Thursday, December 29, 2016


I'm kind of making up for lost time with my current collage output.  All I can say is, making these is addictive.  I'll be finished with my first Midori insert (16 folios, 32 spreads, 64 pages) in the next few days.

I'm thinking that after I use up the purchased inserts I already have, I'll likely make my own.  I've got so much paper...I've got a paper cutter...and everything else I need.

Not only has it been cold on the North Coast, but it's going to get colder still.  It may even snow down to sea level here next week!

Hard to believe 2016 is over.  Seems like it just began.  A year is hardly any time at all, anymore.

Possibly that fact is why I've been inspired to keep making art ~ collages at the moment.  Because as more time goes by, the less time there is left in my life in which to create.

Wishing you peace these last few days of 2016.    

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Use It or Lose It

Although I've been adding stuff to my collection of collage materials, I like that I've begun using things I've had for years that I haven't wanted to use previously.  Like, always saving the best for last.  The thing is, when I go, most if not all of what I've collected will end up in the landfill anyway.  So I might as well use it now, while I have the energy and inclination.  You know what they say, "Be good to yourself -- use your good china, wear the clothes you love the most," or something like that.  What am I saving this stuff for?  There's no one to inherit it.

A couple years ago when I began making mail art, my early love of postage stamps was rekindled.  So then I started collecting stamps, which I buy from a seller who comes to the local antique shows.  And then just putting them by country in clumps in plastic sleeves in a couple of binders.

I'm not a real stamp collector, I just like them, especially engraved stamps.  I decided recently to start using them in my collages, on mail art, wherever, instead of just collecting them to sit in binders.  At least that way I can see them and enjoy them.

Similarly with the old books I've collected.  I'm not really a collector of old books, I won't pay ridiculous prices for something just to have it, what I have isn't worth trying to sell and I don't want to anyway, so I may as well tear out pages or cut out illustrations to use in my art.  That's why I bought them in the first place, really.

And then there's cool scrapbook paper that I collected for bookmaking.  Some of this, now, is going into my collages.     

I've been using my collection of handmade fabrics in recent stitching projects.  Although I used the bulk of what I originally had in art quilts I made from 2008 to 2012, plus I sold quite a bit of it, I held back enough fabric that I really loved for future projects.  That's what I've been using for recent handstitched pieces.  And I still have enough to last me the rest of my life.

So...use it or lose it.

Hope you enjoy a peaceful holiday weekend.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Collages

I've done little else but collage and read this past week.
I do want to start a stitched something, and will likely go through my fabrics in the next few days to see what grabs my imagination. 

Meanwhile, sifting and sorting through papers, book pages, magazine images, washi tape, stickers and whatever else I can find, is bringing me joy.  And putting disparate things together even more so.

This spread is about as holiday-ish as I'm likely to get.

Wishing you peace, joy and happiness for the holidays, and always.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Things

Moonglow, 7.5 x 10.5 inches, handstitched, wholecloth ecodyed fabric

I'm on a bit of a creative roll, something that largely eluded me for much of 2016, despite the fact that I've slowly been producing a small body of handstitched works.

I've gotten enthused about a variety of things via Instagram, as I think I mentioned earlier.  It's being an telling journey, noticing who and what I'm newly or rebootedly interested in at the moment.

For instance, I'm following artists who are into paper goods and Japanese stationery, the world of Midori Travel Notebooks, modern calligraphy aka brush lettering, new ways with mail addition to painters, photographers, handstitchers, ceramicists.

The Midori Travel Notebook (MTN) subculture has really spoken to me.  I don't travel, and I no longer keep or use a calendar-type journal, but I love the format of the regular sized MTN, with inserts (the actual booklets you write in that are attached to the cover of the notebook and can be replaced when they're full) that are 4.25 x 8.25 inches.  And I love and always prefer grid paper, so I got grid paper inserts to work with.

And thus far I'm using mine as an art journal, as it turns out.  Committed to using stuff I've been collecting ~ washi tape, rubber stamps, postage stamps, old paper, illustrations from childrens' books.  There's something about the format that really works for me.

