Monday, December 31, 2012

Update on 101 Goals

Two years ago, I wrote down a list of 101 goals that I wanted to accomplish in 1001 days.

I went through my list today and updated it to reflect the stuff I'd finished and my thoughts on a few of the goals.

  1. Give up low-class humor at work (I am much better at curbing my rampant earthiness)
  2. Personal cookbook (6/12)
  3. Do a session in the Sacramento Temple
  4. Have a weekend with Brian in Morro Bay 4/12
  5. Make soap (dismal failure and I'm perfectly content to buy my soap here at The Wild Plum)
  6. Read lesson for next Sunday School (40x) (I am in Primary most weeks, so don't go, but that's not a good excuse not to be PREPARED)
  7. Save $1000 (I save this and promptly use it to pay some new bill. :( )
  8. Sell badges
  9. Buy a Silhouette cutter (not sure if I want to do this anymore now that I've spent my money purchasing a new archival photo printer that was recommended to me by Genine)
  10. Learn Spanish (Learn in your Car)
  11. Watch all 22 Shakespeare (BBC) DVDs from library (Macbeth, All’s Well, Comedy of Errors, Merchant, Twelfth, Merry Wives, Antony & Cleo,
  12. Work out on Wii 20+ min/day 6 days in a row 50x (I do well with this and then get tired after a few months - perhaps change the expectation?)
  13. Call Ethan every month
  14. Listen to all Jeffrey Holland speeches (the available number keeps going up!)
  15. Make a word quilt
  16. Attend a Fascinating Womanhood class (Carol Tuttle Marriage CD)
  17. Put family recipes on blog (2011)
  18. Remember family birthdays and send cards (now that I do visiting teaching via mail, I want to organize to include family)
  19. Clear out cookbooks (2011)
  20. Do a session in the Redlands Temple
  21. Do five alone activities with Alex
  22. Make mozzarella cheese (2011)
  23. Pay off student loan before 4/13 1/12
  24. Read 3 church books pertaining to Sunday School study
  25. Read 5 Heinlein books
  26. Sell barrettes in shop
  27. Wear size 16 pants again (not by October!)
  28. Create family silhouettes
  29. Give up doing personal things on work time (I can say I NEVER do business stuff, but I have been able to make Pinterest part of my job now! And Facebook, too!)
  30. Learn Excel
  31. Lose 5 lbs (---)
  32. Can fruits (jams) (seems cheaper to purchase at Costco)
  33. Do a session in the San Diego Temple (4/11)
  34. Do five alone activities with Mackenzie (pedicures, shopping, )
  35. Do something creative every day for a week (10)
  36. Organize garage
  37. Pay off Ken (1/11)
  38. Read 1 Agatha Christie book
  39. Sell paper flowers
  40. Paint family watercolor portraits
  41. Give up disliking **** (I do fine with this for a while and they do something that irks me again...)
  42. Lose 10 lbs (---)
  43. Learn to make pickles (9/11)
  44. Date night with husband once a month (12x) (Does going to Walmart count?)
  45. Visit an Eddy twice/month (x20)
  46. Pay off Beth (I'm down really low on this!!!! Only a few more months and it'll be paid off!)
  47. Read 5 Dickens books
  48. Sell book purses
  49. Take the kids to an aquarium
  50. Use or lose stained glass (2011)
  51. Give up eating fast food by myself as a rule
  52. Lose 15 lbs (---)
  53. Re-floor 3 rooms in house (unfortunately, this one involves my husband and I don't know that he cares as much about this as I do)
  54. Write 5 personal letters and mail them (2012)
  55. Can meats (use pressure canner) (again, cheaper to get at Costco?)
  56. Pay off Visa
  57. Prepare lesson week in advance (25x)
  58. Read 70 children’s classics (I think I'm somewhere in the 60's right now - this year's list was horrific for me)
  59. Sell book purse tutorial
  60. Take the kids to Pismo Beach  6/11 (Cayucas – close enough)
  61. Teach Alex five dishes (grilled cheese, bbq wraps, pizza, spaghetti, bread dough)
  62. I will stop trying to save people w/o their perm. (apparently, this is more pervasive of a problem than I first thought)
  63. Lose 20 lbs (---)
  64. Make 5 journals
  65. Read 1 Beatrix Potter biography
  66. Teach Mack five dishes (mac&cheese, cookies, bread, spaghetti, fudge)
  67. Contact VT-ees by 5th of each month (12x) (not necessary anymore now that I write them!)
  68. Crochet a sweater vest
  69. Pay off credit card each month if used (12x) (I think this goal is better after starting clean)
  70. Read 20 SF classics
  71. Sell book folding tutorial  2/11
  72. Take the kids to SF or Half Moon Bay
  73. Get hair done professionally (9/11)
  74. Read 1 CS Lewis biography
  75. Replace paper in leather journal (Dec. 2012)
  76. Teach Kiff to tie his shoes
  77. 100% VT (30x) (I've been 100% now that I'm writing letters)
  78. Get business license and pay taxes
  79. Go to Chinatown in LA with Brian (B. says this isn't really more than a block or two of stores...)
  80. How to change a tire
  81. Read 5 Ray Bradbury books
  82. Sell RAV4
  83. Get pedicure (4/ 2012)
  84. Make a quiet book for Kiff
  85. Read 1 prophet biography
  86. Read to Kiff 3x/week (20x) (HE CAN READ NOW!!!)
  87. Go to Magic Mountain with Brian
  88. Try Thai food/restaurant (2012)
  89. Call Meagan every month
  90. Family book for relatives' kids
  91. Go camping
  92. Read 1 US president biography
  93. Get manicure 4/12
  94. Try Indian food/restaurant
  95. Bake 50 types cookies (I've learned that I don't like anything but chocolate chip now. probably won't finish this one)
  96. Bake 50 types of bread
  97. Paint toenails once a week (15x)
  98. Buy/install drapes in living room
  99. New door in kitchen
  100. Curtains in Kiff's room (I put up hooks and an afghan - does that count?)
  101. Make bedskirt (2011)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Natural Dyeing Results

