Archive for August, 2007

This is just an excuse to tell you that I have added some new blogs to my list of Favorite Blogs and I am leaving it up to you to discover which they are, but they are very good and I hope you will go over and visit them. They are all by women with guts and I like them very much. Oh, alright, here we go, I’ll tell you. For the Great She Elephant go here. For A Sideways Look at Womanhood go here. For Around my Kitchen Table go here. Lastly, for Lost in a Common Language go here. There is a lot we can learn from these women bloggers, about guts and brawn and humor and intelligence and how to write deprecatingly about yourself sometimes. It makes me proud to be a member of the sisterhood, yes ma’am.

The art is just thrown in for amusement and to show you what I do with the patterns I make of the images I make. Can you see me developing a clothing line of especially bright and happy garments? There must be something I can do with this besides making slide shows for Eduard to look at. Maybe I can print them and frame them by the pair nicely in pas par touts and give them away as gifts. Or sell them at hugely profitable prices in a gallery, Right!! Is there a capitalist lurking under this innocent socialist exterior? Time to put on my thinking cap.

I am going back to my weblog search and exploration now. God only knows what else I will run into. What wonderful treasures I will discover. Ciao…

P.S. I have added three more new blogs, they are Cynical Bastard here and Confessions of a Rotten Correspondent here and 3kidsnojob here.


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This pretty much speaks for itself and doesn’t require much text from me. I got the color green in it by adding a green border early in the process, before I added all the special effects. The green then becomes a part of the whole image and this can also be done several times in the process with different colored borders. I make them narrow, so they don’t take up to much of a place in the final image.

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As you can see, I have changed the template of my blog, I thought it was time for a whole new look and I was bold and changed it. I have also added Ads by Google and you will notice how appropriate to the context of my blog they are. These people really do pay attention to what you write about and add the proper advertising. If you scroll down, I have some adds on the side too and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, there are some adds there as well. I wonder if anyone ever gets there, but anyway…

The three mandalas are of an image of a gnarly tree set in a snowy landscape. I got it at Wet Canvas where you can sign up for free and make use of their library of thousands of images about anything and everything. Not all of the photographs are good, but there is lots to choose from and if you are patient, you are bound to find something interesting.

Eduard and I actually went to bed very late last night, which isn’t surprising for Eduard, but it is for me. It was 1 am by the time we went under sail and I couldn’t believe that I had stayed up that late. It was because of me deciding to change my template and adding the adds, as I first had to decide on the template and rejected some and then I had to wait for ad approval and install them and I didn’t get them right immediately. It took some futzing around to get them installed right and you know how I am a perfectionist and I can’t leave well enough alone. Well, if you didn’t know that about me, now you do. I do have a tendency to nit pick everything down to the smallest details.

So, yesterday I had decided to have a productive day and you guessed right when you say that I probably didn’t have one. In the morning I fell asleep on the sofa and I took a nice long nap, which isn’t surprising when you consider how early I got up in the morning. Probably the Oxazepam helped me sleep too, as it does relax me very much. The rest of the day was only mildly productive. I cleaned up the kitchen, which is a job I always have to do no matter what, but I didn’t get much else done. I had all sorts of plans, but none of the initiative to carry them out. I slapped a little bit of make up on my face and combed my hair, which is starting to grow again, by the way, and does need to be combed now.

I played around with Paint Shop and made patterns out of all of my mandalas and stored them in the appropriate place with the mandala they belong to. So now I can have a slide show of everything I have made so far in the right order and it does really look as if I am a fabric designer and I have created fabric to make ethnic clothing from. When Eduard came home, I made him sit and watch the slide show and I hope that I didn’t bore him too much, because I was kind of excited about the whole thing myself. See how organized I am? So, now when I make a mandala, I make a pattern to go with it right away as a complimentary design.

My sister and I walked the dogs a few times to the pond this week, so I am getting a bit of exercise in. Jesker so much likes going to the pond and marking all the bushes. It keeps him very busy. Quinto tried to pick up the very large limb of a tree and walk away with it. Now, he is a big dog, but even he was defeated by its size.

