pass!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

She's At it Again! Thrift Store Shopping

I have to admit, I was surprised when I went to one of our local thrift stores and found these books.
I hadn't thought to look there, even though I shop at this store every couple of weeks.
Let me explain,
and, yes, this post is in the correct blog.
I recently joined a Facebook Group called 
It's a group in which we encourage the expression of our Bible Studies in the form of art.
I'm one of the ones that is not very good, though.  Where the other women are producing beautiful works of art, I use stick figures and dot letters.  Sigh!
The problem is that the Bibles I own were inherited.
I don't want to draw or color in them.
So, I have been using index cards and polymer clay.
I guess I never thought that you would find a Bible in a thrift store, but I was wrong.  The ladies who work there told me that they get Bibles in often.  Sometimes, they stay in the store for a while, and others, they fly out of the store.  I was lucky.  I managed to find two Catholic Bibles.  I think that I would feel comfortable expressing myself through art in the Black covered Bible you see in the photo.
Oh, I bought all of these books for $4.
Of course, there were other books which I bought for the purpose of writing 
Found Poetry.  
I've been told that the books I chose are also good for reading, so I might read them first.
These forms of expression are both fun and sacred.
The trip to the Thrift store was a good one.
So, I'll be back!
Enjoy your day.
If you do Bible Art Journaling, let me know.  I'd love to see what you do.
If you write Found Poetry, let me know, I'd love to see your work!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Worth Repeating: It's all About How you Train Your Humans

When things get stressful, it’s okay to remove yourself from the situation and get on the couch to sleep.

When you get a treat you don’t like, spit it out because you will get a new one and the kind you like! 

If you don’t want to do something, be sure to get on the couch and go to sleep.  Then no one can make you do anything you don’t want to do.

If you want something, look into your human’s eyes with a look of love.  It works every time.

Sleep every chance you get. 

When you want your picture taken, pose.  Humans think it’s cute when you do this.  They will take pictures then leave you alone so you can sleep.

If you want to smell your human’s butt, you have to sneak up on them and then make it look like it was an accident.  They don’t get mad at you then.  I still don’t see the problem.

When you don’t want to play “where’s Pixie,” just let your human cover her eyes and give her a bump noses.  After that things go back to normal and you can go back to sleep.

When your human makes you move from your comfortable place on the bed just to pull the covers up, get up and leave.  Humans want you there, and they really don’t need covers.  They will come and get you.  You will get the warm place in bed, and they still won’t have covers!

When it snows outside, be sure to run in the snow.  Humans like to see you run, then sneak around them to go in the house, especially if your feet are muddy.  They are so happy because you were running they forget about the mud. 

It’s all about how you handle your humans.  Now, I need to sleep. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Battle with a bird!

Early morning is my favorite time of day.  The light is soft.  The noises are few.  The energy in the air is low. 
It's a sleepy time of day, too.
I like to sit in my woman cave and watch the world.
The Cardinals fly together and land in the yard.
The robins are walking and stopping so that they won't be seen.
Wait!  Those birds are eating my newly planted grass seed.
I step out of the garage and wave my arms to chase the birds away from the grass seed.
They all fly away except for one bird.
She charges at me on the ground hoping to chase me into the house.
I take a step towards her.
She chirps at me.
She isn't about to be stopped.
I wave my arms to scare her, and she chirps at me again.
Ok.  Ok.  This time you win, bird
I sit back down at the table in my woman cave.
I do have to chuckle.  That little bird took me on and defended her territory.
She finally flies away, and I go out to reseed the area she claimed.
I wonder if grass will grow here.
I might have to chirp back at the little robin.  
I'll bet she thinks she's tough.
Well, she is!
She won that battle.
I hope I win the next one!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

video

Happy Mother's Day!
Life is a gift!
Thank your mother for the gift of life!
A woman is a mother when she has conceived a child in her womb.
Whether your Mom was a great Mom, a poor Mom, or and indifferent Mom,
she gave you life and she did the best she could with what she had.
Thank your mother for life!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Inexpensive, Last MInute Gifts for Your Mom and You

We all reach a point where we don't need or want material items for our homes or for ourselves.
Young Moms, older Moms, GrandMoms,
well, sometimes, the most meaningful gifts are those that come from the heart.

