Saturday, February 21, 2009

E-mail jungle

I'm changing cable providers, which means that I have to change my personal e-mail address, the one I've used for over ten years. How frustrating.

Which means that I also had to change the e-mail address here at blogger. But I can't use my new gmail address on my Google-Blogger account. Likely because if Google crashes, they can reach me at a backup contact. Safe, but odd.

So, I have been crafting, but life hiccups have kept me from crafting as much. More content soon. After I switch out all of the other e-mail addresses.

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 05, 2008

CMP ATC JUL/AUG - Here to There

In the span of a week, my church went from fine as it ever was to submerged under seven feet of water at street level (and more in the basement) to filled with residual silt, slime, and flood crud. Not the happy life-giving silt of the ancient Nile, but waters filled with manure, fertilizer, overturned Dumpsters, street oils, boathouse fuels, bird seed, bacteria, anything caught in the path of the powerful river waters.

Our church basement and adjoining office and preschool buildings had to be gutted to the studs. Nearly all papers were unsalvageable. Metal items and plastics without crevices could be cleaned, but porcelain, fabrics, wood, plaster, anything absorbent had to be thrown out.

The sanctuary needed only plaster removed about a foot high, around the lowest parts of the sanctuary.

We had over 200 people from 29 different groups work over 1600 man-hours to get the wet stuff out to the curbs and prepare for the professional drying and biocide.

And now we wait for a plan, for funding, not knowing if our dwindling congregation can afford to stay in this location.

This ATC represents the Creative Mom Podcast theme Here to There (to Where?) as a journey through time at a fixed location. Meanwhile, our congregation has travelled from here to "there," meeting with another congregation across the river.

I also used this card for the Project Spectrum project. I had another project in mind, but didn't finish in time, so I sent these instead. I admit it doesn't use the colors of purple, blue, and black, but it is a testament to the awesome power of water on the move. One building out of nine miles around here and across the Midwest this summer, and now into fall, the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, too, are again hit by the force of water.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Still on the planet

I'm still here. I'm in one of the many area that flooded this spring. Other activities and people need my attention. I'm still making art, and still reading any comments posted. Go ahead and ask any questions about any of my projects.

Project Basement is also stalled. But I can show photos of my church basement...

Christmas 2003 - my church basement, called Fellowship Hall. Serving windows to the kitchen. Serving table that is actually a sewing / cutting table. IN door is propped open. Entry to the kitchen is on the far left.

The flood crested on a Friday in June - this was taken by a church member on the following Tuesday, the first day that property owners were allowed back into this neighborhood to inspect properties.

The reflection under the windows shows that the waters are still receding. Water escaped through the boiler room drain and down five sinks and two toilets in the basement. But once the water was lower than the toilets, the boiler room drain alone had to remove the rest of the waters.

The water went to 11' 11" from the basement floor, and around 7' from ground level. This is not a broken pipe kind of flooding. This was fast moving waters, stirring up everything. It was polluted with gasoline and oil, sheep waste, Dumpster(TM) debris, fertilizers. It ate the varnish off of the wood finishes. I'm told that at a local cultural museum, it at the paint off the lower half of a portrait, down to blank white canvas, but the upper half looks fine.

The acoustic ceiling tiles disintegrated into blobs of ick, but the frame remained intact.

IN and OUT doors are closed. Drinking fountain has been forced from its usual position.

The wallpaper has an eerie - cool texture. The wallpaper wrinkled, then the silt and slime settled on the ridges as the water slowly receded, creating highlights that resemble shadows. Fascinating, once one is detached from the emotions of loss and of memory.

Slightly different photo angle, same serving window wall. Gone is the wallpaper, the drywall, the sinks, the cabinets, the phone, the dishes and silverware, the refrigerators. No more ceiling tiles or frame, ceiling lights or wires. It is a very solid building, built in 1915, and has a beauty of brick and wood to it. It was well designed for use of space and well constructed.

We did the demolition with over 200 volunteers representing over 25 groups for more than 1600 work-hours. Then we hired out the dehumidifying and the biocide, so also gone by this stage should be the excess moisture, the mold the spores, and the bacteria.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day Countdown

Once again, quickly, go visit Lisa Volrath at Go Make Something, for her Valentines Day free images. She makes great pieces for collage. And since Valentine's Day was yesterday, go quickly before they disappear.

