Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Y is for Yellow

Today, I was going to give everyone a glimpse of a tangle that began with the letter Y, but I didn’t like how my drawing turned out.  So instead, I found a word I like: YELLOW


There are so many beautiful sheets of washi papers out there with yellow designs and backgrounds.  Here are two books that I made, using washi paper for covers: Sea of Flowers, a journal and Cherry Blossoms, a doodle book.  Pulling out the doodle book is perfect timing, since I’m in Washington, DC and the Cherry Blossom Festival is going on.  Too bad my camera is acting up and won’t open.  Urgh!  I haven’t taken ANY photos, but my boss has taken loads and I’m in most of the pictures!  Isn’t he a sweetie? 

Yesterday we walked down to the Reflecting Pool from our hotel.  I really wanted to see the monuments – it turned out to be about a 6 mile stroll !  We saw the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and the Washington Monument.  I don’t remember seeing the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial before… maybe it wasn’t there, the last time I was in DC…  It is so vivid and wonderful.  Here’s a view of it:



Sorry, I have digressed.  
 Do you want to read more about what other students in Ms. Matlock’s class thought of, when asked what words begin with the letter Y?  You can go to Jenny’s blog, “…off on my tangent” and choose any blog title here.  And participate with us in AlphabeThursday class next week.  I believe we will be looking at the letter Z!   




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First Friday Art Walk treasury

 Here's an early First Friday Art Walk treasury.  
Great views of the city - 
I'm hoping it won't rain every day we're in DC!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Facebook Friday - group housekeeping

How many groups on Facebook do you belong to?  Don't think you belong to any?  Think again!

Earlier this week, I was looking at the groups I belong to  - there were nine.  Where did they come from?  I guess someone asked me to join their group and I thought it was a good idea at the time.  But how long ago was that?  I decided to see what they were all about.  You can do this too. 

You should have a group icon below your avatar in the left column.  If you don't see it, click "More" and it should be there (if it's not, do a search: groups)  Surprise!  There's another page, listing all your groups!  If you place your curser on top of a group name, you'll see an X at the right hand side pop up - an easy way to wipe your name off the group's list.  I went through my groups to see if I really wanted to stay with each one.  If you do the same, I'd suggest at least making a comment, while you're there.  After all, why be part of the group if you're not participating.

I had three groups that hadn't had a visitor in over a year.  Decided to say goodbye to those.  Want to find some new groups on your own, without waiting for them to find you?  You can type in anything of interest in the search box.  I actually thought there'd be more groups I would be interested in, but there weren't.  And some are quite old.  I wonder if Facebook is thinking about a Spring Cleaning themselves, to get rid of all the inactive accounts...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

XYP in Blue and Orange

I've been getting ready to go on a trip for work.  I'm real jazzed - three of us are flying to Washington, DC to talk to museum exhibit fabricators and to look at some related exhibitions.  I'm not going to have much down time, but traveling from Oklahoma to DC is going to take some time.  I have two journals ready, with pens and glue.  Guess I can't carry scissors on the plane but will put some in my luggage.  And I've started two canvases for drawing tangle designs.

Here's one, with an XYP zentangle pattern in it; it's the one that surrounds the loop in the middle.  Created by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, the founder of Zentangles.  They discovered this border design on some paper bills.  Neat, eh?  Here's the link to their website - go take a look!


What comes to mind when you think of the letter X?  The students in Ms. Matlock's class have a variety of answers to that question.  You can see all their links here, at AlphabeThursday, on Jenny's blog.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Red Paper Beads

I've been busy making paper beads all weekend, and decided to make some little red ones to link with Little Andalucia's Creative Friday Features (this week's theme is red.)  The paper is from an old magazine called Yankee, and the page was a red-patterned quilt.  I was using nail polish to make them shine a bit, but dipping them in polyurethane is a little easier.    




Come see the other pretty red items featured in this week’s Creative Friday Features.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Facebook Friday - default employer

Make it easy for viewers of your personal page get to your fan page!

If you haven't put your business info into your profile, you really need to!  Especially if you're a business owner.  It will be an easy way for you and others to link with one click. 

All you need to do is go to Edit Profile (top right.)  There are a number of categories including Basic Information, Profile Picture and Education and Work.  Click Education and Work, and put your Employer (your business) into that box, add anything else you want to say, and click View My Profile

Right under your name, first thing, will be your business - nice and easy to get to. 


When I first started my Facebook page, I added some things into my profile, including my “employer” : Storybeader.  Recently I added another employer to my profile and it took Storybeader's name off my personal page altogether.  That really bothered me!  Just yesterday I decided to try and changed that, so I deleted Storybeader as my second employer, and re-entered it. 

Now Storybeader is above my other employer (in the "first" position.)  By default, it appears under my name on my personal page, like it used to.  Hurray!  That's all you have to do if you have two employers and want one (over the other - pun intended!) to be visible. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

AlphabeThursday - W2

How'd you like my new surface to doodle on?  What I did was use a square of particle board, and covered it with gesso and acrylic paint.  Then I drew my designs on top.

