Monday, September 21, 2015

Grandma Evelyn's birthday

Remembering my mother in law today. She would have been 100 today! She was pretty amazing. She had a garden until well into her nineties, complete with a 30 foot row of berries, a fig tree, 4 peach trees, a persimmon tree and a big old plum tree that was planted when they moved into the house in the 40's. She loved to hang her clothes on the line and did her dishes by hand.

 One of the things she loved doing was canning things. These were the last cherries she ever canned. They got eaten of course, they don't last forever, but she sure was proud of them. Berries, peaches and figs were mainly eaten raw or frozen. But the biggest majority of produce was given away. She told me that's the main reason to have a garden, to be able to share it. She and my dad had that in common. Always sharing.

Her yard was huge for a city yard. That last year, we grew tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans (several varieties) potatoes, zucchini and sunflowers. It wasn't a big garden that year, She knew she was "fading" and didn't want me to be doing a lot of work. But we had a lot of fun that summer, tending our little part of heaven.

I met my mother in law when I was about nine years old. Her son was the first boy I ever "liked" and I "carried a torch" for him for a lot of years. We dated awhile in high school, but ended up going our separate ways and marrying others. Thirty years later, we both ended up divorced and married each other.

She was way ahead of her time. As liberal as they come, we had some very interesting political discussions which were quite a challenge to this lifelong Republican. I could never be anything other than Pro LIFE.... but she helped change my mind about gay marriage. Her attitude was let them be whoever they are and don't try to dictate what they do. When you put it that way it doesn't make sense to try and oppose it. She had a gay cousin and was glad he was happy with his partner after he initially married and raised a family.

The last couple years were not pretty ones, as she had a dead hip bone and didn't want surgery. Eventually dementia claimed her, She was always wanting to help others though. She never thought of herself as old. Even after she was in a facility she wanted to make sure I gave away the persimmons and didn't let them rot.

Rest in peace, dear one. Thank you for a lot of great memories, and for loving me.
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Just something silly.

Something silly today. This is especially for Karen. Have fun.... it's from

Click to Mix and Solve

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Monday, September 7, 2015

single crochet afghan progress....

Today I crocheted a lot. I was just sitting here like a lump, so I figured I should get something done in the process.

I'm still kind of stumped by that Middle Bedroom.

So hopefully I can tackle it tomorrow with some boxes and a car to take whatever I can stand to over to Goodwill. I'm pretty discouraged about it... but.... My goal is to fill the car and the garbage can. More likely I will be able to tackle a couple boxes. Such pessimistic attitude...again hopefully, tomorrow will be better. Sigh.

Anyway here's a better shot of the afghan and I hope you can see the effect. It kind of looks like watercolor shades to me. I hope I still like it when I am done. One thing I did was stop rolling the yarn into big balls, I just attached a new skein when the old ran out. That way I don't have three changing colors at the same time.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

another new project? yup.

Haven't found those sock directions.... sigh I think I should rip them out and add them to this project. Then start over. Seriously.

This is a scrappy afghan. I went through all my scrappy yarn and tied it together, and rolled it up into big 3-strand balls. Then I chained a bunch (I estimated how much it would be on a twin size bed) and then single crocheted. I've done these before, they would be a good cozy donation afghan or maybe a grandchild might love it. Or I might love it.  Looking at the picture, you can tell I have really put myself into this project. My hair!!

Last time I made an afghan it got claimed by Max. He loves it. It now has a good home.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015


Sometimes I wish I still worked at the quilt shop. Or even if it was still there! Not that I need any more fabric, I don't. I won't for YEARS except then there's that project...

Somehow I have lost my social life. Since I moved here, any social life was connected to work. Now that I am not working, I rarely see anyone other than hubby! I enjoyed staying at my mom's and being around people. It made my return home harder. I love my hubby, but I need people-- and have to push myself OUT more.

I started a huge project, another big granny afghan. This time, its rectangular. It goes really quickly, and I've been taking it in the car so working on it in big blocks of time. I imagine it will still take me awhile. Still haven't found that sock pattern.

