Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sewing Day and the yard sale gem of the day!

Well, yesterday has been kind of a sewing day for me.  Julia once again did her ritual of confiscating my laptop for quite a while.  And I decided to go find my sewn up tubes for the fabric bracelets.  I think I must have sewn them about three to four months ago and they've been sitting in one of my bags collecting dust and crying out for me to finish them.

I grabbed the lot of them and finished putting in the elastic.  Then, I decided to make three new ones with some other lovely fabrics I have waiting for projects.  Some of the fabric I think I just want to leave for photography.  Or maybe I will cut up a huge square large enough for photography and set those aside.

And I decided to whip up a few yo yo circles for the future blanket or throw.  I think that project got started back in November or December and all the circles I cut out have been also collecting dust.  And now, I am starting to sew those so I can get them out of this nice fabric box.  I'd like the box to put collage pieces in and design work for the scrapbook pages.

And the great yard sale find yesterday was a food dehydrator.  I came back and sliced up bananas and pineapple chunks and later the girls and I put in some hot dog slices.  Mollyanne liked the banana slices.  I forgot that it takes quite a few hours of running the machine.  I plan on keeping this one.  I had one quite a few years ago and got rid of it for some reason.

I'm going to try putting in herbs sometime and maybe some flowers.  I forgot that once, I tried putting in soaked bread to dry it.  Soaked in butter and spices.  Yum!  And I probably tried meat in it once or twice.

I keep hoping I will find scrap booking and other supplies at yard sales.  The thing about going yard saling is that you never know what you are going to find.  It's the hunt and the search for that hidden treasure that makes yardsaling so much fun.  And I try to make sure that I don't end up buying something that I'm not going to end up needing or later on find it going straight to Goodwill.  That does end up happening with some of the Ebay items I list.  Not everything sells and it either ends up going to Goodwill or it ends up getting cut up and stuffed inside a pincushion.  T shirts are good for that and outfits that a needle is going to sink into. 100% cotton doesn't work well.  My first pincushions were stuffed with that and the needle doesn't want to stay in.  It's a whole lot cheaper than going to buy the stuffing at Walmart.  Not that it's expensive anyway, but why go and get the poly fiber stuffing when you can be thrifty and use your own?

I remember the days when we used to use nylons and the dryer lint to use as stuffing.  Anybody remember that?  My first Shawn Cassiddy doll I made was stuffed with dryer lint.  And it's a good thing he was long gone!  But it was my first sewing project and I remember sitting in the quilted tent hanging from the clothesline all day sewing the thing.

Well, we had a night of fun in the living room and Julia had to wait while I wrote a post last night.  Then she later got it back.

Mollyanne ended up sleeping down in the living room with us last night.  She came down in the middle of the night complaining that she heard a bee and wanted to sleep downstairs.

Then they were sleeping for a while this morning.  Julia ended up staying up till 3am playing on my laptop.  No wonder she slept longer.

Sean and his Dad went to Canada yesterday for the day to go see an IMAX movie of the new Batman movie.  And then they came back and we all got treated to Chicken Charlie's.  Yum.

I guess I will end this post with pictures.  Julia is patiently waiting for the computer.  I think they want to listen to music on this new site today.  Mollyanne was listening to Katy Perry yesterday and asked me to sing along with her.  So I got singing to Part of Me as I know the lyrics to that one.  Mollyanne wanted me to keep singing and Julia wanted me to stop.  I sing pretty good with music. I'm by no means a great singer but I can carry a good singing voice if I have the music playing and if I know the words.

Mollyanne has recently expressed an interest in becoming a famous singer.  She's 11 so she's got a long way to decide what she really wants to do.  But yesterday, I found myself also telling her that I wished I could be a famous artist or writer.

I got talking about how some people take their whole lives to get famous, and that some just get lucky and get noticed.  I told them about how Van Gogh never was famous while he was living and then became famous after he had died.  They heard about him, so I pulled out my little reproduction of Starry Starry Night to show them and they recognized it.

At some point I found myself reciting some sayings to them.  If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Practice makes perfect.

And a few others that I can't recall.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted July 29, 2012

The cool find of the day.  I might look up what you can dehydrate in these things besides food.

a bunch of the fabric bracelets that I finally finished.

The three newest ones are in the front.  I should find some of the other fabrics later that I haven't used for the bracelets yet.

The one rubber stamp I found at a yard sale yesterday.  And a little girls outfit that I bought to sell.  I discovered that I had another girls outfit with this pattern so am going to keep the first one for photography pictures as I looked it over and it has some paint spots on it.  So obviously I can't list that one but will list the good outfit.

Two pincushions that I sewed up yesterday.  The girls want them and will probably use them as Webkinz pillows until they later want to use them as pincushions.  The flower container in the background is a simple salsa jar with an elastic around it and I had these planter popsicle sticks on hand and stuck them in.  Another day I want to try one with wooden sticks from outside.  I saw that on Pinterest and thought it looked cool too.  Maybe I could even paint on them.  Food for thought.

The little Avon container I found yesterday.  I liked it for the rose pattern and gave her a quarter for it.  Mollyanne wants it and I told her I will probably also use it for photography.  We discovered when you take the little cover off the top that it's broken at the bottom of the cover.  But it doesn't show, so that's okay.

The little alligator purse that I got at a yard sale.  I'm going to put my basic knitting tools and other neccessities in it that I'm always searching for.  Don't you hate when you can't find something and have to dig for it?  Right now it also has some Krazy glue in it.  We had a broken Littlest Pet Shop dog yesterday where his head popped off and even Krazy glue wouldn't fix it.  So I had to tell Mollyanne she might as well just keep it for their horror videos.  And I guess this next month we will be searching for a replacement on EBay.

More of the pincushions.  These were on embroidery hoops that I got at the yard sales and I cut them out of the hoops as I want the hoops for paper making and the woman's designs were too pretty to just throw away.  So, the designs aren't mind.  I just added the lace edging.

