About Me ColorJoy Home Page Free Stuff About Me Contact Me
ColorJoy Home Page
ColorJoy Home The ColorJoy Blog Buy Patterns, Recipe Books, CDs Patterns Schedule & Potential Classes Recipes & Food Information The LynnH SockTour LynnH Polymer Clay The Fabulous Heftones - Lynn & Brian

Archive for January, 2003

Finished Brian’s Sox!

Friday, January 31st, 2003

I finished a pair of sox today for beloved hubby, Brian. I started these on a trip to Las Vegas in August, but I had two pair going on that trip… finished the one pair I liked best and just plain FORGOT about the second pair. Found it in my trunk a week or two ago when looking for some motor oil, and then had to figure out who they were for, etc…

They were done except for toes, and the perfect length for Brian… that helped me remember that they were for him, after all. It’s a Regia jacquard in turquoise, three blues and a grass green… with solid charcoal heels and toes. I have enough yarn left to make myself a pair to match (we both have smallish feet) but we’re not the “matching clothes” type of couple, so I resist, at least initially. I do love the colors of these sox, though. I could be tempted.

Now I don’t have a single simple project going that I can do on the road (I finished the toes today in line at the Post Office). I have so many obligatory projects and unfinished longterm “thinking” projects, that I hate to start anything new. However, I can’t do my current projects while waiting in line, they take too much brainpower for that sort of distraction. I don’t know why I feel so guilty starting another simple pair!

I need to get over the guilt and start something tomorrow because I will be going to hear my Goddaughter, Sara, sing at solo and ensemble. I expect to have quite a bit of waiting time there, between performers.

I am still plugging on the eternal to-do list (for my work) so I have no picture of the sox yet. That is four finished projects in a week! Purple alpaca and turquoise Opal sox for me, purple cropped-finger gloves for me, and Regia sox for Brian. Now if I can just get some time to take pictures and edit them properly for the web, I’ll let you see the goodies. Meanwhile, maybe you can just catch the good finishing energy from my note!

Colorful Barberpole Sox

Thursday, January 30th, 2003

I’m so excited! My friend Deborah Harowitz (ScarletZebra.com) sent me photos of two pair sox she knit using my Barberpole Sox pattern! Check these out! She competes for the title ColorJoy Grrl, don’t you think???

Deborah used Cascade Fixation (sportweight) cotton/lycra yarn. She bought it one day last fall when she and I met halfway between our homes, at Elaine’s Yarn Shop in Davison, Michigan. Too bad we live so far away from one another, as we both drive over an hour to meet there. It makes meeting an infrequent joy at best. Fortunately, we have email to keep us connected between visits.

Deborah is not only a knitter, but she is a dyer and quilter among other occupations. I have seen her work and it is wonderful. Last year she designed a sweater in hot fuschia and chartreuse (hot yellow-green), an asymmetrical sweater with many textures and many yarns. It is truly a masterpiece. I’ve also seen her quilting with hand embellishment. Very nice work. Her Scarlet Zebra website (link above) offers supplies for dyers, knitters, quilters and weavers. You might want to check it out. The website has a new design recently. Deborah is doing all the web design work herself these days, as well as running the rest of her business. I wonder when she sleeps???

Thank you, Deborah, for making my day! These sox are purely ColorJoy!

Teahouse: food as art

Wednesday, January 29th, 2003

beautiful meal at English Rose TeahouseI’m crazy busy doing my to do list from coming back from vacation: 18 items, about a dozen legitimately rating a priority of 1. Several of the tasks are due today, thankfully some will not take long.

In order to give you something to read, I’ll put up a picture of the lovely feast I had at the English Rose Teahouse in Ormond Beach, FL (the day it snowed in Daytona, but we somehow missed it… Ormond Beach is just north of Daytona Beach).

The service was lovely, the food divine. My meal was a chicken salad with pineapple, grapes, celery and almonds, with a curry dressing. It also came with a scone (Brian got to eat most of that because of my food sensitivites, and he was not upset about that at all). I also got a lovely darjeeling tea. What a treat!

