Sunday, January 31, 2016

Zine-Page Three

Today's page, about the fish sandwich made from the Bluegill husband and son caught at the fishing derby yesterday.

Also I am listening to Simply Folk which is a three hour program on Sunday nights here in Wisconsin.  Folk music is definitely my favorite genre.  They spoke of tomorrow being St. Brigid Day or the Celtic first day of Spring.  So I added a St. Brigid cross and house blessing.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Zine-Page Two

Page 2 of the zine.  I did it about the movie called Plain Truth.  I found it really different.  This is Sarah Fitch, the mother.  We have an Amish community here and this movie portrayed Amish more as they are rather than those sappy strange Amish romance types that are too full of "englisher" things.  Plain Truth was more believable in costuming and make up.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Zine-Page One

Page One
Mandy's suggestion was to draw and describe our favorite pencil.  So I pulled out my Ticonderoga and drew it.  The problem is I don't have a sharpener so I can USE it.  BUT if I did this is the pencil I would be using.  :)

In the meantime I am using my Daler-Rowney 2H which is good for light sketching but not for actual writing or shading on a drawing.  SO I need to go back and touch this one up to make the pencil look better and anchor it into its shadow.  I also plan to decorate the boxy "Page 1" at the top.

Creating A Zine-The Cover

Zine Cover
Last year on a whim I joined an online zine subscription called Secret Message Society.  To be truthful I don't really know what it is beyond the front of the website because my internet is slow and stupid.  Mandy is an artist and I like to support artists.

Last year the zines were the zodiacs.  This month she sent a zine about making a zine.  The first project is to get 4-5 pieces of printer paper, fold them in half and create a cover.  Her suggestion is to "try drawing a Royal portrait for your cover. *caution-this will feel vulnerable."  So last  night I created my cover, LOL.

This is me (well, sort of...I am not good at people which means I need to draw more people) and my rooster Vladimir from a selfie I took of us.  In the photo I am smiling.  Here I look stunned, LOL.  Anyway, I then added a crown.  It is suggested that this zine is to be done in pencil for those who feel they need to erase (me included sometimes though I am getting bolder) but I may just add some color to this.  Time will tell.

I feel it needs a caption or title.  Perhaps "Oh No! A Fowl Woman!".

Does it seem strange that a 54 yr. old woman is making a zine?

Eh, who cares! HA!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

You Are An Artist

I joined a challenge swap where the requirement was to make a piece of art out of an old book cover.  I went to the local thrift store and purchased a few old books that looked as though they had seen better days and dismantled this one.

The image is a scan of an old Dick and Jane book and the lettering is vinyl lettering I spray painted gold over then peeled off to reveal the black underneath.  I had run out of "S" so I used raised letters I had collected.

The "power beam" and confetti is just made of scrapbook paper that matched colors in Jane's outfit.

My recipient loved it!  I still have the back side and plan to make more of these fun projects.

This post is linked to Vintage Charm Link Party.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


It is at times like this that I miss my dogs.  For 25 years I had an Australian Shepherd to trip over.  First it was a cast off, Silly.  Then I bought a preplanned well bred dog from Texas aptly named Tex.  He ended up with cancer in his hip and at age 12 I had to put him down.  It was already 1 1/2 yrs. ago but it seems like yesterday.

After I had gotten Tex I had gotten another rescue, Ty.  He was the homeliest most ill built Aussie but smart as a whip and a mind of his own.  The biggest problem with him aside his roaming ways which out here isn't a big deal since our closest neighbor is 1/2 mile away, was his heavy coat.  He was impossible to keep brushed out as burdocks and stickers was what he liked to travel through.  And despite tick medication and collars and I apparently not finding every deer tick, he ended up with Lymes and Anaplasmosis at the same time.  He didn't recover from the Anaplasmosis.  I was heart broken and guilty and just decided no more dogs.

Well, a customer on mail route asked me if I'd be interested in a cattle dog pup.  I surprised myself by asking him about the dogs.  He has the nicest and smart cattle dogs that are friendly and well mannered.  A lot of them around here I wouldn't trust with a 10 foot pole.  Is it poor breeding or poor upbringing (I highly suspect the latter)?

I do not want a dog I cannot trust to be loose on the farm and around people.  I have a friend who has one she has to put into a horse stall when she leaves town as she doesn't trust it to not go after the person farm sitting.  She understands the dog can be a problem and isn't afraid to admit it.  If I had a nickel for every time someone tells me their dog won't bite I'd be rich.  As a mail carrier dog bites are the #1 threat on the job.  I have been around dogs, I have been bitten by dogs.  I can read them pretty well and old Fluffy snarling and snapping at me may not bite you (or surprisingly may but you know it isn't the dog's fault, so n so made them mad or whatever excuse they use) but my gut says otherwise.  I will not have a dog like that if at all possible.

