Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nanowrimo is Keeping Me Busy in Unusual Ways

It's funny how doing Nanowrimo impacts my life. It lead me to meet new people. It lead me to find a local used  bookstore with  a writer friendly owner. While there, I got new books on crafts at her half off sale for November on non-fiction. And that led me to get back into fashion illustration.

The only thing I haven't been doing all that well on is writing the novel for Nanowrimo!  I think my novel is just over 5,000 words right now and my poetry Nano just passed 5,000 words. So about 10,000 in all. Except on the timeline I think I'm supposed to be around 15,000 words on each Nano account.

I also knitted a bunny from another book I got at the used bookstore called the Knitted Odd-Bod Bunch.
Two women from the High Desert Bloggers Meet Up

My bunny was inspired by the book. It's not in the book.
In a way writing 50,000 words of poetry is more fun and easier for me than the novel. That's because it doesn't have a plot. I can jump from a silly rhyming poem to a long wordy freestyle verse and no one cares. It doesn't have to have a linear timeline. I can hop all over the place. The novel on the other hand, isn't cooperating at all. I like to think of it as Firefly meets the Wild Wild West (the old TV series, Not the movie).  It's going to be a good story if I can ever get it together.

After I'd already started two Nano projects I ran across a guy that is blogging for his 50,000 word nano.  I wish I'd thought of that since I blog every day anyway. But there is no way I'm doing 3 Nanowrimo projects.  Two is insane enough.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Homebody

I find I get a lot more done if I have a to-do list. It somehow gets me over the hump when my motivation is flagging. So here is today's list, and I didn't even start it until noon, so I'm not done yet. The goal was to do each listing for an hour.

1. Knitting x
2. Kitchen
3. Housework x
4. Music x
5. Give it 100 (Goal setting site) x
6. Reading x
7. Writing
8. Crochet or Weaving

It's 7:30 P.M. and I still have 40 minutes to go in the kitchen (not counting making dinner), an hour of writing and an hour of crochet. So far the only thing I've written today is this blog post.

For #5 I worked on juggling and mandolin. So mandolin counts for music as well. It's not a perfect system. My back is complaining loudly right now so the dishes are going to have to wait until I can stand at the sink again.

I made some progress on my desk as part of housework. Of course I had other things I had to do that weren't on the list like care for the chickens, check the tomatoes for bugs, feed the cat, answer a letter and walk to the mailbox and back 3 times. I spend more time just walking around the 1/2 acre that is my yard. The garden is in the very back and the mailbox is in the very front. I feel like I'm walking laps all day.

I better get back to it.
Learning to play scales on my mandolin.

Goofing around with my juggling rings.

Apple Valley, CA sunset

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Orchestra and Pow-Wow

Yesterday I got to check something off of my BID list (before I die). I got to play in an orchestra in front of a live audience. If Firefly had an orchestra this would be it: a ragtag team of mixed instruments, races, ages, sizes and colors. We had keyboards, violins, guitars, basses, drums, a cello, saxes, a flute and two fifes. I don't know how we all managed to fit on that stage. I only got to play 2 chords but I had a blast. It was at the Victorville Spice of Life Fall Festival.

Today is the Lucerne Valley, CA Pow-wow. I was supposed to share a booth there but my partner canceled. So I'm going to take some crafts with me and a chair, and hang out under a shade tree and watch the folks do what they do. I'm going to make the best of it in whatever way I can. The weather is perfect.

Whatever you do today, have fun.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Works in Progress Wednesday: New and Not So New Fiber Arts

Knitting a scarf that I found in 'Greetings From Knit Cafe. So far it's beige. Two x two ribbing.

I'm almost finished with my red and grey woven tam too.

And I'd really like to get back to quilting today.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I Could Use Some Energy

For some reason I was in a bad mood when I got home from the art studio last night. I did better as far as throwing pots went, but I was disappointed with some of the things the owner said to me. When I got out of the car, Fletcher was sitting outside in the yard talking to a friend on the phone. As I walked past him, I felt something biting my foot. I was wearing flip-flops and it was dark so I never saw what it was but it stung like a scorpion sting in spite of icing it, standing in cold water, and putting Benadryl on it. At 2 AM I took some Ibuprophen (mainly because my back was hurting from throwing pots) and went to bed.  Ten minutes later I turned the light back on because the pain made it impossible to sleep. I read some more of the Witchling book until I finally nodded off.  Then at 4 AM a car alarm went off and I heard a car driving past the house. Since I live in the middle of nowhere, I had to get up and see if my car was still in the driveway.  It was, and I was thankful that my foot wasn't hurting anymore.

