Saturday, June 30, 2007


Patience is a necessary characteristic for any successful escape artist. Whiskers dreams of trees.
Whiskers is our animal shelter adoption. She is very affectionate and gentle, but not a lap cat. I can pick her up, but someone has to pet her while I hold her, otherwise she wants down. So I pick her up briefly and rub my face on her, then put her down. After that, she usually runs around really fast and meows. Dave can pick her up and she is OK as long as he walks around or someone pets her. Joseph can pick her up and sit down for a little while.

She likes to play, but doesn't play by herself often. She needs someone to play with her. The cat dancer rubber pom pom-on-a-wire is a favorite. She sits on top of the ice box to request it. Fur mice are good. I bought a 12 pack from KV Vet Supply last time I ordered from them. She likes it when you throw it, then she runs after it and savages it briefly before waiting for you to throw it again. Sometimes when I pick it up, she just runs in circles around me until I fling it against the wall and it slides down. It makes a great scraping sound as it slides down the wall. Faint and enticing.

It's amazing how well she has fit in with things here. Mary Shelley is not amazed, but she prefers spending her days in the garage and always has.

I ordered the stuff I need to paint my floor cloths with non-skid backing. BTAE is planning a group auction on ebay with all items on a theme. My first floor cloth offered for sale will be on there. I'm owrking on it now. It's a small one, the size you would put inside your front door or in front of your bathroom sink. The group auction starts on July 20th, that's Friday. The theme will be From Under The Sea. Not everyone participates ineach one, andnot everyone is able to get their ebay listings up on the first day, so keep watching.

Beneath the Attic Eaves is a group of primitive folk artists. They make things that are supposed to look like old home made heirlooms. Their next group auction will be on July 6th, on ebay. The theme for that one is Christmas in July. I'm not participating in that one, but there is sure to be some great stuff. Clicking on the BTAE sign below should take you to an ebay search of everything BTAE has to offer.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Clicking on the DoubleCatBatik sign will take you to my website.

click here

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Language Museum

Summer Vacation is just advanced enough for boredom to have set in firmly. That doesn't take long. School ended up in such a busy last two weeks that having nothing to do is weird. The hard part is that school is out but life goes on and the garbage still has to go out every Tuesday night.

At the year end open house, his classroom had a Language Museum that they had been working on all year, from about the 3rd week of school. Some students worked in pairs, some individually.

They researched a language from it's ancient origins to it's current use. Some of the languages are only "used" academically, like Olmec or Ancient Egyptian. Some are old but have changed and moved over their history, influenceing others, like Chinese. Some, like Latin, are in between.
Then here are new languages like Unicode, Morse Code, and Klingon. Developed intentionally for very specifc reasons. So what is a language, really.

At the end of the year, they put together a museum in the classroom. Each language was presented as a museum display, with pictures and artifacts. Here is Joseph with his display on Klingon.

The students made t-shirts with Adinkra designs to sell during the open house as a fundraiser for Great America and Auction prizes.

After that, it was clean up and fun stuff. There was an auction for prizes using the "Bucks" they had earned for things like homework and volunteering to help. Joseph had a lot of bucks and held out until the end when this bike came up. He won it.
Award Ceremonies and 5th grade D.A.R.E. graduation. (Drug and Alcohol Resistnce Education) were followed by a field trip to Great America amusement park. And playing, lots of recess!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Stop hitting your sister in the head!

Dave has been growing raspberries this spring. He planted the bushes last year and they are really producing this year. He planted boysenberries too. I like those better, but they finished up first. He froze a lot to make smoothies with later.

I have been on the industrial machine. It has taken a lot of practice time to get control of it, it is very fast! And it is in the garage, Mary Shelley's personal daytime territory. But Whiskers has decided that she is my personal daytime companion, so there is a confict. Both cats think they should be the cat nearest to me. There is staring, then someone hits someone else in the head, then there is hissing. Then I feel like I should get up and do something about it......

I am going to try my first serious sewing on it today. Tomorrow, I am going to Denise's to sew. Since she sold it to me, I can report my success or failure to her.

Janow is doing really well on his new oat hay pellets. He looks great, and they are tasty too!

I figured out the password for Nigel's computer. I think I have an idea for the secret code.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Raffle Success

The Milpitas Relay For Life is over....for this year.
I had coffee with my friend yesterday, and she reported that the raffle alone earned $1500, that's three times more than last year! My flower batik was only one of many prizes, but still, I feel responsible for some of it. I am pleased that I could contribute, not only a monetary value(not truely determined), but to the success of the whole festival in a wide variety of rafle prizes to choose from.

And here are the glads in my garden this year. They look better and better each year. Dave planted them three years ago.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Primitive Uncle Sam

My friend Melissa made this Uncle Sam. Isn't he fantastic?

He is 14 inches tall and attached to a wooden base so he can stand up on any shelf. She needle felted his beard and hair out of wool. Needle felting is a method of attaching the hair so it is woven into itself on the other side of the fabric and will not come out! "Look Ma, No glue!"

She has him for auction on ebay, so you can click on the link I made, down below, to go and see him there. You can see more pictures and read a complete discription without having to bid, or, of course, you can bid and hope you win him. Wouldn't he look great for your 4th of July Decorations?

Melissa has an online store too. It's called Skunk Hollow Country Store. If you click on the link I made below, you can visit. You don't need shoes to go in, and you can take your coffee, or drippy ice cream cone. Parking is free.

