Monday, December 31, 2007

Pillow book IV, day n+2

Oh, the traffic! By the time I got home from my errands (and I didn't even get them all done) and did some Monday chores, it was 5pm! All I did on book IV was to choose the words for the game board, and layout the gocco screen; and by then, it was time to get dinner going. For some reason, I don't like to print at night (although I paint/bind/sew at night, no problem), maybe because gocco mistakes can't be undone, and when I'm tired, I make more mistakes. So anyhow, the upshot of that is that I did not print today. Although I'm all ready to flash the screen and print tomorrow.

Spent the evening signing up for and downloading a book. I figure I'd give them a try. Checking out the CD books from the library and listening on the iPod doesn't always work, some tracks get confused (like if they're the exact same length). It's pretty expensive, about $15/book, although the first 3 months is half that price. So we'll see.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pillow book IV, day n+1

Took a break from book III today and gave book IV a think. Last I worked on this, I made the form for it, and decided to have a clay artist make the dice/swiss cheese blocks for me; I sent her a drawing of what I had in mind, and today, I got this 'status report' from her:

Don't they look great!? I think once they're sitting on the gameboard-pillow, they will look like both dice and swiss cheese.

And I also figured out how I want book IV to function. Originally, I'd laid it out sort of like a Monopoly game, with different words occupying squares along the edges of the board. Each word would have 1-6 sheets of tulle, making them difficult-easy to read. And the dice would just sit on the board. But it wouldn't really be playable.

So today, I figured out how it can be a playable game (although perhaps not a fun game to play) — each word has 6 sheets of tulle, but they'd only be stitched down on one side. There's a deck of cards. You roll the dice (but of course the clay dice would not really be roll-able either). Move your piece the number of spaces the dice indicate. You retrieve the top card, which tells you how many sheets of the tulle to flip over.

As you play, the words become less and less legible.

This means I'll need to print cards too, but that shouldn't be too much trouble.

So the plan is to print the words tomorrow, after I run some errands.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pillow book III, day n+3

First, a little sidetrack. I found these old sheets of sandpaper when I was cleaning up a couple of days ago. These were used to sand some pastel pieces, a long time ago. I can't remember the piece I used it on. Anyhow, I thought they were really pretty.

Now, the business at hand. Last I left it, I didn't really know what to do next on pillow book III. Then I had this dream...I dreamed that my critique group and I got together (among some other nonsensical bits) and Rachel had a suggestion that I really liked. And when I woke up this morning, it still made sense and I still liked it! It's kind of like debugging your software in your sleep, although those always turned out to be bogus after I woke up.

Anyhow, I tried the dream idea, and I liked the way it looked, except I ran into two technical problems. After trying several different things, I decided to take a different approach. However, the main concept behind the dream idea still works — when I left it yesterday, I was stumped on how to deal with the fact that when more of the tulle pages are stacked together, the image was actually harder to read, not easier — well, sometimes when the same story is told over and over again, parts of the details change in each retelling, and the more you hear the story, the less sure you are of what really happened.

So taking that concept, here's a mock up of pillow book III. I'm keeping it pretty simple. Each 'page' is actually 3 sheets of the tulle sewn together. That gives each page some extra weight, which makes them lie down flat and easier to handle. They're just pinned together on the left:

Here the first page (3 sheets of tulle) has been turned:

And here only the last page (also 3 sheets of tulle) is left unturned:

There's a paper version of the print sewn onto the pillow underneath. The final image is the clearest image.

This format (just a basic 'book' structure resting on a pillow) was actually my very original plan for this series, except that the tulle pages had the tendency to stick together and didn't want to lie flat. Sewing 3 together is a solution for that, but I think I'll still need to finish the edges.

Right now, my plan is to caption each page with a story that changes in details as you turn the pages. Not sure how I'm going to get the text on there yet.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pillow book III, day n+2

Sooooo, although the dog printed well enough on paper, on the tulle, stacked up, you can't really make out the details in the fur. And in fact, the more sheets of tulle I stacked up, the less well defined the dog became (all the definition in the fur pretty much disappeared, although you could still see the snout). So now I'm playing around with different ideas. I might have something to photograph and show tomorrow. For pillow book III day n+1, see this entry.

