Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Few Links

I have drawn a lot of little mushrooms along with my cartoon figures lately.  I looked for mushrooms on Pinterest and found...the most amazing photographs.  Each one more beautiful than the last... 
via Pinterest

I had no idea that mushrooms could be so gorgeous, so mysterious, or of such variety.  All we have around here are the white kind that spring up after a warm rain. I've spent a lot of time going back to  Pinterest pages to marvel at these beauties.  More here.

I know I've mentioned James Preller before, but I love this author for his wonderful responses to fan mail from young readers.   This letter from a young blind fan and  Preller's response makes my all-time favorites list.

Illustrations in children's books are often more fascinating than the stories themselves.  I've found a new favorite illustrator:  Chris Dun.  :)

Hope you've had a great weekend!



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Be My Valentine

I'm not a fan of "romantic" Valentine's, but I love funny ones or personal ones.

Prim Paws loves mockingbirds, 
but they have dive-bombed her frequently.
I gave Prim Paws a hat to protect her head.

 I don't know where I found this quote, but it had no acknowledged author.
Nevertheless, the idea of the "stubborn heart" resonated with me.  :)

  Another quote I really liked.

A birthday postcard to a friend.

My handwriting is lacking, and I really wish 
I could do a better job because beautiful handwriting
can make a card or envelope shine.
I console myself by remembering that it isn't about perfection.

One rule of Mail Art is:
  • No judgments are made about the artwork or its quality.  
  • via: Go Make Something
Since playing with watercolor and pen and ink,
collage, paper and paste,  rubber stamps, 
and drawing and cutting out
the strange little cartoon characters is fun,
I just hope they make the recipient smile.

Are you sending any Valentine's? 

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Mail Art

February offers two letter writing challenges:
and 

I'm not doing either one this year, but I do seem to be in the snail mail mode.  February is a good month for getting things in the mail because February 14 is Valentine's Day.

Other things to celebrate:
Mardi Gras
Chinese New Year

There are some really strange days available to whet the curiosity:
Stuffed Mushroom Day
Wave All Five Fingers at Your Neighbor Day
Toothache Day
National Lost Penny Day
Do a Grouch a Favor Day

I will send some mail to celebrate Valentine's Day and may use some of the other ideas for decorating envelopes and postcards as well.  :)  

letters


 postcards
to Erin

to Iliana (who is participating a letter challenge)
(another Jacki Long inspiration--because they are fun)

 to Bryce Eleanor

  I got in a hurry to put Max & Mila's postcards in the mail yesterday and didn't scan them.   

Monday, February 05, 2018

Baton Rouge Visit

We went to Baton Rouge this weekend to see Erin, and boy, were we surprised to see the lay-out she'd prepared!  All kinds of snacks--prosciutto, goat cheese stuffed croissants, a beautiful lemon bundt cake topped with blackberries, and more!  I was so impressed and thought maybe we'd disrupted a party.   Fee took a few pictures while I was busy moving from thing to another gorging on everything.







Later, we sat outside and visited. 


Eric brought Max and Mila home, then left came back later with Katerina and Emil so we could see him. Emil was so smiley and happy, busy showing off his walking skills and his delight in digging the potting soil out of pots.   Below, he was not happy with having had all the dirt brushed off clothes and shoes.  :)
 Max adores him!

It was a lovely visit in so many ways!



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Blue Moon, Books, Mail Art

Blue Moon Eclipse
About 5:00 this morning, the blue moon was still bright and full, and I watched until it gradually dropped in the sky and the house behind us blocked the view.  My husband was about to leave for work and offered to drive me (still in pj's) to where we could see it from the boulevard.  We watched part of the eclipse from there.  We stayed for a while, watching the shadow cover the huge moon, but he had to leave so he brought me home before it was finished.  I was satisfied.  I didn't even have to get dressed.  :)

Books/Reading

I started reading the essays in Ursula Le Guin's No Time to Spare about ten days before she died.  Then I stopped for several days.  Too close.  Too personal.  I was about half way through the book, and although I knew she was in her late 80's, the news that she had died while I was reading her essays took me aback.  