Mollyanne's painted fingernails.  I had her pose for some hand shots for some of my future drawings.  The one below would be nice for  adding butterflies or hearts.  The two pink bracelets she is wearing is from an old preschool dress that she used to wear.

This one could also be pretty for releasing butterflies.

Mollyanne's feet.  She decided to wear them on her feet.

Closeup of the butterfly design someone made.

A pile of my dolls in a bin.  There's the Toni doll, a vintage Revlon, a little antique doll made of sawdust and that bigger one is made in Canada.  She would be cool for Gothic photography.

Two winter headbands I am going to list closer to winter time.  I got them at a yard sale and they are handmade with tags on them. I bet these would be fun to make too.  I've got some patterns for it, but haven't done them yet.

Close up of flowers from my recent walk near the kids house.

My small collection of yo yo's for the blanket or throw.  I think what you do is sew them back to back so you can see the fabric sewing on both sides of the blanket.  That way, there is no need to sew them onto a backing material.  But I've seen people do that too.  These could also be cool for a little pocket book or something else.  Bracelets?

The fabric hoops for paper making.  All I need to do is get my mesh and cut it to fit.  Then you're just dipping them into your trays of your water and paper pulp.  I might try one with dandelions or mint first.  I've got a big bag of paper scraps from all that paper punching week before last.

I'm waiting to do more paper punches until I can purchase a few new paper punches.  I have quite enough of the scallops and the Martha Stewart hearts for now.  And a bunch of daisies and a few of snowflakes.

A cool knitted back pack I got a yesterday's yard sales.  I love the popcorn stitch.  That one is easy to do too.  The girls haven't seen this yet, or else they would be asking to have it.  It will probably contain more of my yarn for a while.  And someday it will be one of their's.

Some of my masks for Halloween time.  Closer to Halloween I think I will do a photo session with this stuff. I bought a bunch of them last year along with a white ostrich feather boa and a pink one.

The mint from my garden.  It's still drying in the pantry.

One of the tank tops I got at the yard sale yesterday and will later be listing it.  I would think someone would like it with the pretty butterfly pattern on it.  I am so glad I got this mannequin form earlier this year.  It really helps to display the outfits.

Close up of the new bracelet.  This would probably also be pretty as a scrunchy.  If I make some scrunchies, I will probably use a thinner elastic that I have for it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What happens in the Schoolyard should stay in the Schoolyard

Everything happens in the school yard.  We remember playing in it all the time.  Who remembers running around playing tag, freeze tag, red rover, dodgeball, climbing monkey bars and the h-bars, swings and any other playground equipment.

When I was growing up in the seventies everything was made of metal and it hurt when you fell.  I remember falling from the monkey bars once and my third grade teacher, Mrs. Ellis came over and helped me fix my bruises and scrapes.

I was one of the kids who happened to have the school yard be practically across the street from my house, so my sister and I just had to go over when school was out and we often played there all day with friends.

But I guess the meat of the post should be about the things that really happen in the school yard.  The not nice things that happen when the adults aren't looking.  The things that mean girls say and what bullies will do to you and get away with until you go complain to the teacher.

Let's face it, the schoolyard can be a nasty place.  I was always the shy quiet girl, who wasn't mean to others.  My mother taught us not to be mean to others.

But once in a while, I was mean to some of my sister's friends.  She had two friends who were sisters that lived one street behind us.  They were always playing and I would play with them a lot too.  But sometimes my sister would have fights with them.  And sometimes I would stick up for my sister and try to fight one of them.  I didn't like that they would be mean to her sometimes.

And then things would get patched up and all of us would be friends again.  We wanted to continue playing with each other.

And sometimes there was a younger kid that lived a few streets away that would be mean to us or annoying sometimes and they would try to pick a fight with us.

And then there were the bullies who threw Bun-Bun up on the school roof.  I used to get picked on a lot by a bunch of the boys and a few of the girls would pick on me.

And then, there was one boy that came over towards my house one day when we were outside near our yard and he and another kid tried throwing tomatoes at me.  I think one did hit me and I went crying to my mom.  I'm sure she didn't hesitate to call the boys mom on that one.

But, generally I wasn't a mean girl.  And then once I remember being at the playground with my best friend, Kelly and she and another girl picked a fight.  I remember  some girl getting her face in the sand with grit in her teeth.  She either had fallen from those monkey bars or got her face pushed in by the other girl.  These monkey bars were the ones where it is one ladder at the top that you swing across with your hands.

And when I was an adult, I remember my mother telling me once after a conversation we had about my mother in law, and she had said, "It comes down to the schoolyard.  Some people never leave the schoolyard and if they see that they are getting to you they will keep at it because they know they will win."  Her words weren't exactly like that but that's the general idea that she wanted me to understand.  This was said in a time when my mother in law and I weren't getting along well.

And now, I want to discuss other things.  Like grudges and harboring negative feelings towards others.  Are you one of those kids that never forgets something and holds a grudge against the other child?  Maybe the other child did nothing wrong and the child that harbors not nice thoughts just thinks that something happened a certain way.  It happens all the time.

We all perceive things a different way.  Like for instance, the quiet and shy child might very often appear to be conceited or snobby when in fact she is not.  But to others who don't know her think that she is this way.

I'm glad I was a child in the seventies instead of one growing up in today's brutal school yard.  And we all know that the bus drivers see and witness it all.  Everything under the sun has been said.  I know this also because some of Jake's para educators have told me that they see every thing and have told me that some parents just aren't very good at it.

But, I guess why I am finding myself writing this post is something quite odd that happened today.  A while ago, I sent a friend request to a friend I had back in grammar school.  I hadn't heard from her in years and wanted to know how she was doing.  Basically eons ago.  We're talking probably 34-37 years ago.  That's a very long time.

Well, finally I went to facebook today just to type in my new post and link to the blog.  I had a message and it was from her.  It took her that long to respond back to me and I was kind of shocked upon reading it.  We were Bluebirds and my mother was the bluebird leader.