On other fronts, we tried a new restaurant today (new to us, it's been around for some time) — Pok Pok, Portland's own SE Asian street food restaurant. I think when they first started, it was strictly outdoors dining, but there's now a bar and indoor dining space. It was delicious. Afterwards, desserts at Pix, also excellent.

More generic pillow book work

Decided that the pillows needed to be deflated some more, I took out more of the poly-fil stuffings and sewed the forms back up. I can't do that too many more times...every time I open them up and sew them back together, the pillows get a little smaller. Pretty soon, there will be no pillows left!

The prints from yesterday are still not dry (the tulle prints, the paper prints have long since dried). So I went looking for fabric for book IV. Found some gray wool suiting on the discount table (has some markings on it, which is fine for my purposes), very nice fabric for $7.99/yard. Good deal. Then I experimented with the gray lycra that I had gotten from Susan — I cut it into strips and knitted a square, thinking that I might try knitting some pillow cases. With a knitted case, I'd be able pull stuffings through to the front, something I've been wanting to do. Not sure what I think of the results yet.

Today was a big news day, Benazir Bhutto's assassination. So spent more time reading the news and listening to the radio than usual. Went to an extra movie tonight (not randomly selected, but sort of topical), Charlie Wilson's War. Excellent movie.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Pillow book III, day n+1

Not sure which day it is on pillow book III, since I've already made the pillow case and pillow form for it. But anyhow, here is the print for pillow book III. This is printed on Rives Lightweight:

That dark line down the right side? That's what happens when you print one on the mylar, but the mylar isn't big enough, so the print goes over the edge, which is fine because I had a piece of scrap paper underneath it. But then I forget that some ink will pool on the screen where that mylar edge is, and I forget to print a scrap before I print on the Lightweight. So that's what that line is.

And here it is printed on a sheet of tulle. The tulle is attached to a sheet of newsprint. I actually made these a while back, and I wonder if that was why some of them were pulling off the newsprint as I printed today...maybe the double sided sticky tape wasn't sticking so well after weeks have passed?. I'm not sure, but as a result, I had a bunch of them that were no good — when the tulle pulls up from the newsprint, and I don't catch it, it gets smudged and the print is trashed. I printed way more sheets than I figured I'd need, so hopefully, I'm ok.

And here's the image I used to make the screen. Compare this to the next image (the original, untouched) which is extremely contrasty, except for the important parts — the dog's face and fur, and the kid's shirt. And even though, as a photograph, this looks very unnatural, it looks fine printed.

The original, untouched image. If I flashed this image, the dog will not be 'readable' because it will print almost solid in the face and front. The kid's shirt will print almost solid as well, instead of stripes. So the image above, the one I used to flash the screen, has 7 different adjustment layers to bring out the definitions in the various areas I want to see. And even still, compare the above image to the one printed on Rives Lightweight — the grass in the shade in front of the dog printed as a solid, even though you can see a pattern in the image above.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Still prepping

Woke up in the morning and the first thing that came to my mind was that I didn't like how I cropped the image (for pillow book III) yesterday. So after much goofing off (actually catching up on various papers and magazines), I reworked the image. That was followed by more catching-up reading. Then it was onto the Random Movie of the week...there were a whopper 13 choices tonight! Walk Hard was selected. It was amusing, definitely had a few good moments, but for the most part it felt like the same joke over and over again. (I must be getting old, I'm feeling that way about more and more movies. And soon, I'll probably not even feel like going to the movies anymore...perish the thought!)

We almost did the stereotype Christmas non-celebrants thing — Chinese food followed by a movie, but the ham in the fridge really had to be cooked up.

Ok, for sure, I MUST print tomorrow!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Prepping for Pillows III & IV

Finally worked on the image I'm going to use the pillow book III. Had to spend a lot of time adjusting for light and contrast levels. There are animals in the image (fur) and it was a very bright and sunny day. So lots of adjustments area by area to make an image that will gocco well. Then it was cutting the tulle and attaching them to newsprint sheets to get ready to print book III tomorrow. Um, no, we don't celebrate.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Generic pillow book day

Did a lot more thinking about the pillow books — figured out some display options, made the form for book IV, sent out an inquiry for a ceramic artist to make some dice for me.

