Sunday, January 31, 2010

road kindness

A couple of days ago, I was sitting in the turn lane at a red light with my little family in the car, and the guy in front of me got out of his car and started signaling to me. I didn't understand him, so he walked back toward us and said, "Your rear door is ajar. Would you like me to close it for you?" Then he opened my daughter's door and shut it firmly. I hollered a "thank you" as he hopped back in his car and drove away.
My husband and I looked at each other in surprise, and I said, "I think that was the opposite of road rage!"
It seems like our society should have a word to describe that kind of thing and should practice it more frequently.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

new pantry

The Spring Cleaning Continues!
This used to be the game closet.
As we reorganize all the storage areas 
in and around our house, we've turned this
into a pantry, freeing up some good space in 
the kitchen and making all our rarely used 
cooking items a little more accessible.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

fun with sharpies

on a mini kraft moleskine cover

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

i heart knitted caps

After many months of knitting in the round,
here's the hat to match the fingerless mittens.
The orange is actually a more muted, earthy
hue than it appears in the photo. The hat fits and
doesn't have any huge holes in it, so Yipee!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

jury duty

This was the line headed into the courthouse yesterday.
I was chosen to hear a case; fortunately, it looks to be a short one!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

index tab tutorial

As promised yesterday, here's a tutorial
for making your own index tabs!!

Step 1: Select Paper.
I prefer cardstock, because it's weighty
enough to not get all bent up. However,
be careful to choose a color that's not
too dark to write on (unless you have a
white pen handy) and that's not so busy
that you can't see what you've written.

Step 2: Choose Width.
I prefer 2 inch wide labels, because
they're big enough to write a couple
of words on. However, tiny tabs (1/2")
work, as do mediumish ones (1 inch).
Once the tabs get below an inch, it gets
hard to curve the corners. So plan on
sticking with square corners if you go
for tiny tabs. You could even measure
the height of your book and divide it
by the number of tabs you need. Use the
answer as the width of the tabs. Then
you can have them neatly lined up from
top to bottom!

Step 3: Cut Strips.
As I mentioned, 2 inches wide is
recommended. These are very forgiving
little guys, though. Most anything will do.

Here are my strips, in 2 inch widths,
1 inch, and 1/2 an inch (from left to right).

Step 4: Cut Rectangles From Strips.
The height of the rectangles should be
1.5 inches. This allows enough room to
write on the tabs and attach them.

Step 5: Fold Rectangles In Half.
Make sure you fold them horizontally
rather than vertically, so that they come
out 3/4" high when folded. Otherwise
you end up with very tall index tabs!

Step 6: Curve Corners.
I like to use a little corner punch.
It cuts easily through two layers of
standard cardstock. You want
to cut the corners along the fold.

Here are some little index tabs, all
ready to go. Notice that some are
curved around the corners and others
are square. Notice the little brown
tab off to the side -- remember how
yesterday I mentioned that these could
be manly? I think that one would do
nicely. Also a little more on the elegant side.

Step 7: Write On Label.
Take care to write on the upper
half (near the fold), as this is the
portion which will show once the
tab is attached to your journal.

Step 8: Apply Adhesive.
I prefer UHU Gluestick.
Any kind of glue, paste, gel medium,
or double-sided tape would work,
however. Apply to the entire interior.

Step 9: Attach To Page.
Here you want to put the front and
back of the index tab on either side
of a page and press firmly to attach.
Make sure the lower half of the tab
is on the paper, while the upper half
sticks up for easy viewing.

Step 10: Make A Bunch!
Here I have a collection of
index tabs in varying sizes so
I can easily grab one and use
it whenever the need arises!


Monday, January 18, 2010

perfect system: journal

Hey, Everybody! It's time for another Perfect System!
This time it's all about the journal. Lately, I've been really
enjoying the tiny Picadilly journals. They're basically a
Moleskine replica but cost half as much. I've found them
sporadically at Borders, usually in the clearance section
with other cheap journals. For $3.99!! These function for
me as an easy carry-along because of their size. And while
I don't do any painting in them (the paper's thin), they
make for a good place to pre-journal ideas, jot down
inspirations, take notes on art techniques, etc.

This time last year, I came across some prefab cardstock
index tabs that were made out of beautiful paper, and I
decided to put them to use in one of these Picadillys.
At the time, I was reading and taking notes on a variety
of books about collage, so I tabbed the first page of each
"section" and labeled it. I also labeled single pages that
had important ideas or passages from the Bible, so I could
find them easily later. Since then, I've gone back to this
journal several times to access information, and it was so
easy to find!! I have many other journals that I've gone back
to in order to pull out some piece of data and either been
unable to find what I was looking for or it just took forever.

So I've been experimenting with making my own index tabs,
and I plan to index the journal I'm currently using.
Who knows? Maybe when my kids are grown, I'll go back
and index all my old journals as well, so that when they toss
them out after I die, the trash will be well organized. Heh heh.

Anyway, I'm preparing a tutorial so that you, to, can index
your journals with adorable (or manly, if you prefer) tabs.
So stay tuned; I should have it up tomorrow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

door of inspiration, all cleaned up now

This is the freshly cleared Door of Inspiration.
As you can see, Eric and I are thinking through new
paint colors for our room. Very inspiring!
Before I cleared the mess, I had fallen into using
my door as a catch-all for organizational items,
fun visual ideas, and a magnetic way of not losing
the Things-That-Must-Not-Be-Lost, such as jury duty
summons, doctor appointment referrals, etc.
This was very effective, and I may need a new
Perfect System so that I can replicate its usefulness
and not start losing the Things-That-Must-Not-Be-Lost.
Otherwise, what will become of me? I will be Very Frustrated.

The Door of Inspiration, also shown here,
was one of my responses to reading The Artist's Way
by Julia Cameron a few years ago. It's where I supposedly
post visual scraps of inspiring paraphernalia so that I
can keep them in view and in mind as I go about my days.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

door of desperation

As you can see, my door of inspiration has
turned into a door of desperation.
I hope to remedy this soon. More tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

blog adjustments

Hiya, peeps! You may have noticed that I've been having trouble
with my bloggy background. I'm attempting some adjustments
and hope to eventually develop a really snazzy background of
my own with a super nifty banner across the top.
In the meantime, I'm going with the basic "minima stretch." Sounds
exciting, doesn't it? Now if I can just learn everything about computers,
html, and photoshop that I've been putting off all this time....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

it's official

Christmas is over.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I was so happy to find yet another application for the
flowers I've been doodling when I decorated this
chocolate cheesecake! And they tasted great!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


This one's a birthday gift for a friend. I really don't prefer to take
this particular Scripture out of context, because what it's saying
is the result of what comes before it:

Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.
(Isaiah 58:9-12)

I just love this whole picture of the restoration of a society.
Anyway, the idea I wanted to communicate in this little painting was
about how this friend has a home and a family and other people
she tends to -- her little garden. So there it is.
Oh - and you may have noticed that this was inspired by
this journal entry from last week.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

three canvases

These three little (4"x6") canvases are happily peering at me from the bookshelf lately.
What will they become?

Monday, January 4, 2010

new year's cleaning

My friend Tamaki is from Japan, and she says that before the
Japanese New Year, people undertake a cleaning process
around their homes which is similar to spring cleaning.
I really like this idea of getting the old cleared and the new
prepared at the beginning of the year. Also, it's 60 degrees here,
which makes it much better cleaning weather than the 85-90
we get when it's time for spring cleaning. So we've been
doing some good scrubbing lately, including this refrigerator wash down
that got us back to where we were pre-Thanksgiving.
And ready to fill up again. Hello, Costco!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010