Chaotic Quilt Art

Random musings on why I do or do not manage to create...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Caught Off Guard by the Four Meme

Reading Laume's meme list, then backtracking (because of course I knew that Deirdre put me on there - she's been after me to update my blog)I discovered that I have to uphold the tradition - argh!!

Right now, I'm watching spongebob in his underwear (see how intellectual I am?) so I suppose now is as good a time as any to post my lists - wonder if I can come up with answers to them all!

Four Jobs I've had:
1. Computer Scientist
2. Paramedic
3. Programmer (yes, there IS a difference!)
4. Library Clerk

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
1. Sister Act 2
2. Practical Magic
3. Tomb Raider (I know, it's cheating because there is more than one, but too bad)
4. The Mummy series

Four Places You've Lived:
1. Buffalo
2. Rochester, NY
3. Fairfax, VA
4. Melbourne, FL

Four TV Shows You Love to Watch:
1. CSI (any of them)
2. Stargate (Atlantis and SG-1)
3. House
4. Bones

Four Places You've Been on Vacation:
1. Disney World
2. Spain
3. Ireland
4. Jamaica

Four Websites You Visit Everyday
1. Google
2. Bassetville.net
3. My Bank
4. Yahoogroups in some form or other

Four of Your Favorite Foods
1. Chocolate
2. Cannoli
3. Watermelon
4. Cafe Mocha

Four Places You'd Rather Be:
1. Reading
2. Making Something
3. In the Library
4. On vacation somewhere warm

Four Albums You Can't Live Without
1. Vangelis - Albedo 0.39
2, 3, 4 - no clue, because I don't listen to music normally!

Four People You'll Pass This On To:
1. Bryan
2. JulieZS
3. Dara
4. Sarah

There, I made it! Now off to the bus, mammogram (what fun), then the library. Where did all my free time go?

Monday, January 09, 2006

What Was I Thinking?

Posting on a regular basis? HAH! Oh well, I'll do better from now on (fingers crossed behind back).

Happy New Year! Today is my first day of official work - I picked up a part time job as a library clerk (you know, the ladies who check out the books and collect the fines and such at the big front desk). Of course, knowing this, my 6 year old woke up with a fever. *sigh* So all I can do is hope my mom isn't planning any big excursions from 1-3pm, so that someone will be here with her while I'm breaking back into the workforce. (What was I thinking?) I think it's the universe telling me that I should just win the lottery and forget about earning anything :)

Quilting? Bah. I think (said with a quizzical tilt to the head) that my gallery site (ChaoticQuiltArt.com) is up...at least I loaded the pages. I liked the idea of having the site have the same name as the blog so that I might remember to update one or the other occasionally! DH mumbled something about Apaches and restarts, and then something else about java scripts, so I have the feeling that my galleries may not rotate pictures around like they're supposed to, but it's possible that you can at least see them. I haven't looked. I've been too busy taking down and storing three christmas trees.

Why do I have three trees, you ask? (What was I thinking?) It started with one in the family room, but then the entire other end of the house looked so forlorn and empty (the fireplace is in the family room too, so all the decorations were in one place) that I added a small red tree in the front entry. It's only 3 feet high, with all red ornaments to match the garland coming down the stairway. Then, this year, I went wild and bought a fake, already-lit, skinny, funky fir tree for the living room. It fits nicely in the corner, and I filled it with all green ornaments from *my* collection. The family room tree has the kids ornaments, and the little red one is, well, red. So now we have three trees. The kids want one in their bathroom next year (they saw it on some TV show)...I think I'd better quit while we're behind.

So quilting, yes, well....I finished a utility quilt top that I've had sitting around - red and gold Irish Chain. It needed 5 yards of fabric for backing (yikes!) so I dug around in my 'backing' bin - that's where I store the 'whatever prompted me to buy THIS?' fabric, like the 7 yards of pastel pink and gold faberge egg fabric - and found 5 yards of tan with funkey line drawn chickens in red and blue....not a great match, but no one will look at the back, right? Now I have to baste it and start quilting, which should be interesting seeing as I'm starting this part time job - 4 hours, 5 days a week, and every third weekend. That's a lot of work time to someone who gave up the rat race 8 (I think it was) years ago! (Repeat after me: What was I thinking?!)

