Friday, August 30, 2013

Flower Friday

The weather has gotten so unusually hot here on the North Coast, that before writing this post I just accomplished all my chores for today ~ and it's only 8:45am. 

People who live where it routinely gets way hot, like anywhere north of 85 degrees in my book, can't understand why 83 in Fortuna is such a big deal.  Well for us, it is.  Eureka broke two high temp records in the past couple weeks alone.  We're not used to this here, we live near the coast, it's just not supposed to get that hot where we live.

The enervation of this week's heat plus the fact that I threw out my lower back last weekend and have been recovering by laying flat (after a chiropractic adjustment on Tuesday) for most of the week, together have conspired to bring me to a new awareness ~ I've found that I just love laying on the couch, reading and dozing.  And since I don't sleep that well at night anymore, my new-found do-little activity has numerous benefits.

I continue to read a couple of novels each week (still heavily entrenched in Nordic Noir and becoming more so).  Also been catching up with a few good TV programs online (the only way to watch them imho).  And doing a little art.  As long as I'm enjoying what I'm doing, that's all that counts.  Life is to be enjoyed, in whatever ways we each find to do that for ourselves.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Recently Gifted

I created this journal for a dear friend in GA who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Her chemo starts today and the journal arrived yesterday, just in time.

The book is 9 x 6 inches.  The cover- and endpapers are from a book of fashion designs by Roberto Capucci.  He worked exclusively in silk.  My friend is a textile designer (among other things)...these luscious papers were a no-brainer for her special journal.

The book is filled with recycled papers, mostly from art/craft publications, and includes numerous pockets and fold outs.  The book is bound with the Lightning Bolt stitch, my go-to stitch for two-signature journals.

Use it well my friend.  Write your way back to excellent health.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Good Mail Days

Incoming Mail, August 17
I've had some outstanding mail days recently.  Saturday and Monday brought all these goodies to me, from home and abroad.

Incoming Mail, August 19

These two cards went out last week ~ along with a lot of other mail that I didn't photograph.

These cards and envies (envelopes) are going out today, along with four Postcrossing postcards.

I made a new batch of envies on Monday.  These will get further embellishment before they're sent on their way to the recipients.

Monday, August 19, 2013

On Display

A selection of my handmade journals is on display now at the Humboldt County Public Library in Eureka.  This was the best photo I could take through the glass when I was in town last week.  Lots more photos are available on NorBAG's blog.

This is what I say about my books ~ "My interest in book arts is focused largely on creating journals from recycled materials. I make "art" journals, as distinct from writing journals—that is, books with pages that might be painted or collaged on in addition to some narrative text. My journals aren't "about" anything in particular, but exist to be filled in some creative way, thereby becoming something special as each one is used.

I fill the journal with pages made from recycled book and (heavyweight) magazine pages, journal and accounting paper, sheet music, wallpaper, my own hand printed papers, scrapbook paper, drawing paper, old envelopes—anything that can withstand being folded and bound. I often cover books with hand painted or printed papers, hand dyed fabrics, or recycled upholstery samples. I use different methods of binding each journal using one of a variety of hand bookbinding stitches."


Library hours are ~ Tuesday 12 - 5pm; Wednesday 12 - 9pm; Thursday - Saturday 10am - 5pm.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Inside Job

A footnote to yesterday's post...

I learned that Microsoft has stopped offering Windows Live Mail ~ which is why it suddenly wasn't accessible.  Sheesh, you'd think maybe they'd let users know these things, like Google did well in advance of the demise of Reader.  Also no longer available in Windows are those cool gadgets you could place on your desktop...I  especially liked the weather ones. 

My local tech informed me that Microsoft is moving much of its software to cloud technology, as Adobe has with its Creative Suite, Photoshop, etc.  Newbies to or upgraders of Adobe now have to pay a monthly fee to access software that's located on a cyber cloud. 

You can't convince me there isn't a multitude of potential security problems with cloud technology.  I'd never go that route.  As far as photo editing goes, there are countless free programs available online, and if my Photoshop Elements 7 ever goes belly up, I simply won't replace it with Adobe software.

Likewise with Windows operating systems.  Apparently Microsoft plans to support Windows 7, which I use and like quite a lot, through 2020.  But the next time I need a new computer, I'll most likely buy one that runs on Linux, which, for the uninitiated, is Open Source...meaning it is not owned by a gigantic corporation that's more interested in their own bottom line than in providing a fool-proof product.  Mozilla products like Firefox and Thunderbird are also Open Source and free.  And constantly upgraded by a virtual army of supporters and techies.

Power to the people.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sweet Truth

First it was problems with Google affiliated programs.  This week it was Microsoft tanking, Windows Live Mail specifically.  After two days of no email client service, I just this morning got myself setup at Thunderbird, which is a Mozilla/Firefox email client program.  It took me just an hour to set up my new account, create folders for saved email messages and groups in my contact list, import my contacts from Windows Live Mail, copy and paste old messages, and flesh out my contact groups.  I'm good to go.

