sat 7 dec 2013... update|
Last weekend I was getting a head start
on Amnesty International's
Write for Rights.
I wrote letters of protest and notecards of solidarity
for 7½ of the ten cases! The letter writing
campaign goes through
to the 17th of December, and I think I'll have time to
finish up the rest before then.
I hope you'll join me in writing letters!
provides sample letters that you can just print up and
sign, stick it in an envelope and send it on it's way...
and you've made a difference in the world!
Write for Rights, Scotland 2012: How Letters Change the World
This week, I decided to keep going with my drawing
project. I won't be able to continue the "daily" part
for much longer, since I get distracted with family stuff
at the end of december. But until that moment arrives,
I am going to go where the inspiration takes me...
I wanted to give the
Peaceful Prairie turkey some colour...
And then I had to search for some pics that interested me.
I found a spoonbill and a dolphin:
And then, moving some of my piles around, I rediscovered
my Charley Harper book. He is one of my favorite artists.
I thought copic markers would lend themselves wonderfully to
the flat colours that Harper uses!
Yeah! Oh my gosh! I had so much fun doing these!!
sun 1 dec 2013... drawings|
For the last week of my daily drawing project I drew a
goat, and then several different turkeys...
Here is a drawing of Daphne, who is on the cover of the
fall/winter Farm Sanctuary newsletter:
This is an unnamed turkey, who is on the cover of the
nov/dec Audubon magazine:
And this is a drawing I did from one of my own photos I
Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, an awesome vegan
sanctuary that I ♥love♥:
I love turkeys! They are such lovely creatures.
Plus they have the
most beautiful eyes. I wish I could look into their
eyes for a long time. That sounds funny, doesn't it. But
trust me... find a really good, close up photo of
a turkey's face and you will see their eyes are amazing!
(and please don't base your judgement on my crappy drawings!!)
Also, I love birds in general because they are so
accessible... and turkeys are the
biggest bird I'm going to see in the urban wild. Yep,
there's a small group of turkeys who live in a forest
park a few miles from my home. They occasionally
travel! I've seen them stopping traffic on my street and
I've seen them wander thru the front yard.
How cool is that?!
sat 30 nov 2013... 3 Piles of Projects|
The pile on the left is the art pile.
My project for november is Art Everyday. The pile includes
the magazines I have drawn from, the photos I've printed
up, different kinds of paper
(that I've not actually used),
my 4x6 index cards along with my
trusty mechanical pencil and white vinyl eraser.
The pile on the right is the Amnesty International
This is my project for this long weekend. So far I have
written letters of protest and notecards of support for
6 of the 10 cases!
The pile includes all the letters, since I decided not
to mail them until the Write for Rights campaign
"officially" begins on 2 december. Also in the pile
are my stamps: the round global forever stamps and the
US stamps are the Modern Art forever stamps (I bought
a bajillion sheets of these, because I love art,
and now I so tired of them!) (ha).
And my little set of Hallmark cards, there in the
middle... I usually make my
own notecards, but I am glad I decided to use up some
of my "bought" stash. When you're writing so many
letters in a single weekend, it's good to make things as
easy as possible! Making my own: I have to choose a
design, print it, cut and fold it, and then dig out an
envelope for it. These bought notecards have a design of
leaves on a teal background. They are beautiful,
gender non-specific, and small so I don't feel like I have
to write too much! Easy.
The pile at the top of the pic is my journal binding
This year I've been journalling on loose leaf paper...
not just writing by hand,
but also printing up some digital
journal pages. It really works well for me, except I
don't take the time to bind up the papers very often.
Which is fine. It's nice to get a little perspective --
aka let months pass -- before looking through journal
thurs 28 nov 2013... Happy Long Weekend|
My project for this weekend is to write letters for
Amnesty International. I've joined
Write for Rights. I have been participating
in this campaign since 2011 and this is my third year!
The great thing about Write for Rights
is that they provide sample letters.
It's so easy to participate! Just print up the sample
letter, sign it and put it in an envelope!
In addition to sending letters of protest,
you can also send letters of solidarity.
There are 10 cases highlighted this year... and my goal
for this long weekend is to write letters for ALL of them!!
sat 23 nov 2013... Squirrel Week!|
I printed up one of my photos of a pine squirrel on
Monday and spent the rest of the week drawing him!
He is just so cute!
Unfortunately, when doing my drawings in copics, I discovered
I don't have the right colours. Orange is my least favorite
colour, and also I don't have any pale colours... and I
need a pale orange for this project!
I tried twice, and then went for something completely
I was annoyed that I had so much trouble with his
fingers. Hands are hard to draw!
I also got to do some experiments with alcohol ink
painting. Here's an example of some real art with a
cute baby sea turtle:
Painting with Copic Various Ink.
And another one
by Lin Frye, who contributes regularly to the exclusive
Sketching in Nature blog.
sat 16 nov 2013... and feathery|
A scrub jay, today.
I had taken a few photos of this scrub jay in september,
and wished I could have turned one of them into a postcard.
Unfortunately, they were all blurry... the day was cloudy
and the jay only sat for mere seconds. arg.
But even blurry photos are useful!
I printed up the best of the blurry pics and got out my
field guide and attempted a drawing.
And then I took some pics of my work area...
This is my usual set up. The end of my bed is
where I do my computing (thus the keyboard and track ball!).
I draw on my lap desk, my photo refs in front of me, and
all my copic sketch markers.
sat 16 nov 2013... furry animals|
I worked in pencil, and pencil + copics,
on a few furry animals this week.
But my beginner's luck is over and I had to crumple
up a lot of ugly index cards! ha. oh well, I kept
trying until I could almost recognize the critters
I was drawing!
