The dangers of not paying attention…

Left forefinger – bur cut.

Not just any old bur, but the sharpest bur in the box bur.

Middle finger – sanding disc cut.

Yep the edge of the disc managed to slice open the side of my finger at full speed ahead – which kind of hurt.

And it had to be the coarse disc didn’t it…


Right forefinger – water bottle cut.


Who slices their finger open on the cap of a plastic water bottle!


They’re all wrong. Too much water is obviously hazardous to your health.

I haven’t cut so many of my fingers at one time – ever, and all of them are really sore and needed Band-Aid attention.

Previous to that, in this same week, I suffered a scalpel blade cut and yesterday a chain swipe around a thumb as I was happily buffing away.

Don’t do that.

Buffing chains is not cool and can kill you.

I just like to live on the edge.

I blame it on Mary Shelly as listening to Frankenstein had seemingly lured me into a deep hypnotic state from which I obviously couldn’t wake up from in time to prevent these bodily dangers.

Darn you Mary Shelly.

Or was it the narrator?

Probably more likely.

What can I say except that Victor Frankenstein is a complete weeny and is frankly getting on my nerves a little bit. He needs a quick kick up the you know where so that he can just buck up and stop going on and on about how tormented he is all the time.

Such a drama queen.

And that wretch the Monster. Good grief. He learned an awfully excellent vocabulary in the short time he’d been exposed to the German mother tongue and showed an extremely enlightened compassionate side to all fellow creatures for one so primitive.

I almost kind of liked him.

Until, of course, someone ticked him right off and he threw all decency out of the window in one hell of a toddler temper tantrum and decided to kill anyone who he decided had done him wrong.

No hello, no how you doing, no nothing.

Just straight in for the kill.

Talk about bi-polar.

Now don’t get me wrong I am enjoying it, but Dr Frankenstein’s final telling of his story as he searches once again for his offspring, this time hopefully to put an end to it all, is getting just a little mind numbing.

Dracula next.

Dum dum dum…

Here are my newbies.

Sonoran Dendrite
Mexican Crazy Lace
Morgan Hill Poppy Jasper

For all his woe is me drivel I have to admit that Frankenstein seems to have definitely steered my designs toward a new path. Now, if only I can keep all of my fingers intact I might be on to something…

Please sit down for some shocking news…

I have almost finished a painting!


I know, right!

It’s called

Always Protect your Cereal from Wayward Birds.

This is the first time in a long while that I have actually enjoyed being in the painting half of the studio.

Last week I gave up on painting ever again.


Fortunately I’ve slept since then.

This painting incorporates my love of colour and pottery, and also those strange bird creatures.

I’ve been listening to The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins while I’ve been in the studio.

I read it a long time ago but after listening to a couple of really blah books I decided that I needed something good and classic to get my chops around.

The last blah book I listened to was The Stone Man by Luke Smitherd.

It was just o.k.

The best bit about it was the afterword by the author and he nearly had me giving the book a good review just because of the way he asked me to.

It might just be me, but it smacked of The War of The Worlds by H. G. Wells – which I really enjoyed.

Although old, I found The War of the Worlds very tense, and that surprised me in a really good way. The Stone Man was just old and predictable.

Sorry Mr. Smitherd.

I would listen to another of his books though – just to give him a fair chance.

The Woman in White is just so lovely to listen to.

The writing, although a tad long-winded and old-fashioned, is just so good. It keeps me engaged the whole time.

Audio books are expensive but I’ve decided that I’m just going to have to go with them for now.

I love reading, but just don’t find the time at the moment. I’m in the studio for most of the day and when I come in I find that P has the t.v. on after his long day hunting and gathering, and I get caught up in it.

I usually listen to NPR during the day, but you know, it’s just downright depressing at the moment to listen to the news and how it seems the whole world is on a downward trajectory to complete destruction…

Laura Fairlie’s troubles are much less stressful, although I must admit to despising Frederick Fairlie and Sir Percival Glyde just gets on my nerves.

There’s still a lot of anxiety listening to it because back then my modern-day equal rights sensibility was yet to be unleashed, but it just makes me appreciate more the fact that I am born today and not then.

I’m sure I would have been either burned as a witch or have been outcast in some other way when I read about times gone by.