For those who don't know, an email client is a program that sits on your computer and acts as an interface between your computer/your hard drive and a server like Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.  If your email address ends with a "@gmail.com" or "@yahoo.com" or "@hotmail.com" and likely others, then you do NOT have an email client.  The client is installed on your computer, not on the server itself.

I highly recommend using an email client...the most notable reason is that without an interface, all your contacts and all your sent and received messages live on the server.  This is how emails get hacked.  Hackers log into a server and lift all your data off, yours and numerous other people.  Your data is simply not secure on a server.

All my contacts are on my hard drive ONLY -- as well as sent messages, etc.  Hackers can't get to my contact list to send spam to my contacts.  My email has never been hacked. 

I once, though, used the yahoo server to check email when I was working.  I had a few contacts on the server, duplicates of what I had on my hard drive at home.  Eventually that account did get hacked, fortunately there were only 5 or 6 people in that contact list, but they did receive those stupid spam emails we've all gotten when our account has been hacked.  I removed the names from the server at that point.  The problem is, once your account has been hacked, removing contacts from the server will not stop fallacious emails from going to those contacts again -- the hackers already have the info, they don't need your list any longer.  Better to get your base of email operations off the server entirely.

Anyway, enough said about that.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

La vie est belle

My apologies to those of you who just recently signed up to be on my in-house email list...Windows Live Mail is down for some reason, and although I can send and receive emails via the server, I cannot send emails to any groups I have on my hard drive.  Hoping that situation gets resolved soon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Recent Painting

This piece began as one of the college exercises I did while watching Jane Davies' DVD.  Originally I'd used only hand printed/painted papers.  I began turning it into a painting a couple weeks ago, and finished last week.

Handmade paper, newspaper, commercial collage paper and Golden fluid acrylics on watercolor paper, 11 x 7-1/2 inches.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Weekend

My Altered Book-Recycled Journal workshop took place on Saturday in Arcata.   It was a rousing success.  Everybody who attended learned a lot and had a blast, and very cool altered books were made by all.

This is the book I made ~ it was a newer book to begin with, so I completely recovered it with atlas pages.  The front cover sports a map of western Canada, while eastern Canada graces the back cover.

My new journal is 9-1/4 x 6-1/4 inches, filled with a variety of recycled papers.  There are numerous pockets and fold-outs within, and yesterday I edged many of the pages with washi tape.  Binding stitch is the Double X stitch, ala Keith Smith.

I think I might use this journal for my next Everyday Journal ~ although I don't expect to finish the current one I'm working in until the end of this year.

In other news ~ I've been reading a lot again...and largely I've been focusing on Scandinavian mystery, now called Nordic Noir.  My love of this genre began with Stieg Larsson (The Girl... series) and then Henning Mankell (Wallender series).  Larsson and Mankell are Swedish.  Then I moved on to Jo Nesbo's (Norwegian) Harry Hole series.  I recently began reading Arnaulder Indridason's books -- he's Icelandic -- and I think it was Alice at Weaverly who turned me on to him.  I pulled a new-to-me Danish author off the library shelf the other day and finished the book in a couple days ~ The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dept. Q series). 

Two other Nordic authors I haven't read yet but will soon are Peter Hoeg (Danish), who wrote Smilla's Sense of Snow among others, and James Thompson, who's Finnish.

And since we're talking about mystery, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Michael Connelly, my favorite American noir author.  If you haven't yet read him, his book are highly recommended.  But start at the beginning of the series, with The Black Echo.  Here's a list of Connelly's book in order.  Most of his books take place in Los Angeles, my hometown.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Resolution

Last night I published an update to yesterday's post, and in case you missed it, here it is again.  The bottom line ~ You can set up a Bloglovin' account to either read blogs online at Bloglovin' or set your account to receive blogs by email.  OR you can contact me if you want to be on my in-house email list.  Whatever works for you, it's all good for me.  If you choose to go with me directly, you'll get a confirmation from me that you're on the list.

The image is another recent collage painting, hand printed/painted paper and Golden fluid acrylics.  On canvas board, 10 x 8 inches.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

This Just In...

I was just made aware of the fact that Bloglovin' allows you to receive email notifications for the blogs you follow.  So once you open an account with them, you do not have to go to Bloglovin' to read blogs -- they'll be delivered right to your inbox if you choose.

Once you set up your account, go to settings/notifications, and make your selection there.  If you choose "no emails," then you can read everything online, as I do.

And a follow up to that last bit I wrote this morning about Blogtrottr ~ I've been waiting ALL DAY for my account to be approved as well as to confirm that I have subscribed to my own blog via their service.  Their support people emailed to let me know it would be as long as 5 days until they can look into the matter.  Bottom line:  not a service I'll recommend.

