merimask: (Default)
( Apr. 24th, 2009 02:11 pm)

I want to hug the world today.  It is sooooooo beautiful outside.  I already went for a 15 mile ride and I want to do a second trail, but I had to come home to eat something 'cause I was a little wobbly.   Also I have to drive Charlotte somewhere at 3.  I'll go out right after that though...I even left my bike on the car rack. 

It was hot enough for me to ride in a tee shirt!  Hot enough for me to feel a bit overheated!   Sunny enough for a sunburn!    Eeee!  Looks like I got healthy just in time...the weather is supposed to be wonderful all weekend.  Thunderstorms later today, the Weather Channel says, but I consider that a good thing too 'cause I love thunderstorms. 

The trails are covered with spring flowers like hyacinths and daffodils, and all the cherry trees are beginning to blossom.  Everything was Easter egg colored; pink and green and purple and yellow. 

Everything is so grooooooovy!  I'm in an obscenely good mood.  ^_^

I weighed the value of "the surpise" against the value of public display, & display won out.  Forgive my exhibitionist's heart...

Tiny perfect dragon, heading out to [ profile] rumdiculous  today.    She sent me some awesome CDs...not things I'd normally think to buy so I love them (The Corr's CD is especially cute and cheerful).  I've known Rumi so long...I couldn't believe she didn't have one of my dragon keychains.  So, I thought I'd make her a special one.  Consider yourself in an elite group, my dear (along with my favorite Ninja Fisherman, who will become a dad again sometime this June...congratulations Nagano-san!).

I am completely recovered from whatever the heck I had last week.  It's amazing how fast I heal, lately.  The last of the cold weather (i hope i hope!) moves out today; by the weekend it's BANG! Summer here again.  That's how it happens here; the seasons toy with me & then suddenly one day it's 80 degrees just like that.  Temps in the 40's this week, but in the 70's and 80's next week with thunderstorms forecast every day.

I love thunderstorms (as long as I'm not flying in 'em).   So, looking forward to that.

In other news, I am simply in love with U2's new song "Magificent".  I saw them at the beginning of their career in '82.  I was younger than Char.  They played at Shea's Theater in downtown Buffalo to maybe a thousand of was glorious.  They'll be up in Toronto for two shows this September.  I really really REALLY want to see them again, but I think all the dates are sold out already.  :-(    If anyone out there (say...anyone I'm related to, for instance) wanted to get me a ticket for my birthday, I'd probably die from happy.

merimask: (Default)
( Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:04 am)


Artist or imposter? )EDIT:  These are the masks I made...
Umm.   Not allergies.  Really very sick.  Obviously viral.  I actually felt better on Saturday except for a scratchy throat, so I went for a 25 mile bike ride.  By Sunday, I was flat on my back with this...bug. 

And now I'm so sick I could hardly sleep.  Taking Nyquil in the hope that it'll make me sleep ( & yeah, breathing through my nose would be great too thanks).


merimask: (Default)
( Apr. 19th, 2009 01:32 pm) actually a misnomer, as this is really my first laptop.    Very pretty Dell Studio something-or-other.   I'm figuring it out right now.  

 Several things are becoming clear:
*I am a luddite
*I have really poor keyboard skills
*change is difficult
*this laptop needs some games...

It's all good though.  I'm figuring things out, even though I am on a very gradual learning curve (figuring out how to highlight/select words, for was pretty comical).   I bought a wireless...thingie for the cable modem, so we are wireless in the house now.

My old Adobe Photoshop program won't work with Vista though, so it looks like I'll need a new Photoshop program.  :-/  Any Vista users out there with suggestions?

Meanwhile, the pressing question of the day is; how to keep the kitty off the keyboard when sitting on the sofa with your laptop on your...lap.  Also, dog hair.  Also, I'm distracted by the TV.  Change really is difficult! 
[profile] golden_meliades has turned some leather leaves I made for her into a BEAUTIFUL set of hairsticks. must go see the ginkgo leaf sticks, they are just gorgeous.   I really need to make more leaves for her; she does the most amazing stuff with them.   

Also, [ profile] angeljapan sent me a box of cheerful spring gifts from the other side of the planet.  The bubble bath petals are a big hit here, hon.  Char has used all of the Sakura already!  Thank you so much.  ^_^

I love my LJ friends. 