So, display option — the pillows are larger than most pedestals, and since they're soft, they'll need support. I had been thinking having some thin plywood cut, but now think plexi sheets, each just a little smaller than the pillow it supports, would be much better. They'll be lightweight to ship, although having the plexi cut would be expensive, they'll look better than plywood too.

Pillow IV would be a square pillow, with images/texts around the edges like a game board, with two dice. Originally I was thinking of putting the images on the dice themselves, each side with 1 to 6 layers of the tulle. So a toss of the die would give you a random image, anywhere from fairly readable to not at all readable. But when I started thinking about other ways of making the dice, like with clay, and thinking about how to represent the numbers, I also remembered the comment from someone at the Alzheimer's Association — that with the disease, it's like your brain develops holes, like swiss cheese. And that, seems like a much better solution for a couple of reasons — it will still use the pillow form, as the game board rather than as dice, and I like the continuity in the pillow form; also, I think the dice will be more recognizable as 'dice' with the holes on the sides, rather than with images on the sides.

Today was also the Great Sock Mending Day. After I finished the last pillow form, with the serger all set up, I mended all my holy socks. There were A LOT of socks to mend, and it definitely goes a lot faster using the serger, rather than doing it by hand. One pair was beyond repairs (already mended once before), and now they're (it's) a pin cushion, which I've needed forever!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pillow Book II, day 7

Okay, here it is, properly sized pillow form inserted. I'm thinking that it might be a little too puffy, although I've already reduced it greatly. I'll sleep on it (ha ha) and see how I feel tomorrow. And I might wait until mid January before I make some of these decisions too.

Here's a detail of the most 'readable' panel. This has 6 layers of the printed tulle stacked together:

Here's another detail that's not so 'readable.' This has 2 layers of tulle. You can see the trees at the top (which is sitting on top of layers of tulle from another panel); the house on the bottom is barely visible:

See the next entry for day 6 on this pillow.

And see this entry for the original gocco printed tulle sheets.

For pillow book I, see this entry.

Took the paintings back to the gallery this afternoon, and picked up my check for the piece they sold last week! Today was a big check day—also received the check for a copy of Calypso that was sold at the exhibit at Bainbridge!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Pillow Book II, day 6

Yay! Success! The 2nd attempt pillow case looks good. I stuffed my regular pillow in there and it was what I was hoping for, in terms of how it looked. It didn't fit exactly right, but close enough for me to feel good about it. Started to modify the previous rejected pillow case for the next pillow book, but didn't quite finish. Now I'm debating if I want to work some more tonight, or if I've had it. No pictures tonight, but hopefully tomorrow. See this entry for day 5.

Pillow Book II, day 5

My sewing skills are a little rusty. I can still use the sewing machine, and do a nice job, but I forget things like the need for interfacing, or shrinkage.

This first photo was from a couple of days ago. I was trying out different arrangements, and decided I didn't like having the most 'readable' page in the middle. So this was what I ended up with:

I finished making the pillow case this afternoon. And after much thinking about Rachel's comment about things looking so 'new', I decided I'd wash the pillow case. Yes, I knew it would shrink some, but I figured it was extra big enough that that was ok. Here's the tulle pinned to the finished pillow case:

Well, two things --

1. I forgot that things shrink in the direction of the grain A LOT MORE than the other direction.
2. I forgot how MUCH things shrank.

So after washing and drying (in very low heat), well, the pillow case didn't quite work any more. It still fit, but I didn't have the border, which I wanted for this pillow. So two options:

a. Trim the pillow down and forget about the border.
b. Make another.

I went with b. I still had enough fabric left, and this time, I washed and dried it first! I'm not quite finished with the 2nd attempt yet, but should be finished tomorrow. In the mean time, I have an idea for what I'd do with the extra pillow case. See this entry for day 4.

I have the smell of the hot iron stuck in my nose, or maybe it's my head. I can still smell it. I smelled it while we were at the movies, which as promised, was the Chipmunks movie. It had me at the talking animals, what can I say. Although I was expecting that it would be a wee bit more sophisticated. But I think the Chipmunks should do a belly dancing album! That's what I think.

The persimmon 'custard' came out ok. I still think a bit of ginger would add a lot. The Good Prince suggested making a ginger sauce to drizzle on top...sounds like a fine idea.