Just look at the table setting: lovely dishes, a crocheted doily, everything artful as well as tasty. We really lucked out when we finally found this place to have a meal.

Home, snowy home!

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003

We got home tonight. It was in the 60’s when we left Florida. When we arrived at Detroit, it was about freezing, snowing, and pretty nasty for driving. Fortunately (I think), it was colder in Lansing which meant the streets were a little better to navigate.

Knitting news: I finished two pair of sox (both slouchy, one hot purple alpaca and one turquoise/jacquard opal) and a pair of alpaca half-finger gloves while I was gone. We had so much down time traveling by plane and car, and a little time here and there visiting folks, that I had plenty of time to do some good work.

The sox were actually nearly ready to finish when we left (basically they needed toes and that was all) but I started and finished the gloves while there. I have already worn the cropped gloves for hours and hours, they are so right for my lifestyle. They were tedious to say the least, but I am glad I took the time to slog through all those yarn ends to work in, and all the extra planning. These are gorgeous and very warm!

After I finished the gloves, I then started a sock design for a book project. I am again having my horrendous “gauge of the hour” problems and can not get even a few inches of the cuff done in the same gauge. I am so frustrated with that, that I do not feel like knitting tonight. It makes me nuts when I have to knit and un-knit over and over and over again, trying to make knitting from one day or part of the day, match the current knitting. It seems to happen more when I do stranded fairisle-styled knitting, and I just love that sort of design.

It is probably good that I don’t feel like knitting or anything else, because I am sooooo tired! I’ll catch you folks tomorrow. As I get time this week, I will share some photos from the trip. That is, if I *have* any time this week, because I have some major projects to do now, as I return to my “normal” routine.

Lakeland, Florida

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003

sunsetSunday night we visited Brian’s parents near Ruskin, south of Tampa. We did not have much time, but we were able to take them to dinner at a buffet restaurant they enjoy. We also got a tour of their park and the area surrounding where they will be living for two months this winter. We tried to go see the manatee, but the viewing area had closed about 45 minutes before we arrived. This sunset was from the fishing dock area in their park. Some neighbors of theirs, also from Michigan (actually, Lansing), took the photo for us (we were in the picture but with the sun in the background you could not see us so I had to crop us all out).

We have spent most of two days with my Mother in Lakeland, Florida. It is a friendly town, and the sun has shone a lot which we appreciate a great deal.

Yesterday we hit the thrift shops. I can always find brighter-colored clothing here in Florida than I do at home in Michigan, so it is a fun outing to shop here. I found two sweaters, one wildly multicolored and one a sort of bright teal-blue. I also found a beautiful flowered rayon skirt in fuschia with accents of purple and blue. I also found two items that will be good for dance practice. It was a good shopping day, indeed!

Today Mom and I went to the ladies’ coffee that is held here in her park twice a week. I have attended these four times previously, so some of the faces are starting to become familiar. Last night, Brian and I played music for the crowd as they were preparing for Bingo, and many ladies made sure to tell me how much they enjoyed our singing. It is always nice to know that what makes me happy, also makes others smile.

After coffee, Mom, Fred, Brian and I went to Hollis Gardens, a beautiful and fairly new formal garden on a lake here. It is one of my favorite spots in Lakeland and I was glad to show it to Brian. He has only been to Lakeland once, if I remember right, and he had not seen the gardens yet. (I took a number of photos there, so I will plan to show those to you soon. In fact, I have taken so many photos here that I am not sure how to choose which to show you and which to keep to myself. It has been a visually interesting trip.)

In Lansing, we have a formal garden called Francis Park, which goes back to the 1920’s. It is where we got our formal portrait as The Fabulous Heftones.

We leave Lakeland after lunch today, homeward bound. We will be sleeping in our own bed tonight.

