Creative Researcher Of New Experiences

Thursday, March 24, 2011

ATC's onThoughtful Thursday

Hello everyone,

Today I wanted to ponder for a little while on the attribute of quality. Doing the best you can - not settling for doing an adequate job just to get you by.

“One of the rarest things a man ever does, is to do the best he can.” Josh Billings

As you all know I love to spend my time making pretty things - but I just hate to create just to create. The house gets over run with too many of my art pieces and both Sir Knight and I have the packrat gene - so things like this have a tendency to escalate into mounds of pretty stuff. That’s why I like joining these swaps and making ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) - I get a chance to be creative - and I don’t have a pile of my stuff laying around - yes I know I have other peoples stuff I hang on to - but that is different. Really it is.

Once again I joined two swaps for this month because I love the challenge to work with the different varying themes and because it pushes me and my muse to strive for quality work.

“Quality is everyone, responsibility.” W. Edward Deming

So let me share the fruits of this months labors with you.

The Blissful ATC Swap is the first part of the month and this months theme was a special picture which Wendy gave us that had to be used in whole or in part in the card. I told my self I was ready - but after seeing the picture I really wasn’t so sure.

Here is the picture we were given to use.

My partner for this swap was the extremely talented Donna over at Brynwood Needleworks - so I will say I was intimidated a bit right from the get go. If you have ever been over to her blog - you know her work is just gorgeous. Our e-mails indicated that both of us were rather stumped on what to do with the picture - so at least I felt like I was on a more even playing field. So we both thought and thought and then got to work.

Here is the card Donna sent me. It is made entirely out of fabric - using silk and even silk thread. Oh be still my heart - It is beautiful. And I love it. Look at those pretty beads, OH my!!!! If that wasn’t enough she also sent me a beautiful journal - which carried through with the dragonfly theme. Love it Donna, thank you so very much.

In my minds eye I knew that this needed to be oriental - but how to execute - that was the problem So my first attempt was mostly done digitally using an oriental temple as my background - adding some writing and this cute little girl - holding the card and a potion of the card used as a moon. But when I printed it and sat looking at it I hated it - It was much to busy .

Card # 1 - (rejected)

Card #3 (sent)
not sure why blogger loaded it in out of order

Car #2 (sent)

So I started again and this time I used an old historic map of the silk road as my background - added an oriental dragon to the map and my little girl from the first try. I printed it out and it was adequate - but I still wasn’t pleased I added it to a red brocade background to give it little bit of pop and add a pair if blue dragonflies - I called it Traveling Along the Silk Road. It was getting better but I told Sir Knight I still wasn’t sure about it.

So the next day I made my third card - the good old fashioned way - by hand . I quilled dark brown paper to form a branch and then hand water colored the petals for my Japanese Cherry blossom (No paper I had was just quite delicate enough for me - so I mad my own) Then I added my little girl holding the card - by this point I was quite attached to this little girl - also again used the idea of the circle on the card being a moon and attached a gold dragon fly. Titled this one Dragonfly Moon.

Now this I liked but I wasn’t sure which one would appeal to Donna. So I sent her both of them - told her to keep the one she liked best and throw the other out if she wanted.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; It represent the wise choice of many alternatives.” William A. Foster

To be honest I’m still not sure I can say that either of the cards - really struck a cord with my soul - so using that picture sure was a challenge for me.
We got our Treasure Barn Partners around the 11th of the month and the theme for this month was shamrocks. My partner was Tiffine, in the sunny state of California and since her computer was down for repairs - I wasn’t able to get a feel for her personality or her likes and dislike - but I pressed on.

This one is titled Shamrock Wishes

Tiffine sent me two cards look at these are they not lovely. They are beautiful and I love them. Thank you so much Tiffine.
The title of this one is Saint Patrick

The card she sent with both ATC's

Here is the card I made - Using a book theme as my background - I copied a cute little child’s rhyme about shamrock on one page of the book and used a vintage little lassie on the other page. Of course - there is a bit of glitter -you know me - it’s not finished until the glitters on. I then added a ribbon bookmark and a few emerald green gems. And titled it: The sweet symbol of Ireland.

Then of course I made a card to send with it.

“It is easier to do a job right; than to explain why you didn’t.” Martin Van Buren

Now if that wasn’t enough excitement for a month I received another surprise in the mail today - Its envelope battered and worn, stamped and restamped -I think the poor thing traveled the country a bit before reaching me. The original post mark says March 5th so it may even have traveled the silk road . Who knows.

Here is the card from my partner in the Blissful ATC Swap from February. Titled Shelter from the rain.

The cards with her card.