Speaking of food, we tried a new restaurant today—Zeppo Italian Restaurant in Lake Oswego. I have to give it the highest ratings for the antipasto plate (that was my dinner), beautifully presented, a nice variety, and they took out the roasted garlic cloves and put them in a little side dish—very nice touch—so you don't have to struggle with them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pillow Book II, day 4 (or what to do with excess persimmons)

Again, no pictures, but I finished sewing the tulle together and cut the silk that will be the pillow case. Had my library gig this afternoon, so didn't get past that on the pillow book and didn't want to sew at night when I'm tired. See this entry for day 3 on this pillow. My appt tomorrow to teach rebecca how to update her own web site got postponed until after the new year, so hopefully I'll finish tomorrow.

The persimmons are now ripening faster than I can eat them, or give them away (and I've been giving away a lot). So I made some kind of a persimmon custard tonight. No recipe, I just made this up --

Mash up pulp from 4-5 persimmons and spread on bottom of pyrex pan.

Warm up 2 cups of whipping cream, mix in some sugar, and 1 packet of gelatin.

Whirl together pulp from 6 persimmons, add about 1 cup sour cream.

Mix the above two together.

Pour over mashed persimmon pulp in the pyrex pan, except the pulp doesn't stay nice and neat on the bottom, it starts to float all over. Okay.


Wait a while.


Just checked, it still hasn't set. I guess I'll see what it tastes like tomorrow. But it's got cream and sour cream in it, so what can go wrong?

While I was having my snack (4 crackers, 1 small kafta patty, and a persimmon, of course), it suddenly dawned on me that a bit of ginger might be really good in this.

Pillow Book II, day 3

No picture today, but i finally have the pages in a configuration I like, and I have the sections mostly sewn together. (I was almost done actually, but we had to leave for the Random Movie). I decided to hand sew the sections together, leaving the threads open and dangling; I even left the yellow thread that I used to baste the multiple tulle sheets together. I just liked it. I did put a dab of pva at the ends of the threads so they won't pull out. I like that the whole thing looks sort of tenuously put together. See this entry for day 2 on this book.

The Random Movie tonight was Juno. We're a bit too old to understand some of the dialog, and all the best lines I could understand were already in the trailers. Alvin and the Chipmunks lost out in the random selector, as did a host of other movies (5 movies to choose from tonight, the most we've had in several weeks now).

Whoa, and I just now realized that the deadline for the winter Simultaneous Gocco Print project is this Saturday!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Business stuff

After a few rounds of phone calls with Dan, who's going to be making the folding screens for me, about the spec's for the plexi, I finally got the order in. Checked out the constructions for a couple of different styles of pillows (more or less what I envisioned), so I'm set to go on that, although I still haven't finished mocking it up yet—need to move a few sheets of the tulle around and see how I like the configuration, before I'd be ready to start sewing. I really hope to be finished with the sewing of this one before the weekend. And I still need to work on the html manual/tutorial for Rebecca, which has now been rescheduled for Thursday.

Matted up a print of Do You Read Me?, the print that sold off the web on Friday. I was hoping to pack it up today so I can ship it off tomorrow along with all the Christmas stuff, but didn't get that far.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

'Tis the season

It's that time of the year again. Beyond the usual Sunday chores, it was the Cookie Exchange (20th anniversary!) at Carolyn's. I didn't bring cookies (and didn't take any), but I did bring a big box of persimmons. After that, it was off to see A Christmas Carol at Portland Center Stage. We used to always decline the Christmas play (whatever it was) when it was easy to do so when buying the season tickets. Now they've made it much harder to skip the Christmas plays, and so we go.

Another day without any studio time. Tomorrow, I'm off to order the plexi for the screens I'll be making as part of the grant project, and then it's off to the mall to do some pillow research!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A chicken hat kind of day

Had to get up really early today to make it to the Met Opera Simulcast at Cedar Hills this morning. We decided to have breakfast at Tom's, and past experiences with the Simulcasts have indicated that an early arrival is best for best seating. Plus I didn't get very good night sleep last night—had a cup of coffee at around 10pm, which usually doesn't bother me, but knowing that we had to get up early in addition to the coffee probably did me in. But the chicken hat enjoyed the breakfast at Tom's, and the opera. Read about her exploits here.

