Feb 7, 2020

Vacuuming sucks.

Admittedly, it's supposed to, but still.  I vacuum now to avoid a live burial under dog hair.  But I'll never be one of those truly avid tidy people.  You know them--maybe are one and if so, no judgement here!  Y'all come to my house and we have to move furniture?  Yeah, there will dust bunnies with fangs, eating the lost cat toys. 

And here's a bit of Friday Philosophy: We live on in how people remember us.   I'm thinking "She always had a spotless house." is not how I want to go out.  Not buried under a hoarder's avalanche, either, of course...

My high school friends and I lost one of our own a week ago; sorry for the burial theme.  I am not old yet, but I am approaching an age when having friends die is no longer rare.  Say what you mean while you have 'em around to say it, is all I can recommend. 

His name was Bryan Skinner.  A north Texas version of the dopey Surfer Dude.  If he had been a dog, he would have been a Golden Retriever / Great Dane mutt.  Loved everyone, would help anyone.  Several of the guys had a garage band called Purple Haze--my mom painted their Logo on their base drum.  Skinner played the guitar, a blonde blue-eyed heart throb.  And though he sounded dumb as a bag of hammers half the time, he was smart as a whip--that creepy math kind of smart.  He was also a good guy, who loved his many friends.  His funeral is today in our home town, and I can't be there. 

Well at any rate, it is Friday and I do have to vacuum.  And do bathrooms, inventory fridge, and dust.  Some time ago I discovered that doing the housework on Friday is like school letting out on the weekend.  After I finish the housework, I'll take my dog to the dog park. 

Y'all have a good weekend. And hug all the people you love today.

Dec 10, 2019

Winter in the High Desert

We did get a bit of snow.  Did I get a photo?  I did not.  But I will carry the memory of it forever, because it was Gypsy's first snow.  She's around four years old, but she grew up down in the frying pan of southern California, and spent another six months south of Phoenix, so--first snow!

She was astounded.  And delighted.  Couldn't explore it fast enough.  First, she ran around trying to figure out why the smells were so muted, and what IS this cold white stuff?  She poked at edging rocks around what had been flower beds--are those still rocks?  Yes.  She bounded THROUGH what had been flower beds, a thing she quit doing months ago because it made the humans yell.  Okay, they still yell when I run there. 

She tried to eat the snow, she pawed bare spots to check if the dirt was still under it, and it took FOREVER to get her to go pee so we could go back inside.  We walked in it, and she apparently has some sled dog in her, because our formerly well-mannered walker was suddenly pulling like a draft horse.  Finally I got her twenty foot lead and just flew her like a kite--she'd run wide arcs in front of us, back and forth. 

So our mountain snow dog got her first snow, and we know our move to the White Mountains this coming spring will make her verrrrry happy.  And since we'll have a good fenced yard there, we'll be happy too.  Ha!

Since the snow all melted (it doesn't last long at 5,000 ft elevation), we've had a mix of sun, rain, and--just recently--lovely fog.  We don't get fog up here often, so I enjoy it when I can. A view at 7:30 in the morning from our back porch--normally the sun's well up by this time, but we can't even see across the golf course!

In case I get my head stuck in the clouds or a project, I hope your holiday season--all of it, in all its aspects--is full of love, peace, and sparkle.

Nov 13, 2019

My Cup Runneth Over

The studio, after a week of tidying.

Last week I managed what some would consider an Heroic Effort and (mostly) cleaned my studio.  I do not consider the effort heroic, because if I'd just clean it up each day, it wouldn't take a week! 

That wide expanse of work table, clear and ready to create, is captivating, motivating, and thrilling.  You'd think I would want to keep it that way, so I can create any time I want.  Why don't I?  That's probably a question best left to the professionals.

Perhaps it's this: each time I do The Overhaul, maybe once a quarter (optimistically), I rediscover all the different crafts, materials, and creative potential in that room.  I can make so many things there! My mind spins circles with ideas. I actually dream about them at night.  And all the projects shout; "Pick ME!"  In this one 11 x 12 ft room, I have materials for;

Quilting: (I did cull a good many books, planning some basic quilts and throws for our new house.)