I drew Lucy and Ethel several days in a row... at first
attempting some live sketches. Much frustration and
crumpling ensued. Then I printed out their photo and
drew from that.
think I might have to practice for years instead of
just one month a year.
I need to remind myself that my drawing "goal" is not
photo realism. I have a camera for photos!!
My goal here is along the lines of my paper journal...
to record the things important to me. To have fun.
Drawing is a skill that, with practice, can be
improved. And I am here to practice!
sun 10 nov 2013... weekend roundup|
I think it's decided. Drawing furry animals is difficult!
Good thing I still have 20 days to practice!
I am also playing catch up with my postcard and mailing
projects. I love sending mail! My ongoing goal is to send
a monthly postcard to the two mailing groups I belong to,
and a few friends and family. The mailing list is currently
between 60 and 70 postcards.
But then I pick up random
projects that look fun. And then I want to send something
special to someone. And then there are a few replies
to be made... yeah: there's a pile.
This weekend, I cleared out the Swap-Bot projects.
And I wrote a couple replies. And I really organized that
pile, so that I can pick up the top project and get going
with it quickly and easily!
Also worked on an Amnesty International case.
When I read
I Am Malala,
I was reminded that my Amnesty International work
was important. Having recently finished E.O. Wilson's
Biophilia (the fire ant!), I was reminded again...
He writes about the terrible changes that come to
Surinam, in South America,
after a dictator comes into power in 1980. Wilson was
concerned about the human rights violations as well as
the environmental destruction. He mentions Amnesty International's
Urgent Action cases in the footnotes.
As a member of the
Urgent Action Network, I must continue my activism!
It is so important!
I've signed up for the
USA Write for Rights, which happens in December.
UK Write for Rights
is already under way!
sat 9 nov 2013... catching up|
... With my daily drawings...
I love how this one turned out! I drew it directly with
copics, from a photo of the coreopsis flowers that I grew
in our community garden plot this year. I did the black
outline last, with a brush tip multiliner.
This drawing came from the same garden photo, an aster plant
was growing behind the coreopsis. I experimented with
my set of Inktense pencils. I think this is the first
time I've used them in a drawing. Inktense is water
activated... so you put your drawing down with the pencils
and then you hit them with a water brush.
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Except I suck pretty
bad with paint brushes.
But I tried it out! Only the flower has a very careful
wash over it, although I did swipe the background with
my water brush as well. If I try it again, I will definitely
use some actual watercolour paper... my index card warped
quite a bit and I could tell the colours were going to
blob all over the place if I got carried away with the
water. And it might be nice to get carried away with the
water, you know?! :)
I had just finished reading
Biophilia by E.O. Wilson and decided to draw a fire
ant in his honor. ha. I grew up with fire ants when I
lived in Louisiana... I ran around outside with
bare feet, as all good
children should, and stepped in my fair share of fire
I wanted to draw a rat today, in honour of the Mutts
comic of friday:
"Rats need love too"!
Yes! I searched for an ancient pic of my friend
Freefall, who I cared for when I was a teenager.
It's a tiny pic, but it's the only one I have and
I wanted to draw her
and not some stranger I found on the internet!
But my drawing did not come out well. I tried again.
and again. I erased a lot. And then I tried drawing with
copics. And then I just traced my photo. And even that
looked not-normal! humph.
So, I'm going to show you my photo, instead of my
Isn't she precious?! If the opportunity presented itself,
I would jump at the chance to adopt another rat!
fri 8 nov 2013... update|
So I meant to post some of my daily drawings during the
week. But random projects got in the way. And sometimes
craziness got in the way. And now I have to play
who lives at
Elephant Sanctuary, a cool place that's important to me.
Shirley turned 65 this year, and I drew her from the cover
of the Summer newsletter. Her leg juts out like that
because it was broken and never set. She came to the
sanctuary in 1999 and she is living happily ever after.
Be sure to check out the
More catching up tomorrow...
sat 2 nov 2013... sketches|
Today I did some sketching from life...
Unfortunately, the life was moving around too much.
So I'm not very happy with my drawings.
I should catch them while they are sleeping!
But I am happy with the fact that it's november 2nd and
I already have four drawings done!
fri 1 nov 2013... start the art|
My goal for November is to make art every day!
It doesn't have to be good art. And if I don't want to
show it, I don't have to!
But I am going to work on a 4x6 index card or paper
every day this month.
I actually did a test run on tuesday...
I drew this picture from a Dover book in pencil. Inked it
with a brush tip Multiliner SP, erased the pencil then
coloured the background with copic wides and sketch markers.
I am happy with my fish and it took about half an hour.
Today is the first official day of the Art Month:
This is the back side of a California Poppy, inspired by
a photo in the Fall edition of National Parks magazine.
No pencil work on this one, I drew straight up with my
copics. This drawing was less about the actual drawing
and more about the blending of the colours. I feel like
I need some practice!
And practice is exactly the point of this month of art!!
sat 26 oct 2013... Amnesty International|
Another important project that I've abandoned but want
to get back to is
Urgent Action Network.
I've been an active member of the UAN since December 2011.
I had written a few letters for their annual
Write for Rights campaign that December and got hooked.
I had been taking on one case -- sending three or four letters
of protest -- almost every weekend. In 2012, I wrote letters
for 40 cases. And this year I wanted to do more!
I started out very strong, in January and February I
would sometimes write two cases in a weekend! After that,
my letter writing kind of fizzled, only writing once or
twice in a month.
The last case I wrote for was Urgent Action #205-2013.
I sent four letters to Cuba at the end of August.