Kathleen Alcocer, Artist

Sunday, January 26th, 2003

Copyright Kathleen Alcocer, 2003My Sister in Law, Kathleen Alcocer, is not just a good friend. She is also a wonderful painter and artist, although she has a hard time with me labeling her as such. See this small version of a digital-only image she created with Painter software on her computer. The image exists only in digital form, although it could be printed on paper if she wished to do so. There is something about pure color, expressed only in light, rather than on paper with ink or paint. You can not get a purer color than light!

We really enjoyed our two days with Kathleen and her husband, Pedro (in Jacksonville, Florida) this week. We enjoy both Kath and Pedro, and the city of Jacksonville.

We took many pictures and I will want to share some of them with you here at some point. However, on the road I pay for internet access by the minute, so I will do “blog lite” today.

Made it to Florida

Saturday, January 25th, 2003

Wowie, we are on the road and it is such a different life! We had to get up at 4:15am to leave for Detroit, and since we normally go to bed between 1am and 2am, it was really a stretch for us. I got a small nap on the plane and another small one in the car, and those helped. We went to bed at 11:15 at Kathy and Pedro’s house, though. One can only handle so much!

We had no trouble at all getting checked in with our e-tickets on Northwest. The security was worlds better to get through than it had been in August when we went to Las Vegas. I was relieved. Everything about the flight went well (those seats are too small for anyone over 12 years old, though).

When we were preparing to land, the pilot announced that it was 30 degrees F (0 C) in Orlando. There were groans of disbelief from the crowd! Sure enough, when we were walking to get our rental car, there was a recently-washed vehicle sitting in the parking ramp with icicles hanging underneath it. I didn’t have my camera but I wish now I had, just to prove it. Later that night we saw frozen puddles on the ground. Kathy says it has not been this cold in Florida for seven years. I am very glad I brought a few wool sweaters!

On the way from Orlando to Jacksonville, we had a challenge finding food. We went past a strip of Vietnamese and Korean restaurants in Orlando when we weren’t hungry, and then regretted it an hour later when we wanted to find a meal. We got off at Deltona hoping to find something, and there was a strip mall at the exit with stores, then we drove and drove and drove and found only houses. We gave up and turned around, got back on the highway (US95) and finally got off at Daytona Beach and went east looking for a funky beach restaurant.

We apparently got to the area north of the business strip, so again we found a bunch of nicely-landscaped Florida homes. It was interesting though, because all these beautiful yards had plants covered with sheets and blankets, to protect them from the frost. It looked sort of like a flea market or something, a hodgepodge of unmatched garments all thrown together in a mess. I am sure that the gardeners here will have a lot of work this spring, replacing plants that did not make it.

We gave up on a beach café and at Ormond Beach we turned west again, at this point not picky about where we might eat… we would have been happy with even a chain restaurant and bland food. Luckily we found English Rose Tearoom. As you may know, I am a tea fanatic and we truly enjoyed the atmosphere, the Darjeeling tea, and the meal. I had an incredible chicken salad with pineapple, celery, grapes, and a wonderful creamed curry dressing. It was the best food I have had in a long time.

Friday night Kathy and Pedro took us to eat dinner at a vegetarian restaurant, Heartworks Café and Gallery, in five corners, a funky part of Jacksonville. I had lentil loaf (something like meatloaf but much better), Kathy had sweet potato stew, and Brian and Pedro had some latin-American influenced meals. It all looked great.

After dinner we got the grand tour of Jacksonville, driving around and at one point we found an Opening of an art gallery. It was wonderful. There was a showing of several artists, one was Mark Cottle, his show was called Body Doubles. He did assemblages of folded paper and paperclips, a method he learned in China (they make door curtains of these and he found a shopkeeper to show him how it was done). He is an architect as well as fine artist, and so he printed out particular images on the paper that he folded around the clips before assembling them into long chains. Some chains were on a large wall, a huge panel of them flat like a painting. The others were hung in airy cylindrical columns which looked from the outdoors as if they were solid mosaic columns. It is very hard to explain but it was incredible to see as they moved in the breeze.