General sewing: (garments, house goods, pet gear, doll clothes, you name it)

Rug Hooking: (books, TWO strip cutters, hooks, background fabric and shoes boxes of worms)

Wool applique: (bins of wool, freezer paper, and four giant shoe boxes of pearl cotton)

Doll making: (of course) with bins of fabric, little hats, glasses, baskets, even limb joints I've never learned how to use.  This includes material for cloth dolls with clay heads, mohair bears and critters, rag dolls with a giant bin of cotton stuffing, and another bin of poly stuffing.  Wooden bits for jointed dolls (dowel rods and toy blocks and sticks--oh my!)  Wigs, eyes, shoes.  I even still have the cedar wood shavings my friend Sheri Farley sent me a decade ago because I loved my Sheri-made Tansy Butternut doll so much.  Husband wouldn't quit smelling it--he's a fan of cedar.

Jewelry making: (and I don't even wear jewelry--but the dolls do, and daughters/friends)

Crochet: (knitting--someday) has recently added a great deal to the chaos with bins of yarn, and more than one loom for hats, socks, cords, and some long skinny loom, but I'm not sure what it's for.

Punch Needle: (with a small box of several sizes of needles and lots of embroidery hoops).

Hand Embroidery: (along with the pearl cotton, there is a rainbow of DMC).

Felting: A whole drawer with mohair for dolls and felting.  What, exactly, am I going to felt?

Pin-cushion and Make Do supplies:  I have this vision of tiny embroidered wool pin cushions, each in its own miniature tart pan.  Yes, I have a basket of tiny tart pans.  Also washed tuna and pea cans to make little sewing caddies for my Sewing Ladies who meet once a month. What about needle cases and scissors pockets? 
Stencils: I usually free-hand most of my furniture painting, but I have a small collection of stencils that I am planning to use for the new house.  Nothing big or busy, but yeah--stencils.

Wood BurningWhy?  The last time I did any wood burning was eleven years ago when I did Celtic Knot Work patterns on our new cedar mail box post.  (Drawn there, thank you, using stencils.)  The post was beautiful, but why do I still have this???

Gourd Art:  Try as I might, and I have tried, I can't get rid of the gourds.  I put them in the Going to Sell Bin.  I even put them in the Donate to Thrift bin.  And each time I stole them out and put them back.  Because the potential of them calls to me. 

Painting, Painting, Painting: I could paint anything with the paint I have.  From miniatures to houses.  Furniture, walls, floors--even art canvases.  Water color, Gouache, Oil, Acrylic, Chalk.  Do you need something painted?  Come to my house, and we'll get started.  Want a particular finish or some antiquing?  Ooh--how about glitter?

Sculpting:  Of course.  Creative paper clay has long been my favorite, so I have culled supplies down to that for sculpting.  Except for a roll of cotton so (when I get to it) I can try spun cotton sculpting.  Because, you know--sculpting!  Only one set of sculpting tools, but I have armatures--foil, styrofoam balls, paper mache cones, you name it.  Sanding materials, of course.

Clay Molds and Cookie Cutters:  Don't forget those.  Because you never know when you'll need to make an ornament. Or ten.

Stamping and card making:  I gave away half the stamps and all the scrap booking stuff at least. But stamps are just so...clever and versatile! 

I saw a bumper sticker that read; She Who Dies With The Most Fabric--Wins!  But, when I do a quarterly clean and discover purse patterns I may never use, I have to doubt this is healthy.  Seriously! I culled a good deal of material out of this room just this year!  Minimalism reigns in the rest of the house now.  But in the studio...is there such thing as Maximalism? 

My bumper sticker would read; "Hello.  My name is Jan, and I'm a craft supplies junky."

But I have a new pile after last week's overhaul.  If you know anyone who wants to buy a wood burning tool, send 'em my way--otherwise it's going to charity.  Really!