Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fun, Flowers and Flu

Having fun, being silly sometimes doesn’t seem as if it is a respectable adult activity. I’m always on the look out for the unexpected times when people share their fun sides. Finding these silly times make me feel more comfortable with the fact that, no matter how elderly I am on the outside, I’ve never really grown up inside.

The Guerrilla Gardeners have found a way to help the environment, make city life more plant friendly and have fun at the same time. They are also happy to share their techniques so others can have fun with plant bombs, midnight plantings and street meridian veggie crops. I love it! I’m gonna make myself some seed paper to write notes on so people can eat my words!

Being an Urban Gardener is not so silly. Being an urban improv comedian is! The Urban Improv Comedian, wacky group of fun lovers, organizes activities on a grand scale. I could do it on a smaller one. Instead of having all of Grand Central Station take a freeze frame for a few minutes, I could get two or three friends to stop on our local shopping street, The Fred. (Fredrick Hendricklaan) I don’t know enough red heads to do their version of the Redheaded League but five people or more could do the High Five Escalator Ride. The Starbuck’s Time Loop is something you’d have to work up to….and besides, we don’t have Starbuck’s in Den Haag.

I’m feeling manipulated. Last week the International Herald Tribe, CNN and Time were obsessed with the “drug war” being fought along the Mexican–US border. It seemed as if that was the most important war going on in today’s world. After all, Iraq was becoming boring. Tourists were actually making visits! The Somali pirates were getting rich without many deaths. And Pakistan? Well, few people seemed to care much that over 700 men, women and children have died in order to eliminate 14 known terrorist.

But that was last week. This week the world is fighting a new war: the war against swine flue. The news reports are full of the 1,600 suspected swine flu cases and the 152 deaths that are possibly caused by the flu. Laboratories have confirmed only 26 of Mexico's cases, including seven deaths, as swine flu. And today a two year old died from swine flu in Texas.

Yet these deaths dominate today’s news. What happened to the concern over the 7000 deaths reported in Pakistan so far this year? Or the thousands of deaths in Mexico and US cities caused by that other war? And, hey, In the U.S. alone, the CDC says about 36,000 people a year die of flu.

Yet, people are now asking if Paul and I are still going to Southern California and Cabo San Lucas this summer. Why weren’t they worried about biannual our trips previous years? I think they just weren’t thinking about it. Deaths in Mexico and San Diego weren’t in the news.

Maybe the economy needs the increase in the pharmaceutical right now. Maybe Obama’s first 100 days haven’t been negative enough to make good news. Maybe it is because Mexicans and Americans have the flu and we could all get it, not just drug dealers. Maybe I’m paradoid.

Maybe. It could be all of these and much more I’ve not thought about. And maybe this new flu war will develop into a world pandemic killing millions. How do you feel about it?
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.

Philip K. Dick, How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later (1978)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Not Cute, Pretty or Sweet
I’m ashamed to admit that I have been called “cute” and even “pretty.” Boy, is that lame! I’d rather be “interesting” and “unusual” any time. But I’m afraid that cute is going to stick to me like shit to a shoe. AND even worse, I’m sweet! If you could only see beneath the gossamer exterior….Yea, there lurks the real me.

If you, too, don’t care for cute and pretty, I’d recommend some of the sites I’ve crashed into when swinging around the web.

The first is the Zymoglyphic Museum. The curator describes zymoplyphic as:
zy'-mo-glyph'-ic, adj. [Gr. zyme leaven + Gr. glyphe carving]
1. Of, or pertaining to, images of fermentation, specifically the solid residue of creative fermentation on natural objects.
2. The collection and arrangement of objects, primarily either natural or weathered by natural forces, for poetic effect

Here’s an example of one of those objects:

Happy Fish

The museum is only open to the public a few days a year but the site is wonderfully visual. Take a look!