After several days, I started reading again.  The essays vary in length and in import.  The anecdotes about her new kitten Pard are short, observant, and personal.  Le Guin was a cat person of long-standing.  The essays about social topics--about aging, about men and women, about writing and books, about her disdain for the "inner child" trope, about her personal vision of America --are longer, and (for me, at least) require more than one reading in many cases.  I have to think about some of these essays (originally, blog posts), how they mesh with my own thoughts or how her opinions sometimes open a new avenue of thinking.  I will finish reading all of the essays and then return to the ones I've been thinking about and read them again.

Le Guin's writing has earned so many awards over the years (Newbury, Hugo, Nebula, National Book, Locus), but she may be best known for her Earthsea series.

Mail Art
I am still moving in short surges on replying to correspondence.  I'll be all about it for a day or two, writing a letter, decorating an envelope--then take an unintentional break.  But I am almost caught up now.
Yep, still drawing little cartoons on watercolor backgrounds,
cutting them out, and pasting them on envelopes and postcards.
OK, I love all of Jacki Long's junk mail angels.
Here is a link to one of her step-by-step posts.
Of course, I wanted to try this...
Jacki's junk mail characters are such fun, 
and I'm going to make more.  :)

The junk mail characters remind me 
If you haven't seen them, you should visit!

Friday, January 19, 2018


Bodybuilding.

In the aftermath of Christmas and New Year's, when I'd almost recovered from all of the activities and was ready to fall back into my usual quiet routine.  I had plans and energy still going, and was ready for a new direction...but then I fell victim to the same thing other family members have had.  Unlike Amelia and Fee, I didn't feel terrible (so grateful), but fatigue, inability to concentrate, headache.  Sleeping.  A lot.  Thank Goodness, it wasn't the flu.  This has been a terrible year for the flu--really epidemic proportions.  

On Tuesday, we actually had snow and temps in the teens!

I know you folks who have snow (and lots of it) EVERY year
may laugh a little at this, but it is so rare here!
We don't usually have temperatures this cold either.

 I'm still having fun with the cartoon-y characters and
enjoying the ability to write more on a postcard than 
just half of the back.

I blotted out this one because I was whining
about not feeling well and saying I'd send a letter soon.
to Suzie
 to Erin, belated thank you
 to Melody, another promise to write soon
I love that quote from Ann Richards.  She was a classy lady.

Books/Reading

I've read three interesting books recently featuring deaf protagonists.  First, I re-read Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic, then read her new one And Fire Came Down.  Both are set in Australia.  Then NetGalley offered Dark Pines by Will Dean with Tuva Moodyson as a deaf reporter in a small town in Sweden.  All three books were compelling.

I also read  Censored:  A Literary History of Subversion and Control which was a fascinating nonfiction book that started with the English translations of the Bible which resulted in the burning of books and people.  The Church didn't think it was a good idea for just anyone to have access to the Bible.  Other chapters discussed books and authors and their court cases, blasphemy and obscenity laws, etc.  It was extremely interesting and readable.

Goals

-more practice with stitching text
-catch up on correspondence; I'm working on this!
-soup bowl cozies; Annie made some gorgeous ones in October, then for Christmas Lisa     gave  me two that she made.  I've used them for soups, oatmeal, re-heating left overs--and   love them!  I made one before getting sick, but plan to make more soon.
-there are a couple of other sewing projects that I want to try as well

And so...I continue to play catch-up on a variety of things.  It is difficult to set priorities because there are things I want to do (see above) and all of those less enjoyable things that need to be done.  

What is going on with you in the New Year?  Projects?  Goals?  

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Last Minute Details


A cat pillow to accompany Cat.
Coffee dyed and grunged the fabric with cinnamon and vanilla,
pieced the strips, added batting, and some straight line quilting,
then made the awkward cat and appliqued him to the block.
On the back, a little quote I saw on a tee shirt.
Cat and pillow
were stuffed into 
a bag for a late birthday present.

I found the cat fabric in my stash.
Not sure why I bought it in the first place,
but several years later,
it made the perfect bag for Cat stuff.

And finally,
the third snowman.