I downloaded a pattern for an American Girl doll, a sweater made of fingering yarn. All I could find was baby colors, so it's going to be pale green. I also had trouble finding size 2 needles. Haven't started it yet but it's all bagged up and ready to go.

Today I am going to get out all my yarn and make some decisions. There's not a ton of it, but downsizing has to continue.

Just rambling today.

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Monday, August 3, 2015


well. Life sidetracks us all the time, I guess. My mom has been in the hospital for a couple weeks... therefore, I am not creating much. I did make another infinity scarf and a potholder. Both are made out of cotton yarn that I bought because I liked the colors. With the potholder, I couldn't really remember the pattern, so  I started by chaining 35 and then it was too big so I ripped it out and did 25 and it was too small so I ripped it again.. I settled on 30 and then when it came time to fold it the other way I didn't like the way it looked so I just made it bigger and into a square. I thought it looked interesting this way. I don't really need another potholder but there it is. I made the other into an infinity scarf because I was wearing a shirt this yarn will match well. LOL.... I didn't know what I wanted to do but I wanted to have something to do when just sitting there either waiting for the doctor to come in or watching my mom sleeping. I couldn't concentrate much though. I kept thinking about how I lost my father just four months ago. and how often when couples are together so long the second one often dies just after the first one. I know my mom is grieving intensely... but I am not ready to lose her yet.

But Mom's better, she'll be out of the hospital on Friday, I will stay with her a few days and then hopefully home. It's crazy because time goes so slowly at the hospital but *poof* a whole month is just gone. And in the end, it is not in my power to keep my mom... she is after all 90. and we will just see what happens from here. Always I return to "one day at a time" because that is indeed all we have... and leave the rest to God.
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Being Orderly....

Haven't been creating, but working hard at Being Orderly. I've found some things I forgot all about and now are put somewhere they can be used, or put in the Out Pile. Or the garbage.

It's hard to just Throw Away, because I just might be able to use that for something. But I've come to the point, I've been able to be realistic about whether I  can really use it, or if I will, or if I could easily replace it if I let it go. It's been hard but I'm making good progress. Not ready to take pictures yet, but I am hopeful that I will get to that place.

Since I have two new little grandchildren coming by the end of the year, there are more blankets to be made. Initially I planned to make one quilt per grandchild. But everybody has gotten so many! I did make one for each of the first seven. For the last three, I made blankets, but easy ones. M. got a fleece blanket with fringe and dogs on it. J and J both got flannel ones. This next one is also going to get some flannel ones, C and L both liked them a lot. So good. The last one of the year is a GIRL!! My Other Daughter is in the process of adopting a girl too, so it will be good to have a couple of girls close to the same age in the family. And they both live in the same city!

And so tonight I count my blessings, Thankful for the ten sweet blessings that are here, remembering the ones we didn't get to keep (four miscarriages and one failed adoption), looking forward to the unborn ones.  Praying for them all.

This blog started as a place to just put pictures of what I'm doing. Well lately I haven't been doing a lot, but still feel the need to say something. I'll get back to the creating soon. :)  Being Orderly is really helping me get the inspiration spark going again.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf

I have officially finished three of these infinity scarves. I really like this for doing in the car. Not much thinking, just keep Calm and Crochet On.

We went to San Francisco yesterday, and finished a whole scarf coming and going. It was a lovely cool day there in comparison to what we were facing here... the forecast was 106. We wandered on Pier 39 and had lunch at Luigi's. Our favorite spot. We were thinking of going to Bubba Gump's but there was a 20 minute wait just to get inside! I had the Panzanella salad with chicken and hubby had pizza.

Bought a pretty pair of seahorse earrings and a purse. I admired the purse last time but didn't get it. It is a Nepalese Hobo purse. I held it up and hubby started singing "if you're going to San Francisco, you'd better wear a flower in your hair..."  Yah I guess he's right... but I really like it. It's fun to remember those days. I didn't smoke weed but I sure liked to dress the part back then. My hair was long and I wore long dresses and seed bead necklaces. I learned how to make daisy necklaces out of seed beads and friendship bracelets. My jeans had patches and I wore Birkenstocks for years. I didn't embrace the drugs part of it, and I showered and wore deodorant, LOL... but I guess I was a bit jealous of the freedom.