And so all would be revealed tomorrow as I finish listening to the story and, hopefully, finish the painting, except that Christmas shopping and decorating the tree is in desperate need.

Now I’ll have to wait until Monday.

Life can be so unfair…

Well I’m still here,

And I’m still bored.

Maybe it’s the weather. It’s done nothing but rain since I woke up two months ago, and although I like it I think it might be making me a bit moody.

The garden is loving it though.

I’ve been thinking about water a lot just recently, and how we use it, and I’m pondering over whether I want to plant a cactus garden in the back instead of my wanna be English garden.

There’s this lady round the corner, Alice, and her native Texan garden is beautiful.

Garden envy.

I have it.

P doesn’t but look.





Of course, you wouldn’t want to be pushing anyone over into the flower beds


Or go around acting like the crazy Medusa lady


But it could be very calming

Especially if you throw in one of those blue doors as well.

Now I’ve just got to get P on board and work up the energy to get myself going.

Could be a while.

Through the boredom of it all I’ve still been making jewelry.

IMG_5661 - Version 4





And teaching myself to cut stones



But I really haven’t been in the studio much these past weeks.

I’ve also been fiddling around with the embroidery.







I’m practicing for a big one.

And I really might have to make myself one of these.


Because it’s beautiful.


Other than that there’s not a lot going on really except I’m reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt which has started off beautifully.

I thought I might have to give the murder mysteries a rest for a while as they were all running into one another which wasn’t really helping my powers of deduction. I was getting a little confused as to the best way to knock P off if he doesn’t come around to the cactus garden soon.

The perfect murder just doesn’t work when you get muddled with too many options and I ain’t prepared to get caught over a succulent just yet.

I’ve too many cabochons waiting to be set.

I am sick


The people who live in this house with me have coughed, and spluttered, and sniffed their germs with abandon throughout this holiday. Now they are up and running and happy and have left me behind in their wake of illness.

I have now pulled every muscle in my abdomen through coughing and am feeling thoroughly sorry for myself.

And, to top it all, P won’t give up working so we can live our lives together without him having to leave the house every day. He says it’s something to do with having to pay the bills, but I’m not sure I believe him.

I think it’s possible that he just doesn’t want my germs, and there I was thinking we would share everything through this journey called marriage.

Well blow everyone. I will be sick, here, alone, with only Sid, my trusty computer, to keep me company, and work on my plan for world domination.

That will teach them.

I’m not too sick to go into the studio you understand. Just too sick to do housework, or anything like that.

Housework is not good for my health anyway, so I wouldn’t want to make myself worse.

So I will leave you with something I am working on.

A little something that Felicity Windthrop has been arranging in her floral studio for the upcoming banquet to celebrate Queen Significanta’s fortieth year on the throne.


The pot was made especially for the occasion by Charlie Smithfield. Charlie has been making what some might consider to be ‘rather outlandish’ pottery for close on fifty years now in his small studio just outside the city walls, and has recently been knighted for his consistent contribution to the advancement of the arts.

Baking soda, sailing ships and deadly emotions.

An update on the acid spill. Not sure if the baking soda is necessary at this point, but it definitely adds to the excitement.

Not just for unclogging sinks, is baking soda the aspirin of the cleaning world I ask myself?


Going to scrub it later.

And now back to Lynley. (I know you were wondering).

One fantastically bright sailing ship docked, or run ashore, whichever you prefer, awaiting me to add its finishing touches.

And this, my friends, is where I mess it up completely and hang up my paint brushes forever – again.


Oh the troubles in paradise.


Lynley is finished!

At last.

Unfortunately I haven’t another  book to listen to, so today will have to be a silent day. Unless I get out my new, tantalizingly intriguing, self-help c.d. Deadly Emotions.

(Don’t ask).

Why I buy these things I’ll never know. What I really need is another good ol’ juicy murder mystery. Not of the Lynley kind. I suppose a c.d. with deadly in the title will just have to do for now.

And here I am still trying out new backgrounds for my jewels.

I call this my Carnival line.









I still think I prefer my original red-dish background, but wonder if it doesn’t compete too much with the jewelry.

And now I’m off to ruin my painting.


Just so you know.

The other day, when I decided to throw caution to the wind and paint again, this happened – but, you’ll be relieved to know that I put a stop to it as soon as I could.


