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August 30, 2010

Busy busy busy

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted. Things at work are of course always busy. The co-op is changing, one of our members has moved to Florida, right near the beach! She's still part of us, but not physically present. We have some new consignment artists, and the ceramic artist and the glass artist are now sharing a space in the studio area on the first floor. It's really exciting.

Artwise, I am in the middle of sorting all, and I do mean all, of my "stuff". I will be moving some into an external storage room to share space with our household things (we don't have a basement in our townhouse). I'm donating supplies and books to several Goodwill's and Salvation Army's stores in the area. I'm not keeping things for the kinds of art I know I won't be doing. And all of my books will be in one place, sorted by topic. It's a mess right now in the middle of it, but it will be worth it when everything is done.

I'm also getting ready for my solo show at Strolling Village Artisans in two weeks. I'm done with the art quilts, and the fiber/fabric books but still working on several altered books. I need to write all the narrative that will be posted alongside the artwork. The show is titled "words + images - telling stories in mixed media art quilts and altered books" and it will have some of my earlier art quilts based on my poetry and fabric and altered books that I've done more recently. I'm excited but still have several books to finish. I also plan on having an interactive area where people can do collage in a large blank book I'll provide.

The two detail shots are from one of the fabric books.

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I was lucky to have my mom, two grandmothers, an aunt, several great aunts and assorted other female relatives around me when I was growing up.  Lots of love, lots of cooking, and stories...

I don't remember being born, although my mother, Rita Cintula Merges, told me about the problem pregnancy, with being rh negative and how tiny I was 3 lb 6 oz and being in an incubator for 6 weeks and how even when she brought me home all of her girlfriends, most of them mothers too, were afraid to hold me.

One time, trying to let her know I loved her even though I hadn't followed her rules or lived the way she lived, and feeling guilty for all that she gave me, I asked her to write a poem for my birthday present.  She did.

I am a december winter baby, born too early, afraid I won't live long enough to get done all that I want to do, and I miss my mom a lot.  I do know this:  my mother had courage, and strength, and the most wonderful ability to love and give and share, even though she never believed it...  I hope I am like her.

April 24, 2010

aggghhh technology warning cranky user rant ahead

technology.  bleah.  went to do a blog post and my blog was gone!  so I think I got in using one of my many google accounts - I have many emails depending on what I'm giving my email out for.  Who knows if I will every find my way back again?  by far my favorite site for e books.but  not since they got bought out by Barnes and Noble tho.  I am not happy with the fact that they are taking away many authors from ereader.  Even though I am supposed to be able to download any book from my bookshelf, and I've got over 600, guess what.  The authors that are gone?  I'm having problem after problem trying to get these books that I've bought and paid for.  And the customer support?  used to get a reply within 24 hours.  Now, I've been waiting a week.

This means that I am not going to be able to use my vintage but much loved Palm T3.  I did inherit a Blackberry Curve from my sister in law who got an Iphone.  So, I've spent time the last several days trying to see about transferring Palm data to the Blackberry.  the BB thing doesn't work at all.  So now I am supposed to somehow transfer to outlook and then to the Blackberry.  But I don't want to use the Blackberry calendar, I want to use Google Calendar so I can actually type stuff in on my laptop or desktop and not using that ridiculous Blackberry keyboard.  Stay tuned.  I'm going to sync my Palm T3 at home one more time, and go from there.

I am trying ereader for blackberry, we'll see how it goes.

So, I can get Docs to Go for BB.  Yes.  That will work well.  I cannot get anything like Passwords Plus, which I depend on heavily for keeping track of the myriads of website sign ons and passwords for work and for me. So  another problems.  At least Data Viz is giving me a discount on buying the version for the B Berry because I own the version for the Palm.

Now I have a lot of books that are in text format, worked great on the Palm.  Can't read them on the Blackberry, they won't paginate, have to now copy them to MS word and save as a word document.  And some of them have mysteriously gotten turned into white text onto a white screen.  Not sure how to fix that yet.  Am appalled at the amount of time it will take me to get my e books in readable format.

So now I am trying Barnes and Noble e book reader.  OK so far, even have some decent free e books.  But one book I wanted on was $25 there and only $9.99 on  Not right!  Owned by the same company, should be the same price.  I'm thinking they are trying to get rid of and make everyone do reader.  But, I don't really have a choice, so I'll use reader.  I will not buy a nook or a kindle.

Next, I email customer services at to see if there is any way I can import my ereader bookshelf into my bn bookshelf.  Three days and counting, no response.  Same owner, same e book format, you'd think they would already have an answer.