This is one reason I haven't gotten a dog as I know what the first two years are like with socializing and training and molding that dog into a fine canine citizen.  I could take my dogs anywhere and never had to worry if someone wanted to pet them.  It is a good feeling to know I was promoting the Australian Shepherd in the best light but it didn't happen by magic.  There was hours of work, sweat and yes, tears of frustration.

I  surprised myself by saying keep me informed as yes I am interested.

One thing about cattle dogs is they are short coated.  Something I can feel I can take better care of.  Also since Ty's passing there have been alternative treatments for ticks.  But just the idea I can comb through a short coated smaller dog easier makes me feel better.

I would like a dog I can use on the cattle.  My dogs have saved me miles of footwork when it comes to the cows.

Anyway, this is one of the portraits of my dogs I have done.  I haven't finished the one of Tex yet and it sits 3/4 the way done waiting for the right time.  It still miss him, esp. every time I take a walk.  Losing a dog is difficult yet a necessary part of the experience.  And chances are this next dog, if he or she comes, will be my last.

This post is linked to Treasure Hunt Thursday.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Walmart, UGH!

After work I went to our "local" Walmart which is 24 miles away.  I want to do an embroidery that a blogger kindly posted for anyone to use.  I thought it would be cute for my friend's sewing room.  She has been diagnosed with leukemia and I like to try and brighten her day with little things.

What a wasted trip.  They had no white fat quarters and I'm not about to buy fabric off the bolt for one little project.  Additionally no one was in the section so that would mean hunting someone down if I did want to.

Of the five colors of floss they only had one!  And surprisingly it was the red #666 which I figured as conservative and christian this town is would be outlawed, LOL.  I mean someone proposed to change the addresses of every house that had any form of 666 in it.

5" hoop?  Are you kidding?  We have 4" or 6".  Ugly plastic.  I'd prefer wood as the picture is framed in a wood hoop.  Ok, I could deal with that but if I can't get the rest why buy the hoop and needles needed?

They drove our little sewing and craft store out of business and then turned around and don't carry as much as they used to so they can expand into more a little of this and a little of that and a bunch of junk no one really needs.  My opinion of course.

They didn't have picture hanging things either, just the wire.    

Monday, January 18, 2016

One WIP, Two Finished

Make Eggs Not War

I had today off of work due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.  I worked on the spare room and then put on some Kid Rock and went to work on my paintings.  After I finished the two below except for hangers I did the upper one. 

It came to me out of the blue.  I had clipped two pictures of chickens off my chicken feed sack last fall in anticipation of using it in my art journaling.  This was the smaller of the two and aside of having a problem with attaching the picture due to it being reinforced with a string grid and being that Tyvek type material I think I got it figured out.  I love how it is turning out :).  I need to paint the sides and then varnish it and wire it.

The two bottom ones are going to my antique booth for awhile.  If they don't sell within a reasonable amount of time I'll post them to my Etsy shop.

Who knew Kid Rock was so inspiring?  Of course his music brings back bittersweet memories of my first love.  "All Summer Long", setting northern Wisconsin and Lake Superior...and the airport with Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Rain" on the radio...memories...

Friday, January 15, 2016

Chickens Live Inspired

This is what I worked on today.  I hope to get the Live Inspired and white chicken done and put them in my booth.  They both need work yet.  Well all three do.  I just started the Barred Rock hen.  I'm just fooling around with simple ideas and see where they take me.

It took me longer to get to the clinic than I was there.  I drove my Prius and it ran as it should.  I already got my results via the internet although I don't know what they exactly mean.  It seems for the most part I am normal.  I'm sure a few people I know will question that.

Tomorrow I return to work but then have Sunday and Monday off.  I totally forgot about Martin Luther King day.  Then back to the grind.  I do think I'll be taking more time off though.  This was a good break.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Make Art Not War

By Shepherd Fairey

I didn't get a lot done today aside exercising.  I had my car appointment at 11am and didn't get out of there until 3pm!  What a waste of a perfectly good afternoon. Well, it wasn't a total waste, I got quite a bit of reading done in "The Tsar of Love and Techno".  And chatted with a couple other people who were there and then gone.  I also walked to the thrift store and got some giant shells, a bulletin board and a cool hand built bowl.

I have no idea what this day is going to cost me...well, ok, I do sorta' if I add things in my head.  I'm taking the car back on Wednesday to have the brakes done and then my mechanic said I can pay the whole bill.  I'm guessing about $800 or more altogether.  BUT that is how it goes when I buy a used car.  I need to work all the bugs out and get it to where I want it.  And that usually isn't free.