A few days ago, I posted that I was experimenting with natural dyes. I'd gotten the idea from several posts in a lovely blog I follow - lilfish studios. Lisa is an avid dyer using materials gathered from the nearby woods. I, on the other hand, used foodstuffs procured from Walmart. I'm classy like that.

In the picture above, I have (from left to right): red onion skins, yellow onion skins, red cabbage with baking soda and last, plain red cabbage.

You can see the plaster figures in the dye jars above. When I first pulled them out (after an overnight soak), they were rather disappointing - very pale. I let the plaster dry on my windowsill and forgot about them. A few days later I noticed that the figures were no longer pale. Ta da! I have no idea of the chemistry magic behind this, but I'm glad that I know how to dye my stuff brown, turquoise and light blue if I ever need... Clockwise from top left: yellow skins (terracotta), cabbage with soda (turquoise), red skins (gingerbread brown) and red cabbage (pale blue).

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mingos and Sharp Parts

My husband has just made his first book available through Amazon! It's a hilarious account of my son Kiff and his very interesting view of the world. Includes all things important to great literature: sex! violence! pasta! (just kidding about the pasta)

For only 99 cents, you too can pee your pants with laughing... :) And learn entirely too much about our parenting style. Please don't call CPS. Thank you.

Plantable Christmas Cards

I wanted to do something different for this month's letter writing venture. It had to be simple and useful. When I write letters, I like to include a recipe or something tangible.

Looking in my closet o'goodies, I found the leftover stack of handmade paper I'd made for my library's Mother's Day craft. It's paper infused with flower seeds.

Voila! Christmas cards with style!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Natural Dyeing

It wasn't until I took this picture that I realized I haven't cleaned the outside window in a few months!