Yesterday, I whipped up two more fabric bags for gifts
because
in a Christmas message from Naomi Bulger, she lists
some distressing facts about wrapping paper:
  • The making of paper involves the harvesting of trees, the processing of wood fibers into pulp, and the disposal of the product
  • According to Greenpeace, every kilogram of wrapping paper made emits 3.5 kilograms of carbon dioxide during production
  • Most wrapping papers have very little in them that is recyclable or reusable: they are made with synthetic ink, plastic film, bleach, chlorine, and metal-based foil and glitter 
  • Many rolls of wrapping paper also come wrapped in their own film of plastic, while others are made out of (non recyclable) foil
  • Laid end-to-end, the wrapping paper thrown away each year from the UK alone would stretch around the equator nine times
  • In the USA, the combination of wrapping paper and gift cards at Christmas time contribute to more than 100,000 trees being cut down 
  • Another USA statistic I read was that every year, four million tons of wrapping paper and holiday shopping bags go into landfill 
  • If you think you can at least put all that wrapping paper to a merry use by burning it in the fireplace, please hold back: decorative paper has been found to contain lead, synthetic inks, plastic film, chlorine, and metal-based foils, all of which release toxic and carcinogenic compounds into the air when burned
   
Whoa!  Had no idea!

I had already made the bag for Cat, 
and used two fabric gift bags from Michael's,
(wish I'd bought more since they were on sale).
After reading the above information, 
I decided to make more reusable fabric gift bags for the final two gifts.

My contribution is small this year,
but from now on, I plan to make fabric bags for most gifts.
I've been in a rush these last few days,
but the bags were a quick job.
Simple and easy--
and if they are reused, a benefit to the environment.

Today, relaxing and visiting with Suzie who is up from New Orleans.
I'm afraid the last project won't get finished,
but my creative energy has about run out.
I'm taking the day off... :)

The high today is supposed to be 28 degrees lower than yesterday!



Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Counting Down...

A friend found this card and sent it to me because the name of my book blog
is A Garden Carried in the Pocket from the Chinese proverb.
I LOVE it!
...because the illustration is so beautiful,
and because of the quote,
and 
because Teresa saw it and thought of me!
Thank you, Teresa!

The days are drawing close, the time is getting short,
and I still have projects in the works...
which may not be finished in time.

I wanted to add something else to Cat,
so I made a pouch and a mouse to go in it.

I used Ann Wood's pattern for a felt mouse
because my mouse pattern was too fat for the pouch.

Also, :), I learned something from Ann's pattern
and intend to redo my mouse pattern for more dimension.

This is one of the mice I made a couple of years ago.
I used the some of the same fabric on Cat!
 She resides on the mantle in the bird house all year long...
because I forget about her.
 I made another one in grey
that comes out for Halloween
and holds a banner that says, "Cheese, Please!"

But I really love the simplicity and cuteness 
of Ann Wood's mice.
And, of course, since I don't follow directions well,
I made a couple of mistakes--
and want to make another one.  Or two.  Or more.
Actually, following the directions.
---

A little outgoing mail--
I am really behind, but things have been so busy lately.
I get sidetracked quite easily.




Claudia loves Christmas, too.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Crafty



WaynoVision  (Dec/24/2015)


When I had the idea for Cat, another gift for someone, I put the third snowman aside and worked only on Cat.  I'm hoping the person for whom the nameless cat is intended will love him/her as much as I do, and I know she will think of the perfect name.  


 As much fun as the snowmen have been, Cat is my favorite.  



I wish I had gotten into the spirit earlier because I've had so much fun playing with dolls this December.  Having gone so long without any inclination to create any eccentric creatures has only added to the pleasure of sewing and stuffing.  I still have a few details left on the third snowman and should finish him up today.



Fee carved Santas from our Christmas trees when our girls were little.  Patiently cutting up the trunks and carving a few each year.  The girls have some of them that were either given or deceptively hijacked when I wasn't looking.  Fee's Santas are my most treasured Christmas decorations, and I love getting them out each year to take pride of place.

I've already gained a few pounds from Christmas goodies (the Cane River cinnamon-sugared and chocolate-covered pecans are my absolute favorite each year).  I have a love/hate relationship with edible gifts-- I am weak and succumb to temptation.

How are you managing the Christmas goodies?  Do you have more self-control?  
Do you have all of your gifts bought and wrapped?  I have a few things left to take care of and Fee's birthday is only a few days away, but I refuse to let the typical Christmas stress get to me this year.  

Minion Quotes #Etsy #Danahm1975 #Jewelry                                                                                                                                                      More