Sun, Jan. 29th, 2017 08:48 am
scarlettina: (Angel)
I got up and recorded the poem I posted here. I went and had a ridiculously delicious and caloric brunch with friends. We went and bought art supplies. I came home and did some painting, and then I spent the rest of the day napping and coloring. This is one of the two pages I colored. It's in a coloring calendar I purchased for 2017. This is June; I also colored February. It's done in color pencil with gold Sharpie marker highlights (that don't translate well in a photograph). I bought the calendar to remind myself as I color each month that only I can make of the year what it becomes.

scarlettina: (Snowflake 2)
Baby, it's cold outside It's finally feeling like winter. Am I celebrating? No. It's just . . . well, it's December and it's finally cold. Reality is catching up with the conceptual template of our calendar. I may not have enough warm clothes of the proper size to wear this season. I really do need to clean up the bedroom, shop in my closet and see what's what.

Only crazy people travel at Christmas time In a nod to my emotional needs, I've gotten plane tickets to visit the family for Christmas and Chanukah despite my dislike for traveling at this time of year (with all the amateurs) and despite the fact that I shouldn't be spending such money when I'm still paying off August's medical adventure. Given that my brother and sister-in-law have made the typical Long Island marriage (he's Jewish, she's Italian), we'll be celebrating both Chanukah and Christmas, and we'll be doing much of it with her big Italian family. It should be fun, and I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone.

If you don't fit the work, make the work fit you I've started to do informational interviews at the day job to understand what my career movement options are in-house before I start looking elsewhere. It has been suggested that I have the chops for (watch out: technical jargon ahead) product owner, program manager or business analyst. Business analyst is beginning to appeal to the part of me that enjoys taking things apart, understanding them and putting them back together again in more efficient, effective ways (not unlike book editing). More research to do on this front, but it's helping to alleviate the dissatisfaction and frustration I've been feeling at the day job.

Color my world Painting group was last night and I think I may have said everything I wanted to say on the canvas I was working on. I've asked the instructor to get me another canvas to work on. I'm not going to start on the new one until I look at the current work one last time to make sure I'm really done with it. I tried some new materials and techniques last night (working with a high-flow paint that feathers beautifully when squirted with water) and want to see how it all dries and resolves. Things are sparking in my head, and I'm liking the sensation.

Gemstone jam I may or may not have mentioned here that I'm going to be a vendor at the company holiday craft fair. I'm generating jewelry, but it's going more slowly than I need it to, and the fair is barreling down upon me. It has occurred to me that I've spent a lot of time making elaborately pretty things, but I need to make some really simple things that will be less expensive. Tonight I need to put together some simple, easy pendants. But this means going over to Fusion Beads to spend money on chain and cord. :: sigh :: I'll never make back the money I'm spending on this experiment. It's a worthy experiment but it's a costly one.
scarlettina: (Make things)
I've been looking for creative outlets the last couple of months, things that are deliberately not writing, because writing is really loaded for me right now. There is no way I will not write fiction again, but right now it's so freighted with stuff for me that it's just on hold. I've turned my attentions to painting and making jewelry.

The jewelry-making is part outlet and part experiment. I've made jewelry for years. I sold stuff on Etsy for a while. This year, I decided to participate in my company's annual holiday craft fair, so I'm busily manufacturing pieces for sale. I need a lot of stock, most of which I know I won't sell. But the table must look full and it must sparkle. I've already made something like 25 pairs of earrings--I need a lot more. I've made only two necklaces and four bracelets. Given how soon the fair is, I've got to step it up. Today is for some of that. What I've learned is that though I love the process of making jewelry, like any creative endeavor, now that I have to do it, I'm not enjoying it quite as a much, even though each and every piece is a learning experience in one way or another. With one piece I find I wrap wire a little more neatly and efficiently. With another I discover a better way to hold the piece while I draw a needle through a bead so as to save my hands in the work. Today needs to be a marathon of manufacturing. Whether I do it here or, perhaps, at the Wayward Coffeehouse, where there would be company without company (as one gets in a coffeehouse), the work must be done.

