Thursday, July 31, 2008

Divine Design Strikes Again

My mission trip team, Divine Design, has begun working on a short trip, right here in town.  We are going to redo the bedrooms of four great kids.  They lost their Mom to cancer a couple years ago.  Dad is doing a great job raising them, but he admits he does not have the Mom's touch for bedroom decorating.  Well, we do!  And we are so excited to get the chance to do this for them.  We were not decoratively challenged by doing a house for men this summer, so this is going to be fun!

They have some great pieces of furniture.

But look at all of those blank white walls.  Wahoo, it makes me excited just thinking about slapping some color up there.  We don't have much planning time, so we have begun to toss out ideas for themes and storage and colors.  Have any ideas?  Tell me.  I can't wait.  Tell me now.  Or I will start taking in the third person again.

This face makes me want to turn the whole house into Cinderella's castle.

Picking paint colors!
Normal Girl

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

10,000 Thoughts

I am sitting on the sofa watching Project Runway.  The guy that is making me laugh this season is named Suede.  He speaks about himself in the the third person.  Suede is going to win this challenge (talking about himself).  And, I think he was the winner of the challenge last week.  It works for him.  Here's What I Think.  I will be a better, more creative, and successful artist if I give myself an artiste name and speak in the third person.  I think the key is to have a name that reflects your medium.  Since I am a lampworker, I believe I will call myself Glass. 

Glass was told by Human PinBall about this study that has been done on walking.  They are saying that for weight maintenance, a person should walk 10,000 each day.  So Glass got herself a pedometer that measures Glass's steps.  The first day that Glass had her pedometer, she decided to do a normal day and see how many steps are normal for her.  3,000!!!!  Glass was feeling like a huge slacker. But she did some research and found out that 900 to 3,000 steps a day is normal.  Well, Glass was on the top end of normal, but Glass wanted to be bigger than normal.  10,000 steps is for weight management, and Glass needs to first attain a weight she wants to manage!  So Glass hit the pavement and has been increasing her steps every day.  Glass has walked 9,000 steps today, she is almost there.   In case you are wondering, 10,000 steps equals 5 miles.

Glass is now eating vegetables and hummus for dinner so as not to ruin the 9,000 steps.  And Glass is thinking that perhaps she should try something arty to see if the third person name thing is working.  Stay tuned.

Normal Glass

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

I was on the phone with The Diplomat yesterday and her puppies were very demanding of her attention.  I don't have dogs, so this is a first for this blog. 

A guest post by The Diplomat.  Enjoy.

It's too hot to be outside today, even for the dogs.  So, they're inside and underfoot.  Roxie and Chloe prefer to be inside, chillin'.........
However when the phone rings, this is what starts....  a lot of wrestling, growling and general commotion.....which makes me stop talking to tell them to hush.  

If I get up, this is what happens.  Which is good.  But, it only lasts until I settle back down and resume the conversation.

But, how do you get mad at this??

The Diplomat

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Fun of Writing

Yesterday, I wrote my next to last paper for my summer class.  Somewhere in the middle of it a thought struck me that made me stop and laugh.  I have been doing some editing of project instructions for a publisher and I realized that I am working in two different writing styles on any given day.  I will show you what I mean.

I am starting with a paragraph from one of my fav blogs: stuff Christians like.  Here is the link in case you want to read the entire post.  It is a post about raising your hands while singing in church.  The paragraph as written by the author: 

5. The Pound Cake
This is what we in the industry, of hand raising in case you were wondering, refer to as an "underhand move." Instead of sticking your arms out, you hold them with your palms facing the sky as if you are ready to receive something from someone in front of you. In the pound cake, your elbows should be at stomach level, with your hands tilted at a 47 degree angle as if someone visiting your house warming party is about to hand you a delicious pound cake. It's not a heavy cake, so you don't have to brace yourself, but can instead just relax and think, "hey cool, pound cake. Let me take that for you."

The paragraph as I would edit it at 3pm for a how to book:

5.  Pound Cake
The "underhand move." Hold arms out with palms facing sky. Elbows should be at stomach level, hands tilted at 47 degree angle as if someone is about to hand you a pound cake. Do not brace self.   Relax.  Take cake.