So -- to recap:  You can set up a Bloglovin' account to either read blogs online at Bloglovin' or elect to receive blogs by email.  OR you can contact me if you want to be on my in-house email list.  Whatever works for you, it's all good for me.

More On That...

More on yesterday's post about subscribing here via email...

I've looked into my own existing Feedburner account, and on this blog, there are 90+ of you who subscribe by email.  Email updates are currently being provided to you via Feedburner.  At some time in the future, and no one knows exactly when that will be, you'll stop getting updates to this blog.

However, yesterday I added a widget to my sidebar for you to contact me directly if you want to subscribe to this blog by email.  I have created my own in-house (in-studio? in-cottage?) subscriber list in my mail program, and I'll send out an email to that list with a link to each new post I publish here.

Many of you on the existing Feedburner email-subscriber list are personal friends, or close online pals -- I think you all know who you are.  I'll automatically put you on the new list.

If you're unsure if you're in the above small group, or you're sure you're not and you want to continue to read this blog via email, please Contact Me and I'll put you on my own list.  I won't use this email subscriber list for anything other than that.  If you're a friend, you might be on other lists of mine that I occasionally send something to.  But the email subscriber list will be reserved for just that.

I'll be building my new list in the next few days and will start sending my own email updates to those on the list next week.  This means that until Feedburner does burn up and go away, you'll be getting duplicate updates on my blog posts.  One will come from me directly, one will come via Feedburner.  To UNsubscribe to the Feedburner update, go down to the bottom of any one of the updates you get from them, and there should be an UNsubscribe option there.  If at any time in the future you want to UNsubscribe from my in-house list, just drop me an email and I'll be glad to remove you.

There's another service that you can use to subscribe by email to blogs, called Blogtrottr.  I just found out about this...in fact I'm still waiting for my account to be approved as well as to get confirmation that I've subscribed to my own blog.  Blogtrottr is free to both parties, so perhaps it'll be a viable option to Feedburner, if it isn't already.  Once I get approved, I'll put Blogtrottr's FEED ME button on my sidebar if you'd prefer to use that instead of putting yourself on my in-house list.

I hope this isn't all too confusing ~ any more than it is already for everybody online.  With Google Reader's death and Feedburner on the way out, one wonders whether Google, in its very strange business strategy, will decide to can Blogger as well...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Leap of Faith

I'm sure most of you were impacted recently by the demise of Google Reader.  I tested out a few alternative readers earlier this year and finally settled on Bloglovin' to aggregate the 130+ blogs I read.  If you haven't checked it yet, I encourage you to give it a try.

Now Google is going to be doing away with Feedburner, a service that both enables readers to easily subscribe to blogs via email or blog reader, and provides detailed subscriber activity to blog owners such as myself.

If you are subscribed to my blog and getting email updates, you'll eventually stop getting updates, if you haven't already, when Feedburner goes away. I recommend you subscribe via Bloglovin'.

Otherwise, for those of you who don't have your own blogs, Feedburner's demise will be transparent.  For those of us who do, however, it means either finding an alternative (such as FeedBlitz), or simply not giving a toss anymore about subscriber activity.  Seeing as nearly every alternative will cost the blog owner (Feedburner has been free), I'll be in that latter group of blog owners who decide not to attempt to manage subscribers.

The alternative services all provide a lot more than just counting blog subscribers; they give the ability to send emails to subscribers...something I've always stayed away from because I think it's invasive to assume that just because you read my blog you also want to get emails from me promoting stuff.

In any event, if you haven't yet subscribed to this blog, or you are subscribed via email (via Feedburner) there's a new link on my sidebar to do so via Bloglovin'.  If you don't already have a Bloglovin' account, it's a snap to set up and easy to use.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Recent Outgoing Mail

Some recently sent mail art.  It's about half U.S. and half international mail.

I'm taking slower days for myself this week, leading up to my NorBAG workshop in Arcata this Saturday.   Teaching always takes a lot of energy, especially for this normally-introverted soul...I can't imagine how so many people teach virtually all year round and travel extensively to do it. 

Although my workshop this weekend, making an Altered Book/Recycled Journal, will be more fun than work for me.  Contact me for more information if you want to participate.

I've been on the hunt recently for an old, manual typewriter to use for mail art projects.  A dear friend gave me her first typewriter, the one she'd asked for and received for her 8th birthday...but alas, it was way too hard for me to push the keys down on.  So I Freecycled that one to another gal, and luckily found myself a Smith Corona Clipper portable at SCRAP in Arcata last week.  These things are virtually impossible to come by in my neck of the woods.



In addition to mail art, I've been painting a bit and creating art journal pages in spurts.  Although moving more slowly than usual this week, until my workshop is over.  Then I'll move forward on projects with renewed vigor.  That's the plan, anyway. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Painting, This Week

A small piece here, on canvas board, 6 x 8 inches.  Hand painted/printed papers and Golden fluid acrylics.