Wow this has almost turned into a novel - so I best stop for the evening.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Mancat Monday

Hey Evfurryone,
Genghis here. Boy am I glad it's Monday - not just because I get to visit with all of you again and I especially like that part of Mondays - cuz I start to miss all of you - But also, because we had such a busy weekend around here. I was really glad to see Sir Knight head off to work this morning - I figure Pellie and I will need to rest while he is gone.

So what did we do you ask? Work, work and more work.

On Friday night - bear and I (we share the basement apartment at night), told Sir Knight that we were awful tired of that darn machine in the back room making so much noise - it interferes with our beauty sleep. So he checked it out and agreed with us that it was about time it got replaced.

First thing Saturday morning, they went to the store and bought a new machine and a bunch of other things Sir Knight thought would need replacing, to make the machine work better.

Then we all got to work. The old machine was hauled out of the hole it sits in and boy was it icky - no wonder it sounded like it was on its last leg. It was. Pellie thought that maybe it was 15 years old and both beans agreed that is old for a machine like this. So I guess it served us well and now it gets to head off to the big junk yard in the sky. Sir Knight set to work getting the new machine ready to put down in the hole, and he found he didn't have enough parts after all - so he had to head back to the store, while Pellie bailed water out of the hole and dumped it outside in the back yard. I of course was busy snoopervising - watching the hole to make sure the water didn't come up over its rim and warning Pellie if it looked like it might. Sir Knight was back in record time and got to working on the machine - in between carrying the heavy buckets of water upstairs for Pellie. Finally the machine went into the hole and it pumped the water out of the hole for us. Yeah!!!! Boy it does it's job real fast and is soooooooooo quiet bear and I slept like babies Sat night.

After cleaning up the mess in the basement we all headed upstairs and then out to the garage, where we had to nicely pack up all the Christmas decorations that had been haphazardly thrown into the garage when it was cold and snowy. We folded everything up nicely and put it all away in it proper place. - now, I won't have to worry about things falling and breaking when I play in the garage.

That done; Pellie decided to bring up a few of her spring items to decorate the front of the house and had Sir Knight busy hanging all that stuff. Of course I was busy enjoying being outside in the fresh air again and only snoopervised when it was necessary.

Super moon not real visible - thanks to cloud cover.

Spring arrived - bringing with it a super moon (at least that's what the weatherman called it) and plenty of rain, with thunder and lighting. But according to the weather service - spring is just a date on the calender so far - cuz , we are told to be expecting snow again by Wednesday or Thursday.

Man I am so sick and tired of snow. I can't wait till there is nice tender shoots of grass to chew on and a warm sun to sleep under.

That light above the moon is lighting

Sunday was spent with Pellie packing up her snowman collection and starting Spring house cleaning. Sir Knight was kept busy building a few things for Pellies craft room. (Like she really needs more stuff in there) He built a roll around storage cabinet for her customized it to fit some of the supplies she wanted to store in it. Then he had to paint it.

I of course had to snoopervise each project.

I really do hate the feeling of wet paint on my paws when I forget and jump onto something like this new cart to check it out. I am also not crazy about Pellie chasing me around to wipe my paws - so I don't get paw prints all around the house.

When they had all that accomplished - they went out and did a little grocery shopping - so I had to check out everything they brought in and make sure it was good and had to tell them where to put everything.

Now I'm just plain old tuckered out. I think I will take a nap -before I go visiting all of you.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

Legend of Saint Patrick
Good St. Patrick travelled far, to teach God's Holy Word
And when he came to Erin's sod, a wondrous thing occurred
He plucked a shamrock from the earth and held it in His hand
To symbolise the Trinity that all might understand
The first leaf for the Father
And the second for the Son
The third leaf for the Holy Spirit
All three of them in one


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ides of March

Hello everyone,

Today is The Ides of March - and just what does that mean you ask? Well in the Ancient Roman calendar the days of the month are not numbered sequentially. Each month had three division days- kalends, nones and ides. Ides occurred on the 15th of the month (or on the 13th in months that had less than 31 days)
This system was used all over Europe until Pope Gregory introduced his new Calendar in 1584 Which is the universally used calender in use today.
So when Shakespeare wrote the his now famous lines in his play Julius Caesar - Beware the Ides of March everyone in his audience knew what he meant.

Today is also listed as Brutus day - (the dear friend of Caesar who participated in the plot to assignate Caesar.)
It is meant to be a reminder to all that in every office / group or gathering there is always a lot of intrigue, plotting and back-biting. Et tu Brute’ (and you to Brutus). Be ever vigilant - even a friend - may really be an enemy.

Not to be forgotten it is also True confessions Day. They say confession is good for the soul - as it frees one of guilt and regrets.
So I thought I’d confess/share a few unknown or little known facts about me.