The paragraph as I would write it for a scholarly paper at 5pm that same day:

 The Pound Cake
Normal Girl
Spring Arbor University

     Schulze (2005) describes that this is what we in the industry, of hand raising in case you were wondering, refer to as an "underhand move (Frey, p. 455)."  The raising of hands, while biblical, is somewhat controversial in today's church.  Psalm 63: 4 says, I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands (Holy Bible).  
     Instead of sticking your arms out, you hold them with your palms facing the sky as if you are ready to receive something from someone in front of you. Research has found that palms facing the sky is relevant to open and correlational praise in fundamental denominations across America (Frey, p. 560).  In the the movement now known as the pound cake, your elbows should be at stomach level, with your hands tilted at a 47 degree angle as if someone visiting your house warming party is about to hand you a delicious pound cake. The Unabashed Praise Theory allows that thanking the Lord your God at this point for His many blessings will assure both satisfaction and excellent group outcomes.  UPT is valid for individual communication as as well as in groups of all sizes (Schulze, p. 27).
     It's not a heavy cake, so you don't have to brace yourself, but can instead just relax and think, "hey cool, pound cake. Let me take that for you."  Future studies that could prove beneficial in this vein would be: does shortcake provide the same benefits as pound cake in this scenario?  Does congregation satisfaction increase or decrease as the angle of the hands increases or decreases?  

Is it any wonder I am perpetually confused???
Normal Girl

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Here is the bracelet that GerberBabyGMa won when she gave me a brilliant idea.  I promised a bracelet proclaiming her brilliant.  It does that both in word and glitter.  Remember that I bought these tags at Tinsel Trading in NYC with The Human PinBall?  This is also the glass glitter I got there.  Love it, it is really sparkly.  GerberBabyGMa loves glitter.  Well, who doesn't?  Oh yeah, Ellen.

Hope you like it GerberBabyGMa!
Normal Girl

Friday, July 25, 2008

Round Robin Bracelet - Round 3

Meet Lucinda Ladybug.  She has been living on my kitchen windowsill for awhile.  She now lives on LH's round robin bracelet.    This is my round 3 bracelet.  They just keep getting cuter, as more charms are added.

Here is the whole bracelet so far.  I like that LH selected copper for her bracelet, very trendy!  LH has some great charms on this bracelet.  Check out the rivoli flower, the stitched caterpillar and spider.  Rounding it out are the silver birdhouse and lily pad.

Here is the page in LH's journal that tells us what her bracelet theme is.  Buzzin' Around!  She gave us good direction about theme and color.  Most of us thought bugs.

As each of us adds a charm, we write on a page in the journal.  Then LH knows who added each charm and what the thought was behind the addition.

It is getting hard to let these cute bracelets go back into the mail.  
Normal Girl

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Missing Fairy Tale

My friend, the Global Genius sent me this today:


Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl, "Will you marry me?" The girl said:"NO!" And the girl lived happily ever-after and went shopping, dancing, camping, drank martinis, always had a clean house, never had to cook, did whatever she wanted, never argued, traveled more, didn't save money, and had all the hot water to herself. She went to the theater, never watched sports, never wore stupid lacy lingerie that went up her butt, had high self esteem, never cried or yelled, felt and looked fabulous in sweat pants and was pleasant all the time. 

The End.

How did Mother Goose miss this one?
Normal Girl

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baby Beaders

Look at that face, don't you want to pinch her cheeks??

This afternoon, I took Bead Soup to the Salvation Army Denby Center.  This is the most amazing and huge place that takes in pregnant teen girls, gives them a place to live and teaches them to take care of their babies and how to eventually live on their own.  I had 15 girls and nearly that many babies in the room.  It was loud.  It was crazy.  It was fun.  

I tried to keep reminding myself that even though the girls were Mothers, they were young.  Some of them were the same age as my middle school dancers.  That fact struck me hard.  It was hard for them to be attentive to my instructions.  But, when I realized they were not really interested in learning a skill, but in just a couple hours of something fun, I changed up the plan a little.  I did all of their toggle crimping and just let them pick out and string beads.  That made them happy.  

There is one thing that is universal among all of the groups with whom I have done Bead Soup.  All women love sorting through that bucket of beads....maybe it is the prospect of finding a treasure, I don't know.  I sometimes think that if I let them play in the beads for an hour and they never made a bracelet, they would be just as happy.

All in all, the girls did a great job of minding little hands grabbing beads and actually getting some bracelets made.  And they made me impressed over their abilities to go on even though their families didn't want to help them, to become adults instantly, to love their babies, and to  take it all in stride.

We all have our own normal, don't we?
Normal Girl

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Props R Us

OK, I know that last week I said I wanted to be a green haired prairie skirt wearing artist, but I think instead I want to be a prop mistress for a theater.  Well, I guess I am kind of already that.  I went into the prop/storage room at church today looking for an old set I want to re-use.  I like to go in here.  I never know what I will find.  For instance.  Why in the world would we save an old toilet?  If it was replaced by a new one, why would we still want the old one??  What could I do with it?????

