Tuesday, September 30, 2008

W.I.P (work in progress)

part of a W.I.P. and a finished pair of earrings...yeah!

Just one sleeve to go and the finishing. The sweater I am making is the one on the blonde model. It is from a Rowan pattern book. I love Rowan yarns and patterns. The books are eye candy and the yarns are amazing. What projects are you working on?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Do you remember....

this song?. Bib overalls, British street urchin look. Some friends and I wore our bib overalls like Eileen in the video to the Oregon Country Fair that summer. Ummmm...would not be caught dead doing that now. Isn't amazing how music can capture a mood or period of time? When I think of high school I think of the Police, U2 (Boy, War, October), the Kinks, The Jam, English Beat, Squeeze, Style Council, the Clash and yes, Dexy's Midnight Runners and Big Country and these segued into Zeppelin, the Who, the Doors, the Stones, Dylan and the Dead, Bob Marley, Creedence Clearwater Revival my senior year and into my freshman at University. Those bib overalls were rather versatile really, street urchin to hippie chick. I think I need to get another pair of bib overalls...

What music defines your wild and crazy days?

Monday, September 22, 2008

My house is a very, very, very small house...

Six hundred and eighty eight square feet small in fact. Two adults and three cats live quite nicely here. There is a "studio" in the back of the garden where I keep most of my art/craft supplies. The single car garage serves as storage and computer room. I have had 12 people over for brunch and all have been quite content. (I did have to get creative as I ran out of chairs.)
In the summer the large back yard has made it possible to have larger numbers of folks over for parties. I feel quite happy about the size of the house for the most part. Another bathroom would be nice and an actual dining room would be lovely BUT we have lived here for seven years quite happily. Sometimes I feel like I am missing out by not having a bigger house. I am not sure what exactly I feel I am missing other than a larger mortgage, but sometimes I feel not quite an adult. When people hear how many square feet the house is, most get a confused look on their face. Here is an example conversation:
THEM: Surely you mean 1688 square feet!
Me: Nope.
THEM: My walk in closet is bigger than your house!
Me: Yep.
THEM: Yeah, 3500 square feet. All 2.5 kids have their own rooms with internet access and chock full of toys, clothes etc. Gourmet kitchen, not that we actually eat at home much with Buffy going to field hockey practice and Biff going to young Republican meetings along with the dog's yoga class and....whatever other activities fill in their hours.
Another classic conversation is...
Them: You don't have a cell phone? (a panicky look on their face starts to form as their mind kicks into overdrive trying to come up with a translation they can understand. )
Me: Nope.
Them: You mean you don't have it with you RIGHT NOW, BUT YOU DO HAVE ONE?!
Me: talking slowly and clearly...No! I don't have a cell phone.
What really sends people over the edge is when I tell them I don't have cable either. Guess what? I don't want it.
There are so many "things" out there that are considered essential and people blindly accept that they NEED to have them. A large house, a new car every year or so, a cruise (gag!) to Alaska or some other destination . The latest fashions, gadgets, doo hickeys or thingamabobs. What frustrates me is all the talk of wanting things to be different, but continually doing the things that ensure things will stay as they are. Shopping as therapy, recreation and reason for being. Insisting on lots of cheap merchandise, regardless of the true cost to the environment and the people who make the stuff. Having to find room for all the cheap merchandise once it is purchased . Spending more than one can afford to try to satisfy that sense of something missing. Driving everywhere-including the gym to get some exercise. The things we do each and every day contribute to the state of our mental well being as well as impact the environment where we live and around the world. It's great to recycle but wouldn't it be better to not have all of the stuff in the first place? These are things I am thinking about, what about you?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Random pics of Wales & England

The weather we are having today makes me feel "homesick" for the U.K. I say "homesick" in quotations because it isn't my place of birth, but rather the place I feel most at home. Growing up, I was always the odd kid. My family was/is very white bread America. I read a lot. After a certain point I didn't eat meat. That in and of itself was cause for scandal. I grew up rather isolated from other kids as we lived on a farm. My cousins were the main playmates for my brother and I and they didn't visit too often. They were not really compatible anyway, their main focus was ATVs and shooting things. My maternal grandparents were a bit more "worldly" but they lived on the coast. When I would go to visit them, I would hear folk and fairy tales. My grandmother would swear that pixies and fairies would visit her. I gobbled that sort of thing up. It was much more colorful and alive than the fire and brimstone that my other grandmother would offer. She meant well, but hearing about the suffering of Christ on the cross for MY sins when I wasn't even old enough to have sinned was no match for leprechauns, pots of gold, banshees, brownies and the like. We would hunt for moss, rocks, shells, seed pods and twigs and she would spin amazing stories about them. Seals would become selkies, sea birds were the souls of sailors lost at sea. When it was time to go back to school my head was full of fantastic images and no one to share them with. I spent a lot of time in the library. When I was about nine, I determined that I had been intended for a family somewhere in the U.K. and somehow had been misdirected to this unsuspecting family in rural Oregon. When I finally mentioned this theory to my mom, she said she had often wondered who I got switched with and of course how glad she was that it had happened. Clearly, my feeling of being a misfit started early.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Food for thought

If you haven't seen Tim Wise's writing on white privilege click here. Thanks to Elena for emailing me this.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

and the Fickle Finger of Shame award goes to......