I have gone through periods of my life doing visual art in one fashion or another. One of the things I decided earlier this fall was that I wanted a decidedly non-verbal outlet that might allow me to process some emotional stuff at the same time as I was being creative. I signed up for a class called "expressive painting," which is basically doing abstract art. The first session was enormously satisfying and resulted (as I have written about here) in lots of dreaming. The second class resulted in more of the same. Bonus: I'm really enjoying what I'm doing there. Whenever I've done artwork, it has tended to be figurative. This business of just laying the paint on the canvas without a plan, playing with brushes and sponges and my fingers in the paint has so far proven really cathartic--which is exactly what I wanted. I woke up yesterday with an idea for a pencil drawing; I need to get out my paper and pencils and make an attempt there. This has never happened before.

So between these two efforts, there's something going on. Contrary to my usual habit, I'm trying not to think too hard about any of it; I'm trying to just be with it, to just let it happen without too much contemplation. I'm so good at getting in my own way. I don't want that to happen here.
scarlettina: (Huh?)
I went to what was billed as an "expressive painting" class last night. The teacher is an art therapist. She wasn't there to be a therapist to the class, so much as she was there to facilitate our creativity. I painted for more than 90 minutes. Based on last night's dreams, things were unearthed.

I dreamed that I went to a place where masks of people's faces--life masks, death masks--were kept. The person who ran the place, or curated the place, took out stacks of masks in twos and threes, and with them, loosed the ghosts that came with them. I was a reporter or investigator there to report on what went on there. I woke up when the ghosts became too intense, when it was too much. I was overcome by sleep, but for a few minutes, I lay in bed fighting sleep because I was too afraid to go back to that room.

Then I dreamed I was out with SA. We were bicycle riding in a city, maybe New York, maybe some other place. We stopped at a mind-reader/fortune teller. He looked at me and did a reading, telling me about where I'd been born, who my father was and what he did for a living. He was a revealed as a fake when he said that my marriage to SA was going to last and last. When I held up my hand to show that I wasn't wearing a wedding ring, he changed his story, saying that at this point, it was unlikely I'd ever get married. SA was upset by this and insisted on paying for the reading. I made him keep his money and paid myself, telling the reader that the next time he tells a woman she's going to be alone the rest of her life, he shouldn't be so gleeful about it.

We walked away. I was walking my bicycle. SA didn't have his. We passed a group of people milling on the side of the street. D was there, his beard grown out, his face smudged with dark stage make-up. I had this idea that they'd been to the theater. I knew he was coming to Seattle soon. When he saw me, he turned and walked away. I followed him. I end-ran him, caught him and said to him, "I hear you're coming to Seattle next month. Do you have time for coffee?" And he said, coldly, "No. Not ever." And walked away.

I went back to SA and we kept walking.

When I woke up, I lay in bed again, in the morning darkness. I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. It was very real, a very tangible pressure. Weirdly, I was not alarmed by this. It was almost comforting. My instant thought was that it was D. It wasn't either of the cats; Zeke was on the foot of the bed, and Sophie was in her cat bed across the hall.

On occasion, I've had a visitation from The Voice. I haven't had one in a long time. Maybe the tap on the shoulder was from The Voice. I understand what my dreams were telling me. I wish I knew what that tap was trying to say.
scarlettina: (Creating yourself)
So yesterday was a better food day. I ate a variety of things in a variety of colors. I watched the nutrition counter in MyFitnessPal carefully so that I didn't overdo it on the carbs as I had the day before and stayed relatively balanced. I made a point to get out of the house and take a walk along the canal, which was lovely and restorative. I need to do that more often. And I stayed hydrated. All in all, I felt better and I slept well last night. We do these things one day at a time.

The house
Stage one of the bathroom renovation pretty much ended yesterday. It really is a different room. That was the point, of course, but the contrast is striking. As is to be expected, now I want to do the rest of the house right this minute! My finances, however, need some time to recuperate. But with the need to get the glass installed and the upcoming trip to Ireland, recovery is going to take some time. But I digress. Yesterday, the project manager replaced the toilet, installed the new heater in the wall, and showed me how the clasps in the medicine cabinet door hinges work so I can remove them if necessary. The tile guy came and finished the tiling in the shower shampoo cubby; it looks beautiful.

But when they both left, two things were apparent: they had forgotten to rehang the door to the room and they had left me with no extra tiles for repair should it become necessary. Now, I knew for a fact that there was at least a sheet of the fancy blue Tantrum sliver tiles left, as well as a number of the floor tiles. So there were phone calls and negotiations and explanations. Suffice it to say that the project manager will be back today to clean the room and deliver the leftover tiles (which, it turns out, I hadn't paid for, but which they were going to just trash--which makes no sense to me when they might be useful in the future).