Spent the rest of the day in a big of a haze. Got home from the opera in time to have a late lunch and clean up, and after that, it was phone calls and emails concerning a couple of sales (a painting at Rake and a print off the web site). Questions from buyers, over payment/refunds, etc.

I had intentions of finishing pinning and basting this afternoon, but somehow, I never got there.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pillow Book II, day 2

Started pinning and basting the images for the 2nd pillow book. I think I'm getting a sunburn from the full spectrum light I've been using in the studio, I'm standing right underneath it to stack up the tulle sheets and basting them. My forehead hurts. But, onto the book. Here's one configuration, the tulle pages are just lying on a piece of gray fabric which is lying on top of an old pillow:

Then I decided that the upper left corner needed to be more visible, so I took 1 sheet off the middle right and basted that on the upper left:

Doesn't' look like there's a lot of difference here, but I'm happier with it. However, I'm also concluding that the middle one is far too readable, so I'll be taking 1 or 2 sheets off that and adding it to the others. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

Originally, my plan was to stitch the tulle pages on the pillow right along the edges of the image and then having the extra tulle push up against each other so that they stood straight up, making the pillow not so comfortable for a good night's sleep. But now that I'm seeing the layers on top of each other, I'm liking that. So I'm thinking of other ways to make an uncomfortable pillow, like pins or something.

See this entry for day 1.

So today, 2 weird things

1. Kitty cat is now on a pumpkin pie diet. Her belly is going bald, and one of the many reasons why a kitty might go bald in the belly is constipation, which the vet suspects is the cause. So she's to be given 2 Tbsp of canned pumpkin a day. And she likes it!

2. Canned pumpkin is not be found in the canned vegetable section. I went to 2 grocery stores before I finally asked someone and found out that canned pumpkin is in the baking section. Now, does that make any sense?

3. Oops, this is one extra weird thing: I always thought the Sleep Number Beds were made up for A Prairie Home Companion, with all those fake commercials. I was catching up on the NYT Sunday Magazine today, and wouldn't you know it, there was an article about sleep, and those Sleep Number Beds are apparently for real. Now I wonder if the Ketchup Advisory Board is for real too.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pillow Book I, day 9

So here are the 6 tiny pillows. Starting from the top, reading l to r, they go from most readable to least readable. I also used a soldering iron and melted some tulle, most visibly on the bottom right one, but also on the one above it and the one to the left.

Showed these at my critique group meeting tonight and everyone liked the concept. Rachel had a great comment, and I only wish I could do something about it at this point: the fabric looks so new! This is particularly troublesome for the 3 pillows with the melted away tulle. And boy, did it stink when I was melting the tulle; glad I did it outside (although it was pretty cold & wet). She also had a great solution to my title dilemma—"6 tiny pillows" can be in the media description—"6 tiny pillows made of wool, tulle; Print Gocco," then I can title it something else, and still get across that they're pillows.

See this entry for day 8. To see the printed tulle before the pillows were sewn up, see this entry.

Rest of the day was admin stuff for Portland Open Studios and the Tennessee show.

Now for something completely different...

Yes, a whole extra entry just for the now famous chicken hats from Liv and Lotus.

The hat itself:

And the chicken with the head:

I have permission from Hat Maker Herself that I may embellish it. So, the chicken might get fancied up...but then again, I might be all talk and no action.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pillow Book I, day 8

So here's the new/old serger. I'm sewing in the hallway, with the work table piled high with all the stuff.

Here are the pillow cases. I've just put down fabric tack on the corners, so now they're turned inside out, drying. Those autumn gourds have seen better days!

Here's one of the pillow cases (you can almost read the image on the pillow here) with its pillow form. This is all set up in the dining room.

And here are the tags. Gocco'ed, of course.

The basics: I'm almost finished with the set of tiny pillows. All the forms are made, and so are the tags. I seem to have settled on a literal title "6 Tiny Pillows." But if I change my mind, I'll just gocco up some new tags. I'll wait until the last moment to sew on the tags, just in case I do change my mind.

