Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wrapping Up NaNoWrimo and NaBloPoMo

I'm killing two birds with one stone today, making my last November post for National Blog Posting Month as well as submitting my last few words to National Novel Writing Month.

I'd planned to write all day for NaNoWriMo, but alas it was not to be. My plans today just flew out the window. I knew I was vaguely planning to go up the coast for my grandson's first birthday and my daughter's housewarming party in December.  What I failed to realize was that to get to the party on Dec. 3, I need to be on the train tomorrow.  Tomorrow is Thursday and the train isn't too bad. Fridays however, tend to be stuffed as business commuters and people going out of town for the weekend are all looking for a seat.

So I had to drop everything, pack, reserve a ticket, decide what projects to take, do laundry, get my cell phone working again, arrange rides to and from the train station, and all those niggling little things a person has to do before going out of town for a few days. Don't get me wrong. I am looking forward to it. I just didn't realize it would be such a time crunch. December is going to be to hectic, so I won't be signing on to do another daily blog here.  Maybe in January when I'm a year old and wiser.
An old friend just sent me this photo. This is what I looked like about 35 years ago.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Painting and Artist Paul Cumes

I can't believe I'm up at 5 AM.  But at least I can share this video by an artist I like.

And I may as well post my last two paintings.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Where Will I Write Next?

I have a question for all of those who use Blogger to make multiple blogs.  I have over 70 blogs on Blogger and it would be nice is there was a table of contents page of sorts, where in 30 seconds or less, a reader could go straight to my most recent post on Blogger. If people have no idea which of my blogs I added a post to last, they are not going to click through the entire list looking for the most current post.

If you know of such a thing please point me to it.
When November's NaBloPoMo ends, I will still be blogging almost daily but not necessarily on the Red Quill Chronicles blog.  I already had a daily blog on crafts before this thing started which has been somewhat neglected to do this one. A person can only do so many 'daily' things, and I already do a daily painting and a daily doodle, and until the end of this month, daily fiction writing for Nanowrimo. Busy Busy. And of course December has holidays in it, and I will most likely be out of town for four or five days. And I'm opening a new Etsy shop for my square foot paintings on Dec. 1, 2011.

It may not be until January 2012 that I can write regularly again, unless someone is feeling really generous and gives me a laptop.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Ten Minute Day

I'm declaring my day today a 10-minute-day.  After packing on Friday and the craft fair yesterday, it looks like the place blew up. You other artists and entertainers will know what I'm talking about. So I'm going to live today in 10 minute increments.
Ten minutes of each activity.
1. Dishes x
2. Laundry x
3. Showering x
4. Sewing
5. Unpacking x
6. Exercising x
7. Reading x
8. Looking for lost library book x
9. Painting x
10. Juggling x
11. Nanowrimo x
12. NaBloPoMo X
13. Squidoo x
14. Facebook x
15. Etsy shop x
16. Walking
17. Edit Photos x
18. Nanowrimo x
19. Drawing x
20. Photography x

That's about 3 hours worth of stuff. 200 minutes equals 3 hours and 20 minutes. I'll check them off as I go along so you can see how it goes.  I won't be doing them in any particular order.  The important things isn't when I get them done, only that I get them done. It helps to have a 10 minute timer you can carry around with you.

Forehead balance

Three pin juggling

Nose Balance

Juggling at sunset

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Medieval Marketplace

Today I went to an SCA event called the Medieval Marketplace in LaVerne, CA where we set up our archery booth. I did my best to paint my boyfriend, though he didn't sit still much. I'm so tired right now. And he already fell asleep though it's barely 7 PM. The weather was beautiful.
Someone was selling his wife's books and fabric since she passed away recently. It was a shock to all of us.  I hope she will be happy to know her friends bought her books and fabrics and will put them to good use. I got a bunch of books on crafts and cooking, and a lovely piece of stretch velvet in a rich purple with gold designs.

At another booth I also got some used knitting needles because I like to teach people to knit and send them home with the needles. So when I can get them for $1 a pair I stock up.
There was also a hat crochet artist there.  When I've sold crafts at that event that is what I've tried to sell, so I'm glad I didn't bring stuff to sell to create even more competition. I wanted to take her photo and give her some publicity but she said she doesn't have an online presence, and she seemed camera shy.  So I passed her by.