On to stage two of the project: I need to arrange for the glass surround in the shower to be installed and to get new mirrors for the medicine cabinets. Stage 3 will be me prepping and painting the room. I've already picked up some paint chips and am thinking hard about how much white and how much blue the room will have. We shall see.

Last night, in the wake of all this, I had a class at Fusion Beads in a technique I've heard a lot about but never tried: right-angle weave. It's actually very simple and makes a lot of sense. It also produces a beautiful effect. Lastly, it lays the foundation for other techniques I want to learn. It was nice to be somewhere where I could wholly focus on producing art. The last time I did that was at Rainforest which, while ideally about wholly focusing on art, is always an alloyed experience. Last night was perfect, and I'll end up with a beautiful product, too.
scarlettina: (Five)
1) Just finished reading our own [ profile] jimhines's (Jim C. Hines) Unbound and enjoyed it quite a bit.* I really like his Magic Ex Libris series, with its book magic and its librarian hero, Isaac (who looks incredibly hot on this volume's cover--guy's been doing upper body work at the gym, I see). They're fun, fast reads, peppered with history and humor. They're thoughtful and clever. I like all of the protagonists, and I also like the matter-of-fact portrayal of a working polyamorous relationship. Looking forward to the fourth and final volume in the series, Revisionary, which was just published in hardcover. And now, I'm on to Stephen King's 11/22/63. I'm late, I know, but I figure better now than after the TV series premieres.

2) I want, very much, to love my day job and I just don't. Doesn't help that it's the slow time of the year and there's just not much for me to do. I will occasionally propose a project and be told that there's no budget or that it's not the direction we're going in, or that it needs to wait until another group's plans are solidified. There's no question that it's a way to pay for my roof and cat kibble and all that. But every day I find myself less motivated and less interested in going to the office. Even working with people I genuinely like, I just . . . my heart's just not in it much anymore. And I don't know what other direction to turn in to change things up.

3) Plans for travel continue apace. It's going to be a busy year. Next week I'm off to the rainforest for Patrick Swenson's Rainforest Writers Village retreat. Next month I'll be at Norwescon (first time in years I haven't been on programming and I find myself remarkably OK with that). In April, I'm off to San Francisco for a trip with family. And it looks like, in July, EB and I are off to Ireland. I'm reading and learning and trying to prep. I'm hoping plans will pick up after EB and I are both back from the retreat.

4) Lately, I just want to hibernate, hibernate, hibernate. It could have to do with my weight gain. It could have to do with my depression. Even medicated, I struggle sometimes. I need to find that therapist I've been trying to find for three months. After two false starts, I'm weary and wary, I admit.

5) My one solace right now is the crafting. I've been working on a modified version of a woven beaded necklace that I've made a number of times before. It's painstaking, meticulous work, and I exhausted myself the other night figuring out how to create the effect I wanted, but in a really good way. Had Sophie not insisted on cuddle time, I would have continued last night. So there's that.

* Every now and then, I'll refer to an author as "our own." This generally means they're part of the LiveJournal community. But it also means that I'm pleased and proud to be associated with them in this, the most tenuous of connections, even if I've never met them in person. In these latter days, with so few of us still here, we are--in my mind, anyway--a special group. We get to know each other in ways we never would on something like Facebook. It's awesome.

Storm's a-comin'

Tue, Nov. 17th, 2015 08:10 am
scarlettina: (Portlandia)
The weather people are saying that the Seattle area's going to be hit with a major storm today: rain-rain-rain, winds of a major proportion, snow in the mountains, all manner of weather that is generally uncomfortable for human beings and other living creatures. In the wake of my two sick days last week and my day off yesterday, working from home seems like an excellent idea, so that's what I'm going to do today--and probably tomorrow and Thursday.

What about Friday? Friday, I fly to parts south to visit my cousin P and his wife S. Thanksgiving week will be another short work week for me, and then things will return to normal again--at least until Christmas week.

I'm so not ready for the holidays. The days go quicker and quicker. I'm told this comes with age. Considering the alternative, I'll take it but I don't have to enjoy it.

Had a good weekend--a roadtrip to Portland to stay with [ profile] davidlevine and [ profile] kateyule. It was lovely and stress-free, which I really needed. We cooked a lot, talked, and . . . oh yeah, I got a new computer and printer. My old MacBook Pro was ten years old; it was time. The machine sort of pushed me into it, refusing to boot completely and all. Thankfully, everything was backed up. Looking forward to getting the new machine set up and rolling. I have writing and genealogy and photography to do.