This time I slept until almost 8 AM and got up right as Fletcher was off to work. Two hours later, I couldn't keep my eyes open and had to go back to bed again. It's a Saturday and I have lots to do but I just don't have the energy for it. I watered 2 of the trees. It's the desert. If you don't water things, they die rather quickly.  I worked on my weaving some. I'd like to do something more physical today. The dishes at the very least. But I can still barely keep my eyes open.
Me a few years ago.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Day Full of Creativity

Already thinking of Halloween.
Yesterday was an explosion of creative adventures. I've been using the Law of Attraction to bring things into my life. Odd things to prove to myself that it works. One of the 'odd things' I asked for was some sort of metallic skeleton key to use in a guitar I'm making out of a license plate. And lo and behold, I went to a thrift store that had recently moved in by the knitting shop, and there, hanging on a peg was not just one, but four decorative skeleton keys. My license plate has a bronco on it, and 3 of the four keys have a western theme. There's a cowboy boot, a horseshoe, a horse head and a star. Even the star is meaningful because I've been collecting stars for my 'Starry the Clown' kit.

And the whole lot of them was $8.00.

I also manifested another thing I've wanted for a long time: a hair fork.
And the 3 crochet hooks for $1. each were just icing on the cake.

Earlier in the day I'd gone to the Dollar Store and they had the white twine and poster board I needed for a hat I'm weaving.

Then it was off to the knitting gathering to knit for a few hours. Only in my case I spent it weaving a hat.
And I picked up some more striped yarn for my medicine pouches for the powwow.

As if that wasn't enough creativity for one day, then it was off to my new art studio that I joined.
I got to relearn how to throw a  pot after a 30 year break. And the universe provided me with a kind and gentle woman teacher. All my pottery teachers up to this point have been male with big strong arms and hands. This women taught me how to be gentle on my hands, including a new way of centering clay that doesn't involve brute strength. The studio also had the clay and tools I need for a very reasonable price. I used loaner tools the first time, but I'll have my own next go round. I made two pots last night, so when I go back I'll get to trim those. Yesterday was the best day I've had in a long time.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Roadrunner Gets a Free Lunch

Hope my friend turns this into an art studio someday.

Me in blue.
I am so happy it is Saturday. I just got a new book about giving away art so I'm going to make something and just give it away. This isn't a new thing for me. I even have a blog about it I started years ago. The title of the book is the Art Abandonment Project and they call the participants Abandoneers. And if any town needs free art it is Lucerne Valley CA. This is such an economically depressed area, I can't imagine the schools have much art funding, if any.

My honey also got me two other books. The other two are on making musical instruments. I am so excited to get those books and I can't wait to make a guitar using an old license plate. Yes, it will challenge my very limited woodworking, metalworking and electronics skills, but I'm going to give it a shot until I get the hang of it. It is so far out of my comfort zone. That is why I must do it.

I'm also going to the library to return a Bob Dylan video and CD and also to return Dead Poet's Society, my favorite Robin William's movie. I love movies about freethinkers.

Yesterday I glanced out my front window, and on the table was a hawk. Sitting right there. So close I could have touched it if there wasn't glass in the window. Amazing.

We also had trapped a mouse in a mousetrap. Fletcher tossed it to a roadrunner, and the roadrunner snatched it up in a flash and ran off.

Time to get going before it gets any hotter out. I am sitting in front of a swamp cooler, so it feels like I have all the time in the world. But the second I step out of the house, it can feel like a blast furnace.
Working on a gray necklace in crochet.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Kaleidoscopes Fascinate Me

I just realized I have all these great kaleidoscopes that match my blog name, and I should be making use of them all.

I love the colors in this one. It reminds me of a giant eye or a camera shutter.

Sometimes I love working with white on white. Or in this case red on white. Working with a limited palette is both freeing and surprising.

Friday, September 5, 2014

New Daily Musings Page

Hi there,
I just moved my Daily Musings page from my 'Give it 100' blog over to this one. You will now see a tab at the top that says Daily Musings.  Sometimes when life has me in a mad dash from sunrise to sunset I don't have a lot of time for blogging. But you can keep up with me by subscribing to the Daily Musings. Tired of going to blogs where nothing new is added? Now each day the Daily Musings page will be crisp and fresh.  But beware; it all gets deleted when the next  page goes up, so if you want to save a link or anything grab it now.

