Sunday, June 15, 2008

Free graph paper

I like graph paper. And I use it, even though I'm not an engineer. I use it to keep my designs neatly lined up, for pattern making, for proportional art, and to hypnotize myself (just kidding). And I don't like to pay for it! For those of you who need graph paper and don't want to buy, provides a free graph paper generator. Choose your style (axonometric perspective, multi-weight, dots, circular hex, asymmetric, and many others, including various specialty papers), choose your parameters (size of printed sheet, line weight, line color), and there you have it. Find it here. Exactly the paper you need, free for nothing! I love that!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Visual Thesaurus

This tool is extraordinary, remarkable, phenomenal, bonzer!

I used the free version so very much that I bought a subscription last year for my sister, who enjoys not only the word maps, but the written columns, community word lists, interviews, and blogs du jour. They even offer a 14-day free trial. I think I'll treat myself to a subscription as well. The online version is inexpensive ($19.95, a bargain!) and in case you have always wanted to know how to correctly pronounce Weltanschauung, you have the option of listening to an American English or a British English accent. Have fun!

"Image from the Visual Thesaurus, Copyright ©1998-2008 Thinkmap, Inc. All rights reserved."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Flying Deth

Remember the offbeat girlfriend of my coworker's son who claimed the furniture? Well, she takes trapeze lessons and was recently in an exhibition. She would have caught the bar on the way back after she completed her trick... if they had told her they would send it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Museum of Lost Wonder

Ok. I need to share this! My sister gave me this book as a gift, and it is the absolute coolest book I have ever owned. And I have owned a lot of books!

Let me explain this to you. Imagine a non-linear book with gorgeous layout, comprising bits and pieces of information regarding science, mysticism, philosophy, architecture, metaphysics, personal growth, and much more, all written in a whimsical, Santa Cruz, psycho-spiritual style. But wait. There's more! This incredible book includes numerous models that the reader can build to expand one's ways of thinking. Jeff Hoke did a great job with this. It makes me so happy!

But be forewarned -- the book will not make sense if you attempt to read it from front to back. If you pick it up now and again and let yourself imagine you are in a museum, you will fall in love with it. I recommend this book to anyone who appreciates a well-written book, enjoys beauty, likes to build, or wants to learn... about anything!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Everyone does not need someone

One of the stories I was forced to endure at my parent's anniversary party was about Love. I capitalize because I need to in this case. This is really bothering me! Here's what happened:

I was attempting to clean up the room where the desserts were being served since it was almost time for guests to leave, and I didn't think anyone was in there. I was cornered by someone and was asked about MB and what was going on with him and what does he do for work and how did you meet again and blah blah blah. And then this person said something to the effect of "It's so great that you met someone because everyone needs someone and anyone who claims they don't is denying their own happiness and indeed very own existence and don't you look nice together and where is it going" and a bunch of crap statements and questions that I wasn't crazy about.

What was even more uncomfortable is that this person has known me for years since my marriage 10 years ago (now ex-marriage for over 7 years) and it was as if they wanted me to compare. I did no such thing since that is certainly none of anyone's business!!! I disagree with the whole "everyone needs someone" thing anyway because there are times when it's not at all good to be with someone; in fact, during those times it is very much better to be alone completely. Anyone who has been in a bad relationship or in a sad time knows this very well. When a person is ready for a relationship and they have figured out what they want, they meet someone and things fall into place. Timing is everything! I really believe that. It sounds a little like magic, but it happens to people all the time, not just with love, but with jobs, grades, relationships with friends, and lots of other things.

I felt like it was bad manners to disagree too much at my parents' party (felt foolish afterward for not cutting off that person's jabbering politely with something honest but clever) and I kept trying to slide toward the door and finally got out of there and escaped to the living room where MB sat in my mom's chair. Phew! Thank goodness that was over. I avoided that person the rest of the time they were around.