The new tangle I tried this week is called W2 (warp & weft) and is on the left side of the block.  This is an original 
tangle pattern from Zentangle originators Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.  I found it on Suzanne McNeill website, and you can draw it too!  I think this is one of my favorite patterns so far!  I have to admit, I was afraid to try it, thinking it wouldn’t work for me, but it did!  I love the three dimensional look it leaves on a flat surface.

 
To find other words that start with the letter W, visit Ms. Matlock's AlphabeThursday and see!  




Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Review - Pearl Buck in China

My favorite genre of books are biographies, because they introduce me to remarkable people.  Before this book, the only thing I remembered about Pearl Buck was reading her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Good Earth, when I was in high school.  I think many students of my generation did the same.  I didn't realize Buck lived most of her life in China, and as she puts it, thought in Chinese not American.  If you're interested in unique women and want to learn more about Chinese history and culture in the 20th century, then I would highly recommend this book to you. 

I'm grateful that the author placed a map in the front of the book (I love maps in books!)  There's a comprehensive index and the author's footnotes are unobtrusive, gathered at the end of the book.  I see now that all of Buck's fiction were taken from events in her life and from people she knew, which make for remarkable stories.  Spurling says she was drawn to Buck by "the first book I remember from my early childhood."  She writes in her foreword,
"I had no idea at the time who wrote the book [The Chinese Children Next Door] that meant so much to me.  Now I know that it is based on the life of Pearl's much older adopted sister, a Chinese girl abandoned by her own family and brought up as their own by Pearl's parents."
One question that came up in our book club was why Spurling wrote this book in the first place, when there was another comprehensive biography about Buck written 15 years earlier.  The author states outright,
“My book aims to look again at the early years that shaped Buck as a writer and gave her the magic power - possessed by all truly phenomenal bestselling authors - to tap directly into currents of memory and dream secreted deep within the popular imagination.” 
(page 10 - thanks, Linda, for having this at your fingertips) 

"Absalom and Carie with their three surviving children - 13 year old Edgar;
2 year old Pearl, and the new baby, Clyde - after their flight to Shanghai in 1895."

Pearl Sydenstricker was born in the United States in 1892, when the family was on furlough from China.  Her father was a missionary; a self-centered man whose religion was more important to him than his family.  Pearl's husband, John Lossing Buck, was another missionary too busy to pay much attention to his family.  But he seemed to me more compassionate than her father and paid attention to what the Chinese people needed.  Lossing was the founder of "Chinese Agricultural Economics" and taught at the University of Nanjing. 

"La Sadze (with her baby and absconding husband): the village woman
who saved the lives of the Buck family by hiding them in this hut in Nanjing in 1927."
Everyone in the book club agreed that Spurling accomplished just what she set out to do - write an in-depth account of Pearl's early years in China.  I felt the book faltered a bit, after Pearl's family came back to the United States just before World War II.  Probably the author wasn't as interested in her American life.  It seemed that she was unhappy in the States, but I'll let you decide for yourself.

(photographs copied from book)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Facebook Friday, or The Social Network

Have you seen the award-winning movie about facebook, called The Social Network?  I just saw it on pay-per-view this weekend and it was great.  I can see why it was nominated for 5 Oscars.  The movie won three: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.  I'm not a moviegoer, but it looks like it had lots of competition.  The acting was superb, though I wasn't familiar with the young actors.  It was fast paced, entertaining, and yes, a sad "story" in my view.  I highly recommend it!

There's a whole lot of talk on the internet about the movie.  Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook, has done a lot of interviews.  I like going to youtube to check out things visually.  Here's my favorite clip - an interview from EW.com with the screenwriter and four actors in the film.   

Thursday, March 10, 2011

AlphabeThursday - Vortex


 VORTEX.  Isn't that a great word.
From Wikipedia:
A vortex (plural: vortices) is a spinning, often turbulent, flow of fluid. The motion of the fluid swirling rapidly around a center is called a vortex.

I never use the word myself, even though I live in tornado alley...When I saw Sandra Strait's Tangle, I needed to try it out.  I think coloring it or drawings all sorts of designs inside your vortex would be neat.  To get started, link here.

To find other words that start with V, visit Ms. Matlock's AlphabeThursday and see!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Etsybloggers Carnival - A New Spring Look

One of MysticWynd's carnival topics was a question she posed to us:
"Do you have a new Spring "look" planned? Are you going to change your hairstyle or makeup look? Try out a new fashion trend? Or have you simply started window shopping for some favorites? Share some before and afters, or tell us about something you'd love to try that's new!"