The other site for you to visit is the ghost town of RavenslBight. Ray O’Bannon, the designer/owner/mayor of the town is a delightful ghoul with a twilight sense of humor. He’s a generous being and has a toy store, library and cinema that are all free to visit and the souvenirs are free, too. I think you’ll have an…..uh, interesting, unusual time.

LIKES AND DISLIKES: Being a Bipolar Retard with OCD
Perhaps it’s my social psychology background. When I was teaching one thing was bound to get my harsh up. I just couldn’t handle kids calling others “retards!” It was guaranteed to put me into Teacher Mode and to get the kid a lecture in my Teacher Voice. Recently I have trouble with the idea that sooooo many people classify themselves as bipolar or as having OCD.

Life is full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Feeling sad is not depression and felling happy is not manic. It is living. Being neat and orderly….which I AM NOT…is not obsessive, compulsive nor a disorder. If carried to the point where neatness, sadness or joy disrupts my life, I might be neurotic but OCD and bipolar describe psychotic behavior that doesn’t disrupt but totally prevents living a socially integrated life. So, if you are neat, sad or happy….live with it! It is life and not a disorder!

Neurotics build castles in the air; psychotic live in them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Movies, Films, Pathe, Cinama

What movies do you love? Many movies make me smile, cry, cringe or sneer—sometimes all of these at once. Please add your comments about your favorites as I always need to see more movies and will read and consider your recommendations.

I have to confess before you read further, however, that when Paul and I lived in Stavanger, Norway, we got something of a reputation as film critics. The only theater in the small town showed movies on a “movable” schedule. If people came, a film showed for two weeks; if no audiences showed, the film could be gone in two days. If a movie came that you liked, you spread the word. Once a colleague asked if we’d like one that was showing. Yea, I said, it was wonderful! Oh, came the replies. Then I guess we won’t go. Hummmmm……. So my favorites might not be that popular. These five are in no particular order.
1. Willie Wonka or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- both: Gene Wilder's Willie is a low-keyed, slightly “man behind the curtain” tour guide of the magical candy factory. Johnny Depp's Willie shows the same character with delayed development and a more maniacal bent who doesn’t seem to particularly like kids. Perhaps I love these movies because they star two of my candidates for sexiest actor working today.
2. The Wizard of Oz: Having seen this only as an adult, Dorothy’s transition to Technicolor, the visit to poppy fields and capture by flying monkeys, and her green glasses that she wears to visit that Man Behind the Curtain might have meanings for me that I’d not have developed if I’d first seen the movie as a dope innocent child. But it isn’t called Dorothy of Kansas!

3. Blazing Saddles: This movie can offend even someone who loves it. No matter how open minded, left wing, accepting you are, at least once during the film you will feel uncomfortable. For me it is the campfire farting scene. This movie provided a whole set of communication tools to those who love it. If I can say to you, “He’s the salt of the earth, ya know” and you do know this isn’t a compliment and doesn't refer to either The Sermon on the Mont or The Rolling Stones, you’ve enjoyed this movie…probably more than a few times.
4. Jesus Christ, Superstar: I first saw this with the original cast several times in London so I wasn’t sure I’d like the movie version. I do. In fact, I like it better than the stage version. The Star Wars mixed era costuming, ruined locations and slightly rustic, unpolished feel just ads to the great story and wonderful music. The flash collage of the Crucifixion art that answers Jesus question of how he will die, always, always sends shivers down my back.
5. Head: Chances are that you’ve never even heard of this Monkees’ movie. The prediction when it first came out was that no one would go to see a movie about a manufactured rock band. Head’s title has many meanings. You can choose the one you want. Co-produced by Jack Nickleson, he makes a cameo appearance as does Victor Mature, Dennis Hopper, Teri Garr, Carol Doda, Annette Funicello, Frank Zappa, Sonny Liston and Ray Nitschke. Most movies attempt to draw viewers into the scenes; Head keeps pushing the audience out and reminding them they’re watching a film. The scene of Davy Jones with the medicine cabinet mirror scares the bejesus out of me! Every time I close one, I do it with fear! The movie ends with a delightful song that asks, “What do I have to do to keep from going through this again? Didn’t I get it right the first time?”