To my mind this Amaranth looks a bit like it is flipping someone off. Hmmm who would I (meek and mild mannered as I am) want to flip off? Who makes me really upset, angry and generally grumpy? Let's see, George Bush Sr and Shrub, Sarah Palin, Ted Stevens, John Negroponte, Tom Delay, John McCain, Karl Rove, Scott McClellan, Jack Abramoff, Oh, oh, Bill O'Reilly, Rupert Murdoch, actually anyone that works for FOX news, Trent Lott, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Jerry Falwell, Rush Limbaugh, and Newt Gingrich for starters. These were just a few of the "winners" that came to mind without too much thought, so many more. Their outstanding contributions towards the ruin of America and the world include (but are not limited to): lies, lies, lies, fraud, corruption, deceit leading to war, stupidity, bigotry, racism, promoting BAD journalism, intolerance, raping of the environment, greed, and in the case of Bush Jr. being a grinning idiot. Dishonorable mention goes to the American voters that voted for this regime.

Betsy says Barack for President!

I have wanted to do a T shirt with a picture of my lovely and very savvy hen Betsy McGoo and the phrase Barack, Barack, Barack for President! for awhile. I haven't done it yet so this will have to do for now.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hey Boo-Boo!

I have had this picnic basket for about 22 years! I got it at a flea market when I was just out of high school. I have used it probably at the most 3 times. I think I need to have some picnics before the weather turns this year. A thermos of tea, some sun dried tomato, pesto, cream cheese and basil sandwiches with some veggies and hummus, and some apples for dessert sounds good to me. I think a visit to here would be a good destination for an afternoon. Check out their goat hotel!!! I love going out there. It isn't organic so I don't usually get any produce. I mainly like to go out and see the critters. I love goats and sheep. Gosh, I often wonder why I was hell bent to get off of the farm when I was a teenager. Enjoy your weekend whatever you do!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Here Birdy, Birdy...

This little lovely was a birthday gift from my very talented in so many ways, creative, rock star, belly dance friend Alysse check out her blog and you can get to her etsy store from there. If you are local, check out her wares at the UO street faire coming up! Look closely at the cat's whiskers and you will some little birdies! I love my art quilt! Thanks Aly!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Finding my voice.

This picture has nothing to do with anything in particular.
I think about my blog a lot during the day. Things I want to say and how to say them. I think about other people's blogs a lot during the day also, especially Angelina's and Riana's thought provoking ones. I think about who I know that might read what I write and what they might think. I have been kind of floating along in limbo not sure what direction to head this blog in. I have so many ideas and opinions jostling around in my head. I am often overwhelmed with them all, but when the time comes to actually write something they fly away. If I can hold on to one or two of them long enough to start to write something then there is usually a visit from SELF DOUBT. That usually involves a barrage of questions like: What do you know about the subject, anyway? Are your facts straight? People are going to disagree with you, are you sure you want that? Are you sure about that punctuation? Gosh, do you want people to think you're a freak? So I think I need to look at it from the angle of what do I want to get out of it? I want/need to connect with people that are actively trying to figure out where they fit in this crazy world. I don't get much satisfaction from my job. I am definitely a square peg amongst a bunch of round ones there. I don't think America is the greatest country on the planet. We could be so much more than we are now. I think we could be capable of great things but it isn't going to happen under this regime and if McPalin get in, not then either. I AM A BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL in a sea of conservatism.
On top of all that, I am doing just about the most unpatriotic thing I could do other than burning a flag. I am trying to curb my consumption of STUFF. I have fallen into the retail therapy mindset far too often. Looking for someTHING to make me feel better because I had a bad day at work or was feeling lonely or needed to feel different. This change in thinking has been percolating for several years and now I am now trying to put some of my ideas into action. Our society is geared towards the consumption of goods, the more the better at the cheapest cost possible. Check this out here for an informative and disturbing read. I read this on Riana's blog.

more randomness...

Recent pictures of me. Wow, I look different in my mind. I really, really hate having my pictures taken. I took about 70 of myself today. Wish I would've stayed out of the sun when I was younger...

living room pic
another living room pic....

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More random pictures

Garden art by Grayson for my house warming gift.
Metal pitcher plants in the garden made by Jack.
Kitchen window. The sun hanging thing is from Wales. I bought it from a now defunct garden store called Cobblestones about 20 years ago.
Some funky Echinacea flowers. I can't remember the variety right at the moment.
A lame, dark picture of my fabulous birthday present. The vintage, like new cake carrier! My beautiful and generous friend Karen found this gem at a yard sale I think. She presented it to me filled with lemon cupcakes for my birthday last month.
View of window above sink, lace panel from yard sale provides much needed blocking of neighbor's bedroom window...Sadly the green and white little vase is no longer in one piece.
Sorry for the crappy picture, I am getting a new camera soon. Yeah!!! This is one wall in my kitchen.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A big shoutout to Grayson in Texas!!!!

This is my friend Grayson and Frodo. Grayson and I met through belly dance. I miss you chica!