In other news, the basement has stalled while the rest of the house gets some attention, we get lots of snow, CHG takes ill and gets some attention, and other life bits.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wii did it!

One master goal for 2008 has been accomplished.

"Wii" have set up the Wii Nintendo game system. In the basement. Without a lot of stuff in the way.

At least in that corner of the basement.

I still have boxes and totes in the garage, stacked two units high, covering one shower curtain and one tablecloth. It's more than I need, but I have to weed out the chaff from the wheat.

CHG fetched two more shelving units for me today while I was doing other errands. Same store as in years past, same brand and style, but these are 48 inches across (122 cm) instead of 36 inches (91 cm) like our other eight units. These shelves are intended to hold my hanging files for reference materials and art supplies. These can hold file boxes three abreast instead of two with an unusable gap. I am pleased. They are already assembled and holding enough staged material that I was able to put the couch where it should be. Huzzah!

Still a lot more to process, but this is a milestone for the family.

-- Heidi

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Basement Translation Day

E-mail entry, second try...

Today [Thursday] was Basement Translation Day, in the mathematical sense of sliding something at an angle, without rotation. CHG and I move the bar from the corner of the Craft Zone to around the support post. I think this will work.

Ganoush is eager to get barstools or tall chairs, like at Goof's house. Gonzo was delighted at the open space, then rudely disappointed that the Wii isn't ready yet. We have a goal of Saturday night.

A big mess of stuff is in the garage tonight, which allowed translation to happen. I have extension from CHG to Saturday night to get a car back into the garage. Tomorrow I need to move back the stuff that was in the way of the bar, then prepare a path to move the TV and couch to the desired locations. Then I can concentrate on the Craft Zone and the Art section. I know that all in the garage will not fit. It will still need to be filed, culled, recycled, donated, and all. Still too much
ephemera. Too many possibilities.

I listed categories in my journal, ways that I want my stuff grouped. I came up with at least eleven: cross-stitch, rubber stamping, cards, ATCs, scrapbooking, paper making, yarn-knitting, beads, hot glue, props making, basic supplies, sewing-quilting. Plus the reference files, the collage files, the art bits files, and the uncategorized photos of 14 years (pre-digital). And books for all of these topics.

-- Heidi

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Basement East Air

Basement East Air
Originally uploaded by Heidicrafts.
My design program, Punch! 5 in 1 Home has both a walkthrough and a helicopter view. These highlight the corners of the main part of the basement. The red and purple post in the center is a support pole. The two doorways are to stairs and laundry.

Lots of shelving for my Craft Zone. I think I'll only have to buy one unit, and even then, I'll hold off until I get stuff rearranged.

Thursday is set to be the Grand Shift. I'll move a bunch of unprocessed boxes and gatherings out to the garage to spend the night. Then CHG and will rearrange the big pieces play with it for a while, and see if our design is livable. Once we're set, I'll start *properly* putting away what I'm sure will live where and start stacking up what is still to be processed, so the car can have the garage back.

That's the plan.

More design photos at Flickr.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ice and fire trees

Ice and fire trees
Originally uploaded by Heidicrafts.
The sun was captured beautifully in the ice that enveloped each branch. I'm down in the valley where two sledding hills meet.

Iced cherries

Iced cherries
Originally uploaded by Heidicrafts.
While the kids were sledding, I wandered the park looking for "cool" shots as the sun sank lower. I happened upon a cherry tree of some sorts. If' I'm wrong, please correct me.

Pop over to my Flickr account for more images.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Here's how it looks this midday.

Our house is between the left foreground tree limb and the limb across from the postal truck. Our outdoor car is through the downed limb branches and twigs.

I've helped pull four branches or limbs from the street onto curbs or yards. Ganoush, Skunk, and I were outside when we heard the tell-tale crack and saw a limb fall at the white house on the right, down by the curb.

Click to make the photos bigger.

What is falling is rain, but it freezes on contact, so everything is icicles. We had a brief spell of ice pellets, but now we are back to rain.

Icicles on the clotheslines.

Ice on the trees and icicles on the power lines leading to the house. We just learned from CHG last night that there are two insulated wires and one uninsulated neutral wire.