My sister and I have interesting conversations when we walk to the pond. We talk about larger than life issues, such as what should be done with all the refuges from Iraq and we figured that the whole western world should open it gates and admit these people without the least bit of hesitation. There shouldn’t be any waiting for the appropriate paperwork and we should cut through the red tape and get those people out of their precarious situations right away. My sister’s cleaning lady and her family are refuges from Iraq and my sister has helped them a lot in dealing with all the different government agencies that seem to make everything so difficult for people like this. If she hadn’t helped them out, their applications would still be at the bottom of the pile on some body’s desk somewhere. Life shouldn’t be that arbitrary.

I think that the people in Iraq who are helping the coalition forces as translators etc., should be helped out of the country as quickly as possible, as their lives are at stake and I think Britain and the United States should be immediately admitting these people to their shores. Some of them have already been murdered for having helped the ‘enemy’ and I just don’t think a situation like this can be allowed to exist. I don’t know what ordinary people can do about this, except maybe write outraged letters to their representatives in government. I am sure there is some movement taking on this cause, I know there is one in Britain, but I don’t have a link to it.

A tenth Dutch soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. This does not sound like a lot, but is is when you consider that our function there is one of rebuilding the infrastructure and not of fighting. There is some resistance here now about the mission and doubt about the success of it, because how can you rebuild when you are constantly having to fight the Taliban? There is talk about moving the soldiers out, which would really be a shame for the local population, although I don’t know how well loved the Dutch soldiers are. They are all tall and blond and blue eyed, which makes them easy targets, but other than that, do they add to the sense of security of these people? I don’t know. A lot of the projects get bogged down in red tape and corruption.

The dog hasn’t shown up yet for his morning walk and I can sit here a while longer and muse away a bit more. There is only one cat visible. I am sure that Eduard won’t be up for a while yet, having gone to bed so late. We took turns last night with the computer after he came home and we did do that very democratically. Every time one of us had achieved something, it was the turn for the other person. Oh, by the way, I have managed to successfully bid on a copy of Paint Shop Pro 8 for 12.50 Euros on Marktplaats, which is the Dutch Ebay. The offer was accepted and we will pay today and have the copy sent to us right away. I just hope it all works out and it doesn’t turn out to be a bum deal.

I had never bought anything on Marktplaats before, but I can see that this is a very attractive way to buy things. I will have to look on my Google wish list and see if I can find any of the items there. Such as a digital camera! Yes, Irene, keep on dreaming girl! Well, a bear does shit in the woods and the pope was Polish!

Speaking of popes, I used to have a recurring dream that I had an audience with the old pope and that he seemed to like me especially very much and that he allowed me to enter his private chambers. Nothing fishy going on there, just that we developed a rat
her close friendship and that he showed me the Sistine Chapel personally. I am not a Catholic and was not raised religiously, but I seem to have an attraction to all things Catholic when I am feeling especially religious. I think it is the pomp and circumstance of the religion that appeals to me so and the celibacy of the priests which makes them seem more than human. And I figure they had better stick to it too, although I can see the church changing the rules on this and letting priests marry and why not. And ordain women priests for goodness sake. I suppose the Pope could have a First Lady too, who could wear equally impressive robes. She would have to be theologically very well taught, however. Be a true theologist and entertain heads of state and have meaningful discussions with them. I really mean it! Who would you nominate as first lady to the Pope?

Did you know that in the Netherlands the wife of the prime minister plays absolutely no role in public life and most of us have no idea what she looks like or what her name is. She is a total unknown entity. We have no first lady other than the queen and we are all waiting to find out when she is going to retire so her son, Willem Alexander, can become our king. It will be fun to have the inauguration of him as king and his wife Maxima as queen. It should be a huge party all over the country. The queen is already preparing her retirement home, so things shouldn’t be too far off. Willem Alexander already has three daughters, so he has done his duty there and we know there is a woman next in line after him. We haven’t had a king in something like 125 years, so that should be extra special.

Well, having said all of that, I suppose it is time to feed the cats now. Several are lurking about and the dog needs to be aired. It was fun again sitting here chatting away and getting the day started so nicely. Did you see Neda’s latest collages on Papiers Collés? They are truly beautiful.
So enigmatic and equivocal!

Have a truly wonderful day, people. Let all of your artistic juices flow. I am certainly going to have some more fun with mine today and try to come up with some more mandalas and patterns. Maybe I’ll have a career in fabric design yet, or tile design as Neda suggested.