And that's my blogger update for today. Since the last one was two months ago, we'll see if adding a job makes me more or less reliable! What was I thinking?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Time Keeps on Slipping....

OK, well. It's not 'tomorrow', it's really more like tomorrow+3 or 4 or 5. What happens to time? I swear, my gallery site is sitting here. I've made the file modifications to the server that need to be made, but I haven't touched the Apache guts, because DH would keel over in a dead faint if I did. So I have to wait for him to come around to the fact that 'tomorrow' has passed us several days ago. As soon as he realizes this, I'm sure my gallery page will load!

In the meantime, here are a couple pics of my kids on Halloween.
First, the oldest, who went out as a pirate, but went to school with the blue swallow (sitting in his hat) wired to a coconut, and a Tshirt that said "This is my costume." Only one teacher got the Monty Python swallow reference - how sad is that? He said that mid-day the coconut halves fell apart, so he 'banged 'em together' while going from class to class. That helped a bit, but overall there are very few Monty Python fans in high school, apparently.


Then the three younger, Mr Karate, who went as some broadway version of the devil, I think, Leah the good witch, and the Schnoo, who made me suffer through days of blue fuzz as I tried to make something that resembled Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch). She was pleased in the end, so I guess all the blue fuzz I ate was OK.

They all came home with pounds and pounds of candy, which, when added to the three bags left over at our house, is guaranteed to add 10 pounds to my less than twiglike figure. Gotta love Halloween!

Oh, and I quilted. Nothing arty, just a utility quilt that's been sitting around here for a while. Once I get a binding on it, I'll even post a picture, boring as it is. AND (wow, I'm getting more productive) I've Nano'd my first 2700 words. I'm sure I'll run out of verbiage as I approach 5 figures, then I'll just have to blather for the last 30,000 or so, but at least I'm off to a fairly good start!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Eureka!

My recent website tribulations have caused me to stop and take a better look at where I'm heading with this whole 'web presence' thing. And you know what? It turns out that I needed to stop and think about it!

So here's the cosmic 2x4: I ran into a wall because I was supposed to! Just the other day, Deirdre asked me why my name wasn't on my blog, and why my blog name didn't match my web domain and why my web domain wasn't my name (already taken - that one I could answer)! WHOA!

You know, I never thought about that before now? Go figure. Plus, they have totally different looks to them, and maintaining information that overlaps is just stupid. I don't need a web site for the usual things - mailing lists, shopping carts...I don't use those things. All I really wanted in a web site was a place to display my artwork! (I know, it seems obvious. But didn't you ever get so caught up in something that you lost the vision? I think that's what happened here)

So here's my solution: I went out and purchased the domain name ChaoticQuiltArt.com, which really reflects my personality much better anyway. The ONLY thing you'll find there (when I put it up tomorrow) is a gateway page to simple slideshow galleries of my artwork. No frills, no fancy wrappings, just a simple page with a list of slideshow galleries you can look at. The slideshows generate themselves - no extra maintenance for me, more time for art.

I did make a small concession in the interest of visual ties, and put a green box on the gallery list page that matches my blog. Beyond that - all maintenance happens quickly, and all other info can be found here.

It's a relief. I was so busy trying to have a blog and a website and a newsletter and a life (4 kids don't leave a lot of room for me-time!) that I spent what little time I did have at the computer typing and testing and typing and testing. The bone spurs in my neck (from years of developing software hunched over a keyboard - see a parallel here?) have me in major pain. My blood pressure is sky high. I'm grinding my teeth. NO MORE. Today (ok, tomorrow!) I declare victory! Eureka!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mean Spirited People

Well, my website is now down for the count. A member of the QuiltArt list, whose site I did use as a reference model for my own, has posted nasty accusations about my stealing her site and not doing any work on my own.

I did like the way her site looked - it had a ghosted background image, and then a sharper one inset from it. I did look at her page source to see how they did it. Mine has the same ghosted/sharp image thing, which I learned how to do from her site, BUT I DID IT MYSELF!

It's too bad that people are so nasty. It's always been a time-honored tradition in computer science that reinventing the wheel is bad, and learning from another is good. Did I copy her images? her text? her backgrounds? NO. I went out and shot my own pictures, learned to manipulate them in Photoshop, created the border images, tweaked the alignment and sizes until I got what I wanted.

