Monday, July 30, 2012


Yes, as the title implies: sunflowers.
On my way to and from work I drive down a lot of country roads and highways that are surrounded by farm fields.  Much of it is corn, wheat is the runner-up, and occasionally they grow alfalfa in these parts. Anyway, there is one farm that I know of that grows a crop of sunflowers every couple of years — and apparently this was one of those years. So, I charged up my camera batteries and parked at a really awkward angle on the shoulder of a busy highway — well off the shoulder, actually, hence the angle part... and, voila — sunflower photos!

It really is a beautiful sight.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


There was something that I was going to do this week. But I didn't get around to it. Things are like that sometimes...

I sent this off to a new destination:
I hope it is liked ; )


This was a week of wasted time, I guess.
I was told by one of my co-workers that no one likes me and that I have no friends... so, in real life it felt very ironic to discuss this conversation with my friends and wonder why this person has started to act like the character of an abusive husband in a lifetime movie. You know the cliche: you have no friends, no one likes you, so-in-so said this about you, this is something you did seven years ago (what do you mean you don't remember it clear as day?), whatever you do is wrong, it doesn't matter if our boss told you to do it - because you're doing it then it's wrong, you have your own agenda, you're such a disappointment, I like our other co-worker so much better...

You know, things that are completely inappropriate to say to someone.
I doubt this person knows what my favorite color is, let alone what I really do when I leave work — so making over-arching broad generalizations about me and my life is really phenomenally inappropriate; moreover trying to force the idea that everyone that I've ever worked with has despised or hated me is a just a mean thing to do. Like, really, you sit around in your spare time and call up people I worked with 10 years, 5 years, 8 years, 7 years ago — asking for salacious stories about me? Seriously?
On one hand, the rational part of me that is a college graduate sees this co-worker as trying one of the worst motivational techniques in the world — negative reinforcement. And that same rational part of me knows that people who act like that and say things like that have control issues and often need to take review of their own lives before giving other's a personal review.

It's funny, because the reason I don't spend oodles of time standing around and BSing at work is because I have a home life, and family, and (ironically) friends. I think I spent more time this week pointing out that I wasn't interested in wasting more time discussing this co-worker — the stereotype of the abusive husband from a Lifetime movie.
 So, there, now everyone knows - that according to some person who doesn't really know me - no one likes me. That's why you're reading this on the internet right now, right, because you come here and read these entries to remind yourself of how much you dislike me.


In the mean time, I worked on a project, and in the background I caught up on episodes of Episodes, Leverage, Franklin & Bash, and Anger Management, and managed to half pay attention to a Kathy Griffin comedy special... she's not quite as grating as I once thought she was, I guess you never know until something is playing on the tv in the background and you find yourself chuckling at it. Plus, I finally caught part of the Daily Show for the first time in a long time... oh, and I watched a little bit of Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Not unlike how I don't care if I'm the most popular employee at work - because work is about work not about who likes so-in-so - for someone with a party affiliation, I don't watch every god damned second of political talk available on the television. Caring about it would probably drive me mad. I know who I'm voting for come November. I voted for him last time too.

Anyway, have a good weekend. I have a project to work on.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

art fair, art experiments...

So, this week was the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Technically, there are like 3 or 4 separate art fairs going on at the same time — and different organizations jockeying for who is the original art fair... but really, I don't care about that.  I drive to the mall, park, and ride the bus into downtown, wander around in the blistering heat for 2-3 hours or until I can wander no more, and then get back on the bus and wander back to my car and wish there was someone there to drive me home, because I'm hot and exhausted, and home is like 30 miles away...
Oh, and somewhere in there — I buy stuff.

I actually started off the week having to go to the post office...

This is my Art Fair plunder. Yes, jewelry. And yes, those are all opals set in silver. I like what I like. And I buy a ring from the same guy every year (Alan Fisk)... and I buy something from Middle Earth every year as well...
 Last year - Art Fair was pretty miserable, largely because it was ninety degrees and there was utterly no wind, no breeze, no nothing. It was just hot and the sun was beating down like a relentless ball of fire... it was also pretty deserted.  This year, it was also hot, but on Thursday morning it managed to rain.  So, it was cooler (like mid-seventies / eighties) plus there was a breeze. It was nothing gusty, but it was flowy enough to be pleasant.  And yes, I pointlessly carried an umbrella in my bag the entire time. I was prepared for a downpour (as that has happened before).