 I love the natural and casual look from back then. I am a country girl living in the city. I've been looking at the old peasant top patterns and actually thinking about making one. I have to decide if it is an acceptable look for this Old Lady.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Project List...

I have updated my "process" page to include a list of the projects that are current. I've been working hard to get all of my yarn projects actually  finished. So far so good. Of course I still have lots of yarn but I think I am down to two half projects!!

Anyway. A link to my page.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

alcohol inks and Michael Strong's stamp...

A tile trivet made with alcohol inks and Michael Strong's stamp... it is much prettier in person. I got these inks awhile ago but hadn't done much except just experiment with them. When I ran across this tile trivet, it reminded me of them. So I did it.

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Look who I found!!

They are hand made, wonderful-- Andy for $5 and Ann for only $2-- the only problem is that poor Annie has no clothes. However.... I made a set of these a long time ago, and still have the pattern. (McCall's 2531) AND I have a fabric stash. So she'll get some clothes.

Another project. WELLLLLL.... these will look really cute sitting in my teensy rocking chair. And my grandchildren will love them. And so will I.
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

what to do with what I make??

Many times, the reason I do crafts is for the PROCESS. Not because I need something, or anyone else needs anything. I need something to keep my fingers busy on long trips or I go slightly bonkers. I can't stand to just SIT here and watch television with hubby, but he doesn't like to watch alone, and besides, it hooks me in. So I might as well be prepared, and get something done. I love to knit, crochet, sew... the list is endless.  Right now, my focus is on the unfinished ones, but I have to find the instructions to finish the socks.

I've been thinking a lot about what to do about the things I finish. I have donated some of the hats and such, and helped finish some blankets for the Lodi Rag Quilters. It is good to be able to help others.

However. Not sure that infinity scarves and doilies and such are too practical for donation. LOL!!

I see things sold on Etsy.  Guess I should talk to someone about that. Or find a shop locally?

Hmmm and hmmm.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” 
― Henry Ford

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Grandma's Treasures (and more rambling!)

Learn How Book from 1941
from The Spool Cotton Company
Going through hubby's mom's stuff. We sold her house a few years ago, and he couldn't bear to go through the stuff until recently. I had seen this years ago, but it was packed in a box and I forgot all about it. I have a small later edition, but this one's from 1941. Not sure what I will do with it, but it's interesting to see what was fashionable to knit, crochet, tat, and embroider back in the 1940's. I tried to learn to tat a long time ago but wasn't particularly successful, but maybe I will try again someday. This doesn't take up too much room.

"This doesn't take up too much room." Now where have I heard that before? Nothing takes up too much room, does it? But each little thing all put together sure is overwhelming.

I got all my beading supplies together. There's a few more things I know I haven't seen for awhile so there's a few more things to come together. My daughter gave me an old CD bookcase sort of thing, and I had a few storage containers that fit there quite nicely. Now there's a few  floss containers,  with the floss I got from Loretta, combined with what I already had. Jewelry findings, beading cord, and beads round out the collection. There's two quart jars full of old and new buttons. The top shelf will hold my CD collection and a few books. On the top are my two clear sewing kits, one regular and one for doll clothes (it has teensy snaps and buttons as well as Velcro I have cut into teensy strips) I am quite pleased with the results. Now when I want to do some embroidery or bead work it is right there and handy and I don't have to spend half an hour looking for everything before I start. I ran across some hand made sculpey beads that I forgot I even made! The beads are a ragtag collection from old jewelry finds at thrift stores, as well as some seed beads, and even a few pony beads. My kids and craft students loved stringing them. I've also bought a few unique ones.
my "new" shelves

I am a collector. Mostly what I collect is small, fortunately! Some I have tried to collect, others just found me, like the old buttons. They are Mom's, and Grandma's, and Loretta's, and mine. As well as a few bags of buttons I have gotten... you guessed it, at thrift stores, or taken off of old clothes.

