Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

Ready for December

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Mostly because Dec 1st brings vacation, I am ready. I wish I could say it was clever planning, but in reality it was a happy accident that I only have one full work week in December. Next year, it will be clever planning, I hope. I am working today, not technically December, but the first week of December, and it shall be a one day work weekas I fly off to NJ early tomorrow morning. I fly back on the 8th and that will be a 3 day work week. The third week of the month will be my full work week, culminating with our office xmas dinner, so still a bright spot in the week…Then the following 2 weeks are 2 day work weeks because of holiday closures.

While it’s true that the art department usually works through the holiday, and this year is no exception, at least those closed days we have to work will be rather quiet. No nonsense, come to the office to get shit done sort of days are among my favorite. And then the time I have to work is comped early in the following year. I might be the only one who officially takes advantage of this policy.

The past 3 years (I am pretty sure it is 3) I have taken the time in the form of a spinning retreat at Mo Ranch with Judith MacKenzie. It has been wonderful. This year, PLY magazine is having it’s first spinning retreat in Kansas City. If it were not following directly behind Mo Ranch, I would figure out a way to do both. I will seriously miss the week spent with Judith. And of course, I am holding out hope that she will be at Ply Away.

Yay for December!!

settling in

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Yesterday, Elizabeth and I went into the office to move all our shit to a different office. We were fine where we were for the most part, but the new office space is larger and does have other advantages. It  is down the hall and away from all but one editor whose major annoyance will be when he is on speaker phone, which isn’t all that often, so it is much quieter most of the time. It’s also away from the office entrance, so there will be less getting up to sign for packages when the admin is (constantly) away from her desk. I think that is the major advantage. I also like that it is more steps when I have to get a file or see a coworker, but it will be good to get up and move on occasion. Mostly, just being away from the flow of traffic is to my liking. We will still be telecommuting 2 days a week each, so not much is changing other than our location.

The desk that was already in this office is bigger and very heavy making it difficult to move, so we kept my old desk on the old space and I am using this new one. It is a larger surface area, but I had a second desk piece in the old office, making an L-shaped desk which afforded more surface area for my stuff…office mise-en-place if you will…toys, books, stationery, colored pencils (and various other art supplies). Finding where everything goes in the new space is today’s challenge. Also weeding out some stuff that might not have a place. The latter is the true challenge since I had pretty well curated the collection recently to suit the old space.

Also, deciding what art will go back on the wall. I think before I actually hang anything, I will see if there might be something at home to swap out. We already took home the two large pieces yesterday, and I don’t absolutely love all of my smaller pieces so I am taking the time to figure it out. Deciding where to put my fan is the biggest issue at the moment. It gets a lot warmer in this office in the afternoon, so it is a necessity, but I am not sure where the best vantage point for it will be. I had thought just on the corner of my desk, but it takes up too much real estate for that. I have gotten used to it being on the floor and blowing up, so for now, that will suffice.

Thoughts from some meditative knitting…

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

In between the work I have to do today, I have been knitting a few stitches here and there on a scarf that I have knit a time or eight before, the Traveling Woman, by Liz Abinante. I don’t know what it is about this pattern, but there is something very soothing about knitting it that turns me toward total relaxation. My brain engages, but it isn’t terribly complex. There is a palpable rhythm to it that is pleasing and brings calm. As I said, I have knit it eight times before.

The one I am currently knitting is from some of my early handspun. I had been spinning a few months when I went to  a week-long retreat with Judith MacKenzie (Judith’s bio from one of her teaching gigs). It was at this retreat that I was first exposed to drum carding as a means of blending fibers to spin more unique yarns. I carded up several small batches from the fibers available to us, and got to spinning. I was pleased to be learning new things and delighted with the yarn I had made.

now that I am knitting with it, more than a year later, let me say, this particular yarn is crap. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine blend of lovely merino and mohair and some silk and who knows what other luxurious fibers. but my spinning is total crap. It could be equally true that my first attempts at carding were crap. Yet I continue to knit with it because I can feel myself learning something. Whether I am learning about the feel of fiber too tightly spun or plied, or the optical blending of color and how that is successful or not for various reasons, or that it is sometimes not possible to count past five, I can’t say. but I am learning something, that much is clear.

Whether I am learning something about my spinning or my knitting, I can’t quite grasp. But it is very likely something about both of these, and how they can and do work together. As I knit, the pattern is totally familiar in a muscle memory sort of fashion. just another layer of soothing going on during the process. The thought that continually comes to the forefront of my brain is that it is time to again read The Knitting Sutra: Craft as a Spiritual Practice, by Susan Gordon Lydon. It’s a book that will have something new to tell me each time I read it.

