Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Random Bits


So, today, none of the things I plan on talking about ties together in any form of neat "theme," so I'm just ending up with some "random bits."

I'd been in a bit of a slump when it came to my art over the past week or so. Now it is summer. Now I have time. Now I have my creative space ready. And I didn't want to do anything! A new internet friend came to the rescue, though. Molly Jean Hensen is an artist with her work posted on Flickr. Poppins, whom I've met via the Creative Mom Podcast pointed me in her direction. So, I was admiring Molly Jean's work (oh, my goodness, you must look at her felted quilts and books and her altered books and journals - really magnificent!) and left her a comment there. She in turn, looked at some of the things I'd posted from my own visual journal. In one of my pictures, I had written that I do not particularly like working with oil pastels (any more - I loved them as a child). I found them to be a challenging medium. She wrote to me, encouraging me to try a few different techniques with them and voila! Not only was I inspired to try those new things, but it pushed me out of my slump. So, thanks, Molly Jean! :)
I played around in my journal with gesso over the top of my drawings...

... and then tried them on some textured paper.

I'm happy with the results and look forward to playing more with my oil pastels!


Moving on...

I know I mentioned I ordered a Diva Cup. It arrived in two days! From Canada! Fantastic service; fantastic product!! I know, because I needed it right then, and let me tell you, I was simply a fool not to have ordered one sooner. Not only will it pay for itself in a mere 6 months, is expected to last at least 10 years, is SO much better for the environment, it also, made this cycle to be extremely "no fuss, no muss." I'll spare you the details, but if you have questions, feel free to e-mail me. No, I don't work for or get anything from this company. I'm just a seriously satisfied customer.

That's one of the wonderful things to me about sustainable products. They are just so good all around. Good for you and others and usually good for your pocketbook as well.

Speaking of green products, here's another favorite in our household. If you have kitties, you may want to consider trying Feline Pine cat litter. It's made from pine sawdust pressed into pellets. I started using it about two years ago. We have 3 cats and clay litters just did not cut it. The ammonia smell to me was just overwhelming, even with new litter. The chemical perfume smells gave me a headache and I really felt bad for the cats having to go in there and breathe that. Enter Feline Pine. No ammonia smell. I use just about an inch deep of litter that, among 3 cats, gets completely changed only about once a week. We scoop solids, of course, and we can to that straight into the toilet. It's safe for that and then there's no need for a plastic bag. When the pellets have all changed to sawdust by the end of the week, it can actually be used as mulch. I'll put it behind the hedges on the side of the house or under a couple of large plants and then later cover (if it is visible) with a thin layer of wood chip mulch just for aesthetics, because otherwise it just looks like sawdust. Keep in mind, solid waste must be absent. Urine from a cat won't hurt your plants, washes away (along with the smell), and if that grosses you out, just think of all the other animals that traverse through your lawn every day and night, doing what they need to do wherever they choose to do it.

The Florida Extension Service recommends a 1 to 3 inch layer of mulch around all plantings to keep plants healthy and conserve water. Every bag of cat litter I buy, becomes a bag of free mulch! It works for me!

Finally, we are cooking our garden! This weekend, Paul covered one of the beds. We think we are battling nematodes, so we are solarizing the beds this summer. He turned in a bunch of nice compost and then covered the bed with plastic. He put a couple of pieces of scrap wood in the center to form a small peak to hopefully prevent puddling during the rainy season. Hopefully by October we'll have some nice soil ready for planting again.


Hope you're all having a great week. Thanks for stopping by!
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