Apr 202018

Like all creatures, cats are territorial. When I put my second chair in the workshop, Friday quickly claimed it as hers.
Friday claiming her space.
Friday came in and found The Captain napping in HER chair. She looked around, annoyed for a minute, then laid down on top of him. Despite the wide eyes, The Captain was relatively compliant; he is such an agreeable and tolerant cat. Friday was my workshop copilot. I say “was” because last week I moved that chair over to my new painting station. Now when she comes into the workshop, there is nowhere for her to sit next to me that is comfortable. She has meowed her displeasure about the situation to me a number of times.

Oz watching an outside cat claiming their space.
Upstairs, Oz was placidly enjoying the almost-spring sunshine when he saw another cat checking out the yard. He ran to the door so fast I thought he’d go through it. He whipped his tail for a minute or two, but I had to interrupt the drama to go to work and thus caused both cats to depart.

Friday claiming her space in the window with Oz.
Finally, I came home to this scene. It was terribly cute, but you can see that Friday has turned and is about to tell Oz to back off and not crowd her in the window.

Apr 182018

Not quite overwhelmed, but definitely submerged. I can still make it back up, almost certainly. LOT of work right now, will be better in two months, but I’m aiming to get back to blogging shape before then.

Apr 062018

Moxie in the paper.
Slick keeps a stash of packing paper from our shipping boxes. It is just brown paper, about a foot or more across in long lengths – most of them are 10-15′. Cats enjoy playing in it, but only for a day at a time. So, every week or two, he clears the living room floor and dumps all the paper out for the cats to play in. They love it. This time Moxie found a nap spot in the middle. I could barely see her in there in the low light.

Apr 052018

One of my goals this year was to start doing some yoga. It was a vague, loose and easy goal, but March was coming to an end and I hadn’t done anything about it. So, I hopped on to YouTube, screened some videos and made myself a playlist. The next morning, I began!
Not my image, it is licensed for reuse.
It was awesome. I know I’m somewhat out of shape, so I’m not doing the intense workout!, heart strengthening!, invigorating! type yoga, more of the beginner, easy style videos. After the yoga is done, I play a chill, 5-10 minute, guided meditation video (yeah, it is some spacey sounds music and a gentle voice telling you to breathe) afterwards to cool down. This means I’m getting a yoga session and a meditation session in one-morning-go, and I only have to get up 30-40 minutes early. This is good efficiency; I like it. Better yet? I like doing it. I like the stretching, the strengthening. So far, I’ve only overdone it once and I’m keeping watch for that again. It is easy to think yoga is, well, easy/accessible, and it is, but it is also easy to push too far when you’re not used to it.
Not my image, it is licensed for reuse.
Last night I realized I was looking forward to my yoga time this morning and that is unusual – getting up early to do physical activity?!?! Doesn’t sound realistic, I know. Yet, after some yoga and meditation, I feel good. I feel good in my body and not simply tired. I like it and I hope that if I ever forget that I can come back here to my blog post and remember that it isn’t much earlier and I feel good about doing it.

Apr 022018

Over the weekend, I had an almost an entire Saturday in the workshop. A small pot of coffee and some dark, moody music helped fuel what I can only call a creative frenzy.
Finishing up a rabbit stamp.
This little guy is the only pic I have from the day, but I did quite a lot. It started as a desire to do a quick collage, then realized I wanted to more than that. Okay, two pieces. Found some ambiguous and commitment-neutral art board to fit the bill – and almost fit on my desk.

Tangent, I really have to sort out my workshop. I’ve been making and not cleaning up or organizing much. That and having WAY TOO MUCH art stuff (of all types) means I am crammed in there with my stuff. My workspace is reduced to my desk top. I have GOT to stop, and clear off surfaces, organize items into their homes and spiff up the other work areas. Can’t use the painting spot because all my unloved metal working stuff is there instead. Can’t use my carving area because I have woodworking stuff stacked in front of it. Etc. Must deal with my stuff.

Back on track. I had fun doing a collage item pull, then failing to consider my composition and instead creating a new drawing, which I then turned into a sweet papercut, which I then turned into a block print. I can’t do anything easy, some things have to have three (or five) variations and renditions before I can accept them as done. Arrangement started, color theme began, meaning danced at the edges, but then I needed a rabbit stamp. Yes, I’ve carved about 20 rabbit stamps already, but none of those are this one. Got some progress in and realized I had a sub-theme, so (of-fucking-course) I had to cease progress again and explore, develop, define and create small items for this sub-theme. You know, because it isn’t enough that I have a fucking sub-theme, but I also have to create complimentary items for it, then go back to the original theme, again. Meta, layers; meta-layers.