My attention span is not too long. I love trying new things. The best times were when I could pass on what I learned to my students. Maybe what I should do is figure out how I could teach again, maybe even volunteering somewhere. Other than that, I am just going to celebrate what I am, with a little emphasis on Finishing What You Start. So far I am not finding any other Un Finished Projects, but (sigh) I haven't gotten to the quilting ones yet... I know there's a Joel quilt unfinished and a James one Purchased But Not Started. And a purse all cut out, well, two of them. and a few baby blankets that are Mostly Done. A couple not yet cut out, and a couple with fabric purchased but not cut out. I started a wall hanging for a friend when I was living with Grandma, but when I moved it disappeared. {{ note from 6/27 FOUND IT!!!}}I bought a pattern for one for my brother, but I haven't even started it.


No wonder I can't figure out what My Focus for this blog is. What is my Focus for Life, LOL?
Things really ARE coming together; it just seems so slow.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Left Handed Crochet and Rambling on about blogging.

I've been reading Jill's blog. She has a section, 30 Lessons in Blogging. One of the things she says is to find your focus. Well. I took a look at my blog to see if I could find a focus. My focus changes drastically. I tend to stick to one thing for awhile then switch. I get bored doing the same thing all the time. So I just might keep the blog Just For Me. Time will tell.

I was looking at my "tag cloud" and saw that ART JOURNAL is the biggest one, meaning that's the one that had the most posts. But I haven't done a page in awhile. Recently my focus has been finishing UFO's and I always immediately finish my art journal pages. So nothing to finish. I decided to focus on yarn projects. I didn't have too many of them, fortunately, and right now I'm down to 2 unfinished ones. I have to find the instructions before I can do that. So I have allowed myself to start new ones, as long as I finish the one I'm working on. So far so good.

 I've been decluttering EVERYTHING.

That said, I have not gotten rid of any yarn. In fact, I just acquired some more. I've been wanting to make a big afghan, big enough to use as a blanket for my bed. I saw some lovely yarn "on sale" so I had to get it. I don't know if it will end up as my blanket. It is not enough for a whole blanket, however. I have other yarn that I was thinking about using with it. I am hoping for a lovely blue blanket.

 I would love to do it in cotton, but I've been reading about how heavy that could be so I'm not sure.  If I had a lot of readers, LOL, I would ask their opinion.

Anyway. I started out crocheting with cotton, just straight double crochet, thinking I would make a blanket for a doll for practice. I am having a LOT of trouble keeping the edge straight. One side was perfect and the other wonky. So I watched some tutorials on double crochet, especially for left handers. It was strange, because the first one I watched only did two rows so there was no instruction for crocheting in the turning chain! But I found one, from Leisure Arts; Left Handed Double Crochet. I am just going to watch it over and over, and even crochet with it. I would rather work with a person, but I don't know any other left handed crocheters... I guess it wouldn't matter, really, I ought to ask M.... hmm.

It's been a stressful week, and when I was at my daughter's I started a hat. So now I have two unfinished, I broke my newly made rule. Oh well. I promise not to start the blanket before I finish the hat, the baby blanket, and those two socks.

Unless I am at my daughter's without a project to work on, LOL. At least I'm helping her work on HER stash!

6/18 FINISHED THE HAT. And crocheted as far as I could with the yarn I had with the doll blanket, while waiting for my mom at the doctor's. Apparently watching those videos helped, as well as making a small swatch with bulky yarn and a big needle. I'm doing much better!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thread Talk!

