Saturday, July 30, 2005

Relaxing Saturday

I realized I had not posted in a while...Michael has been so busy with work that I have been feeling a little sorry for myself -- down in the dumps so I have not posted. We had some quality time today though so that was nice.

I started the day off making muffins -- Michael was happy to smell the baking coming through the house to the office where he was on the phone with his parents. He was giving them their next computer lesson. They are doing so good! I am very proud of them.

After breakfast, we kind of lounged around for a bit before going out to do some errands. We grabbed lunch at Bear Rock Cafe...which has really good sandwiches. We ate and talked a bit before heading to our next destinations...Borders for Michael and Michael's Arts and Crafts for me.

Michael bought me 3 rubber stamps - a sun, a butterfly and then a bigger one that looked like a collage. It has 15 squares each with a different design. They are interesting and beautiful. I am having trouble describing it -- so a picture is to the right. I can't wait to use it (probably tomorrow as I have some art swaps that I need to get done).

I made a card the other day . With encouragement from family and friends -- I am thinking of making some more cards. I really want to find some handmade paper cards in natural earthy colors. The one in the picture on the link is a set of cards I bought that are handmade paper with silver specks in them and the envelopes are made from the same paper. And I really like those cards, but of course I bought them several years ago and can't remember where I picked them up. They are in bright colors that work, but with natural earthy colors I think they will go with anything I design. I did see some ivory card stock with envelopes in the size I needed today, but they were kind of pricey and not well unique enough for me. So, that is something I am looking for online is handmade paper cards -- if anyone knows where I can find some at a good price please let me know -- thank you!

So back on track of the day....after a few more stops we headed back home where we started watching Seven Years in Tibet. For dinner Michael made a pitcher of margaritas and I made nachos. We watched the rest of the movie while eating dinner. It was a nice relaxing evening -- which we both needed.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Computers and Hawks, oh my!

It's been quite an adventure lately.

A couple of weeks ago my folks went out and got themselves a computer and basically learning how to make these darn contraptions from the ground up. Everything from turning on the computer, to how to run the mouse, double click, drag, the enter key - everything. So far, they are mastering the art of the mouse by playing solitaire and other games on the computer. (which ironically was the original design of the games to begin with - but everyone tends to forget that when they master the art of navigating using a mouse.)

I figure I touched my first computer in 1982 - so - now almost 23 years later, I didn't realize *all* of the things I've long since packed away in the book of knowledge -- a lot of things that I took for granted.. I've found myself backing up, re-thinking a section or two when I get the sense that I was talking a bit too geek.. I've been most impressed with how well they've picked it up!! (Yes, they get a really big gold star for all that they have learned!!) I'm really proud of them - as I know that much of this really seems daunting if not completely intimidating..

This week has been pretty stressful with work and then with meetings in Denver Friday, I didn't get a really good chance to give my folks any really good lessons that I did the week before.. After tweaking my back on a big box that I had to deliver to my car, having only slept for a small handful of hours the night before, we managed to get up early this morning so that we could attend a photo-op class near the foothills of the front range of Denver.. Hawkquest is a non-profit group, volunteer driven membership to further the education and awareness of some of the prettiest birds I've ever seen.. The early wake up call was well worth it.. I saw
four of the five birds in the group before my body couldn't take anymore and I began the trek back home..

More pictures to follow - including some shots I recently took over the 4th of July weekend.. I've been just a bit busy to work no anything other than the larger fires that seem to be creeping up..

For now, I'm drained - pretty darn tired and in need of sleep...


I decided to make a dedicated blog to my art....

Darby's Art

I have went back and put in archives showing when I created some pieces -- so they go back to April.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Cookies Yay!

I have never been able to make chocolate chip cookies here in the altitude. But today I made Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies and they worked! They did not do what all the other chocolate chip cookies have done since being here in Colorado -- which is become so flat and crumbly that I can't get them off the pan.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


We went to Michael's parents last weekend and we head back tomorrow. But I will let Michael tell about the adventures of the new computer. I will say they did very well for first time users!

I have had a 3 day migraine cycle that seems like it is not going to let up. My rash came back and so we are slowly narrowing down things that might be causing it. I also got some bad news about one of the moles that was removed. It came back having cancer cells...and they are not sure they got it all. So the doctor will have me come back in 3 to 4 weeks and she will take more area around where the mole to make sure they got it all. This doctor I have is the best I have ever had...she has incredible skills as a doctor as well as a wonderful bedside manner. I am very lucky to have found her.

