Thursday, May 30, 2002

Updates aplenty at french toast girl. Read about why why I've had an amazingly, astoundingly, blessed life, and check out the latest updates to my year-long Learning project.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

I'm on my way out to the art store to get a new Rapidograph {or its like}, since my old one is all dry. I was explaining to my husband how I need to take the pen apart, run it under hot water while keeping a careful eye out for any teeny parts that might end up down the drain, and hope that would do the trick. If not, I'd need to run out and go shopping for a new one. He said to buy a couple of spares first so that I could get started as soon as I got home, and clean the old pen later; and then he said, very seriously: "The quality or availability of your art supplies should not be keeping you from making good art. Go out and get your pens." Well, of course. This is why he is the entrepeneur extraordinaire; I would have spent half the night trying to clean out an ancient pen or seeing what markers I had that might pass muster, instead of doing it right the first time. I can picture a split-screen in my mind: on the left, frustrated and ink-splattered Elena is washing out a pen with a 000 nib to no avail. Then she runsrunsruns around the studio, trying out markers, desperately wanting them to be waterproof, knowing they weren't last night but hoping something magical happened between then and now that will make them work this time. At 9pm, she runs to the art store and is too tired to do any work when she gets back..... On the right side of the screen: Elena, happily drinking tea and with The Simpsons on in the background {don't laugh — this is how I work}, is inking and painting up a storm. Her biggest problem is remembering not to dunk the brush in the tea. Of course he's right; I just was {wrongly} obsessed with the idea of cleaning my pen rather than actually doing work. I could choose the right side of the screen every time if only I would plan a little.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Question: why is it that when I have the time {i.e., 3 days off from work}, I'm so darn exhausted that all I want to do is sleep? I had all these great things planned and the only thing I painted was the living room! I wanted to be watercolouring, paint flying everywhere, and all I really got good at was falling asleep in mid-read. Darn. I had this total craving for scones, looked up recipes, got all the ingredients out on the counter, and then realized I was too tired to follow through and make them, so I put everything away and took a nap. Darn. It's not like this weekend was a waste, I just wish I felt better and stronger and had gotten done what I set out to do. If I don't have the energy on a 3-day weekend; how am I s'posed to have the energy after a full day at work? {sigh.} At least I didn't say any of the forbidden words....
How's this for interesting? Someone left a little doll dressed as Little Red Riding Hood sitting in our front garden! Heidi just said it wasn't her, so we're not sure how she got there. Hmmmm.... Saw the new Star Wars movie; Yoda's kick-butt maneuvers made up for the boring and tepid love story. The whole audience was cheering and screaming for him. I just wanna know one thing: who was doing Amidala's hair when she was away from all her attendants and on Tatooine? R2?

Monday, May 27, 2002

In just a few minutes we're on our way out the door to watch the Memorial Day parade. We're lucky enough to be right off the main street in town, so all we have to do is wander down to the end with a cup of coffee and go hang out until we see the first marchers approaching. There's something so special and sweet about a town parade; it's not perfect and polished, but you do get to see the girl scouts and boy scouts and the high school band, and anyone who has an interesting or antique car, and the first aid squad, and the snow plows {they always get huge applause}. We shout and clap and wave to the firemen and policemen, and Paul's students, and everyone who's been practicing their instruments for just such an occasion. Then you head on home, chatting to your neighbors who are wheeling their kids behind them in a little wagon, and contemplate what you're going to do with the rest of your day. And today, especially, you're a little more contemplative.

Friday, May 24, 2002

I need:
  • to do some serious painting this weekend
  • to play outside with my husband
  • to eat large quantities of strawberries
  • to not use the following words: powerpoint, template, interface
  • to not wear shoes
  • to dance around to James Brown
  • to do some chalking
  • to read my big bunch of library books
  • to nap
  • I also need to do laundry, paint the living room, and help get ready for recitals, but I'm sure I can squish them in somewhere between strawberry-eating and James Brown.

    Thursday, May 23, 2002

    Nice news all over the place: today's the debut of my new faery skirt! Unfortunately, nobody in the office seems to have brought their digital cameras so the fashion show will just hafta wait for another day. On the homefront: everything is all planted, and a family of housefinches is building a nest in one of the geranium hanging baskets on our porch. This will be the third or fourth year they've done this; it's a little hard on the geranium but they're quite adorable — we call them "the peeps" because you can always hear when the babies are hungry! Did I mention that at the park there are 16 baby ducklings and 4 goslings? Darnit, they're cute. And after work today, Krystyna and I have a date to go out for gelato. I am SO ready for summer. linkage for a happy day: Spend some musical time here and with your headphones on. Some extremely dedicated fans with way too much time on their hands assembled a list of every wacky little Beatles anomaly you can think of. Example: in "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" George and John substitute their own lyrics; when Paul sings "Desmond lets the children lend a hand", George yells out, "Foot!" while John calls out, "Arm!"