I have one last thing to do (other than sewing on the tags), then I'll be done with this -- I'm liking the spots of melted away tulle, all part of that falling apart, fading away theme. So I'll be melting more of the tulle intentionally. See this post for day 7 of Pillow Book I.

Spent the evening doing paper work -- IPRC teacher's contract, W2 form for the grant, and forms and such for the Lake Oswego Chronicles, which reminds me...I better get those dates down on the calendar, because they really didn't give us a lot of time, and it's to be created specifically about LO.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pillow Book I, day 7

Took a lot of experimenting to get the tensions adjusted just right to do the rolled hems for the pillow forms. I only finished one today, and no picture. Although now that I have 1 of the mini pillows finished, I'm reconsidering the tentative title (Cradles for Our Memories). I think I need to make a more clear statement about them being pillows, since they are so tiny. See this entry for day 6.

Half the day was spent prepping for, and attending, the Portland Open Studios board meeting. Lots of things to decide on for next year, and to start getting ready for. Looks like I'm the interim secretary, as the real secretary just became the interim president, because the president (who was the interim president because the president resigned) is resigning. Phew, complicated enough. I'm also the chair for the jury/application committee, which needs to be started now with the call for entry.

Pillow Book I, day 6

No pictures today, but finished the pillow cases. Noticed that I melted some of the tulle along the edges, but I think it'll be ok. Started practicing doing the rolled hem business on the serger, the stitch I'll use to make the pillow forms. (I checked our pillows, the real pillows, and that seems to be how the edges are finished so I'm doing the same.) Just finishing the pillow cases took 5 hours! It's amazing how long things take, even when you're using a machine. There was some hand sewing involved, and of course a lot of ironing. But still, I'm amazed that it took 5 hours. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish a couple of the pillow forms tomorrow. I do have some appts and a meeting to get ready for, so I'm not expecting a whole lot of work. See this entry for day 5.

The Random Movie tonight was Atonement, a tragic romance, so of course I loved it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

pillow Book I, day 5

The sewing part of this book finally began, although not before making another trip to the fabric store/sewing machine shop (conveniently located next to each other) to get 4 spools of gray thread for the serger, white cotton muslin for the pillow forms, and more polyfil.

The plan is to make the pillow cases just like the real pillow cases, with a band around the opening end. So here are 3 cases sewn up (without the band yet) and 1 that has just been basted. These are pretty small (6"x9") but will be wider with the band. They also read better when you look straight at them, rather than from an angle like this.

Those with several layers of the tulle don't really have nice and square corners, there's just too much material to deal with. Something I did not consider before. The serger is working out nicely though. I have 5 of the cases sewn; there's 1 more to do, then I'll add the bands and make the forms. For a title, right now I'm thinking Cradles for Our Memories. Cradle being a direct reference to the fact that pillows cradle our heads, the physical locations of our memories. And also, although I might be stretching this a bit, cradle bring to mind something small, for a baby, and these are small pillows.

Here's the previous entry on this book.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pillow Book I, day 4

Last I left this book, this was where it was.

Having decided against the linear progression of a codex format with tulle pages, this book will consist of six small pillows to be arranged in a random sequence. Each pillow will have from 1 to 6 tulle page(s), making the image easier or harder to read. So I've made 6 piles here, starting from the upper right corner, going counter clockwise, we have 1 sheet, 2 sheets, etc, until the bottom right corner (which actually has 7 sheets because I had 1 sheet extra, and also I wanted it to be much easier to read).

To keep the stacks aligned, I pva'ed all the way around the edges, using sheets of glass as my work surface. So that's the white stripes you see around the images. The thicker stacks got much more pva. The sheets of tulle are laid out over the gray wool that I'll be using for this book. The pva will be trimmed off once the tulle sheets are sewn to the wool. Although in a few spots I got the pva awfully close to the image. I think it will be ok.

We tried a new restaurant today, a tapas place on Alberta call Lolo. A large group from Mike's office. There were a few excellent dishes and a few that were so-so. The flan was excellent.


I got my grant! The grant that I was applying for back in August. Got the letter this afternoon. I only got through the first sentence, "congratulations!" before I picked up the phone and called Mike. So that was the big news for today. And I'm so over the feeling sorry for myself part.