I didn’t get done by 0020 (yeah, I wrecked my bedtime) but I got a solid start on it – maybe close to halfway even. It was great; a packed day making things and having FUN mostly nonstop. The next day I was creatively exhausted. Like an artistic hangover. I tried a few times to go back to the collages and finish them, but it was a one-sided effort. My willpower against my empty imagination bank.

Willpower: should I glue down these pieces here, or find another one for balance?
Muse: Ummm…
Willpower: Okay, leave that one. What about a color wash?
Muse: Eh.
Willpower: Alright, what about this piece? Does it go here, or over here? Or both? Or neither?
Muse: (zzzz…)
Willpower: This is pointless.

Then I cleaned, folded laundry, and organized stuff in multiple rooms. At least a little bit of the stuffs organized was in the workshop, so that is good.

Mar 302018

Oz, napping on Slick
I like to see cats napping with their paw over their eyes or nose. I like the idea of those fuzzy paws being used to improve napping. I like it even better here, with Oz snuggled beside Slick, nestled in his arm, on a pillow, with a blanket, on a sofa. Maximum nap!

Also for your happy-cat knowledge, if Oz is asleep you can get close to him and gently sweet talk him. He will start purring without even waking up.

Mar 282018

It is just snow, yes. This morning was overcast, I was (am) tired from insomnia, running late, and I was not looking forward to the annoying work day ahead of me, but then I looked out the window and saw this perfect, fluffy snow starting to fall and was reminded of how magical I find it.
And, while I was taking this, I was able to catch a fat snowflake on my tongue. It was quietly enchanting and honestly helped me to improve my probably-sour mood today.

Mar 262018

Half dozen home made pizzas this winter!
This one was made from the leftover dough of pizza #5. I didn’t let it warm up, just smooshed it out onto the pan cold. Parbaked for 5 min and went for it.
Freshly made pizza.
The dough was too thick and it isn’t an ingredient combination that makes for a good thick crust pizza. The mushrooms were about to go and I only had a handful of mozzarella left. This was essentially a use it or lose it pizza. I used it, and it was tasty enough. I have to work on the dough, the taste is pretty good, but the texture and moisture need work. This is largely moot, since the pizza-making frenzy will die down soon enough.

Mar 202018

Pizza dough, parbake.
Did a few things different on this one. I let it rise longer, parbaked it longer and the texture and doneness was better, but it was also a bit dry and I didn’t put as many spices in it, which made it dull.

Pizza done.
Pizza number five (a few days later) didn’t get a photo because I was very hungry and couldn’t make myself NOT eat the whole pizza before grabbing a camera. I have about seven cameras, but hunger won out. It looked the same as this one.
I adjusted a few more things and it was fine – not that I’d really notice with how fast I wolfed that thing down. Funny though, I split half the dough for Slick to use later, but he didn’t get to it that night. When I checked on it before bed, the dough had grown and burst out of the plastic wrap, forming a sci-fi looking bulge as if the dough was going to keep growing and take over the fridge. It didn’t, but it was a fun sight.

Mar 182018

It rained, then it snowed.
Throwing a blanket.
It was beautiful and made me even happier to be inside my mostly-warm house, with blankets and spoiled cats.
Although, so many blankets!
Throwing a blanket.
Must move blankets to make space for me.

That snow looked dramatic, but a slippery drive to work in the morning aside, it was gone by lunchtime.

Mar 112018

Cherry pie, baking.

It even looks like pie!

Cherry pie, baked.

I think next time I’ll drop the temp a bit and bake it longer. Used a premade crust that had zero flavor to it, so that is a big change, too. Although, the usefulness of these improvements is debatable because I make pie so rarely. I love pie, but eating an entire one before it expired is not likely.

Mar 092018

Friday and The Captain, snuggled on the sofa.
Friday and The Captain, snuggled on the sofa. This is right next to my spot and usually only The Captain will visit for pets and naps when I’m there. Friday does not like to visit me on the sofa, but she seems to be quite comfortable napping there without a human. I wonder if she decided to curl up there alone, then The Captain wanted some warm snuggles and came over and sat on her. He tends to do that.

Mar 072018

Bug in bathroom sink.
Kept hogging the bathroom sink. Cats were entertained, though.

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