Another woman, Lynn Whipple, made assemblages with old photos, old boxes, and found objects. There were four glass jars holding cut out pictures of people, three of them who she had given wings of bugs or cut out paper. They were secured to the bottom of the bottles with what looked like beeswax. Two of the bottles were honey jars. It was as if the people were caught by a young child and trapped in a bottle to be observed until they wither from disinterest. She also did some antique looking box assemblages, one with a hand puppet body which had two photos of the same person’s head sticking out, and old handwriting as the backdrop. It reminds me a little of the work of my friend, book artist Susan Hensel.

Off to Florida!

Thursday, January 23rd, 2003

Brian and I leave in the wee hours of the morning to go to Florida. We will be visiting his sister, Kathy (she is a very fine artist), her husband, Pedro, my mother and her partner Fred, and Brian’s parents. We are only going for five days, so it will be a whirlwind visit but at least a change of pace.

It is cold down there right now. Kathy says her plants froze last week, and that we need to bring sweaters. Mom says right now it is 40F at night and windy. The three places we will visit are Jacksonville, Lakeland and Tampa bay area, not very south for Florida but a good deal south of Michigan. Since this is mostly a relationship trip rather than a tropical getaway, we will enjoy whatever happens.

I am taking my laptop with me, but am not sure how well I will be able to post here. We get back late Wednesday the 28th. Please bear with me if I do not post every day while we are gone.

Busy, busy, busy

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2003

LynnH's embellished cellphoneOne of my blog readers sent me this link today: http://www.loop-d-loop.com. It is a very modern, urban, young knitting site. There is an overblown asymmetrical argyle sweater that is intriguing, and an oversized houndstooth, as well as crocheted hotpants. I don’t crochet and don’t want to add one more thing to the list of things I don’t have time to do, but the site was quite intriguing. I don’t like sites with animation, but I still stayed long enough to see a good number of designs. Nothing like a new view to make me feel warmer!

It is going to go below 0 Farenheit tonight. I put my wool out in the attic in plastic boxes yesterday but it didn’t get below 10 last night, I think. I’m leaving it out there one more day and then carting it back inside. I don’t have a deep freeze and am not going to get one for just wool.

A friend who has been a spinner for a dozen years says she just does the overnight in the garage (below zero) for her wool once every winter and she has not had problems yet (knock on wood) with moths. I’m figuring it’s much better than not doing it, but my back is tired from the hauling. I want to get the stuff back inside before any furry critters decide I have delivered them exquisite nests! We live in a natural world, as much as we try to sterilize it all and pretend we are in control.

I picked up stitches for the sleeves of a long ignored sweater today. Both sleeves have the stitches picked up and one I knit about 2″ or so on it. It looks about right. This is the sweater I worked with Sarah Peasley on, on New Year’s eve… and I haven’t done anything more since then. I did the picking up at the allergist’s office and the small bit of dance rehearsal when I wasn’t dancing.

Dance rehearsal tonight was wonderful. We are starting to get where I actually feel I know something on the dances we did tonight, which is when it is most fun. The beginnings of a dance are slow and dragged out, no fun… and watching others dance in preparation for a show is not very exciting either. So tonight I did enjoy myself!

One of the dancers just got her PhD and so is moving out of state to a new job. Since she is trying not to move everything she currently owns, she gave me three sweaters tonight. They all are mock turtlenecks that are tunic length, and two are incredibly colorful. The third is mostly black but an amazing wool/ramie blend that is shiny and fuzzy at the same time, with several colors of very large bobbles and embroidery. It looks like Nicky Epstein designed the thing, and I love it! No time to take pics of those tonight, sorry.

Someone at my dance rehearsal noticed my embellished thermos tonight. I just love using embellished items I took the time to graffiti! The color makes me smile even when it is this cold out.

Here is a picture of my embellished cellphone. Most of the dots are fabric paint, and they have stayed stuck for two years. I’m very impressed, since I don’t baby this instrument at all. It goes in the knitting bag with all the rest of my “purse” junk, and it is still looking good. The purple dots around the screen are actually fingernail polish. It stays stuck well but just doesn’t pop the colors like the fabric paint!