Well, she first of all commented that she basically just has a small circle of friends and family on FB and that she would like to leave it at that and for the two of us to wish each other a good life.  Which was fine.  I respect her wishes and that's the way it's going to be.

The words that really shocked and surprised me were:

I'd like you to know that though I hold very, very dear memories of your mother's sweetness from her time of hosting the Blue Birds group, I also recall distinctly feeling slighted by you and often looked down upon. I have one memory of being sent home from your grandparents home after having been invited over to play. 

This really floored me.  And I had to respond back to her message, that I never looked down on her or snubbed or ignored her.  That's just the type of person I wasn't.  But if she maybe felt ignored, maybe I could have been busy with another girl at the time.

Kids sometimes just want to play with certain friends sometimes.  And sometimes kids just don't want to play with other kids.  Some days my youngest daughter, Julia won't want to play online games with her sister.  Mollyanne started crying that her sister didn't want to play and we had to tell her that Julia just wants a break to play by herself.

Sometimes kids don't realize they are ignoring another child.  They could simply be preoccupied.  But it never means that they look down on another child.

So, maybe this girl felt that it was being happened to.  Kids can't be mind readers.  Just like adults can't.  I was probably just a child that was busy doing certain things and probably at times this other girl thought I was ignoring her or being looked down upon.

Good lord, I probably was seven or eight and didn't even know what being looked down upon meant.  The only person I ever looked down upon was one of my mother's cousins that lived in the country.  I think I was more embarrassed of her than anything.  She was visiting my Mom for a little bit and we probably took her to one of my gallery openings or a college or museum of art function.  I felt embarrassed of her as she was dressed dumpy and I was embarrassed of what she had done to her life.

Drugs and she basically got herself messed up for a long time and when she was visiting and was on the mend.  But I was still embarrassed about things that went down in that part of the family.  We loved visiting when we were kids and it was the place to go to and have a blast.

But then everyone got older and they became the black sheep of the family.  I'm sure things have changed there now.  It's been a long time and one can only hope that everyone has learned a hard lesson in life.

And today, what kind of got me thinking is that this girl has never forgotten her feelings.  And I also told her that most likely the reason that she got sent home was probably because my Nana probably didn't like something she said or did and she had the right to send her home.  I really have no collection of that day, but maybe my memory will come back to me.

I suddenly got thinking that maybe my Nana asked her to do something and she didn't do it and didn't mind her.  Maybe it was as simple as please take your sneakers off or maybe she did something else.  I really can't remember and nor do I care to rehash that day.  Jesus Christ it was 35-37 years ago and I am now a 44 year old woman who doesn't harbor negative feelings from so long ago.

We are supposed to be these 44 year old adults that suddenly realize that life is too short to harbor all these negative thoughts of yesteryear.  You know, the days when there were these big clicks in junior high and high school.  I was the shy girl and the clicks really bothered me.  But I didn't let anybody know it.  I just said hi to them and tried to be as friendly as I could be.  Given that I very often didn't know what to say.

And hey, even in Grammar school I was quiet and didn't know what to say.  It could have been that I was just quiet and this girl who I tried to friend on FB could have gotten the signals mixed up that I was ignoring her and thinking lower of her.  I'm thinking she must have had very negative feelings of herself for thinking that I was thinking lower of her.  Children can perceive this lots of times when in reality there is nothing there that implies it.

Other children very often get jealous of other children and could think that others are better than them.  When in reality, we are not any better than the child sitting in the next seat.  But we are always comparing ourselves to others even when we are at the tender young age of eight to 12.

We sit in our seats thinking that the more popular girls are prettier.

I often got jealous that the boys wouldn't chase me to kiss me in the first or second grade.  Instead they had other's that they favorited and tried to kiss.  I wasn't one of those girls.  But did you see me crying that I wasn't the one being kissed?  I was probably glad that they didn't kiss me.  I mean at that age, girls don't want a boy to kiss them.

And then, there were the times when a girl would pass out birthday invitations in grammar school and I wouldn't get one.  That's why my Mom always had us give our friends their birthday invitations in private so other girls wouldn't get jealous.

But I never harbored negative thoughts for a very long time towards any of my grammar school friends.  Even high school friends.  I never harbored any ill feelings towards anyone.  It just wasn't me.

I do remember going shopping with one of my best friends in high school many times and during part of the shopping excursion she couldn't find me.  It probably bothered her at the time, but always when she found me I had my nose in a romance book.  I had just wandered to a section where I wanted to buy some books.

And then today on the fact that she always remembered being sent home from my Nana's house, I also told the girl that it's very possible that my Nana could have also just sent her home because she didn't want any friends visiting that day.  Adults sometimes just want time alone with their grandchildren or have days when they don't want little friends in the house.

My Grammy used to kick us all outside for a little while so that the adults could talk.  We didn't like it sometimes but we had to follow their rules.  Adults can send a child home for any given reason.  And seeing as I can't recall the day, it's even possible that maybe I did something I wasn't supposed to do and the girl could have been sent home for punishment to me.  There's no way for me to know the reason unless if there is a phone to HEAVEN so I can call her up and ask her why she sent the girl home.

And now that I recall my childhood, my sister was friends with her sister and there could have been some fights.  Maybe there's even some sort of falling out that could have happened between me and this girl that I don't know about.

I was always friends with her in the early grades and we were in Bluebirds together.  And then we got older and I think we just parted ways.  She never told me why we didn't stay friends. With me, I just played with her and one day we just started saying hi to each other and for the duration of my school years I just said hi to her.  I was always friendly towards her and she would be friendly back, but that is what it remained.

Maybe she just decided that she felt ignored, snubbed and looked down upon and wanted to end the friendship.  Meanwhile, me, the other girl never did any of that to her and I probably got jealous when she was suddenly paying more attention to the other girls.  So on my end, I probably was thinking "Who is doing the snubbing?"