We're going to be doing a presentation at the library about natural dyes. I wanted to dye plaster because that's something we have access to at my branch. I used (from left to right) red onion, yellow onion, red cabbage with baking powder and just plain red cabbage.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yet Another Paper Ball Ornament Tutorial

This is what you can make. Go! Make!
 I did a Pay it Forward Christmas ornament thing this year with a bunch of friends. I decided to do these little paper ornaments. Easy. 15 minutes each. You'll like them. This will be mainly a picture tutorial. I've just finished grading about 800 finals this week and I'm too pooped to pop.


Circle punch (I used a variety to make different-sized balls. The balls end up the same size as the original circle.
hot glue
ignore the pins. They are not used. How did they get in the picture?

Cut out EIGHT circles for each half of the ornament

Bend in half like a taco. DO NOT FOLD. Pinch.

Fold in quarter. Crease fold. Leave petal ends lovely and round.

Dab on hot glue. Do not burn self. (I did not listen to me)

Attach next segment. Take care not to squish petals.

Just keep adding until you get to the next to the last.

Before gluing in last segment, add ribbon, folded over for a loop.
Pretend there is a ribbon in this one. Put glue on BOTH sides and insert last segment.

Ta da! Your first half. You could leave it like this, but I prefer to...

Make another and then put glue in a spiral on the first one and...
Attach second half. Don't worry too much about all the segments lining up.

Make in several sizes. I'm going to add the ribbons to these later. I ran out of ribbon. Yeah.
Admire on your cork board because all of your tables are messy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's an Omen!

For those of you who are fans of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you will know why I am seeing an omen here... :)

Thank you again to all of you for supporting me in my little venture. Here's to making it a bigger venture!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Shop is Live

If you look at the bottom of my header, you'll see a few tabs, one of which says Shop.

If you click on it, you will find that you can now purchase my Basic Folded Book Tutorial directly from this blog. The best part about it is that after purchase, you have it delivered automatically via the magic robots that do that sort of thing.

This is only the first item to go in the shop. I will be adding the Alphabet and Number pattern sets soon.

When the lowercase letter pattern set is ready, it will be launched exclusively from this new shop. BTW, I will be combining it with my uppercase alphabet set and selling it at a major discount for those who've already purchased the uppercase set. Yay!

I'm still keeping my Etsy shop for a while, but really think this is going to be better, both for me and for my fellow folders. Who doesn't want to get their product right after they order it? Sheesh! That's the biggest concern I have right now - people having to wait for me to check my mail during my breaks or after work so they can get something they bought. And what about those who buy it WHEN I'M ASLEEP? Poor things, having to wait for me to wake up. And then THEY are probably asleep and won't see it for forever.

A big huge THANK YOU to everyone who has visited my Facebook page and liked it. You made and make my day. :)

On the Rocks

 A couple of weeks ago, I was working feverishly on my lowercase alphabet pattern set. Then, I came down with the worst cold I've had in years. I had to miss a few days of work (in a ROW!!!) and felt like doing nothing more than sitting and staring at a wall.

I've mended now, but the fever for folding books has been tempered a bit. I am impatient to finish the pattern set, but am still a bit torpid. I still just want to sit and do quiet things.

I believe one of my struggles in life is to overcome the need to DO DO DO DO DO all the time. I had a dream once where a person asked me "When are you going to stop?" I looked at the dream person like they were crazy. But since I keep remembering that dream, it is most likely a message to me. (eek!)

Enough about philosophizing. I love this spider webby-looking rock. Spiral stitch, made up as I went.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

New Shop in the Works

I've got such good news!

Two things: 1) Rhymes With Magic Art is on Facebook. Please go take a look! I will be posting my art and my art thoughts (such as they are...) on a quickie basis. It's all good.

And... 2) I'm in the process of starting up a new shop. This shop will be linked from my blog and one will be able to purchase my downloadable tutorials and pattern sets and get them with NO waiting! Right now, the way it is with Etsy, a person has to wait for me to get their email and then I send the file. Ugh. So old-fashioned. With this new shop, the download is instant and I REALLY look forward to that.

I'm a little nervous, too. Yikes!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hearts and Love

A special order for a customer...