Brush lettering has really captured my imagination as well.  I've got out all my brush pens and italic-nibbed pens, and am thinking seriously about getting some lettering worksheets online.  It's all a matter of practice.  Before I invest, though, I'm considering whether this might just be another passing fancy (as genealogy appears to have been), or whether I'll actually work at it to become skillful. 

The stitched piece at top, Moonglow, is the latest in my SunMoonStars series.  This is a small piece (7.5 x 10.5 inches) of wholecloth ecodyed fabric.  Interestingly, it was more challenging than the other pieces in the series.  And now I'm ready to work with some color again.

I hope you're having a good lead-up to the holidays.  It's all being rather mellow for me; it usually is.

Be well.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Still Shining

Finished my latest SunMoonStars piece yesterday.  I'm calling it Still Shining, in honor of the fact that regardless of what happens in the world here and abroad, the sun will still be shining somewhere everyday.

This piece is 12 x 13 inches.  All fabrics were hand dyed.  I tried seeding for the first time, in the sun and its rays -- a ton of tiny stitches.  Went more quickly than I'd imagined, though.

I'm enjoying my days stitching and reading mostly, and spending some amount of time daily on Instagram, which I'm loving.  Many new-to-me artists, lots of inspiration.  The bonus is that the images, viewed on either of my Android devices, are to-die-for.  A completely different experience from seeing them on computer. 

Have a good weekend.  Enjoy the holiday season however you can.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

'Tis The Season

Art Journal collage, 2016

These are the last four days of my annual Holiday Sale at Etsy, which ends on Tuesday November 29. 


Currently all items are 30% OFF original prices.


But from now until the sale ends, use coupon code "CYBER16" at checkout and receive an additional 10% OFF all merchandise.


You must plug in the code "CYBER16" at Etsy checkout in order to get the additional 10% off.  Check out my shop here.

If you were following me on Facebook and wonder where I've gone, I've moved my social media presence over to Instagram (@constancerosedesigns).  All art, no politics, way better.  Look for me there.  There's also a link to my Instagram on the right sidebar.

I had a quiet Thanksgiving ~ I read Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch book, "The Wrong Side of Goodbye."  Great book and nice way to spend the day on my own, tucked inside all warm and cozy. 

I started work yesterday on another SunMoonStars piece, this one focusing on the sun.  Looking forward to working on it over the next week or so.

Hope you have a great weekend.  Support handmade art and artisans this holiday season.  Check out my Etsy Shop before the sale ends on Tuesday evening.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Eclipse ~ 13.5 x 14.5 inches, all hand-painted/dyed fabric (except black circles) all handstitched

Well, I'm still mighty stupefied, but I'm coming around to having to embrace reality.  My way of dealing is that I plan to pay as little attention to politics as possible for the next four years at least.

I already don't watch TV or read newspapers or mass market magazines, so that shouldn't be difficult for me.  I have quit Facebook again, except messenging.  I just read something somewhere where Mark Zuckerberg admitted he probably had a lot to do with Trump's election because FB notoriously doesn't filter real news from faux news.  Well duh.  I've had it with that shit.

Here's my latest stitched piece, another SunMoonStars cloth.  I'm calling it Eclipse.  Because, you know, everything we've known and thought about this country and the world is quickly being eclipsed by darkness and great harm ~ to individuals and vast groups of people, to life as we know/knew it, to democracy, to the planet.  Crap.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving week if you're American or celebrate the holiday.  I imagine a lot of folks are going to have a helluva time scraping up blessings to count this coming Thursday.  Enough said.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dark Days Ahead

Small section of a larger piece I'm working on
Difficult times are upon us here in the U.S., and in the world.  The fallout and sense of fear and uncertainty from last night's election results will be with us for a very long time.  Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they begin to get better...if they ever do improve at all.

In some ways nothing is any different.  Yet everything is very different.  It's another world entirely from the one we all woke up to on Tuesday morning.

Personally I don't feel at too great a risk of having my life changed hugely by what's to come.  Because I'm already so far down on the socioeconomic scale and yet have managed to arrange my life such that I still have a bit of wiggle room for some degree of things beyond my control.