There they are: five of the movies I choose to watch over and over whenever I get the chance. I just noticed that three of my favorite actors are also involved in these films. Not surprising at all. However, Nickelson is a co-producer, not the star. And certainly Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp have certainly starred in more popular films. If asked, I’d say I don’t usually like musicals. Four of these are musicals. I guess I just can not trust what I think about my own likes and dislikes. However, I really can’t tolerate Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les parapluies de Cherbourg) or (Gasp!) The Sound of Music.

If you’ve read this far, I’d really like to hear what your favorite movies are. You MUST be an interesting person…..with time on your hands to read and think!

For our interest, here’s what’s showing in Stavanger today:
La Giusta Distanza, Monsters vs. Aliens (norske), Lett på tråden, Skjult
The Boat that Rocked, Bolt (Norsk versjon) , Gran Torino, Jaques Mesrine Del 1: Instinkt for mord, Lille Soldat, Easy Virtue, ORPS, Pride and Glory, Slumdog Millionaire, Fast & Furious. Monsters vs. Aliens, Marley & Me, The Boat that Rocked and Che.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Enchanted Castles, Mermaids and Happy Endings

Katydid just started a blog, too. She has finished another charming garden fairy. And she took a picnic to a remarkable place in her home state of Georgia. I wish I could put on some of her flower fairy wings to fly over to see it first hand. I guess photos will have to do for now. Take a look at what one amazing artist created at Pasaquan.

I have been fortunate enough to visit The Watt’s Towers in Los Angeles. Build by Simon Rodia in the Watts district of Los Angeles (known for its infamous riots), they consist of 17 connected lacy structures, two of which reach heights of over 99 feet (30 m). Rodia built them in his spare time over a period of 33 years, from 1921 to 1954. Why would he spend all his time doing this? Easy for him to explain: “I had in mind to do something big and I did it. ”

Both of these creations echo the amazing works in Barcelona by Antoni Guidie. La Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of the Holy Family, remains an unfinished masterpiece. Wandering through it is a true religious experience for me, one of awe and lightness of spirit. Rodia and St EMO bring me to the same level of reverence.

One of my favorite movies, one of the few that I own, is Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Only one part of this enchanting film grates on my nerves. That part is The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I like the music well enough…but Mickey as the lead? No Way! This mouse in gloves has made some entertaining cartoons but this is not one of them. I think this duality is at the heart of my problems with Disney. I like Sleeping Beauty; I can’t stand Cinderella. I enjoy Lady and the Tramp; I can’t watch The Little Mermaid. This list goes on: like The Lion King, 101 Dalmatians; dislike The Hunchback, Beauty and the Beast. Disney destroys classic fairytales! The Little Mermaid danced on broken glass and became seafoam to save her love. Cinderella’s friendship with mice? Give me a break! She lived a miserable life in an ugly home. It sorta makes me glad that her sisters mutilated their feet to fit into the glass slipper. Fair tales can, literally and figuratively, be Grimm. They don’t teach children that monsters don’t exist. They teach us all that we can live in spite of them. Happy endings and ever afters seldom happen.

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
G. K. Chesterton

BLOGGING 101: It seems that to get a slideshow, I have to have my photos saved in Flicker or some other "source." Humm, this could become just another link in the chain.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Deviant Art, Creativity, and Albert


On Deviant Art I found an artist who’s polymer clay work is unique. Chris Kapono lives in Missouri but has sold around the world, most recently to Russia. Take a look at her ATC and covered boxes. Devian Art isn’t often overly deviant but sometimes it is wonderful. Mandarinmoon’s work is an example of why I go there daily.
I love Christi’s generosity and the sharing spirit of the members of her Yahoo group. They share tutorials on how to duplicate their art. Christi Friesen has free downloads at her home site where you can learn to make, along with other tuts, a sleeping mouse and punkhearts. Then Sally Golubosky gave us wonderful directions on how to make her dragons and griffins. And Dolores who is Following Troll Tracks, shows some lovely mices. that combine felting and polymer clay.