I go to art fair for the jewelry.  I already have an art degree, and really, I'm not one of those people who goes there to get inspired. Nope, I go there for the jewelry... and I have never left there without making a purchase.  If I'm gonna drive 30 miles to walk the expanse of downtown Ann Arbor in the noonday sun, then I'm leaving with something silver and sparkly, preferably in a size 8. At the very least I will buy shoes...

Anyway, after Art Fair, I'm pretty fried. So, I spent a lot of time sleeping and staring at the television.  In the mean time, I apparently felt like painting something, so I decided to experiment with the watercolors and the gouache and some masking fluid... and some colors that maybe don't come that naturally.  I'm apparently not done playing yet.

Besides, the middle of the floor was all empty from where I put everything away last week, so, you know, I had to get out a bunch of stuff.

Oh, did you know that Mounds makes ice cream bars? Why, yes, they do. The only drawback is that there is no stick. Anyway, they're delicious even if my hands are a mess by the time I have consumed one.

Also, Homemade Coconut Almond Chip Ice Cream — that stuff is fabulous.

And have you heard that new song by Dawes — "If I wanted someone"? Yeah, I like that song.

Have a good weekend, and stay hydrated!

Friday, July 13, 2012


I have a lot of stuff.
I know that. I've always had a lot of stuff. It happens when you do arts and crafts as a hobby. But sometimes the stuff gets a little out of control and things don't get put back the way they should and then everything is with everything and it just gets kind of stupid... particularly when you spend most of your non-sleeping, non-working, non-mundane activities such as housework or grocery acquisition in one room: the office / studio / living room.

It's where the computer is, it's where the desk is, it's where the tv is, and it's where most of my stuff is... and it got a little unruly during that period when I was taking that medication that made me want to sleep my days away or eat pizza or cry for hours at a time.

Apparently, I should be more ashamed of this than I am (which, quite frankly isn't very much)...
 It looked worse before I took this picture... this is halfway there.
 prismacolors, verithins, ball point pens, drawing pencils, markers, tape, and plastic storage bags...
 miscellaneous, make-up (why is that here?), hangers, doo-dads...
 I'm clearly set on mini clothespins, hole punches, tubes of glitter...
Even the worm jewelry needs a home.
But, the thing is that I'm in the middle of reorganizing all this stuff so that things do get put away or actually have a home. And on a basic level, since I have a lot of small things, my chosen method of storing them involves those little plastic pencil boxes; largely because I have a lot of pens and pencils or small things.

Anyway, I spent a goodly amount of time this week separating art supplies by kind, and going through all my containers to sort everything. Organizing does seem like a huge time suck, but sitting in my living room and not having the floor littered with piles of stuff — actually seeing large swaths of carpeting in the middle of the room is rewarding in it's own way: I actually feel like being there, instead of wishing I was somewhere else doing something else. It's a feeling I haven't had in a while.
Plus I sat there watching tv while I was doing it, so, technically, it was still multi-tasking.

I realize that my version of orderly is someone else's chaos... but eventually I'll have everything put away to my satisfaction. Of course, then it will be time to start a project and pull it all out again. It's a perpetual cycle.
But for now, all my plastic boxes are stacked neatly on the shelf.  Papers are sorted, and organized, and for the most part - in cabinets or on shelves... and more importantly, I can see the surface area of my desk again. It seems silly, even though I still have more organizing to do and stuff to neaten up, but it's so much nicer when things aren't everywhere on every flat surface.

Now that my desk has been liberated from disorder, it's probably time to get some stuff done.
Have a nice weekend! :D

Friday, July 6, 2012

I want a makeover

I think of it as my office / studio / living room... I would say it measures roughly 12 feet by 20 feet, and it contains 2 desks, 2 computers, 3 printers, 1 television, 1 television stand, 2 shelves, 2 rocking chairs, 1 couch, 2 end tables, a hutch for the expensive printer to sit on, my large paper cutter, and a lot of paper and paint and glue and otherwise miscellaneous art supplies and stacks of Rolling Stone magazines.
 This is where I spend a lot of time sitting...
Oh, and it's peachy-pink or pinky-peach. Technically, regardless of how that color looks in the pictures — it's peach. It wasn't until I forfeited 50 days of my life to the side effects of pills that I realized that I'm tired of looking at peach.  
It was a completely random and arbitrary color choice. The studio / office / living room — where I spend the vast majority of my non-sleeping, non-working, non-grocery shopping time — is in the basement, the unfinished basement.  So, technically, it has 3 walls. 2 of them are cement, and the other is made of fabric.  It was the fabric wall that determined the color scheme of the room.  See that panel of fabric in the first picture behind my computer? There are 3 of those that hang on the opposite end of the room.  The paint color on the wall is the same as the background of that fabric.