But I'm really terrified for all the people who are going to suffer great losses in any number of ways, especially our brothers and sisters who are LGBTQ, Muslim, Black, Native American, Hispanic, differently-abled, other immigrants, and of course younger woman, all of whom collectively represent a huge percentage of people in this country.  And I'm sad and sick inside for what has become/what is becoming of America.  This is no longer the country I was born and raised in.  I don't know this place anymore.

I feel despondent, and speechless.  And numb.

I'm gonna take a hiatus here for a bit.  Do my retreat thing.  Go within, read a lot, be quiet as much as I can.

Blessings and love to all of you. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Dark Star

This is Dark Star, my latest piece in the SunMoonStars series.  Finished size is 12.5 x 13 inches.  All fabrics hand dyed except the star/flower fabric, all handstitched.  I enjoyed making this piece as I have the others in the series.  I really like working in a series around a theme.  So I'm planning to keep on with this.  The next piece is coming together on the work table now.

I'm having a Big Holiday Sale in my Etsy Shop right now through Tuesday, November 29.  All Items Are 30 Percent OFF Regular Price in the Shop!

There's more rain supposedly coming in over the weekend, but the last few days have been beautiful, with temps in the mid-60s and a fair amount of sunshine.

Hope your November is off to a good start.  Blessings.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sunny Day in Paradise

Sunny Day in Paradise is complete.  It measures 6-1/2 by 19 inches, is entirely handstitched, and all the fabric is handmade except the commercial border fabric.  I really enjoyed making this piece and I'm happy with the way it turned out. 

I learn something new -- or test out new techniques -- with each piece I make.  This piece and Hunter's Moon gave me the opportunity to try out running stitch, aka Kantha stitch, those areas where the stitches pucker the fabric to create interesting waves.  This is the same stitch one uses to create mokume gane, the shibori technique.  You essentially do the same thing as I've done in these pieces, only usually on a larger piece over a more extended area, then dye or discharge the stitched up fabric.  That was one of my favorite shibori techniques when I was dyeing, so I'm glad to be doing it again now with stitching only.

Contrary to the name of the piece, it's raining heavily as I write this.  It's such a treat to have real rain, especially this early in the season.  I've been cooking and baking a lot lately, and my freezer is full of goodies for the coming months.

You'll likely not hear from me before Hallowe'en, so have a safe and fun one.  I think Hallowe'en has eclipsed Christmas as the biggest decoration, and certainly dress-up, event of the year.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Work in Process

This is the piece I'm currently working on for another SunMoonStars project. The nine-patches are tiny, about 3-1/2 inches square.  I had satin stitched areas on three of the squares, but subsequently didn't like where it was going.  So I ripped all that out last night.  I've got something else in mind that I know I'll like better.  Any red threads you see are temporary basting stitches.

I'm just finishing up a really terrific book, Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.  Now I'm keen on cephalopods. 

We're having another rainstorm on the North Coast.  And it looks like we might have some rain for at least the next 10 days or so.  Could be we're in for a wet winter.  Wouldn't that be lovely!  Unfortunately, I don't think Southern California is due to get much if any rain, not in the immediate future anyway.

Hope you have a really great week!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hunter's Moon

Several days hence...and this is Hunter's Moon, in honor of the Hunter's Moon we're said to be having now.

Living as close to the coast as I do, invariably the nighttime sky is clouded over, hence I never get to see sky events ~ meteor showers, full moons, eclipses when they're visible in the Pacific Northwest.  Oh well.

Making this piece that I really love has done a lot to build my confidence.  I spent all day yesterday working on it and enjoyed every minute of it. 

One of the difficulties I've had in my artistic endeavors has been in trying to be too literal ~ the reverse of which could be summed up as not realizing I have an imagination I can put to use, if I'd only exercise it.  So I tend to be thrown to trying to replicate reality in some way, rather than fiddling around with elements regardless of whether the product might be wacky and unreal.  Who cares whether it's "real" or not?  Nobody. 

As Jude said in a comment to my last post, it's enough to just enjoy it. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Slow Going

Working on SunMoonStars now.  The first start didn't work for me, so I dismantled the column of five 3-inch squares into singles.  I'll use them elsewhere, quite possibly in something for this series.

