frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Got Any plans?

I picked up this quilt recently, it had been half-done for at least 2 months. I still want to add some beads to it, kind of as a way to quilt the parts that are still puffy. I had not done any sewing in so long.

I am home today, using my very last vacation day. I'm glad, because it has been SO boring at work. Next year they are going to shut the whole place down between Christmas and New Year. It makes a lot of sense, because they are heating and lighting a giant office complex, mostly for nothing. There is hardly anyone there, and no one
is really doing anything. Just hanging around, surfing the internet and eating cookies. The down side is that you are forced to use your own vacation days for the shut down. Most of us have a lot of vacation time, but some do not. Those without are unimpressed. Who knows if we will even have jobs by then?

I start college on Monday!  I'm scared and excited. It's hard to guess how much of my time this will take up, but I assume I will have less time for blogging and such. I have already completed an on-line orientation which is designed to teach you how to use the software and the online library. I'm impressed with it so far. I hope all this makes a difference in my life, maybe opens some doors. I'm so burnt out on my job that I can't quit, it's brutal.

Kate has had her laptop for a week and I just figured out how to hook it up to our wireless network THIS MORNING! The first couple of days after Christmas were very busy and I didn't even get to look at it. Then I started the process. I am so friggin' lame at computer stuff. When there is a problem, I am usually stumped. Fortunately I have a supply of young tech geeks at work who can listen to me try to explain a problem and figure out what the heck it is that I am missing. Then I go home and I can't find the thing they told me about, or I misplaced the piece of paper with the instructions, or it just won't work... anyway, that is behind me now and Kate can do all the things she wants to do.

I am going on a date tonight!  This is what my husband told me. He has a friend whose girlfriend broke up with him because he never wants to do anything she does. I think this sparked Joe to offer to take me to the movies. I love to go to the movies but it is so hard to find one that he is willing to see, that we rarely go. Get this, I am married to a man who hates violent action movies! I can take a certain amount of violence for the sake of the story, but he can't stomach anything. It really rules out quite a few good films. On the other hand, he is very willing to see all manor of art house-foriegn-costume drama-chick flicks. Tonight we are going to see Young Victoria. We are also having dinner, most likely Thai food, which I love. I think I will get dressed up, even though it is freezing out.

It occurs to me that it is New Years Eve. I keep forgetting. We don't generally attend any parties. I assume we will be home in time to have some champagne at midnight.

You got any plans?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Longwood Gardens at Christmas

Here is what I did yesterday. Longwood Gardens is one of my favorite places in the world. I have been several times, but never at Christmas. My husband knew I wanted to go, and he suggested it. This is a big deal, because he hates the drive (90 miles to S. Pennsylvania) and he assumes that since millions of people go, it will suck. He did this for me!

The drive is long, but the place was wonderful, he even had to admit it. We had fine weather considering it is the end of December, and the beauty surpassed the experience of shuffling around amoung the unwashed masses. I've never seen so many wheelchairs and motorized rascals in one place before. i think most folks in wheelchairs don't really need them. I think that since there is a lot of walking, people just rent these things so they don't get tired. I saw children that had to be 8 or 9 years old in strollers.

Anyway, great fun, and it got even better once the sun went down. Pictures can not do it justice. How do you get that many lights on a tree? How do you get that many lights on hundreds of trees?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Interesting Diversion

I was just visiting the Idaho Beauty blog and she sent me over to the Smithsonain Institute website to look at artist's home made Christmas cards. There are so many to see and I was fascinated!

I feel inspired to make my own, but I will wise up and do it all year. It's just folly to think that you will do this at Christmas time. For me, it's enough just to get the cards written and out the door.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

City Scenes

Here are some scenes from The City yesterday. I'll be damned if I can figure out how to format with Blogger. I think it is really weak.

Anyway, we had fun, we began our march up 5th avenue and systematically saw all the store windows. We especially loved the Bergdorf-Goodman windows which were positively surreal. Kate and I are stamding in front of one of them. Unfortunately it is difficult to really get a decent picture of a store window. You usually end up with a better shot of the reflections behind you.

We are having  something like 15 people over my house on the 19th and I am so not ready. I just can't get that worked up about it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big City Day

Time has been whipping by lately. Cookie making, party going, shopping. Nothing that you haven't been doing. Today, however, I have a day off and Kate and I are going into the big city to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, and all of the store windows, and whatever else we come across. The schedule is loose, some excellent girl time. I'll take pictures.

In other news, phase one of the attic project is done. Just in time to get bins of stuff out of the porch. Now when people come over for Christmas it won't look so slummy.

It's been really slow at work, and, as you know, an idle mind is the devil's playground. With me that took the form of eBay. Wow, just in time, because I really needed some more funky old Christmas decorations. They now show up every day, plus I indulged some of my other collections, namely Hull Mirror Brown. Pictures of this stuff soon.

Finally, I had an Etsy sale. Sometimes I am amazed at what I sell. None of the little Christmas ditties I made, but a weird collage from way back called Saint's Breakfast. I should get it together to take picture of my older collages and get them up on Etsy. I need to make room for more Christmas stuff.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

White Christmas

Here are some pictures of our tree. I like how you can see that it has snowed outside. That snow came heavy and wet on Saturday, but it is mostly gone now.

You can't really tell that the tree is turning yellow, right?

I used a flash on this photo. It doesn't look so nice, but you can see some of my fave ornaments.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Cards

Here is a post from Sunday that I never finished. Now it's Monday and I may as well just post it.