I have a new look planned for my Etsy shop.  Ever since I moved my jewelry out at the beginning of the year, it's felt a bit empty.  So I decided to make some recycled paper jewelry!  This will make me feel better, having beads on the Storybeader's Bookshelf

Making recycled paper beads is also one of my short-term goals for March - how about that for taking a topic and making it "synchronatic"!




I've already put together a group of eyeglass chains, and I'm selling them on the same page.  Interested people get to choose between the chains on the list, till there's one left.  I'm not sure if this is the best way to sell four similar items, so we'll see how it goes.


Since the paper is so lightweight, I'm planning to make a multi-strand necklace one day soon.  But first I need to roll up a bunch of my own beads, and make them available to buyers. 


Thanks, Karen, for hosting the carnival.  You can find the MysticWynd etsy shop, and her blog at the Family Friendly Musings from the Handmade World of Mystic Wynd


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Short-term Goals for March

Continuing with my business strategies....   Blacksburg Belle (aka April) recommended choosing three monthly activities for short term goals.  They should be doable and fun!  I've chosen three things that need to get done and need some attention.  Hopefully writing them down (and blogging about them) will give me some momentum:
1) Make and list paper beads on Etsy shop
2) Drop EC cards at least 3 times a week
3) participate in the Sketchbook Challenge  
 

I could stop right there and say, done! but I want to delve a little deeper into my goal setting.  When I look back at Week 4 of the Sat. Strategy Sessions, I see what helped me before in completing my goals:  asking “what do you have to do to reach your short-term goals?” 


*Paper Beads
I haven't made any of my own paper beads yet but did make some eyeglass holders with the beads I bought from an Etsy seller in Thailand.  So I need to write up a description and take some photographs.  Last month, I was going to make some art journals out of  comic books, but the paper was just too thin and glossy.  Maybe I'll try and use them for bead production. 

*Drop EC cards
This should be fairly easy to accomplish, since I like visiting the blogs who are my Entrecard friends.  Maybe I'll even meet new bloggers.  All I have to do is find the time!  I'll give myself 30 minutes for dropping.  I want to thank  all of you who do drop on my blog - it makes it that much easier to stay involved.  Right now, it's only 16 credits to advertise on Storyland, so come on by and purchase a spot!  Here's my top droppers for February:
BeadedTail   
JiMz Freebies      
Tomas' sketchbook    
The Beadings and Buttons of Randomcreative    
Scarborough Seashells
CONCEPT PHONES, CARS AND GADGETS  
Moonangelnay on Etsy  
N.Fallon Design Studio  
entre heart   
Izile's Oddities
*Sketchbook Challenge
Jamie Fingal is the creator of this month's challenge; the theme: "Spilling Over".  I’ll try to complete two pieces.  Don't have any ideas at the moment, but something will surely come to mind!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Facebook Friday - posting content

Do you have a blog and use the "Link to this post"  or a similar application? 

 
I like this application to link my post URL to Twitter.  There's also the capability to link to your email, BlogThis!, facebook, and GoogleBuzz.  If you use something like this for a fast way to upload your posts to facebook, be aware that it uploads into your personal facebook page, not your fan page.    

The best thing to do after you post into your blog is go immediately to your fan page and click Share>Link.  Type in the URL of your post, and "Attach".  You should definitely choose a photograph to go along with it, then hit "Share".  After the content is on the fan page, add a comment and "like" it.


I say this because I just finished reading the following recommendation from WPROMOTE Online Marketing :
"To ensure that your content is ‘evergreen‘ and continuing to garner inbound traffic/links, rather than posting a status update (which will be gone from anyone’s stream within half an hour if they have over 100 active connections on Facebook) the recommendation is to post the content (image) and then comment on that and ‘like’ it as well."
If you post on your fan page, the message will immediately show up on your personal page, if you're a fan of your business page.  Now I've heard that Facebook is going to separate our personal and business pages soon.  This might be part of the March 10th update, but I'm not sure.  We'll see soon enough... yes, another update!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

AlphabeThursday - Up and Across

Here's a tangle I drew for my U letter this week, called "Up and Across" by Suzanne McNeill.  At first, I didn't think it was going to turn out to my liking, but after I finished drawing, I was pleased with it.  I don't illustrate well, so it's nice to be able to lay out a design within a box.  The founders of Zentangles, Maria and Rick, explain Zentangle characteristics on their website.  Here's something they say about abstract: "... It does not need to look like anything else and has no up or down."

I usually get a couple of pages ready for myself ahead of time in my art journal (it's a used book called The Story Teller, a book of fair tales).  This page is covered with gesso and had a whole cut into it, so I just incorporated the hole in the design.  Something a little different, especially with blue ink.  It took me a few hours to complete the design -  I worked on it in front of the television, keeping DH company.  He watches the news, I listen...


Don't miss other students of Ms. Matlock's class -
you can find them at Alphabe-Thursday   {:-D

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Etsy Artists

This Etsy Treasury is for the First Friday Art Walk team.  Enjoy, and visit.
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