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Old Pisa Door 3

The top two images are of a pink rose that I tackled with the magic wand and the paint bucket and than attacked with the special effects and I did the same on the bottom image of the old Pisa door. All three are unrecognizable, of course, that’s pretty much the point, as I am trying to get away as far from the original as I can. I will try and do some things today in which the original maybe still is more visible, I’ll have to see how that works out. If that is possible. I love ending up with something completely different than what I started with, though. Neda suggested them as designs for tiles, they could be, couldn’t they? Maybe I should do some mono chromic colored images like Delft Blue tiles.

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Old Pisa Door 2

If on a summer evening late

You say that beauty is perishable

And the pregnant moon contradicts your words

Do not let yourself be dazzled by the planets

Which also have the eternal life.

And if in the night of the full moonlight

The stars glow as light publicity of god

Sleep not as a fallen angel

Forgotten by god and lost to me

And call me by my name in the glimmer of the morning.*


So, I have started to read Mythology for Dummies, which Eduard got for me from the library and which is just perfect reading for me when I go to bed at night and fall asleep after only reading a few pages. It talks about Greek mythology mostly, but also handles the lesser known mythologies of other cultures toward the end of the book. Of course, I haven’t gotten there yet. If it turns out to be too tedious, I may just read it during the day to get through it quickly so I can start on the novel from Iris Murdoch, which Eduard also got me from the library, which is called The Unicorn. I haven’t read anything by Iris Murdoch for awhile, the last novel was The Sea, The Sea, and I thought that was really good, so I have high hopes for this one.

Yesterday I spent some time playing with Paint Shop and at the instigation of the people who know, I didn’t open the manual, but started messing around with it on my own to see what sort of results that would give me. Luckily, this worked and I got some good results and I have posted some of those already and there will be more to come. The one above is originally of the old Pisa door, manipulated with the magic wand and the paint bucket with different colors and then I added special effects in different intensities to it. I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Yesterday turned out to be an alright sort of day. After I wrote my post and walked the dog and fed the cats, I took my medicines and an Oxazepam and went back to bed to sleep some more. I had gotten up so early and the thought of crawling back under the duvet was more than I could resist. I woke up at 10:45 am and felt very refreshed and caught up on my sleep. I had some wonderful cups of Senseo and didn’t feel the least bit rushed to get the day started, so first I wrote a poem for Fawzan. I wrote it in Dutch first and then went to Babelfish for the translation into English, which turned out mostly right, but needed a little fixing on my part. It did come out a little bit gobbled at first, but it is always fun to see what Babelfish comes up with. It is a great invention on the Internet!

I walked the dog again, but we couldn’t go on the field as it was being cut by big noisy mowers. We steer well clear of them, so we just circled the field and Jesker got a special treat when we got home. He likes the Denta Sticks from Pedigree which are good for his teeth and he loves to chew on them. He very happily takes them to his pillow where he chews on them to his heart’s contend. You never saw such a happy dog. The cats decided that they were very hungry again as they followed me into the bathroom making pleading feed us sounds, so I opened up another little container of food and fed them. They ate with much vigor.

Then I really had to clean the apartment and I started with the kitchen, which is a non ending battle of dishes to be washed and dried and cat and dog bowls to be cleaned. I think we should start eating off paper plates and eat with disposable fork and knifes. O horror, what will the environmental police say about that! Luckily, Eduard has mostly stopped eating meat also, so there are none of the greasy pans to clean up and no grease spatters on the stove. It’s a definite benefit of eating vegetarian.

While cleaning the apartment, I really wanted to sit behind the computer some more and work with Paint Shop Pro 8, having been bitten by the bug, but I also turned on the film channel and watched the movie As it is in Heaven, which I had been waiting to see and which turned out to be a wonderful movie with much Swedish magic in it. It’s about a very famous conductor who for health reasons returns home to the place of his childhood and anonymously starts a choir there very successfully. Unluckily he dies, after he has fallen in love with a beautiful Swedish woman, while listening to the choir sing over the intercom at a festival in Innsbrück. A very bitter sweet ending. Leave it to the Swedes to not have a simple happily ever after story.

I took another Oxazepam in the afternoon, after having contacted my psychiatrist telling him that I was doing this now for the time being as long as I needed it. He knows that I will not abuse this privilege and that I will only use them when necessary and I have his blessing. It is such a wonderful way to relax, but to still keep functioning. It makes me feel mellow without making me feel stoned. I still have all of my faculties, but it just takes the sharp edges off. I took another one this morning and it is helping me write this post so calmly, yet coherently. The other alternative is turning to the booze, like I did in January and I think that is a bad alternative, so I won’t even go down that road.