Nothing since then.
This week, I read
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.
And I am sadly reminded of all the violence in the
world. Writing for Amnesty International was my form
of peace activism. Why have I stopped? Why in the world
have I quit?
So far this year, I've worked on 24 UAN cases...
I am not sure I'll be able to match the 40 cases I
completed in 2012. But I'm going to try!
fri 25 oct 2013... plans|
I've been a terrible blogger! I kept thinking I would
type about something brilliantly spectacular and then
I could come back to the Internet with style. haha:
every time something spectacularly brilliant actually
does happen, I procrastinate writing about it. I think
the writing needs to be perfect. And then it starts
sounding like a lot of work. And who wants their hobby
to be work??
So, I'm just going to type about day-to-day stuff.
Maybe eventually I'll get to the brilliant and spectacular
stuff. But right now, I'm just going to update.
National Novel Writing Month.
I don't have a novel in me, but in that spirit,
Art Every Day Month.
My plan is to draw or colour a 4x6 index card every day.
But I need to do some prep: gather some magazines with some
good animal photos I can draw, print up some of my own
pictures to draw, and make a list of stuff I can do
when I am not feeling inspired, or when I don't have a lot
And before november rolls around, I have some other projects
that I need to get back to. Will be typing about them
sat 28 sept 2013... Banned Books Week!|
I spent a couple hours this morning writing about banned
books on a ton of postcards for my GoodReads group!
Yay, I love it when I can
combine my favorite things to do!!
reading and talking about books... not to mention the photography
I'm sharing on the front of the postcards.
Today is the last day of
Banned Books Week
and I'm celebrating by talking about the challenged books I've
5. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
7. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
9. 1984, by George Orwell
16. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
57. Sophie's Choice, by William Styron
And from the
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
88. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle
And Currently reading:
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky.
And will soon read:
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
I really enjoyed this article in our local paper, the other day:
Books can lead to enlightenment. Haha, the comments made
me laugh even tho the people seem to be completely serious!!
I wonder if they actually read the article!
Banned Books Week is important to me because I love to expand my
mind by reading books I wouldn't ordinarily pick. The books on
the Challenged Books lists are so diverse and wonderful! And
even when I read one that I don't like... I still love the fact
that I am able to read that book!
sat 31 aug 2013... update|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 11 mailings
Total This Month: 121 mailings
Yay Snail Mail!
I'm not sure what my project for september will be.
But here are some thoughts...
The goal is to write 20 blog posts about vegan food.
I love the idea, and I usually skim a few VeganMoFo blogs
... But I don't enjoy kitchen-time and try to avoid cooking.
That said, I do want to support vegan ideas. So I'll
be posting something!
The last week of september is Banned Books Week...
I celebrate by reading a few books that have been censored!
Just glancing through, I might read: I Know Why the Caged
Bird Sings, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and
Bridge to Terabithia (I loved the movie!).
What books will you read?
And then there are the Additional snail mail projects!
sat 24 aug 2013... update|
We almost have a sunflower...
We brought home almost 10 pounds of food from our garden
plot today. Mostly zucchini, lots of cherry tomatoes,
several cucumbers and six lemon cucumbers.
I suppose we're averaging about 15+ pounds of food per
Yes, I'm kind of sick of zucchini. So I've been trying
to keep up with the lemon cucumbers instead.
The bees are still very busy and soon this flower will
turn into a lemon cuc. Along with dozens more!
Sat, 24 Aug 2013 18:03:42 PDT
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 49 mailings
Total This Month: 110 mailings
I've met my goal of beating my February mail count,
which was 108. And I've still got most of a week
to bump up my numbers even more!
I've now completed my extra "non-month" postcard
I am two postcards shy of completing my June mail.
Since I don't yet have a photo picked out for my
July mail, I'm going to focus on some replies in the
final week of August.
sun 18 aug 2013... Book Lists|
In my Internet wanderings, I ran across two book lists
that interested me.
Locus Best All-Time Fantasy Novels
Locus Best All-Time Science Fiction Novels
The lists caught my attention because I consider myself
a science fiction reader, but I've read more books from
the Fantasy list. And I did not enjoy several of the books
that I had read from the Science Fiction list!
Here's the Fantasy List. The ones in bold are the books
1) The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien (1955)
2) The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien (1937)
3) A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin (1968)
4) The Shadow of the Torturer, Gene Wolfe (1980)
5) The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle (1968)
6) The Once and Future King, T. H. White (1958)
7) Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny (1970)
8) The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson (1977)
9) Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey (1968)
10) Little, Big, John Crowley (1981)
11) Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (1865)
12) The Gormenghast Trilogy, Mervyn Peake (1950)
13) The Riddlemaster of Hed, Patricia A. McKillip (1976)
14) The Incompleat Enchanter, Fletcher Pratt & L. Sprague de Camp (1941)
15) Watership Down, Richard Adams (1972)
16) The Dying Earth, Jack Vance (1950)
17) Glory Road, Robert A. Heinlein (1963)
18) A Spell for Chameleon, Piers Anthony (1977)
19) Dracula, Bram Stoker (1897)
20) The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum (1900)
21) Silverlock, John Myers Myers (1949)
22) Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury (1962)
23*) The White Dragon, Anne McCaffrey (1978)
23*) The Stand, Stephen King (1978)
25) Lord Valentine's Castle, Robert Silverberg (1980)
26) The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis (1950)
27) The Shining, Stephen King (1977)
28) Conjure Wife, Fritz Leiber (1953)
29*) Deryni Rising, Katherine Kurtz (1970)
29*) The Worm Ouroboros, E. R. Eddison (1922)
31) Witch World, Andre Norton (1963)
32) Salem's Lot, Stephen King (1975)
33) A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle (1962)
And the Science Fiction list...