SS week 2001 loresAlso going on around these parts, is some sketching. I am taking an online class called Sketchbook Skool. Totally worth the time and dollars. I can’t speak highly enough about it and I feel that there is something there for everyone.  I learned about it because I follow Danny Gregory’s blog  (linked right) and decided to jump in. the next semester begins in July and there is room enough for everyone, so c’mon…let’s do this! This spread was done a few weeks ago at Barnaby’s. The first semester group has well over 1000 people enrolled and there is a range of abilities from beginner to expert. There is a classroom and fb group to post work in and discuss (or not, no pressure), and plenty of people beyond the instructors to learn from. The art that is being made in sketchbooks globally is something pretty amazing to be a part of via this class.

Okay, enough jabbering on. I feel like there is more to say, but I also feel the grasp I have on exactly what is slipping away. More soon…


30 day challenge

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

I have joined in a 30 day challenge where you purge the number of things for what day it is, so day 1, 1 thing goes…day 2, 2 tthings go and so on and by the end of the month your things will be 465 less. I can’t believe I am putting this in writing, but accountability, even if only to myself, is helpful with this. Here’s where I am at the moment:

Day 1: deleted my yahoo account
Day 2: 2 shirts (donated)
Day 3: 3 shirts (donated)
Day 4: 5 books sent to my mother (who is amazed how much one can read (at 81) when one can no longer afford cable)
Day 5: 5 purses/bags
Day 6: 3 pair of shoes and 3 knitting bags
Day 7: OMG…7…seven…S E V E N…bags of clothes donated (plus one bag to the trash)

I sent 5 books on day 4 because last night I also went to see The Minimalists at a local bookstore and knew I would be bringing their book home with me. I will mail it on to the first person who claims an interest in it once I finish it…

My friend Kathryn came over today after work yesterday and we did a major clothes purge, and I had already recently purged. She was brutal in the most supportive and loving way and she took the bags with her to drop off on her way home so I won’t be having any donaters remorse. Temptation has been removed, and I still feel like too much remains. Kathryn agrees, especially as it pertains to t-shirts.

Kathryn recommended I do a 90 day challenge of turning all my hangers backwards. As an item is word, it can be rehung with the hanger forward. At the end of 90 days, anything not turned around goes. I am not fully committed to this yet, but I will take everything not turned around out of the closet and give it an honest evaluation. I am also going to be compulsive about one in/one out going forward.

In part this was inspired by seeing The Minimalists and reading their new book(which I have already sent on to someone else). I have been reading their blog for a while now and I like their easy approach to it all. Joshua Took the time to sort through and purge over a longer period of time. Ryan packed up everything he owned and only kept the things he took out and used over a 21 day period (plus seasonal use items). I am considering a combination of the two. I like their main premise that something must add value to be granted space in their life.

I don’t quite know how to apply this to all my stuff, but I feel good about trying as fifty approaches. It seems a defining time in my life in a way that still remains undefined. It will happen how it is supposed to in its own time.


52 Lists: Week 1

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

52 Lists001I am not yet sure if I am finished with week 1 of the 52 Lists Project, but I am calling it finished to get on with it. The topic for week one is words that touch your soul. I started a list on scrap paper and it felt so very cliche, so I just opened up the small sketch book I had in my office drawer, perfect for this project, and got to it. Also at my desk, there is a glue stick, a box of cut out words, and a tin of  120 Prismacolor pencils.

The sketch book is one I bought when I was visiting my friend Patti Digh while we met up for tea at Malaprops book store in Asheville. It is 4×6 when closed and I can already tell the small size will keep me from getting overwhelmed by this project. It is the perfect diversion when my eyes or my brain need a break from the computer screen at work.

I also posted another round of The Gratitude Project on my facebook page. Here is the offer I made:

Feels like it is time for another round of The Gratitude Project. The first 5 people to post a comment to this post will receive something handmade (by me) by the end of 2014. The only requirement is that you post the same offer and follow through with your intention to do this. No, I won’t be checking. It’s all about having some integrity in what you are putting out into the universe.

If you have participated in the past, it is fine to do so again…I was going to say as long as you followed through with the commitment in the past, but that is tha past and I am trying to stay focused on the present…so let’s say instead it is okay to participate again as long as you fully intend to follow through with your part of the bargain.

Now, if you are thinking you aren’t artistic or crafty enough to participate, well let’s just shut that down right now. Handmade doesn’t have to be by you. There are wonderful opportunities to support a plethora of artists (etsy anyone?) and everyone is encouraged to take this on and put your best self out there just a little.

I had four sign ups the first day, My cousins Donna and Jaye, my sister-in-law Yvonne, and my friend Deborah. there is still an opening for one more and if it isn’t filled by the end of the week I will randomly assign someone. If you want to sign up and can’t find the fb post, just leave a comment here.

She said yes…again!!

