Thursday, April 12, 2007

Off to India, Seven #12

I've made 50 little cloth bags from an old sari and other scraps:

I've bought soaps and chocolate.

I've packed.

I know I've forgotten something...

So, this is my last post from the US for a few weeks. I'll try to post in India but it depends on time and computer/internet availability!

My seven things this week is pretty good:
- 5 vases/pots
- 1 fleece sweater
- 2 cloth bags
- plastic cup and various little things in it
- another mini sewing kit
- birthday candles
- a few wine corks (4)
- fridge magnets (3)
- cap
- 2 kitchen utensils
- stickers
- combs (5)
- travel-size hair stuff (3)
- coffee mug
- cloth scraps

That makes 21! Total: 124

Eco-tip: When packing, line your suitcases with old newspapers and wrap items that might leak in reused plastic bags. Rather than buying a whole new magazine, print out (from online) or photocopy articles you'd like to read on one-sided paper.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Illustration Friday #2

This week's Illustration Friday theme is "green" and I would normally do something relating to environmentalism, being green and sustainable. But it struck me that green is a color not everyone can see. My best friend when I was younger had a brother who was color blind. He would walk up to bright green clothes in the store and exclaim, "Wow what a pretty red sweater!" I wondered what that would look like.

This is an exploration of the fine line between perceived and real color, made by mixing different shades and tints of red and green:

I'm also nowhere near packing! The things I have to do by Thursday morning:
- make 50 cloth bags
- pack
- buy some last minute things to take
- copy some cassettes
- make a card
- do 10 sketches

And why am I sitting here doing this? Who knows! :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Setting Goals

As I pack, I've been finding more and more things to release from my life. I'm up to 20 this week already (make-up time for previous weeks!). List to come.

In the meantime, I've been tagged by Jenny at The Green Mommy to do the Gotta' Get Goals. Hers are here - really good ones (and a nice blog, too!).

I have a list of 10 goals for the year constantly on my desktop but what would I do for a perfect life? That's a whole different story. So after some serious contemplation, here they are:

1. Energy independence - I don't think this can happen in my lifetime for the world, but I'd like to minimize my use of energy. I want to make solar and feed it back and compost and not buy anything packaged and not drive. I guess that means being sustainable and self-sufficient. Wow.

2. Finding myself - It goes along with #1, but it's different. I want to live in harmony with my own mind, have control, find my place in the universe, learn what enlightenment might be like.

3. Cure AIDS - Haha this is like saying "Create world peace," but it's in my sight. I'd like to be a part of the solution, whether through research or advocacy or charity (or all of the above)

4. Travel - I really want to visit the Galapagos Islands (made famous by Darwin himself!), the Amazon rainforest, and the Himalayas. That's all.

5. Sing a concert - I learn Indian classical music, and I'd love to be able to sing an entire concert really well all by myself. I wouldn't actually need to do it, but just know that I have all the skills necessary to do it right that second.

6. Help the world be more sustainable - I think it's not enough to be sustainable yourself. After all, just living in the US adds to your carbon burden! So I'd like to spread the word, and get people to see that living vegetarian and environmentally friendly isn't such a hard change and that it's truly important and fulfilling.

7. Learn to play the guitar - I think I've started learning at least 3 times without figuring out how to really play. I don't need to play beautifully, but just well enough to strum along to a few of my favorite songs.

8. Stay in touch - I'm the world's worst at returning phone calls. I'd like to be one of those amazing people who calls everyone in the family at regular intervals, never forgets a birthday, and remembers what's been going on with everyone.

9. Raise thoughtful children - I don't have any children yet, but when I do I want to raise them to be thoughtful, caring citizens of the world, who are not just intelligent, but who give back in a meaningful way. That would make me proud.

10. And finally, on the theme of this blog, Achieve simplicity - By this, I mean material simplicity, but that simplicity needs to be psychological as well. Not just having a few basic clothes, but not wanting and obsessing and craving more. Avoiding building interminable lists of things I may or may not have time to do. Doing only the things I need to do without planning for the future and worrying about the past. Just living in the moment, with contentment.

I would have liked to add "Find my calling," as Gaia Girl (what a great name) did, but I've just run out of space! I also noted that none of those (except maybe #10) involve crafts! Puts things in perspective.

I'm tagging a few and hoping for more inspiration (more great blogs for you to check out!). Lurkers, come out of hiding, too:


Saturday, April 07, 2007


What a post! The Ending Death to the death penalty!

I found a lovely site that challenges writing skills. Fifty-word fiction. Here's what I submitted (a scant 49 words!):

The deer ran from our destroyed car. It was only the last straw - my sister died with blood on her wrists, leaving a baby with my eyes. Not my daughter, a daily reminder. I smile for her, eyes dripping with blood. She grows up strong, tempered by her mother's pain.