Some old columns, we have used these for alot of old testament stuff.  I used them as pharoah's palace when the kids did the story of Moses.  They have been painted a few zillion times.  I think I had hieroglyphics on them.

Rocks.  Made of styrofoam, so realistic.

These trees.  We took them off the stage because they looked so bad.  So, why are they being saved??  Pack rat central.  Is that a rule of churches?  Never throw anything away?

OH!  My red Christmas candles.  See them?  They are 6 feet tall.  I had them onstage with real fire.  They were totally cool and very smokey.  It was like being at a rock concert.  OK.  A free bracelet proclaiming your brilliance to whoever can think up a good way for me to re-use those things.  Start thinking.

A tree, a cross and a throne.  Look hard.  See the red velvet throne behind the cross?  The throne of God.

The throne of man???  

It's all in how you look at it.  
Normal Girl

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Smart Corner

Here is one of my favorite corners.  I do my home work sitting on the chaise lounge.   I bought it at IKEA and nearly killed myself dragging the box into the house.  But, I am glad I did.  There is a bright lamp overhead and a shelf/desk behind me if needed.  I have a new addition.  The birdhouse lamp.  My Divine Design team gave it to me.  They all signed the roof.  It is so cute, I can't wait until it is dark so I can turn it on.  I really love it!

Only two more weeks of homework for the summer and then I can sit in the corner and read books for fun.  I have spent so much time in the corner this summer doing homework, the chaise needs a new cushion.  Overuse.

Off to the corner.....
Normal Girl

Saturday, July 19, 2008

How Humid is it?

It is one of those Michigan days that people who have never lived here cannot understand.  I walked from the store to the car and my skin was wet.  It is not raining, it is just HUMID.  Nasty humid.  My glasses are fogged up humid.  Even I am PWSSTICDM.

So, I took a pic of some Queen Anne's lace to remind me that there are things in Michigan in the summer that are really lovely.  

Have you ever dyed Queen Anne's lace?  My Mom taught us to do it when we were little and we did it every summer.  You just put a little food coloring in the water in the vase and the pretty white flowers turn that color.  If you have nothing else to do, you can sit and watch the color flood into the flower.  It is pretty cool.  Try it.

Normal Girl

Friday, July 18, 2008


I spent some time today at the Ann Arbor Art Fairs.  It is four fairs in one.  Ann Arbor always makes it into the top 5 fairs of the country.  If you like an art fair, this is the major league of art fairs.  You could not see this show in a day, maybe not even two days.  I went early because it was going to be over 90 degrees today.  The shuttle bus dropped me off on the University of Michigan campus and I walked around downtown Ann Arbor through the booths.

There is all kinds of art here, alot of it very far out.  I always wonder how they sell that stuff to these midwestern Michiganders.  These were jackets, stoles and vests out of some kind of black fabric and they were stiff.  Really wearable.

It was about 92 degrees.  How many of these do you think sold?  It made me sweat just thinking about it.

And then my camera battery betrayed me.  Oh, I am so sorry because there were so many weird things I wanted to share with you.  Like the man pushing a double decker dog stroller.  And Ms. Davis' Chair Across America.  An artist took a white wooden chair across America and put it in the picture everyplace she stopped.

I think I would like to be an artist now and make art and sell it.  I need a partner, so will you all consider it?  And imagine the following (all seen and heard at the show)  at our booth next year at the art fair. 

(Me dressed in patchwork dress and converse with crazy cat eye glasses and green hair.  You in bell bottoms and braless in a tank top, with tattoos and Birkenstocks.)

Me: "You have really been prolific in the last month."

You: "It is because I nap each day.  If I don't get a nap, I am doomed, just doomed."

Me: "Yeah, the energy of the glass is exhausting."

You: " My muse has been very inspiring."

You: (to customer) "We are talented artists.  You should buy this now before we get famous."

And we should remember to apply for our booth space early so we don't get stuck on the block with the non-profits.  There was everything I could imagine and some I could not begin to understand.  There were booths for: 
  • Revolutionary Socialism (any idea what this is?)
  • Michigan Atheists
  • SE Michigan Naturalists (nudists...and they were wearing clothing)
  • How to Study the Bible
  • The Mars Society (they like Mars!)
  • every church and religion on the planet
  Since I was early, the first hour was great, but then People Walking So Slowly That I Can't Detect Movement, or as I call them PWSSTICDM, moved in.  And it was 92 degrees, remember?  So, I walked and looked and took notes but not pictures until the PWSSTICDM totally blocked up the streets and I felt kind of sick from the heat.  Then I got on the bus and went back home.