Friday, September 6th, 2013

I have been contemplating our anniversary recently. There are too many dates to consider. We actually met online at the end of April…but then we met face to face on July 13 (I am pretty sure) and I moved to Texas on August 17th…then we had our commitment ceremony on July 16th because it was the closest Saturday…and now we have decided to get married for real on October 15th. Since our commitment ceremony, we have basically celebrated our anniversary beginning on July 16th all the way through August 17th. It’s sort of our version of Europe taking the month of August as vacation. Adding October 15th might be too decadent an anniversary stretch, though I honestly can’t imagine too decadent…crazy talk…

So given that we can fiinally file jointly, we can get married when we visit Weese and
MAW next month in CT, and start getting all our 1000plus benefits we have til now been denied. Actually, I don’t know it will actually benefit us now, but in the future, I think that might change.

October 15th at 11AM, Stratford, CT town hall…who’s coming?


Monday, July 22nd, 2013

On my last update, I didn’t mention the new girl in the house.  Her name is Trudy. Who would’ve thought there might be a different spelling (other than the admin at the vet’s office.

Digital StillCamera Digital StillCameraI learned this morning that if I think she is being cute, I need to point and shoot, and fast. She is terribly frightened by the camera. Truth be told, she is terribly frightened by everything.

When we brought her home for her week long sleepover trial, it was day before before we heard a peep out of her or could even pick her up. If we had to decide on Wednesday night if we were going to keep her, we might have said no because she was just non-interactive and either in her crate, or way back under the computer desk.

Her first hour in our custody had her cowering under the fig tree in the corner of the yard as far removed as she could get. Or so we thought. A few moments after the fig tree fiasco, Trudy found her way between out old fence and our neighbor’s new fence, a space barely wider than she is. Elizabeth had to get out the power tools to disassemble some of the fence in a section of side yard that we keep closed off, and while she did that, I had to grasp enough of her collar to gently tug her toward me. Majorly convoluted…

On Thursday morning, however, she woke up all perky and assimilated like she had decided she would keep us. She has done pretty well, at least until Thomas came to visit. she still is a little unsure about him and barks ferociously if he looks at her.

The first picture is from this morning. I got out the camera to see if I could get a better shot of her, and she went running outside to cower behind the passion flower vine. I f I got any closer, she started trembling so  let her be and snapped what I could. If you look closely at the clearer picture of her, her ears look like they are folded over to the back or something, but not so. Someone used scissors to crop her ears at some point. We think she is about three years old, and hope she is part of the pack for many years to come.

A new look…

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Seems to be a theme running through my days. In an effort to try something new to streamline my blogging into one blog, I was clicking around the wordpress themes and uh-oh, I thought I lost all my content. A few updates and clicks later, and my wonderfully awesome wife had it fixed. But it was feeling a bit out of date to me.

You see, Knitting Buddha the car has gone on it’s way…

Digital StillCameraI got a new car in December and traded it in. It’s sad to  no longer have this image greet me as I walk out the door, but it is on my computer desktop, so I do still see it every day. But that sadness is swiftly mitigated by the simple fact that I totally heart my new car. Not particularly Buddha of me, but true just the same. It makes me happy.

So all this just to say, I am trying out this new look. I want to do all my various blogging and journaling from one source and it might look like this, and it might not. I am also going for a new look with the hair on Saturday, so very much like that, only time will tell if it was a good decision or not…

now i know why…

Monday, September 12th, 2011

I just learned the real reason for US postage to be going up…and up…and up…

Through a link on one of the blogs I have been reading, I happened into the usps postage store. I thought it was a good way to get a variety of interesting stamps to use on the letters I am trying to get back into the habit of writing. The last time I tried to get a variety of stamps at the post office, they didn’t really have much selection. I ordered stamps on Thursday I think, and they arrived in the mail today. I won’t be doing this again in the future.

Let me repeat that…I won’t be doing this again in the future.

The packaging waste involved in getting my stamps to me is not only excessive, but nauseatingly so. My stamps arrived in a large tyvek envelope. If that wasn’t bad enough, each different stamp variety, I ordered seven, is in its own sealed celophane sleeve, each with a stiff cardboard backing.

Now I appreciate the post office wanting my stamps to arrive undamaged, but one piece of cardboard in one envelope would have more than been sufficient. Not only is it economic waste, but environmental waste as well. I can at least recycle the cardboard…

Delighted with my stamps, but really disappointed in the waste…

and nearly two months later…

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

I find it most aggravating when the blogs I enjoy reading go unattended and here I am guilty as sin of blog neglect. It isn’t that I am feeling lazy about it. I want to blog. I just don’t have much to say. Life is good. Where’s the interest in that. It isn’t that I think only the drama or crap is of interest, but this time of life is good is just rather ordinary. I like ordinary, there just isn’t a lot to say about it. Unless there is.

I feel like something has been percolating on the back burner, but the brew isn’t quite strong enough yet to pour into the cup. Does that make sense? Not really, but it is the best analogy my brain is capable of at the moment. That’s part of the not much to say deal. At the same time I feel like I could continue talking circles around it, but all the while, saying nothing.