But for now, I'm cobbling together bases on which to do further work, using scraps and odd bits as well as already-cut squares.

I'm not sure why it's being so difficult for me to just let go and stitch ~ stitch things together randomly, embroider with abandon, think outside the box, push the envelope.  I had the same kind of difficulty with painting.  A held-backness.

Things always appear to be easy when someone else does them, yet I struggle to just dive in.  This has kind of been a lifelong thing for me, a certain feeling of constraint.

I'm having a memory right now of when I was quite small, of coloring in coloring books.  My M.O. was always to heavily darken the lines with a colored crayon, and then fluidly fill in the space.  That says something to me about making sure my boundaries are secure before allowing myself to expand into the conscribed space.  I'd never let myself color outside the lines ~ that was a no-no.

I realize that I obviously didn't arrive at that all by myself when I was a kid, that I was responding to the messages I got from my environment.  Maybe I can sum up my life as being my best efforts to go outside the lines.  And although I've managed to do that in many and likely most aspects of my life, in my art, I've had far more difficulty stepping out.  So this isn't a new place where I find myself at the moment.  

At the risk of sounding defeatist, which I'm not really...perhaps I've hit my limit, an edge that I may or may not be able to go beyond.  I always like to think that I can go beyond, certainly always that I should.   But I don't know.  I might just be who I am (well of course I'm that!), have the level of talent or skill that I have, and this is what it is.

Something to think about, anyway.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Other Worlds

This is the little piece I've been working on.  I finished it a couple days ago.  I'm calling it Other Worlds.  It's 12 x 12 inches square.  The big dots are a variety of handmade fabrics.

So now I'm gravitating to doing some stitching along the lines of Jude's Sun-Moon-Stars theme.  I've got fabrics set aside and hope to dive in the next day or two.

Hope you have a good weekend. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Soup Weather

Art Journal collage, early 2016
I'm fairly certain I haven't posted this image previously.  I'm blogging from my tablet today and don't have access to my folder of not-yet-posted images.

That roll that I felt I was on, a couple weeks ago, has definitely been slow going this week.  I did finish the foundation piece I was working on, and am in process of basting it to a backing fabric.  I haven't gotten very far on that, though.  Just haven't felt moved to do much of anything this week except read, be off- and online, and just take care of hearth and home.

After a 3-day Indian Summer, fall has really set in.  It's soup weather.  I'm making a pot of minestrone as we speak.  Planning to make a lot of soup this year.  I've gotten too lazy to cook for myself every night, so pots of soup, which can last for weeks frozen, are right up my alley.  We're expecting rain this weekend ~ it's felt like rain for the last couple days.

My sinus problems appear to be gone, largely.  I'm very happy about that, obviously.  Now I'm occasionally adding back in some of the foods that I dropped from my diet nearly seven months ago, to see if I'm truly gluten-intolerant, or whether my body might just have been awash in histamine from a variety of sources back then, that it appeared that everything with even a speck of gluten in it caused major allergy symptoms.  The blood test I had in January sure didn't look like I was seriously gluten-intolerant, as the allergen levels were low-to-non-existent on nearly all the relevant foods.

I've added back in organic butter, and an occasional organic egg in something baked.  Last night I had sushi with rice.  So far, no problemo.  I've also been experimenting with gluten-free baking, trying to master the chemistry of that like I mastered the chemistry of cheesecake a few years ago.  I'll probably never bake a cheesecake again, sadly.

I read a fascinating history recently called Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Thompson, about T.E. Lawrence's role in Arabia during WWI.  And then saw the movie Lawrence of Arabia again last weekend.  Everything going on in the film finally made sense to me.  The book also provided a good grounding in understanding the realities of the continuing wars and general unrest in the Middle East.  The truth is very different from what we've been lead to believe.

Enjoy the last days of September.  October is my favorite month, so I'm looking forward to the shorter days and some gloomy weather.  Rain would be a bonus.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Wake Up Call

This is what I've been working on this week, although progress has been real slow.  Yes, it's little squares again, but the 64 pieces stitched together will produce a 12 x 12 inch foundation cloth on which I'll do further work.  The few bits placed on the left panel are merely being played with at the moment.