I Just love going to auctions - and some times I can’t control my arm from going up to bid on something. It had a mind of it’s own - I’d swear to it. I am posting a few of the things that I bought at Last Saturdays Auction as eye candy among all the writing - it’s just there to be pretty and add contrast and has no relevance to the post.

I love reading History books. Not those sugary Historical fiction type things but real history - This is where my love of the Renaissance began - and why my husband and I love our shift in time and become Ren rats during the summer - visiting all the Different Ren Faires in our area.

Although I guess that since I am confessing - I need to be honest and say I did get totally caught up in one set of those romantic historical fictions. I read the entire Outlander Series by Dianna Gabaldon. And enjoyed it.

I am also a big fan of mystery books. I love to read well written murder mysteries my favorite authors being: Patricia Cornwell, David Baldacci , Elizabeth Lowell, Harlan Coben, and James Patterson. My all-time favorites for light reading in this genre are the Cat Who series by Lillian Jackson Braun and the Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae brown and Sneaky Pie Brown.

I 'd like to believe I live my life by the Golden rule.: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
I find that it’s not always an easy thing to do - especially when people are mean to you - but I do it because I believe that the wheels of Justice move slow - but they move and Karma can be a real *itch when it all starts coming back to you threefold.

I have little use for corporations, groups or people who maintain a double standard - one for themselves and their friends and another for the others who are not like themselves or their friends. I proved myself to be quite the dreamer when I figured all this kind of petty nonsense ended in grade school or High school at the very least. The very fact that People felt a need to have a Brutus day gives testimony to the fact that it never ends.

I have Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue and Depression (A very unholy trinity of syndromes) all of which I was lucky enough to inherit from my family. Overall deep muscle pain can be bearable during the daylight hours - but at night they become intolerable - so one gets less sleep - and this of course increases depression - add to that a long hard winter -and Seasonal Affect Disease (or cabin fever as most call it) .
I was told recently that my feelings must be too fragile to handle blogging and in the spirit of honesty and true confession I have come to believe that this may be a true statement.

Now I need to decide what I need to do about it. If I close my blog down and retreat into my own little world - Keep my blog open - but only to friends and family? - I wish I knew . I guess this gives me something to think about


Monday, March 14, 2011

Mancat Monday

Hello Evfurryone,

It's Monday again Yeah!!!!!!

Did you know that today is National Napping day? Founded in 1999 by Boston University professor, William Anthony and his wife Camille. Napping day is an unofficial holiday set aside to help people adjust to Daylight Savings Time and to promote health and productivity.

This picture borrowed from Wikipedia

It's also International day of Pi. No I didn't say pie I said PI (some mathematical number). Founded by physicist Larry Shaw - Pi day not pi itself - has become an international holiday celebrated live and online all around the world.

In honor of both of these auspicious holidays - I think I'll spend the day napping dreaming of pie - err I mean pi.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Do You Believe?

Hello everyone,

This morning when I awoke - the temperature was a chilly 26 degrees - but the weatherman assures us, that today it will be sunny with a heat wave of 50 degrees.

Oh! Can Spring be far behind? I hope not.

"And as the seasons come and go, here's something you might like to know. There are fairies everywhere: under bushes, in the air, playing games just like you play, singing through their busy day. So listen, touch, and look around - in the air and on the ground. And if you watch all nature's things, you might just see a fairy's wing. " ...Author Unknown

Do you believe in Faeries?

I do; and so look forward to the sun shining on my face and playing in the fields with them soon.

"When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy. So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl. Every time a child says, "I don't believe in fairies," there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead."
... James Matthew Barrie

"Nothing can be truer than fairy wisdom. It is as true as sunbeams." ...Douglas Jerrold

"Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels. But their magic sparkles in nature."
...Lynn Holland

"The fairy poet takes a sheet
Of moonbeam, silver white;
His ink is dew from daisies sweet,
His pen a point of light."
...Joyce Kilmer

"The Realm of Fairy is a strange shadow land, lying just beyond the fields we know." ...Author Unknown

I wanted to tell you about a most wonderful blog I just found and the wonderful giveaway she is having.
Ana over at Fairy Realm Creations has such a wonderful and inspiring blog; you might be interested in checking it out. Ana is having a giveaway right now - she made a totally awesome set of garden wind chimes, honoring the divine feminine and she will be giving them away. Lucky us.

If you are lucky enough to win them and if you believe, they just might attract some friendly fairies to your garden. At least that's what I'm hoping for.