Also got to enjoy a delicious dim sum lunch with [ profile] calendula_witch and [ profile] mark_j_ferrari. I don't see them nearly enough. Mark had never had dim sum before so it was delightful to watch him discover the joys of shu mai, dumplings, three varieties of bao, sesame balls and egg custard tartlets, among others. He displayed the appropriate dismay at the chicken feet. I think we have a convert.

Also, I made a new necklace for the first time in quite a while, a beautiful thing in shades of smoky blue and copper with fresh water pearls. I spent more on it than I should have, but it's one of the prettiest things I think I've ever made. Mark declared it gallery-worthy. I preened a little at that.

So, now I go off to work after five days of not doing so. I anticipate an overwhelming amount of email and tasks needing to be completed. I want to like my job more than I do, but at this point I'm extremely frustrated with the stagnation and the lack of promotion or movement options. I'm looking at my options and considering a change. We shall see.
scarlettina: (Geek Crossing)
Saturday started with breakfast back at Sante--so good we had to do it twice. This time, [ profile] davidlevine and I got there earlier and enjoyed our meal with rather better service. The company was different; we met AS (with whom I used to work at Bantam, lo these many years ago) and her husband DKM, their son, and a friend of theirs, and [ profile] bjcooper. It's only within the last year or so that I'm back in touch with AS and DKM; they are delightful people who have had a very rough time over the last decade for personal reasons I won't get into here. Suffice it to say that those days are over and I'm so happy that they're returning to conventions and a wider social circle. Our breakfast was scheduled earlier both because there was another beading event I wanted to attempt to attend, and because other folks had programming on which they were scheduled to appear.

I made it back to the convention center with time to spare. I wanted to attend a program called the Beadwork Stitch & Bitch--but if you read the description in the program more closely, it was actually a lesson in Lakota lazy stitch or lane stitch beadwork. I was delighted to find [ profile] madrobins in attendance. I'll pass over the challenges of the workshop (particular attendees were not congenial to the environment) and say instead that the instructor, Mir Plemmons, was very good indeed, sharing cultural context for the style of beadwork she was teaching and then teaching it very well. An hour was not nearly long enough; I ended up staying a little longer. I very much want to get back and try this technique again. I've seen its results before and it produces beautiful things that take hours and hours and hours to create.

Lunch was with [ profile] davidlevine and [ profile] madrobins, all in all a much better opportunity for us to talk a bit. A lot of what we talked about was getting lost in historical research connected to fiction writing. I regret not taking a picture of us all together; ah well, there will be other opportunities!

After lunch, I took my penny-smashing kit and my camera off across the river to Riverside Park. The weather was beautiful in the wake of Friday's terrible air, the sky blue and clear. The contrast was marked. Look at how lovely--and contrast it to my previous WorldCon post picture of the sky!

View from the convention center to Riverside Park | Click to embiggen
View from the convention center to Riverside Park

I got my pennies--eight coins, four each from different machines--and strolled around just enjoying the quiet (the convention center was very noisy) and the relative lack of people (I was kind of peopled out).

When I went back to the convention center, I ran into [ profile] oldmangrumpus and some friends in the dealer's room. I learned from them that tickets for assigned seating were going to be required for the Hugo Awards ceremony. This was news to me and, as it turned out, news to a great many folks. Apparently, the previous night, the convention had set up a ticketing system for the masquerade, mainly to keep people from standing out in the terrible air waiting to get into the main auditorium. It worked very well indeed and they decided to institute it for the Hugos as well. I took it upon myself to text almost everyone I knew attending the con who might want to go to let them know about this, and then ran to get changed.

Once I got changed, I got into the rather impressive line. The wait was no more than 20 minutes.

Line for Hugo tickets

Tickets acquired, I met David and Betsy for dinner at Luigi's, the huge Italian restaurant near the convention center. I had the chicken marsala, which was very good indeed. We shared garlic bread and salads, too.

The virtue of the assigned-seating ticketing was that once tickets were in hand, we could get in at any time before the ceremony and be assured of seating. As it turned out, this was a blessing. It allowed us to have a pretty leisurely meal (even though I started out feeling panicked about having enough time to at), and to take our time about getting seated when the time came.