That fabric? I bought it in the clearance section of a JoAnn's like 10 years ago.  So, I've been looking at it for 10 years I guess, and now I'm tired of seeing it. Cement, btw, is hard to hang things on, hence the occasional fabric panel - like the one behind my computer.  Any artwork that hangs in the room is suspended via fishing line from nails that are fixed in the baseboard around the ceiling...

I know, I should go outdoors more (because it's been 94˚F to 103˚F for the last 2 weeks — heat stroke, awesome) and enjoy my crispy brown yard or the sweltering heat? My other option is basically the bedroom... and the bedroom is a technological negaverse where the most advanced technology is a tie between my stereo (cd AND cassette player, which is so old that I doubt that the cassette part works) or the alarm clock. I'm not really the type to lay in bed and read books... oh, and did I mention the lack of air conditioning?

Yeah, so I want an office / studio / living room makeover... something that isn't peach.
I like this color. I believe I could stare at it peripherally everyday without trying to imagine I was somewhere else. So, now apparently I have to go on a quest to find some fabric with a nice gaudy floral pattern (the more seventies looking the better) that involves the use of this color.

And in the mean time, I've been trying to work on the general 'chronic disorganization' that seems to plague the room.  Every flat surface somehow ends up cluttered up with piles of papers and drawings and art supplies and cardboard, and well, it looks a little like an episode of hoarders minus the animals, rotting food, and water damage... yeah, it just looks like a paper tornado came through here most of the time.

Anyway, in order to change the paint color — I have to move everything. So, now I have an excuse to waste endless hours of time rifling through stacks of papers and throwing things away. At least it's ten degrees cooler down here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

it's too hot to do anything

So, I just typed in "weather for Te" in google, and well, it completed my thought for me — "Tecumseh, MI." Apparently as I type this it is a mere 91˚F. I was just upstairs, sitting on the bed and pondering the fact that my bed was not as warm as a person, and thinking so maybe it was only in the eighties or something... Yeah, I just had to check.
Yesterday, this was the temperature:
The high was actually 103˚F. Global warming? Oh, it's real, it's damned real. There were a few scattered days of triple digit temps when I was a kid, and I remember the drought of 1988. But this oppressive heat? No, it wasn't this damned hot 5 years ago, let alone 10 or 20 years ago. I grew up in a house with no AC and I don't recall ever thinking as a child that my house (or the carpeting or the couches or the bed or chairs) was warmer than a person. 
Besides, this is Michigan, where's my freak snowstorm? At this point I would settle for rain.

It did rain yesterday. And when I ran outside to roll the windows up on my car — I was thinking about how fun it would be to just stand there in the rain in my granny jammies...

It's too damned hot to do anything. So, I have done nothing really this week. I mean, I did some stuff and I ate and I showered and cooked some food... but above a basic level of functioning, there is nothing happening here except a lot of sitting down in the basement with the fan on and pondering how much it would cost to have central air installed in this place.
Oh, did I neglect to mention that 2 weeks into consistent 90˚F temps — there is no AC in this house?  
These are the days that necessitate the daily consumption of ice cream... this was some sort of cherry vanilla that is long gone. The last time I was shopping in the frozen food aisle — Hudsonville was on sale. I was hoping they would have some of that orange sherbet/vanilla concoction that they came up with last year, but it was sold out. I ended up with something with caramel and apples instead... I'd really rather have the orange sherbet/vanilla... 
Of course, I'd also really like to just go crawl into my freezer and sit there for a couple of hours.
 This completely jinxes my etsy sales, but to occupy some time I sat down at the computer and configured some new designs for business cards, and then printed out a couple sheets... and then was bored enough yesterday that I actually sat there at my desk and cut them apart while watching some movie about Larry Hillblom that kept popping up on hulu — Shadow Billionaire. I had to leave for work before I made it to the end of the movie, but well, I now have a neat new stack of business cards.

 Other than groceries or lotto tickets, having to ship something is probably the only thing that is going to compel me to leave the house. Yeah, that's what the boxes might look like, depending on what I pull out of the cardboard pile.

I guess I should stop staring at the computer screen and trying to think of a conclusion to this entry now... I do, after all, have an episode of "The Glades," "Franklin & Bash," and "Episodes" to watch, plus I need to muster the strength to fill that part of the dishwasher with powder cleaning solution and turn it on. We're out of clean plates. I know, it's a high tragedy.

Stay cool and hydrated, and stay out of the sun!