On other fronts, picked up my stuff from City Hall, and realized that I couldn't pick up my chicken hat until tomorrow (so no chicken hat picture tonight). Finally took the serger out for some real work. I think the free fabrics (both knits) will not work, I'll need to get some other fabric for the pillow forms. Probably need a special foot for knits. I did work a project that I've been meaning to do for a while though: converted some ripped up old bath towels into washcloths.

The Random Movie tonight was The Golden Compass. There were lots of critters that talked, so of course I loved it.

In the weird stuff category—I heard from someone that I hadn't heard from since probably 1984. She read the NYT column on the gocco and googled me. It took me a little bit to figure out who she was. But the weird thing was, apparently she named her cat after me!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A chicken with out a head

Which is why tomorrow, I'm off to Da Vinci Arts Fair to get myself a little chicken for my head. Maybe it will help. [And of course that should be "chicken without a head", that's how without a head I was.]

But of course, that's all that I need to do—spend yet more money, having purchased 2 of the PDX Panels today, and not having sold my own (wah!), I'm like, one of the very few people, out of the ones I know, who haven't sold their panels yet. Almost all of the Open Studios artists' panels have sold; Diane (from my critique group), her panel sold, too. Why me!? Or maybe that should be, why not me!?

After Gretchin so graciously (once again) agreed to help me out and table for me at City Hall, I belatedly remembered that I did not leave her any cash to make change with. But if things went as well there as it did elsewhere, she probably didn't need it. Wah! Again.

I, me, and myself was at the Chinese Garden doing the gocco demo tonight, with some of my paintings and prints up for the evening. The garden had free admission tonight, but it was coooooold. Very cold. They brought me a space heater, but I was still pretty cold. I got pretty hungry too, but didn't want to eat too much since Mike and I were meeting for dinner. I snacked on almonds and some dried persimmons (yum!) that Blake gave me.

The day started out fine enough, although rather early. I was out of the house by 7:45am for my first appt of the day—25 2nd graders at Atkinson Elementary were waiting to gocco with me (and a team of volunteers). I took all my B-6 goccos. The plan was to go from one event to the next, all day, so the car was packed for everything I had to do.

But I finished at Atkinson earlier than I expected, so I came home for lunch and decided to unpack the Atkinson stuff from the car (an important detail for this woeful tale). Then I set up at City Hall, and went on to Old Town. Since I had a bit of time before I had to set up at the Garden, I went to see the panels again, and ended up buying 2 of them.

Then there I was, still had some time, so I was walking around in the Garden, enjoying myself, having a relaxed time, going over in my head what I needed to do for the demo. When I suddenly realized, I HAD UNPACKED ALL THE STUFF I TOOK TO ATKINSON ELEMENTARY, INCLUDING ALL THE GOCCO'S!!!

This was now 4pm, rush hour traffic. I ran out of the Garden, jumped in the car (giving up the perfect parking space for unloading) and got on I-5. Miracle of miracles, the traffic was moving. I got home, got the gocco, got back to the Garden in time to set up and start the gocco demos on schedule.

The Garden event started out a little slow, but between 5:45-7:15pm, I was demo'ing the whole time. Actually met up with several people that I had previously had connections with -- someone who bought a small artist's book from me a few years ago (never met before), and the parents of one of my students from this last summer. A friend from ye olde Tek was there too.

After that, dinner, then back to Portland Art Center hoping to catch up with a couple of people (and saw that my panel still hadn't sold, wah!), I got home at 9:30pm. Too tired to go for a Random Movie tonight, all I could gather my energy to do was to feel sorry for myself. So there.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I'm ready for the week to be over now

Another long day today, preparing for tomorrow. Packed for the Atkinson Elementary school thing. Packed for the City Hall event (thank you Gretchin for helping me out, once again!). Packed for the Chinese Garden event. I went ahead and made the screen for the Garden demo, otherwise, if the weather is bad tomorrow, I may have trouble getting a really good screen made.