I did take photos of some other interesting things.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Amedeo Modigliani

Right now I'm researching the art of Amedeo Modigliani because he was mentioned in the book I just got called 52 Creative Exercises To Make Drawing Fun by Carla Sonheim. You can see his slideshow at: One of the exercises in Sonheim's book is to do portraits mimicking the style of Amedeo Modigliani.  I tried that yesterday with a portrait of my daughter. Today I'm going to try it again.Yesterday I think I reverted back to my usual style of painting. I wish I had a live model to paint from.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Perpetual Calendar

I made a perpetual calendar out of index cards a few months ago.  It's in a recipe box. Each day I write one line about the daily highlight.  I've been so busy I was about ten days behind.  Some of the days I remembered a highlight. Other days I couldn't remember what I did. Daily blog to the rescue.  By scrolling back through this blog, I was able to fill in all my blank cards!  Each card then goes to the back of the box, so when the year is over, I start again.  Next year will be more fun as then I can see how November 24 this year compares to November 24 next year and so on. And today is Thanksgiving.  It's always the fourth Thursday in Nov. but the date varies each year. Making your own perpetual calendar can cost under $5, or less if you already have a recipe box and index cards.  I cut the month dividers out of old postcards.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Oh My It's Getting Busy

As the weekend approaches things are getting more hectic.  We have a craft show on Sat. and I just realized it's going to be hard to work on my novel when I'm not near my computer and I have other distractions. We are not doing a traditional Thanksgiving, so I at least have plenty of time to write today, Friday and Sunday.
I just passed the 5000 word mark.

I did my daily doodle in oil pastels today.  I need to work on a painting as well.  And I have so much sewing that I've shelved to do these other projects like NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo. I'm busy, I'm happy, but I'm starting to feel a little frayed around the edges.

And if I decide to go to my grandson's 1st birthday party 300 miles away it's going to get even more hectic.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Follow up on NaBloPoMo Blogs That I Follow

Yes, I know I already made today's post but I wanted to do a follow up on the other NaBloPoMo blogs that I'm following while it's still fresh in my mind.

I just went back to my article about NaBloPoMo that I wrote on Squidoo here. I'm happily surprised that all but maybe 3 of my bloggers are still in the game.  A few have stopped doing daily posts, but are still blogging as time allows. I was sure a lot more than that would lose interest after a few days. I admire their dedication and persistence. Way to go all of you. What interesting lives you all have.  What diverse writing styles. Who knew those creative writing classes we took in high school or college would pay off down the road and be so important to our success and happiness?

My two cats wonder why I'm typing all the time.

Nanowrimo Continued

I'm really having fun working on my novel.  It's in the erotic category so I can be as naughty as I want.
My hands are not happy with all the typing though. It's one thing to type a blog post. It's another thing to type 5,000 words a day, which is what I need to do to finish in time.  I typed 1000 before breakfast.  At least I type fast. So far, the story is happening as fast as I can type, and then some.
You can track my progress on the bar widgets to the right.

I'm still doing a painting a day also, and here it is.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Darn You Lisa Simpson

This year I decided to skip Nanowrimo and do Nablopomo instead. I purposely did not go to the Nanowrimo site at all, lest I should be tempted.  Then tonight it was like the universe conspired against me.
Between seeing a post on Twitter from a friend who said this was her 7th year doing National Novel Writing month, and reading something about 'the more you do the more you can do', and my friend Freakishlemon getting to the 30,000 word point, I was still thinking, "How insane would it be if I started Nanowrimo now, on the 20th day. I mean I only finished it once before and barely in a nick of time.

But the last straw was tonight when I was watching the Simpson's cartoon.  It was all about Lisa trying to write a young adult novel, and procrastinating. It made me realize how much I missed writing fiction and how opportunities were passing me by.  I felt my resolve cracking.

Also, my boyfriend hates Nanowrimo and I didn't want to cause any friction.

Well, I thought I'd peek at the Nanowrimo site and see if my old log in would work. Talk about a gateway drug.  I saw this very night that my local group had paired up with the LA group and they were all on the Amtrak Coastline train on a fancy trip from San Diego to San Francisco and I could have been on it! They'd done some sort of fundraiser so they could go.  And then I realized that Nanowrimo is as much about socializing with other writers as it is about finishing 50,000 words. And I'm kicking myself for giving up one of my dreams just because my boyfriend thinks it's stupid.

So here I am, at the eleventh hour diving in to Nanowrimo with my first writing session almost 1000 words. Usually the big thing that stops me from succeeding at Nanowrimo was being out of town for Thanksgiving.  Well, this year I'm not going anywhere. I may or may not finish, but I'm sure going to put my finger in the pie and have a taste. If you want to check out my profile for Nanowrimo it's here.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Bows and Arrows and Other Pointy Things

Everyone is busy and happy working on their projects.
Working on a basket for boy scouts.
Sal on the right discussing the fine art of straightening shafts for arrows.