And when the time came, we went to the auditorium lobby, met some friends there, admired everyone's bling, and then went to get seated.

I'm going to talk about the Hugos, the Hugo Loser's Party and my thoughts about this year's whole Puppy debacle in the next post. There's too much to say and I want to address it all discretely. In the meanwhile, here's a pic of me and my seatmates, pre-awards-ceremony, with David and Betsy, and me in the middle.

scarlettina: (Movie tix)
I recently noted that I ought to be posting about the more pleasant things I've been doing lately, so here's a quick overview of some of my recent passtimes:

Book-It Rep production of "Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus": For those unfamiliar with Book-It Repertory Theater, it's a local company that specializes in book adaptations for the stage. Shortly after I came to Seattle they won my heart with their production of "Jane Eyre" (material about which I am notorious hard to please), and became my favorite local company. Their works never disappoint. If I dislike what I see (which is rare), at least it's always interesting and thought-provoking. If you follow my theater tag below, you'll see reviews of their other productions. Anyway, the production of Frankenstein that I saw last Friday night falls under the "liked it well enough with quibbles" category. The adaptation was very faithful to Mary Shelley's novel, presented as Victor's recollections told to a sea captain who finds him stranded in the Arctic. The play is graphic and was presented with some lovely stage magic to portray severed limbs being reanimated with electricity, as well as the autopsy of a body on stage. All the performances were good ones, especially Connor Toms (whom I saw in Seattle Rep's production of "Red") as Victor, and Frank Lawler (who was my supervisor more than a decade ago at Microsoft/Expedia) as Walton, the sea captain. I disliked the lurid make-up applied to the actor who played the creature; and I really disliked the director's choice to hide a male nude body in full silhouette but to pointedly display a female body fully lit later. That particular choice really angered me because the moments were analogous to each other; the inequity pissed me off, and when I received Book-It's survey asking me about my experience, I made a point to mention it. That said, however, it was a good show--not the best of theirs, but I was satisfied and entertained.

Cosmos: Watched the first episode of Neil deGrasse Tyson's reboot of "Cosmos" and enjoyed it quite a bit. I remember Sagan's portrayal of our cosmic address, and it was fun to see this update. I'm looking forward to more episodes.

Smashed pennies: I don't remember whether or not I mentioned it, but I find myself once again on the Board of Directors of The Elongated Collectors. One of my roles is to administer the annual coin design challenge, in which we choose a theme and challenge the club membership to submit coin designs based upon it. This year's theme celebrated space exploration and science fiction. Of course, being the administrator, I couldn't submit a design! But I was delighted to receive the entries and run the Board's vote for the winner. We chose a pretty nice design, I think, and I've written the newsletter article to announce the winner. From here on out, my role on the board will be to cast votes and voice my opinion as needed; no further hard work required. I'm OK with that. This was fun enough.

H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O'Brian: Just completed this book, the third in the Aubrey/Maturin series and am completely hooked. It's all [ profile] ironymaiden's fault! While I'm searching for a copy of book 4, I must figure out what to read in the meanwhile.

Knitting: I mentioned last week that I've taken up knitting and I recently finished my second piece, a charcoal-gray infinity scarf with metallic thread running through it. I'm pretty pleased with the result and I learned quite a bit while doing it. My next project will probably be a hat, mostly to learn more techniques rather than because I really want to make a hat. In the meanwhile, here's a picture of the completed piece:

scarlettina: (Writing)
I realize that I don't post quite as often as I used to, so here are five things that are going on around here to catch you up a bit.

1) New light fixture: Since about a year after I moved into my condo (and this is a long time ago now), the light fixture in my great room has been broken--not smashed-broken, just non-functional broken. I finally decided a couple of weeks ago to do something about it. A neighbor of mine does electrical work, so I had him come in to look at the thing; it was definitely time for it to go. (I thought there might be a wiring problem in the wall, but it was the fixture itself.) Last weekend, I went light fixture shopping and purchased this really cool pendant light (except mine won't have the yellow stripe in the catalog shot) that I think will look great up there. I'll probably end up buying a couple more to replace the light in the kitchen and in the main downstairs room (though that second one will require more work than a mere replacement). Very excited for its arrival and installation.

2) New glasses frames: I recently had an eye exam and my prescription has changed--as my prescription is wont to do. It amazes me that my vision could get any worse than it has been, but there it is. New glasses frames--a serious departure from what I have now--are on order. I promise pictures where they arrive.

