Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Latest in Aircraft Technology

This just in from my bro, Chris:
"...roger that Red Dog Leader... Maintain heading and climb to 2000 feet..." And I'll be laughing to the point of snorts & tears for the next 2 hours on that one!

Tagged Again!

by Teresa! So this time I'll see what I can come up with for my middle name again, but I won't tag anyone else. Hmmm ...

Middle name: ANTONIA

A = Athletic. I was a gymnast, even though I was so dad-gum tall! Volleyball. Basketball. Cross country.
N = Nomadic. I like spontaneous travel, day trips, jump-up-&-go's with no plan.
T = Tenacious. Not a quitter. Maybe a whiner, as I go, but not a quitter.
O = Overt. As in big mouth.
N = Nester. I'm no good at being nomadic without a home base to operate from.
I = Introspective. Probably true of all those who keep journals.
A = Analytical. Thanks, Dad - keeps my introverted spirals on track/balanced/logical.

New Music Alert!

From the Artist
Dusty Springfield was a soulful singer. You can't ever fill her shoes. So I just set out to sing songs we all want to hear again. The road map I followed when cutting these, was the one she made years ago. It was easy. I just sang and let the songs do the work. I'm so glad I did. Dusty inspired it all.

Product Description (from Amazon)
Shelby's new album, Just A Little Lovin', was inspired by one of her favorite singers, Dusty Springfield. The album features nine clasic songs associated with Dusty and one stunning original written by Shelby, inspired by Dusty.

I've Been Tagged!

By Vicki!

The middle Name Game
These are the rules:-

1. You must post the rules before you give your answers.
2. You must list one fact about yourself for each letter of your middle name. Each fact must begin with that letter. If you don't have a middle name, just use your maiden name.
3. After you've been tagged, you need to up-date your blog with your middle name and answers.
4. At the end of your post, you need to tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and need to read your blog for details.

My middle name is ANTONIA (from whence cometh the nickname TONI):

A = author - been writing since I was 2 and dictating poetry to My Lovely Mother
N = Nebraska - both my parents born there, kinfolk still there, my heart is rooted there in the prairies
T = TALL ...yes, I am. 5'-10"
O = open-minded, seeking the learning & lessons in all exchanges/events
N = Not Nosy - I like surprises; I like people to reveal to me what they want me to know
I = intuitive, good people sense, strong internal communications going on
A = Adventurous, particularly when it comes to travel. Not as in leaping out of buildings attached by bunjee cords, but as in reaching out and INTO new experiences

I'm a bit stymied by the requirement to tag others, as the majority of the others I know are SBS 11 sisters, or have already been tagged. So I chose 7 of the new-to-me blogs I've been reading this last few days instead, to see what that opens up! They are:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Before & After - Of A Kind

My youngest male child is home. Home asleep with his arm up on a stack of pillows. The princess and the pea ... the broken pinkie & the pins ...

Kevin is also NOT allowed to return to school until he has seen the doctor for pin removal - one week until then. The surgery took an hour longer than anticipated because the doctor [a self-proclaimed perfectionist (I love that in a pinkie-repairing surgeon)] had quite the struggle affixing the pins in a manner the broken bones would cooperate with. The slightest tussling or curious tap or horsing-around teenage tomfoolery could undo everything. This is Kevin's LEFT hand -- but Kevin is right handed, so homework will be finding its way into the homestead, via Mom picking it up or homies dropping it off. Poor Bub, he doesn't even get out of doing that!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

10 Minute Art

Just soothing my own noggin', here. I'm directionally challenged in a big way, and Kevin's surgery is taking place in the northeast boonies, past (way past) my comfort zone. So last night I had to look at Mapquest and then visualize for a long time to take the 'oh shite' fright factor down a few notches. Actually, once I checked it all out, I realized I'd been up that way more than once, so at least I'm quasi-familiar with the area. And not afraid to drive a freeway -- vroom vroom.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Update: Kevin's Hand, & A Button Fairy Mermaid

Well, my youngest son visited the hand specialist today with Double BB. Turns out young son made quite an unexpectedly large mess of his pinkie finger. Tomorrow he'll have to have surgery -- and the breaks are bad enough that the surgeon can't tell until he gets inside if pins will be sufficient, or if the bones will require screws. [Kev's finger, it seems, is hanging by a tendon & an ace-bandage wrapping. Oh holy ooogers & how-to-gag-your-mother, Kid!] After surgery, Kevin will have a big gauze cartoon bubble hand for two weeks, which must remain elevated above the level of his heart (we're currently on a mission to collect old pillows - got any?)-- followed by 4-6 weeks in either a cast, or a specialized glove/wrap thingie. And a sling, either way. Then physical therapy looms. NO USE OF LEFT HAND UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, so the poor kid doesn't even get to drive my truck (stick shift) ... he's trying to build up his driving time hours toward getting his license. Not only that, Double BB stopped by Urgent Care for himself, for this wicked cough he's had now for a few days, fever, chills ... he has bronchitis and an infection, so he's drugged up but good and down for the count. My poor fellas. My poor poor fellas.


