Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cooking is also Creating

I've realized that I don't cook a meal, I tend to cook a dish or perhaps two and call that a meal. After watching "Julie and Julia" I got Julia Child's cookbook. She wrote for a novice cook, who worked from a few simple recipes and relied on mixes for a lot of things. I am not a novice, but there are great gaping holes in what I know about cooking.

Yesterday's attempt was a quiche. It was a success, mostly because I already know how to make a good pie crust and I've seen a quiche made. (Thanks Marsaili!) Did I let the hubster know it was a quiche? Yes, but after he started the 'Real men don't eat quiche' thing, I started calling it an egg and cheese pie. He had seconds.

Tonight is leftovers. Hubster usually does not eat leftovers. After working to create a quiche, excuse me, an egg and cheese pie, I'm going to put it on the table again, with something fresh added to the meal. There is more than half left, as there are only two of us and quiche is not a 'light' dish. My challenge isn't figuring out what to add to the meal, it's figuring out the best way to re-heat quiche. Some things do not do well in a microwave. I'd hate to find out that one of them is quiche.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Elbow Room!

After a meltdown about space, Bud and I have decided that we aren't going to have two guest rooms in this house. Our guests aren't paying the mortgage. I am removing the sewing stuff from the front bedroom and we are putting it into the back bedroom. I need the space. But I've been moving a few things around in the front room which is my studio since we got the sewing table out and I'm already thrilled at the change. The room feels like a large room, instead of an overcrowded one. I have a sense that I can actually put things away instead of just find a space for them to fit.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Paper Sketches

I regularly download sketches from at least two sites so I'll have ideas for creating layouts. But the sketches are designed for paper scrappers and don't often translate well to my digital style. Why am I still downloading these sketches? I can't remember the last time I completed a paper 12x12 layout. At least they are free.

At the Horrible Crop last Friday, I was working on a 7 Gypsies envelope book. I got several pages completed, even though I headed for home early. I wasn't using sketches. If you are trying to work with a surface that is 4x6, a layout designed for 12x12 isn't going to do you much good. What I find helps me is a book like "My Creative Companion 2" which has ideas for details to add to a layout. Interesting things to do with embellishments are more useful. A book filled with 12x12 layouts isn't as helpful.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tonight's Crop

Fail. I arrived at "North Florida's premeir scrapbook shop" in a timely fashion, with paper to scrap this time. I was seated in the middle of nothing. That's right, nothing. If there are nine spaces for people at a crop, and you are in the smack-dab middle, surrounded by eight empty chairs, there is something wrong.

Having showered shortly before I left the house, and having arrived with a paper project, instead of my laptop, I had thought there would be conversation and so forth. No. I was absolutely ignored. Three different groups of people left the crop to go get food. One lady, having realized that I was new, apologized and tried to make amends. Nobody else even mentioned food to me.

No conversation, no food, no door prizes, nothing I wanted to buy. The poor girl at the register when I went to pay for my seat at the crop was confused. The crop costs $10, but you get a store credit for $5. If you select $5 worth of stuff, the crop costs you $5 and your stuff is free. If you don't buy anything, the crop costs $10. I paid $10 to sit by myself and work on my own project.

I don't want to buy more stickers, embellishments or paper. I've got plenty, thanks. If I had selected stuff, I'd have saved money, but I'd have had to bother to select it and then haul it home so I could throw it away. Naah. I'd rather just pay the $10, tell them that they have nothing that I want to buy and leave. Much more satisfying.

And I know how to spell 'premier' but the person who set up the Facebook page for the shop does not. I can't help but find it funny. Pitiful, typical for Florida, but funny.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Camera Shopping

I went shopping for some camera accessories yesterday. I got a battery pack attachment for the D300, a cable release, and a flash diffuser. While it might seem like an odd combination, I had reasons.

Wonderful Husband has large hands. He cannot use the pop-up, built in flash on the D300. His hands get in the way of the flash and there are horrible shadows on the pictures. This means that I've got even more reason to never use that flash and I must be ready to use the other flash instead. But that flash gives red-eye all around. To decrease the red-eye, you need to put a diffuser on the flash.

When you are holding a camera to take portrait shots a lot, you can get frustrated with the way you have to wrap your hand around the camera and try to hang on and hit the shutter. The battery pack not only adds battery, it adds a shutter button where you need it. And it also makes the whole camera larger and I hope easier for Wonderful Hubby to hold.

The cable release is just so I can have a little less shake when using my tripod.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Somerset Digital

Somerset has a digital scrapping magazine. Because it had a feature on one of the designers that I buy items from (Holliewood Studios) I took a peek at it today, thinking I might buy it if the topics were interesting. Ummm... No. Somerset magazines are a haven for the Altered Artist. I saw things that were very well done, but not at all my style. I had no interest in discovering how they were done. And it's a good thing I looked through it before I bought it. The magazine is $14.99 for a single copy!