It was not as easy as it seems - you have to pick and choose your words. I almost submitted this, but chose to go with the "story" style:

I walked along the trail - headed home. I longed a hot bath, but was steeped in the rhythm of walking, step after step. I looked behind me - the bay loomed gray-blue and draped in mist. The smell of it still clung to me, and the coyotes howled their goodbyes.

Today I washed sheets to wash away the viruses from everything. And then I'm cooking and working and then (I hope) start cutting into the paper design!

Eco-tip: Save old ziplock bags. You can turn them rinse, turn inside out, let dry. They're ready for reuse! Don't use hot water.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Papercutting and Seven #11

I forgot to leave things out this morning (ahem, overslept), but I added some things to the bags/recycle/India bag in the meantime:

- glass vase
- single earring and earring parts
- fridge magnet
- another cloth scarf
- plastic picture frame
- small toy
- a tissue papercut (one of my early ones, falling apart)

That's 7 items. Total: 103. Woohoo I passed the hundred mark!

As I contemplate cutting my complete drawing for a Midsummer Light-style effect, I've been doing a little "research" on how others do papercutting. I've come across some Astonishing papercuting artists in the process.
Ellen Brown makes lovely valentine hearts and trees

Shoto Kimura's papercuts are more like portrait paintings on first glance - but surprise, they're papercuts!

Peter Callesen's concepts make me as speechless as his skill. This is papercraft! (found when I was browsing

Rob Ryan makes intricate whimsical papercuts that are so sad and romantic and cute at once.

Joe Bagley's elaborate papercuttings of the famous look like pen and ink drawings, but are far more complex.

∴ The Guild of American Papercutters has a magazine called FirstCut that features some eye-widening designs.

Kirigami is another lovely folding-and-cutting style (we all remember snowflakes!). Here's a place you can design your own overlapping designs, like this one:

...and then here am i. Just plugging away with my craft blade. Onward! ♥

Here's a good list of things I came across. I'm not sure of the intended purpose, but it looks like a useful list to get me up and creating and taking charge of my life. Link

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Creative Productivity

Today's creative achievements:

:: chile corn muffins made vegan, with cornmeal, and hot green chilies, served warm with spicy ketchup

:: drawing for paper cutout completed! FINALLY! I'll start cutting this weekend. I really want to finish before our big trip to India, but I'm not sure I can.

:: expanded an ever-growing list of "Projects To Do" as seen on various blogs

:: packed another gift package

:: received a used book ordered for my grandmother, and another for a cousin's daughter (ordered from gift cards, hopefully not a compact violation)

:: cut scrap paper bits from junk mail and torn envelopes

:: put out giveaways this week for charity pickups

I've also ordered Childcraft Volume 11 (Make and Do) used. I discovered it through West Coast Crafty. I'm really looking forward to seeing it and passing it on to a child who'll love it!

:: made my belated april calendar, super simple

Don't ask about work!

No pictures of all these yummies today because my camera is with a friend in more important service, recording art performances.

Fave Eco-tip trick: I've been getting a lot of address labels. So many I may move before I use them all! I've written to most people asking them not to send any more, but in the meantime, I love to cut off the left-hand pictures they have on them, which make little square stickers! They are perfect for sealing envelopes, decorating a package, or sticking on the backs of children's hands.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Break? Seven #10

Well, I've apparently been on a break. I guess that cold and getting busy with other things (who knows what, just life!) took over. I even forgot to do my Seven on Friday!

So here is what I got rid of:
- my snorkel, mask, fins, and gloves
- a small wall clock
- a salwar set
- more folders

That makes 7 exactly. Phew. Total: 96

I'll have to find several things this week to give. Luckily AmVets is coming on Friday.

Also, I finally finished taxes tonight! Yay! Don't put it off anymore. And do it online (save paper and headaches). (That's my Eco-tip today)

My crafting is on hold while I work and engage other aspects of my life, and prepare to travel, and spend some time on the movie. I will be making some bags out of an old beautiful pink sari, and I'll be wrapping some gifts.

Compacting is going okay. I did spend 2 gift cards I had - not sure if they count as a violation? I spent them on gifts for kids in India.

In the meantime, I found a couple of quick kitchen fixes:
- dried mint or basil or oregano makes lovely tea. All you need is a filter with a teaspoon of dried herbs and hot water drizzled slowly over it.

- random hot soup can be made with whatever veggies you have in the fridge, boiled, and pureed. of course, spices make all the difference.

Nothing ingenious but fun for me!

Also, I watched some of Next Top Model. Augh! Didn't mean to! Amazing how dreams of clothing come flooding back when you indulge in something like that. I'm still preprogrammed.