Category Archives: Uncategorized

Looks like we made it

The prompt is finally.

2017 has been some kind of crazy year, hasn’t it? There was bad stuff. We were faced with events that we’d like to wish away. Some believe that reality split in two with one person becoming president in this universe and the other person winning in an alternate universe.

We were told to be fearful of so many things. Some of us faced true danger; others were privileged enough to have never been at risk.  If you got to December 30 without developing a drinking, drug, or food problem you are to be commended. If you had enough food to be an overeater, you were luckier than those who went without.

In 2017 I got a better job. I became a better jewelry and art maker. My health improved, but I also gained weight.

I lost a dog and a parent in 2017.

Annie small page

Beloved Annie

Does moving into a new year have any real significance? Sure, things will be the same tomorrow, but we can decide to change ourselves. We can, at the very least, change our attitude.

Let’s move forward and be better human beings in 2018. That’s my plan.

 

I’ve been meaning to…

I went to see the Passion of Joan of Arc at the IU Cinema a few weeks ago. It’s a silent film made in 1928 and directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. My good friend Jason Fickel accompanied the film on guitar. It was an artsy flick, and the accompaniment was fantastic. If I had written something upon returning home from the theater, I might have been able to offer a decent critique. I will say that I was inspired to keep making art and to learn more about Joan of Arc. I’ll need to get around to that.

Motion picture poster for The Passion of Joan of Arc

Motion picture poster for The Passion of Joan of Arc

The world is going mad, so my job is not to be afraid. I will not fear all of the things that the media warns me about. I’m a liberal kind of gal, but I’m not going to panic about the tax bill or the end of net neutrality. I won’t fear the racists either.

I’m coming to learn that I am eternal.  I’m not sure if my consciousness has always existed, but I think it can never end. When I was a child, I told my parents that I picked them before I arrived. I must have known that. It must be true.

Did you know that both Edison and Tesla separately worked on inventions that would allow them to communicate with the dead? There’s a book about it.  I learned about the book from an episode of Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast.  On the podcast, the book’s author talked about the competition between Tesla and Edison, and how industry bigwigs made sure Tesla’s inventions that wouldn’t make them money were quashed. Too bad Tesla was a racist.  Anyway, Tesla is said to have fared better than Edison in the talking to the dead department. I got the impression that Tesla created the first EVP machine, but there is no mention of him in the Wikipedia article.  Further investigation is warranted.

During the two weeks I have off,  I plan to get a lot done. I would like to get the “treadmill room” de-cluttered, but I’m not sure if that’s possible. I can do some cleaning. I will do some cleaning! I will blog, and cook, and make art, and do yoga, and overestimate the number of things I can do during this period. Thinking about it overwhelms me.

Don’t be afraid!!!!!

Also

I thought I might do a daily self-portrait digital art journaling type of thing. I did it once. I took a selfie and traced it in the Sketchclub app. I’m not sure it looks like me.

27338630009_f4cce468b4_h

Self-portrait with flower eye.

 

 

 

 

Hiding in Art

If you spend too much time looking at the world, you’ll see that there’s a lot of awful stuff out there. I’m on Twitter too much. I check the Washington Post online too often. These activities are not helping me or anybody else, and they are diminishing my capacity for happiness. Life is too short to spend it being unhappy.

It’s not like I don’t have things to think about other than the fall of civilization as we know it. I have interests like writing, making art and jewelry, the paranormal, listening to podcasts, and so much more.

Here’s an idea to get myself on a better track. Instead of wasting time reading tweets that make me worry I’ll open up the WordPress app and catch up on those blogs I follow. And when I do that I can begin to interact with fellow bloggers and get that sense of community that I hear so much about. This is a no-brainer.

How about as I get more involved with blogging I start posting more? I have so many things I want to write about.

It’s a shame that it has taken a wrecked world to get me off my butt.

Here’s some art.

Digital art

A few jewelry making resources

A nurse who cares for my dad has a sister who wants to start a jewelry making business.  I thought  I’d share some of the resources I’ve found to help build my skills. It’ll be a list with commentary.  To get the post published as soon as possible, I’ll eschew the pursuit of perfection. I don’t think I’ve ever used the word eschew Pirro to today.

Wirework

Jewelry artists who do wirework produce beautiful pieces, and learning how to work with wire takes some doing. There are so many different materials, and gauges, degrees of harness, shapes, and probably more characteristics that I don’t know about.

The little I know about wirework comes mostly from a Udemy video course taught by Jessica Barst called Jewelry Making: Wire Wrapping for Beginners. Jessica explains techniques in a way that’s  easy to understand.

Wire jewelry piece

Beaded Jewelry

I learned some basic skills for working with stringing wire, wrapping wire, and beads from a Curious course from the O’Neil Sisters, DIY Beaded Jewelry. This is a useful general purpose program. You’ll learn how to make beaded bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and some wire wrapping techniques.