Teaching Success

Tuesday, January 21st, 2003

MiniI saw Altu today. She said she has knit about 2 or 3 inches on her first sock, so she is quite pleased.

She also told me that Alellan had spent all day spinning the wool I had given her, and the older sister went nuts begging to try it. Mind you, normally this sister is not much interested in this sort of thing, she is a very talented athlete and dancer, and starting to get interested in that group-socialization that happens at the mall on days off. It seemed quite improbable that this very physical kid would have any interest in sitting still to make yarn one spin at a time. Yet here we are, with a kid feeling left out!

Of course, I said I would get her a drop spindle as I did for Alellan, but the vendor who has these quite good $3 spindles made with wooden toy wheels is at my guild in three weeks. That is an eternity to a 13-year old girl. I think I’ll have to let her borrow my walnut spindle (I have only one spindle) until I can get her something for her own.

I count this as a big success, two eager learners happy to be working on the things I taught, and one eager to start. What a great thing for all of us.

I went to the knit guild tonight (what a great group of folks it is, too). I showed off my almost-finished alpaca sox that need to be ripped back a little again and reknit once more (but the fabric is just wonderful and worthy of showing off). I also showed off the purple mohair hat.

Then I asked for advice on the hat of the yarn Mandy gave me, that just didn’t turn out well at all. I may try some interesting things to see if I can make it right. I think in the end, I am going to have to figure out how to knit a beret from the top down (sort of like sox from the toe up, where you increase rather than decreasing).

I also took the time to start picking up stitches for the sleeves on the double-stranded Lambs Pride Worsted sweater. I only got halfway around the first armhole, but it is more knitting than I have done on that project in a month or maybe several months. I have several other projects to handle, one for a publication which is being quite patient with me, so I can’t focus on the sweater too much right now. It was good to at least start in again, with the support of all those knitters in the room.

The picture is a mini sock I knit for Marcia, who is one of the very involved members of our guild. She also works for Yarn For Ewe, my Local Yarn Shop. Marcia did a favor for me once, several months ago, and I knit this (I sewed a pin on the back so she could wear it) as a thank you. I used the same handspun yarn (some of my very earliest) that I used for the mini sweater. I could not get the color true in this picture, for some reason.

Teaching Friends

Monday, January 20th, 2003

Before I post blogstuff, I must stop to acknowledge Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. May the work he accomplished continue to bring change to our world.

I hope I can be a small part in that work that remains to be done. I’m not sure I’m big enough to make any difference, but that will not keep me from the hope I might. The world changes one person at a time. I can perhaps make a difference on that level. At least I hope I can. After all, we are all of only one race: the human race. We are all the same on a very real level.

May there peace on earth, between individuals as well as nations.

Today I started the day doing more decorative painting for my friend Altu’s restaurant. It is at the point where it looks done. I still want to do some embellishing in the restrooms but the main dining room is looking great! She had a space with something like a maximum of 12 seats for maybe 3 years, and now she has a maximum 55 (according to the government, anyway). She accomplished this without even moving her location… she just got to take over the space next door. It looks wonderful. Perhaps I will be doing a website for her one of these weeks. When/if I do, you can get a peek at this wonderful, colorful space.

After I was done at Altu’s, she and her daughter Alellan and I went back to my house. They hadn’t been here yet for some reason. Alellan had to take the grand tour finding my teapot collection, the claw-footed bathtub that I’d painted purple with turquoise legs, and a number of smaller fun finds.

After the semi-tour, I did my best to teach Alellan how to spin with a drop spindle. She has wanted to try this for a long time. I got her some beautiful roving in blue/green/purple and she really liked it. She was starting to get a feel for it before I took her home. She was certain she would have all the blue roving spun by the end of the night, and I bet she is right. Fortunately, I had a bit of other wool here and there and so I sent her home with three other types of wool to try out.

Altu has been knitting since she was a child, but had never knit in the round before. I knit her a pair of sox last month and she loves them so much, she wanted to learn how to do that. I got her started, she was on round #2 when she had to leave to pick up her other daughter. I’ll check in with her tomorrow and see how it is going.

