Saturday, January 31, 2009

New Political Era:
We Can Actually LAUGH Again!

Yeah. What's up with the Republicans? All of a sudden, they don't want to spend money. Do they have a clue that they were in charge during the downfall -- from surplus and good times, downward to the Nearly Greastest (who knows yet) Depression? Besides..... do they GET that they LOST, big time? Red states = irrelevant (hellllooooo we got North Carolina and Indiana); Racism = irrelevant (helllloooo who's the president, no matter how many times you sing that "magic negro song"). So... I don't know about you, but ... I'm laughing in the face of the media trying to make this all soooo very contentious... HA! We won! Don't underestimate President Barack Obama!

Anyway... this is my latest FUN Political Video! Do Enjoy!


Every month I change my desktop wallpaper. I've been using a couple different digital scrapbook sites that offer freebies. Usually the wallpaper they offer has the calendar and some slots for pictures -- just like a scrapbook page. I download and add pictures of the birthday people -- you know...the relatives who will be celebrating birthdays in that month. It's been fun.

Well, I went looking for my usual freebie today and stumbled upon a very nice page with 70.. YES! 70 different jpg wallpaper calendars for Febrary 2009. Many choices. Wonderful ART. I'm going to use this one (I hope it can be crammed into this blog)....

The colors are bright and happy. The message is love. What more could a snowbound Vermont girl want?

Here's the site: Smashing Magazine Desktop Wallpaper Calendar February 2009

If you're looking for something rather cool for your desktop, I don't think you'll be disappointed. In fact, I might just download a couple pictures and change during the month. February is, after all, the shortest month. One of the calendars on this website says "9.5% Less Month" so I'd have to agree. Short. Sweet. LOTS of birthdays for us. How about you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We've Lost a Giant

The nuances, subtlety, and depth of Updike's writing takes my breath away - fluid word choices, perfect names, exquisite description, and spot-on characterization. Often overlooked, undervalued or taken for granted, Updike's works embody the attributes of great world literature in the vein of Hawthorne, Dickens, Voltaire, Hardy, Twain, Conrad, Marquez, Tolstoy and others. He captured the evolving life of the new American frontier: suburbia, family, love/marriage/divorce, society, sex, politics, consumerism, intellectualism, religion ... and did this with humor and pathos. Holding a fun house mirror to foibles and flaws, joys and achievements, setbacks and defeats, Updike fearlessly observed and carefully noted the passing of American trends, beliefs, life, and language.

In today's world of commercial fiction, his like may not come again -- or not for a long time. Few writers today study metaphor, history, language, and form with the intensity that Updike studied and wrote. I'm sure I could come up with names and books in today's literary fiction, but at the moment, I'm feeling hollow and pained, my heart beating a mournful taps.

I wrote my dissertation on his works -- more than twenty years ago. Immersed in his language and thoughts, I found myself striving to become a better observer and a better writer. He gracefully led me to a craft that became my life's work. I owe him. I can only hope I return the favor some day in leading my students to an appreciation of the written word and the joy of writing.

Sad day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Of all the "stuff" I've watched (bleary-eyed and happy)... this is by far the funniest video. It's a lot more funny if you're hip to all the political pundits and hacks and elected officials (and their hired guns). Still... the high five concept is SPECIAL! I feel soooooo high fivin'!!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

not just for playing and stacking any more...

For almost a year I've been immersed in the little canvas that is a domino. If you look at a one of these rectangular pieces of ivory (okay not exactly ivory, but epoxy of some kind) you'll see that the flat side is vacant -- just begging for embellishment!

I began this fetish when I saw some examples on a few websites while I ranged high and low for new ideas. Whoa! Just google "dominoes" and look for the sites that might have some reference to "altered art" and you'll find some very nice pieces of art work. Here are a few sites for your pleasure:

Altered Dominoes
How To Guide to Domino Art
Domino Art
The City Chicken

I have produced quite a few pins mostly using Tim Holtz (tm) Adirondak Alcohol Inks for the base color. Alcohol ink is perfect for non-porus surfaces and plays rather amazing games when mixed, especially if metallics are added. I sold some of my work this summer. are a few of my original pieces:
Click on the above picture, to see the individual dominoes up close and personal.