I'm also wondering why they bother to print copies of a magazine targeted to the digital artist. Why aren't they selling digital copies?

Price is a down check. Media is a down check. Paper? Really? Content is a down check. Three strikes and they are out!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mouse vs. Tablet

I had to hook up my mouse again for some convenience type task as I hauled my laptop thither and yon and did not want to carry the tablet.


The mouse is NOT as accurate as the tablet. I hadn't realized how used to absolute accuracy I had gotten until I didn't have it any more and I kept expecting it. I'd move the mouse and the cursor might move and it might not. And sometimes it would move a lot and sometimes it would move much at all. Now, this mouse wasn't broken and I wasn't using it on some oddball surface, like shag carpet. It simply was not as accurate as the tablet. I'm never going back. Ever. Even for a short trip, I'll haul the tablet.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Taking Time to Create

Sometimes I create things, sometimes I create order in my things.

My studio is organized and unpacked enough for me to sit down and work! There are a few hiccups now and then, but they are minor. I can't find my waxed linen thread at the moment, but I'm sure it is around somewhere. It isn't the kind of thing that you throw out by accident.

Here's a downside to a huge studio. If I am not careful where I store my stuff, I can spend a lot of time walking across the room to get it. Or, I spend time gathering things together before I sit down to work. I can't just reach out and grab it off the wall. I've got nothing hanging on the walls at all right now. Not even art. That will change.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Can See!!!

I have finally gotten my dual monitor set-up back in place and I'm using the flat panel for my browser. The resolution is great. I can see! I'm looking forward to doing some digital scrapping again.

But right now, I need to be thinking about what I'm going to do for dinner for my Wonderful Husband. He had to work late and got all grubby. He just called and said that he was getting hungry. Hmmm... Dinner. Dinner?


There is a gathering in NC for folks that I know from on-line. I was debating going for the weekend. Then I checked how long the drive would be. I'm not driving for 8 hours to go to a crop. If it were in South Carolina, I might go. I could see if there is a ride share. I'm still not sure.

There are evening crops in Jacksonville. I think I'll talk to the shop owner and ask her if she wants two things. A web presence, and someone to run a swarm, or a gathering of folks who own Cricuts.

Jacksonville isn't as web savvy as the DC area, but part of it is that the small stores don't have any web presence other than a Google location. There isn't as much benefit to looking up a type of shop on-line. Not all of them will be on line. You still want a phone book. But you don't get a phone book unless you get a home phone. We won't have one. Hmm... I wonder if there is a way to purchase a phone book without getting phone service?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

One Last Box

I'm extremely tired of unpacking, but I'm not done yet. Almost. Close. Only got a few boxes left to deal with. But not done. I'm taking a break because I'm so tired of unpacking.

I will need to close the door to my studio to block out the sound of the TV in the great room. I wanted to hang my large punches on a shoe storage bag on the door. The hooks at the top of the door get in the way, and the door won't close. Now where do I put the punches?

Ugh. I keep having to solve storage problems. Every time I mention this to a family member, they make a suggestion. But they haven't looked at my studio and they don't know what I have already done and tried. My MIL suggested that I use one of the bedrooms as my studio. I'm using the east bedroom as my studio. My husband suggested that I put a sewing table into the closet. I have already put two folding tables in the closet. I used to have one room for paper and one room for sewing. Now I have to put both rooms worth of stuff into one. It's large, but not that large.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kitchen First, Studio Last

I've been sneaking an hour or two here and there to work on unpacking my studio. Working on my studio space makes me feel much better about unpacking. I've been trying to work on one room at a time. No room is finished, but when I work on a room, I make progress that I can see and take pride in. Today, I worked on the garage and the loft.

My studio will be crammed full of stuff. I don't have a separate room to put my sewing items, so they are wedged in with the paper crafting and my computer, too. It won't be a pretty room, as I was hoping it would be, it will be too full of stuff. Drat. I'm trying to figure out how I can put things away and have the room not look so crammed full of stuff. The solution I keep returning to is that I need to own less stuff.

Oddly enough, because of the magnitude of this transition, I'm feeling comfortable contemplating getting rid of big items. I don't need three sewing machines. The wedding gift from the ex is going to go. I'm simply debating whether I will sell it or donate it. Either way, it is leaving the house and not coming back.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Unpacking the Studio

Since I hauled most of the studio things down in my truck, I've got most of my studio contents here in Florida. We got the storage unit unloaded in one trip. There were five of us and each person was driving a truck. We had room to spare.

My studio contents are here. My studio furniture will arrive on Wednesday. (I hope.) There is no place to put anything. The closet is large, but only has one shelf. I miss the Container Store. I miss Ikea. I'm trying to get the boxes out of the hall and into the closet, so there is room for the furniture to go when it arrives on Wednesday. Will I be able to play in my studio any time soon? Probably not. I'll need to unpack clothing, dishes and other important stuff first.