Saturday, February 28, 2009

Watch Me Create!

Today, you'll find me over on Watch Me Create singing about my mandrels.... and bead cleaning, and organization (or lack there of- LOL), and there's even a picture of my cat!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And so it goes...

I had a weird start to my day this morning. As usual I stopped at my favorite little coffee shop for my cup of morning happiness. I got my coffee, and went over the cart where the sugar and cream is. The creamer wasn't there so I poured in my sugar, grabbed a stir stick, walked back to the counter and asked Venette, my barista (and friend), for the cream. I stood at the counter and chatted for a few minutes then decided I'd better head to work.

I reached into my pants pocket for my keys, and they weren't there. I rummaged through my purse, not there either, nor were they sitting on the counter. Hmmm, I must of left them in the car. Went out and checked the car, which fortunately, was unlocked. No keys. I head back in to the shop and empty my purse again. Nothing. Did I toss them in the trash with my stir stick? I poked around the trash can and didn't see them. I'm so confused! I swore I had them in my hand. At this point I'm sure Venette thinks I'm a nut case, but she helps me look through the trash one more time. No keys. I must have left them in my car, perhaps they slipped between the seats. Back out to my car I go. Damn it, this time my car is locked. It locks itself, but I have never figured why or when it chooses to do so. I'd say it picked a bad time this morning.

So what to do? Walk home and get my spare keys I guess. So I traipse the 2.5 miles up the hill to my house. Fortunately it was a warm, lovely day, so I really enjoyed the walk. Once home I grabbed my key, went out the the garage and pumped up my bike tires on my old road bike (it was on the floor my good bike was on the wall) so I could ride back down to the coffee shop. (Note to self- bike needs a tune. Second note to self- don't let kids use bike, that's why it needs a tune)

As I pedal into the coffee shop parking lot Venette meets me at my car. Shortly after I left to hike back home, the guy who chatted with us at the counter came back to the shop. It seems he had picked up my keys, which apparently looked and felt quite similar to his. Whew. I was just happy to get then back (especially that $50 ignition key) and even more happy that I wasn't CRAZY!

The good thing is, at least I had a nice walk and bike ride, and when I got back to the shop a few of my friends, who I hadn't seen in a while, were there, and I now have lunch date for Saturday. So it wasn't too bad a start to the day after all.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Creative Every Day

Did you see the new image on my blog sidebar? On my travels over the internet I stumbled across an interesting place... the Creative Every Day challenge. I had unofficially decided that this would be the year for me to explore and indulge my creative side, so it sounded like just the challenge for me. The cool thing is that it's not about any particular medium, just about creativity. Art, writing, cooking, anything goes as long as it's creative. (Hmmm, I wonder if designing new experiments at work counts? LOL)

There is a monthly theme, and February's theme is "Words". An interesting coincidence since I've been having fun all month painting ACEO "Inspiration Cards", based on words or phrases. Today's cards are, in the spirit of Creative Every Day, inspired by creativity.

Another fun thing. If you click your way to the Creative Every Day, you'll find links to participants pages and to a flickr album with lots of great art! I've been having fun browsing, you might too!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's in a name?

My name that is. Linda carol. My mom's sister is Linda, my dad's sister is Carol. I was the first born grandchild on both sides, and was named Linda Carol. According to Mom I wasn't actually named after my aunts, but that they just liked the names. Regardless, I like the idea of being named after my aunts. I've always thought it was silly to have a middle name that never really gets used, so when I started my little bead business I decided I wanted to embrace and use both my names.

Last week at work a tech from another lab, was interested in my jewelry. She asked me if I was familiar with Etsy, and I told her I had an shop and gave her my Etsy ID. Later that day she stopped my office laughing and said, "Guess what my name is?" Well, it turns out she's another Linda Carol. What a small world.

Fast forward to today. I checked my email tonight, and find a messsage titled "I am Linda Carol too!!!" I didn't recognize the address, but with a title like that I had to open the email to see what it was about.

