Being an artist

It's a beautiful spring day here. The sun is shining and there's not cloud in sight. The temperature's been on the rise several days and reaches new high points every day. This is nice. If you're not allergic to pollen that is. Otherwise it's not that fun. If you live in an area where there's still snow it's not fun either.

I was talking to friend on phone yesterday. She's a very artistic lady. I wish I could express myeslf that way. In poems and pictures and such. My friend writes poems I want to frame and hang on the wall. Beautiful stuff. I've tried writing poems. It didn't work out that well. They were just so trivial and not very interesting to read at all. I've tried painting too, but that was just a disaster. I have a picture in my head I want to paint or draw, but it never comes out they way I want it to. This makes me very upset and usually I heave the whole thing away. I think I'll stick to making cards. Those turn out at least almost as I want them to.

Or maybe I should stick to reading instead. I'm pretty good at reading by now, having done it since I was like six years old. I've always been an avid reader. When they asked in class what we thought of when thinking of the word "library" I just had to say "Heaven" since I love books and I love libraries. That got a laugh out of the class. But I truly wish I had a library. Imagine a whole room full of books to read. New adventures to be part of.

The other day I printed out some of the card challenges on Split Coast Stampers (see link) where they challenge you to make a card of a particular design. You have to put the card elements in a particular order or use squares or circles. Fascinating! I tried making one such card. It turned out better than I thought. I got many new ideas. However, I'm a bit picky about what I do since cardstock is way expensive and I really want everything to be beautiful.

Ok, now I really got to go. I have two essays to write for next week and keywords to write and cards to make

Ta ta for now!!



Assignment 2 - Problem solving

Dogs should be banned from the city

Spring has arrived and with the melting of the snow we discover all the sins committed during the winter. There is dog poop everywhere! This is a problem. It’s not fun to get dog poop on my shoes, especially my new summer shoes. Right? So what can we do about this problem?

The authorities have put up special dog poop waste bins all around the city. Obviously they’re not used for their purpose since I still have to do zig-zag dance on the sidewalks to avoid the dog leftovers. This doesn’t seem to work. I am the first to admit that most dog owners are responsible people who brings poop bags with them to pick up after their darlings, but there are plenty who does not think that far ahead.

In Paris they have fines for people who doesn’t pick up their dog’s excrements. Now, that would work, if there was some way to determine which poop came from which dog. We don’t have the resources to send all the dog poop left in the streets for dna-analyzing. Not with the resources of the police and prosecutors strained as it is.

So my suggestion is that no dogs should be allowed in the city centre at any time. Of course there should be exceptions for guide dogs and other working dogs (police dogs, drug dogs and so forth) and dogs who live in the city centre, but not dogs that really has no business doing their business in the city centre. We banned cars from the city centre, you’re not allowed to drive on certain streets and in others you’re not allowed to drive at night. This could be the case for dogs too.

One could argue that dogs are a natural companions of humans and therefore should be allowed everywhere. That is true. Many people have testified about their faithful canine companions. However, I seriously doubt the dogs themselves find it very amusing to go shopping. They aren’t even allowed in shops or stores or restaurants. Now, if I was a dog I’d find it very tedious sitting outside a shop, tied up with no toys to chew on for hours on end. Maybe even forgotten by my owner. I’ve seen that happening. Imagine if it was a hot summer’s day also. Being tied up, sitting on hard, hot concrete with no shadow nor water available. That is just plain cruel. This is no way to treat your faithful companion, is it?

The way to enforce such a ban is to have every dog outfitted with a gps-chip. Most dogs are outfitted with chips as it is so it won’t be a major cost. Enter all dogs into a database. The Swedish Breeder’s Association has registers of all their member dogs already. Have a computer track all dogs at all times and if a dog is found on a street which is prohibited the computer makes a note of it and sends off an e-mail to the court and to the owner with a heavy fine. The fines would probably even finance the whole operation leaving no additional costs to the community.