What I don’t enjoy are people who don’t share because they feel that creativity is their possession and they themselves own nothing of their creativity to anyone ever.


“The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
Albert Einstein

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Christi Friesen's Schedule of Classes

Just so you can plan ahead, here is Christi's (of cforignals) schedule of classes and Online classes:

Online class
Fantasy Garden Mirror
Signups are ongoing through mid May - sign up anytime and work at your own speed.
Online Class
Peacock Pizzazz art jewelry necklace

Signups are ongoing throughout May. Signup anytime and work at your own speed.
For more info/signups, check in
CT's Beads n Things
April 9 -- evening class: 5-8pm
Lancaster, CA
Sparkle Flowers focal beads For info/signup: call 661-729-9450
Indiana Bead Society Benefit Workshops
April 17 - 19
Co-Sponsored by the Indiana Polymer Clay Guild and the Indiana Bead Society to benefit Ponsawan Silapiruti's daughter, Ada. So, join us for 3 fun-filled days of great polymer clay bead-making!
Friday morning: Fiber Feline: Meow!
Friday afternoon: Phabulous Pheonix
Saturday morning-afternoon (extended class): Jungle NecklaceSaturday late afternoon/eve: Garden Dragon:
Sunday afternoon: Steampunk Chameleon:
Sunday late afternoon/eve: Sparkle Bird:
For more info/signups:
Tehachapi Art Center
Tehachapi, Ca
May 2
Luna Moth (focal bead or brooch
For info/signups, call: 661-822-6794
Brea Bead Works
Brea, Ca
May 20
Steampunk Chameleon

Steampunk Bird
Bead & Button show
Milwaukee, Wi
June 3-7
Wed. June 3 o 4:00pm-7:00pm: Sparkle Flower focal beads
Fri. June 5 5:00 pm-8:00pm: Horsin' Around focal bead
Sun. June 7 o 9:00am-noon: Delightful Dragonfly beads:.
Online Class:
Triple Trouble Dragons: art jewelry necklace project
Class opens June 12 and signups are ongoing through end of July.
Australian Clay Tour 2009!
June 19—July 5
Christi will be visiting bead stores and studios in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide.
Full details coming soon!
IPCA Retreat (International Polymer Clay Assoc.)
Chicago, Il
July 11-13
Christi is the Guest Artist for this retreat, and will spend most of Monday, July 13 holding scheduled demonstrations as well as being available to retreat attendees for questions, critiques and advice!
For info:
Online Class:
Class opens July 24 and signups are ongoing through Aug. Join anytime and work at your own speed.
Winterlandz Firepig. (And we'll make a clump of Flurribelles too, while we're at it). In Nov. the next in the Winterlandz class series will continue with the CloudCatcher. more details soon!
Fantasy Garden Mirror
Mixed Media Arts Studio
San Marcos, California
July 25
Everett, WA
Aug 6-7 afternoon/eve classes
Steampunk Bird
Little Landscapes