I think I'm all ready for tomorrow now. Went to the PDX Panel preview tonight (first night it opened). By the time I got there, the pieces I had had my eyes on were mostly sold, and they were certainly all sold by the time I made my way all the way around the 300 panels. 4 of the Portland Open Studios artists' panels had sold (not mine though). One of them I had my eyes on. Too bad. There are still others that I'm interested in as well, but I'd have to think about them more (which of course means they'll be sold by the time I make up my mind!).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Phew, another long day

Diane came over and we flashed a bunch of screens for a gocco project at Atkinson this coming Thursday (for which I have to be at the school by 8:30am!). Then it was off to a late lunch, and then to City Hall to deliver my prints. While I was in town, I also snuck over to Portland Art Center, hoping to catch the PDX Panels show early and see if there was anything I wanted, but they weren't all hung yet. I guess I have to wait until tomorrow like everyone else. Shelley wrote a nice entry for the Portland Open Studios blog on the show. Took me a bit of time to edit and upload it (wordpress was doing some maintenance thing and I kept on getting these "sorry, we're doing some maintenance thing please come back later" message. (So far, I have to say that I think blogspot is better than wordpress, despite hearing otherwise from some people. Although, I do have trouble with blogspot at times, too—it does not seem to like to upload several images all at once, even though it lets you do so. And sometimes it even has trouble uploading just 1 image.)

But anyhow, doesn't seem like I accomplished a whole lot, but it sure did take a lot of time.

I'm glad the day's over

Lots of running around in foul weather today. Although the high winds did not materialize, it was most definitely a very wet day. 217 northbound was completely closed in sections, southbound had 1 lane closed. I-5 southbound had something going on around Multnomah Blvd, so I exited early. When we were hanging the show at Print Arts this morning—and I only heard bits of this conversation—someone reported that there was a crew out there on a boat (!) trying to unclog something. I assume she was talking a road.

So, the running around part — in the morning and early afternoon, it was hanging the exhibit at Print Arts Northwest; got home with enough time to grab a snack before I had to run off to my serger lesson; then it was an early dinner with Mike before I ran off to the Portland Open Studios board meeting.

Not only was there a lot of rain, there was a lot of bad driving too. I was stuck behind this car that would get stuck in the middle of an intersection at every intersection! And when the traffic would start moving again, it would be 5-6 seconds before it would move. I finally got around it, and get this — I came to the MAX tracks, waited until I saw that there was room for me up ahead before I crossed the tracks and stopped. And this car pulled up right behind me, which could only mean that it was on the tracks! Shudder.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The 2008 persimmon crop

With high winds warnings through out the PNW, I decided to pick my persimmons today lest they get all blown away, which would just be completely tragic. So here they are. It was pouring cats and dogs all day, so I got pretty drenched out there harvesting my bounty.

Now they're all cleaned and neatly lined up on the extra table I had to set up in the living-room for them. I got about 250 persimmons this year (some I had already given away, including to a door to door sales person who had his priorities right and asked about the persimmons first before trying to sell...he got persimmons, but I still said no).

I had to leave some on the top of the tree—couldn't reach them. But of course, those were the ones that got the most sun and looked the most luscious. The trouble with being on a slope lot—it's hard to set up a ladder out there. I just used a step ladder, so had limited range. The ground was so wet, the step ladder kept on sinking into the dirt. Oh yeah, and my drainage ditch is the most useful now!

Otherwise, it was a big chore day. Had to clean up the gocco room so we can sleep downstairs tonight—in case a tree should come down during the windstorm. Although it's pretty quiet out there right now, so maybe the windstorm won't materialize after all.

Got ready for the Portland Open Studios board meeting tomorrow, and worked on some Guild of Book Workers workshop related email.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

More about Portland Art Center's fund raiser...

Delivered my panel to PAC today and took the opportunity to walk around and check out the few pieces that were already there. Lots and lots of interesting stuff, you can tell many people were experimenting. Some of my favorite artists are participating, so I'm hoping everything would be hung by Tuesday afternoon and I can check things out after I deliver my pieces for the print show at City Hall. Although my guess is that the big names will already be sold even by then.

The title I finally decided on -- On the Edge of Her Seat She Watches. I wanted to play up the tension between the bird sitting there so calmly while there's all this commotion swirling around her. The blue magnolia didn't need any more attention drawn to it.

Exchanged the frames I got yesterday for something much nicer and framed up Trixie the Poetry Car and The Mysterious Gift Horse for the City Hall show. Haven't heard back from there regarding having someone else 'table' for me on Thursday. I guess I'll find out when I find out.