Books and Blogs

Yes, I got home before 10pm tonight! We were going to go straight home after work, but got joyfully “stuck” at the library. I am the proud temporary owner of 14 lovely books full of ideas and eye candy, and I’m not embarrassed to say I have like 20 more on hold at the library. I’ve discovered a ton of wonderful new blogs lately, and many have listed books they are reading, so I decided to try them out. Some titles among the stack are “The Wolves in the Walls,” a children’s book that looks like the movie Mirrormask, “Decorating with Flea Market Finds,” “Seasons at Seven Gates Farm” (sort of an older book, but I enjoyed it the first time I browsed through it, “The New Crewel” (I don’t even know what the old crewel is), and Tracy Porter’s Dreams from Home” by Tracy Porter whose calendar I bought in 1999 and fell in love with in 2004. I’ll probably post some comments about the books later, if anyone is interested.

By the way, some of the blogs I’ve been enjoying lately are Turkey Feathers, Molly Chicken, Posy Gets Cozy, Wee Wonderfuls, Pam Garrison, Posy, Heather Bailey, and Allsorts, to name just a few. (might I also mention that I am mightily impressed that I just magically transformed those little words into real live workable links? Go ahead – click – they work! I’m so proud…) In case you’ve never heard of any of them, and enjoy stichery, crochet and other needlework, felt, flowers, children, and other pretty things, you have some new eye candy and stories to delight in.

I’m off to bed now to start enjoying some of these books. Which one to start with…?

Computer is back (thus so am I)!

My computer has graciously decided to work again! Not that I’ve had even a second to give it any attention as a reward, but at least it is functional. We have been busy bees finishing up the store expansion, which I am happy to say is just about finished, thanks to all the help from all our lovely employees, and some beloved family members that decided to jump in on the fun. I am so behind in all the things I need to share – photos of the expanded store space and new signs, our article in Country Pleasures magazine, lots of clean ups and homey additions to our little nest here in Snohomish, not to mention lovely shots of the town over the last several weeks, and many different little art and craft projects I’ve been working on. Next on the to-do list, however, is getting my very own card reader so that in the off chance I do actually find a few moments to upload my photos, clean them up, and get them on a freshly written blog, Chris has decided to have our shared card reader with him at the store, so I’m out of luck. Pooh! I’ve requested my very own sometime this week, so I can start doing things more regularly. I have, however, finally turned on whatever thingy you have to do to make it so people can subscribe to your blog, so feel free to click on it to receive my updates!

For now it is bedtime, but I hope to type again sometime this week…

No computer

In case anyone is wondering where the heck I am, I’ve been without a computer for the last week, as it was needed at the store to program our new register. Chris just set it back up last night, and I had a few hundred new emails waiting for me. So, if you’ve written me and I haven’t responded back yet, I am indeed alive, I just haven’t had a chance to catch up yet! I will try to get caught up in the next few days, then get some blogs and photos up, as I have lots of fun and exciting things to share… πŸ™‚

Where did Janene go?

Well, if you’re wondering what hole I fell into, it’s called Comcast. For some reason, while I can access any other website from my computer at home, and can access my own website from any computer other than home, I unfortunately am currently unable to access my website from my home computer. Apparently it is a Comcast thing. Thus I have been unable to update anything on my site. And I really do have updates! I’ve finished my design drawing and have filled in a good third of it in with colored pencil. It’s looking pretty good so far, wish I could share it with you. As soon as things are back to normal, I’ll get some posts up!

Day 23 – Photos of Home

I’ve uploaded some photos of the house finally, and that’s about as artistic as I’m getting today with laundry to do and bills to pay! If you are interested in looking, they are in the gallery in the album called "photos of my life." Enjoy!

Day 17 – Another background

Another background sitting on my art table drying, waiting to be used for…?? Who knows what. This is kind of a terrible photo, but what can I say, we don’t have too much lighting in here yet. I was really in the mood to draw tonight, but ended up just making a big mess instead. It felt good. And now I’m going to go eat a twix bar right before bed. Yum.