This girl wasn't the only one who felt snubbed.  Most children probably get snubbed at one point or another.

But if she felt that I thought lower than her it's all in her head.  How can she judge me?  How can one child think that they know what another child is thinking?  They don't know what I was thinking of.  I probably just had my mind on drawing and creating art or doing something else.

I probably had my head in the clouds when maybe she felt ignored.  And how was I to know that she was being ignored?  She was always busy with others too.

But anyway, I was so surprised that she could harbor something for such a long time.  And did she harbor ill feelings on getting sent home by my Nana?  Sounds like it.  She probably deserved to get sent home.  Her sister had a mean streak as I can remember some fights between her and my sister.  She name called.  I do remember that.

Maybe my Nana could have sent her home for something she said and my Nana might not have wanted me to be around her.  Who knows.

There were girls in class that were trouble makers.  Not to say that she was one of them, but there were girls that said things that we were just taught not to say.  We got in trouble if we said words we weren't supposed to say.

That's why my best grammar school friend and I were gutter mouths in private when our parents weren't in ear shot.  We'd be on our bikes and start talking foul mouthed and we would get laughing to ourselves.

And if you said "darn it" in front of my grammy, she would punish us for saying that.  My grammy was from the Old World.  My Nana was a little younger than her.

But anyway, the school yard should stay at the school yard and keep it all in the past.  Please bring up all the fun stuff, but leave all the bad and negative things in the past where they belong.  It's so trivial and not necessary in our daily lives in the present moment.

We were all children once.  We all had things that we wished didn't happen.  We all went through the awkward years.  We were either the victims or the bullies.  I was the victim.  I was the kind girl.  Do you think I got jealous when other girls from Blue Birds were better friends than I was with them?  No I didn't.  I just ended up finding my own best friend in Grammar school and that was good for me.  It doesn't mean that I wasn't friendly with the other girls.  I was, but I knew that I wasn't their best friend and it didn't bother me.

You can't force something.

So bury your schoolyard dilemnas.  Nobody wants to rehash the past.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted July 28, 2012

Doorway to Imagination

How many times have we walked through a door and entered a world of undiscovered imagination?  Most of us creative souls would say many, many times.  What color was your door?

Mine was probably pink with polka dots some days, others speckled multi colors like that of a Jackson Pollock painting.  Wild and uninhibited would be the nature of many imaginations.

How many of you can say that you were born with a wild imagination?  I would be one of them.  I was always told by my Grammy and other relatives that I had a wild imagination.  My thoughts and ideas just seem to spring from nothing.  You know, somewhere in the back of my brain.

If I ever get a brain tumor, which I hope I never do, I hope it never attacks that doorway in my brain that releases all the creativity that wants to roll faster than a cheetah on a speeding railway train track.

Maybe you haven't touched the handle on your door yet.  Is yours one of those old antique handles?  Or is it just simply gold, black or white?  I always remember some door knobs that seemed to have a rubber knob on them.  I can't remember where this was, but somewhere in my childhood someone had rubber doorknobs.

Your doorway is beckoning you.  Waiting with baited breath to hope that you will open and discover sheer bliss.

And then comes the moment of our releasing the energy from our doorway of imagination.  Sitting in our wicker chairs, couch or any other private sanctuary where we come to create.  We have to have the right setting for our creations.  If you haven't already done so, try to find a place that you can come to every day and get motivated to be in the process of making something.

To dive right in is just about the right thing to do when you want to create.  You can't just wade in and wait for thoughts to come.  You need to jump those waves and get fully wet.  Go under water.  You're creations will thank you for it.

And if something gets a little over worked, at least you can say that you tried your best.  And then look at it   this way.  You can always cut it up and use it in something else.  Paint over it.  Hack it up and use it in a collage.  Think before you throw it out.

Recycling is a great way to also create.  Think about what the uses could be for all kinds of things.  There are artists out there that only use recycled stuff in their artwork.  Last year I went to visit the Shelburne Museum in Vermont and one of their exhibitions was using recycled art and collage.  Someone had cut up their income taxes and other stuff and had all these little pieces rolled up and it looked like a large place mat or something like that.

I tried rolling up a few magazine pieces for making paper beads a few weeks ago.  You can roll it on a knitting needle and then you glue the last few inches.  I don't think I liked it very well.  Well, first of all, I think you have to modge podge it and then paint it.  But, I just don't think I want to do it.

Imagination just seems to evolve into something tangible.  Something real and awesome.  It's like when you write a novel, things just start to write themselves.  It's really crazy how I can start to write a chapter.  Let's say I started to hand write it and then I go to type it up.  It's when I start to edit and re write it, that the chapters seem to just come alive and suddenly this conversation starts to take place and suddenly I have jumped into the minds of the little children in the Glorious Money Tree novel and it's like they have their own voice.

And yes, I am writing it, yet at the same time it's as if I'm writing some concoction that has already occurred somewhere inside my brain.

Do you sometimes wonder if destiny has already been written out for us?  Maybe we're just manually processing things that already existed in the darkness of our creative thoughts.  Maybe it's something that we had thought of long ago and it is just manifesting itself into some new and wonderful creation.

Sometimes artists repeat certain things that seem to speak out really loudly to them.  And very often the case is that we spend our whole lives trying to search for the very thing we already knew from the beginning.  And our style seems to remain a constant that is ours and it just get's fine tuned over time.

It's funny how our minds work.

Well, I'm going to finish up with trivial thoughts as Julia will be waking up soon and the laptop will be under her control for a while.

And back to the knitting, scrap booking and anything else that tickles my fancy.  This week I have filled a box of scrapbooking pieces that I had paper punched this week.  I've set aside the paper punches for the most part.  I'm waiting to buy a few new punches and I want to save some of my paper for that.