By the time I got home it was almost 5pm.  Mail was fun, I got a note and some coloring book pages from a book I sent my friend while she was in the hospital.  She discovered she had leukemia after another procedure and so it has been a real whirlwind for her, hospital to hospital, home and back to the hospital.  She lives over 2 hours away so it is hard to know where she is at any given time.  Anyway, we've become penpals of a sort.

I also got my Northern Sun catalog that I requested last year.  I delivered one to a mail customer and emailed the company to send me a catalog and they did.  Immediately my eyes fell to this poster above and I knew I had to have it!  So I ordered it, a pack of matching notecards and a recycled glass Earth marble.  I have a pair of ceramic hands and always wished I could have them holding the Earth.  Now I can!!

It is "early" yet.  Maybe I can get some painting in and then relaxation yoga.  Tomorrow is the lab work in the morning and then the rest of the day is mine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


I took off four days this week.  I haven't had a day off of work (aside Sundays and holidays) since early October and I now realize how badly I need it.  People think just because I am usually done with work by 2:30pm including running to refuel the car, that I have all this time to do what I want.  It isn't that way at all.   My job is a very physical and mental job and by the time I get home if I sit down I am done.

So yesterday started my staycation.  I had no energy at all.  I did get some much overdue housework done, mostly decluttering and pitching.  I finished my chicken soup.  I got 4000 steps in on my fitbit (hard to do when you are sitting at least 4 hours a day), wrote an overdue letter and just sat and stared at a wall.

Today I feel better.  I got my 4K steps in before 2pm, primed several canvases, worked on the above, sorted through tons of clothes to donate or send to the resale shop.  I am pretty pleased with what I got done so far.  I never had such problems when I worked part time!  Yes now I have a routine but I have a hard time using every second of every day to do what needs to get done.

Tomorrow I have a car appointment at 11am.  Snow tires, new battery, oil change on my new to me Prius.  It was suppose to get done before Christmas but the battery was dead.  So hopefully despite it being -20 F I can get it started and done.

My lab appointment got changed to Friday morning so 8am I will be on the road to get to the clinic by 8:30.  First step on taking my life back.

I got my "official" marriage certificate today so now to find out where I get my passport photo taken!  One more step towards my scary dream!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Wish on a Star

Years ago my son and I shared a hobby that involved My Little Ponies.  It started as a lark.  I wanted the McDonalds MLP yet don't go to McDonalds.  He was working there at the time and so bought his mama a bunch.  He thought they were so ridiculous and I said here do what you want with one.  He cut it up into pieces, used Sculpty to make it into a Godzilla complete with Empire State Building that went on to win first prize at the Pony Con.

In the meantime my project was to use up my beads and this is one of many I had made.  It was a lot of work as the tail was molded plastic that required careful removal as so not to damage the legs.  I sold quite a few of these at Pony Con but have some favorite leftovers I am now selling in my Etsy Shop.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Love Banner #2

Well here it is.  Both will go to my booth at the store.   The few banners I've made have had buyers so it is just fun to see what people like.

My son and I got the news today we have secured seats to Krakow.  I cannot believe we are actually doing this.  For some reason it seems like such a pipe dream.  Totally unreal.  I need to get a passport but first I need a "real" marriage certificate.  Funny how no one told us we were to file this "fake" one.  So I contacted the county we were married in.  Of course that is hours away so a simple stop isn't in order.

I stopped in at the Clinic and made an appointment to get lab work done and a Wellness check.  It is time I start taking care of myself in that regard.  30 years of no is really hard to feel I should do it.  But since I had vertigo I haven't felt "right".  I guess it could also be menopause.  Menopause is a "condition" no one talks about beyond the usual niceties.  Meanwhile women such as myself are left out there thinking we are losing our minds.

New Princess Phone

Meet my new phone.  I went on eBay and looked for the cheapest working rotary phone I could find and this was the winner.  Since my electric cordless phones keep getting zapped by our ancient phone lines and the phone company won't admit it beyond "there is a problem" 10 miles away I'll go back in time.

She's homely.  I'm naming her Beatrice.  Remember Princess Beatrice?  Kinda' reminds me of this...

Monday, January 4, 2016

No Crafting Today

I got buried at work.  Apparently everyone in the plants were on vacation between Christmas and New Years Day and now they are back with a vengeance!  I got home late, had to run hoses and fill water tanks for the horses, feed the chickens etc.  I checked my email and there was a notice that if I wanted a spot on that Poland trip I best do it NOW!  It filled up (90 people) so quickly!!  I tried to call them but my cell phone service here sucks and our landline got zapped for the third time this year.  Gotta' love rural living...not!  So I emailed back realizing they are an hour ahead and I was too late but Nicole did answer, to fill out the paperwork and email it to her.

Well I have NEVER filled out "paperwork" on a computer before and so off to Google I go to find out how to do it.  Meanwhile email my son who doesn't live here and let him know he needs to get it in asap.  UGH!