In other news; something isn't quite right.  I don't know how to explain it; I just hurt all over & I'm very weary.  I can't seem to concentrate on anything, I'm irritable, and most of all I hurt.  I just finished a long set of weights at the gym, which usually makes me feel like a million bucks, & instead I feel like throwing up.  Yesterday was beautiful and yet I could not bring myself to ride my bike...not even on a short trail.  That is NOT like me.

I hope it passes soon, whatever it is.  I feel like crap.

Got to run.  I'm getting my hair done today (it is LONG overdue).  It needs to be darker and shorter I think...I look awful & frumpy lately, with my gray roots showing & my hair going brassy in the sun.  Don't you hate it when you feel ugly?   Being run-down & sick is one thing, but bad hair...ugh!  There's a limit to how much I can stand.  

This crazy up & down spring we are having is kicking my ass. Seriously, I don't know from one day to the next if it is April, June or January.

I thought the bunnies ate all my crocuses but I guess a few made it...

The crocuses, they make me happy.

The bike riding is going well but is monstrously painful in the cold windy weather ( I know Golden_meliades knows exactly what I'm talking about, here). I did a short set yesterday, followed by fifteen miles on a trail. I intentionally picked a wooded trail to protect from the wind, but since the trees are still bare they don't offer much protection. Ooooh it hurt.

I take a handful of carefully folded tissues 'cause my nose runs so much in the cold that I have to keep stopping & blowing my nose. It's not glamorous OR attractive. I feel like I'm getting stronger but I also feel like taking a hot bath & going to bed after every bike ride.

There's this new dude out there on the bike paths. I've seen him three times so far, on two different trails. He's kind of fascinatiing! A little guy, not much over 5'6". His face looks like he's 70ish, but he has the body of a 20 year old Olympic athlete. He wears all the professional spandex racing gear of a professional cyclist & rides like a serious athlete on a really nice racing bike. Also, he has really long white hair, REALLY long. Like, to his waist probably, & it flows out from under his helmet like a flag when he rides 'cause he's fast.

He waved at me yesterday 'cause he probably recognized me too (after a while, you get to know everyone who does the trails)...I really want to talk to him! How long has he been racing? How far does he go (once I saw him on my creek trail, & an hour later he was on the river trail, 20 miles away...did he ride the whole thing or pack his bike on a car & drive there like I did) ? How old is he, & why the long hair?

Seriously, he's my favorite mystery on the trails this year so far. He's like a 70 year old Olympic cyclist/pirate! I have no idea...maybe he's European? He looks like someone my Dad would have been friends with (Dad like quirky people & cyclists in equal measure).

People are alternately frustrating & wonderful & mysterious...a lot like this Spring.

Speaking of wonderful people, President Obama read "Where The Wild Things Are" to a bunch of children at the White House yesterday. That is my alltime favorite children's book, ever. Apparently a kid was frightened & cried (what the heck??) but it seriously fills me with glee that in almost every way, this president appeals to me on a personal level. I'd totally be friends with the president...I think we'd get along great. ^_^

Let the wild rumpus begin!

Ohhhh this weekend.  It almost killed me.

I survived Easter (there would be no holidays for my family if it weren't for me) and even managed to make some items to list on Etsy...

A new Persian mask (you'll notice I made this one in my favorite colors).  Three of 'em, in fact, since I also made them with burgundy and green.  I listed one on DevArt a week ago & people went nuts for it, so I thought I had better make a few.  They're in Etsy right now.

Also in Etsy; a huge whack of custom orders.  Which is GOOD (assuming I didn't get anything wrong...heh) because my shop has been dead for over a week. sale in a week & it was a barrette.  What gives?  I guess I'll need to run another FaceBook ad soon.  *le sigh*  Oh's only money. 

Oh, you know...I'd love to be witty & entertaining right now, but I've been photographing/photoshopping/listing/writing copy/cross promoting for over three hours now & I think I'm done.  Really, very weary right now, and I have to drive Char to the mall because she's off this week & is "bored".  I wish I had the time to be bored! 

I think I'll stop at the gym on my way back from the mall...

You know what's impossible to find?  A good rocking chair! 