And I've got a bag of scrap paper from all the punching the paper pieces.  One of these weeks coming up, I think I will be making some handmade paper.  I bought some wooden embroidery hoops at good will and some at yesterday's yardsale.  So now I have all my supplies for that.  I use an old photo tray and large kitchen baking pans (lasagna pans) for dipping in the hoops.  The paper pulp gets poured into the trays and then the finished paper dries in the tub for a day or so.  Then you just peel it off and do what you want with it.

My first batch I think I will toss in either dandelions or mint and see what happens.  And then I will see if my paper punches will work on the handmade paper.

Paper making can be the most inexpensive craft to do.  It's largely made up of recycling stuff and is definitely a good budget craft.  The only expense is the hoops and the mesh that you attach.  And of course a blender.

I've also started to sew up a few of those yo yo circles I patiently cut out last winter.  I've got quite a bunch of them.  The girls have been using some of them too.  And I am suddenly thinking that I should start sewing a bunch of them up to make that yo yo quilt or throw that I was thinking off.  And part of my reason for going back and doing this is so I can get them out of this lovely fabric box that zips up.  I would maybe later like to use the box for the collage and scrap booking and it might be nice to have a finished throw blanket.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted July 28, 2012

Here is the scarf that I knitted earlier this week.  In the background is some knitting that Mollyanne started to do.  She probably will be leaving it and won't finish it.  They are still at the age where it seems hard to knit and they are still learning.  Although Julia does pretty well with the finger knitting.  This scarf knitted up in one day.  I used double strands of baby blue and yellow yarn to do this one.  Earlier this month I had bought a bag of yarn at a yard sale for $1 and it had a bunch of skeins of this stuff.  It's virgin wool and nylon.  It was fun to knit up and I used the cable pattern that I have been using in the bracelets and other headbands.  I like the tassels at the end.  It is the first scarf that I applied tassels to.

I am thinking soon that I need to find another cable pattern to try out for the bracelets, etc...  I don't want to just do one cable pattern.  But this one I have in my head.  I don't even need to look at the instructions anymore.

Simple Cable Pattern

Cast on 15 sts.

Row One:  Knit across row.

Row Two:  Knit 3 sts, purl 9, knit 3

Row Three:  Knit 3 sts, slip 3 sts to
cable needle, knit 3 sts, knit 3 sts from
cn, knit to end.

Row Four:  knit 3 sts, purl 9, knit 3

Row Five:  knit across row

Row 6:  knit 3 sts, purl 9, knit 3

Row 7:  knit 6, slip three sts to cn, knit 3,
knit 3 sts from cable needle, knit to end.

Repeat these rows 1-7 to desired length.

Closeup of my cabled headband.  This was made with a thick wool yarn and I added a very thin strand of pink wool yarn from a large cone that I have.

Closeup of the scarf.

The bracelets felted. I finally decided to wash a bunch of the items for felting.  I like these little bags for tossing in the bracelets.

The two head bands.  Cable pattern.  They washed up well and fit snuggly and aren't too tight.

My shoe box filled with the cut up paper pieces I've been punching out.  I've got to go in and organize it some more.  And now, I'm thinking I'm going to need a separate box for the collage pieces that I am going to want to use in my scrap booking pages.  Or I might get one of my plastic folders for it.  I haven't decided yet.

I started to print up a few things yesterday, but I need to go buy more ink.  For some of it, it didn't matter if it printed up right or not.  Two of the things I printed up were an outline of a bird and a butterfly.  For the bird, I also shrunk it down to be two different sizes.  This will probably be my template for cutting out my birds out of different scrapbooking paper.

I was thinking I would buy the bird punch, but I'm not sure if I will.  I'm sure that I could even draw my own.

Two of the ribbon bracelets I whipped up this week.  The red one is a mixture of a metallic red yarn and some of that trellis ribbon yarn that matched it.  I bought the red metallic yarn at a yard sale earlier this spring.  The blue one is some ribbon yarn from a grab bag that I purchased on ebay.  What an awesome buy.  $5 for the lot of seven skeins of different ribbon yarn plus the shipping.  The blue ribbon and this other ribbon match really well.  Not the blue, but the other color was originally $15.  It was lovely to work with this yarn.
I also wanted to try out a different pattern with this one.  I found a lace pattern that I had hand written in a little journal when the boys were little.  So I tried it out.  It seemed to work a little bit, and then suddenly, I noticed that my stitch count had changed.  So for the bracelet, I just winged it and stopped the lace pattern and applied the cable pattern, and then alternated back to the lace pattern.

This little journal I have is a pink plaid pattern on the cover and I have had it since Sean was one years old.  I have hand written lots of stitch patterns and other stuff that I wanted to do.  In it I also have some collage pieces that I had glued in and there are also a few of my Nana's slipper patterns with her hand writing that I had glued in.

Well, here are the balls of ribbon yarn now.  They are getting quite small, but I bet I can get a few more tiny bracelets from them.

Close up of one of the winter headbands.  These are a little bulky but would be nice for those cold winter days.

A pretty bracelet that I need to sew up.  I used some twine in it that I had bought earlier this year probably with the beaded jewelry in mind.  I think it looks nice with these two colors.

The most recent yo yo pincushion I sewed up and a little pile of yo yo circles.  I might whip up a few of them today.

A piece to a pocket book or an ipad cover that I whipped up last night with bulky yarn and double strand.  I did a row of knit two together and yarn over to get the holes in case it is the top of the pocket book.  Today I am knitting the other side which will be a different color bulky yarn.  I am thinking it might be a neat little patchwork pocket book with different colors.  I am thinking at a later point, I will be picking up stitches along the side of the pocket book and will be knitting from that to make it bigger.  And then last night, I got thinking that it might be fun to try embroidering a little design on parts of it.  Maybe just embroidering little dots or something real simple.

Well, my post is done and I am waiting for the kids to wake up, so I can yard sale for a tiny bit.  And tonight is my sleep over night at their house.  So, later today, I might be finding myself listing more outfits and other stuff on Ebay.  Knitting and crafting and doing some simple little drawing designs in a notebook to get back into the drawing mode.