Click here to see the ebay auction for Uncle Sam

Click here to see Skunk Hollow Country Store

Click here to see my website

Friday, June 22, 2007

Work in Progress

Here is a floor cloth I am working on. This is new for me, and batik on 10oz cotton duck is very different. The duck is a woven canvas and it's pretty heavy, so the wax has to be really hot to penetrate. It takes a lot of wax to go through, and the wax loses a lot of heat to the fabric as it goes on. It takes shorter brush strokes, and even then, it only completely penetrates at the very beginning of the strokes.

The tjanting was not good at all, it dispenses too fine of a line of wax to keep the heat long enough to penetrate the fabric. I gave that up in the first five minutes.

The design you get is really different, and definitely one sided, since the wax doesn't go all the way through. With a lighter fabric, there is still a difference between sides, and in the end you can choose the side you like best. Not so with this canvas.

There is definitely something interesting and cool going on. I am removing the wax on this piece and another one, and it is very exciting! It may take a while before I really get the hang of the partial penetration of the wax, but then again, I may like it this way. I will know when I am further on in these two pieces.

Not being able to make fine lines also influences the design, and in the designs in my book for future cloths, I have incorporated this. It may be an opportunity to really go prim, something that has been difficult for me. Maybe it I can get really prim, I will be able to keep the prim and not-prim separate. Sometimes I worry that I muddle around in middle ground too much.

The Relay For Life gets underway today. It's a pretty big event in Milpitas. Maybe I'll stop by. I can't believe it's Friday already!

I finished Riven. a most amazing feat. Less so because I used walkthroughs a couple of times. Now I have started Darkfall. The graphics are much less intense in this one, and the panning is a little abrupt, but each turn seems to take you 90 degrees. Riven was not always 90 degrees, but the cursor would change to indicate how far you would turn, and you could actually see the scene sliding by. In Myst, it was not always the same and hard to figure out since it cut abruptly from view to view. Darkfall also has the abrupt cut, but you can rely on 90 degree turns.

click on this little picture to see my website
click here

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Milpitas Relay For Life

The American Cancer Society Milpitas Relay for Life is this comming weekend, beginning Friday at the Milpitas Sports Complex.
My Friend Judy is a survivor and will be walking the track. She was sheepishly asking for donations and pledges. The best I have to offer is what I can do, so I donated this framed batik for the raffle. It's always hard to watch things I've made go out the door, especially to mystery homes, but I felt good about being able to donate something with meaning for me.

click here to see the Milpitas Relay For Life site

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

There is a skateboard park here. Joseph left a note so I would be sure to see it and know where it is, just in case I decided to take him there.

This is very funny if you are familiar with San Jose, California. If you want your monitor to show it bigger, just click on the picture. Then use the back arrow to return.

Friday was the last day of school. It was a relief for me as well as for Joseph. I told him my prediction was that by Monday morning at 9:30, he would say
"I'm SO bored!"

He denied the possibility, but I told him that's what happened last year. Actually, he made it until 11:00.
"I'm SO bored."
I replied:
"It's going to be a long summer."

I started another floor cloth yesterday. The first one isn't finished, but I learned a lot about how the wax goes into 10oz duck. I took an intermediate picture of it, and I have a couple pictures of the first one too, but they are still in the camera.

I have a dress I bought second hand at Savers thrift store. We were there looking for school uniforms. We came up short, but it was only a couple of weeks before school was out and it didn't make sense to buy new for only a few wears. I saw this great rayon African print dress. There is enough fabric there for pants. The kind Dave hates for me to wear in public when I am with him.

I think it was the cow pants that made up his mind. They are worn out and long gone, but the Hereford cows with their red and white striped beach towels and the blue and white starred float rings really embarrassed him. I think this print will be okay though. It's a little more mainstream for clothing, and Dave knows it's been clothing before.

click here!
click here

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Camp-outs and Robotics

A boy Scout since February, he got to join before he was 11 and had completed the 5th grade because he had earned his Cub Scout Arrow of Light.

He joined a Boy Scout troop that has monthly camp-outs. These are a little different than Cub Scout camp-outs, being older, the scouts are in charge of more and the parents less. So he needed new gear. He chose this backpack after comparison shopping three stores. He re-packed it many times before it's maiden camp-out. When he posed for this picture, he had no idea that there was more back pack than Scout. Boy, was he surprised to see!

And then.....

Dave decided he should help with the vacuuming again. He has decided that periodically, then promised to vacuum for a week or two or so before finally doing it, if I hadn't already. I suggested something to the effect that he couldn't get credit for helping by volunteering and then forgetting. So he solved that problem by buying something called a Roomba. Roomba is a robot vacuum cleaner. To a techno-geek, it's another toy.

It comes out of it's docking station under the sofa at a pre-programmed time and vacuums. As it vacuum's, it makes a map of where it finds walls and where it has already vacuumed. It doesn't do fur mice. They get jammed and it needs rescuing. It does a mediocre job of vacuuming, but it does it every day. Not bad.

Much better than the carpet cleaner. Ten years ago, or so, I said
"I want to have the carpets cleaned." So Dave bought me a carpet cleaner.

I had said:
"I want to have the carpets cleaned."

I didn't say:
"I want to clean the carpets."

There is a difference, and I don't think it's subtle.
What do you think?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hip Hop

My son's Hip Hop Class performed at Family Day at the Milpitas Community Center. They did great. They were great!

Each age/ability group performed seperately, then the two highest groups performed freestyle together. Each dancer short turns to show off their best moves.

Joseph and Tajel, who is also in his 5th grade class at Pomeroy, went together one time to show something they call "Baby Freeze"

I made the shirts for their class. I silk screened them, which was an interesting experience, but probably not one I will to do again. I wouldn't refuse, but there are more fun things to do if you're going to make shirts.