1) Dune, Frank Herbert (1965)
2) The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin (1969)
3) Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke (1953)
4) The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein (1966)
5) Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein (1961)
6) The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov (1953)
7) A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jr (1959)
8) Gateway, Frederik Pohl (1977)
9) Ringworld, Larry Niven (1970)
10) The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester (1956)
11) Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny (1967)
12) More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon (1953)
13) The Mote in God's Eye, Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle (1974)
14) The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick (1962)
15) The Time Machine, H. G. Wells (1895)
16) Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner (1968)
17) The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin (1974)
18*) The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester (1953)
18*) The Forever War, Joe Haldeman (1974)
20) The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury (1950)
21) Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein (1959)
22) Dying Inside, Robert Silverberg (1972)
23) Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany (1975)
24) Time Enough for Love, Robert A. Heinlein (1973)
25*) Way Station, Clifford D. Simak (1963)
25*) Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke (1973)
27) To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer (1971)
28) Earth Abides, George R. Stewart (1949)
29) The Door Into Summer, Robert A. Heinlein (1957)
30) City, Clifford D. Simak (1952)
31) The Witches of Karres, James H. Schmitz (1966)
32) The City and the Stars, Arthur C. Clarke (1956)
33) The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov (1953)
34) 1984, George Orwell (1949)
35) Norstrilia, Cordwainer Smith (1975)
36) Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement (1954)
37) Ubik, Philip K. Dick (1969)
38*) Timescape, Gregory Benford (1980)
38*) 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke (1968)
40) Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (1953)
41) Downbelow Station, C. J. Cherryh (1981)
42) The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells (1898)
43) Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon (1930)
44) Double Star, Robert A. Heinlein (1956)
45) Davy, Edgar Pangborn (1964)
15 Fantasy Novels read, three of them favorites.
And 10 Science Fiction Novels read, with only one that
There are several books on the SF list
that I've attempted to read but are so horribly boring
I couldn't finish them. And there are several authors in
the SF list that I dislike.
So: am I a fantasy reader, after all?
Hmm. On the SF list, I have read about ½ of those
books within the past 10 years or so. Whereas on the
Fant list, many were read when I was a kid...
I've only read one or two books in the past
I guess I'm just someone who likes to read!
sat 17 aug 2013... garden|
Today I read that they've discovered a microorganism
in dirt makes you happy. ha!
How Dirt Makes Us Smart And Happy at Green Gardening
with Anne Lovejoy. (Animal testing makes me sad. But I'll
work it off by breathing in the garden. AND by buying
The sunflower is now too tall for me to take a pic of
the top. I'm not sure what's going on up there!
And, for the first time this year, I have more lemon
cucs than I can eat in one day! The tiny little pathetic
lemon cucumber plant... has grown huge! Yay!
hm, looks like it's time to make some new feathers!
Well. Making feathers is probably hard work.
If I were a crow, I'd probably put it off for as long
as I could.
The crows around me would say, "Sheesh, rift. Why don't
you molt or something?!"
And I'd just shrug and say "eh."
Sat, 17 Aug 2013 15:39:01 PDT|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 21 mailings
Total This Month: 61 mailings
I don't have the next postcard designed yet...
but I'm going to try to have a record month!
I mailed 108 things during LetterMo this year.
Can I beat that??
sun 11 aug 2013... update|
I now have a working printer! I got
up and running on monday, and I've been printing and
mailing a few things every day. Then I left work early
on friday, and was able to put a LOT of stuff in
the saturday morning mail!
Might need more stamps!
Lucy and Ethel. Still trying to capture the cuteness,
but black faces are impossible! Maybe I should try
This is our Grey Stripe Sunflower... Pretty sure the
description is about the seeds, not about the flower! :)
The plant is probably 6.5 feet tall, and that's a bud
in the center. Our other sunflower plant (the short
one) was a Zubulon, and it only had one flower. I'm
hoping the Grey Stripe has multiples.
I eat zucchini at every single meal. Even breakfast...
zucchini with a few tater tots, quite tasty! But I can't
keep up with the garden abundance. Thinking about freezing
Sat, 10 Aug 2013 19:25:19 PDT|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This may be some kind of record for me...
This Week: 40 mailings
Hopefully, I'm just getting started!
sun 4 aug 2013... lingering with bees|
Yay the baby sunflower of last weekend is now a beautiful
bloom! It's also the shortest sunflower in the whole
community garden... everyone else has nine-foot tall
sunflowers. This one is barely two feet off the ground!
I had to crouch down low to get this photo!
haha! cute lil' thing!
And then I spent some time watching the happy bees
buzz thru the borage. :) I saw this yellow
beetle on one of the flowers... a couple bees noticed the
yellow beetle and didn't land on the star flower. But
then one of the bees said "Move aside, bug! I've got
work to do!"
The beetle moved to the back side of the flower and the
bee took sips of nectar then moved on.
This bug, by the way, is a Spotted Cucumber Beetle. He's
a "pest" who eats pretty much every garden plant,
as an adult. As a larva he eats the roots of corn.
I don't have any corn, and I've never
seen the beetle on my cucumber plants... just the coreopsis
flowers, and now the borage, both of which are quite
So, to me right now: he's just a colourful visitor!