Meanwhile, back at The Crafting Ranch: Miss V proposed a wee challenge, and I sorely needed a break from paper. My button fairy is a mermaid (big surprise) -- but I didn't like a single thing I tried for her fins, so instead she & I are in agreement that the fins had to go to the dry cleaners after a busy party weekend!

Ciera The Pink-Clad Wreck Chaser!

From my Bro, Chris: "Was tired of being cooped up in the house yesterday so I took Ciera on a little wreck hunt in the desert. No walking, it was all 4-wheeling. We were looking for a propeller-fighter crash but all we found was tons of pieces of a JET-fighter crash! Ciera likes 4-wheeling, bouncing around, driving over bushes."

Highballs High Heels Page Alterations - More!

Illustration Friday: Tales and Legends

The only tale OR legend I believe in: The Velveteen Rabbit. Love anything enough and it comes alive. Watercolor pencil and crayon.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chinese Cultural Center - Grocery Store, anyway

Yesterday I followed through on my mental plan to go visit the Chinese Cultural Center for MuthaCam espionage. I've been slobbering to shoot pictures down there for a while. Alas, the garden grounds which encircle on 3 sides a building containing the businesses was locked up, and I didn't want to shoot thru the fence. So that will have to wait. Then I tried the shops, one by one, where I was shrilly dismissed. No pictures in the shops. WHAT?!!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! I tortured myself in the first shop by walking through it and looking at all the wonderful things I could have taken pictures of, if only. The proprietor here, a slim elderly woman with glittering dark eyes, followed me everywhere I went inside, even though I had put the MuthaCam away in my big ass purse. Roof line. Regal & Intimidating Buddha Feline sculpture. The sharp-voiced, beautiful-eyed woman who shooed me & my MuthaCam out of her shop followed me outside. There, she explained to me, in what I suppose must have been perfect Chinese, the historical and symbolic meaning of a Buddha in Feline Form. She insisted I take 5 pictures. Five. I don't know why five, but I did it - this woman was not to be argued with, despite her being half my 5'-10" height. Then she looked them over with me in the MuthaCam screen, whereupon she made me delete 2 and re-shoot them, directing me with conviction and more perfect Chinese. This is the only shot I like, though. She wouldn't allow me to take her picture. I think I got the street Chinese response to that question, if ya know what I mean. Zoe, my Cat Posse of One, assumes the Regal-&-Initimidating Buddha Feline pose atop the spare fridge in my studio. Beneath her, the magnet telling us who to call in case she overdoes it. Or falls off the fridge.
Wall art outside the grocery store. The manager of the grocery store laughed and nodded when I asked if I could take pictures inside. Then again, he was a caucasian guy about 22 years old, or so it seemed. But what I discovered when I actually DID pull the MuthaCam out is that I made the Chinese patrons enormously uncomfortable. I'm talking covering their faces and changing aisles uncomfortable, even when the MuthaCam lens was pointed at an eggplant. I have NO wish to create that kind of energy so I tucked the camera kind of under my sweatshirt and decided to pace the less-traveled aisles. The only time the MuthaCam caused an enthusiastic gathering was when I decided to be bold, take it out, and shoot the live fish in the back. But then the cluster of folks around me were all men, pointing, laughing at the way the fish became alert and active at the light from the camera. It was a gentleman of approximately 120 years wearing the coolest damn Fedora I've ever seen who insisted I take pictures of the crabs, all the while rubbing his stomach and making happy chewing gestures and noises. I KNOW I disappointed him when I didn't purchase any. I know he disappointed ME when he wouldn't let me shoot him in the awesome hat! Subtle. Delicate. Fresh. Feminine. I'll take settings for 10, please. Actually, though, Double BB and I have agreed that when we get to the kitchen remodel, when it's all over (in the year 2057 or so), we are having all white dishes. These were cheaper and sturdier than the ones we've been watching at IKEA, and I like the shape better, too. Love the shape. They ought to do bridal registries here. Egg drop soup, anyone?
An entire shelf of an entire grocery aisle of these wrapped soaps. Oh. Toni loves beautifully wrapped soaps, yes she does.