Her galleries have thumbnails, mine have slideshows. I did use the same format - navbar across the top, site URL at the bottom, etc, but as to the fact that we both have a navigation item called "Gallery" - is that a copyright violation? puh-leeze.

So I'm just disgusted with the whole idea. Now I have to go back and review every line of every page, and make sure that it isn't like hers. Heaven forbid that I should use a style name that's the same as one she used. Or put my style sheet values in the same order. It's just ridiculous.

Today's lesson: Don't even bother to try, because someone will find fault.

TA DA!!!

After much procrastinating, non-techy doings, and sneaking off to the couch to read instead of work, I have managed to take some pictures (bad as they are) of some quilts and put them up in a slideshow!

Here's a teaser pic - one of my small pieces from a series I call 'Colors of My Mind'. I haven't taken pics of all of them yet, and 5 of them are currently in Houston as my journal quilts, but at least I've done something!

If you go to my website, and click the link at the bottom of the front page that says "See my latest work HERE", you'll see my slideshow!

In the next day or so, I'll be separating things into different galleries - right now the "Gallery" link is still unpopulated, and the slideshow includes every quilt I could find that I've made in the last 3 years - but at least there is now a stake in the ground, and I can retire back to the couch for some more smutty vampire novels.

And for those of you who asked - the last one I was reading was "Fangs for the Memories" by Kathy Love. I love paranormal romance novels - they're my latest craze. Last craze was non-fiction quantum physics books, and before that, the Da Vinci Code started a reading frenzy about the Holy Grail and the Knights Templar. It's nice to get back to something a little less mentally stimulating!

So it's back to the salt mines for me - I'll be right over there loung....uh, studying....yeah, that's it - studying! those technical manuals. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Techno Achievement #1

Remember I said I was going to dedicate this week to techno things? I sort of lied. Yesterday I dedicated to sitting on the couch reading a book, and it wasn't even a techy book - it was a smutty vampire romance.

But today I am going to do a techy thing while I'm doing the laundry. I know you're all thrilled. Sitting on the edge of your seats, even. Here it is.....

Ta da! I added a picture to my blog. Aren't you proud of me?!
This is MooShu, who is enjoying her hourly nap in front of the sliding glass door, warmed by the heat vent. She sleeps for 45 minutes, then gets up to change position for her next hourly nap.

This is what I was doing (except on the couch) before my evil nephew Bryan called and disturbed my important thinking. So I had to get up and do something worthwhile, and here it is.

Of course, now that I added one picture....

I had to add another. This is our other dog, Nimbus, guarding the laundry baskets in the mud room. She was also sleeping, but I had to slide the door open to take her picture (it was too glarey through the glass) so you get to see her face.

I know you're just excited beyond words here. Just think, at this rate, I just may manage to get some quilt pictures on my website by the end of the week! Assuming I can stay awake through the excitement, that is.

Oh, and just so he's not left out, this is my son Jared, who just got his purple belt in karate this weekend (apparently, a purple belt is *really* a brown belt, but they stuck in purple to get a few more dollars out of the parents :) The next belt he formally tests for is black, so purple is a big deal! This pic was taken when he still had his blue belt, so he says it needs to be retaken with the new color - I'm using it on a quilt for him, so I guess I'll do that, but in the meantime, you can all admire his ability to perch on top of my file cabinet like a karate buddha.

OK, I'm going back to my website now.....really! Well, maybe after another chapter....or two....

Friday, October 21, 2005

ARGH!!!

I know I promised to post every Friday, so here I am. I had just made a lovely, thoughtful posting - I spent an entire hour composing and linking and such - and Blogger ATE it. Stupid blog software.

So I guess you'll have to go through your day without the benefit of my incoherent ramblings. Sigh.

Important things I remember from that post:

1. My website: Black Lion Studio This is what I promise to update next week, during "Techno Week" when I concentrate on that and not fiber. You can look at it now, and a week from today you can marvel at the changes!

2. Lisa Vollrath's Art Attack My new inspiration. A weekly kick in the pants, with ideas, thought provokers, images - lots of stuff to get the creative blood flowing!

3. Eric Maisel's Creativity Coaching I signed up to be a client for a new coach, and if I haven't already scared mine away (just got her this week!) I'm hoping for great things as she helps me work through some of my roadblocks, issues, etc in my search to establish myself as a 'real' artist!

So there you go - all my wisdom with no blather :) Maybe next time!

Happy Friday!