Northwest Polymer Clay Guild
Seattle, WA
Aug. 8-9
Class choices to be announced soon!
Info, email:
JuLee Wolfe, (NWPCG)at –
Stringbead Store/Studio
Chico, CA
Aug. 22-23
Class choices to be announced soon!
Online Class:
Hello Sunshine
Class opens Aug. 28 and signups are ongoing through October. Join anytime and work at your own speed.
Tehachapi Art Center
Tehachapi, Ca
Aug. 28
Re-Run: Pegasus 10-12:00 = beginners
1-4:00 = more experienced clayers
Colorful Creations Bead Co.
East Longmeadow, MA
Sept. 14 evening: Meet & Greet party!
Sept. 15-16 workshops
Class choices coming soon
Darbella Studios
Hollis, NH
Sept. 18-20
Friday night meet & greet and mini-class leads into the 2-day workshop
Class project to be announced soon
Online Class:
Beautiful Bouquet: art jewelry necklace
Class opens Oct. 2 and signups are ongoing through mid-Nov. Join anytime and work at your own speed.
Info/signups starting in Sept. at:
Tehachapi Art Center
Tehachapi, CA
Oct. 24
10-12:00 - Snuggle Rodent mini-sculpture
1:00-4:00: -- Art Nouveau floral focal piece
info/signups: call 661-822-6999
Nov. 14-15 BABE (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza)
More details soon
Online Class:
Class opens Nov. 20 and signups are ongoing through Dec. Join anytime and work at your own speed.
More details coming
Brea Bead Works
Brea, CA
Nov. 21
2 workshops.
More details coming
May 5-15, 2010
All the details soon!
more info:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Clay, Breaking News and Explamation Points

If you are interested in any type of polymer clay work, I recommend going to visit Cynthia Tinapple’s Polymerclay Daily. Every week day she post one or two sites showcasing work she has found on the web. She also has collected workshops and classes that she post as part of her site. Her achieves are worth wandering through and even her ads are interesting. It’s a must read for clayers.

One other site I visit every weekday is The Daily Art Muse. Although Susan Lomuto does emphasize clay work, she also admires other mediums and inspirational images. Here I find art being created from mediums I’d never have guessed were being used. And this is another site that offers great achieves and links.

Go to these two sites!...Now! You won’t regret it…unless you only have a few minutes to poke around. Then you’ll have to return.S

I enjoy weather. These first days of Spring are delightful. The colorful blooms, mild breezes and later sunsets make me smile. Spring is one of my four favorite seasons.

I dislike the idea that everything reported on the news is described as Breaking News in big red letters and lots of invisible exclamation points. I love the sound of breaking glass but not the interminable sound of a story that breaks for days.

And those exclamation points! They should be used with care!! I do not exclaim every sentence!!! Most I just say! So when I write, I use these excited little explosions sparingly, too!!! Don’t you???

My bets on Alice and the Cat.

It really does only take five minutes to set up a blog using Blogspot. Choosing a format and colors, typing a title, a description and the first post is all you have to do. Since all of that is easy to change, you don’t have to agonize over it. Then when I posted this first info, the program set up the comment section and achieves. Today I click on someone’s counter and signed up for one. It only took choosing the style and giving the blog address. Bingo! It appeared. I’d figured out yesterday how to make a link and put in a photo. Duh! The buttons in the menu were the hint. So far, this is worth it for the learning and the knowledge of how easy it is made to make a blog. No wonder one is set up every second! (Mac’s estimate; not mine.) I originally choose Blogspot because I ran a search using “ easy recommended blog” and found a Mac site that discussed the different blogs and what you can do with them. This was the easier for beginners.

I’m singing my little happy song.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Christi's Example

Is it worth it?

I recommend going to:

to see Christi Friesen's wonderfully creative art pieces. She makes artjewelry and sculpts. All show great design and are full of humor. She has lots of free tutorials in polymer clay as downloads. It's worth a look just to see what can be done with this artificial clay.

Admit it! You like list, too! Here's a site that lets you read some slightly strange list and add your own, too:

LIKES AND DISLIKES: I like getting feedback on my creative work. It helps me become a better artist. The feedback can be admiringly encouraging or helpfully critical but it must be specific. Saying I like it or I don't like it is useless to me. WHY?

GRAMMER GLUMPS: Two OOs make to into too much, too little and also, too. Try not to forget that extra O.

QUOTE QUIP: Too many people are sucking glass-blowing grass-holes and crass troll...

Now, if I can figure out how to put a comments section on this blog, you can give me feedback but only if your read my Likes and Dislikes above!