First it became even more hideous – in a mocking sort of way, but I had the last laugh when it found itself in the trash.

Don’t mess with me!

So, coward that I am, I went back to the old faithful.


Which bored me.


And threatened to put me in another funk.


But, I plodded on,


Making stuff just for the sake of it,


 Which bored me more.

Until finally I gave up and sulked myself further into the funk.

Is it the same funk? I wonder to myself.

Or, is it allergies? Stranger things have happened. I do live in Texas you know, and suddenly, all that green stuff is laying about, conspicuous in its innocence (to the trained eye), on all available surfaces.

This, and those wind turbine things, remind me of the late great science fiction books. The turbine things are the new and improved War of the Worlds aliens. Sleek in design yet even more sinister in their silent, never moving way. They just bide their time, collecting the wind so to sniff out human happenings, looking, but not looking, and, all the time multiplying until, before you know it, they’re everywhere, like in Sweetwater, TX.



(Actually, that’s not Sweetwater, but yet another example of alien infiltration on the outskirts of a doomed Texas town. Who will be next?).

And the pollen? Well, that’s obviously some kind of insidious microorganism waiting patiently for us to inhale them into our bodies, so that they can use us as a weapon to fight the wind aliens and continue their quest to take over the universe. Some of them will be wasted, of course, but it’s a sacrifice they are willing to take.


For them, failure is not an option …

As for Inspector Lynley, I was finally allowed to see the connection between the baffling – why are you telling me this – sub story, and the main story. I must admit it was in a bit of a ‘duh’ way, like I really should have seen it coming. But, as I’m not really that invested in the story the connection caught me off guard and it ended up more as the ‘boom boom’ part of a bad joke. (Can’t really sound that out in words so you’ll just have to work with me here).

I still haven’t finished listening to the story, but we all have to suffer in our own way.

On a lighter note: I burnt a hole in the studio counter when I put the nitric acid into a ceramic dish, (don’t judge me – it said I could). It was obviously not the right kind of ceramic dish, I think because it was old and crackly. I just thought, wow, that nitric acid evaporates quickly, but no – it had seeped right through the bottom and now I have a humongous area of molten formica counter top to forever flaunt my failures. It’s as though one of those alien versus predator things has dribbled its caustic saliva onto it.

And, the moral of the story is …

Never play with acid when you’re in a funk!

I’m telling you, this mood better change quick otherwise I’ll have no studio left.

Be afraid. Be very afraid …

I want to –

Paint soooo much, but I just canny do it capt’n.

It’s my most worrying thing to do.

Sometimes I ignore it and just don’t look over at that whole other side of the studio, you know, the one with all the exciting colours patiently waiting to play.

But, I know it’s there, because it’s niggling a hole in the side of my head.

So today I’m going to get to it – it’s going to be a painting day.

(I think).

Lighten up girl. Inspector Lynley is still half heartedly trying to solve the graveyard murder, which is a convenient place to get murdered in if you ask me, and as I only listen to the story when I paint, he’s pretty much been dragging his heals over the whole thing.

It’s time to put a stop to this story before anyone else gets hurt.

Actually, I’m not really enjoying it, it’s more something to listen to really. It does kind of take the painting anxiety away a little by dragging me into it’s (boring) drama, a bit like taking a xanax really, although it’s been going on for so long now that if someone doesn’t tell me who did it soon and explain to me how the whole little sub story about the toddler murder fits in to the thing, someone is going to hear about it.

So I’m off out now to paint and listen. I’ll let you know how the whole sorry mess turns out … if it turns out.

A little something for you to mull on while you wait.


Come on. You know you want to try it, if only to laugh out loud because you knew it wouldn’t work even before you tried it.

The clue here is (repeat if necessary), although the whole fizzy science experiment thing does sound rather exciting.

“He smiled understandingly –

-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced-or seemed to face-the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.” Page 48, The Great Gatsby.

Don’t trust this man!

’nuff said …

I’m reading …


Because I have to.

The first sentence that made me feel as though perhaps this wasn’t going to be as tedious a task as when I first attempted to read it, waaaay back in school, was:

“If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him …”

Really that’s only part of the sentence, but you’ve got to love that word – gorgeous? There’s something, I don’t know what, about it when used here, by a man, toward a man. It smacks of jealousy to my mind, or contempt. Perhaps admiration, but I don’t think so. He’s probably merely sharing an observation, but what a great introduction to this man. I know immediately that I don’t want to like him, but probably will because he’s going to be all charismatic and charming, and we’re going to fall into his trap …

Either that, or I’m way off base and, as usual, am living in my own little made up world of what I think things should mean.