Time spent together.
Phone calls.
Meals.
Lunch together.
Babysitting.
Reading to the kids.
House cleaning.
Doing the dishes.
Walking the dog.
Cleaning the kitty litter.
Giving Mom her own spa evening.
A pedicure.
A manicure.
Use your imagination.
Send her a card weekly.
Visit her in the nursing home.
Give her a hug.
 Give her stamps for the mail.
Shovel the snow.
Dig her garden.
Weed the garden.
Mow the lawn.
I know that these are all things that I would enjoy.
For me, the most important event would be time spent with my children.
You just can't beat that!

So, for all the Moms out there.
For all the Women out there.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Three Beautiful Things This Week

Three Beautiful Things This Week was inspired by a wonderful blog that Clare writes called Three Beautiful Things. Everyday, Clare writes about 3 Beautiful Things that happen each day in her life. It's a wonderful blog! I can only hope to imitate her in a very small way. 

1) Yesterday, I planted 3 tomato plants, one pepper plant, and one rosemary bush.  It was nice to be outside and to accomplish these tasks.  I only have the herbs and 3 more tomato plants to put in the ground.

2) I also planted some morning glory seeds.  I hope they germinate quickly and produce some beautiful blooms!

3) I spotted this robin, hiding in the open, and I was impressed that this little bird was so friendly. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Let's Talk a Litte Bit More about Crackles!



 Cornstarch Technique

 I'll tell you about this technique.
I think I did most of it correctly, but I made a couple of mistakes.

I conditioned a small bit of white polymer clay.
I covered the clay with modge podge and then coated the clay with corn starch.
I waited for it to completely dry.
 Then I added paint.
After the paint dried, 
 I ran the piece through the pasta machine,
one time too many.  Although I like the result, I wanted to achieve a larger crackle on the clay.












See what I mean?
The crackle was lost in the pasta machine.













This was by far the easiest crackle effect to make.
I painted a bit of white clay with turquoise paint.
When the paint dried,
I added 
CRACKLE PAINT.
It's available in most hobby stores.

I let the paint dry.
I ran the piece through the pasta machine.
I like the crackles here.









Another Cornstarch Technique

I conditioned my white clay.
I painted the clay with blue paint.
I let it dry.
I added a thick layer of modge podge.
I covered the modge podge with a layer of corn starch.
Of course, I let it dry. 
When dry, you could see the crackles that had formed. 
I ran the clay through the pasta machine.









I ran the clay through the pasta machine.
The crackles are different, but
I like them.

Which crackle techniques do you like?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Worth Repeating: Dump Journaling and the Art of Creativity - The Art of Making Art

I have mixed feelings about releasing oneself through dump journaling when it comes to encouraging creativity.  Many artists swear by this technique and write their morning pages and empty themselves of negativity.  The reason I have such a difficult time with this concept is that by "dump journaling" you begin your day with negativity which, to me, can cause a flow of negativity to begin and not end.  You begin your day by filling pages with all that is wrong instead of all that is right.  Journaling can be a double edged sword.  Yes, we do need to face our demons.  Yes, we need to rid ourselves of what is negative, but to begin our day with our fears, our sorrows, and our dashed dreams seems counter productive to me. 

I often journal about my problems.  I begin with the phrase:  What I know.  At this point I state what I know about my worries and concerns.  As I write, I begin to realize that what I had feared most, simply can't or won't happen.  What I know or what I fear are two different things.  At this point, I add another column to my writing:  What I fear.  Many of the things I listed in my what I know column are moved over there.  Usually there is not much left under what I know. 

Fear is our greatest impediment.  We fear the unknown.  We fear what might happen in twenty or thirty years, if things keep going the same way.  Fear causes anxiety and stress.  The problems we face are often extraordinary and difficult, and I do use journaling to help me through each day, however, to me, timing and structure are everything.

Let's recap:
What I know

What I fear

Now, let's add another category.  What can I do?

Many times there is absolutely nothing we can do except to wait and hope.  Hope is a powerful emotion that helps us through times of stress and anxiety.  Sometimes hope feels so tiny that we wonder if there is any at all, but always, there is hope.  Problems will resolve themselves, eventually, maybe not in the way we had hoped they would resolve, but they will resolve.  We can use the resolution to learn and grow, or we can allow ourselves to become bitter and resentful.  That's a choice we need to make.  We can dump journal all day long, and if we are full of anger, that's all that we will find.  Emotions are the last part of the problem to resolve.  Those emotions can stick with us for a long time, but the hope is that each day brings new  beginning and more healing to us.  Sometimes, the healing is small, but it is there. 

