Friday, March 24, 2017

What's In a Name?

I’m back from Hawaii. I managed to get sunburned feet - not all over, just where my shoes were open on the top. I look like I have red boxes on the top of my foot.

It is all because one of my big joys in Hawaii is sitting on the balcony outside my room and drinking my morning coffee. The problem was that no matter how I shifted my chair, there was sun on my foot.

I did put sun block on my feet when I realized how strong the sun was even in the early morning. But it turned out to be like shutting the barn door after the chickens have already escaped.

I am afraid that I’m rather tired at the moment and can’t think of anything exciting to write about. I spent the day babysitting for my grandson. It fascinates me to think that all that he is going to become is already locked up in that tiny body. He is smiling now which encouraged to me to do silly things and sing silly songs so he would flash it.

I also told him he could call me whatever he wants but I would prefer not to be called grandma. I can’t shake the image of an ancient woman with gray hair and a cane. My son has always mostly called me by my first name, much to the consternation of his fifth grade teacher. She almost spun her head around Exorcist style when she heard him refer to me as Betty.

I’m still name characters in the book I’m writing. I mean, I already gave them names, but now I’m starting to change their names as I get to know who they are. I like to find names that feel like who they are. I named someone Dexter, but I don’t think it fits, so he’s going to become Allan. Dexter is too much of a standout name and this guy is blend in the background - at least in the beginning.

I collect cool names I hear in real life. I loved that someone had the name of Paisley and gave that to another character, but then changed her name to Sheree. Maybe her daughter will be called Paisley. It sounds like a young name.

I just finished proofreading the typeset pages of A Tangled Yarn. I had fun with one of the names in the book. He is a young guy with aspirations to be a writer and his name has a T. in front of his given name to be memorable. But he has developed a nickname, T Dot which is a way to say T with a period after it. That was probably a very awkward way to describe it, but deep tiredness is setting in.

Names can definitely give a feeling of the character’s age. I don’t think anyone would think Bertha was a young character.

Now that I think about it I don’t think Allan is a good name for formerly Dexter. Maybe I’ll call him Leo instead.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Craft Room Organizing: Do I Have To?

Organizing and I have a love/hate relationship. I love to organize my office, books, and even my craft room, until I get down to the small supplies like embellishments and paper. It's the bane of my crafting existence. I can get more crafting done, and it's more enjoyable when it's all sorted, but getting there is a huge battle. I put if off until it becomes so disorganizing I have no choice if I want to craft. And I do love crafting.

Part of my issue right now is that I'm trying to find a system that works now and also in the future when we downsize. We don't have definite plans on when (or even where) we'd move but it's in discussion as our youngest is moving and we'll have way too much house. I don't want to invest a lot of money in new storage items, and want something that works well for crafting at home and on the go. Then there's the actually having to admit to myself which items I will no longer use, and coming to terms with the scrapbooking tools, paper, and other embellishments I bought because of a craze and "everyone is using it" that doesn't fit my scrapbooking style. During the last five years, I've fortunately embraced my style or scrapbooking and haven't bought items that now have me wondering what was I thinking.

One of my newest purchases is what I call my die cutting center, and it works for two out of three needs: now, future, but it's not as portable as I'd like. It's great for around the house and I can wheel it from my office into my craft room area but it's not good for retreats. Though, I don't see myself taking two machines to retreats. When we move, we're not taking my mammoth desk so this is a perfect unit for my Air, Cameo, and accessories. The paper scraps are stored in the drawers and make it easier for me to find a color I need, and it takes less time. The only problem is I have to pack up all my scraps when I'm cropping on the go. I have two plastic zippered pouches I use but am going to try an accordion folder next month. I spent a bit of time sorting the colors so I hate the thought of jumbling them back up only to resort wen I'm back home.

The next item on my list is stickers and other embellishments (brads, stickers, fiber, and eyelets...the last item I just might let it go).

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

National Puppy Day

Tomorrow is National Puppy Day.  Will I celebrate?  Sure! 

For one thing, I have a five-month-old puppy at home, and part of the reason for the holiday, according to the National Puppy Day website presented by Animal Planet, is to "celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives."  That's definitely true with Cari, at least with the people in our household.  I don't believe that our older Cavalier, Mystie, finds her new younger sister magical or loving, although it's certainly fun to watch them hanging out together when Cari is wound down for a while and not trying to chew Mystie.

The holiday is also to encourage people to help save puppies in need and to let people know about the horrors of puppy mills--a wonderful goal.

Everyone who reads about me here or reads nearly any of my work knows how much I love dogs, and that in itself is another reason I'm happy to celebrate National Puppy Day.

So... Happy Puppy Day to all of you and your pets, most particularly puppies.  Enjoy, and give your animals some extra hugs today and tomorrow!

To learn more:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It's Only Money

The coin show was fun.  There were some beautiful and valuable coins bought and sold there, including gold ones.  Over seven hundred people came just on Saturday.  I thought hard about buying the Queen Victoria silver crown coin, but just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much for it.  Instead I bought a Victoria half crown – and then a King Edward VII and a King George VI, both crowns, all three for less than half what the Victoria crown would have cost.  Mr. Davisson showed me a Queen Victoria pattern crown (a design for a coin that was never minted), a magnificent and very finely detailed piece that really belongs in a museum.  Only four thousand dollars!

Quite a few people saw and commented favorably on my display of “1,000 Years of English Money.”  A member of Northwest Coin Club wants me to refine it some more and enter it in our State Fair.  I’ll think about it – but probably won’t.  Each coin in my display is firmly fastened down inside two frames, but what if someone just picks up a frame and walks away with it?  Thirty-plus years of patient searching and buying, gone.

 On the other hand, what would a thief do with it?  These aren’t American dimes and quarters they could spend in a vending machine – which is what happens to many collections a burglar takes, which is why an amazingly valuable coin will turn up in someone’s pocket change.  Which is why collectors routinely examine their pocket change.