The message:

Hi, this is not a spam, I am just very pleased to have found another namesake who is also creatively gifted. I found you in an odd way, but I am so happy because the other 2 Linda Carol people that I found were artists too! I hope you get this, I am on facebook and I my birthday is 12/11, what's yours?

What a fun email to receive. Another Linda Carol and a fellow Sagitarian to boot. I definitely will respond.

Even more interesting to me, this Linda Carol is a spiritual healer type person (my words not hers) who practices various types of therapies. For some odd reason (is there a reason?) during this last year I keep encountering people who are following spiritual, metaphysical paths. I became acquainted, long distance, with a Reiki master, and a few of my friends started studying shamanism. I've become familiar with terms like "energy work" and chakras. Being the scientific type, I'm never really sure what I think of these metaphysical, spiritual things, but I know I'm fascinated by coincidence, and find it very interesting that yet another spiritual person has popped into my life. I wonder if this is a hint, that perhaps I should be opening my mind to these new and different ways of looking at things.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

I've been playing around with some new artys-fartsy stuff lately. Paint/mixed media/collage. Paulette Insall, a lampwork beadmaker (former?) who's beads I always admired, started painting mixed media pictures that I really liked. I may not have great drawing/painting skills, but I bet I may be able to have fun learning to paint similar abstrast, colorful backrounds. I've been thinking about trying this for a while, then a few months ago I received the "signs" that it was time to try painting. First, Sarah wanted to paint a picture for a friend. Then I stumbled upon the book Taking Flight: Inspiration + Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings (on sale!), by Kelly Rae Roberts, which looked pretty promising as an instructional book. So, I bought the book and more paints and started playing around.

I like to work small, so I've been making inspiration cards in ACEO size. For some odd reason, perhaps because I like reds?, some of my first few were heart themed, so It seems appropriate to show them on Valentine's day,(or as the day is known to some of us, Singles Awareness Day! (S.A.D.)). Single or not, love is always a good sentiment, so I am posting these as my cyber-Valentines to all my cyber friends!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Darwin Day!!!!

Today is Darwins 200th birthday!!! Scientists around the world have turned this into a holiday. According to the Darwin Day website there are 670 planned celebrations around the world. I bet that doesn't even count the ones in my world. Here in my personal nerdland his birthday is sparking a few parties. We get a treat at coffee hour today, a birthday cake for Darwin, and tomorrow one of the professors in the department is throwing a Darwin's Birthday Bash. Who said scientists aren't any fun?

I'd love to credit the artist who painted this picture, as it's an image so fitting for all the computer nerds in the world, unfortunately it's one of the images that has been floating around the web for so long the creator's identity is long lost. It's especially appropriate for me right now, as my latest assignment at work is to assemble all the known rhinovirus RNA sequences to aid in the start of an evolutionary study of the common cold. I'm definitely becoming the guy on the right!!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Learn Something New Everyday...

Monday has become bagel day here in the lab. One of our students who left the lab(and science all together) works at Einsteins bagels. If she closes on the Sundays she saves the end of the day bagels and brings them to the lab on Monday.

Whenever she can, she tries to remember to bring me a pumpernickel bagel, as she knows it's one of my favorites. (Must be that German ancestry of mine!) Today when she walked into the lab with her big bag of bagels and announced: "I brought you a pumpernickel!", and a question crossed my mind. What does pumpernickel mean anyway? All these years of enjoying pumpernickel and I had never once wondered where the name came from. Through the wonders of Google the answer was quickly at hand.

I won't recap the entire history and etymology of pumpernickel here, as all that information is available on Wikipedia where I found it, but apparently pumpernickel comes from the High German word "Pumpen" which means flatulent and "Nickel", which was a form of the name Nicholas, and the name Nicholas was once associated with demons. So the meaning of pumpernickel is, well, "devil's fart". Who'd have thought? So how about some "devils fart" for breakfast? My bagel maker friend promises to have a laugh every time some one orders a pumpernickel, er "devil's fart" bagel!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

More on dressing like an artist.