This has been quite a week.  I finally, in the end, decided I would get a cellphone, which I did earlier this week, and here's why:  On Sunday early evening, I started having heart palpitations.  Lots of them.  Nonstop for an hour and a half.  It scared me enough that I went to the E.R. and spent 3-1/2 hours there while they pumped me with saline solution, ran two EKGs, took blood, and observed me.  I'd had my neighbor drop me off at the E.R. and pick me up later when I was ready to go home.

While I was there, however, not having a cellphone, I couldn't contact anybody.  Nobody else knew I was there.  I felt terrifically isolated.  Thank god there was and is nothing wrong with me, and I've since learned not only that heart palpitations are pretty common (especially in this traumatic day and age we live in) but how to manage them on my own.  But...what if I'd had to be admitted to the hospital, or worse?  I was completely out of communication.

The heart thing had nothing to do with the recent sinus surgery.  More, they were and are about anxiety.  Having anxiety show up as heart palpitations is new for me...but we do change as we age.  I'm grateful that I had that initial experience and that I've learned what I need to do to deal with a racing heart, because I'm newly aware of how stress and anxiety are affecting me.  It was never obvious to me previously when I was under stress.  I'd just keep piling it on, or letting it happen with no way to gauge the impact.

Anyway, about that cellphone ~ part of my prior resistance had to do with redundancy or superfluity.  I really didn't want to have an excessively large amount or number of something. At the start of this year, I had a laptop/wifi in the house, an old digital camera, and a landline.  Now I still have those, plus a Kindle, a tablet, and a cellphone.  Oh well.  Whatever.  This is modern living, something else I've been avoiding like the plague for as long as I could.

Enjoy this first weekend of fall.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Clearing the Decks

I completed this piece yesterday, and it's as finished as it's going to be.  Meaning it has no backing and I'm not finishing the edges.  Perhaps it'll get added onto in future, or maybe not.  But it's done, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm ready to move on.

The unnamed piece is 15 x 22 inches, all commercial fabrics.

I'm feeling completely recovered from my surgery on Thursday.  The residual stuffiness is slowly tapering off, I'm glad to say.  I was pretty bummed on Friday when, after the nasal bleeding stopped, my right sinuses were really congested.  But I learned yesterday, when the surgical nurse called to check up on me, that temporary sinus issues are common following sinus surgery.  I have a post op appointment this coming Wednesday.

Anyhow, I'm back in the saddle again, and I have a number of ideas for new stitching projects which will likely not be quite so small-square focused.  Jude will be giving her Sun, Moon & Stars class for free, right on her blog as regular blog posts, beginning this Wednesday or Thursday, whichever day the equinox is.  I'm thinking I'll play or work along with the videos, in addition to other ideas I have in mind.

But largely, I want to move in a new direction with handstitching.  The ideas I'm currently considering are not new for me, it's just that I haven't executed them yet.  It's been easier for a while now to default to small squares than to stretch myself.  But now I'm feeling in the mood to push the edges design-wise.

Hope you have a great first week of autumn, my go-to season.

Friday, September 16, 2016

In Recovery Mode

I'm sitting in this very spot at the moment, in recuperation mode from yesterday's sinus surgery.  The procedure went well.  It was an interesting adventure being in the hospital for the morning.  I was treated exceptionally well. The staff who took care of me even gave me a Thank You note, thanking me for letting them serve me.  How 'bout that!

I was abed the rest of yesterday, but I'm sitting up today.  My head still hurts some, probably from the anesthesia, but I'm feeling better overall.  There is and was no pain at all from the procedure, for which I'm very thankful.

I managed to get a lot done on my latest stitching project, earlier in the week.  With any luck, my next post will show the finished piece.  It's nothing special, really.  But I like it.  And it got me thinking about future stitched pieces.

Mostly, for the next few days though, I'll be reading and resting.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2016

The End of the Line

Art Journal collage, 2016
I recently began working on my family history/genealogy.  It's a project that I'll spend time on over the next months, at least.  I have to pace myself because I can't sit at the computer for long periods of time; it's simply too hard on my back.