I know I thought I was done shooting produce, but then I met these veggies and decided to re-think that notion. Don't ask - I dunno. I just like the skin markings. Unidentified Produce Item. With gorgeous skin engravings. This would be the large and small version of the same vegetable which starts with a "Y" but I lost the little slip of paper I diligently wrote all these veggie names down on so I won't be able to tell you the true identity of this one I am EVER so sorry! Should I put in a call to Anthony Bourdain? This is NOT Gilligan's Ginger. Hello, Yucca. Goddess of Mercy tea. I looked up and down the tea aisle but there was no Goddess of Disobey tea. Where do I write to complain? Lovely packaging, everywhere I turned, but in particular on the tea aisle! A very crowded tea aisle! So I kept the MuthaCam under control. Meet Godfather-Guido-the-Mafia-Crab. "Yo! I dare yas to eat me. I double dare yas." These would be Guido-the-Mafia-Crab's lieutenants, Vinny & One Claw Sol. I b'lieve these are the Tilapia. Fish tacos in the BEFORE photo. Fish piled on fish. And selling like mad, I was surprised. Fresh catfish stacks. Poor swimmers, what a way to go out! Still, my mouth watered ... I see catfish and my mind goes straight to corn meal, diced jalapenos, hot Crisco, and Double BB's iron skillet cornbread. Ok, ok, OKAAYYYYYUH. I feel guilty because I've taken your pictures and now I'm just walking away. And because I EAT catfish whenever Double BB serves it up. I do! I confess!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Oh Happy Mail Art!!!

Mail art from Miss Mary Ann!!!
Wicked woman sent me 'disobey' -- as if I need any encouragement! Be still my heart -- this is the kind o'mail a girl needs to get every day. I'm proclaiming a revolution!!! SEND MAIL ART!!! DO IT NOW!!! SCARE AND/OR DELIGHT YOUR ENEMIES AND FRIENDS!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sisterhood 11 of the Blogging Stampers

Wowza. I was invited to join Sisterhood 11 of the Blogging Stampers, so I did, even though it's Friday and my brain objected 1 million percent to following all the directions. Doesn't matter that they were straightforward and easy. I just plain don't have any brain cells left come Friday night.

But it's done, and I've just said HEY to all the other 10 sisters currently on the Official Sisterhood 11 list ... also gently and too rapidly browsing thru their very impressive blogs. I'm hereby nominating myself "JUNIOR", as I clearly have the most to learn and the least to offer in the stamping arena. I'm not worried about it [oh I'm such a LIAR!] -- I'm on a roll right now for accepting challenges. And I so WANT to get back to making cards; I even updated my recipients' list just 2 days ago.

So, about me: I've kept a written journal for 32 years; started doing visual arts 2 years ago. I have 400 million stamps and maybe 12 ink pads, some embossing powder and a heat gun, also a crockpot full of wax. I'm getting there. Alas, no die-cutting appliances, although there IS a craft-dedicated toaster oven on my studio premises. I love words: lyrics and poetry and BOOKS. I love photography, especially black and white shots. I'm really into mixed media but focused on paper as the fundamental base ... not so much metal & rocks & wood, at least right now.

For fun I shoot pictures with the digital camera [dubbed the MuthaCam] bestowed upon me by my best friend/soul sister, Veronica, who also happens to be an SBS 11 sister! And the one responsible for my presence here! ("SHE did it!" may prove to be my last word in every case, whatever it is!) I read constantly. I write more than that. I'm a music FIEND the way some people like shoes or diamonds (we're talking serious addiction, probably 2,000 CDs). I spend my money on music, Sisters, not so much craft supplies (ACK! is that blasphemy?). Although I never let myself run out of Mod Podge.

Confession: I HAVE NEVER DONE A SCRAPBOOK PAGE IN ALL MY BORN DAYS. Will that detract, in this forum?

Bottom line, I'm thrilled to be here and I think we need t-shirts. Or a tank top, in my case. Or maybe craft aprons. A bumper sticker, at least!

GO SBS 11!!!!

What Is A Wall?

For Beth - THANK YOU!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Speaking of Hands ... this just in ...

My youngest male child, my hoop-star, my Offensive Reboundin' Gladiator, brought this home tonight. "Bad bounce, Mom."
Kevin's play-by-play description almost caused me to toss the Captain Crunchberries I'd just eaten for dinner. I'll spare you. Let's just say the ball went one way, and Kevin's pinkie went with it. Only it didn't happen to be the same direction the rest of his fingers were going. This digit is broken not once, but twice. Urgent Care Doc called it, 'A Bad Break.' Ya think? This is the face of one Disgusted Offensive Reboundin' Gladiator (a gladiator whose pain pills are starting to kick in). Meanwhile, Kevin's season just ended. Eesh. Blimey. Double SHITE!! He has worked so hard, for so long! Bad bounce, pffft! Where's that *&(&#^$%^ ball? Mama T wants vengeance!!! "Please tell me I'm dreaming."