Dogs have no business in the city centre. They’re in the way, they scare people and the owners leave the dog poop on the sidewalk. No, I think it’s time to ban dogs from the city centre. Dogs should have lots of space to run and toys to chew on and freedom to sniff whatever scent they want without having to fear dehydration, sun or broken glass in their paws. For me, the advantage would be no dog poop on my new summer shoes. It’s a win-win situation




I've made a mistake. I went to SplitCoastStampers to get some inspiration for making cards. Now my head hurts from way too many ideas forming in brain at the same time. Very much like when I go to craft store to look around to see what's new. Not a good idea if I don't have any money to buy stuff with.

Anyway, I managed to print out some sketch suggestions since I seem to lack the inspiration how to place my decor on the cards. Did that make any sort of sense?

I'm also royally annoyed with the country and the city I'm living in. We do not have all the great craft stuff the Americans have. We have what you might call a limited supply. Take wheels for example. There are no stamping wheels in the store! And the ink pads! They're hardly bigger than a postage stamp!! In fact, I've seen postage stamps bigger than my inkpads. I've got two now at least. One black and one red. I'm in the beginning of my stamping career so I don't own that much yet. And wouldn't you know, I found a really neat set of clear stamps in a magazine (thank you H!) with a jungle theme (yes, there is a giraffe in the set). Now, if I understand correctly I have to mount those stamps on an acrylic block of some sort before setting out to stamp. I did some checking and realized it was cheaper to order a whole set of different acrylic blocks from the same place that had the stamps than to go to craft store and buy a single block. Shipping was included in that tally. Isn't that interesting? Shows how the prices are ridiculous here when it's cheaper to buy a whole set from halfway around the world and ship it here than buying a single block (of the wrong size of course since the biggest one is too small and in this case, size matters) in the store down the street.

Time to breathe...

I think I'll go check out the special paper craft shop that's supposed to be somewhere outside the city. Maybe they'll have more reasonable prices. I doubt it, but one can dream...

Home! Cardmaking! Oh and thinking of assignment 2.

Ta Ta for now!



Why are top lists so popular?

Who has never compiled a top ten or a top five list of something? I think just about everyone has made a list or two in their lifetime. Why do we do this? And why do we feel the need to post them online? Here’s my top three list of why we make lists and post them online.

The top three list of why we make lists and post them online

3. We want to organize our minds. The world of today and the foreseeable future isn’t likely to become any less filled with information than it already is. The human brain isn’t equipped to deal with those kinds of information avalanches that sweeps through our world on a daily bases. We need to clear our heads and focus and bring some order to the chaos we perceive the world to be. This is an easy way of dealing with vast quantities of information.

2. We want to belong to a group. I keep getting back to my friend Maslow and his ladder of human needs. The need to belong to a group is very very powerful in humans and therefore we want to make sure that our priorities are the same, alas, we compare our lists. If your list is similar to my list we are alike and could belong to the same group of people with similar taste in music, film, how to raise kids, balloon colours or whatever tickles our imagination that day.

1. We simply cannot concentrate that long anymore. It’s not our fault we have the attention span of goldfish (the famous three seconds) so we put all the important things into lists and small chunks of information because nobody has the attention stamina to read through large bodies of text. Anyone, other than me, ever started to read a story in a magazine just to stop and look for a bullet list or something to capture the gist of the story to see if it’s worth digging through? The fear of missing something important by focusing on something else rears it’s ugly head and snaps it’s fangs at us and instead of whacking it over the head with yesterday’s rolled up paper we run faster from it and try to multi-task.

It can be fun compiling lists of different kinds too. You have to think a bit before putting the list on paper and then of course a bit more before posting it online because someone else is always going to question the order of the list and say you’re wrong because you never mentioned this or that and then you have found a new friend to argue the finer points in balloon colours or heavy metal drum solos with.

I'm back!

After a few days with ridiculously high fever and sniffles and cough and all those niceties I'm back in business. I'm weak in body, but not in mind and I've sharpened my typing talons to the max to deliver my two cents on why people make top lists. Or rather, why we make so many of them. Hang on to your keyboards my friends because now we're taking off!



Thinking about the first assignment

Session no 2 with the Academic Writing class is finished. I've got to think about this a bit before I put my thoughts on the screen. My main problem right now is that I tend to be a bit wordy and long-winded. Do tell me if I'm wrong on that account... Lord knows I had a difficult time trying to keep that Harry Potter-essay below 400 words.