My grandparents were all Eastern European ~ Russian, Romanian, Austrian, Hungarian.  The former two countries, my paternals; the latter, my maternals.  Thus far I've been able to find more info about my dad's family than my mom's.

I'm working with, which is a free service of the LDS, where is their paid service.  I'll go as far as I'm able before I have to subscribe.  Thus far I've been able to find the answer to many of my initial queries.

Like that my maiden name, Berk, was shortened from Berkovitz by my Grandpa Ben.  And at about the same time, Grandpa's brother Joe changed Berkovitz to Burkhart.  I'd been wondering how my dad wound up with Burkhart cousins, which I remember from when I was a little girl in the 1950s.  Now I know.

Grandpa Benny and my Grandma Sara both came from large families, huge in Grandpa's case, with something like 10 siblings.  It's interesting to me that Ben and Sara only had one child, my dad.  I've been wondering why that might have been, but of course I'll never know for sure.  My ultimate quest here is to find out whether I have any 3rd or 4th cousins and if I can find them. 

Although I've spent more time so far on my dad's side, my initial search into my mom's side of the family turned up a couple siblings in my Grandpa George's family.  I actually only have, or had, one first cousin, my mom's brother Sidney's son, Michael.  He would be my age.  Haven't found him yet, dead or alive.

I can say this about these two families ~ on my dad's side, the families were large and appear to be, from what I've been able to tell thus far, cohesive.  I haven't yet turned up any evidence of divorce.  Whereas on my mom's side, the families were smaller and divorce featured from generation to generation, at least going back three generations.  Sometimes lately I've wondered to what degree many of the life issues I've dealt with were due to my parents' divorce when I was a preteen, alone or in concert with my NPD mother.  Divorce is a shattering experience for kids, at least it was when my parents were divorced in the early 1960s before "everybody" got divorced.  They say divorce runs in families; they're right.  I was divorced twice as was my brother.

At any rate, I am the end of the line for the Berk clan, at least my dad's spur.  No kids for me, and my brother had a daughter who never identified as Jewish anyhow.  So this is it.

In other news, my sinus surgery is scheduled for next Thursday, September 15.  I'm sure everything will be fine, the procedure I mean, but I'm still a tad nervous.  So glad it's just an outpatient thing, although it will be done at the hospital.  I don't like hospitals.

I'm slowly working on my new stitching piece but I only last night got a handle on where it might be going.  In general this isn't being a hugely creative period for me.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for reading. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Way It Is

I saw the ENT today.  He threaded a tiny camera up my right sinuses and confirmed that there's no infection therein, but the sinus that is blocked is so blocked with mucus, that he could not see whether it was only mucus in there or perhaps a polyp or other obstruction. 

So I'll be having an outpatient procedure in the near future where he'll go in and clean out that sinus cavity.  I'll be asleep during the procedure.  The only other options are steroids, oral or spray, which I simply will not do, or doing nothing at all.  I've opted for cleaning out the cavity.

I thought long and hard about whether I really wanted or needed a cellphone, and decided against one, in the end.  I simply can't justify it; but mostly, I don't want one.  I take a certain amount of pride in being a luddite ~ getting an android tablet is as far as I want to go with electronic devices. 

Meanwhile, I already have a rechargeable long-distance account on my landline, and when the time comes that I feel I need to, I'll simply keep the handset by my bed at night.  If and when the time comes that I really need a phone for emergency purposes, I'll buy a cheap Tracfone and buy time for it.  Simple is always better for me.

With regard to taking photos and manipulating the images, I'll continue to use my trusty Canon PowerShot A570 IS.  It turns out there's a desktop app for Google Photos, and I can upload images from the camera directly into Google Photo on my computer, and then have access to them for manipulation on my tablet.  Easy peasy.  I spent a few hours late last week working with a bunch of different android photo apps, and selected five or six that I really love.

I started cutting squares this morning from that stack of fabrics.  Hoping/planning to spend time this week beginning a new project, and possibly two projects with the same group of fabrics.

Hope you have a great week.  xo

Friday, August 26, 2016

'55 T-Bird Turquoise

I went through my fabric stash the other day and pulled these out.  Not sure yet where I'll go with these but I really like the colors together.