3) Rainforest Writers Village and writing: On Wednesday, I depart for my annual retreat to the rainforest. I'm looking forward to it for many reasons, but I also go with some trepidation. I've had increasing trouble writing fiction, wound up with feelings of inadequacy, despair about success (a self-fulfilling prophecy when one doesn't submit, I admit), poor discipline and so on. I'm looking forward to some concentrated time to not only write, but to evaluate what I want and what makes sense in terms of my energy and effort. So much of my self-image is wrapped up in writing and editing. I need to examine it all much more closely than I have lately. I don't know if it's a signal of my trepidation about it all, but I've been having trouble even cleaning the house in preparation for my absence.

4) Knitting: I continue my experiment in loom knitting by working on an infinity scarf, a how-to which I found in, of all places, a cooking blog. I know I've already made a scarf, but this one teaches me a new stitch on the loom as well as requiring me to learn how to do a different kind of cast off and how to flat seam a piece together--three new techniques in one project, so a second scarf project is justified. There will be pictures at some point.

5) Reading: I have been a restless reader lately. I abandoned the Jenny Lawson memoir "Let's Pretend This Never Happened"--I found the voice just repetitive and obnoxious after a while--and have moved on to the third Aubrey/Maturin novel, "H.M.S. Surprise," which I'm enjoying just as much as I did the first two. After a string of unfinished reading, this one I may complete. I've picked up so many new books lately that I'm actually a little cowed by deciding what comes next. Something surely will come next, however. Surely.
scarlettina: (Five)
1) LJ and post-writing: I'm getting lazy about my LJ posts, posting a lot of "5 Things" lists and not going in-depth. Bad me. But I've got two in-depth posts brewing that I hope to add this weekend: one on the Oscar-nominated Animated Short Films, which I saw last night with [ profile] varina8 and one on all the evangelizing going on online about self-publishing and about writers who can't bother themselves to take an interest in the success of their own work.

2) Light-fixture shopping: Today I'm going light-fixture shopping. It should be fun, but I also admit that I'm a little intimidated. What if I get the wrong thing? What if the people in my life disagree with my choice of light fixture? What if . . . what if . . . what if? My plan is to photograph the room where the fixture will go, measure said room, and to engage the help of knowledgeable sales people wherever I go to look at fixtures. I may be intimidated, but I won't let that stop me. I'm laying groundwork for larger work to come.

3) Craftiness: I knitted a thing. Well, I knitted a scarf. I did it with a knitting loom, which somehow made it easier and more sustainable for me than using needles. It's a pretty thing in brown and pink. Will I knit another thing? Not sure, though I have a mild, incessant urge to go yarn shopping. I fear it.

4) Smashed penny stuff: I find myself once more on the Board of Governors of The Elongated Collectors. As such, I am the administrator for the club's annual coin design challenge. Members submit designs and the board selects a winner, said design to be turned into a smashed penny and distributed to the club. I really enjoy this event. My greatest regret, especially this year, is that as the administrator I can't submit a design. Why do I regret it this year? Because the theme is celebrating science and science fiction! :: sigh ::

5) Cats: Zeke and Sophie are both happy and healthy. But I am required by Their Royal Highnesses to rise from my bed at stupid-early in the morning, even on a holiday weekend. This makes for a cranky [ profile] scarlettina. I may go back to bed for a bit before I actually go out to face the day.
scarlettina: (Snowflake 2)
1) Vague-booking about social drama: The phrase "I thought this was a safe space" is often--not always, but often--deployed as a guilt trip when someone says something or does something inappropriate and is called on it. That shit just makes me crazy. And it makes me crazier when it's used by someone whom I thought was either more straightforward or less manipulative than their use of the phrase indicates they really are.

2) Weather: The entire rest of the country is being challenging by extreme weather. In Seattle we've got sub-freezing temperatures, which is pretty extreme for this part of the nation, but it's been dry and clear. The fact is we're getting off pretty easy compared to, for example, New York, Pennsylvania, and so on. This doesn't lessen the fact that it's freaking cold and I'm wearing more layers than I would prefer.

3) Cat-sitting: My cat-sitter has sent out a card announcing that she's retiring at the end of June. I knew it would come--she's an older woman--but I'm really sad. She's been a fixture of my time in Seattle, and though our relationship has mostly consisted of phone calls, I'll miss her. I've contacted her about two more kitty visits before she retires, and I've put into motion the obtaining of what I hope will be an appropriate farewell gift for her.

