Archive for September, 2008


September 27, 2008

Scrabulous is gone, after months of legal wrangling.  But thanks to the Agarwalla brothers, Lexulous appeared within 40 hours of the other site’s demise, with our stats and IDs and everything else carrying over.  They’re still getting it up to full capacity, as I type this, but it’s all coming back.  Nothing changed except the name.  No cold turkey required.  Whew.

New batch of Obama collage pins

September 26, 2008

New batch of Obama collage pins, originally uploaded by pennylrichardsca.

Most of these are heading for North Carolina tomorrow–a friend of a friend in Durham is coordinating volunteers for the Obama campaign, and he’s going to give them out to some of his most tireless folks, registering voters on campuses and employee lounges all over Durham and beyond.  Yeah!  More soon.

Equinox Sunset with Palms

September 23, 2008

Equinox Sunset with Palms, originally uploaded by pennylrichardsca.

This is for Lisa C. At Polka Dot Cottage, she invited friends to post photos taken on the Fall Equinox (today). Now, they were supposed to be evocative of the coming season, but that’s mighty hard to do in a place full of palm trees! So I took a photo of those, against the sky at dusk. Our part of town is laid out so that east-west streets line up with the sunset on the equinox–so a few minutes earlier, this photo would have been impossible, because the sun would have been dazzling the whole street, face-on.

Oh–and we have a lot of overhead powerlines in our neighborhood. It’s a city, eh? Nice suburbs with no powerlines are pretty and all, but I wouldn’t really like living in them, myself.

Hockey Mom for Obama

September 19, 2008

Hockey Mom for Obama, originally uploaded by pennylrichardsca.

Be careful what you say in my earshot in coming weeks. If you’re a friend of mine in a Red or contested state, say, a friend named Lisa W., and you happen to express a desire for a “Hockey Mom for Obama” button, I’m not going to be able to resist the temptation to make you one, immediately, from modpodge and paper scraps. This is podged onto an old pin. And I have a lot of old pins. They are suddenly looking very naked.  And contributing to the Obama Craft Project is very addictive.

Added later the same day:  Couldn’t resist the urge for long–made three more buttons this morning.  And I’ve already given one away, at school.  More soon…. 😉


September 17, 2008

I’ve been scanning some old family photo albums that recently came into my care.  These are two of my great-great-grandmothers, Marion Glencross Bryden and Emma L. Boyer Marsh:

Marion Glencross Bryden of PA

Marion Glencross Bryden of PA

Emma Louise Boyer Marsh, of NJ

Emma Louise Boyer Marsh, of NJ

Like a lot of nineteenth-century kids, neither woman grew up knowing her own mother.  Marion’s mother Helen Brown died at age 25, just three years after she arrived in America from Scotland.  And Emma’s mother, Elizabeth White Boyer, died in England, in childbirth (her tenth, at least).  Emma and her siblings crossed the Atlantic together, from teenagers down to three little girls and a baby (Emma was one of the little girls–she stayed close to the others, Lida and Alice, though they were raised in different homes upon arrival).

The picture of Emma is probably from the 1880s, from the context of other photos in the same album; the picture of Marion is taken very late in life, in the 1910s, by Emma’s son, E. Roy Marsh.

Halloween is only six weeks away…

September 16, 2008

Thrifted sheet to skirt and blouse, originally uploaded by pennylrichardsca.

Starting my costume with a blouse and skirt made today from a thrifted ivory cotton sheet–look at that beautiful hem, it was on the original linens and I knew it was going to be a skirt. More as the costume develops!

Let California Ring

September 10, 2008

Well, California’s seldom in play for the presidential race, so we don’t get too many of those ads, but they’re usually kinda boring anyway. What we get instead are ads about the statewide propositions, and they can be more interesting. We’re loving this one, against Prop 8:

Same-sex marriage is legal right now in California (yeah!), and the polling looks good for it to stay legal after November (double yeah!), because folks are more likely to vote No on propositions than Yes, all things being equal. But I’ve heard there’s a Yes on 8 yardsign campaign coming September 22, so we’re ahead of the game–our “No on Prop 8” sign is already in the front window.


