Thursday, October 20, 2011

What do I want to be when my kids grow up?

When I was 18, I wanted to be a journalist. I went to school, earned my degree in journalism, and worked as a copy/layout editor for a large daily. I then shifted a few steps over into technical writing/editing. Nothing is more fun than arguing grammar rules with a PhD. in physics. When my kids came along, I jumped into freelance tech writing and then newsletter editing. My big career breakthrough was choosing to home school my children. I loved gathering my own curriculum and putting it to use. I've graduated one with my second child finishing high school in the spring.

As my son has neared his graduation, we've been working on career goals. Both of us. Neither one of us knows what we want to be when he grows up.

Where to now?


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

When I was a kid, I wanted to write a book. I have written a book, but it was a technical how-to for a piece of software that is now obsolete by several versions. I wanted to be a librarian just to have access to all the wonderful stories and knowledge out there. The Internet now fulfills that role. I wanted to learn how to draw better so I didn't have to sketch all my princesses with their hands behind their backs. Hands are hard.

Home school has been a wonderful outlet for me to explore the world with my kids. I've decided to keep exploring, even though the only student will be me. I'm enrolling myself in Home School Art School.

The Internet is chock-full of fabulous free courses. I really don't want to go back to school, especially with two kids about to be in college. I'm going to mine the Internet with my wanna-be librarian skills. I'm going to get a Me Degree in Graphic Design. I have mapped a free block of time at least twice a week.

So here's the semester plan:

Class 1: Drawing using Drawspace
Drawspace is the brainchild of self-educated artist Brenda Hoddinott. Brenda taught herself how to draw and spent the next 25 years working as a forensic artist and art teacher. She also has authored several how-to-draw books. Registration and all self-directed coursework are free.

Class 2: Design Basics using Graphic Design Basics at
This self-taught course teaches the absolute basics of  design in two parts. Part One describes the basic elements of graphic design such as lines, shapes, and colors. Part Two details the principals of design such as balance, contrast, repetition, etc. Most lessons have exercises but not all. I'll find the exercises as I need them.

My daughter is an art school student, so I'm loosely following what she has had to do. I just don't have to take freshman English again unless I want to.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finally we tackle the master bath

This ugly light fixture has been hanging in my master bath for 10 years. It is beyond time to see it go.

Hollywood lights do not make you look like a movie star.

Unfortunately, it hid a great sin... Yikes! I have never patched a hole that big before.

I've often wondered if the contractor used rulers and levels when building this house. It took me three days and several YouTube how-to videos to patch, texture, and paint that monstrosity away.

Ahh... relief. Now, onto the other eleventy-billion projects we've been putting off. One day I will frame the mirror and put trim on the vanity. I figure it'll take me another 10 years to get around to it.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Working in the Crackyard

We've been busy fixing some of the home projects that have been on the back burner (some for years). The drought affecting the Southwest has added to my work load.

The crispiest section of the backyard.

Drought leads to cracks in the yard, which lead to cracks in my walls.

This has been fixed before, too!

 And so I spent plenty of quality time with this crowd today.

Six repairs later, wall perfection returns. I still haven't mastered orange peel texturing, but I got a lot of practice. Bonus! Ladders give you a great leg workout.

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th Jewelry


Celebrating the USA with food, family, fun, and firecracker earrings (because fireworks are banned in our county).

Note: No ears were ever in danger as these "firecrackers" are 100% rolled envelope liners.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's OK to play... isn't it?

"Make for the sheer joy of creating." I found this quote in a pile of notes I made.

Man, that's a hard one. I'm one of those planners. The stuff I make has to have a purpose. If it doesn't, it'll sit in a pile while I feel guilty for "wasting" the project. Surely everything must have a purpose? You can't just create for the sheer joy of it, can you?

And yet, I love to experiment. Conundrum, no?

I did do some creating for the sheer joy of it recently, but I've been feeling the pressure that those results must have some purpose.

These little art sparks are lovely, and I love them. So the planner in me reared her orderly head and took charge with a list of options.
  1. Stick them on a card blank.
  2. Add them to a collage.
  3. Frame them. Heck, anything can be art.
  4. Scan them and manipulate for use on fabric, paper, posters.
  5. Turn them into the covers of handmade journals. (On my crafty bucket list.)
  6. Use them as background for drawings, paintings, etc... then see #1–5.
  7. Ask my art student daughter what she would do.

OK. I think I've talked myself into a little playtime today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hello World

Welcome to my world of "Let's try it and see." I like to craft, but often I like the making more than the having. I made that Smile collage from punched out magazine squares and die cut letters. I had infinite fun punching out the squares and popping them down onto a sheet of contact paper. Now, I'm not quite sure what to do with the finished product!

Right now the purpose of this blog is to capture my experiments (muwahahaha!) and then to find some practical use for them afterward.

Oh, and there'll be paper... lots of paper.