I actually do feel better than I have for the past few days. I was feeling a bit stressed and uneasy for no obvious discernible reason that I knew of. Sometimes a mood just decides to settle in, whether I like it or not and I can’t always figure out where it comes from. Possibly they are very subtle things that bring it about, maybe it is like Beverley said: if a butterfly beats it’s wings in China…Maybe if I think there is something not quite right about the day and I can’t put my finger on it and then subsequently all things go slightly off after that, until they all feel wrong and it is like a snowball that tumbles down a hill getting larger and larger and I am unable to stop it, getting anxious and panicky along the way.

I have to remember yesterday’s lesson about angst and not
let it have a life of its own, independent of me. Angst can’t become a separate entity that lives in me. It has to stay as part of all of my feelings and not become a full blown thing of its own that dictates my mood and my subsequent actions. The Oxazepam removes the angst and lets me feel disregard for any imaginary anxieties that I have. Because many of my anxieties are imaginary, they are hardly ever about real things. They are just a lot of mind f***ing. I have a tendency to that and was very happy when I was taught this term many years ago by a therapist I was seeing. Angst causes you to do a lot of it.

My first therapist was very much into psycho analyses and had me read books like “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” and “Games People Play.” Although I was very depressed at the time, he did not give me that diagnosis and I wonder why he did not, or if he thought I was just a neurotic housewife from the suburbs. I stopped seeing him after eight months when suddenly one afternoon my depression lifted quite suddenly and I came into the opposite mood of cheerfulness and happiness. He said it was like black magic. I know now it was the bipolar disorder doing its thing.

To tel you the truth, I think there may be quite a few well intentioned but incompetent therapists out there who are not qualified to recognize it when people are dealing with chemical imbalances and should be put on medications. That was my experience anyway in the eighties and early nineties. Who think they can teach you coping skills and marriage skills and communication skills, but who don’t see that you are a mess of a depression sitting there. But then again, America is the land of therapists and it seems that anyone can be a therapist and claim to cure what ails you through all sorts of tried and untried methods.

Anyway, today I will have to vacuum and do the ironing as I see that Eduard is running low on T-shirts and we can’t have that. Will I be able to turn off the computer and take care of those things? I will have to force myself. It is funny how things slowly start to pile up when suddenly your interest gets caught by a new hobby that then becomes a compulsive activity. I think I have said earlier that I have to have the self discipline to actually turn the computer off after I have written a post and to not turn it on again until after I have done my chores. This is keeping in mind the electricity bill as well as me getting things done around here.

Well, it has been most amusing to sit here and ramble on like this, but I suppose that I will now end my words with this observation. When you have a dog and he very lovingly looks at you while he lays at your feet, don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to do all sorts of kind things for him. It is all a ruse to get another Denta Stick out of you and he can only have one a day. So, don’t do it!

Have a great day, everybody, ciao…

* Fawzan is having a poetry competition here. Join in the fun, it is open to all.

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This time I first added color with the magic wand and the paint bucket, saved the image and then worked on it with the special effects. It is interesting how when you combine the effects in different order and different degrees of intensity, you get such different results. The possibilities are endless and I can sit here and play with that painted image for a long time. Tomorrow I will give it some different colors, or I will add some other elements and see what I can come up with then.

I just realized that the Paint Shop copy that the library has is not the one I want. It only is the program to work on photographs without the ability to paint and do special effects, so that is not for me. Now I will have to go and buy the real thing. Luckily, I still have lots of time left on this trial issue.

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Here we are at the beach again. This time I did not keep track of all the things I did, because I figured that these did not qualify for Rima’s game, as I have already done three before this. So these are just for my and your enjoyment. I wonder if I should go into wallpaper design? It would have to be for very ornate houses and I don’t know if we have any of those here in the Netherlands. I think I like the bottom image the best. I did reject some others. I really don’t post everything I do! It just seems that way!

I am trying painting with the magic wand and the bucket. I have mild successes with those, but I haven’t saved any of those images yet. They all go in the trash. I want to know how to paint images and then how to apply special effects to them. Can anyone tell me that? Now it will only do special affects on the last thing I painted.

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