After I dropped Alellan off at home, I went to Stitches in Time, in Howell, MI, trying to meet some of my knitting guild friends there (our Lansing guild often goes there on the holiday celebrating Dr. King’s birthday. It seems wrong to me to celebrate his life by creating a shopping experience, so I didn’t go last year. This year I had spent enough time with Altu and Alellan that I felt OK about spending only a few hours there.)

By the time I got to the shop, the Lansing crowd had gone home for the night, so I sat down and got to know some of the more local folks. It was fun.

I ended up realizing that the alpaca sox I’ve been working on (and I thought were within an inch of starting the toe decreases) were just plain too big around for me to enjoy wearing them. I ripped them out right there at the yarn store and decreased more stitches at the gusset. By the time I’m writing this, I’ve caught up to where I was. Maybe I’ll have a new pair of sox in the next few days! We are going to Florida on Friday, so I’ll have to think about what projects I want to take with me for that five-day excursion.

I’m still thrilled about my sweater find yesterday! It is so warm and comfy, and long enough to keep the tush nice and toasty!

Tomorrow night is Knitting Guild. I love all my guilds, but this is by far the most important. I’m looking forward to it.

Smart Grrls/Strong Women

Sunday, January 19th, 2003

Roomy Green Mohair Sweater with CablesI started the day out right today! I had brunch with some of my friends, an informal group I sort of made up, which I call “Smart Grrls/Strong Women.”

I started this around two years ago when I saw that so many of my friends had very fine daughters, interesting and smart. I had a good hunch that these girls did not know each other but might really enjoy meeting. I also had a strong belief that young women really need to know strong women other than their own mothers. In our pre-teen and teen years, I believe we need to figure out different ways to stand tall without copying our own parents. Often we have a limited number of adult friends from whom we can learn other ways. I know I wished for more exposure to “grownups” when I was starting to figure out who I was.

So, one day I called a bunch of folks I knew would click. I invited the girls first. I said out loud that they might like to know women other than Mom. That they were invited even if Mom could not come, and I could give a ride if need be. And that I wanted them to sit next to someone other than Mom when they got to the restaurant. I called them Smart Grrls to their faces, which I thought they needed to hear. They ate it up.

I haven’t done this as much as I should, because we have such a good time when we meet. Not all the women I invite are mothers, but they are all strong from the inside out. Most are artists, some practicing their art more than others. All are creative people who love me in a way that makes me stronger.

We have had as many as 12 people, although usually it is more like six. Today we had only 4 people, but it was a definite success because the one young lady who came, did not come with her mother at all. She held her own with the three adult women who are now her friends, too, no matter what age.

I need to remember to do this more often. These women, all of them, are precious gifts to me. When I celebrate them, we celebrate each other, and we all become more strong as a team.

Pseudo-Knitting News: After I dropped off the young woman at her home after breakfast, I passed by my favorite resale shop. I was surprised to see they had the Open sign lit, and I detoured happily. I found a number of things, two of which were sweaters.

One is a very thin, finely knitted white sweater in acrylic, alpaca and wool. It has a scoop neck and is intended to fit very tightly as sort of that anorexic-grrl look (the label is from a popular store for young women). I was delighted, because I am always cold and I will wear this as a sort of long-underwear shirt. Alpaca, ummmm. So warm and so soft! That was three dollars!

In addition, I really have been wishing lately for a very long mohair sweater to cover my tush. I love mohair sweaters, they are warm and lightweight. I bought two bags of mohair yarn from http://www.elann.com in December, but I’m pretty realistic that those will not become sweaters this season. I’ve only knit one adult sized sweater (short sleeved, but on size 5 needles) and am halfway through another (bulky wool/mohair) sweater, stalled for months.

It is freeeeezing here in Michigan right now, and I wanted warm clothing *now*!!! It never fails, whenever it gets cold I buy something wool… as if that will fix the weather problem! It does make me feel better.