Here is my only purchase of the day.  There was a booth with some vintage stuff and I got this in a pile of vintage beads.  They are flower shaped dyed coral.  I liked them and they were just $5.

Now I am inspired and hoping I can use it before it goes away,
Normal Girl

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Right Brain Please

I spent the whole day sitting at the computer doing left brain work.  Hurts a little.  So tonight, I was in desperate need of some right brain activity.  So, I made a pair of earrings.  They are fabric covered buttons with tiny adirondack chairs hanging from them.  If I can't park myself in an adirondack chair with a book, I will wear them instead.

Do you know if you are more right brained or left brained?  Try this quiz.  I am almost equally right brained and left brained, with the edge on the left. What are you??

Normal Girl

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Carry on!

You know I do not watch television in an election year, but I have to make an exception for Project Runway. Season 5 started tonight with the typical cast of crazy designers. I love Tim Gunn and his Tim-isms. After he tells a designer that her dress looks like a pteradactyl from a Las Vegas Jurasic Park, he waves his hand and says "carry on!"

The first challenge of the season was to make a garment from things bought at the grocery store. They considered using a tablecloth to be cheating. They used all kinds of food, jump ropes, lawn chairs, garbage bags, paper napkins and drawer liners. There was a dress totally made out of blue Solo cups. It was really cool. One dress had an oven mitt bodice. One designer made the top of a dress out of a split down the middle rubber dodge ball.

The winner made a very cool dress that actually looked like a dress, out of vacuum cleaner bags and coffee filters. She made a hook and eye system for the back from a metal notebook spiral.

I think the loser used diapers, it was disgusting.

There is a designer in the cast this year from Michigan.  He did not make a name for himself, good or bad, in the first episode.

How can you not love this show?  

Normal Girl

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Sentimentality

Here I am in the hammock.  This is the view straight up.  As I was looking at the sky through the trees, I was reminiscing about summers past.  I have not spent many summers here in Michigan since I moved back.  It is usually a busy travel time.  So, I am feeling blessed to be in Michigan this summer.  Summer here is awesome!  So, summers past:

We were always in some campground.  Swimming, biking, singing at the campfire, hobo pies.  Far out....

Another campground.......groovy..........
Sightseeing someplace.  Smelliado, you are rocking those red kneesocks sister!

Niagara Falls.  Check out the culottes.  I had 83 pair of them, in every color, made by Mom.

 For me summer makes me think about camping, campfires, dance recitals, my sisters and brother, and grape Kool Aid.  What does summer bring to your mind?

Normal Girl

Monday, July 14, 2008

Round Robin Bracelet Round 2

Guess who is in the Round Robin project?  The Diplomat, and this is her journal.  She made it with tags, held together with fibers.  
And this is her bracelet theme: cool metal, warmth of words.  

She started with a bracelet of large round links, and a couple Green Girl Studios charms.  This is one side of the charms.

This is the other side of the charms.  Fits her theme well.

Here is the bracelet after two rounds.  VA had the bracelet before I did, she added the lily pad leaf and the dangling crystal and tiny silver beads.  I added CHANGED FOR GOOD.  The Diplomat saw Wicked with me on Broadway and that is a song about a person that is in your life and how she changes you.

Stayed tuned for Round 3 and a different bracelet,
Normal Girl

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Art in the Park

Art in the Park has been this weekend.  We have the second largest  art fair in the state of Michigan, second only to Ann Arbor.  Artists come from all over the country to exhibit.  It is one of the best shows I have attended, not too big, not too small.

It started out like this yesterday.  I got soaked when they closed the show for lightning in the area and I had to walk home.  It was really pouring.

But by today, it was like this.  Perfect weather.  And the crowd was thick.  The show opened at noon and it was already impossible to walk down the streets.  Maybe the home town art fair in the park has become more important.  We don't have gas to go far on vacation, so we are doing things closer to home?  I don't know, but the turnout made the artists very happy.  People were shopping and buying.  A lot.

I am sharing with you three booths I thought were run by marketing geniuses.  This one has people standing in the street laughing.  Pet clothes.

This one was great, like they are laughing in the face of the green thing that is happening across America today.  I thought it was a unique take on global warming.

And this one seemed a little weird to me.  She had a table full of soy candles.  You burn them and when the wax is melted, you scoop it out and apply it to your skin as lotion.  Apparently soy is not burning hot when melted.  I did not try it.  Tell me if you have.

I went back downtown today but was really glad that I did my serious booth-looking yesterday.  There were at least 7623451273093423 people there and they all had dogs on people-tripping leashes.  

This week, the Ann Arbor Street Fair.  I will have more inspiration than I have time to work on!
Normal Girl