CHG noticed intermittent flickers on the basement lights and his PC since the installation of the generator panel. We learned yesterday afternoon from our electrician that he found the cause - the neutral wire to that circuit breaker was touching the screw but wasn't actually clamped under the screw as it should have been to make a connection.

So last night, CHG explained to us how the power is carried along the wires. I can't explain it here. I didn't learn it that well.

Ice encasing the bushes at our neighbor's yard.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Brownie ceramics

Ganoush and I went to the local high school for a Brownie activity of glazing ceramics for only $5 per item. The Brownie leader works at Local HS and worked with the art teacher for this opportunity which is much cheaper than the ceramics place we have been to twice in November.

Ganoush painted a plate (excerpt at left) and I made a mug just for me (see below). She was told to write her troop number and name on the back of the plate. She chose to write both on the plate's large rim instead.

Ganoush jumped into the middle section, writing out the "green" letters in her message and pattern just by mental vision and without a guide on paper or plate. She made a mistake and got frustrated. The Brownie Event Leader and I both showed her that she could just wipe off the glaze and start again. We wrote out her message on a handy paper towel and assigned each letter a color according to her pattern.

Pencil marks on bisqueware disappear during firing, so any necessary guidelines can be drawn right on the piece. On my mug, you can see the R and W notes to myself for painting the handle in a Red and White candy cane stripe.When her guidelines ran off the plate center, I offered to make some letters for her if she wished. I rewrote C and KIES.

I wrapped my hand around the mug as if I was warming myself, then I traced my hand. If we had been at the usual, more expensive pottery shop, I could have written more in detail with their puffy paints. But that's the price I pay for spending only $5 instead of $18 per piece.

Ganoush wanted me to duplicate the rings on my own hand to the hand on the mug.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas Countdowns

Lisa Vollrath is again featuring her Christmas Countdown of free Ephemera sheets for digital or tactile art. All she asks for in exchange is a link on a blog or on an e-mail list, spreading the word.

Another artsy Advent calendar offers a crocheting pattern every day, here.

Lots of crafts goodness and more in Advent Calendar form from Homeschooling.about is here.

A Google search for Christmas Calendar provides myriad of options. I like the Bach calendar.

And here is a guide you can alter to make your own.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Kid ceramics

When I made the bulb ornament, the kids each painted a ceramic or two as well. Ganoush made these for Goof and Aunt Equestrian. I can show them, now that the gifts have been given.

Here is the horse for Aunt Equestrian.

The dolphin for Uncle Goof. On the right are the three ornaments made by our tablemates, whose leftover glaze I used for the bulb ornament.

Goof is a Miami Dolphins fan, so Ganoush was deliberate in adding the orange streaks in the water. Goof noticed.

On Thanksgiving Eve Day, Ganoush asked for colored pencils and paper. I later saw her studying our family portrait from 2005 as she completed portraits for her aunt and uncle.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ceramic bulb ornament

I thought I had posted the "before" photos, well, before. Perhaps they are only on Flickr.

Here is a ceramic bulb I painted at a local pottery shop. It was spur of the moment at the end of the session, most to use up glazes left be my kids and the other family sharing the table. Before & after, obverse & reverse.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Feedback for knitted ATCs

I've been knitting some ATC-sized swatches. If you want, pop over here and leave me some feedback. At least one will go out in a swap through the Creative Mom Podcast.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Feeling much better - Crafty bread

Ganoush and I slept on separate couches in the living room last night. We both feel much better today. For safety of others, we skipped swimming today, though.

Instead, the kids begrudgingly did math and journaling. They finished in time for an art project that both kids embraced.

We took a loaf of bread that no one liked and had been ignored in the freezer for quite some time, and transformed it into ornaments in progress. Each kid had ten slices of bread to work with. As usual, I got the heels. I brought up my boxes of cookie cutters and we attacked the bread. Ganoush tried many shapes. She learned that intricate thin sections do not work with slices of bread. The profile of a reindeer was unidentifiable. Bolder shapes, like rockets, pine trees, bells, and snowpeople did much better.