Finally, I go to Staples, for a bigger micro SD card for the blackberry. I know, it's an oxymoron.  Clerk says get the generic brand, cheaper than SanDisk which was $24.99, and just as good.  I pay approx $19 and change.  Go to WalMart, Find the SanDisk one for $14.88.  Buy that one.  Go back to Staples and return the one from there.  Tell clerk I need to buy the one at the best price.  Wonder what it was at Best Buy?  Oh well, different shopping plaza and I'm low on gas, so will stick with the WalMart one.

In between all this I made 12 little pincushions for the co op, and three scarves.  New work day is Apr 28.  Tomorrow will hand dye clothing and embellish clothing and finish up some ribbon scarves.  I'll try to have some pictures.  If I can find this blog again

April 10, 2010

I did it! We did it! Mozart's Requiem got sung!

The Rensselaer Festival Chorus performed tonight in the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center aka EMPAC.  And I was there!  A slightly crazy somewhat old lady alto.  Who had to sit and not stand because of my foot and knees and hips being in pain.

 We did several songs and then Mozart's Requiem.  When I first got the music it was like looking at some weird kind of computer language or something.  I was only going to listen at rehearsals, but got coaxed into singing.   I used to have a nice choral voice long long ago in high school, but don't really have much range anymore.

So I went to most of the rehearsals, to some of the alto sectionals, and got the cd from the library and listened to it over and over and over and over... drove my poor office colleagues nuts playing it all day long.

Eventually I learned some of it, and then a little more, and more... Something happened in rehearsals, and again tonight at the concert.  I got into the zone.  You know that zone when you are creating art and you are totally in the moment and focused on what you are doing and nothing else matters.  I didn't realize that could happen with music, too.

So for tonight, I am proud of myself for stretching my limits, for trying, and for succeeding.  Oh, there were more than a few wrong notes on my part, but overall I am very happy.  At the end I got tears in my eyes, and was sorry it was over. I think my dad, who sang with a Russian male chorus and was a cantor at church, would have been proud.  Keith, my dh came, and took this picture on his Blackberry:

If you look at the left most part of the cellos, then follow up to the music stand, I'm right behind the top left part of the stand, right next to the tenors.  In my black skirt and black shirt and pearls.  But no red lipstick  I wore a very nice tan shade.

It was great being with the students.  The conductor is a Rensselaer VP from the Hartford campus, and I enjoyed seeing his musical side.  Dr. Jackson attended, too.  The soloists and orchestra were from the Boston area, and were excellent.

We stopped at Price Chopper on the way home and got some groceries for a late night snack.  Tomorrow I am going to take down Easter decorations and put up Pink Flamingos, a la my sister in law Becky.

PS I still like Brahms Requiem better!

April 5, 2010

Just another crazy monday

had a crazy monday work day, but got lots done.  Spent tonight adding a few things to the etsy shop and watching Ghost Hunter and Criminal Minds, on ion tv.  We cut back to basic cable to save money, but found these two shows that we like. My vintage Palm Pilot is not recognizing all the books on my sd card so I am not able to finish the book I'm reading.  Not good, makes me cranky.

a few days ago my son and I took a drive to Thatcher Park.  Unfortunately the NY state government has decided to close state parks and historical sites to save money, and we wanted to see this park again before it closes.  In the past I've cross country skied there, gone to small fiber festivals, and hiked the trails.  It's part of the Helderberg Escarpment, and from the overlook you can see to MA VT and the Adirondacks. Some views:

Last time I went to the library, I stopped at a construction site because there were Aqua Pipes!  Altho I am not sure about the poor tree in front of them:

There were a lot of concrete things with holes in them, and I tried to take pictures from all different angles.  I really like this one and may try recreating it in fabric:

And this was a sign I saw on a small shop in Catskill, unfortunately closed.  I think this describes my life!

Welcome to my new Blog!

After a long time away from blogging, I've returned.  I moved from my previous blog to here, since it gives me more choices for displaying things.  

Spring is here, I've seen robins, and I've got the organizing urge.  I want to get all of my stuff in place by media.  So far, I've put all of my vintage books and inspiration books in one place, to use with collage. Next I sorted all my beads by color, in big boxes.  I want to put the sequins in there too. Then there's yarn, fabric, buttons, clippings, rubber stamps... I'll eventually get it done.

I've been experimenting with ideas for art quilts with knitting.  I joined an Inspiration Knitting Club, from the Canadian artist Jane Thornley:

I'm adapting her Feather n Fan Organic Wrap, with permission, to mini size, and will be using them I think, as seaweed.  These are white/off white, but I'll dye them before I stitch them on.

This  obsession with knitting is so fun - it relaxes me and I love the way that even knitting for only a few minutes at a time, riding in the car or on my lunch hour, gives results that I can see.  

I also finally finally got my etsy shop started, link to it is above.  I will be listing things over the next several weeks.  Now all i have to do is redo my website, which is actually almost done.  It will be freshened with a new template and new pictures.  Then I'll really feel accomplished!