It reminds me a little of the way Patricia Highsmith writes about Ripley. Now, there’s a creepy fellow …

Anyway, I’m reading it because I can’t go to see the movie until I have, and the movie doesn’t look as dreary as the book seemed to be when I was a kid.

In the rest of the news: I spent yesterday painting. Sounds good fun but it ended badly. Going out there in a minute to throw all my brushes away.

How about you?

That boy did a fine job …

The Union Jack pattern has arrived!

Click image to go to pattern

I haven’t forgotten about the quilt I was working on before Christmas – or the five hundred and sixty three others that are waiting patiently for me to finish.

If you remember, this is where I left it. On the floor, alone, wondering when I would return … if I would return …



But now the Union Jack is here.

Will there be war between the two quilts? Somehow I think the Empire might well win …

Talking of the Empire, (for which I have regret and apologize profusely),

 on to the movie.

It was good, but not as good as I thought it would be. To be honest though I didn’t know what I expected. I think the hype got the better of it for me.

That said, someone please explain to me why that boy didn’t even get a nomination for his role?

He was brilliant in my opinion, and not bad to look at either, but I wont say that as that would make me want to be 19 again and I just couldn’t go through all that teenage angst again. Once was more than enough for me thank you very much.

I loved the book. One of my favourites. I found it shocking and heart wrenching, and thought-provoking – and, I love to think and be shocked, it makes you sit up and take notice in a, more often than not, mundane existence.

I read it a long time ago and had forgotten about the violence. I hate watching all that lion chasing gazelle David Attenborough stuff and get upset when it comes on the t.v. so the parts in the movie that touched upon that almost made me regret watching it. I had to look away a few times, but I got over it, and am pleased that I did.

I seem to have a love affair with all things Indian. I think it began with, A Passage to India, and continued from there. For some reason, everything I have ever watched or read that is Indian in nature touches me. For me there is something magical about their culture, their myths, their art. Perhaps it’s their spirituality, what ever it is I somehow have always felt a connection.

Who knows, perhaps I was Indian in another life.

So, if you were to ask my opinion, I would probably say the movie was certainly good, but read the book if you only have one option.

Although that boy did a fine job …

Just some doodles today.

bird1 bird2

This one cracks me up. He looks so frightened.


I made this one into a rubber stamp. He also looks a little worried.

He’s friends with the banner bird in my title.

2 bird

It’s safe to say, we have overload again. So much fun to make all of these things, and so little time to get them all out.

Oh, the bitter-sweet joy of it all.

(I feel a melodramatic moment coming on).

So, what to do today?

I want to plant herbs.

I want to make jewelry.

I want to finish glazing my pots.


I feel a, let’s get on with finishing this quilt then shall we, coming on.


This is where I left off just after Christmas.


Due to my MIL visiting.

I took it off the boil and never got back to it.

And, just because I think you need one, here’s a cheerful little Triffid doing the happy dance.


Happy Friday.


We’ll just have to wait and see.

The tree came yesterday. You know, the fake one.

It looks O.K. N is going to ‘fluff’ it more today, hopefully that will help.

Let me just say that, as of right now, it does not look exactly like this one.


Maybe the man will come over and fluff ours like he fluffed this one.

On the whole it’s pretty nice so I’m still holding out hope. We’ll see what happens when the decorations are on it. Anything’s got to be better than the one we have now.

That all might have to wait until tomorrow though as I have to finish painting the Boy’s room first.

No rest for the wicked.

What are you reading today?


Let’s see how long it takes me to finish this one …


(drum roll)

I have finished the book!


(I know some of you were really worried about how it was going).

And it was good. Sadly inevitable but good.

I’ve just sent it to my sister, and, as I was buying it on amazon u.k. took the time to read the reviews. A few of them said it was awful and long-winded. I know it took me six months to finish it, but, I thought differently. I thought it was very well written and enjoyable. The length of time it took me to read it had nothing to do with having to struggle through it. When I was actually reading it, the pages turned quickly. I think I just fell into some reading time warp dimensional thing. Who knows.