But for future reference: Lacewings and ladybugs will
eat the eggs of the Cuc Beetle. And some of the plants
which can repel the beetle are broccoli, radish, catnip,
Nasturtiums...this is the first time I've not had
nasturtiums in the garden, I must be sure to replant them
sat 3 aug 2013... paper journal|
My project for july was to write daily in my paper
journal, and maybe do some sketching. I missed one
day of journalling, towards the end, but otherwise
successful and I intend to continue through august.
The sketching part didn't happen as much as I wanted.
But I came up with a couple little doodles that I
And I made a few sketches inspired by
Sara Midda's South of France: A Sketchbook.
She made tiny little squares of art... a good idea:
I don't have to fill the entire page, just make a
one inch square and fill that!
And of course, my printer woes made for several
pages of angst, plus a bunch of little squares...
sun 28 july 2013... envelopes and garden|
The printer is back to being dead... or maybe it's just
in a coma? But that's okay. I am trying out some
different art projects while I wait for the new printer
I supported a successful Kickstarter campaign for
and last weekend I got my reward: some envelope templates!
Of course, my original plan was to print some of my
more abstract photos and turn them into envelopes.
That plan being on hold, copic wide markers to the
(ha. the sky blue marker definitely needs to be re-inked!
and the violet one soon.)
I love doodling the little bubbles, it's very
Now... if only I could just print something to put
in my envelopes!
I ate this sun gold cherry tomato right after I took
this pic. It was the most tasty tomato that
I've ever eaten in my life.
Well, it was the first
garden tomato I've eaten this year... but I think it
was more than just that!
fri 26 july 2013... happy friday|
Yay! Not only is it the start of the weekend, but I've
had a tiny bit of good luck which has made me incredibly
But first: the context. My printer died last week.
I've ordered another one, but I'm not sure when it will
arrive and I desperately
need to get just a few more postcards printed for the
postcard exchange group that I host. I won't bore you with
the gruesome and painful details...
An online print shop with a very robust web site said
they print postcards (and banners and posters), but they
actually don't print anything except letter size.
of course, I had to jump through several flaming
hoops to find that out. yeah, the burns hurt a bit.
So then I tried to print my postcards at the day job.
Unfortunately, the printer there went into conniptions.
Fortunately, I did not permanently damage the printer
when I kicked it.
At this point, despair has set in. I might actually have
to go out and talk to actual people in a real life copy
shop to get my postcards printed. You probably don't
know this about me, but I am phobic about talking to
strangers. So, anxiety is high.
And then, last night, as I was going to bed, I turned on
the old broken printer. Every time I turn it on, it wastes
ink going through it's cleaning phases, but what the heck,
And the printer turned on like normal. huh? no flashing
yellow light? So I plugged it into the computer. still
no flashing yellow light. well, it won't print anything...
I keyed up my postcard file. And it printed a page! And
then another page!
HA! I printed all the postcards I needed! And then I printed
a Swap-Bot letter that's due on saturday! And then I was
tired and I turned it off and went to sleep!
It will probably never print again, but I got the stuff I
needed... so that printer is definitely going to heaven
when it dies!
sun 21 july 2013... garden pics|
I may be pining a bit about the dead printer.
But at least I still have my camera and my computer and
my web site... I am still able to share my art!
There are a couple people with artichoke plants at the
community garden. These are Huge plants. The flowers are
lovely! But when you think about the tiny little bit of
artichoke heart that you buy at the store... I have to
wonder if it's worth it! ha.
Someone at the front of the community garden has several
roses. Technically, woody plants are not allowed...
but these make such a happy entrance into the garden.
Plus they give me hope that I will never be kicked out
because of my mere weeds! :)
And our garden plot: Yay Zucchini!
On saturday, we picked two big zucs and the first three
(small) cucumbers... A total of 4.5 pounds. We ate the
first cucumber as soon as we got home! And every meal
And, to add to my happiness, I got a new magazine in the
I discovered this mag when my Territorial Seed order
No Mow Wildflowers came: there was an extra flyer/ad
thrown in. GreenPrints is a garden
magazine of stories and art. oh my gosh, why am I not
already signed up?!
fri 19 july 2013... a sad sad day for the printer|
Yep. It looks like the poor printer has died.
That's the offending part. I tried the last trick in my
bag this evening: yanked it out and cleaned and
Didn't help at all.
oh well. The printer had a long and productive life.
And the replacement will soon be on it's way.
no biggie. I just need to figure out what to do with my
print jobs in the mean time. Kinkos? A real print shop?
So many choices. And then, what if I like it so much
I don't want to print my own stuff any more?!
sun 14 july 2013... Piggy Pics|
A decent photo of the guinea pigs together?
Might be impossible.
Ethel and Lucy with yummy carrots.
Lucy and Ethel with yummy timothy hay.
The decent photo of guinea pigs together will probably
involve food of some kind...
sat 13 july 2013... Flying Bugs!|
I love bugs of all kinds. But these are special to me...
I see lady bugs walking on the garden plants every time
I go! I'm so happy to see them. Today there were several
walking on the sunflower leaves.
I love this picture. Look at her cute little antenna!
I don't ever
get tired of watching the bees buzz around the borage,
which grows "wild" in our garden plot.
Sat, 13 Jul 2013 09:20:51 PDT|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 10 mailings
Reply Mail: 0 postcards
Notecard Projects: 1 notecard
Yay, done with the May mail!
sat 6 july 2013... Happy Garden|
I rode my bike to the community garden today, and look
at what greeted me at our plot:
A happy surprise,
the Coreopsis has just begun blooming! Yay Flowers!
Just a few snap peas... left over from last time and they
are trying to become "real" peas. They are still wonderful
and sweet, tho.
The first zucchinis are about the size that you can buy
at the store; you know, the tiny ones. I'm going to
let ours grow a bit more. I can't wait for a meal of
And tomatoes on the way...