Gonzo found two metal cookie cutters in the shape of wee gingerbread folk. He set out to make "my army of doomed minions." From his chatter, I believe that these creations are not destined for a tree but for some battlefield of ultimate destruction. Well, no one was going to eat the bread anyway.

Our (the ladies') intent is to let the pieces air dry for two days and then we will paint them with acrylic paints.

I also had time today, while the kids played LegosTM together, quietly (I know!), to tackle a box or two in the basement. I was able to talk with Margaret (who wants a better pseudonym) and redistribute three boxes worth of stuff into, or at least towards, their new Proper Destinations.

Monday, November 26, 2007


From the Creative Mom Podcast's CMP Circle's Haiku Monday:
Midnight "Gastro" girl
Six A M, it found me, too.
Helpful hubby home.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More textures, November 2004

Three more texture shots from the November 2004 folder:

My parents' piano. It was a hand-me-down from our church before I was born. An upright. When the house is ever sold (48 years with its first owner, my dad), the piano will go with the house, as it isn't coming up those basement stairs in a playable condition.

Pipes spotted on a field trip to the water treatment plant, preparing water for human consumption.

Ripple on the stream at yesterday's bridge site.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

November 2004 Nature Photos

Again with older photos, yet first time on the Internet. These are all from a nature park in November 2004.

Ringed side of a fallen tree, near the entrance of the park's learning center. It is secured from wiggles and kids are allowed to climb on it.

A fallen tree on the trail.

Milkweed explosion.

Many, many of my photos from this session have the wrong depth of field. My camera just doesn't grasp what I really want to focus on. Trade-off for a less expensive model.

The other good shot from this field, depth-wise.

Some sort of fungus on a fallen branch. Great colors and textures.

Little critter paths on fallen wood.

Intentional self-portrait from the bridge over the stream.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Way-back art

When I was in second grade, every now and then our teacher would select a story for publication. She would discuss with the author where the page breaks should be, then send the story off to a friend, who typed the story on onion paper. Then the author was allowed to *skip* a classroom assignment to do the coloring for each book page. Then the book was sent off again to be bound. The author provided the fabric for the book cover. When it was finished, the author had the option to have the book placed in the school library.

My book was called "My Trip to Marsasip." It started out being to Mars, but that seemed too... ordinary, compared to a fanciful unknown planet.

Here is my book cover. All of the patchwork is factory printed.

Here is the Date Due pocket. It was written in 1975. Many of the reader instances were me or my brother.

Here we see me and Koldy near the end of the book. He has wheels instead of feet and changes his colors and patterns constantly. Not only is that visually interesting, but it tosses continuity out the window. Important stuff to a nine-year-old.

This is towards the beginning of the story, packing in my bedroom.

This is my actual bedroom in 1975. Remember, America's bicentennial was approaching and I fully embraced the red, white, and blue theme.

Going around the room clockwise, there are my bracket shelves of knickknacks, the star-spangled bedspread, the USA curtains. My mom was a straight-line seamstress with her turquoise Viking sewing machine, but she did make these curtains.

Nice big area rug, forty-eight star American flag from my grandmother, antique school desk (my great-grandfather ran an antique shop), Dressy Bessy doll, Waffle Quilt stuffed dogs, fish mobile made from a punch-out fold-together cardstock kit-book.

My antique dresser and vanity set. I still use the dresser. The drawers are quite deep. The vanity is in my parents' basement. It became my computer desk in junior high, holding my TRS-80 Model I, Level 2, with cassette "drive." I still have those lamps, too.

The doll crib was an antique from the shop. The pegboard hold my orange AM radio, some glued-felt-on-masonite art of mine, and two embroidered samplers from my grandma.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Red Hat / Cow sushi plate

A sushi plate I painted/glazed for my mom in 2005. She likes cows and she is a Red Hat Lady.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Zut alors, il neige!

My title comes from my first-year French dialogs, meaning: Oh drat, it's snowing.

Snow on my wreath ($10 from my son and his Boy Scout Troop) at 4:00 this afternoon.

Same wreath at 7:30 this evening.

Another texture, snow on backyard leaves this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Textures: Bubbles on blue

Texture Bubbles on blue
Originally uploaded by Heidicrafts.
On my flickr stack, I have added a bunch of texture photos I took in 2004.

Pop on over to have a look.