That last piece I finished, Winter Woods, was a lot bigger than I really want to go in general.  Although it is hard to stop once I start stitching little squares together.  So who knows what the new piece will become.

This weekend is the last few days of my 20% Off Sale on paintings in my Etsy Shop.   Just below is one of the pieces on sale.  Sale ends Sunday evening.

I saw my doctor last week to get results of the CT scan of my sinuses, and sure enough, there's a blockage in one of my right sinuses.  I have a consult with the ENT this coming Monday.  At least I haven't had any sinus "storms" in the past couple weeks.  I'm anxious to hear what the ENT has to say and whether there's a fix to my problem. 

My latest toenail color ~~ '55 T-Bird Turquoise.  I love it.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Full Circle

An interesting thing happened recently ~~ I was contacted via email a couple weeks ago by one of my best friends from high school.  After our 25th reunion in 1992, I decided to disappear, so I ended up on the "missing" list of classmates.  Our 50th is next year and my friend sleuthed me out online, albeit with trepidation because she sensed I still might not want to be found.

What happened next could only have happened at this particular point in my life, now that I'm newly open to it ~~ I responded right away and we rekindled our friendship.  We're in regular touch via Facebook and email, and we talked on the phone for two hours the other day.

In the same vein, I've rekindled my friendship with another best friend from high school.  And have gotten myself back on the list of a group of gals who touch base by email a few times a year.  And Facebook friended a couple old friends. 

Although at first I was dead certain I'd never go to another reunion (and the 25th is the only one I attended)...I changed my mind this week, and I will definitely go to our 50th, next May in Los Angeles.

Thanks to a comment from dear online pal Leslie,  I decided that I will go the smartphone route for image taking and uploading.  She brought up the issue of the safety factor in having a smartphone.  And that pushed a button that's been on in the back of my mind for a couple years ~~ what if I trip and fall at home and can't get to my landline-phone?  It's conceivable that I could die here and nobody would know, because I'm such a recluse and I don't talk regularly to anybody on the phone, and sometimes don't even see my neighbors for a few days.  Or what if I have car trouble in some out of the way spot?  Which is unlikely given how little I drive, but still possible. 

So okay, I got it.  It's time for me to have a smartphone.  Plus now that I'm in contact with out-of-the-area friends, I can call them instead of them having to call me.

Fortunately, the cost of these things, which you all probably already know, has really come down in the last few years.  So this will be manageable for me.  The last time I had a cellphone was before smartphones, and that little phone cost $75 a month for voice only with no texting.  It'll cost me less than half that now and I'll have everything I need.  Including a great camera.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

New Technology

I'm posting these images of Winter Woods yet again, because I'm still experimenting with both posting and images...posting via my tablet vs. my computer (today's missive is from my computer), and images taken with the tablet and uploaded directly, vs. images taken with my Canon camera, cleaned up in PhotoShop Elements, and then uploaded.

The colors are more true to life here than yesterday's images.  That's just a function of my not yet being competent manipulating images on the tablet.  But I just tinkered with yesterday's images on my tablet and got them to match the colors of today's images.

I'm still confused about images in the Gallery on the tablet and Google Photos, images that have been uploaded, images that have been downloaded, albums and folders.  And then there's the Album Archive, which now houses all the old blog images formerly housed at Picasa, which Google did away with recently.  The more recent blog images are in Google Photos, along with stuff I posted in class communities housed at Google, and some stuff from eons ago that I'm not sure where they came from, to be honest.  I'll work it out eventually.   

I've been having a conversation with myself for a few days, because it's really difficult taking photos with my 9.7" tablet ~~ too difficult to hold that large screen steady enough in both hands and push the photo button at the same time.  Then there's the protective case, which folds back so you can see the screen to operate the camera, but then the flaps flop around and get in the way.  The conversation is: should I buy a smaller tablet just to take photos with?  There's nothing wrong with my now-old Canon PowerShot camera, but the ability to shoot a photo, manipulate it on the device, and upload to Instagram, Facebook or wherever without having to go from one device to another is a real advantage. 

