Friday, April 24, 2015

Only the Necessary

Going through my closet, discarding clothing and deciding that I need only a dress or two, a funeral dress or a party dress, for both are indeed the same, decisions were made.  Good Will received a portion, but the garbage pile also took on am embarrassingly large accretion of tee shirts.  Today's wardrobe, for me, consists of pants, long in winter, cropped in summer, and long flowing tops of linen or cotton.

So why on earth did I still hang on to that suit jacket from 15 years ago?  I will never again have an office job, nor will I ever don that expensive wool suit, for I am not of that generation, although time and age is creeping me onward.
A man who has at length found something to do will not need to get a new suit to do it in; for him the old will do, that has lain dusty in the garret for an indeterminate period.[....] I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes. If there is not a new man, how can the new clothes be made to fit? If you have any enterprise before you, try it in your old clothes. All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be ... Henry David Thoreau
For I have found something to do, something to love, something to look forward to and some place to be in my old and comfortable clothing.  Gardening, volunteering, reading, writing and painting need only replacement items.

Even our dead wood and other debris placed on our front curb, set out for the annual "Fresh as A Daisy" pickup by the city, funded by tax dollars, was eschewed by several clunker type bashed up pickups.  This was after the old wrought iron paraphernalia and plastics were previously snatched by recyclers seeing gold in our discards.

One decision made last summer regarding our garden was that I would never purchase an accessory for the outside that was not made from natural materials: iron, clay, stone, rock, wood are all acceptable.  Look what I found yesterday while clearing off fallen leaves from our cottonwoods.  It is a tree stump hollowed out over the years by little ants (carpenter ants?) that turned the wood into "frass," something that looks like sawdust.  When I moved the stump and turned it over, the bottom portion turned out half eaten and decayed, a perfect place for planting pansies.  How fortunate when turned upside down, a lucky benevolence!

And now nary a piece of plastic to show in the wildflower garden!

This week a friend whose husband recently passed away gave me a polished rock from his collection.  He was a lapidarist with a massive collection of rocks and equipment that she donated to Ft. Lewis College in Durango where he taught for over two decades.  

This rock has snails embedded in the fossil.  I looked it up and found it is called an "ammonite" and the snails could have lived as long as 415 million years ago.  I am wearing it today and thinking of her and her lovely garden.

My last writing class in April 28, and I will have some readings to share during May.  And for all you Garrison Keillor fans of "A Prairie Home Companion," Sharon Olds will be on his show tomorrow evening, April 25, live from Town Hall.  We have read some of her work in our writing classes, so I am looking forward to hearing her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Measure Twice

After watching a YouTube tutorial by Irmgard Rawn, I decided to paint a rose in watercolors in an impressionistic manner.  Or two or three, or maybe even a whole bunch.  They turned out pretty well, so I recycled a matt, glass and frame to use as a wall hanging.

But I cut the danged watercolor paper too short to correctly fit inside the matting.

So now I will cut up all the roses on the paper and use them for note cards.  And I will start over on another painting, this time ensuring the size will correctly fit into the matt before cutting the completed watercolor.

This was 140# paper, soaked for 15 minutes prior to stretching.  The predominant color is "Opera," which gives a punch to the usual pinks.  Although Irmgard produced a magnificent piece, and mine won't compare, that is really not what painting is about.  Let's put it another way: painting is all about what makes one happy.  The roses made me happy.  And I get to try again and make even more impressionistic roses, and perhaps they will actually get framed.  We shall see.

My friend PomPom whose blog can be accessed here, talked about slicing up lemons, layering them with sugar and refrigerating them until the juices seep out sweetness.  A friend of hers from the Ukraine taught her that trick; I did just that a few minutes ago and cannot wait until this afternoon to try some in iced tea.

Happy spring, all!  Time to go play pinochle and have coffee with friends.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Watermelon Socks?

Have you heard of picture yarn?  Well, Abi Grasso from Colorado Springs dyes it up in all kinds of colors with graphics that make pictures when knit.  She has an Etsy shop here.

Example: my watermelon socks

A neat trick, and the pictures are either closer together or conversely, further apart, given the size needles you use for knitting.  At one time, Abi dyed Santa Claus yarn, but it is not available this time of year.

This watermelon yarn was knit on size 1 needles and I was oh, so careful, to make the stripes match up because that is my OCD (my little tiny problem) that comes out in my knitting.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with Elise working on a new website for The Grand Junction Brush and Palette Club.  We put together pictures but we need many more for greater punch to show off this club.  It looks like only my photos are on there now, because others have not yet sent theirs in.  This is where you can see the Brush and Palette new website.  

Next week's program on April 16 at the Artist's Haven in Grand Junction will be a not-to-miss activity with Jim Brock.

He says:
My work is accomplished for its meditative possibilities. It is reflective of my interest in contemplative art that explores nature´s dualities, serendipitous qualities, and inherent spiritual mystery. 
There are three things that my work is teaching me – what to paint and what not to paint, when to start and when to stop, and when to have at it alone and when to ask for help – all dual, serendipitous, and spiritual.
Jim Brock 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Easter Eggs Dyed with Nail Polish

Scouting around on Pinterest, I found an easy way to color hard boiled eggs for Easter decorations.

Steps for a DIY project that literally takes only a minute!
  • hard boil some eggs
  • add water to within an inch from the brim in a throw away cup
  • add glops of old nail polish in all the colors you have accumulated (yes, go ahead and splurge and use your new colors, too)
  • the colors do not mix, kinda like oil and water won't mix, don't worry
  • put an egg in the water, roll it around and voila! the shells take on the nail polish
  • use a plastic spoon to remove your egg from the water
  • put your colored eggs on a paper towel to dry
  • discard your throw away cup

A fun and easy project!!