Found this site while surfing today, and it looks like a great resource for threads. I was given a big pile of embroidery floss, pearl cotton, rayon floss, and miscellaneous threads. I didn't really know what to do with them, specifically, and this site has helped me to figure it out. Since I like to embroider, it will come in handy.
Thread Talk! Sizing Up Cotton Threads – Needle’

The other thing I will be doing is friendship bracelets. Already made a few for my grandchildren, and gave my daughter in law some to help them learn how! Speaking of friendship bracelets, here's a site about adding clasps to them. I'm going to give it a try. Then I would be more willing to spend the hours it takes to knot the things-- because they wouldn't wear out as quickly. Friendship Bracelet Clasps  another idea with a different clasp-- Screw clasp for friendship bracelets
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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My interest in Pinterest

I get lost in Pinterest. I resisted for about forever, but then I just jumped and decided to look at what it was about. Several hours later....... anyway I've been pinning afghans today, I have been thinking about a solid white afghan for a blanket for my bed. Not many that I pinned are actually white. LOL but there are sure a lot of wonderful ideas out there. It got me started thinking about just how many afghans I have made... not tons but more than I thought. I think my favorites were the ones with Q hook and 3 strands of yarn. I used up a lot of scrappy stash that way. Actually that would make a lovely white blanket. Especially now that I know how to do the magic knot

It was funny though because suddenly I realized I was looking at a recipe for Rainbow Slime..  I wonder how I got there....
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That was fast!

Started and finished the infinity scarf from Red Heart's Unforgettable Yarn. It is so much prettier than the picture. This is the pattern I used. It shows it off better since they have a better camera!! Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf

The only problem I had was Paying Attention when I was crocheting. I kept skipping the ch 5 and it wasn't pretty. I also think it would have been better to use a slightly smaller hook; but that depends on how tightly or loosely you crochet. I crochet loosely. For me it also was an introduction to a chart. I think I may do something else charted. Because I am left handed I will have to reverse the chart but that shouldn't be a problem.

I started another with Caron's Party Yarn in cobalt blue. Should be pretty. I think the hook size will be fine since it is a slightly thicker yarn. I am seeing the tie with beads as well as the button. Hmmm!!!

Wow I can actually see it raining. This is June 10th and we don't often get that much rain in June but here in California's drought we will rejoice in every drop!!

the vintage button I used for the tie. Thanks Grandma...
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Monday, June 1, 2015


 I've been working on this afghan for the past TWO YEARS. Maybe longer. I tucked it away when I got tired of it. I found several skeins of the variegated stuff at the thrift store for a couple dollars... and it was with skeins of green that didn't exactly match. My first thought was to make it half and half but as I went along I decided to get some blue too and stripe the second half. I got green to match and blue to match... so I actually spent six more dollars... less than ten anyway for this 48 inch square afghan. Bigger than I have ever made. Knitted anyway. I might have crocheted a bigger one.

This other afghan is one that I made for my first mother in law MANY years ago. Before I had kids. Like about 40 or so years ago!! Recently my sister in law gave it back to me. It made me smile, my version of a pastel rainbow. I had forgotten about that stitch, it's pretty.

Anyway. Only two socks away for ALL FINISHED UFOs. Two socks, you may say. That sounds like a whole pair. Actually it's 2 half pairs. Now why did I start the second pair before finishing the first?

I have no idea.
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ohhhh this yarn is calling me. I may have to make an infinity scarf with it. ;) It's by Red Heart and it's called "unforgettable" And it is.

Sunday, May 31, 2015


Hung up two hummingbird feeders today, one out front, one in the back. Still have a finch feeder to figure out where to put. We've been saving the Warming Up water for the plants, so watered some of them. Unfortunately I think we lost the blueberries. They were kind of in an obscure place and when we went on vacation I didn't water them before we left. Oh well.

Tomorrow I will actually have a finished project to report. I hope.

and who am I reporting to?? LOL I don't think anyone reads it but me. I guess I'm going through a why-am-I-doing-this-anyway phase.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Good ol' Dirt

Today I planted a tomato plant, and transplanted a Jade plant and a Christmas cactus. It felt so good it makes me wonder why I put it off for so long. Something about digging in the aromatic soil just relaxes me and makes me feel so at home.