And I think popcorn should be put into today's agenda.

I had to get my memory card back from Mollyanne a few days ago.  Earlier this week she wanted to borrow my memory card to make her videos.  Last year, I bought a little video camera and I ended up letting her have the camera.  And she and Julia got new memory cards for Christmas and now, she has lost her memory card.  It made me a little nervous to let her use mine as now, it is the only one that I have.  I should hunt around their house some day and see if I can find their other memory cards.  Earlier last year, I had given them each one of mine and I think those got lost too.  Sean has a bunch, but those are his.

I've got a second one, but it only works in my under water camera.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Squabbles

Well, July is almost over and today I am playing moderator.  The girls are presently in their rooms for fifteen minutes, so I will make this post short and sweet.  I have snatched Mollyanne's laptop to write this post.  I can still see Ferohearts game on my computer and I'm not sure if Julia has saved the game yet.

Otherwise, I would be confiscating mine back.

They were fighting over a few littlest pet shop characters.  Both of them would not give each other their pet shop back.  So for right now, while they are in time out, the pet shops are hanging out in the wine cabinet inside a tea cup of Great Granny's.  Mollyanne was searching above the fridge for it and she discovered that  I didn't put it in the usual spot.

I went for a walk around 12pm today and was thinking half way through that I wouldn't go at that time next time.  It was nice in the shade, but when I was in the sun it was quite hot.  But anyway, I needed to walk as I think the last time I went was on Sunday.  I was planning on walking other days, but the weather wasn't cooperating.  I don't quite want to start walking in the rain.

And today has been a partial laundry day.  Has anyone ever had some sort of dream where you are maybe dreaming you are in the bathroom and you end up actually waking up and discovering that you are peeing?  That was me last night.  I was dreaming that I was at the kids house on the phone with my sister and I was trying to find a quiet place to talk in private.  Finally, I could visualize this nice large bathroom filled with serenity and that's when I woke up.  Of course, it was a bathroom I had never seen before.

And today I have also been tempted by chips.  My ex loaded up on the chips.  Sean has a bunch down in the basement and I went down to grab a handful of spicy Doritos with ranch.  Buffalo style.  Quite spicy.  He's waiting for his friend to come over and they are probably going to have an up all night sleepover.

I decided to sew up a few more of the bracelets and then washed a bunch of the knitted wool items.  I knitted up a scarf yesterday with chunky yarn and between today and yesterday I also knitted two wool felted headbands for someone for wintertime.  All done with chunky yarn.  I still have some left over so I am thinking of making a small knitted pocketbook to felt.  It might be some sort of patchwork style.

So all the wool bracelets and the other items are coming out of the dryer soon.

And right now, I am knitting up some ribbon cabled bracelets.  One is blue and pink ribbons and the other is red.

I'll try to take some pictures of them later.  The girls are on their way back down from time out and she will see me on her computer and have a fit.

The scarf has tassels.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted July 27, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Van Gogh's Sunflower Pencil poem by Jennifer Jo Fay

Van Gogh's Sunflower pencil

Van Gogh's sunflower pencil,
folded yellow petals
danced upon her stark white page

folded dreams
of cut origami snowflakes
that melted upon the
starry, starry night.

Evangeline held her pencil
and remembered
she had left her invisible glove
upon her scented bed.

She had wanted to express
it in her image.

To her left
De Vinci's glass of water
while the girl looked through it.
It was mirroring an image
of her life
that was drawn out
like a brightly glowing
yellow flower that endured
her yellow dreams
and clear blue skies.

Evangeline thought
of sunflowers glowing
like the sun.

Jennifer Jo Fay

July 24, 2012

This is a poem that I must have written a long time ago and I went back in and rewrote it.

This will be short and sweet for now.  I think I need to find some blog prompts for later.

Feeling kind of stuck right now.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why Must People Kill? Let's honor the dead this week and always.

I was visiting my boyfriend this weekend and was catching up on the news and was so sad to hear about the killing in the Batman movie theater.  What a terrible thing!

Why do people have this inner drive to kill others?  I just don't understand it.  Why must our world be filled with terrible people who only want to do wrong?  There is simply no need for it.  The world needs to really crack down and see that these people see justice done to them.  I'd like to see all their evil thoughts get buried down to the earth's core.  And I'd like to see the sun change and kill them.  Well, not that I want to see the world meet it's end, but it would be nice to kill all evil.

The world is so corrupt and has been since time began.  Look at all the bloodshed wars we've gone through the centuries.  And people have been killing others since time began.  I would like to have a pleasant thought that their spirits never made it past heaven's gate.

There's so many killings going on every day.  We almost don't want to watch the news as we know there has been another group of people who have met an untimely death.  Whether they've been killed by others or met with a terrible accident.  Seems like this is the daily norm.  It's a crying shame.

I have often felt a little bit self concious walking into a McDonald's or a mom and pop convenience store.  We have heard of so many mass killings of someone walking into somewhere like that and killing.  What goes through their minds while they are popping bullets out of their nasty guns and seeing blood splattering?  Not a happy feeling.

Look at the Columbine murders.  That was not called for too.  And this kind of mass killing really traumatizes people.

I can't imagine what it has felt like for all those people watching that Batman movie and then to hear terror in the aisles.  Probably popcorn and soda crashing to the ground, shots ringing in their ears, screams and shrieks.  The horror of their terrible reality.  And now, the survivors are waking up every day hoping that it was just a nightmare and it is not.  It's real.

Every waking moment, families are now grieving for the loss of their loved ones.  And for what, I ask?  Because there was someone out their carefully planning this killing spree and acting on his impulses of a sinister, corrupt mind.

And now, the dead go in the ground, spirits soar to heaven where they didn't really need to go right now.  All they had wanted to see was the new Batman movie.  And the movie lasted longer than they did.