Every day I try to come up with a new hairstyle for

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Metaphysical Arts

My boyfriend brought me a business card yesterday from a Pawnee Shaman. That must have had a subliminal affect on me because I fell into Vistaprint at midnight and didn't come up for air until 5 AM. I ordered business cards for my tarot, psychic mediumship, hypnotherapy business and it took me forever to figure out what to put on them that would be obvious to people that are into that, and a bit obscure to those that think it's all a bunch of hooey.

I fell in love with a card of a man and women dancing the tango. At least I think it's the tango. Then where it said 'Company Name' I put 'Zelena's Dance & Theater Studio" (a big dream of mine). It looked fantastic on there, but since the studio doesn't exist yet, I tried a bunch of other titles including 'witch', 'high priestess', creatologist, creatrix, Maker of Things, and a few others. I finally settled on Metaphysical Arts. Now I have to learn not to be so shy that I can't even give out the cards. I feel really vulnerable putting myself out there like that, because the minute you do, someone will come along and say 'prove it.'

Then I found some return address labels that matched the red and gold color scheme.

And then just for fun I ordered labels that have a graphic of a monkey juggling, because I like juggling and monkeys and I need to lighten up once in a while.

The whole reason I was looking at return address labels in the first place was that Fletcher wanted me to order him some conservative address labels. And because it's the labor day weekend, both Zazzle and Vistaprint are having discounts.  So I got a great deal. Now I just have to wait 8 days to get them and hope I didn't make any typos at 3 AM.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mystery Heels and Other Mundania

I am rejoicing that the weather is cool for a change. In spite of getting 4 hours of sleep last night, I have more energy than I do when it is in the triple digits.

I wrote a 2nd letter to my friend who is at National Guard boot camp. I hope the letters aren't too boring. I barely know the guy. He's our newest neighbor. He's married with a new baby at home.

His birthday is in early September, so I need to get a birthday card off to him soon. I wanted to shop for one yesterday, but I didn't think to look at Winco, and Fletcher was too tired to go to the .99 shop. He was all shopped out by then.

I bought wooden and bamboo spoons to do wood burning designs. If they come out they are going in my Etsy shop. If not, I'm going to have a lot of spoons for stirring batter.

I'm working hard on my personal goals, but I'm so sick of looking at myself that I could just scream.
Someone sent me 2 new pairs of heels to cheer me up. One pair is too small, and on the other pair I've already managed to lose part of the trim, and I haven't even worn them yet! Now where did that little spike get off to? Weird. If I'd bought them myself, I would just return them for a refund, but it is a bit more complicated when it is a gift from someone in another state. FYI if I say I wear wide shoes and regular shoes won't fit, trust me on that one. I'm not even sure I want to tell him. I don't want to ruin his fun. What is that about not looking a gift horse in the mouth? I may find the spike, but I took them outside to take this photo so if it fell off in the sand, it will be like finding a needle in a haystack. Plus now I'm afraid to wear them because I don't want more to fall out.

Although I'm not a big fan of 'thinspiration' I do like the idea of 'fitspiration'. For once in my life I'd like to be really fit, you know what I mean? I'm working on the Paleo diet, but I never realized before now how addicted I am to corn and potatoes. I feel like I grew up on a farm in Iowa or something. Potatoes and corn are  cheap fillers, so that is what a lot of us grew up on. Like last night Fletcher made sauteed fish and I made roasted potatoes. He didn't want me to fill up on fish because it is more expensive. He made a nice salad too. I didn't have the heart to tell him I really needed to leave off the potatoes and the cheese in the salad and just eat a lot of fish and salad. I know the fish costs more, but if I don't eat the other stuff it will lower the cost of the dinner, right?

Plus I want to make chicken enchiladas and I shouldn't eat those either. No grains and no cheese. Sigh. I don't have that much resolve.