Luckily, I found a cabled mohair-blend sweater that will do the trick. It’s a very bright green, not one of my normal colors (I may try to overdye it at some point). Since I like my sweaters oversized, I need to roll up the sleeves quite a bit. But hey, it is long enough and thick enough and warm enough for me. Three dollars! No wonder I never knit sweaters!!!

If you are also suffering from the cold, I wish you warmth. I am sitting here typing with my new sweater on, and handknit legwarmers and sox. This is the life!

I want to be the *Pink* one!!!

Saturday, January 18th, 2003

Prepare for a more grumpy than usual post… I’ll get back to my sunny self tomorrow, I promise.

OK, I will finally admit it. I took the quiz by coffeebean, called “What Doc Marten are You?” I had seen other people be the snakeskin one or blue, and Sheri Figueroa was the pink one! I wanted to be the pink one, too! Not that I would wear Doc Marten’s, I need my feet to breathe more than that, but they look good, and the pink is a shade I adore.

So I dutifully go to the quiz website and it becomes clear quickly that the questions are setting me up for failure. I have longish brown hair with a streak of silver-gray in it. It goes perfectly with my skin and my eyes (it did take me years to realize this, I admit). It’s beautiful just the way I was born, really lovely. I love purple, but I don’t put it in my hair. (See pic of me and my lovely brown hair, wearing a skein of Lorna’s Laces Crazy sock yarn as a necklace.) OK, I can probably survive one mousy-sounding answer.

Mahotella Queens, 2001Then they ask about favorite album, movie and TV show. My favorite music is South African, especially Mahotella Queens and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. (The large picture is one of the Mahotella Queens that I took myself, from the front row at the National Folk Festival in East Lansing, MI USA, August 2001.) If you have not heard this music before, do check it out, it is addictive and never tires the ear. If you can’t find it locally you can try Elderly Instruments, a music store where my hubby Brian works.

My second favorite type of music would be the tunes and ditties from the 1920’s, flapper/early jazz stuff I’ve talked about here before. Both my favorite music types are funky and unusual in my mind, but I get a choice of Grateful Dead, Lionel Richie, Tori Amos, The Doors. I had to pick Tori Amos, that was the only performer listed I have ever purchased a CD by.

Next: media questions. OK, so I’m unusual in this society, but I really really don’t like TV or Movies. I just don’t. I tried to like movies, but they stir me up so much that I was getting upset. I don’t feel like spending money to get upset, so I don’t go anymore. The last movie I saw was The Lion King, at the movie theatre. It was a wonderful movie overall, but his father dies and I, too, had my father die when I was only 14. That part was so awful to sit through, I was in pain. I just can’t enjoy that kind of emotional manipulation, even though I understand it is exactly what they set out to do, and what others enjoy.

I don’t have cable and I don’t have a VCR. I do have three television sets but they are all black and white, and they mostly gather dust being sculptures. OK, I turn on the TV for the Olympics Figure Skating every four years, and I did turn it on for about 20 minutes this New Year’s Eve to watch the ball drop in Times Square.

But the one thing I would watch a lot, if I could just figure out when it was on, would be the Teletubbies! You don’t have to like them too, but doesn’t that make me a little funky or at least a little interesting or odd? They didn’t give me that choice. They gave me seven current TV show choices, none of which I have ever seen.

Hall China Donut TeapotThen they want to know if I go out on a Friday night, what I drink. Well, I’m a fanatical tea drinker. (I’ve talked here before about my collection of Hall teapots including a donut pot like the one pictured here.) I prefer Japanese green tea if possible, perhaps the kind with toasted rice in it (Genmaicha). At the Lebanese restaurant I drink anise tea, at the Ethiopian restaurant I drink a spiced tea with cloves. At the Chinese or Thai places I drink jasmine. That seems different and funky to me! What I don’t drink is alcohol… my choice, based on family history mostly. So the only choice I have that isn’t alcoholic is water? Come on! They didn’t even offer espresso as a choice. Humph.