And with my almost religious weeding, the garden plot
almost looks like real gardeners are taking care of it!
Well. Not really. But it's the best it's ever been.
The grass in the pathways is mostly under control. And
the weedy area is just Berseem Clover (our winter
cover crop) and a few Borage... both are good and happy
I'm thinking about buying some
flower cover for the edges of the plot. Doesn't
Mow No More, Flower mix sound wonderful?! :)
Sat, 06 Jul 2013 10:35:52 PDT|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 13 mailings
Reply Mail: 0 postcards
Notecard Projects: 1 notecard
I am just two mailings shy of finishing my
"May" postcards. Ha.
fri 5 july 2013... paper journal|
I've decided that my project for the month of july
is my paper journal. I am going to write in it every
day, and I'm going to make an art effort as well...
To the art end, I bought a couple books.
ha! I am going to doodle little animals and trees
all over my journal pages.
Well. I'd like to, at least.
I'm also taking the time to bind up the last few months
of my paper journals. I have been writing and using
loose leaf paper for my journal. Sometimes I write on
coloured paper. Sometimes I type stuff and print it.
It's nice and easy to add photos that way, and I can
print up my blog posts as well.
But I'm not very good about setting aside time to bind
the papers. So now I'm taking the time.
I'm using the
to make a double spiral binding. And I'm going to bind
two months of journalling into one book, so I can use
a bigger size o-wire.
I'd like to print up a cover for my books... kind of
a scrapbook page that's an over-view of the two months
included. Unfortunately, my scrapbooking skills are
That's okay! It's my journal and it's all about me.
including my ugly scrapbooking attempts! ;)
sun 30 june 2013... weekend odds & ends|
My printer is on the fritz. For normal people, this is not
a big deal. For me... it's kind of like my soul is dying.
I print all my postcards on my printer. A slow month
is 60 postcards. A good month is over 100. All those
postcards are printed
on that over-used, under-appreciated Canon i9900.
And in the past week or so, it has reluctantly printed
a couple of pages. And I'm worried that it is about to
die in a permanent way.
A new print head is $160 and comes only from China and I'm not
sure that is the actual problem. A new printer of the
same kind is $1050. not exactly in the budget.
But it might be necessary for my soul.
As of tonight, Google Reader is deleted forever. Damn them.
Digg Reader came out on thursday. I used it for a
few days, discovered it was not updating some of my feeds,
and went looking for something more established. *sighs*
I think I've settled on
The Old Reader.
It's still clean, but much prettier. It's free, but if
my feeds stay updated, I will be sending them a yearly
donation. I am thrilled that I found something that works
Last november, we seeded the entire community garden plot
with a cover crop...
Berseem Clover. Since the plot is too large for us
to handle, we've let the clover take over in a section.
I think it is beautiful. Plus, it is a good nitrogen
fixer, so it's good for future plants!
We harvested 1.8 pounds of sweet snap peas on saturday!
The first zucchinis are growing... And the cucumbers and
tomatoes are blooming like crazy.
And the first sunflowers in the community garden...
a portrait with the waning moon. :)
I can't wait for my own sunflowers!
Oh! I also found a volunteer tomato plant next to all
the snap peas. Last year, in that area, we had the hybrid
Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes, Cascade Tomatoes and Oregon
Spring Tomatoes... I don't remember the difference
between the second two toms, the sweet 100 were smaller.
I am happy about the volunteer tom plant. I doubt
it will give us any tomatoes. But I am wonderfully
curious about it!
sat 29 june 2013... yay vegan|
A happy surprise at the day job.
Ron, one of our sales reps,
stopped by this week and he was chatting with us in the
lunch room about his new diet.
His wife got type 2 diabetes a couple years ago... but
apparently something scary happened recently. And now
they are both very gung-ho about a plant-based diet!
He highly recommended the documentary
Forks Over Knives. And told us how
type 2 diabetes can be reversed, just by diet: no meat and
nothing over 25% fat.
He is fully supporting his wife in the new eating plan and
he hopes to lose a bit of his gut.
And, yeah, he totally noticed that I'm grinning
thru his whole spiel...
You have to understand: Ron gives me hope for humanity!
Ron has been a distant acquaintance since I started my
current job in Oct 2008. He is beyond retirement age,
overweight, and has teased me about being vegan. In a
friendly manner: he is a salesman, after all!
All these things, and now he is excited about his new
plant-based diet. Do you know how wonderful this is?!
Granted, he's not vegan. And as soon as his wife is
healthier, they will go back to their non-plant-based
But still. It's such a great step in the correct direction.
And! Based on what Ron said, another co-worker,
my friend S, thinks she would like
to try a plant-based diet for a month.
She doesn't need to lose
weight, but her live-in diabetic sister does.
Plus, the three kids could be healthier too.
I remembered seeing a vegan program online that sent
daily email tips and stuff...
Vegan Kickstart by Physicians Committee for
I'm thinking about signing up myself, just to see what
Hope to watch Forks over Knives, soon, too!
Sat, 29 Jun 2013 08:55:49 PDT|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 25 mailings
Reply Mail: 0 postcards
Notecard Projects: 0 notecards
sun 23 june 2013... animal thoughts|
I am still trying, with not much success, to capture the
cuteness of the black-faced guinea pigs.
Here's Lucy. She's mostly black... and look at her cute
little left hand: black hand, white fingers!
And here's Ethel, drinking water.
She's mostly white, and she's the more
easy-going of the pair.
I went for a walk on the bike path this week, and saw my
first dragonflies of the season.