So hopefully soon I will be all better!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Neat Link...Our Names on Flickr

A friend gave me this link....I thought it was cool...

Mone letter itile cHhhhhAEL


d'B\rBOne Letter / Y

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Chicken Lasagna

1/2 of a 1 pound package of whole-wheat lasagna noodles (regular lasagna noodles work too -- I just prefer whole-wheat)
1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated skim milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup white wine
1 to 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or just chopped
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare lasagna according to package directions; drain. In a large saucepan, blend together evaporated skim milk and cornstarch. Whisk in chicken broth, parmesan cheese, wine, mustard, tomato sauce, garlic, basil, and red pepper. Bring to a boil; stirring until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Reserve 1-1/4 cups. Stir chicken and tomatoes into remaining sauce. Into a 13x19-inch baking dish, spoon 1/4 cup reserved sauce. Layer 1/3 the lasagna and half the chicken sauce. Repeat, ending up with lasagna. Spread on remaining 1 cup of sauce. Top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, in 350 F. oven for 35-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Serves 8-10

Monday, July 11, 2005

Uh oh -- now you've done it.....

The information age hits the old ones........

I've been working on my folks for awhile now to finally get connected to the 21st century.. One has to realize that they are in their 70's, but eagerly waiting to learn new stuff.. Ever since Dad got my Mom the new digital camera - let's just say they have decided that it's time to become tech savvy in the information age..

So -- as luck would have it -- in the last couple of weeks there has been a sale of computers at Circuit City.. Upon looking at the advertisement, I saw one of those deals that was just too good to pass by.. Yes.. I realize that technology changes at a drop of a hat - but at some point you just have to dive right in.. The time was ripe for the folks at 778..

Ever since that fateful day - when I sent them on a mission of no return -- they have been in what only can be conceptualized as a "mode...." One can say it's a Trading Spaces-type mode.. Others can say that it's a technological mode.. Regardless, my folks are about to join the rest of us in the technological era..

They bought themselves a computer..

So - for the next couple of weekends, we'll be making the trek to Denver to aid, teach and mentor.. It's going to be a crash course on how to use a computer from the ground up.. Which isn't necessarily going to be easy, but I know that over time - it'll be okay..

A Week of Updates...

Last week went by fast!

4th of July - Michael and I just had a relaxing day at home. I grilled hamburgers and put slices of asiago on them to make them super yummy! After dinner, Michael and I gathered up camera equipment and drove around to try to find a few possible spots for pictures. One place he really wanted was shooting the reflection of the fireworks in a "mirrored" building downtown. That is where we ended up but it did not quite work out how he was intending it too. After getting eaten up (even with insect repellent) we went and grabbed an ice cream cone before heading home.

Tuesday - I just spent time cleaning and such. Michael had to work really late so I also got a little time to do some art.

Wednesday - Michael and I had to be out of the house early - so we grabbed some breakfast before he dropped me off at a friend's house. I was there to show her how to run the website I designed for her. I was there from 9:30 am to almost 2pm -- Michael joined us for a bit so that he could work on their computer as it was doing all sorts of weird things when we were on it.

I always have a nice time with her. She is an amazing artist and so very friendly and down to earth. I showed her some of my art - she was so encouraging. I appreciated that so much. Most of her favorites were my favorites too. We do seem to have similar artistic tastes. After I got home, I relaxed a little bit before getting work on chores and again a little time for some art.

Thursday - Of course was the London that was shaking and upsetting. My day was spent cleaning, doing laundry and watching CNN. We had a really good dinner that night - full of flavor! I marinated chicken breasts in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, onion, and lemon pepper ...and then grilled them. They had so much flavor and so juicy. I served with veggies, salad and baked potatoes. Michael was extremely tired so he went to bed early. And I worked on an art blog for all my is not quite done yet though.

Friday - Again we had to be up early as I had to be at the doctors office at 9:15. I had several moles fun. The procedure itself went really well. She numbed me up really well. And then afterwards Michael and I went to Big Lots. He felt I deserved a treat for going through that he bought me some canvas', stationary, stickers, gluesticks and a few other odd-n-ends. I also got some repair kits for fixing screen doors -- but I am going to use them in art. They have a sticky back so I thought that would be very handy -- not having to worry about gluing them down. For dinner Michael and I had my favorite -- chinese food! It always makes me feel better! We had a relaxing evening catching up on some West Wing.