Guy making a bow at the December meeting last year.

Cutting out leather for a quiver.

Tom knows tons about woodworking.  Here he is shaving a bow.

Our archery meeting got rained out today. At least I assume it did since the weather page reported 100% chance of rain in Pasadena.  We meet once a month but sometimes when this happens they reschedule to meet twice the next month to make up for it.  So I thought I'd share some of the bow making and archery photos from past get-togethers.
Sal making a yucca quiver.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Finding Inspiration

Every artist I read about says people always went to know where they get their inspirations. The short answer is 'anywhere and everywhere'. This morning I was watching a random TV show about remodeling a bedroom. A real estate agent was tired of the slow trend in housing sales and decided to go to Southwest Asia to get away from it all.  Once she got home she wanted to transform her boring bedroom into one with an Asian feel. In Asia she had met a street artist and commissioned him to paint her a series of four paintings to hang as a set on her wall.  She liked his work but she wanted something in purples. I took one look and thought I'd love to do a series of four square foot paintings in purple and gold.

We all grow up with color prejudices we get from well meaning parents and teachers and friends.  I remember once I went to work in my favorite red and purple skirt.  A friend took me aside and said, 'My mother would never let me out of the house in that." I said, "You mom doesn't let you wear long skirts."  She said, "No, we weren't allowed to wear red and purple together because they clash."  I was an adult at the time and had a good laugh over that.  Sometime in my childhood someone told me the same thing about gold (yellow) and purple.  So I've avoided that color combination because it clashes.  Yet here were these four paintings on this show that I fell in love with.  I couldn't wait to try something similar.

First I put gesso mixed with purple and gold all over four Bristol Vellum squares. I let those dry. I kept out the one I wanted to do for my daily painting and put the rest away.

I love dancing and dancers, so I wanted a dancer on at least one panel. So that's what I did today and I'm loving it.  And surprisingly I'm loving gold and purple together.  Now I'm thinking we all get stuck in artistic ruts of using the same colors we are most drawn to.  I'm thinking of making a bunch of color squares, tossing them in a hat and randomly drawing 2 or 3 for future paintings, to get away from my own color prejudices.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Off to the Theater

I spent the day painting, and tonight we are going to a Robin Hood play.  I need to get ready so I don't keep people waiting, but I'll write all about both when I get home tonight or tomorrow if it's late.

Today's painting: Mask and Pearls
Acrylics on Gesso covered Bristol Vellum

Update: The play was excellent. I mean how often do you get to go to an original play and meet the playwright? Here is our friend Eric looking mighty handsome in his King's archer costume. And that's my boyfriend in the kilt.  He made the new white arrows for the play.

It is a musical and it plays through December.  If you are near Westminster CA don't miss it. I'll have the details for you tomorrow. It's appropriate for family viewing so don't be afraid to take your kids, grand kids and grandparents.
Ticket info: Rose Center Theater in Westminster CA
Madrigal Singers lead the crowd to the opening of the theater.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Ballet Toe Shoe Painting

I like to paint on my front porch where the light is good and there are no cats to jump on the table. Since the Anaheim Ballet does the Nutcracker every year, and they were nice enough to give me free tickets to the ballet in exchange for being in their craft show fund raiser, I have a soft spot in my heart for them.  So this time of year always reminds me of ballet.  So for my square foot painting today I painted a pair of point shoes from a photograph. It's my favorite painting so far (out of the three I've done).

I'm glad I'm done though because it's getting pretty chilly outside, even if it's not even 4 PM yet.

I made a special Etsy shop for my square foot paintings. My grand opening is going to be Dec. 1, 2011 at five P.M. Pacific time.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Using the Table PC Input Panel

I just discovered the Tablet PC Input Panel. I'm typing this post with it in script using my mouse. If a person doesn't know how to do touch typing, this might be useful. Or maybe it your keyboard is old and the letters stick.

Sometimes it can't decipher my scrawl and spells the word wrong. Like 'letters' became 'titters' the first time I typed it. For me this is more of a novelty but I imagine for some people it could be a lifesaver; like if you had a broken arm and could only type with one hand. The program will also recognize numbers. 2b or not 2b. The upper right menu gives you easy to use tabs for correcting, deleting, splitting or joining. Hover over the icons to see how to use them. The tablet is easy to read. I don't even need to wear my glasses. Use the tool menu on the tablet to view other options. If you'd prefer a touch pad keyboard it has that too.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Square Foot Art Gallery

I'm thinking of starting a new online store, probably on Etsy, for selling paintings that are 12"x12", or one square foot. I've been fascinated with the concept every since I found out on the Internet a few years ago that some art galleries were having showings specifically for square foot paintings.  Last night I found some videos on it on Youtube.