Chair shopping...victory! )


i lift )

Also, I give you gratuitous doggie pictures, because it's been a while since Kiba showed his pretty face in my LJ.
I had the front door propped open while I was sweeping out the front hall, & he just stretched out at the door & watched the street.  People were walking their dogs (their little yappy dogs that yap yapped at Kiba) but he just lay there all unperturbed like he could care less.  Silly little soupdogs.  You gotta love huskies.  They have the most incredible personalities. 

It's a lovely day.  Lifting again later (I know it's tempting fate to go two days in a row but it felt so good yesterday) and then a bike ride.  *sigh*  Oh spring...don't you go teasing me again, you hear?

*smooch*  Love you all.  ^_^

merimask: (Default)
( Apr. 9th, 2009 11:58 am)
I'm taking it easy.  I think I've been working too hard.  I messed up that order & it made me realize that I invest far too much of my self-worth in my artwork.   That works great when the work goes well, but when I mess up I take it so personally that it gets me down.  That's...probably not healthy.   Also, not sleeping isn't healthy.  And not working out, that's unhealthy too.

So!  Today I slept in a LOT and it felt great.  I'm going to the gym to renew my membership ( They were so desperate to keep me that I just negotiated a great deal; $19 a month...for a full gym membership!  That's freaking unheard-of) & I'll do a short set to get back in gear.  The great thing about muscles; once you build 'em, they come back quickly with just a bit of effort.

I also need to buy a new rocking chair.  Mom's sciatica is acting up again & she needs a hard rocking chair to sit in.  I gave her my old one, but I really ought to have one here 'cause she spends so much time at my house.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a plain, good hardwood rocker?  Fortunately we have an "Oak Express" not too far away (I LOVE the look of's so golden & warm) so I called & yes, they have rockers!  I'm going to pick up a new chair & that makes me happy.  Mom will have something comfortable to sit in for "Survivor" tonight.

& then, maybe later, I'll work on something.  Or, maybe not.   :-)

Oh!  Really adorable thing: I finally figured out how to get a picture of myself up on DeviantArt (you have to load it in the Deviant ID category...duh!  I'm on a very gradual learning curve, there).  So, last night I loaded a pic of myself there & the comments are hilarious!  Everyone thinks I look like a kid (& that's a new pic too...just took it in December).  Hee!  I am gleefully planning to let them all know I'm 43.  ^__^"

These are all good things...
merimask: (fail)
( Apr. 8th, 2009 01:51 pm)
i fail )

Oh wow...I just hate snowstorms in April.  Hate them.

Snow last night, snow today, more snow tomorrow too.  WTF nature?  Why did you taunt me with one day of 67 degree weather if you were just going to snatch it all away?  My crocuses are confused. 

Well, I worked on some new things anyway, because I am a stubborn monkey.   I finished a new Haku mask (Haku from "Spirited Away"...the Japanese river dragon) and it's even better than the last one I did...

A special commission on Etsy. can see the snowflakes falling on my black board, there.  I ran out this afternoon between flakes to take the pictures & they were starting up again as I quickly snapped this.  Oddly, for a rushed pic it's miles better than the ones I took of the last Haku I made.


A couple little dragon-guys for Etsy )

So, thank you for the feedback on my "Etspirations" idea  (is that really a good name for it?  I'm still not sure).  I have contacted a few of my favorite Etsy artisans (LittleCookie, Batikwalla, and MaryJarvis so far) and they are all excited about the idea & willing to let me use their motifs in a mask...I'm excited too.  I think it's going to be fun & also, potentially really good for all kinds of exposure.  If these turn out nice, I'm sure it will become an ongoing project.  Mel, I want to do some collaborating with you too...I think hairsticks are a perfect compliment to a mask anyway (so glamorous) so a FarGrove / Merimask ensemble will be a wonderful pairing. 

I'll also be open to suggestions.   Eventually.  Once I've tried a few of these & worked out the kinks.  Input is also VERY welcome.  New ideas are scary...I kind of want to bounce these off you guys to figure out the best way to do these listings/collaborations/promotions.  Scary, scary.  But also fun.  And hopefully, rewarding. 

*hug*  Love you all.  :-)

Back to work...