I revised one of my old Twitter accounts and changed the name to WillowLeviosa to match my Pottermore name. It's an encouragement Twitter feed. If you want to follow me just search for that name. It forces me to focus on positive things to say and having a law of attraction mindset. Such things do not come naturally to me. My father was the King of sarcasm and so I became the Princess of Sarcasm. I enjoy being witty and clever but I realized it wasn't going to get me very far, unless I want to become a stand-up comic.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Recovering From a Bad Morning

This morning was going so poorly, that I determined I'd find some way to redeem it. I wasn't going to waste a whole day! Sometimes the only thing that works for me is a change of venue. So I threw some projects in a car and headed to the local mom and pop diner. After a lunch of comfort food and an ice cream cone, I was ready to face the rest of the day. I wrote 3 pages in my journal to get everything out of my system. Then I went to a thrift store in search of brass bells, a cowbell and ties from the '40's. I didn't find any, but I had fun. Then I went to the local market and bought a cantaloupe, some green onions, and took out $20 cash in case the other thrift stores panned out. But for some reason the Lucerne Valley Thrift stores are high. I think because it is on Hwy 18 and they think some city slickers with fat wallets are going to be driving through, they jack up the prices. Being in Atascadero spoiled me. I found great deals at five thrift shops up there.

Henry's is closing. But it turns out they are just moving across the street.  But honestly, in the four or so times I've been in there I've never bought a thing.  My favorite thrift store closed. I knew the owner was just liquidating stuff until her house in Mexico was finished, but I was sad to see her go. 

The Apple Valley ones are hit and miss. The one run by seniors has the best prices. I'll be going back to that one weekly I think.

My blogs used to get so many views. Now there are probably billions of blogs, so it is hard to get any traffic at all. If you like my blog, I hope you will follow it. When I see I had 2 viewers today, it makes me sad.

I sat outdoors reading as the moon rose tonight. I'd really like to finish Winter Tale and get on to some of the other books I have lined up.  My weekly reading goal is crashing and burning because I keep picking long books.

I got the rest of my raised bed container garden  planted yesterday morning. I put in Kaleidoscope carrots, 2 kinds of lettuce, and some older beet seeds that I hope will do something.  And I put in cucumbers but I hope they don't cross pollinate with the gourds or vice versa.

Yesterday I got out the drill and put another latch on the chicken coop.The side of the coop lifts up for easy access, but if you prop it up there and the wind suddenly gusts, it crashes down. So now it hooks in position and I can use both hands to tend to the water and seed, or grab a chicken if necessary.

I'm not sure if I want to put these beauties on a hatband or on my crazy quilt.

I decided to knit a vest with the gray and white poodle yarn.
I'm really into teardrop beads right now.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Kazoos and Doll Heads

Today was like a tornado of busyness for me.

I got to explore some of the Apple Valley thrift stores which are conveniently located across the street from my knitting meeting. I think I love thrift stores because they bring back so many memories of my departed family members. First off I found a whole bag of doll heads that look like grandpa. My grandmother used to re-purpose old dish detergent bottles and turn them into Granny and Grandpa dolls. I did buy one ugly set of doll parts that would make a cool creepy elf doll.

Then at another thrift store a man leaving passed me with a stack of vinyl records. I asked if he'd left any for anyone else and he said, "Sure, but I got the best ones." After I'd shopped there and paid cash for all my goodies, I saw a sign that said 'all records ten cents'. Well, I saw a project on Pinterest where you frame and hang old album covers on the wall. I've wanted to do that for a while, preferably with old belly dance album covers.  So I started flipping through all the old albums, only to find one for a singer named Kay Starr. My mom loved her music. One of the songs was, "I'm so lonely." That deeply reminded me of my mom. If I had a turntable I would have bought it.

Anyway, I ended up with a stack of 11 record covers, all with a dance theme. Couldn't find any belly dance ones though.

I was also looking for skirts at Walmart and Target and they didn't have a thing. One thrift store has just the kind of skirts I want, but they were too small. I'm tempted to go back there today and look again if only I can think of some way to alter them to fit that won't make me look too dorky. Maybe I could slit them up to the waist and wear them over pants or leggings or another skirt. The fabrics really are lovely.

Then it was off to the knit and crochet gathering at Fanciwerks. Even though some of the ladies stay from 10 to 5 on Mondays and/or Wednesdays, I don't have that kind of time to sit and knit (and my hands don't like it). But I happily stayed until about 4:30.  I was expecting company at 5 or later so I drove home to tidy up.