One of my favorite Christmas presents this year has helped my quest to dress like an artist. The item? A cape! A beautiful black polar fleece cape. This gift did of course, come with a back story.
Last fall my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. My sibs and I hatched a plan for an anniversary gift; a scrapbook, full of pictures, remembrances and stories from our childhood. One of the scrapbook pages I made was about my mom and what a good seamstress she was, and how she made us costumes and dresses and whatnot. When we were small she made us Easter dresses every spring, and in a few of those cold early Easter years she made us capes to go with our dresses. On my scrapbook page I wrote about how much I really liked those capes, and how I still like capes and wished I had one.

Fast forward to Christmas. I open a big box from my mom and find something made of black polar fleece. At first I though it was a robe, or throw, but low and behold I pulled it out of the box and discovered it was a cape. A full black flowing cape, with a single button at the neck, and a built in scarf that I can dramatically toss around my neck. It is perfect, just my style and I was so thrilled my mom found it for me. I never would have dreamed that Mom would have read what I wrote and go on a mission to find me a cape.

My kids, and probably others as well, think it's really weird, and I have no idea if it's at all fashionable or not, but I love it. It has such a nice swoop to it and feels artsy. I definitely feel like I've dressed like an artist when I wear it, which is nearly everyday. I don't care if other people laugh and think I'm weird or a caped crusader wannabe, to me, it just feels like me.

Monday, February 02, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words ...

I went skiing yesterday, and for the first time ever brought a camera with me. This is the view from the top of Snake Creek lift at Brighton. Even after living here more than 20 years I still think I'm so very, very, lucky to be able to enjoy this.

If this picture isn't worth a thousand words, head over to Watch Me Create. I have a few words over there today..... A bit of a follow up to my despacho experience!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Dressing Like an Artist

A couple of weeks ago my friend Lori Greenberg posted an interesting Wikihow article on how to dress like an artist. I never consider myself an artist, but I certainly have a artsy-farsty side that I spend alot of time indulging. From time to time I've contemplated the "dressing like an artist" issue. I'm a little schizo about my dress. On one hand I'm not the type to want to call attention to myself, and on the other hand I do like cool, fun interesting clothes. But heck, I work as a lab tech, a mostly jeans and t-shirt sort of world which suits me as I'm all about comfortable clothes. But deep down I really like the idea of dressing like an artist.

So how do I measure up to the Wikihow article? Apparently something should be different about my hair. Does the big gray streak fit the bill? I bet that's not what they have in mind! Accessories are good. Does wearing my lampwork jewelery count? Anthropologie is suggested as a great place to shop... I do love to shop there, but I never buy anything. Same for thrift and vintage shops, where I shop with my daughter, but never for myself. My favorite place to buy artsy clothes is the huge flea market where my mom lives in Florida. Many of my favorite artsy skirts have come from the flea market. I also love tye-dye. Does that make me artsy?

The one spot were I may actually pass the arty test is piercings. Apparently artist are supposed to have piercings. To be honest, I've never really been into piercings. I have nothing against them, I did let my daughter pierce her nose, but other than the standard ear piercings I've never been interested in having any others. That is, until a little over a year ago, when I needed to consult a divorce lawyer. She had an unusual piercing that caught my eye. A gentle loop that seemed to be inside her ear. I asked her about it and she told me if was called a daith. Fast forward a few months. I'm at the piercing salon with my daughter, who needed to buy a new nose ring, when I spied the black rubber sample ear that shows piercing possibilities. As I looked it over, my daughter said "Come on Mom, you know you want to", and she was right and so I did it, a single daith piercing in my left ear. I really like it!

People say that piercing is addicting. Maybe it is. A few months after my daith I notice my daughter is sporting a new piercing, one way up high on her earlobe. It turns out she did it herself. I probably should have been mad at her for self piercing, but to be honest it looked so darn cute on her I couldn't get mad. Instead I decided I needed one too, after all, she and I have the same shaped ear. So a couple months later (I wanted to wait until after my bwach vacation) I went to the piercing salon and voile, I sport another new piercing.

So now I have both ears pierced the ordinary way, and my left ear has my "divorce piercing", the daith, and my "Bond with my daughter", piercing, the upper lobe. So does this mean I can now dress like an artist?