Apparently, there are more shirt-suckers out there than I thought.  See my last entry.    ^__^

Well...I had a very productive weekend.  Finished eight masks in two days and somehow found time to ride my bike for crazy-long distances.  Char's rugby team went to Cleveland & did rather well in spite of being beaten badly (they played one of the best HS rugby teams in the nation, so expectations were modest at best.  They didn't embarrass themselves).

Greg poked me in the belly yesterday & that did it; I renewed my gym membership.  Expense be damned.  I've been avoiding the gym lately because I do this funny thing; I withdraw from things that are "ending" before they end.  It sounds crazy and it probably is, but I haven't gone to the gym lately because I knew my membership was about to expire, and it made me sad.  So screw it, I re-signed for another year.  Winter has been bad to me and I need to get back to where I was in November.  *sigh*  I miss the high I get from lifting, anyway.  It's better than chocolate...something about deep January makes me forget that.

Speaking of January, we're getting some serious snow tonight and tomorrow...woe!  I guess I should have expected it, but it still seems like a cruel joke after that 67 degree day we had on Thursday.    Nature is a dirty rotten tease in the early weeks of spring.


New idea for Etsy cross-promotion: OPINIONS NEEDED! )


Today is TOO BEAUTIFUL to ruin with stupid AOL's dumb cesspool of bigotry...I am avoiding the news comments like they were poison.  And they are.

So today, instead of righteous indignation I will share with mask pictures!

I just finished a new Golden Wolf.

This is my third Golden Wolf.  I left the background color brown, instead of drybrushing gold over it.  In fact I mixed some black & red with the stain to make it a very rich brown, because I wanted more contrast between the base mask color & the gold flames.

I like it better than the paler versions, but we shall see how it does.  It's up in Etsy already.

In other news, I have one gorgeous day out there today!  60 and sunny and NO wind.  So, I'm going for two bike rides...yes two!  It'll probably hurt.  I'm out of shape.  I did fifteen miles yesterday and by the end of it, I wasn't very...chipper.  But hey...this is how my season always starts.  By August I'll be back up to 30 miles with no problem.  ^_^

So I better get, cycling!  *hug*  Love you all!
merimask: (Default)
( Apr. 1st, 2009 06:46 am)

It's funny, because I was going to relate a little story here today about something that happened last night, regarding myself and my latent temper, & then this morning when I signed on to make the entry I was confronted by a situation online that TOTALLY made me lose my cool.


This is not a good way to start the morning...

Nope, at least one son of a bitch is still at it.   JSPratts0323 on AOL if anyone gives a hoot.  I'm TOSing the stupid bastard right now.

EDIT McANGRY EDIT:  Yeah, the whole thing is up & rolling again.  I guess AOL doesn't give a crap.  I'm glad it's still up though because I spoke directly with a nice lady from the local Secret Service chapter & she directed me to send her all the links & assured me it would be looked into.  So...I'm washing my hands.  I have to stop reading that damn forum now because it just keeps making my blood boil. 

EDIT YET AGAIN:  Well I feel MUCH better & also, vindicated.  This is an e-mail from the nice lady at theSecret Service:

"I forwarded the link to our Internet Threat desk. They will look at it also and work with AOL on identifying any of the entities that would be in violation of USC.(if any subpoenas or court orders need to be generated for privacy rules) Thank you for your information, you are not being a pest."

So yay for that!  Here is a site for everyone who hates these threats against the president as much as I do:
Secret Service Offices.  I called my local office & spoke to a person directly, & she handled the whole thing & took my e-mails and links. 

DO speak up when you see this crap.  I will from now on.  If anything ever happens to the Obama family, at least I have done my best.  I think if more people report this crap when they see it, it'll make the haters think twice.  If the haters can't spew their rhetoric publically, I think it'll cut down the overall level of animosity.  Cowards are braver in a mob, so I think it's folly to let these few control the message boards.
I'm just feeling the need to engage in some pimpage here.  Donning my big purple hat with the giant feather in it & my go-go boots...

[ profile] kls_eloise is someone I met in another era, at least I've always felt that way about her.  I think we were both artisans in some guild in 16th century Europe, several lifetimes ago.   The instant she walked up to me at an SCA event, fully 20 years ago, we hit it off immediately and the several-hours-long conversation culminated in a barter of goods, which is SO perfectly medieval.