Anyway, don’t read it if you only like uplifting books, but, it really was worth the read in my opinion.

I do feel a bit sad now though …

just saying.

Christmas season has got in the way of the quilt making frenzy somewhat. But, never fear, I can still hear it calling. In the meantime I have been working to finish this.


I started it in the summer, and, as with everything I do, have been working on it in fits and starts.

Only a small area to complete now so that’s exciting. Then I’ll probably keep it in a draw somewhere for a couple or ten years before I get around to framing it.

I finished this one a long time ago.


And, it also took me years to frame.


Perhaps I’ll be better at it this time.

You’ll be pleased to know that

I’m finally back to reading.


And, you will also be relieved to know that I have, at last, figured out how to make my Instagram photo’s larger.

I realize that this was worrying a lot of you out there. I know I’m a happier person for it. I’ll probably forget how to do it tomorrow, but, hey, I succeeded today!

And, just as an aside, thank you WordPress for making the photo adding thingy page easier to manage. I know you had me in mind when you did this.

As you may remember I’ve been reading the, House of Sand and Fog, for years now, well since July anyway, but, I think I’m finally through the drought.

The thing is, I’ve enjoyed it the whole time I’ve been reading it – I just can’t figure out why I can’t get around to finishing it. I mean it’s not a bad book. I like the way it’s written, it’s easy to read, fast paced, interesting, etc., but, I’m still on page 208!

This is not good for my book a month Wannado.

But, I’m feeling better about it today. I had a long session with Ms Nicholo and Mr Behrani last night and could have kept going except word feud was calling and Ms Nicholo was getting a bit out of hand for my liking and I had to put her down for a bit.

See, the problem here is Word Feud, and, as I’m ‘fessing up, Samurai Sudoku.

I think I’m addicted and it’s getting in the way of life.

How can I blame Ms Nicholo for her addictions if I have mine too.

So, I’m almost finished with the Samurai app.. Thank you I Pad, it was good, but I’m relieved it’s nearly over. One more puzzle and I’m free to move on. Let’s just hope it’s not onto the next app. – my Wannado List is suffering.

Oh, and the decorating.

There’s no room for you and Santa, sudoku puzzle app.

It’s time to move on and move out.


I have things to do.

This is not a quilt blog.


It’s a, I don’t really know why, but, I want to do it anyway, blog.


Sometimes it’s about quilt making.

Sometimes it’s about jewelry making.

And, sometimes, but not often, it’s about writing.

Right now I wish it were about photography.

Why is Mickey so small!

O.K. that’s marginally better. Don’t ask me how I did it, I’ve already forgotten.

I did it once before, with this instagram,

but, you can call me Lizzy Arbuckle if I can remember how I did it.

Anyway, back to the writing.

I’ve noticed recently that when I approach something knowing I will fail, I give up.

Not big news to everyone, I know, but I’m kind of just getting it here.

The nano thing mo went out the window after a few days. I know, I said it wouldn’t this time, but, you see, I can explain.

O.K. I can’t explain, but, I really feel I must fess up because it’s been eating me away, because I said I’d do it and I didn’t, because I wanted to do it, and I just don’t get what happened, because, this time, my little book was going to make it big, and, because there are many, many more becauses. (I wanted to use semi colons there, but, I just couldn’t get my finger to brave it).


It was going oh so well.

I laughed, I schemed, I fretted over the story line.

I talked in strange voices to myself. I pondered the logistics of being a hag in today’s society. I cracked myself up.

I enjoyed every moment and didn’t want to leave.

So why?

Why did it have to end so brutally?

What did I ever do to me to deserve this?

Am I going to give up on everything just because I don’t think I can do it?

No d^*# it!

As Gandalf says, this too shall pass. Hang on, it was, you shall not pass, wasn’t it?

Oh well. Whatever’s going to, or wants to, pass needs to do it now because it’s enough already.

I will finish my book if it’s the last thing I do!

See, there’s the problem, right there.


Steer away from them at all times as they will gobble you up and spit you out, defeated, despondent, depressed, and all the other d words you can think of, except dessert, and, dogs, and daffodils, because those are nice things, except if you’re trying to lose weight or the dog bites you or you suffer from hay fever, then you can add those d words to the list of bad d words so long as you keep it on your side of the complaining.