When we wake up each day, we don't need to dump journal we need to sit and list, for ten minutes or so, all of the good we have in our lives.  Ask yourself, did you get a good night's sleep?  If you did, begin with that on your list.  Do I have shoes to wear?  If the answer is yes, add that to your list.  Do I make a good cup of coffee?  If the answer is yes, add that to your list.  Soon you will come to recognize, that in spite of your problems, your fears, and your worries, you have so much that is good in your life.  Begin your day with what is good.  This gives you strength to walk through a troubled day.  Cling to goodness.  Later, when you need to, and I can almost assure you that you will need to do this, take 5-10 minutes and dump journal.  When your time is finished,  rip those pages up or delete that from your computer.  You've said it.  You've written it.  You might or might not have found a solution, then let that solution come later.  Let it go.  Do not dwell on your problem.  Store it in the trash or delete it.  Let it go.  You can battle the demons later, when you have to do battle them.  By limiting your time spent in negativity, you can those demons with a calm mind and heart. 

The final step to clearing the air is to quickly write down 2-3 things that are good in your life and might make you smile.  Give yourself that gift.  Remember, it is a gift.

Life is not for sissies. There are so many days that I  want to go back to bed, but I know that if I
do, fear has won.  By surrounding myself with the positive, I make myself ready for my day.  So, World, look out, I'm here! I might be afraid, but I'm not going to give up.  I have hope, and  no matter what life throws at me, I have hope.  From hope springs peace of mind and body.  When I am at peace, creativity has a path to flow. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Making Polymer Clay Crackle

I love the crackle effect on polymer clay.
There are many different techniques and tutorials on these techniques.  Some of the tutorials are free, others are not.
I prefer the free ones.
Pinterest has some great links to tutorials.
You can just google the
crackle effect 
and you will find many more links.

I wish I knew where I found the links for these two different crackle effects, but I don't.  They are not mine. They are effective.





Crackle effects #1 and #2.
This is so easy to do.  You need to condition your clay on the thickest setting of your pasta machine.
Once your clay is conditioned, fold your clay that was conditioned on the thickest setting and fold it over again.  Using metal leaf and a brayer or rolling pin, roll the metal leaf on the clay.  When the leaf is flattened on the clay, roll the clay through the pasta machine on the thickest setting.  The crackle effect is beautiful!

Crackle effects #2 and #3
Again, condition your polymer clay using the thickest setting of your pasta machine.  When your clay is conditioned, fold the clay over so you have a double thickness.  You will need acrylic paint for the next step.  You can use oils, but it takes much longer for the paints to dry.  I usually use my finger for this step, but you can use gloves.  I drip paints of different colors onto the clay.  I mix or not, and let it dry.  Be sure the paint is dry or you will have to clean your pasta machine.  When the clay is completely dry, and letting it rest overnight is not a bad idea, run the clay with the dry paint on it through the pasta machine.  You will achieve a crackle effect!  

See?  Easy Peasy!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Found Poetry

I think I'm hooked now.
Since I was in the angst of my teen years, 
I have written volumes of poetry.
I used up many journals, as a child, tween, and teen, filled with the sorrows of unrequited love
and
what will I become when I grow up.
 Then, as I rammed into adulthood,
I wrote more.
Thank heavens I don't know where those journals are now.
I can only assume they are in a garbage dump somewhere.
Thank heavens.
I've always wanted to try
Art Journaling.
I'm not very good at drawing.
I usually use stick figures,
and 
then I see the many beautiful
works of art created by
Art Journalists.
Sigh.

This is fun!
It's a combination of writing and art.
A little research taught me that this is only one kind of found poetry.
With other kinds, you cut out words and letters, glue them on to paper, and write your poetry.
I'm sure there are more ways.
Do you art journal?
Do you write Found Poetry?


Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1, 2016 Things I love

I love the fact that April is over and May is finally here!

I love flowers, especially the early, tender May flowers.

I love my new Weber grill.  It's Magenta!

I love tomatoes, and there are some little ones on the plants.

I love Pixie Marie.

I love sleeping in like I did today. (I'm glad I went to church last night!)

I love the concept of Found Poetry. (More on that tomorrow.)

I love the joy of spring!
What do you love?
These things lift my mood.