In other political news, someone at school today asked “where did you get that cute Obama t-shirt you were wearing the other day?” Uh, I made it. She looked disappointed, she was hoping to get one for her mom, so I said to bring me two old t-shirts and I’ll make one for her too. Maybe I should throw a shirt-making party? (When I was looking up that link, I found this reverse-applique Obama tote, with tutorial–cool!)


September 9, 2008

Some days, I feel like I’ve accomplished something if I attack a closet or scrub a bathroom. Those chores have a certain quality of instant gratification that’s appealing, and they can be done while listening to

Reverse-appliqued Obama T-shirt

podcasts, so I’m willing. Sometimes.

Some days, I feel like I’ve accomplished something if I write a couple strong paragraphs, or finish editing a draft and press “send.” That’s my work and I’m good at it, so it’s satisfying and usually ticks off boxes on the non-existent “to-do” list I should probably keep.

I always feel like I’ve accomplished something when I teach an art class at Lincoln, or when I finish reading a book.

But some days, I need to make things. After Grace (and before her Julie) pointed me towards reverse applique, I gave it a try, using t-shirts and pearl cotton already in the house. I also needed a campaign t-shirt, and such things can’t be postponed, so I applied the technique to the subject at hand; the results are at right above. I wore it the rest of the day. It’s cool if the cut edges fray up a little in the wash, so I’m hoping for that. (This tutorial gives the basic process, but I didn’t use the sewing machine, and I didn’t use pins–duct tape did a great job. I also used a bit of white acrylic paint with my stencil, which is why I have three colors instead of two.)

And I finished and mailed off the mix CD promised to Lisa C. Here’s the cover:

CD cover for Lisa C

CD cover for Lisa C

Lisa and I have been swapping mix CDs since 2004(!), and we have a pretty good sense of where our tastes overlap.

The tracklist this time (most of the links lead to YouTube videos; some are just to band websites or Wikipedia pages):

1. Lies (The Pierces)
2. Kissing Like it’s Love (The Voyces)
3. Reno (Finishing School)
4. Nearer than Heaven (The Delays)
5. Cherry Tulips (Headlights)
6. Don’t Lose Yourself (Laura Veirs)
7. I am Constellation (The Kingdom)
8. Secret Service (A Kid Hereafter)
9. I’m Gonna Catch Me a Rat (Fabienne DelSol)
10. Whatever Gets You Through Today (The Radio)
11. Rain Song (PJ Olsson)
12. Sheets (Promise and the Monster)
13. Let’s Talk about Spaceships (Say Hi to your Mom)
14. This is Where We Are (Ravens & Chimes)
15. I Kissed a Girl (Max Vernon)
16. New City Love (Jonas Game)
17. Country Song (James William Hindle)
18. Rose (Geoff Smith)
19. Let Me Get Your Coat (Future Clouds & Radar)
20. Pushback (Static of the Gods)
21. Two Ways (the 1900s)
22. Black Butterfly (Laura Veirs)

Lisa’s CD to ME arrived yesterday–Monday–and I believe she only mailed it Saturday from New Jersey! I listened to it immediately in the minivan, driving to and from swim team practice. Good stuff, Lisa, thanks. Watch your PO Box.

Today I have a raging cold, so I’m going to dose up on decongestants and watch old (recent series) Doctor Who episodes while I doze. Nothing will get accomplished. That’s okay too.

Happy Autumn

September 5, 2008

Bell Peppers!, originally uploaded by pennylrichardsca.

The farmer’s market still has sunny vegetables like this tumble of red and gold and green bell peppers, and the equinox isn’t for a few weeks, but school’s back in and I’m going to hear the first Bach’s Lunch recital at TLC of the season today…. so it’s still happy autumn to me.

Thirteen Years

September 2, 2008

Thirteen years ago today, I boarded an airplane in North Carolina with a strange little newborn who weighed about 4.5 lbs, and we moved to California (Peter did too, but he drove the U-Haul). We thought it’d only be for a couple years. I’m glad we were wrong about that.