    Wednesday, May 22, 2002

    And now, in the careful what you wish for department: I said yesterday I couldn't think of anything to be fearless about. Now there are terror warnings for NY for this weekend, and I have to give a presentation in NY on Friday morning. I'm not overly thrilled about this. It's not that I think an office building would be any kind of target, it's the Holland Tunnel that I'm a little concerned about. I'll be fine, I just don't have to like it. I've been very satisfied with the level of work I've been getting done, both at work and in personal projects. Sometimes it seems that you trudge along and are working on the same thing forever and ever and ever; but I'm finally seeing real progress in a lot of my work. My skirt of fairy material is just waiting to be hemmed, I'll probably be doing the final cover painting for the Harmonytryx CD this weekend, and most of my garden is all planted. At work I'm doing projects that require my design perspective and it's fun coming up with new solutions. I bought a journal just for work and it's been helping me keep all my sketches in one place.

    Tuesday, May 21, 2002

    There's been a whole lot of planting going on... finally, the garden beds have been made up and the seeds are in! We planted tomato and basil plants, and pumpkins, gourds, zucchini, spinach, and sweet peas from seed. I've been soaking morning glory seeds and will be planting those today; we have a lamppost outside that it'll look lovely twined around. There's something wonderful about staring at these beds of dirt that hold the promise of things to come. Last night was Movie Night at work, we watched Strictly Ballroom {my pick!} and afterwards, I gave my co-workers a cha-cha lesson. I was told to go home and brush up for another one, so today it'll be the rhumba. The theme of the movie: A vivir con miedo es como a vivir medias {A life lived in fear is half-lived}. I'm trying to think of something fearless I can do today, but nothing comes to mind... I guess I'll just have a fearless attitude and see what comes my way.

    Saturday, May 18, 2002

    a thought for today... If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring. He sends you a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He listens. He can live anywhere in the universe, but He chose ... your heart. God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. ~ from the Postcard Fairy board, posted by Trish ps ~ I could use a little light for the way right about now.

    Friday, May 17, 2002

    The stupidest darn things are making me get weepy: Ernie on Sesame Street this morning singing "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon;" a retrospective on Princess Grace, one of Paul's students playing "Good Night My Angel"; and something so stupid I heard on the radio that I don't even remember what it was. I don't get it.... chalk it up to the 75-degree, incredibly rainy weather. On the artsy side: delivering sketches for that CD cover today... it's gonna be a really fun project. Actually, there's a very slight possibility that I'm singing somewhere on this CD too, but regardless, I'm really excited about being a part of it.

    Thursday, May 16, 2002

    A ladybug landed on my butt today. That's the whole story. We laughed about it at work, saying that it sounded like the first line of a Shel Silverstein poem. No, I didn't sit on it; we thought it was some very scary-looking spot on my khakhis until I reached down and it climbed onto my fingers and flew away. Apparently my behind makes a more than ample landing strip when you're a ladybug. I hear that having a ladybug land on you is good luck; I guess it doesn't really matter where it lands. Anyone who wants to write me a ladybug poem is encouraged to send it to me here. Woo hoo! Now that my comments are back up, feel free to leave a poem there if the mood strikes.

    Wednesday, May 15, 2002

    From the french toast girl journal...{the real one, it's leather-bound and looks like Indiana Jones's dad's Grail diary; a mixture of sketches and thoughts} This is exactly what my hair looks like with 100% humidity. You who know me know this look and know it well. The next day was really windy, so by comparison I had to draw my hairstyle for the day: The note accompanying it says, "kinda like the Princess Leia look only with aqua beads in my hair too." Today: it's tied back in a ponytail with two blue beads, one at the base of my neck and another 2 inches down. Brandy wore her hair last night that way on Moesha, and of course, it looks 9 zillion times better on her but at least it's out of my face. More about my love/hate relationship with my hair can be found here.
    6 random things about me:
    1. I think that the bass guitar on "Band on the Run" is flat. I just listened to it with the bass cranked up, which leads me to believe that either they tweaked it for the digitally remastered version, or the speakers of every system I've ever heard it through in the past are faulty. Maybe it was really humid when they recorded it.
    2. The quickest way to annoy the graphic snob in me is to use the inch mark instead of proper curly quotes. {note: this doesn't count for web pages, just printed material.}
    3. The quickest way to my graphic snob's heart is to use ligatures. {sigh.} I've never forgiven Quark for not enabling them for the PC.
    4. If I had a theme song, it would be "Bein' Green", with Stevie Wonder singing "Hold On to Your Dream" in a close second.
    5. I have relative pitch and can hum middle C before playing it on the piano 95% percent of the time.