Free Tutorials via Pinterest

You can find tons of jewelry tutorials on the Internet. I collect them on Pinterest.

  1. Learning Jewelry Making
  2. Learning Wire Jewelry Making
  3. Jewelry Making Supplies

pin1

Of course there are books about jewelry making. Here’s a Pinterest board that lists almost 100.

Supplies

There are plenty of options for purchasing jewelry making supplies. I sometimes shop at JoAnn and Michaels. Neither of these stores has the largest selection of supplies, but there’s enough for someone getting started with making jewelry. I need to avoid these stores because when I go in, I want to buy everything I see.

Here are some options for online supply shopping:

  1. Etsy
  2. Fire Mountain Gems
  3. Goody Beads
  4. Artbeads

Many of these stores offer tutorials on jewelry techniques.

Jewelry making tools

 

Time to start learning, and doing. Make something. It won’t be perfect.  Re-do it, or make  something else. Keep practicing and seeking instruction and you will get better, maybe even great!

 

Crime time

The total eclipse happened. It was neat to see in my cereal box pinhole viewer, but because I didn’t see the totality, my life wasn’t changed.

Podcasts

I’ve begun listening to a few true crime podcasts. My favorite so far is True Crime Garage. It’s hosted by a guy named Nic and another guy who calls himself the Captain. Their research seems solid and they are personable. They begin each podcast by sampling a craft beer. It makes me want to try a few interesting beers, but I don’t think I like beer well enough to spend any money on one.

Another one I like is the Thinking Sideways Podcast. It features two guys in their 40s and a woman in her 30s. They aim to look into mysterious events-not necessarily only crimes. The content here isn’t as in-depth as in the True Crime Garage, but they are entertaining.

I was listening to one called Crawlspace which I think is pretty good. They turned me on to Nic and the Captain so I’ve all but forgotten about this one.  I should get back to it.

Night Time: Canadian True Crime and Mysteries is one I’ve tried, but it hasn’t gotten me hooked yet. Perhaps I prefer shows with more than one host. This one is a solo effort, but he does interview guests.

There’s one called Casefile True Crime that I haven’t listened to in a while. Serial Killers is supposed to be good, but I haven’t tried it yet.

The bottom line here is that I really like the true crime genre. This has eclipsed my interest in the paranormal-for the time being at least.

Art

After spending hours making wrapped loops, I have attained an intermediate skill level. Practice really does make you better! So I figure if I practice drawing, I can get better at that too. I’ve been drawing hands. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a drawing master, but I can get a little better. There’s not enough time to get good at everything. Writing should be my focus.

img_0473

Work

While I’m on the subject of writing, I’ll mention my last Science Node article. It was a simple overview of the Citizen CATE project. The project was the National Solar Observatory’s (NSO) effort to collect images of the recent total solar eclipse. Volunteers across the country used telescopes and other NSO provided equipment to get images of the eclipse. The goal was to create a 90-minute video of the event.

I’m moving on to the next story. I wanted to do something on data art, but the paper I found about it was published too long ago for my editor’s liking. Instead, I’m covering research that some people are doing in Switzerland on software that makes creating computer animation accessible for novices. I’m hoping I can get past the more difficult technical bits and write something interesting. Gotta read the paper tomorrow!

Harvey

The hurricane has devastated Houston and other parts of Texas. Could things get any worse on this planet? I’m going to try and stay away from the news and keep my head and heart up.

Meditation Dream 

I knew I wanted to write today, so I thought about it and then got nervous.  I got myself a little worked up about what to write. Now I seem to be writing about the process of thinking and worrying about writing. Is it supposed to work this way?

Dreams are the New Reality

In one of my dreams last night, I was in some unknown location when a guy (I think he was Asian) asked me to meditate with him. I agreed to do so, and we sat down on the floor holding hands with eyes closed. The session was successful. The guy acquired lots of good energy from me, and I felt as if I helped him. The dream tells me that I'm on the right track in my spiritual pursuits.  I am sure now that when I dream, I go to real places. I visit other planes of existence. I may have thousands of lives.

Food

I bought some baby spinach the other day. I think I'll do a salad with strawberries. I need some almond slivers and red onion to add to it. I can either make my own vinaigrette or buy some.

Another food thought is to prep an onion or two and freeze them for later use. I think you can do that. What about garlic? I'll have to look it up.

I have sweet potatoes to cook as well as frozen salmon.

Yoga

I've been doing yoga fairly regularly. I think it has improved my gait, but it could be that I'm just at a good walking time of my nutty hormonal cycle. It seems to work for me to do a session at 9 pm most weeknights.

Jewelry

I've been spending a lot of time practicing wrapped loops. I'm getting better at it. I made a necklace for Linda, one of the residents at my dad's assisted living facility.  It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it. I thought the pendant was an angel, but I realized it must be a fairy after looking more closely at it.

Wire wrapped loop necklace with fairy pendant.

« Older Entries