What does this all mean you ask?

Nothing really, except sometimes I want to just do things because I love to do them and not because I think I will be good at them.

(Remember the semi colon dilemma?)

Sometimes I want to give myself a break and just enjoy myself.

(Still worrying about the semi colon).

Sometimes I don’t want to live by the rules I’ve so precisely written up for myself.

(Or what the semi colon has written up for me).

And so

this is why you should finish your book people.

Don’t give up just because you think you will fail.

Get out there and do the things you love and quit complaining.

(When I’ve figured out how to do that I’ll let you know …)

The reality is, I’ve still got five days to make my fifty thousand words.

That’s only 46,372 words to go

– if we’re talking absolutes of course.


Oh, and by the way, James didn’t quite save the world, but, he did look rather stunning as he didn’t do it.

(How come he get’s to be bigger than Mickey…)

Shake it off already.

I’ve got 563 books to read and I’m stuck on the, House of Sand and Fog.

Every time I pick it up I enjoy it, but, I just don’t think to pick it up. I want to know what happens to the people – although the girl’s a bit annoying if you ask me. I want to watch the movie, which I wont let myself do until I’ve finished the book. And, more importantly, I’ve got loads and loads of murder mysteries just sitting there waiting to feed my need to brutally murder someone.

Actually, that’s not strictly true, but, I do often wonder why I like to read them so much. Maybe it’s my need for justice. Let’s hope so anyway. Bottom line, we might never know …

So I’ve been reading this one book for months and months now and it’s beginning to annoy me. It’s like a sore tooth, niggling away at me. I can’t abandon it though as it will forever haunt me.

My task for this coming week.

Finish the darn book why don’t you!

I woke up today thinking about an old friend. Someone I met in high school and who is godmother to two of my children. We lost touch a very long time ago. I came to live in America and she is still (I’m thinking) back in England. I wanted the internet to help me find her. It can find other things, why not her. Darn Internet.

You know in England, when people write letters, well my people anyway, they don’t put their address on the envelope, or on the top of the letter. I suppose they just think you will always know where they live, even if you haven’t heard from them for years and have forgotten their address.

I feel as though I’m losing my life.

I can’t find my friends. My eldest child is grown up and gone. Spencer One Eye is getting really, really, old. I’m getting old. And those old peeps who live in my family and who are parents and uncles and aunts and those kind of things are just up and dying, or going into those horrible old people homes to live out their days eating mushed food, surrounded by other old people, wondering what the h#@^ happened.

And, to top it all off, I’m worried about who ends up with the d^#* fog house.

And, all Spencer’s worried about is getting me to stop writing this drivel.

Maybe he’s got a point.

So, mooovin’ on –

here’s a quilt update.

And, surprisingly,

I’m thinking green.

Not any old green.

Lime green. (Don’t worry I’m  probably just channeling my psychotic side – again).

But, I don’t want to give it a Christmassy feel so I’m going to hold out on that thought.


Time to shake it off and rock the world.

Get up, get out, and, get going.

There are people out there losing their foggy houses people ..


My brain

 is worn out and itchy.

Here’s its (my brains) work station before I started on the afternoons work of creating the next best children’s novel.

Hahaha, in my dreams.

But, it’s nanowrimo time, and, every year I say I’m going to do it, and, every year I chicken out at some point or another.

Not this year folks!

It’s day two and I’m roughly 2,000 words behind, but, no worries. I have everything I need for this intrepid adventure.

My broken laptop (hiding under its laptop cooling thingy), my old leather case with my first tentative writing attempt tucked carefully away inside, the printer, moved from its usual printing place so I don’t have to worry about getting up, (just in case it disturbs the flow, you understand), a cup of tea (obviously), and my Mickey Mouse notebook, just to keep my spirits up.

But, now I think my head is going to explode so I’ll just have to catch up on those 2,000 words tomorrow, after I’ve added them to the next 1,600 that is.

Actually, I’m not going to worry about the word count too much. Supposedly you’re to write 50,000 words during the month of November, but, my aim is just to write every day for the month. That will be good for me.

So, here’s to the next big children’s novel.

You saw it here first …


Links, murder and Atticus Finch.

Lots happening with the links.