    Tuesday, May 14, 2002

    Tonight the plan is to actually work on new projects! In the works:
  • a CD cover for an incredibly talented a cappella group some of you might have heard of {who I used to sing with...}. Painting for yourself is all very well and good, but it's nice to do it for a reason.
  • a family portrait of three very sweet little girls
  • another CD cover that's for a contest; I won't win, but it'll be fun to do it anyway
  • my online artshow showcasing talented creators from all over, which I plan to get together this summer... I am writing up the specs now and will send them out just as soon as my email will allow {it's being mischevious again!}
  • redesigning my website... frenchtoastgirl is getting a major overhaul for its 3rd birthday this July! Somewhere in the midst of all this will be me, perched in my Tower Room of a studio, surrounded by paper and brushes and markers and glitter and loving it all...
  • Monday, May 13, 2002

    Today's entry starts with a song {sung to the tune of "La Cucaracha"}: I got a Hand-spring! I got a Hand-spring! La la la la la la la.... To help me in the almighty pursuit of organization, I now am the proud owner of a Handspring Visor Neo. It's smoke-colored. It's see-through. It lights up at night so that when inspiration strikes me at 2am, I can scribble down my ideas without getting out of bed {already done this} or waking up my hubby. This is part one of the great plan {see 4/9} to sell my artwork: get organized. I have a list of promotional websites, a big to do list, and my little address book, and it's all right there in the palm of my hand. cool programs: Sketch Pad lets you sketch and doodle right on the screen! Ebony/Ivory plays the piano on your Hanspring or Palm. Lists one of its uses as "impressing young children." Ring tones changes your alarm to Beatles songs or the highly coveted Inspector Gadget theme song {my personal fave}.

    Friday, May 10, 2002

    Artgirl to the rescue! Friendly neighborhood artgirl uses the color wheel of goodness to cut looming projects down to size. Although her ponytails have been registered as lethal weapons, she prefers to kill with kindness. Secret identity: mild-mannered chalk-carrying, magic-wand-toting Art Director Élena. linkage: Get yer own Superhero here Check out my company's Justice League

    Monday, May 06, 2002

    This weekend I painted a lot, did some walking, helped with a downtown street fair, knitted, met a baby rabbit in the park by being verrrrrrry quiet, and planted a mini herb spiral. {I learned about it from Loobylu.} Mine is much smaller, about 3 feet across, and I only have three types of herbs planted in it so far, but darnit, it looks neat when you get the aerial view from the porch. Paul and I had fun planning out the rest of the garden, which should come into being any day now. This year, as we have more garden space, Paul is finally going to get his sincere pumpkin patch. linkage: I found this guide to making your own "do-it-yourself beauty solutions." The leave-in conditioner for dry hair requires a handful each of rosemary and mint... which I just happen to have in my little herb spiral. Neato. ps: we had to skip the bike ride, as Paul was sick. This means I'm lame, but I had an excuse.

    Friday, May 03, 2002

    I had a dream last night that I was doing the Farmlands Flat Tour {it's tomorrow}. I was taking a break, all sweaty and disheveled and staggering in, while a group of female athletes breezed in, not even breaking a sweat, and laughed at me as they flipped back their perfect ponytails and drank their designer Gatorade. Then they hopped on their bikes and left me in the dust. Can we tell I'm a little overwhelmed by this bike ride? I'm not overweight, but I am woefully out of practice. Paul said we can do the 20 miles at a nice slow pace and take lots of breaks. It's going to take us all day at my pace, but I'm glad he's so supportive. And I really, really need to do this. Really. Maybe I'll bring the camera so I can take pictures of me and all the horses I hope we're going to cycle past.

    Thursday, May 02, 2002

    I believe in little things That you can hardly see Like honeycomb and spider webs and starfish in the sea. I believe in little things Like icy drops of rain That melt into the morning mist When winds are warm again. I believe in little things Like colors in the sky And noticing the waves roll in And how the flowers die. Knowing they'll be back again Whenever it's July. I believe in little things Like you and me, And just how big Little things can be. ~ Joe Raposo, "Little Things" {one of my favorite Sesame Street songs}

    Wednesday, May 01, 2002

    I got up extra-early this morning and DID YOGA! Finally! I used to do this program but since September 11th, this was the first time I've even been able to get that station in. All I would watch on that channel was the yoga show, and reruns of Touched by an Angel and Eight is Enough, but darnit, it's still nice to have it back. Every time I passed that channel and got a wall of static it was another reminder of how much things changed. So how do I feel? Sore. But you can betcha I'll be setting the alarm early tomorrow morning too. This brings up a question I asked myself in my journal last week: Why do I keep putting off things I know would be good for me {and that I love}? Like Yoga? How long is it going to take me to sign up for a class again? And why? Why have I still not joined my town's Art Association? Why is my bicycle all tuned up and yet I haven't ridden it this year, except home from the shop? Why is it that I have a gazillion and one great and creative ideas, but I'm too tired to do even a percentage of them?