I always feel like I need to grow something. If I can't, it depresses me. This year I was going to not have a garden at all but I couldn't stand it. It's a cherry tomato bred for containers. Can't wait for that first warm and straight from the garden tomato. I have two blueberry plants, but the birds are getting all the blueberries so far. My third plant died, so I need to get another so there will be better pollination.

I miss gardening very much. I miss going out there and picking snow peas and lettuce, chard... one year I even grew potatoes! The last few years have been so incredibly full of caring for everyone that I just didn't feel like I could grow anything. I hope someday to be somewhere I can grow broccoli and spinach and maybe even potatoes again...

So this year there's only the tomatoes. So if for some reason I can't be here all I will lose is the tomatoes. Maybe next year. Sigh.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

hats and gloves

Over the years I have made many many hats. And one pair of gloves. And one pair of socks (and two half-pairs!). One of the techniques for letting things go is to take their picture, LOL, and then it is supposed to be easier to let go of whatever you aren't using. So here goes.

First, the gloves. They were one of the first knitting projects I ever did. I couldn't begin to tell you where the pattern was, but it gave much practice in casting off and then casting on. It was fun. The gloves fit well. I am not getting rid of them, but I wanted to include them anyway.

This hat was the first ribbed crochet hat I did. It too is going back in my drawer. So much for making it easier to let things go. I wear it though. This last winter was so mild I don't think I wore a hat at all.

This yarn caught my eye but when I knitted it into a scarf, It was ugly. I ripped it out, then made a knit-in-the-round hat. I liked it.

This one was a pattern on a yarn band. It looked interesting. It is! I think I will probably do another one.

These last two I will donate. I have several scarves as well. It's summer now... so I'll put them aside until winter and maybe I'll have a few more to add to it. And maybe a blanket or two! If I find that glove pattern, may try it. And there are those two socks that need their mates!

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Monday, May 18, 2015


There's something about always wanting to create something, that kind of trips me up. Where am I putting all this stuff? I only have so much wall space, and some of that is taken up by my kids' art work too. I can't possibly put up every quilt and wall hanging, or wear every scarf or hat or gloves... and mostly it doesn't feel like it's good enough to give as gifts... do I donate it? Or just give it to Goodwill? Or give it as a gift and don't worry about "how good it is"?

And it isn't only craft projects. How many scrapbooks can you do?? I love to make cards, but how many do I actually send? I end up collecting paints, stamps, papers, fabric, etc. but how much do I really use it?

Tonight I was going through the jewelry I rarely wear, trying to figure out why I should keep it. But I Like It, I say. So I took a cup holder thing and hung it on the wall, made an old fashioned earring holder, and there you go. May add lace to the earring holder.  Can't believe how much jewelry I have, although none of it is expensive stuff. Now, I may be more likely to wear some of this, since it is displayed on the wall... and if I don't, at least I can admire it. I don't usually wear those dangly ones, but those turquoise ones came with some other studs that I really liked. I don't see those studs... they are around somewhere, probably on my messy dresser.  I've never worn some of these, and some I used to wear a lot, like those pink roses. There are some sentimental pairs  like the opal ones my daughter gave me...and the pink birthstone ones that my neighbor Evelyn C. gave me, and the ones that my sis in law Loretta gave me... and the ones I bought in Santa Cruz... the ones my first boyfriend gave me... The question is, why do I have so many pairs of pearls... and why are there two odd ones on there?  I Might Find The Other. Really? HA.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Google app fun

Today I discovered a Google App called SketchPad. I have been spending a lot of time sorting things and my table is full. So.... lazy me decided to try SketchPad instead of actually painting. It was fun.

And then, I opened it in Paint, and inverted the colors.

one more. I just did rainbow triangle on top of rainbow triangle on top of rainbow triangle.....Kind of wild, huh. But fun.

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About Me

My photo
just a crafty grandma experimenting with all sorts of things. My main interests are paper craft of any kind and quilting/sewing. But I've done leatherwork, polymer clay, on-the-wheel pottery, painted molded ceramics, papier mache, stained glass, plaster casting, linoleum printing, paper making... you name it, I've probably tried it. A few I actually stuck with. :)