Day 15 – Canvas Background

This is my art for Day 15 – twenty minutes of play on a 6" x 9" canvas. I have no idea where I’m going with this, it was just important to feel paint squishing under my fingers again. This is the first art thing I’ve done since moving and I feel totally off-kilter. I thought I’d just work on some backgrounds and hope that inspiration hits later. This one is comprised of layers of "caveman" monoprinting and stamping with acrylics, plus some gluing down, scrapping off, coloring with watercolor crayons and pastels. I need to scrape off more of the paper, or glue something over it, as I don’t like how it looks so plainly obvious. It sticks out like a sore thumb to me. Other than that, it’s got some great texture and color – we’ll see what ends up living on it someday!

I worked from home all day today, plugging through yet another salary survey that had my brain reeling in numbers and numbers and more numbers. It was so nice to be able to work in a quiet relaxed environment with no interruptions disrupting my concentration. Consequently, I am ending my day feeling totally chilled out instead of completely wound up. Doing this sort of thing in the office wouldn’t be so bad if I actually had some privacy to allow to me to focus on what I’m doing, but unfortunately my desk is situated in sort of a "hub" area, and my fun-loving but often annoying co-workers don’t know when enough is enough – when I ask for quiet, that apparently translates to "please be even more loud and annoying, because what I’m doing really doesn’t take any thought at all or really even matter, and while you’re at it please also make fun of me for asking." Sigh. I love them dearly, but they can really get under my skin. Kind of like family, I guess!

Right now, the sun is setting, I can hear the trains going by, and my neighbor’s children are outside playing some sort of game that involves a lot of delighted screaming and running. The breeze is carrying the irresistible spring scents of lilac, flowering trees, and freshly-cut grass into my window to tantalize my nose – they’re saying "please, come outside and draw me!" I hope I can kick my art brain back into gear before spring is gone and summer is here!

New art photos

Just a quick note today to say that I’ve uploaded a bunch of photos to various albums in my gallery today. Feel free to take a look and see what I’ve been up to lately! I’ll write more later – for now I’m busy enjoying this gorgeous day doing laundry with my own washer that doesn’t require quarters, doing dishes in front of the kitchen sink with a view of wisteria, lilacs, birdies, and the river, and trying to unpack my studio.

Daily Devotions

I have a few minutes to write before Chris comes home from the store and we start our Friday night crash, so I thought I’d blog. I’m experimenting with the idea that I might actually be able to commit to blogging every day, even if it is just a little bit. I guess I’m having a hard time convincing myself that anyone would find my blabbering at all interesting, but I suppose those people would probably be off doing different things anyway, so what does it hurt?

Actually, there are several things that I’ve recently decided to do daily, or weekly – read a certain book I’m working through, do some housecleaning/organizing, journal, stick to my diet plan, etc. Today, I spontaneously joined the Daily Devotions 365 yahoo group, a collection of creative types that have committed to do art every day, whether it be for 5 minutes or all day, just a doodle on a receipt or a mixed media painting. I set myself several art-related goals for 2006, many of which involve completing works of art by certain times for certain things. I realized this week that in order to attain this goal, I’ve really got to get my art muscles in use again, or it will be like deciding to run a marathon without ever having run before. Sure failure! I need to do a little art every day to keep those creative juice flowing. Wednesday night I quickly whipped up a single signature daily journal and packed up a small box of art supplies, and they now go with me everywhere for impromptu art whenever and wherever. Just today during my lunch break I scribbled some watercolor crayon down on a page, and the day before I doodled a funky flower during an evening meeting.

Totally off topic, I think we’ve had just about every kind of weather today. It was cloudy this morning, then the sun broke out. By the afternoon it was raining, then the skies performed some rendition of snow/hail, and now there is thunder and lightening. What’s next?