I told her all about my leather art, and she told me all about her scribal work, and to this day I remember how awed I was by her dedication to detail...a girl after my own heart.  She told me a story about some kind of centuries-old process she used to create raised gold leaf on a scroll she illuminated.  The gold is supposed to be three-dimensional-looking, as if it is dripped onto the art.  The way she did this is with a special kind of very fine plaster that had to be mixed by hand for something like 24 hours, so the slip would be fine enough to look like smooth hard gold when it was covered with gold leaf.  

This impressed the heck out of me.  We've been friends ever since.

She made an LJ entry about a scroll that she just finished in time for an event that happened last weekend.  She says she's out of practice.  I say she's still got it.  You must go see all the pretty & decide for yourself...

I also want to talk again about [ profile] kijjohnson  's excellent short story;  "26 monkeys! Also, the abyss", which if you haven't read you really should.  Happiest ten minutes you'll spend this week, & you'll keep thinking about it for weeks after you read it.   Well, it is not only nominated for a Nebula Award, but it is also on the final ballot for a Hugo.  This has made me inordinately happy.  In a time when there is so much schlock writing being touted as "must read" literature (& turned into bad movies featuring dragons or vampires), it's rewarding to see someone so talented getting the recognition she deserves.  Trust me, I am a literary snob & Kij's writing is as close to perfect as I've ever read.  

Meanwhile I am working on a new version of my Golden Wolf mask...should be done in another day & at that point I will of course be back to pimping myself.  ^_^ 

EDIT...OMG I hate myself for misspelling "talented" RIGHT in the header.  How did I DO that?  Fixed it, but it's just going to ruin my day.  What a muffinhead.
Well, the weekend was exhausting but SO much fun.   I attend an event & wax philosophical... )
In other news; Mary Jarvis is a freaking glass-bead-making wizard, I think. 

I loved my first Beach Heart so much that I asked Mary to make some lentil beads to offset it, since the hemp necklace I'd made for it just didn't seem to be fabulous enough for such an awesome bead.  She made the lentils (and totally went above & beyond, since they were so perfectly what I asked for), but she fretted that the color didn't match the heart I already she made me a new one!   I ended up with this set of beads.  

Mary liked the set so much, she's decided to continue offering it on her site.  I have to say, it is totally worth every cent.   Here is my new Beach Heart necklace (I knotted it while I was at the SCA event):

I made it much shorter this's basically a choker (fun fact: I used to hate chokers but now that I am a smaller fitter me, I'm finding I LOVE them).

Mary should be a HUGE star on Etsy.  Sometimes I feel guilty for the success I have there...I wish I could share some of my good fortune.  There are so many wonderful, talented people I've met through Etsy.  I'm honored to be able to call a few of them friends (like TheFarGrove and LittleCookie and  Neile and Batikwalla)...they are all brightly shining stars and inspirations, and if I had my way they'd all be household names.   We all work in different media but we are all the same; just busy little bees, trying to make pretty things and be as excellent as we can possibly be.  I think it's a beautiful thing. 

merimask: (Default)
( Mar. 27th, 2009 02:25 pm)

Oh wow...I'm so wiped out.  I decided to do a major cleaning.  Why, I don't know.  The sun is shining?  It needed to be done?


I talk about cat boxes too much, here. )

Good news: I JUST got my mail ( seemed like my postman was lost or something.  Was wandering up & down my street for about two hours with random handfulls of mail & packages, like he was confused).  I asked Mary Jarvis to make a set of glass lentil beads, to match my Beach Heart that I got from her.  She did one better & made me a matching set with a NEW Beach Heart too.   So now I know what I'll be doing at that event tomorrow; knotting a new hemp necklace for these lovely new lampwork beads. 

Mary & I exchanged art this time around...I LOVE bartering for stuff I find on Etsy.  It feels like the purest kind of acquisition; art for art. 

Trying to cheer myself up:  I found this entry by following some links.  You must see it, short but hilarious & yet poignant at the same time.  Godspeed, Spacebat...Godspeed.   Poor little bastard.  You were too good for this world.

I'll probably go for a short bike ride anyway.  I'm so grumpy, I need one. 

Happy 16th birthday, Charlotte!
 Because it's a weird little family tradition, I give you cake pictures!


Cake Pictures! A superior family blackmail resource... )

*Hugs*  Love you all!