Let's honor the dead, wish they were still here, and pray for the families who now have a void in their lives that is going to last forever.  I know the feeling as my Mom isn't here.  A void doesn't ever go away.  It's with you every minute of your existence.

And let's promise them that we will all try to make our lives and others a better place for the rest of our days.

Take a moment out of your day to honor all that are missed.

Jennifer Jo Fay

July 23, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Collage and Photo sessions

Well, I'm back.  I wasn't sure if I would be writing another post today, but looks like it.  Seeing that tomorrow, I will be back at the kids house and Julia will be confiscating my laptop again!  Darn it!  What's a mother for?  What's mine is their's.

They have ended up getting a lot of my things.  The girls usually see something and ask if they can have it.  Usually I give in, but sometimes no.  So far, I'm firm in keeping my mother's old tin box.  Last month for their birthday, my Dad brought up my mother's jewelry box for me.  I ended up letting Julia have it as I have one almost like it and mine plays music.  I forget what it plays.  I recently got a pretty picture music box that plays  Music Box Dancer.  I think that is the title.

This morning, I ended up doing another walk.  I had skipped on Friday and Saturday and made myself go on a long walk with my camera.  I was hoping to get up to the destination and see the horses in the field near the highway, but they were not there.  But I found other things to photograph.  I even photographed a close up of bark.  I've got a scrap booking idea for it.  I'm thinking of typing some words over it.

Age is just a number.


You are only as old as you feel.


I'm just young at heart

It was nice and cool this morning, and now it's hot and humid.  And then, this afternoon my boyfriend surprised me with Kentucky Fried Chicken.  That was nice.

But while he was gone on some errands, I had some fun with a photo session.  I pulled out a bunch of my collage pieces.

I had a folder of some old drawings of some dolls.  I had done these when my mom was alive and I must have amazed myself that I could get them done while the kids were sleeping.  They were younger.  I was just beginning to do some pen and ink drawings and exploring what colored pencils could do.  And then I decided to cut them out for some type of collage.  Most of them did not have legs or I hid their hands behind their backs.  I'm not the best at hands and legs.

I remember bringing the set of cut out dolls to a visit to Maine.  My mother saw them and said, "Now, there's something.  Paper dolls.  I used to collect paper dolls."  She and her best friend had trunks filled with them.  I always remember how fascinated she was with them.

She would see all the photos I would take of dolls.  She knew I always took a lot of pictures.  Once a year or so before she died, she asked, "What is it all for?"  I can't really remember what I said.  Probably something along the lines of just for the fact of creating.

And about a month or so before she died, she told me, "You're going to do so many amazing things."  Maybe she is looking down on me and seeing them.  That's a nice thought.

Back to the present photo session.  I started to set the pieces around the queen anne's lace and decided to use my red foil heart pieces for the scrap booking.  I am going to have to get a few more sheets of the foil paper next month as I can see some other ideas for it.

I love doing a photo session of still lives.  It is just so much fun to gather all your props and begin to set them up in a neat way.  It's definitely the process of it that sets the images in motion.  As you go along moving your props, you start to think, "Okay, now what if I do this?  What is it going to do to the picture?"

I guess it would be the aesthetics that are so visual.  In college, we were taught to be really aware of that.  The process of creating was sometimes more important than the finished piece.

The time it takes to do a drawing.  Once you set up your objects that you want to draw and get yourself set up, you are suddenly in the moment of your creation that is coming to life before your eyes.  And you usually won't rest until it is done.

And over time, I really take my time with my stuff and don't decide that it's done until I say so.  Not like when the kids were younger and when Nap time was done, the picture was also done.

And then, when I started to create the paper dolls, I really took my time with that.  Now, that is an involved process.

I can get a really great start to a real pencil drawing within an hour or two, but the paper dolls is a different story.

I start out with an outline, then go in with the real details.  And then there is the outfit pages, the backgrounds, and the fine tuning.  A full paper doll set would end up taking me a week to finish.  And that's in spurts.  It just is so time consuming when I use my ink pens.  I'm all about detail.  If there isn't enough detail in the background or on the overall page, I am usually not satisfied.

My Bun-Bun and Olga set was my first set I finished.  And that took a while.  Maybe more like three or four weeks.  It had eight pages to it.

And then there were these first paper dolls.  I really can't remember how long they really took.  But they weren't my first pen and ink drawings that I applied colored pencils to.

I did about five or eight other pen and ink drawings where I started to do color.  One has a gorgeous butterfly near her.  I should find some of those earlier ones sometime.  This last week, I started organizing  them, so that I know where most of them are.  And one day, I saw a design I did of my Grammy's old curtains and suddenly I can't find it.  I'm hoping it didn't fall out somewhere.  I had some of them in a portfolio in my car and one day they fell out on the ground.  And as I was picking them up, I saw the picture and then later, I sifted through the pictures and I couldn't find it.  But as I am thinking, it might have been a color photocopy I saw and the original is hopefully somewhere else.

I'm wanting to gather all my drawings and edit them in Picasa and then upload them to the blog.  I don't want any more sideways pictures like some of the old photos were.

So, that is another feat that I am tackling.  I went through and edited all of July's photos in Picasa yesterday and then, I had to go and delete the ones I didn't give names to or the ones that were blurry.

I'm thinking, I should go back and do this for every month's pictures.  It will also give me an opportunity to weed out.  And then I should be figuring out how to get some onto backup  I have one backup that has the majority of last years photos, but I should be doing that to this years.  I think I might decide later on to get a pack cds and start saving pictures onto them and dating them so I know which ones are which.  And keep them in cases so they will stay good and not scratch.

I just love photographing and am probably an unusual shutterbug.  As you can tell!!

Collage photos are kind of fun.  Sometimes I feel as if that is what I am doing.  I've been doing it for years.  I think it started in high school.  I remember doing some photo sessions of myself in my bedroom.  I would wear my mother's old hat and situate myself near my bedroom window on my sisters bed.  I had some fabrics and props.  I should find those pictures sometime as they are probably awesome and I will never get back to that age again.

