Thursday, September 30, 2010


Today was a perfect day for a walk. Cool but sunny. Before work today, I went for my walk around a local park. Felt good to be out and not sweltering. Felt good to stretch my legs. The leaves are starting to change which I love. 
One of the houses on my walk has a great yard with all kinds of plants. I've noticed recently that the woman who tends it has put in these little houses. I wish I could shrink down and live in one of them for the winter. Reminds me of how much I loved the scenes in I Dream of Jeannie when she was in the bottle. I was always so disappointed that they didn't have more scenes of her in there. I wanted my own little bottle to live in. I guess there was something about it that made me think it would be cozy and safe and comfy and contained.  
So...if I disappear as the weather gets colder, don't worry, I'll be back when spring comes. I'll be hibernating most of the winter but feel free to stop by to leave some toothpicks so I can keep my little fire going or to drop off some baby corn or some frosted mini-wheats. Just don't leave any of those high Barbie doll heels. Cute but not practical. I think I'll make my main residence the green house with the red roof.

Friday, September 24, 2010

More Woodtype?!

I'm really excited!! I might be able to go back to Hamilton Wood Type Museum for a three day event. It's called Wayzgoose. Now I just have to figure out if I can afford it or not. It would be so great. Maybe I could skip therapy a few weeks and go to this instead...It's definitely therapeutic. I'll keep you posted...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Challenge

Only those who avoid love can avoid grief. The point is to learn from grief and remain vulnerable to love. ~ John Brantner

The most difficult challenge I'm facing right now...If you know how to do this...please...teach me!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Color Playground

I'm really, really enjoying the art class I'm taking this semester. The past few semesters, I've taken classes in the Graphic Design program. This semester, I decided to take a class in the Fine Arts department. The whole class is about color. In the first few weeks, I've already learned so much. I think my happiest times right now are when I'm in class or working on pieces for the class. 

It's hard to explain what all we're learning but mostly so far, it's about how all color is contextual. It's about seeing the more subtle aspects of color. You may see a piece of paper that looks gray but if you put that gray paper on a red field of color, it will look "cooler" and maybe a little green. If you put that same piece of gray paper on a blue field of color, it will look "warmer" and maybe even a little reddish. So...the colors we see are often more about how our eyes and brains interpret them than they are about what's "objectively" there. It's so cool because once that becomes clear, the possibilities of working with color are so much more complex. Is that cool or what?! 

One of the people who's most famous in color studies is Josef Albers. He did a bunch of experiments with color and created various exercises to lay out more specifically how color behaves. You can play around with some interactive exercises here. It's fun! You can see more of his art here.

Now that you've seen an expert's results, here are my virgin attempts to "get it." It's harder than it looks! 

In the exercise below, the idea was to create the illusion that the small inner boxes are actually two colors when they're the same color. The right one should look darker than the left one and even a little deeper, darker gray but they're actually the same color.

In this exercise, we were to make the X on the right look like the background color on the left and the X on the left look like the background color on the right. The color the X's are made from is the same, though. The effect doesn't show up much in this photo...

In this exercise, the goal was to create the look of transparency when two colors overlapped. I'm not sure how successful I was at the lesson (i.e., that they really look like they're transparent and one's showing through the other) but the instructor and class really loved it! They thought the overlap between the S and the P was too dark so I might mess with that more. Wish I wouldn't have cramped the letters so much.   
I feel really grateful that I have the resources and the energy to be able to play with art. I hope I always want to learn, explore and take risks to create.  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Damn pole! >:-/

How many years have I worked in this office building and parked my car without incident in the parking garage? Five years you say?! So how is it that I managed to park by a pole yesterday that jumped into the side of my car as I was pulling out of my space? 

A client once told me that she banged the side of her car on one of the poles in our garage and if I'm honest with myself and with you (my public) my thought was "How is that possible? She must be a pretty bad driver." 