Oh and I found a new feature that I did not know existed. I can make all the lines the same length. I thought that was just a ms word thing. Or just me for that matter. I like my words in straight lines of equal length.

Ok, you've been forewarned. I am a wordy person and will write long posts and hopefully long comments too.

Bus! Home! Crafts!

Ta ta for now!


A few hours to kill...

...before class. It's Thursday and I'm at uni again. No internet connection from home really sucks sometimes. Although I did get to talk to a lot of people at the job fair at uni. That was fun. Me and friend J went to fair together. There were a lot of people there. In some areas you almost couldn't walk because there were so many people. The only complaint I had was that it was warm, but then again, the sun was shining. It's a beautiful spring day here in Karlstad so I won't complain too much.

Yesterday evening there was a vip happening in the new mall here. I got an invitation and decided to go. It was so much fun! There was a band playing too. They were quite good. They also had three snack "stations" where one could get snacks and beverages and all the stores and shops had special discounts. I got some new stamps. One set of letter stamps. All of the alphanumerical characters. I also got a new ink pad. A red one. I only had a black one before but this new red one is also good for stamping on fabric. Way cool indeed! Now I'm going to make a cover for paperback books if I find a fabric I really like.

For now however I'm going to sit here and do some reading. Next novel up for Eng1 class is "Another World" by Pat Barker. I'll tell you all about it when I'm done (and when everyone else is done too). Since I love books and to read (see list) I'll be commenting on the books I'm reading at the moment. It should be fun. At least for me.

Of course I didn't make it home to see CSI the other day. I had too much fun trying to get this blog up and running. Oh well, I'll catch the re-run instead. I've never regretted missing a tv-show when doing something fun as of yet. (hmm... is that sentence ok? It looks funny)

Ta ta for now!



No assignments yet...

No assignments for this class no, but that doesn't mean I'm just sitting around crocheting (which I also do, but not solely).

Today I've spent the morning all the way to lunch analyzing three short stories and a novel. That was fun. I like analyzing texts and trying to figure out layers of meaning that are hidden in the text if you just read it straight through. We analyzed a really interesting short story by Kazuo Ishiguro called "A Family Supper". About a son that comes home to Tokyo after living in California for several years and reunites with his father and sister over supper. Very interesting indeed. I have to wonder if they all survived the night after the meal since I suspect they all ate fugu fish.

Fugu fish is very very poisonous. The poison is stored in a glands and even the tiniest amount of the colorless and odourless poison will result in an agonizing death within hours. The fish is apparently very popular in Japanese restaurants. I didn't know that many Japanese people were suicidal.

There are several hints that the family won't survive the meal. The father's failure in business, his admiration of his partner in the business as a man of principle who killed his entire family and then committed suicide, and his pride in having pure samurai blood in his veins. Of course there are other things that suggests that they do survive. They plan for the future for example. The story ends with the family having a cup of tea so we'll never know. I still vote for them not surviving.

The most interesting about this short story I think is the references it makes to empty rooms. In the house where the father lives there are several dark and empty rooms and the son, coming from America, said that he only left some empty rooms behind there. My interpretation is that the empty rooms are symbols for what is lacking in their lives. Things like love, joy, a wife/girlfriend, career... Those kinds of things. A full room = success, an empty room= failure.

Another of the short stories were Toni Morrison's "Recitatif" (Confirmation). In this text there are one white girl and one black girl becoming friends when they're young and then they meet later in life in different circumstances. The discussion here focused mainly on who was who. Was Twyla white or black? Was Roberta white or black? There is no hint whatsoever in the entire text which is which really. That's interesting because most of class ended up thinking Twyla was the black girl and Roberta was the white one while I thought the other way ar0und. Although considering that Toni Morrison is an african-american author it's easy to assume that the narrator, Twyla, is the black girl.

That's about the most interesting thing I have to say today. Thank you to cousin for having lunch with me and thank you to friend for completing the task I put on her. Last but not least, thank you to Heather for leaving comments!

Ta ta for now!