At dinner this weekend with MB I guess he thought I seemed down (I wasn't, I was just hot and hungry) and he asked if anything was wrong. One convo led to another and I asked him at my mom's behest if he had been cornered and grilled by anyone as I had been because then she would have to kick some major butt. When I had told her about the "Cake-Room Incident", she was really pissed off and even gasped and wanted to know right away if the same thing happened to MB. He said "no", thankfully. "Why do you ask?" I explained what went down and that it was bullshit and that a friend from work felt the same way as I did and so did my mom, expecting he would say the same. But he said nothing, not even "mm-hmm". It was one of those awkward moments in time where all you can hear are crickets. So I kind of got upset without meaning to because OMG, he clearly doesn't agree with me on this very important issue!!!??? It felt weird.

Anyway, next day and I'm still thinking about MB not saying anything. Sigh. His ability to verbalize is something I find attractive, and to not get any kind of answer from him leaves me in the lurch. I'm debating asking him about it, but maybe it's nothing. Maybe he doesn't agree with either point of view. Would that be better or worse?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

40 years together

So it was my parents' 40th anniversary today and they held an amazing open house. Me and MB served the hot hors d'œuvres and we were a good team! It was about 35 of my parents' closest friends and I was forced to listen to some pretty boring stories. But I was a good sport and so was MB, although at the end he nearly fell asleep in my mom's favorite chair.

They bought one of those photo cakes which was beautiful and they also made a life-sized standing cardboard cutout of them the day they got married. I guess you can do it yourself with special software. Food was yummy, however there were a few stragglers toward the end, which made it awkward to clean up around them. But we managed. All in all, it was a successful party. Here's to my parents and more years of love!

The Crafty Chica

Crafty Chica is a place I go when I am looking for a quick, cheap, interesting project. I have been checking out Kathy Cano-Murillo's site for years, and I find her a real inspiration. She has worked her magic from not enjoying crafts at all to a home art business to writing a newspaper craft column (now syndicated) to selling her stuff on the road to publishing craft books to videos on the DIY channel to a coming out with a product line of her own (happening this very month)! Read about her and see her project archives on her website. She also has a blog. She is a genuinely cool person, with genuinely cool ideas! You are bound to find something great to make as soon as you check her out.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Out of my life...

... and to a good home!

So I found the perfect couple to take some of the old furniture I had laying around. They are young, first apartment, totally adorable... offbeat and cool and funky. And they liked the furniture! I had felt a little sad after seeing my dad break down one of the old bureaus that belonged to his parents (I think he did too), but we did it together and it was ok. The thought of doing that to more pieces kind of hurt. But then a coworker's kid and girlfriend moved in together, and et voilà! They actually liked these items! Having them go to a good home was actually better than selling them to a stranger... even if I didn't end up with cash. But I did end up with space and a happy heart.

They took: 2 small black Formica tables, a pointy corner bookcase made by my grandpa (I remember arguing with my parents about keeping it -- they were right, I ended up getting rid of it), a heavy dark bureau with interesting hardware and front ( I think he made this too. I liked it, but it was not at all my style), a table that flips into a larger one, and a small console table. Big surprise to me that they didn't want either coffee table or chairs, but no prob. My coworker fell in love with the matching 9 x 13" pink and cream rugs and took them. I have been trying and trying to get rid of these things, and this makes me so very happy. Especially since I will be staying at her cabin up north for a week on vacation and she didn't want to take anything for it. Funny thing, too. As they were leaving, I randomly asked if by any chance they needed an easel -- I had bought a stick easel years ago for art presentation, and it's the wrong color for my place and doesn't fit anywhere, but I had become attached to it. My coworker's son stared at me for a minute, then looked at his girlfriend and his mom, and I thought I had said something wrong. Turns out they had asked his mom right before they left if she had one. Of course she said no. And they come over here and I offer them one. Timing really is everything. Everyone wins! And the good karma keeps flowing. Ahh, happiness prevails.