Then, in college, I started to photograph a few of my porcelain dolls that my Mom had given to me.  One is named Jennifer and has a big gold key that goes into her back to play her music.  And another pretty doll plays Lara's Theme.  This was when I was into black and white and I was taking photography in school.

I've got all my old contact sheets somewhere and my old black and whites I did in college.  One year, I borrowed my sister for a few hours and she drove us into the cemetery and I photographed her.  I've got one picture of myself and her kneeling near some stones and one year the picture and one of her with a horse in the background got in the Portland Press Herald contest as the top winner.  That was exciting.  I think I might have gotten ten dollars too.  I can't remember.  I've got a bunch of my old certificates somewhere.

And then, all through college and after and into marriage, I was big time into still life photo sessions.

I also went through a real experimental phase while married when I photographed the dolls and flowers.  I would get a cardboard box and cut a slit in the back and drape some fabric inside.  I would cut out rectangles on the sides for sunlight to filter into the box.

I also had this phase where I would gather wine bottles and clean up the labels and flower vases would get saved in abundance.  Then I would fill them with water and situate the dolls behind them.  It acts as a magnifier.  And I would get a piece of glass and rub it with Vaseline and shake baby powder on top for a snowy effect and a blurred soft effect.

Some pictures came out really neat and then there were others that didn't come out great.  I would get really disappointed when some pictures came out so dark.  35mm and guessing on the manual settings.

I like the digital camera so much better.  We've really progressed into a modern photography age.  35mm is almost obselete.  Except, I think the college kids love them and photographers that are really dedicated to the art of 35mm.

I was one of the photographers that didn't really follow the Ansel Adams bracketing and I probably should have tried to be more exact with that.  I did try to keep a log of my bracketing at one point during my marriage, but didn't follow.

And even my digital camera, my son, Sean knows more about it than I do.  I should try to figure out how to use the timer though.  I was thinking of taking pictures of just my hands holding something like flowers or something.  Maybe some interesting pictures could come out of it.  Who knows.

But, back to the cemetery photo-session.  That was really fun.  And growing up, we lived near a marsh and my sister and I walked down to the marsh.  This was during the early spring or late winter and part of it was still frozen and we could walk across part of it.  I got further than my sister and I looked back and she was standing in her calico dress and my favorite sweater and I could tell she wanted me to come back.

Then, we drove out to this deer road near my Grammy's house.  It's a deer sanctuary and you can drive all through it and look for deer and some people have horses out there.  So, I've got pictures of my sister trudging through these bushes and trees where the deer would probably walk.  I've got some awesome pictures of her there.  And she will never look like she did then either.

Well, I'll end this with a bunch of today's photographs.

Jennifer Jo Fay

Copyrighted July 22, 2012

I've been wanting to do this for a while.  I was seeing other people's pictures with these and was wanting to do my own.  This is my boyfriend's set.  I had a set and then I was missing pieces so I got rid of it.  And then, wouldn't you know, then I get the idea later.  I like collecting dice and things like that for grandchildren someday.  Maybe I should start to collect Boggle when I see it at yard sales.  I was trying to spell Bella Loves Edward and I couldn't find an extra D.

A rose on the way back from my walk.  Kind of pretty.

Here is one of the pictures of the bark where I am going to apply words to.  I'm not sure if I will be using the whole picture.  Maybe.  Or I might do several different ones and pick and choose the best one.

These are some design pieces that I did about three years ago.  I liked cutting out these little designs.

The two heads behind the words are some scallop paper punch pieces I just cut out from a card stock copy of my Audra paper doll set.

More paper punch scallops from rubber stamps that I used.  And the one in the middle I must have done a few years ago and had fun drawing on it.

The bigger doll pieces in the background are the first paper dolls I was talking about.  The one near Bella is a newer one.  And the collage piece next to Edward is a magazine piece of a doll I liked.  She's an expensive Helen Kish doll.

I think the flower shape in the middle might have been traced from a store tag.  I sometimes collected store tags with neat shapes to create my own shapes or little tags.  I probably used some of mine for the craft shows about three or four years ago.  That's why I'm due to do some again.  Long over due.

Some pretty chairs on my walk this morning.  I didn't get too far and saw the pretty chairs, and took the time to walk back for my camera.

I love the little bird house and could see this one ending up in part of my scrap booking pages.

A close up of a drawing I did about three years ago.

Rascal sleeping last night.  My boyfriend and the two cats were zonked out last night.  It was funny.
You know they're asleep when you start to hear them snoring.

More of the first paper dolls.  I think they were all from dolls.  One might have been from a magazine image I liked.  The one on the right was from this red head barbie doll that I still have.  I had a phase where I would buy myself a barbie doll in the stores once in a while.  They are perfect size for drawing paper dolls sometimes.

I will have to look for more of these.  I know I have others that I did at that time.  And then I had a phase a few years ago where I was copying my finished paperdolls onto more art paper to do different things to them and these ones I actually cut out.  Right now they are all uncolored.  I was using one for a bookmark a few years ago.

A close up.  I can see myself creating another version of this one in Adobe Elements 7.  One of these years I will hopefully have the newer Photoshop.  Right now, I can't use any of the freebies from Brusheezy as you need the full version of Photoshop for it.

I like my Audra paper doll as she seems kind of gothic.  Maybe more inspiration for the gothic paper dolls line.

Here is the full image of the artwork.  It was larger as I had it in a frame and it warped so I decided to cut it for scrap booking.  I've got to get my other drawings out of old frames and then just pick a few later on and get them professionally framed.  Especially the one I did of my Grammy and Nana.

My cabled bracelet I whipped up last night while my boyfriend was sleeping.  I finished it before he woke up.

My boyfriend's marble collection.

Rascal looking out the window.

      Tinkerbell wanted in on the action.  I like the one below.