In fact, if I go out on a Friday night, I might just be at New Aladdin’s Lebanese restaurant, drinking anise tea and watching my dance friends entertain the crowd. Or if I’m lucky, I’m performing myself, as Eudora. But I flunked the question anyway.

I did OK with the car choice. My fave vehicle (practicality aside) would be a VW Bus from the 60s, especially a grass-green one. The bus was actually an option in the quiz. I should have received a little funky credit for that one, right???

Then they want to know what tattoo I want. OK, I’m 44 years old. I don’t want a tattoo at all. I like skin to be skin colored. The only tattoo I’ve ever seen that I liked was a bass clef, in black, on the ankle of a fellow bass player. That is just as far from the choices given as no tattoo at all. Strike six!

By this point it makes no difference how I answer the last three questions. Of course, my “drug of choice” answer is caffeine, which is a serious demerit on the coolness/funky scale.

So what did the ColorJoy grrl get as her Doc Marten color? Classic brown. Ugh!!! I protest!!!

I am positively allergic to brown, how dare they! The only brown I think is truly beautiful is brown skin (OK, and hair). I don’t even really like wood very much (although I like the wood floor in my house). But here is what they say:

I’m the plain classic brown Doc Marten…
I’m mellow, down to earth,
and a little on the conservative side

Conservative? Me? Hardly. I don’t party, and don’t follow the mass media. That makes me conservative???

I’m a fourth-generation Unitarian-Universalist (my great-Grandmother was one of the founders of Nora Church in Hanska, MN), I play a funky bass instrument called a Heftone which was built by my father-in-law, that looks like a huge banjo. I am a middle-eastern dancer (beledi dance, otherwise verbally contorted to “belly” dance). I wear so much color that when I do laundry I do a “fuschia load” and a “turquoise load.” I painted my front porch purple. I mail embellished styrofoam wig heads through the US Postal service without envelopes, for the fun of it.

I drive a 1998 shiny “Techno Blue” New Beetle with stars on it, with purple fuzzy dice and two talking teletubbies in the back seat. I once drove for two days to Montreal, with one of my goals to buy eyeglass frames there. I put 250,000 miles on my previous car driving alone around the USA and Canada discovering big cities, especially NYC, Boston and Chicago. Yes, alone. (I made friends when I got there.)

My favorite food is Ethiopian, followed by Lebanese (and when I can get it, east Indian). I mean, I eat these foods all the time… not just on a special date. I had Ethiopian lentils for lunch today.

What makes me “classic and slightly conservative???” Aargh! Even the kids I work with at the community center tell me “Oh, don’t worry, those new kids just aren’t USED TO YOU yet.” I should at least rate a color, right?

Maybe the fact I even took the quiz says I’m not as unusual as I want to be. I guess I was enticed by that pink! They got me good.

OK, I’m back. I’m myself again. I just needed to get that off my chest. I promise I won’t be grumpy here for a long while now. ColorJoy, right?

Brian Andreas and His Story People

Friday, January 17th, 2003

Image copyright Brian AndreasI love Brian Andreas’ works. He combines words and highly-colorful images of beings, in a way that really reaches me where I feel it on a gut level.

I have one of his “Story People” of painted wood, with a poem on it (it looks like it was rubber stamped one letter at a time). I also have a print. Both bring me to tears when I read them.

The poem on my wall piece is too long to quote here, but this is what my print says:

for a
long time,
she flew only
when she thought no
one else was watching

How did he know? I grieve that I had to go through those days, and rejoice that they are gone.

Go check out his site – http://storypeople.com

The site has Andreas’ books with his poetry and line drawings, matted prints in color which include a poem, and the 3-D wall-mount story people. There is a chat board which looks fascinating although I didn’t dive in very deep.

I chose the version of the site for “older browsers.” It was disappointing that I couldn’t make the e-greetings feature work, even after I created an account where I told the site my email address. That was a disappointment, but maybe it would work with the new version of their site and Internet Explorer (I use Mozilla most of the time).

Even if you can access only the poetry, it is totally worth a trip in any case. Fabulous, heart-lightening stuff.