Well, I hope I did it right.  Amazingly it was quite easy to do on my Mac once I found the directions online.  I first tried a different program and that was terrible so Googled how to fill in a PDF on a Mac and that was the right search to do.

So, are we going?  Are we not?  I don't have a passport yet (found out my marriage cert. is not valid after 26 years of this living hell, LOL...what is NEXT?) and that was required on the paperwork.  I'll find out later when I get home.  Meanwhile I better send for that damn certificate and get my butt in for a passport so next time I am ready.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Love Banner #1

Here is the banner I made that I will take to my antique booth.   Unfortunately trying to correctly photograph it on such a dismal day is not working but you get the idea.  I am in the process of making another one.

I Lick You

"I Lick You" is a Valentine Day ACEO sized painting.  ACEO sized are the size of a baseball card, 3 1/2"x 2 1/2".  I framed it so it looks larger.  It is of my horse Bonnie.  This painting is done in acrylics with a red background and gold hearts.

Message from Beyond

Above is my Great Grandmother Katherine.  I knew her a little but she passed away when I was young.  She was the first death I experienced and first funeral.  

I am just learning her story now and surprisingly, or perhaps not, from complete strangers.  The above photo was sent to me from a person in Michigan.  I have had a hard time describing how this has made me feel.  It came with a story that she was mentioned in.  The woman who sent this to me has a relative my GGM raised when his parents passed away.  When he was on his own he came to America and to pay her back he paid passage for her and her brother to come to Wisconsin from Bohemia.

There she worked in a logging town as a laundress until she met my GGF three years later.

I have enlarged the above photo and keep looking at her.  It is like she is wanting to tell me something..  Her eyes just bore into mine as though she is speaking across the ages.  It is a bit unnerving.

I have been contemplating a trip to Poland through the Candles Holocaust Museum.  I wanted to go last year but my knee was flaring (before I knew what it was, stubborn procrastinator I am) and I had three bouts of vertigo which to this day I deal with so I was afraid to go.

Well, vertigo is still an annoyance and my knee is a pain but is pretty good.  I'm thinking I need to go to the Dr. and get a good eval and if I want to go on this trip, learn to cope with my bum knee.

Last month I was given this deck of oracle cards.  As I was putting things away I came across it.  For fun I asked it if my Great Grandmother Katherine had a message for me.  As I shuffled this card jumped out.

Looking at it gave me goosebumps and tears.  I have been hesitant to put the non-refundable payment down for the trip (I want to take my son) due to fear.  Damn fear!!!

Is this a message????

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Last month I started the DoYou Yoga free 30 day beginners challenge.  I enjoy it and am learning my limitations and yet I see results already.  I mean, I did my first plank in years yesterday!  Even I was surprised!  In the past two years my body has fallen apart and the yoga and hikes I used to do I am not able to do anymore.  So I am starting from scratch and working my way back.  

I also want to start a meditation practice.  So yesterday I listened to a 20 minute meditation on CD and that was fine.  Today I thought I'd leave the CD and just use one of the nice chime timers that can be found online.  I found one that sounded exactly like I wanted and set it for 20 minutes and started.  Well, after awhile my knees (arthritis) ached so I sat differently.  Time went by, I went back to cross legged.  Back to knees up.  Touched the computer to see that it had STOPPED when the screen went dark (sleep)!!!  That was the LONGEST 4 minutes EVER!!!  The clock said otherwise.  So my advice is to find a timer that doesn't stop when the computer sleeps.

I got most my new banner done yesterday but have a few small touches to do.  I was going to show you all today but I got my book "The Tsar of Love and Techno" today and couldn't put it down.  Between that and my podcast obsession (Reply All, This American Life etc.) I am getting "nothing" done.  :)

Friday, January 1, 2016


Hello dear Blog Travelers,

Today is the first day of 2016 and one of my intentions is to create a blog to keep track of this next year.  You can read my "About" page in the tabs above to learn a little more about me.

I began one painting and plan to work on a banner yet today to put up in my antique shop booth.  It is time to pull down Christmas and prepare for Valentines.  I feel like Walmart accept they had their Valentines out before Christmas.   This banner can be used for more than just one day.

I changed out my calendar this morning.  I had several to choose from.  I have a hard time deciding what calendar I like best.  I'm terrible.  They must "feel" right.  The freebies are beautiful but the energy isn't right.  I bought an adorable giant Owl one but it is too big.  Then I bought one from Russian Life  and it is the winner!  Not only a hefty calendar, it is the right size, the calendar part is done in black so I can see it across the room and the photographs are splendid!    I discovered Russian Life magazine a year ago and have fallen in love with their products and Russia!  I highly recommend them.

Ok, here is my work in progress painting.  Don't laugh...(snicker).