Hello! This morning I am writing Christmas cards. I bought my cards last year, on sale. I have Frank Lloyd Write Christmas cards, that are very cool. I was happy to find them. However, now that I am looking at them, I think that most of the people on my list will be baffled. They are not really all that traditional. Oh well! I actually went out an bought my parents a separate card.

Kate and I were talking about the big tree in Rockefeller Center in NYC. Her and I are going in next Tuesday to see the lights and windows and, of course, the tree. She has the day off and I am taking that day, so it will be a mother/daughter extravaganza. We just googled the tree to see where it came from this year.

A lot of people commented on my last 2 posts. THANKS! It seems that many of us don't care much for malls. I'm thinking that it is something in us, whatever makes us want to make art, makes us... I'm lost for words. Can't wait to start taking those communication classes in January!  We are a little out of the main stream, and the mall represents the main stream... with a really strong current?

I liked hearing how everyone does their decorating. I remember it being a way different thing with small children!

Doreen asked me if I went to college for art. Yes, I did. I wanted to go to college for art when I was finished with High School. "They" wouldn't let me. I didn't understand how I could make that happen for myself at the time. I went to college for art when I was 32 years old. I have an AA degree, plus a few credits. It would be great to finish that degree, maybe some day.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Decorations

I know that some people hate Christmas. I understand that. There really is a lot to hate about it. I went to the mall yesterday after work. I believe that much of what there is to hate about Christmas is concentrated there.

Understand that I haven't been to the mall in maybe 2 years. Don't get me wrong, I shop. I just don't travel too far to do it.So, I get to the mall, and traffic is awful, but I park and run in, through Bloomingdales. I am immediately dazzled. Sparkley dresses. Skinny black jeans. Women wanting to spray you with perfume. Out in the mall, there are giant ornaments hanging from the ceiling. A lot of the stores have changed. More upscale than I remember. Fancy Shopping Bitches everywhere. I make my way to the Apple store, and buy the computer, plus a wireless mouse, plus a electronic drawing tablet. (How lucky is Kate?) I also buy an external hard drive for the family computer, since it is groaning under the weight of so many photos and MP3s. $1200 lighter, I'm back in the mall. I should look in these stores, right? I won't be back here any time soon. But you know, I couldn't bear it, I was overwhelmed, over stimulated. I did stop at Aldo Shoes, where I saw the most delicious boots. But no, I had to go. Joe was waiting at home with wine and cheese.

I have to laugh, what kind of person have I become that I can't stand to even be in the mall?

Here are some decorating pictures. I know some people don't decorate at all. That's cool. You should not decorate if you don't feel like it. Or, conversely, you should put lights on every square inch of your house if you want to. In fact, thanks for doing that. It's so entertaining as I drive home from work every day in the dark!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Guerrilla Knitters 

Check this link out, it is really fun! It makes me want to do some Guerrilla Art. When I was in college I had a sculpture class. One of our assignments was to create something in a multiple of at least 100. I took 100 fist-sized rocks and covered them with pink knit fabric. Then I put them in a spiral pattern on the banks of the Raritan River, where you could see them from a bridge. I would walk by every day, and I noticed that people were messing around with them. They were making new patterns and moving the rocks around. That was cool. I live near the Delaware river now. I could do that again.

I want to put up my Christmas tree this weekend. This is my fake-ass white Christmas tree. If you are going to have a fake tree you may as well not even try to pretend it's real, you know? Did I ever tell the story of this tree? If I did, sorry.

My parents are city people, and I grew up with a fake tree. As I got older, that became the height of tackiness. My first husband grew up with a real tree, so we always had one. The year I separated from him, I went out on my own and bought a real tree, and struggled to get the thing home, drag it up the stairs, set it up, etc. I decided I didn't really need to do that anymore. I found a 7 foot fake white tree for $40 the following September. That was 1998. I got it up from the basement last night and noticed that it looked yellow. YELLOW! Perhaps it was the culmination of an annoying week, but this sent me spiraling into a bad mood. Now what was I going to do? I was planning to decorate the next night! (tonight) Joe had a look at it and said it looked fine, that no one would notice. I decided he was right. I set the tree up, the branches are color coded, you know. I think it is over for this tree after this year.

I have so many Christmas ornaments, that I break them out by color and do theme tees. Last year I did pink and gold. This year it is blue and green. I have big mixing bowls full of ornaments in the LR right now. The problem with a white tree is that you need to get lights with white wires. I have them, don't you worry, but we also have icicle lights with BLUE lights. I think I am going to put those on the tree this year. It's gonna be spiffy.

But, that is tomorrow. I was going to go to the mall tomorrow, but I decided that would suck, so I am going tonight. I don't live very close to any malls, so I rarely go, but this year Kate asked for a laptop computer, and there is an Apple store in the Bridgewater mall.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Art Club Christmas Project

Check it out, here is one of the ARC clients with a bunch of others in the background. Kind of gives you an idea of how many of these things we cranked out! (13) I gave everyone the choice of sewing buttons to their snowmen, or drawing the eyes, mouth and etc to the snowmen with markers. A distressing amount of people chose to sew! It all worked out and I think they enjoyed themselves. Go to my other blog for more pics.

Tonight I am going to another one of those Department of Developmental Disabilities meetings to find out how difficult my life will be as a result of new proceedures. I guess that's not a very good attitude, is it? I was thinking how it might be nice if Kate's father took on some of this responsibility, but he is such an amazing DICK, he is incapable. He is chronically unemployed and doesn't even have a car. Don't worry, I'll take care of everything!!!!!!!!!

How are you all doing?