Our friends were a wee bit late. That's what happens when you are driving from state to state with a wee one. After visiting, we realized all the local restaurants would be closed, so we high tailed it over to Victorville. We ended up at the Roadhouse for some mighty tasty vittles. I even saw a sign in their decor that said "Hudson" that would look great in a certain little someone's bedroom. Maybe I can find one like it on Ebay or something.

I had no luck finding a metal kazoo at the thrift stores, so I just ordered one on Ebay this morning. I want to play kazoo and washboard like the guy in the Wiyos.

Whipping up an octopus at the knitting meeting.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Gourd Art and Daily Activities

So many blessings have come into my life suddenly that I'm chasing my tail trying to be a good steward to all of them. I just can't do them justice.

Last night I dreamed I was being mauled by a leopard. So yeah, feeling a bit overwhelmed here.

Yesterday we got cages to prop up the tomato plants. I thought I had 3 or 4 tomato plants left, so I got 4 baskets. Turns out I have 5 tomato plants. But one of them is still small, so it might be a dwarf variety. In spite of starting our garden at the beginning of July, it's doing very well.

The gourd tools have gone missing so I need to get out there and help look for them. They are made for scraping out the inside of gourds.  Guy made them special. I'm sure they are in our tool container somewhere. I got 2 styles of gourds. One is to make quail figurines and the other ones are for doll faces with long noses. I haven't made dolls in a while and I'd' really like to get back to it. I bought some 'poodle' yarn recently on sale for .99 a skein and it will make great doll hair. It may be too bulky for the gourd dolls though. We'll see. It will go in my stash until the best use comes along.

Speaking of quail, we had 2 or 3 coveys with baby quail in them. The oldest ones turned into teen quail, so it's possible that they now look like adults so I can't single them out. But of all those babies there is now only one. I feel bad that the rest probably got eaten. They are at the bottom of the food chain between the hawks and the coyotes and the snakes. Makes me mad, but what can I do.

Someone is over here working on bows right now. (Bows as in archery, not bows as in hair).
I didn't realize he was coming today or I would have grabbed a shower. I didn't really need to be clean and shiny just to do the laundry, dishes and feed the chickens. He was going to come yesterday but we had rain intermittently. He is from here, but is going to school in NM. I grew up in New Mexico but haven't been there since I moved away in '69.

I hope Guy has time to make salsa today. We got all the ingredients yesterday. So much to do, so little time.

Gourd display in the Welburn Gourd shop.
Gourd Dollies
Under the oaks
Oaks at the Welburn Gourd Farm in Fallbrook, CA

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August is Here & We Have a Bit of Rain

New plants in my Zen garden

Fairy mushrooms sprouted in my raised beds. They only last a day.
It is a little wet and rainy out and I'm really enjoying my panoramic view. I love it that my garden is getting rain. California is having a major drought so all rain is good rain in my book. Hopefully in a week or two, new desert flowers will be blooming as well. They are little time capsules, just waiting for the right moisture to bloom.

I'm almost done reading a Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. I can't believe it is taking me so long as he is an excellent writer and well worth the effort of reading.

Mostly I've been swamped with the website I'm doing a huge self-improvement project which has been taking over my life.

My daughter gifted me with the book the Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor. As soon as I'm done with the other book, it's next. I put on 12 pounds while on vacation. Egads!

I just hypnotized someone in a chat room and he was so impressed he sent me money. Woot!

Our neighbors came back from vacation and also paid us for watching their cats and dogs and watering everything. Oh and chickens. We had to feed and water the 2 chickens.

Speaking of chickens, ours no longer look like pullets. They are getting fluffy and making bocking sounds. Bock bock. They are munching on live meal worms too. Boy they love those things. I hold one outside the chicken wire so they can reach through and grab one without taking my finger off.

I'm also making a country musical instrument called a washboard. Yes, I'm turning into a hillbilly. And I don't care.

So I just made my to-do list and was ready to dive in when my boyfriend said he is off to Victorville to get things for the garden. So yay! I want to go of course. I'll try to do the dishes first though, because usually by the time we get home I'm too tired.

I also started a Manga style painting this morning of a cat girl, when the rain started. So I put it away for now. I need to clean off my table in my container studio, so I can paint inside in bad weather. During the heat of the day it is way too hot in there to paint so I haven't worried about it much. But if I'd kept it clean, I'd be painting right now. Just one more way I keep getting in my own way.

I will still have all the specialized blogs, but I'll do my best to make this one a priority, because I don't always have time to itemize every topic into the right blog.

Washboard DIY