4) Making things: I recently picked up a knitting loom and am nearly done with my first scarf, a stretch of brown and pink wool that I'm looking forward to wearing. I don't know whether or not I'll keep up with this, but it's been a fun project, and I expect to finish it this weekend. We'll see what happens from here.

5) Foolscap: The convention was last weekend. It marks a year since my last car accident and the start of my experiment in carless living. We know how the experiment turned out. It was a fun weekend, but the convention came up so quickly, with so little fanfare from the concom, that it was an unexpected occupation of my time and I'm behind on a number of projects as a result. This weekend, also crazy busy--but at least planned busy-ness, will be partly spent catching up. But I'm going to be behind in stuff for a while yet.
scarlettina: (Five)
1) I committed to wearing a costume at work on Halloween. What was I thinking? ::headdesk::

2) Took a class in metal stamping at Fusion Beads on Tuesday evening. All that hammering was quite therapeutic! I came away with a couple of pieces for myself and at least one, possibly two gifts. It's fun to learn new techniques and I liked this one a great deal, but the start-up cost to move into this area of jewelry making seems prohibitive to me--hundreds of dollars to set up a proper workbench, though you wouldn't guess it by just looking at the tools. I'll dabble here.

3) When I work at home, Sophie has taken to curling up under the desk. But she's also taken to trying to nibble on my toes while she's there. I need to address this somehow.

4) I'm working on a Sekrit Projekt. More when it concludes and isn't a sekrit anymore.

5) Lighting a virtual candle in remembrance of Janet Berliner-Gluckman. My heart goes out to [ profile] robertlfleck and all those who knew and loved Janet. I knew her in the early years of my publishing career, and saw her once or twice when I moved out west. I remember her as a smart, sly, funny presence at conventions and at dinners, sharp as hell, supportive of the writers around her, ambitious and talented.
scarlettina: (Make things)
When friends prepare for travel, they will sometimes ask me if I want anything from their intended destination. As [ profile] davidlevine and [ profile] kateyule have so extensively documented, this past spring they went to Europe for a fabulous tour and asked me this very question. I gave them a sum of money and asked them to please bring me beads. When they returned from their expedition, they gave me a beautiful collection of beads from Murano, Italy that I could not have been more excited to receive. On Thursday evening, I completed my first project incorporating some of those beads. I have many more projects in mind for the balance of the beads they brought me. Here's the first:

Sea Treasure Necklace

This piece incorporates not just the pretty Murano beads (the green foil star and the blue foil disc) but limited-edition Czech glass (the long blue-and-green tubes, and the blue squares), and a selection of random blue, green, and clear glass beads from my standing stash. The cones and chain are rhodium, of which I'm becoming enormously fond as I use it in project after project.

This necklace was an experiment for me since I've never done a triple strand of beads in a necklace before, have never used cones, and have never done any wire work of the kind featured in this piece (which isn't really visible in the picture, nor would it be unless I photographed the clasp portion of the necklace up close). The best projects are often ones that teach me new techniques, which this one did, specifically, how to attach three strands and use cones to cover connections. Though I made what I consider one mistake in technique and one mistake in choice of materials, neither would be noticeable unless I pointed them out . . . so I won't. ::grin:: The piece works just fine even with those mistakes, so all in all, I consider it a success, and I'm very happy with it.
scarlettina: (Five)
1) Did I mention that I put three stories in the mail on submission last weekend? Well, I did.

2) Perhaps I'm last to the party but I just read that the current issue of 10Flash Quarterly is its last. I'm sad that we're losing such a terrific flash magazine (especially since I was there partly to read and partly to look for upcoming issue themes), but I'm happy for K.C. that she's moving on to other opportunities that excite her.

3) [ profile] varina8 and I went to the theater last night and saw "The Pitmen Painters," a play about a group of miners in England in the early 1900s who start taking an art appreciation class and end up being a highly lauded group of artists. With its historical basis and setting, and its excellent performances (including, among them, one by my longtime associate Frank Andrew Lawler), it provided a fine evening's entertainment.