Well, now I know that the poles in this garage are sadistic. When they've lulled you into the sense that you're safe; that they'll stay put and let you pull right out of your space without accosting you, that's when they go in for the kill. Can you believe this? How is this possible? Now I have to decide whether to spend hundreds of dollars to get the repairs done. I think the paint's scraped off enough in one place that if I don't, it'll start rusting. Think RustOleum would do the trick? Ugh. Calgon, take me away.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Finally... was cool enough and unhumid(?) enough that I could take a walk outside during the work day! It felt so good to be outside and enjoy the weather. 

I think I'll be spending a lot of time alone this weekend. My security blanket is in Argentina visiting her son! The nerve. Who's going to keep me entertained on the weekend? I have lots of art projects to work on. Finishing the paintings for my living room. Assignment for my art class. This semester, Norma and I are taking a class on color. Yes. A whole semester focused on color. Awesome!!  

I'm also going to look at some listings my realtor sent me. I've decided to buy a condo. I know I'm a big baby but I just can't stand living in this apartment. I feel like an undergrad again. If I were to rent a nicer place, I might as well buy something. So...that's what I'm going to try to do. I feel much less depressed knowing that I won't be the cat lady living alone in the same apartment for 30 years. I'll be the cat lady living alone in the condo she OWNS for thirty years. So much better. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Maddy in Madison

I had the pleasure of taking Maddy to college last Friday and wanted to post some pictures of our trip! Maddy was very gracious in humoring me when I kept taking pictures. As always, it was great to travel with her. University of Wisconsin has a beautiful campus. 

We pulled up to her dorm and several "Badger Buddies" in red shirts helped unload the car and take everything upstairs. All done in about 15 minutes. I don't remember anything like that when I moved into the dorms!! We were on our own...

We left Champaign in the morning. Maddy said good-bye to flat, flat Illinois ("flat and fertile" as one local t-shirt would have it). 
The Subaru was packed full! This was basically my view through the rearview mirror.

Flatness as far as the eye can see.
She looks a little too happy to be leaving, doesn't she?!
On the way, we stopped in Janesville, WI to have lunch at Olive Garden - love the salad and breadsticks! 

I was only away for one night but it felt like a lot longer -- in a good way! We moved Maddy in pretty quickly, went to Target and then got her more settled. Her roommate, Katie, was there and seems like a very nice young woman. Here's a 360 of her room:

This is Katie.
This is Maddy again.
She and Maddy decorated it later that day so it looks even better! While Maddy was at her first house meeting Friday evening, I went for a walk along the lake. Maddy's dorm is right next to the lake so it's an amazing location. The path by the lake was very nice. Bikers, walkers, runners, strollers, etc. It was so nice to see people out.
This is right outside Maddy's dorm. See the sailboats in the distance?! Incredible location.
Here's a closer look down the path from her dorm.
View through the trees along the path.
This is where the University starts to come right out to the lake. The union is at the second pier in the distance.
After Maddy's meeting, we went to State St. for a yummy Mexican meal at Casa de Lara
Maddy was hungry!!
Enchilada clean plate club.
 Took a bit of an unplanned self-guided walking tour of campus since there was so much construction and we weren't sure about the fastest way back to the dorm. Got Maddy there and then I went to the hotel for the night. Next morning, breakfast at Sunroom Cafe on State St. Delish. 
Good hair day isn't it? Rested and eating a breakfast burrito (I think).
Walked around State St. and the Saturday market for a while. Mostly, I was surprised at how uncrowded things were. Even moving in. The market, though, was packed with people. Maddy started mooing at one point saying she felt like she was in a herd of cattle. We didn't stay there for long. 

Made our way to a Trader Joe's on Monroe St. where Maddy stocked up on snacks and other goodies. Had some great pizza at Pizza Brutta. It was a really fun little place. After lunch, we went back to Maddy's dorm and walked over to the Babcock Dairy Store  for ice cream which is made by the Dairy at the University. Maddy hopes to be able to learn from a master cheese maker. Where else but Wisconsin?! I guess she'll have to learn how to make beer too. 

After ice cream, it was time for me to say good-bye. It was hard to leave Maddy there but also exciting that she's starting a new semester in a place I think she'll really like. Seems like a great fit for her. 

Bye, Mad...We'll miss you!!