Spread your wings and let the fairy in you fly!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Mancat Monday

Hello evfurryone,

As you can see we are still celebrating the Carnival Season here. I wanted to be the King of Misrule - but Pellie refused to make me a cool Jesters hat. She said I'd just pull it off and not wear it - yea I know she's right - but that doesn't stop me from wanting one.

Oh boy - did it take a lot of self control not to attack Pellie's head piece before they went to the ball. I wanted that big purple Feather so bad. But I was a good boy and left it alone.

All I had to do - to get my beads was flash my tummy.

I got beads in the the three main colors of Mardi Gras:

Green represents Faith
Purple represents Justice
Gold represents Power

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday - the day you eat up all the treats in the house that you won't be able to eat for the next 40 days - so you get fat and then get really depressed you can't have any more till Easter. Your kidding right? 40 days without treats of any kind?

Pellie, I don't want to go with out treats that long. Please don't make me go that long - I need treats. If you don't give me treats I'll have to bitey on you! (not that I'll want to, you understand) - but I have to bite on things and without treats to bite on - I don't know if I can control myself.

No Genghis you don't have to do with out treats that long - well just give you a few pieces less than you usually get. How's that? But remember you don't get to eat up everything on Tuesday this way.

Oh man - ok! As long as I still get a few treats every other day or so. I'll behave. / err I mean
I 'll live.

Well now I better do some visiting of my friends before nap time gets here.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

New purse for the Fur Ball

Hello everyone,

We are busy as little bee’s getting all of our things ready for the Annual Fur Ball / Masquerade Party for the Local Humane Society.

Yes it is Carnival Season once again - the last time to party before the rigorous fasts of the Lenten Season begins. This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and we Christians start preparing for the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ on Easter morning. Today’s culture is no where near as rigorous about fasting and doing penance for our sins as in days of old so the idea behind Carnival and Mardi Gras are lost in antiquity.

No. Really! It isn’t a time for getting drunk , and showing your boobs for brightly colored beads.

But then I digress - my post today is about Sir Knight’s and my preparations to get ready for our Masquerade Ball. Benefits of the party go to our local Animal Shelter -so we are thrilled to be able to attend this year.

Yesterday while I was laying things out to make sure we were ready -I was aghast -to find I didn’t have a suitable purse for the occasion. There was nothing I could do but make one - so I scavenged through the closets and found one of my moms old purses (probably about 20 years old) but only used once.

So here is what I began with. Pretty and maybe timeless - but so not me.

I had some crazy glasses Sir Knight and I picked up on one of our trips to the dollar store. - made some yo-yo flowers from Mardi Gras design fabric - cut a few little items from pictures I found on the web - and used some beads and coins I had left over from a party many years ago.

Here is what it looks like now - after I embellished it. And I will be linking this post up with Anna at Frosted Petunias Purse Challenge for March.

I think it’s the cat’s meow and will be the hit of the Ball this evening.

Got to run - we still have a few more things to get done before the party.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March First

Hello Everyone,

Well it is the First of March- and here in my corner of the Midwest we are expecting a rather balmy 40 degrees with no immediate storms of any kind in our weather forecast. I guess this qualifies as March coming in like a Lamb and we get to look forward to more unpleasant weather near the end of the month to fulfill the old saying - out like a Lion.

It is also time to choose a new self care card for March. The card that choose me this month was Tenderness. The motivating message on the back - says Speak gently to yourself. Cherish the child within.
This one may give me some problems - even as a child I had difficulties listening to my inner child.

Yep I'll definately have my work cut out for me with this one.

Patti over at the Treasure Barn has been hostessing an ATC swap - (and I must admit I think I’ve grown addicted to making these) - so you guessed it I joined hers as well.

The Theme for February was Butterflies to help us focus our attentions on the pretty things to come and not all the rotten weather we have been having.

Here is the card I received from my partner Lori. The Title is Rendezvous -
Isn’t it lovely. I just love it. Thank you so very much, Lori.

Lori's ATC and the card I received with it.

Here is the card I made for Lori, which I titled the Dance of the Butterflies.

I painted my background with acyclic paints - then found a floral spray that I felt complemented my background - cut it out and mod podged in place - Then I found the butterflies I felt would go with everything and cut them out and added them to the picture. I added just a touch of glitter to the one rose to add some glam and sparkle.

Here is the card I made to accompany my ATC on its trip .

Hmm I may be developing a latent addiction to glitter as well.. - Is that dangerous?

I don’t know for sure.

I ask you guys to help keep track of me - and when I start glittering up Genghis - I’ll know I’ve lost any semblance of sanity and need to head for treatment.

I wonder where they put us glitter addicts? Is it a pretty place with glittered wall or some dark and dreary forlorn place. UGH!