And I'm pretty sure the mournful squawking I heard this
morning was the baby crow that I've been waiting for!
Maybe he or she was mournful because it's the first time
being left alone? It didn't last long,
maybe 15 minutes, and then there
was a different crow speech: Here I am, you don't have
to be sad!
sat 22 june 2013... first garden bounty|
Yay sweet snap peas!
The pea plants are very happy, and we got our first
serious load of snap peas today!
The rest of the garden is still in growing mode.
And I am still in weed killing mode:
The planted areas, I quickly weed with a stirrup hoe.
The grassy areas, we are slowly digging up with the fork:
the grass dies and then I add that to my stirrup hoe area.
And then I just stare with displeasure at this
cover crop area where the garlic USED to be.
*sighs* The garlic has died and
the cover crop is Berseem clover... I should
take a pic, it's starting to bloom over there!
Also a few Borage plants, making the bees
The borage plants are companions to all the "fruit"
vegetable plants. Those beautiful star-shaped flowers
attract bees like crazy. And bees are necessary if you
want tomatoes, cucumbers or zucchini!
As we were leaving the garden today...
singing a beautiful song!
Sat, 22 Jun 2013 09:35:04 PDT|
Two Weeks of Mail Check-in
Reply Mail: 1 postcard
Notecard Projects: 1 notecards
sun 16 june 2013... rnd + pics|
Today we said a sad farewell to our established
strawberry patch. Unfortunately the grass had become
more established than the strawberry plants, so the
entire thing had to go.
I did save a couple handfuls
of plants, tho. The strawberries were so
yummy, I could not imagine the garden without them!
The rest of the garden is coming along nicely. Blossoms
showing up, here and there. I ate a good handful of sweet
snap peas. I should probably not go to the garden, hungry.
I can't bring it home if I've already eaten it all!
I am a happy user of the Google Reader... and like the
strawberry patch, we will say a sad farewell to Reader
on July 1st. Not because of weeds, and not because of...
well, actually, I'm not sure why the Reader is going
away. Google is just dumb I guess.
Anyway. I have been patiently awaiting the
to be built. But, with just two weeks left, and no
current updates... I'm getting a little concerned.
Yes, I must have a reader. a decent one. that looks good.
and functions like the Google Reader.
I have already determined that I don't like Feedly, which
is the most popular rss reader after google. And with that,
I gave up on the free readers.
looks like it will work for me. But, if I have to pay,
I'd like to wait and see what the Digg Reader will look
like (since it'll probably be pay as well).
ha! I almost forgot the squirrel at work...
Fri 14 june 2013... new piggie routine|
Approximately 6:25am-ish, I am walking down the stairs, and
Lucy and Ethel are running to the front of their house to
greet me! I pet them both and then go to
the kitchen and prepare the good part of their
But first, I clean their house. The new bedding is
towels, so I just roll it up and shake it out in the trash.
And then the strawberries come out.
Lucy loves strawberries! Ethel, just eats them because
Lucy is eating them. I fill up their dish with kibble
and give them a good pile of hay, and rinse out the
water bottle and
set it up with fresh vitamin C water.
Before I leave for work, I pick them up, one at a time
and sit with the one and the other on the couch.
Ethel is impatient with lap time, she squirms and wants
to walk around... and meantime Lucy is
running back and forth and anxiously chewing on the
fence. Other way around: Ethel couldn't care less if she's
alone in the house, and Lucy sits quietly in my lap
enjoying my attention. Funny girls.
I come home from work and give pats. I eat dinner then
clean their house again. Maybe baby carrots or some
And they can run around on the floor for a few minutes.
They run a couple laps around the coffee table. Next, they
make investigations in other parts of the living room.
They have yet to get very far, but it won't be long before
they are wandering thru the kitchen.
Later in the evening, I've been attempting some teaching
time. Lucy and Ethel are very easy to pick up... but I'd
like to make it even easier by teaching them to climb up
on my hand!
A couple carrots guiding the way, and Ethel understands
the new trick. Lucy is a bit more wary about being picked
up, but she loves carrots too, so it's just a matter of time!
I go to bed at a decent hour, but Significant Other stays
up all night and gives out celery or carrots capriciously!
sun 9 june 2013... garden|
Many, many baby plants have died in our garden this
But I think we have turned over a new
leaf, because all but one of the plants
we replaced last weekend are still alive!
So, the current plant list:
- Oregon Sugar Pod Snap Peas
- Salad Bush Hybrid Cucumber
- Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes *2
- Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes
- Sweet Potatoes *3
- Garlic, mostly dying. Foo.
- Asters (will have lots of little purple flowers)
- Moonbeam Coreopsis (will have lots of pale yellow flowers)
- Columbine (just done blooming)
- sunflowers *2
- and a few left over nasturtium, just getting re-established
Currently missing (because they have died several times over)
are Lemon Cucumber and Basil. Will try again with those
The guinea pigs are not allowed in the garden!
saturday 8 june 2013... Lucy and Ethel|
Yesterday we adopted two guinea pigs from
Greenhill Humane Society...
Ethel and Lucy are Abyssinian guinea pigs, and they have
cowlicks and swirls in their fur all over their body,
including their heads.
They were abandoned... left in their cage on the door step
of a local veterinary clinic.
So we have no history on them,
and they had to guess at their ages: Ethel is about 2 and
Lucy is about 1. (Guinea pigs live to be about 5 or 6
Lucy and Ethel are super sweet, easy to pick up and are
not shy at all! They are quite talkative... I love to
hear them talking to each other as they walk around their
new house, and even when I pick one up they still talk
to each other!