I want to combine this with my desire to do a painting a day like an artist I saw at the Laguna Sawdust Festival. He's done a painting a day for something like 18 years. You can see him in the clip below.

First I have to go to the art store and get some square foot canvases.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Day One Doodle Project

I like to let my subconscious mind  make the decisions when I'm doodling. It's cathartic when I do that.  I do my best not to over-analyze things and let them have a flow. It's an instinctive way to draw or paint, like process art. With this piece I started with the wavy part on the left side.  I couldn't decide if it reminded me of slides or a giant tree trunk or hilly terrain. Then I grabbed a spool of ribbon from my desk and traced the big circle with a little circle in the center. Next I did the treble clefts.  The circles didn't quite look finished, so I decided to add a stand to make it more like a Ferris wheel. Then I made the spokes. It's funny that this doodle started at McDonald's.  Then I drew in the car (I wasn't the driver). Then I restarted it at home at my desk, then I took it in the bathroom and drew the spokes. The birds were added at some point. I like the birds. Those might look interesting carved into rubber stamps.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Writing For Hubpages

I've been writing for a website called Hubpages for over five years now. For the last two months I haven't done much there because Google stopped the flow of traffic to Hubpages and many of us lost 50% of our Google Adsense income and more.  I personally lost about 80%.  The only thing that saved me was Hubpages started their own payment program for their writers, so while I still took a hit, I didn't lose everything.

So then the founders of Hubpages worked like dogs to rebuild the site in a way that Google would favor again. They started flagging hubs with substandard rankings, and it felt a lot like a witch hunt.  Poetry hubs took a lot of collateral damage, because word count became king.  About the only way my poetry was going to fly is if I wrote a long article and then tacked my poem to it.

But I do check into Hubpages from time to time to approve comments and keep up with changes and fix broken links and so on.

I switched to writing for Squidoo.  I had hopes of replenishing my failing Hub income with Squid Lenses income.  But though I've been writing on Squidoo regularly for 3 or 4 months, I'm getting no income, so it looks like I'm going back to Hubpages, even though I no longer have any warm feelings for Hubpages since the sweeping changes hit.

If you are curious about what I'm writing over there you can visit me on Hubpages and Squidoo.
My Hubpages poetry is over here under Poetic Muse.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Tackling Clutter

Instead of writing about what I'm good at, I've decided to write about something I'm bad at, namely, tackling clutter.  It piles up and up. It's frustrating. It steals my confidence. It makes me feel inept. It's my nemesis.  I even started a decluttering blog. That just helped me procrastinate a little more. Having two cats makes it worse, because they knock over and paw through everything.

Anyway, today's goal is to put away 100 things.  I'm up to about 40 that I've done already. I bet if I had the energy and motivation, I could even put away 1000 things today. But after 40 I was already overwhelmed.

So I'm resting, blogging, and then I'll get back to it.
Update: I lost my focus and only got 83 things put away.  So today I'm going to put away 100 more plus another 17 that I should have done yesterday, so 117.

I'd rather be flying a kite.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Mad About Hats

     I’ve always faced a hat dilemma. I’m willing to acknowledge that I’ve been born in the wrong period, because hats are no longer a requirement to wear every time we step out of our front doors. Here is my dilemma. I love to wear hats, particularly colorful and strange hats. But I am self-conscious and don’t like to be stared at. Sometimes one side of me wins and sometimes the other side wins.  Luckily, because of being a performer I’ve gotten away with wearing pretty crazy hats.  Then again, I don’t wear them to the grocery store.  Not just because I lack confidence to wear one if I’m going alone, but if I wear one when I’m with friends, they get embarrassed. Maybe I just need more outlandish friends, I don’t know. 

     But making hats is pleasurable and fun. As far as knitting or crocheting goes, I can whip up a hat in no time. And they cost less for supplies than something like a sweater or an afghan. So years ago I started a hat blog and I’ve made some hat tutorials which I’ll share with you here.
My hat blog

My newest hat. Madhatter style top hat.

Me wearing one of my favorite knit hats and holding a snood I crocheted.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


My body is wearing out. No doubt about it. But this morning I decided if I'm going to hurt every day anyway, then I may as well keep dancing and juggling, even if they make me sore. I'm already sore. I wake up sore, I go to bed sore. Aging sucks. But sitting in a lump because I'm afraid to move is just going to make things worse, not better. Besides, all athletes hurt sometimes.