About this time, y'all are probably saying, Why don't you just use your smartphone?  Well, I don't have or need a smartphone.  I've been thinking about that too these last few days.  Thing is, I hardly make any phone calls with my landline, let alone get a cellphone.

But a smaller tablet...well, I'm thinking about it.  The reality is, I don't shoot nearly as many photos as I used to when I had several blogs and posted to most of them every single day.  So I'm not yet convinced to buy another device.  Also because, I can upload photos from my Canon camera to my computer to my Google Drive, and download them to my tablet so I can upload them to Instagram from there.  Sounds horrifically complicated, but it's not, really. 

I think I just need to go out and start shooting photos again with my camera first.  If I'm not up for doing even that, then I clearly don't need another device.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New Lease on Life

Following my recent big AHA, I've begun doing things for and taking care of myself in new-to-me ways.  Simple things that are no-brainers for other women, but things that I wasn't brought up to believe were meant for me.  Like getting pedicures and having my toenails painted turquoise, for one.

Yesterday I bought a Samsung Galaxy S2 tablet at Costco, and I'm already in love with it.  Took me long enough to get an android device.

Especially since my sleep habits have changed so radically in the last six months, and I'm very often awake for hours in the middle of the night, my new toy already made itself useful last night.

The sleep problems came with the sinus problem that I'm still dealing with.  The antibiotics I took a few weeks ago did nothing, except put me on probiotics for the month to ward off potential bad juju to my system from the antibiotics.  I went back to the doctor and requested a referral to an ear/nose/throat specialist (the ENT in Humboldt County), but first she wanted me to have a CT scan of my sinuses.  So I had that last Friday.  Now I can't get in to see my doctor again until next Tuesday and then it could be a month to six weeks after that before I get to see the ENT.

The last time I saw the doc, she gave me a script for Flonase.  I HATE taking pharmaceuticals, but I thought I'd be a good sport and try it.  The first spritz in my nostrils made my congestion worse than it was, and the second spritz early the next morning gave me the shakes, an anxiety attack that lasted most of the day, and a bad headache.  I threw that shit out.  That was two weeks ago.  The last few days I've been having minor anxiety attacks and am now using Bach's Rescue Remedy and some homeopathic pellets several times a day to deal with that.  Plus I'm living on Sudafed twice a day, but at least that helps some with the congestion which comes and goes.  Ooh boy.  I'm weary.

My head hasn't been much into my white and brown stitched piece, which I'm calling Winter Woods, although I did quilt just a little bit of it late last week.  Hoping to get back to it soon.

Meanwhile, I keep trying to get myself back to some other time in the recent past, when things didn't seem to be so marginally out of control as they seem to be these days.  But I'm afraid that ain't happening...because life doesn't move in that direction.  So onward I go.

Hope you're having a great week.  Blessings.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Progress Report

I finished stitching this together about an hour ago.  It's 28 inches square -- and it's actually pretty square considering I stitched different panels together and then assembled the parts.  Any wonkiness just gives it that handmade look and feel.  This is the biggest piece I've done, handmade or machine pieced.

Now I'm going to take a break from stitching for a few days.  Meanwhile, the piece (still unnamed) is right above where I'm sitting so I can admire it and decide what's next.

I'm having a 20% OFF sale on paintings in my Etsy Shop, through August 28.  Check it out.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Some Assembly Required

I have just two nine-patch blocks to stitch up, and then I'll be ready to begin assembling this piece, as yet unnamed.  I've used mostly-hand dyed, discharged, shiboried fabrics as complements to the white.  These two horizontal panels take the place of two nine-patch blocks each, as alternative ways to fill the same amount of space.

These are three ways I've made tiny, one-inch nine-patch blocks into 4-1/2 inch blocks.

Following assembly, I'll quilt the piece to a backing fabric ~ still undecided at this point whether there'll be an inner layer.  Then I've got some applique in mind.

I've really enjoyed working on this so far.  I've got an idea or two in mind for what's next.  But there's still a lot to do on this piece before then.

Perhaps I'll call this, "I know what I did this summer."  Probably I won't.

Thanks for your wonderful, heartfelt comments on my last post.  I really do feel your love, truly for the first time.  I no longer have that faux-belief about my unlovability in the way.