This morning, I came down the stairs and sat next to the
gp house to say "Good Morning" and Ethel came running up
to greet me. Lucy was a bit slower, but she said Hello
They are wonderful.
I am definitely not a complete person without a furry
one in my life. With pets in the house, I am back to
Sat, 08 Jun 2013 08:11:42 PDT|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 5 mailings
Reply Mail: 2 postcards
Notecard Projects: 0
1 Amnesty International Case
Sat, 01 Jun 2013 09:01:04 PDT|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 28 GR PC mailings
Reply Mail: 0 postcards
Notecard Projects: 0 notecards
Okay, need to get back to those
replies, notecards and letters!
sunday 26 may 2013... vacation|
I turned 40 this month! Whoa!
In celebration, I took a vacation and visited my
parents and brother in Colorado. We did a ton of stuff,
and yet, in the end it was the most relaxing and
delightful holiday I've ever had!
On the Art front: we toured a pewter art sculpture
gallery, went to the Loveland historical museum
which also had
some paintings and mail art, visited
an African sculpture park
also in Loveland, and did a bronze foundery tour.
On the Walking and Hiking front: a walk on the ELC trail
ended with some raptors, a hike in Rocky Mountain National
Park to Gem Lake, and a walk about Peaceful Prairie
Sanctuary was my absolute favorite.
I have so much to say, and so many pictures, I hardly
know where to begin. ha. so please stay tuned, while
I get my thoughts organized.
Sat, 25 May 2013 08:08:23 PDT|
Three Weeks of Mail, Check-in
Reply Mail: 0 postcards
Notecard Projects: 2 notecards
I've been busy, on vacation, and busy again!
And now I'm ready to catch up with some blog posts,
and some mail!
sat 4 may 2013... summer|
There's a good breeze going today...
The oak tree catkins are floating down
and then the wind sweeps them into drifts like snow.
I love the sound of the leaves in the breeze.
There's a word for it:
Well, it's obsolete, and I don't know how to pronouce it.
But still. :)
It's a little bit too sunshiny to go outside today, even
with the lovely breeze. So I'm looking out the window,
at the trees with their new leaves and their falling
flowers. And I'm reading my book...
My book is a page-turner:
The Color Purple.
I pulled it off the banned books list, and discovered
that it's an epistolary book (written as letters).
It's sad and intense and much more subtle than the movie.
I will finish it quickly.
Sat, 04 May 2013 08:06:39 PDT|
Weekly Mail Check-in
This Week: 25 mailings
Reply Mail: 0 postcards
Notecard Projects: 1 notecard
sat 27 apr 2013... postcard organization|
Today has been a day of organization for some of my
Organization is not my strong point, but when you are
sending out 70 or 100 bits of mail every month, and getting
who-knows how much back... well, a little bit of orderliness
I have a couple of ways of keeping track of my mail...
I scan all mail.
Everyone gets their own
directory on the computer. In theory, I also scan the
text side of my out-going postcards, which goes into
everyone's directory as well...
I am no longer able to send mail to everyone
in my address book every month; So,
scanning my out-going mail helps to know who got what.
Every bit of daily mail gets listed in a table...
I look at and add to this file almost every day.
Sometimes, seeing this file, I realize I am crazy.
Fortunately, I am crazy in the good/happy way that
makes people smile.
For the postcard exchange that I run, I keep a simple database.
Each participant gets an entry which includes their
address and when they joined.
And then each monthly postcard exchange has an entry with
the different participants listed.
I spend quite a lot of time hosting this postcard
project... it's something near and dear to my heart.
But I worry about what I'm going to do if I ever
get a membership explosion!
Today, I set up a separate table listing for my
Yes, LetterMo was in February. And Yes, I am still working
on my replies! As I mentioned: organization is not my
strong point. :)
I'm hoping that having a smaller file, that is focused
on replies, will call my attention to what needs to be
I really like the little "April Daily Mail" reports
I've been making here!
So! I'm going to continue with my saturday morning
"Weekly Mail Check-in". My hope is that I continue with
the mail replies.
Sat, 27 Apr 2013 08:50:39 PDT|
April Daily Mail: Week 4
(Total Mail: 81 mailings)
This Week: 18 mailings
Reply Mail: 3 postcards
Notecard Projects: 2 notecards
sat 20 apr 2013... garden|
Our first 2013 trip to Saturday Market. We bought some
basic starts for the garden: Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato,
Diva Cucumber, Lemon Cucumber, Basil and Cilantro.
An excellent beginning... but I want some serious flowers
this year. We were walking back, through the back edge
of the Market, when this caught my eyes...
Wow, look at that BLUE!
This is a teeny tiny plant, native to the Alps.
Gentian. It will probably die of root rot before
the summer gets here. But I'm going to enjoy it
immensely while it lives!
Sat, 20 Apr 2013 08:18:33 PDT|
April Daily Mail: Week 3
(Total Mail: 63 mailings)
This Week: 21 mailings
Reply Mail: 0 postcards (ACK)
Notecard Projects: 1 of 5 sent
Sun, 14 Apr 2013 17:39:35 PDT|
April Daily Mail: Week 2
(Total Mail: 42 mailings)
This Week: 29 mailings
Reply Mail: 5 postcards
I am rift vegan!|
(Also known as cheri.)
I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA,
with my Significant Other (SO), and guinea pigs
Lucy and Ethel.
I am vegan for ethical and environmental reasons,
my love for animals and nature is
a very important part of my life.
This blog is occasionally about...
∞ Vegan Life
∞ Handmade Postcards
∞ Books, Reading & eBooks
∞ the Paper Journal
∞ Drawing & Art Projects
∞ Randomness :)