(Yes that that one with the tree includes "fractured lyrics" -- you know... when somebody thinks they know the words to a song, but they're wrong. Bring us some friggin' pudding! I sorta like those lyrics better some how... than the original...)

I'm working on a series for Valentine's Day, plus some retro pieces.

Next up on my horizon: MICROSCOPE SLIDES! yes.... faux soldering. Very cool stuff.
Here's a website for you... (your eyes are gonna pop!): Collage Slide Pendants

Monday, January 05, 2009

What I Have Done (so far) on My Winter Vacation...
(which officially ends January 20th)

First of all, I was caught in the vortex that is Tim Holtz's Twelve Tags of Christmas.
If you scroll down at his website (linked above) , you'll have the joy of getting sucked into the very same devastating vortex -- including detailed step-by-step instructions (and shopping ... rrr... material lists) for each tag.
Here are some of my creations:

I'll post the dominoes later.... dinner's cooking!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Party Like It's 2009?
By now that phrase has faded into the annals of pith and pun, tossed on the compost pile to be covered by snow in a couple days. I should hope nobody used it, but I'd be mistaken. I can't be that original.
Not. In. The. Cards.

Everybody's blogging the New Year, right?
I didn't think to be any different. Turning over a new page in my journal and STARTING. Starting what?
Well, I had the presumption to believe that I would be starting -- a new diet, a new book, a new course, a new way of looking at myself and life. After all, I just whizzed past #56 and am beginning #57.
I'm continually aware of having more time behind me than in front of me and less time for excuses and dead ends.
'Nother silly pun. But really -- REALLLLLLY! Tick tock.
All the stuff that yearns to be written flits around my brain like so much ethereal pink cotton candy swirling and spinning in that stubby-fingered old man's beat up metal tub. My brain churns and I must, must, must get it all down.

I've been sick.
I am a pretty good sick person. I'm easily amused and quite lazy, so being sick isn't even much of an excuse to lounge in pj's, drink tea with honey, and watch videos.
The Jane Austen Film Festival.
The Complete Harry Potter Movie Mania Day.
Guilty pleasures? Okay.... I had 6 free videos coming from iTunes (don't ask) and I could only spend that on t.v. shows, so I.... damn... do I have to admit this? I used them up yesterday in a fit of sheer stupidity and madness. I know, I know. I'm going to regret this. Maybe not today, but tomorrow and forever. I checked off the first six videos in Private Practice. I swear, I don't even like the show, but it's a train wreck. I cannot avert my eyes. YUCK! Well, I watched them all. I'm sooooo done with that -- especially since I can watch (with limited commercial interruptions) on the ABC website. Duh.
What else did I watch while sick??
One Fine Day. You've Got Mail. Adventures in Babysitting.
The Forsyte Saga (I am completely besotted with Damian Lewis -- even when he is a villain. Love knows no bounds)
Out of Africa. Best. Soundtrack/Score. Ever. (mmmmm)
Oh. And...(don't slap me).... I let Mamma Mia play in a loop, just for the upbeat music -- and I am so serious when I say that I was NEVER an Abba fan. Never. Cross my heart. I just love Mamma Mia though have no reason. Just makes me wanna dance. Dancing Queen. 17. Yep.

Now that I have hearing aides, life is a bit more mellow, although,... YIKES! I can hear paper crinkling at 50 paces. Christmas morning was almost HELL -- with the paper ripping and balling up and exploding in my ears. NO.... it's a myth... cannot turn sound down or off. More about hearing aides later, Promise.
Off to bed.
Grades finally done (well, that was a few weeks of major.... in fact PRO crastination... the last day is actually tomorrow). I love myself a little too much, don't I?

Again with the resolutions? Weight: off. Morning Pages: back ON. Writing: FULL on. Blogging: improving (visualize a turtle here)
and that's the beginning of 2009.

Happy Trails!