Now that I have gotten my whining out of the way, it’s time to write about whatever else occurs to me until the coffee runs out.

I don’t think that I mentioned this yet, but I signed up for another class on Friday night at the Art and Soul retreat – carving stamps. I think that this will be great fun and I’d like to do my own alphabet. When I was in high school I did a little freelance work lettering signs for small businesses and I took a typography course in community college, back in the days before desktop publishing. I’ve always been interested in the design of fonts. I bought a print making kit with a carving block, inks, stamp pad, brayer, linoleum cutter and blades. Now I just need to buy rubber erasers to carve small stamps. And prayer. I am such a klutz that handling sharp objects always carries a high amount of risk for me.

Part of what I’m doing with the money that I saved to go to Italy this summer is going to this retreat, but I’m also buying some tools and supplies to help me get started in multimedia. I use as many found objects as I can and recycle paper and fabric, but I still have to buy the stuff to attach them to each other! My latest purchase is a craft iron with a tiny tip. There are other attachments you can buy for it for other functions, but I’m just trying this now. Since I’m figuring out that my chronic tendinitis is not going to let me hold a needle and apply pressure for more than a few minutes, I’ll be able to use fusible webbing and this iron for some small projects. I also bought some embossing powders and heatproof craft sheets to use between the iron and my projects. My next two purchases will probably have to be a heat gun and a cordless drill. If anyone has any recommendations on brands or sources, please let me know.

I bought these items specificly for an artist trading card project that I am doing with recycled manila folders and short pieces of leftover yarns and thrums (leftover warp threads from weaving). We had a large number of legal size folders in the office that we don’t need, so I am cutting them down to normal size and using the leftovers that would have been thrown out. There is a chapter using these materials in Artist Trading Card Workshop that I thought would be a good jumping off point for me. I hope that I’ll get a chance to play with this today.

And I found a new discussion group for Art Journal Quilts through a real soulmate blog that I just discovered recently, Notes from the Voodoo Cafe. This makes three art discussion groups that I’ve joined. Normally I don’t like this much email but I have them going to another address I set up just for things that can wait until I have some relaxing time to read through them.

Part of my frenzy here is that since I finished the tapestry bag, I’ve been sinking. Maybe the art is distracting me from experiencing my grief and I need to work through that, but right now, I’d rather be distracted.

Last night I read Bel Canto by Ann Patchett while listening to classical music. Nice way to finish off the work week.

I keep dreaming about hidden or newly discovered rooms in a house where I live filled with beautiful furnishings and books and interesting objects. I see this as my subconscious assuring me that there is still much treasure to be found in my life.