As you can see I’ve made quite a few of them.

If you remember, this was the first piece I made with them.

And the second.

Then I got a bit carried away.

I even made a little something to go with them – just because.

Other jewelry news is that I’ve finally started to pay attention to pricing my work properly.

Thanks to Danielle who is also a jewelry maker and who has helped me begin to see the error of my ways, I have begun to work with a pricing formula. I have to say that this hasn’t been easy for me. Yep, the whole self esteem, lack of confidence, stuff comes back to bite me each and every time, but, and this is an important but, I am getting better at it. The more I work on perfecting my craft and the more I realize that what I want to do with the money I make from it is very important to me, the easier it’s becoming to take myself more seriously. Man, and it only took me fifty years!

Thank you Danielle for your nudge.

In between making the links I finally finished listening to, To Kill a Mockingbird. When I make jewelry I can only listen to audio books with earphones if they’re on my i pod. To Kill a Mocking bird is on c.d. and as I hammer a lot and plug my ears with the christmas gift, I miss a lot of the narrative so this time I could only listen when I was painting.

You wont be surprised to hear that it was as brilliant to listen to as it was to read. Sissy Spacek was the narrator. My favourite part each time is the part where Scout, Jem and Dill go to the court house when Atticus is sitting guard outside. Very powerful. Now I’m back to the murder mysteries, (don’t ask me why, maybe my therapist can enlighten me). Inspector Linley this time. I’ve seen this on the t.v. and have to say that I don’t really care for the actors in it, particularly the sullen side kick. But, she’s exactly like that in the book so who am I to criticize. The audiobook is just o.k. it hasn’t really grabbed me yet, although, again with the female impersonation. Why? is all I have to say. Why does the very nice male listening voice, have to try to play the woman as a woman? It never works. The women always come over as weak, pathetic, whiney, girly, silly people – and not in a good way. Just read me the story will you. I can imagine the rest.

Not that it upsets me or anything …

That’s wart I’m saying?

My worry wart came today.

It’s bigger than I thought, which is good as I have a lot of worries.

As it’s so big I thought I would put it on the mantle along with the others in my menagerie of oddities so that the other people living with me can take advantage of its magical powers.

But it’s worrying me how worried he looks. See how he’s checking out Mr. Angry Pig? That’s a look of sheer terror right there.

Perhaps I should move him. His companions do look a bit thuggish.

This is what I’ve been painting.

I’ve almost finished this one,

and I’m working on this one.

I also got these two out and fiddled with them some more.

Almost as creepy as my menagerie?

(Well, O.K. perhaps they’re creepier).

I finally finished listening to the last of the Dick Francis audio books dad brought over. There were five of them.

They weren’t too bad. I found myself comfortably lulled by the narrator’s voice and only had to cringe a little at the bits where he played a woman. The plots were quite thin, however, always starting with the main character and the horse introductions. Then it seemed that, in the ones I listened to at least, there was the usual (or not) amputated hand/foot/leg/whatever, leg in plaster, etc., etc., explanation, which always ended up being due to some unfortunate horse accident … go figure, then the murdering bit, which was fairly low-key in comparison to the other murder mysteries I’ve been listening to. I’ve become used to the whole putting people in a wood chipper in the deep dark woods next to a creepy cabin kind of murder, or the, lock someone up in a decompression chamber for five years and slowly increase the pressure each year so that when it’s opened suddenly the person inside implodes and – O.K. I don’t know if you’d really implode but it’s safe to say that the regular old whack on the back of the head murder seems to be a little, been there, done that, kind of thing really.

Then there’s the falling in love bit, the, I should tell the police but I wont, but I should really, but I wont, bit, then the danger, danger, bit, and finally the, it’s solved, bit.

Fairly lame really.

No offense to the horses.

Needless to say its a real treat now I’m on, To kill a Mockingbird.

A rainy Pissarro kind of day.

Big storm last night and it looks like more rain today. Right now it’s dark and cosy. A good reading day, but, I’m thinking studio …

A while back I started this,

which turned into this,

then this,

and now this,

As always I think I prefer the first one. Bummer!

Today I’ll be continuing to work the back ground and do something with the tree and sky.

I took it from Pissarro’s – The Red Roofs.

Isn’t it brilliant.

No chance I’ll be caught in a fraudulent act here! Just practicing.