Saturday - I called my parents. I have been missing them when I have tried for the last 2 weeks. It was nice to catch up with them. After phoning my parents, I made muffins for breakfast. I wanted Michael to have a relaxing weekend so we tried not to have plans set or pressure on what needed to be done this weekend. We are going out of town the next two weekends so thought we better take advantage of time to have a stress-free weekend (of course that did not totally happen though). Michael decided a movie sounded good so we went to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith. We liked it. Not anything deep or insightful, but it was action packed entertainment. The comedy and chemistry between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt was good.

When we got home though, we started having some problems around here.....first our air conditioner was not wanting to flip on. Michael figured out that it was the motor, so after dinner we ran to home depot to pick up one so he could install it yesterday morning. Then I came in the office to sign online and my computer was not working. Well this computer is not very old, so Michael was a little frustrated, but being tech savvy he figured out that it was the video card that went out. He pulled out his old old computer and replaced the bad one with the good one to get me back up and running. This week I need to be backing up my computer just to be on the safe side.

Sunday - Michael was up at 5:30 am to get to work on the air. He got it all fixed up and then we had breakfast and then naps! I made 3 dozen muffins for him to bring with him to work this morning.

Monday - It has been a Monday far I have slipped and twisted my knee, cut my finger and just been extremely accident prone. I am about to go do some I owe a few people some things. Lets hope I am not as accident prone in there with exacto knives, paint, and beading needles!

This weekend we go to help Michael's parents set up a computer. They are 70 years old and bought their first computer -- first time users of a computer also. Michael is going to set it up and then give them lessons all weekend long. The weekend after that we have some friends coming into Denver so we will be going back and spending some time with them. And also the Hawk Quest was rescheduled for that weekend so we wil be hiking and taking pictures of hawks, owls and maybe an eagle.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

More ATC's

Just quick entry...

I have some more cards. I am in the process of designing a layout for an art blog so that all my art will go there. I then want to get a website sometime soon too. So that I can have more space to post pictures.

But here are a few new ones...

beauty in subtleties

This one was made of some pieces that were left over when cutting up the cardstock. I left them under a few while painting them and you can't see it in the picture but it looks like they have been ran over with tires, brushes and have spots of different colors on them. I saw them lying on my table one morning and decided they should be put together as the colors were so subtle that they were pretty. So started to work by fixing them together by sewing beads on them. Then did a cut out from a paintchip that was textured and a cut out with the words. You can tell the top piece under the beads has such a variety of color and texture. But the bottom piece had more dark colors on the card stock and so even though it has that same texture and color to it -- the camera is not picking it up.


Also kind of an accident....I bought some tack cloth as I liked the mesh texture of it...and for 50 cents for a pretty big piece I could not pass up the deal to experiement with it in art. I wanted to see how well it did when gluing it down. So insteado of starting by using it on a bigger piece or canvas I cut out an atc base. I painted it base color and then glued the tack cloth down. After it dried, I then painted it as the tack cloth was yellow and not an appealing yellow to me. So I had some bits and pieces and added them. I can't wait to use it in a bigger piece now. It was not bad to handle...I think I am going try to attach a piece when I gesso some canvas' today.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Live 8

Today is Live 8 - where series of 8 simultaneous global concerts are being held to allow people of the world to call on the leaders of the wealthiest countries to make poverty history.

It is on MTV right now.

Why is Live 8 happening.....well every 3 seconds in Africa someone dies. Every 3 seconds. That is unbelievable. 30,000 people die EVERY DAY! I feel ashamed to say that I did not know that until today. I did not know that the number was so staggering.

July 6 through 8, the "Group of Eight" get together and can....make history. From "The G8, or the ‘Group of Eight’ Summit is an annual gathering of leaders from the world’s eight wealthiest and most powerful countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States). This summer, these leaders will gather in Scotland to decide the fate of an entire generation living on less than ONE dollar a day. On July 6th – 8th, President Bush and other G8 leaders will discuss the major social, political and economic conditions that leave nearly ONE billion people living in extreme poverty – nearly half of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa. With your support and voice, President Bush and other world leaders will know just how important these issues are, and together as ONE, we can Make Poverty History this July."

They have a petition to sign online to urge President Bush to do soemthing about this proverty and make histry by eraticating it.