Thursday, August 20, 2009

Moulage is NOT the same as Moulin Rouge

I get myself into the craziest things. About a week ago I received a request to participate in a mass casualty drill that will be held near Seattle this weekend. As someone who has the recommended 3 days of emergency supplies (including water and pet food!) in her house and who has played "Emergency Kit Bingo" with senior citizens, I'm all about helping communities prepare for possible disasters.

In this case I'll be a "victim". As such I will have make-up and probably latex "wounds" applied to my person. I've been on the other side, and it was surprising how seeing someone covered in fake blood gets the heart beating faster even though you KNOW it's make-believe.

The art of applying gory makeup and fake knives and bullet holes is known as "moulage", and has apparently been around since the Renaissance when they used wax figures to practice on.

According to the official letter I received, I get to select how "wounded" I'll be. I'd rather not be deceased because...well, for LOTS of reasons, but namely because then I have to just lay really, really still for long periods of time. Where's the fun in that? I want to have some sort of injury where I get to roll around and groan and cry out pitifully.

"It's getting so...dark...and I'm feeling so very, very cold," I'll tell the first responders in a weak, yet noble voice. And then I'll wave them off with an anemic little swish of my hand..."Don't worry about me, take care of the others (cough, cough) first. It's just a flesh wound," I'll say with a saintly smile to bolster their sagging spirits, pretending not to see the dire concern in their eyes.

Ah, mass casualty drills...good times, good times...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monkeys in my mailbox!

The heretofore mentioned monkey fabric arrived from Spoonflower! I would HIGHLY recommend their services...easy to order, quick turnaround time, great fabric and printing quality. The only hard part will be deciding what to make with my precious yard of specialty fabric...

a monkey apron?

tote bag??

pillow cover???

superhero cape????

cat bed cover?????

You can sign up at Spoonflower to vote for your favorite fabric-of-the-week. It's never an easy choice and it's always amazing to see what different people have come up with. I entered my Monkey Madness fabric into the competition, but given the large backlog, I'm not sure when it will come up for a vote. When it does, I urge my Gentle Readers to vote early, vote often!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

When all you have is 30 minutes...

Here are some watercolor doodles and a beautiful quote I recently worked on. My friend Carla Sonheim gave me a quick lesson in watercolor painting a few years ago and one thing I love about it is that there's no elaborate or timeconsuming setup or cleanup, so it's easy to do if I only have a half hour to play.

I had seen a peacock image similar to this one, although I'm quite sure THAT one didn't look so much like a blue chicken.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Of Forks and Friends and Quandries

Ever been in a quandry, at a crossroads in your life, unsure about which fork in the road to take?

On one hand there's the more familiar path...safer, less risky, but not so very rewarding. And on the other, such an exotic and alluring option, with commensurate greater potential reward AND risk.

I found myself at such a spot just today. I think of myself as an adventuresome person who often takes "the road less traveled" but I was clouded with doubt. That fork in question would be far more challenging than any utensil I've ever used ("I could really poke my eye out with this one")...and yet, I really, REALLY wanted to know what food would taste like when this fork consistently lifted it to my lips; the little morsels I'd had so far had been surprisingly rich and full of flavor.

And something else...I'd been alerted that the alluring fork may well only last for a given period of time. I found myself thinking, "What if food tastes SO much better with this very fork, that when the day comes and I don't have this very fork anymore, food might seem forever bland; wouldn't that be so sad? Might I even be sorry that I ever learned to enjoy this very fork so well?"

Thank goodness for sensible friends. One told me, "Don't make it significant that you might have to forego the fantastic fork someday. There's no guarantee to ANYTHING in life, and yet we walk around like there is. Who knows, you may want to try spoons or chopsticks at some point. And who's to say if this fork flitted you wouldn't find an improved implement to replace it?"

So, so true, I thought.

And another friend just happened to send me this little bit of wisdom: "To get something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done."

And that, Gentle Readers, clinched it. I realized I did indeed want something I had never had, and am therefore willing to do something I've never done.

I'm going for the far fork, the utensil less utilized, the tantalizing tableware...

Cover me, girls, I'm goin' in!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Unbelievable Cat News!

If I hadn't heard this story firsthand, I would not believe it. A coworker of mine had his beloved Siamese cat go missing 10 years ago. He was having some construction done on his house at that time, and his best guess is that the cat jumped into one of the contractor's trucks and ended up in an unfamiliar neighborhood and couldn't find his way home.

Of course, he was heartbroken. This cat had been one heck of a character...biting his wife on the nose to wake her to for breakfast, bringing in (live) bird after bird, turning the place into an aviary, etc. As the days went by without his return, life went on (with other cats and dogs) but with some sadness.

Then last week, my coworker got a call from a veterinarian who said a Siamese cat had been turned in, and its implanted microchip revealed him as the owner. He could not believe it. He raced to the vet and found his beloved cat bedraggled and with some minor health problems, but not too bad given he was now 16 years old.

It appears as though someone had taken the cat in for the bulk of that time, but somehow the cat recently ended up on its own again. A Good Samaritan rescued it and took it to the vet.

Needless to say, the reunion was a smash hit. He brought the cat in to work yesterday and I've never seen a cat so content to be cradled in its owner's arm. Being a Siamese, it was of course NOISY...but then it had a LONG story to tell. My boss was so taken with the cat's meow, he recorded it and is going to turn it into a ring tone for our cell phones!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Design your own fabric!

There's a great site that allows you to design your own fabric. It's called Spoonflower and it's as easy as 1...2...3.

Yep...all you have to do is upload (or is it download???) an image onto their site, figure out what repeating design you want (I choose "half drop") and then select how much fabric you'd like to order.

1...2...3. It's that easy. Being smitten with sock monkeys lately, I couldn't help but order myself a little fabric. I have NO idea what I'll make with it, but that's rather beside the point, isn't it?