 I’ve been going through a ton of audio books while out in my studio and it’s costing me a small fortune. The last one I downloaded was, I Alex Cross, by James Patterson. It was O.K. a bit more grizzly than the others. These authors certainly have a dark side, it’s a wonder they’re allowed out on the streets. Then dad brought over some Dick Francis, pretty light weight in comparison. That was just O.K too. I think it might be time to get out some real books for a change. I do have an audio copy of, To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favourite books, and movies come to that, (can you say Gregory Peck!) so I think I might give that a go today.

Who knows, it might just improve my painting skills.

One can always hope …

I am a slow reader and proud of it …

I’m still reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I don’t think I’m so much a slow reader, but rather, I tend not to read until I go to bed. Occasionally I read during the day, on the weekend perhaps, but usually I have other things I’m doing so I find I’m reluctant to spare the time during the day.

Sometimes I feel embarrassed that people are thinking, ‘She’s still reading that book!’, and that’s interesting to me. Why should I worry about what other people think? Why would I imagine they have even noticed what I’m reading at all? But, it’s still there. The feeling of being criticized. Bummer.

Which brings me to the next book. Or rather, audio book.

Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani.

I’m not really sure why I bought it except I’ve been wanting to get another audio book to listen to when I’m in the studio. Usually I pick books that I don’t really want to spend the time ‘reading’ but think I might enjoy. Two recent ones were, Shutter Island and Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane. I enjoyed both of these, especially Shutter Island and David Strathairn’s (Mystic River) voice is really nice to listen to …

Back to Anita.

I’m thinking hard right now, but, I still don’t know why I bought it.

I was probably having a ‘moment’. A, ‘help me someone, I’m falling’, day. Whatever it was, I bought the book and listened to most of it yesterday while making my latest piece of jewelry, … which I’m not sure I like.

See, another ‘moment’. I have quite a few of them.

I’m working on it …

I enjoyed listening about her (Anita’s) background, albeit, impatiently at first because I just wanted to get on to the dying bit. (I’m a little morbid like that which is probably why I have ‘moments’).

However, I got over that and started to relax into enjoying hearing about her culture, etc. In fact, as an aside, I love the whole Hindu thing. The stories about the deities, etc. Creation Myths, particularly, are some of my favourite stories – in all cultures. Thinking about it, I probably was a Hindu in another life, and Jewish, and a monk, and a witch, and a servant (which is why I hate housecleaning), and …

Back to Anita.

The connection here is the criticism. How, she (Anita) felt that her whole journey towards her premature death was because she had never allowed herself to just be herself. How she had molded herself on how she thought she should be because of external pressures to conform. That she came back from death and was completely cured of her illness when she finally saw that as we are one with the universe, we are complete. And we are loved because we are complete. And that she became ill in the first place as she was living a lie.

How in the world is it that we all grow up with this sense of having to be a certain way, or read at a certain speed, to feel that we are acceptable? (That’s a rhetorical question by the way as I know full well what my story is, what’s yours? … )

So, I’m listening to the book. I get exactly what she’s talking about. I certainly believe that – we’re all connected to the universe – stuff, and, before you start rolling your eyes, I am not one of those sentimental, new wave, pop culture people. I’m English guys, hello!

Anyway. Long story short, or, long story thankfully coming to an end, whichever way you want to look at it – I’m a little disturbed now.

I still don’t know why I bought the book. I get what she’s saying but now my hypochondriacal, woe is me, self, is really concerned that this, answer to everything, just wont work for me because I’m too caught up in being, well, hypochondriacal and woe-ish. That I’m one of those, I just don’t get ‘it’ even though I get ‘it people. Which probably means that I really don’t get ‘it’ after all. That I’m just being suckered (did I mention I was cynical also?).

I feel more worried now than I did before I listened to it. And, I didn’t even know I was worried in the first place.

So, even though I bought the audio book and don’t know why. Even though I (know) I get it but (feel) I can’t do it. Even though I somewhat believed I was being suckered but still listened to the thing. I think I’m going to stick with, The Secret History, for now, and just read about those kids in this book who are so screwed up that I’m relieved all I have to worry about are my ‘moments’.

 Now, I am going to stop worrying about whether people think I’m a slow reader or not and finish the darn thing.

Baby steps people …