4) I've been Jewelry Girl this week, making a new bracelet for myself in celebration of acquiring and wearing the first above-the-knee skirt I've owned in decades. And I bought materials for a new choker necklace which I hope to make either this weekend or this coming Tuesday night at [ profile] mimerki's place, depending upon my patience and the availability of time for such a project. It won't take long, but leisure time, these days, seems to be at a premium.

5) Research for this autumn's trip continues apace. I really do need to do a proper post about this oncoming expedition--but that's for another time. But...trip planning--yay!

BONUS ITEM: 6) Had a wonderful lunch with [ profile] kijjohnson at the 5 Spot yesterday. Seattle is just a better place when she's here. She looked fabulous, and it was good to catch up and just bask in her presence. Word has it we'll have more of her a little later this spring--all to the good.

Foolscap Saturday

Sun, Sep. 18th, 2011 07:45 am
scarlettina: (Foolscap)
I went to Foolscap yesterday. It was fun but it was exhausting. As much as I want to go today--and I really want to--it may be the smarter, better thing that I don't, because I realized that it was way too hard on my foot. I may feel a little differently later in the morning. We'll see.

I got out of the house just around 11. With the traffic and the extra long drive due to freeway closures, it took me a longer while than usual to get to the convention hotel. Once there, though, I sat down and saw a lot of friends all at once, too many to name here. I caught up with a few people and then realized that I really needed to eat. [ profile] snarke and I went to the hotel restaurant for a really good lunch. I chatted with more folks. The lovely and talented Amy Thomson gifted me with a bottle of pinot gris, bless her; I'm looking forward to drinking it. I hit the dealer's room and met the delightful jewelry dealers there, with whom I'd hoped to do some business but didn't get the chance.

I participated in the Iron Crafter event. Based on Iron Chef, the idea was to create an item using only the materials provided in the Craft Swap. We were to create a souvenir from an alien world or alternate reality. I found a strange and beautiful deck of playing cards, a Klimt calendar, a 45-rpm disc, strings of beads, rubber stamping inks, craft sticks, dominoes, yarn, ribbon, and all manner of adhesives, and used them all to make a holy icon to the god Marca Registrada (yes, it's an editorial joke). I wish I had photographed it because I thought the result was pretty good. As it is, I left it there on display with the other souvenirs. I had a perfectly delightful time--as did everyone in the room. There was a lot of laughter and good feeling. A great way to spend 90 minutes.

I had dinner with a very large group at Spazzo, enjoying in particular the company of Omaha Sternberg and Nate Crowder, and then realized I was dragging. I wandered the hotel a little, rested in the hospitality suite for a while, and then headed home.

As I said, I'd really like to go back today, but I think maybe I overdid it yesterday. The stress of driving on freeways for the first time since the accident was pretty serious. I spent far more time on my feet than I probably should have. I came home in some pain and passed out pretty much the moment I lay down. Great day, though. We'll see how I feel later. Maybe I'll do it again.
scarlettina: (Default)
Procrastination comes in all forms. When one is creative, one can manufacture any number of distractions to keep one from one's appointed tasks. This morning, I provide you with but two examples (with pictures).

I made a new necklace! )

I've been watching an enterprising squirrel. )

Just for fun

Tue, Apr. 13th, 2010 10:58 am
scarlettina: (Make things)
I've posted three images on Zazzle, three note card designs. While the price for one card looks high (and I don't set the prices, so I can't change them), when purchased in packs of ten, a discount is applied. Also, through Thursday, Zazzle is having a sale. They're taking off 10.4% off of orders when you use the code TAXDAYZAZZLE. So here are links to the three items I've posted so far:

Fiery Red Poppy Note Cards
Burnt Blossom Note Cards
Blue Skies Note Cards

I may post more later today, and if I do, I'll post more links here. Hey, here's a poll!

[Poll #1550733]
scarlettina: (Make things)
I keep forgetting. I have an Etsy store. It's not like I don't have a billion other things to attend to, but I find myself remembering this outlet. With Mother's Day coming, perhaps I ought to take an afternoon or two and beef up the stock. Would any of these ideas appeal to you as gift ideas? Or does no one have disposable income? Thoughts?

[Poll #1550285]


Sun, Dec. 6th, 2009 08:14 pm
scarlettina: (Make things)
I made many things this afternoon (including your orders, [ profile] suricattus and [ profile] dianora2). Among the things I made was a pair of Swarovski crystal dreidel earrings. I will be completing another set for posting to Etsy within the next couple of days. Chanukah jewelry--yay!


scarlettina: (Default)

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