I am sick right now. It's been several years since I last had a cold, but this one's got me knocked for a loop. I can't taste any of my food. What is there to live for? :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Moody Paintings

This painting was done a couple three years ago. I began to try recognizable things - landscapes in this case. I was still copying my teacher at this point, using the micron pen to divide up my painting. It kinda reminds me of looking out a window. Or through wires. I love how the "trees" seem to evaporate into the sky. It is important to note that my edges are dirty on this piece. I did have masking tape on it, trying to keep it even, but failed utterly.

You can see that I have totally abandoned the "keep the edges nice and neat" thing. Someday art historians will look back at this and say I was in a confused period and my art echoed the chaos in my life.

Baloney, really, but I like how it looks.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My College Watercolors

I finally found my stride in my art major about four months before my BFA project was due. Before this time, I was still struggling to find my art voice. I actually dislike that term, but I don't know any other way to describe the thing that happens when you stop copying others' work so obviously and begin to timidly step out onto your own road.

I had a teacher I really admired who did little watercolors. They were the most beautiful things to me. He tore his watercolor paper (the large sheets) into 16 smaller sheets - all about 6x8 in. big.  He drew with his micron pen and then watercolored over it in beautiful abstract washes. I was mesmerized. I thought it was magic and I wanted to paint magic, too.
I honestly don't know how I found this style of painting. I think I started out by tearing my paper really small - 4x6 inches (half the size of my teacher's stuff - I was dainty and feminine!). I then taped out a rectangle and drew a few lines to delineate areas of importance. Then I painted and waited to see what happened. I became entranced with how the paint reacted to itself. I fell in love with the more opaque colors - white and raw sienna and ochre.

Some forms reminded me of flowers. In art speak they were "evocative of flower forms". Ha!

Then I did several that reminded me of doorways or ways out. Out of where? I don't know, but that's what they still make me think of. This particular one above makes me think of dying and seeing a beautiful door that opens into light with gold. I still like this one a lot.

I was reading the Chronicles of Narnia for the first time my senior year of college. There were several adventures that involved finding ways out of caves or darkness and coming to ends of journeys.

My work now still builds on this in ways. I have to say one thing I have decided with my art is not to try to explain it. I do not have that vocabulary within me and have no desire to try to pigeonhole my work with particular descriptive passages. I'm just going to have to let the art historians do that for me.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Honeycomb Book - Tutorial


A while ago, a person showed me a really pretty picture of a book whose pages looked like honeycomb and asked me how it was done. It reminds me of those decorations of the 70's - did anybody else have those at their parties? They were the height o' haute.

I kept the email in my inbox because I promised her I'd show her how it was done. Here's my take on a honeycomb book:

Supplies: You need an old book, glue and a pencil. I also used a colored pencil but you don't have to.

Use a page to fold in quarters (see marks 1, 2 and 3).

Using your folded paper as a guide, make marks in pencil where your folds are.

Using your marks as a guide, draw lines down across the fore edge of your book using a ruler or a piece of cardstock to make them nice and straight. THE TOP AND BOTTOM EDGES COUNT AS A MARK. If they aren't perfectly straight, that's not really a problem. Approximate is good enough.I call this the first set of marks.

Here is where I used my colored pencil. Make a second set of marks between the existing marks and the top and bottom edges - where the arrows are pointing. 

You can see my faint lines inside the circles.

Choose ONE set of the marks - the first or the second set - and put a dab of glue on each mark - not quite to the edge.  See how I put a dab of glue on the top and bottom edges, too? I'm doing the first set of marks where the top and bottom edges are invisible marks.

 Here's where the magic starts. After gluing that first page, SKIP A PAGE and put glue on the page after it. You will see that the first glued page is sticking to the inside cover of the book. The second page you glue (with the blank page in-between) will then be sticking to the unglued one above it.

Continue gluing sets of pages together. An unglued one being stuck to the glued one underneath it. Do the whole book. It took a while and I admit to taking a couple of breaks with this. It was tedious.

After the glue has dried, you will then glue each of the "sets" together by putting glue on the opposite colored marks (the second set of marks). This will then give you...

 Enjoy your honeycomb book. Glue fake bees to it. Real bees might sting.