Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer in Full Bloom

the peonies are lovely this time of year.  i love the perfume and the soft, lacy petals.

OneGirlPainting Art Studio: General &emdash;
summer evening peony

Monday, June 03, 2013

proper photo gallery launched

three cheers!  my photo gallery is up and running.

a couple of my photo series are visible, and the site is functional.  take a peek and sign the guest book.

i'll be uploading more images and getting the shopping cart setup in the next couple of weeks, so check back for updates.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

photo gallery site in the works

well, it's been a crazy couple of months. lots of stress of loss and starting a new job, school ending for the kiddos, dealing with the 'poor' foot, and trying to find some normalcy again.

i've been running scenarios for Barb's scarf collection, and i think avoiding my studio in a way.  realized today that if i go in there and start painting these scarves, that it will really be acknowledgement that she's gone and not just unavailable, busy like me, or on an extended vacation.

i have also decided to make good on a promise to myself that i would get a website gallery of my work up this year.  my personal goal was June 1st, but that was set last October when i expected to have a light spring.  so just starting that work this morning feels good.

so i'm easing into it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Glitter On! Barb

For those of you whom don't already know, my friend Barb passed away earlier this week. She was a kindred, crafts-y, loving soul with a heart of solid glitter. She will be missed and remembered.

I want something memorable, honorable, and beautiful to come out of this loss.  Barb doesn't want a pity party.  I know she'd prefer this energy is channeled into something useful, purposeful, and worth having. It will be my way to honor her life and friendship.

Last August, we started designing a pattern together.  I based my Fall/Winter 2012 collection on the color palette she selected.  I will be individually hand-painting 100 silk scarves in the multi-color pattern she and I designed.  Each scarf will be unique, beautiful, and one of a kind - just like Barb.

The profit from these limited edition scarves will go to her loving husband Brent and their two, young, adorable children.

More information, availability, sketches, photos, and updates will get posted here in the coming weeks.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bells came

Two of the kettlebells I ordered came already! I didn't think they would be here until the end of next week, so I am especially excited.

Kyle, who carried them in for me, was especially curious about them. I think he may have just realized I may actually have gotten stronger lately... I was showing him dead lifts and swings and cleans and thrusters. Good thing that I am on rest days yet. I was wheezing and lungs burning just showing him a couple of moves. I think I have finally convinced him to come to a circuit Saturday!

He was looking through the catalog that came with the Valslides and chalk (especially interested in weight sleds and running parachutes.) at lunch today, we were talking about Mudder training and I was explaining the great pull up article Jen shared. Sam was going on about the Mudder pictures of what I needed to be able to do pull-ups for... I let him know that we have three guys on the Mudder team now. I think he would do it if it weren't for the running.

It would be so cool to be able to get the whole family to a beginner kettlebell session and a circuit Saturday. Weeee! I am glad I got wide handled kettlebells so Kyle's hands can fit them.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Low cost power slide

So, you may already know from earlier articles that I have been eyeballing power slides. I found a very logical instructions to make your own. But frankly, I'm not so handy with power tools.

After thinking about this, and moving furniture around in our little gym area last weekend with the four-footer (my youngest son) and messing around with sliding on the carpet with the "moving men" furniture sliders... Hmm, this is the same motion, just the slippery surface is on my feet instead of the floor. The trouble being that it seems so difficult to actually get anywhere. Really, though what is the difference between booties on your shoes on a slippery surface, and slippery surface on your shoes? The bumpers.

The bumpers. All the slideboards have bumpers of some type on them - short or long - there is a stopper on the end. This isn't just to keep you from sliding off the end. No, that's the kick plate for you to push off from to get moving.

Ah-ha! All I need are kick plates. Great. I ordered up some Valslides from Amazon. They arrived today. My sinus-turned-respiratory-cold I started on earlier in the week is in full force, so I am on rest days until feeling at least 85%. Turns out, this is a great time to get creative about adding some variety to my athletic training plan. The Valslides arrived today.

I ripped them out of the package. Threw them on the carpeted floor of the living room and jumped on. (I am sort of like dear hubs in this way. Things should be initiative. I will read the directions later.) yep, same as last weekend with the four-footer. Great slippy-slide fun, but no travel. Hmm. I got out the directions pamphlet. Nope. Almost all of the instructions show someone using only one slide at a time.

Hmm, why did I think this was such a no-brainer? Oh yeah, bumpers. So I started looking around the house for things to launch myself off of. I found the perfect match in the workout area. The basement knee wall on one side, and a wooden crate the kids dress-up costumes are in. If I put the 52.5 lb bow flex weights on top of it, it doesn't move when I test it out. Very cool.

Valslides, under $30. Indoor skating in my basement year-round, priceless.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bus Bench Training Has Begun

So I got off the training 'Park bench' that I was coasting on since the beginning of January while I dedicated all my spare energy to benefit related tasks. It took a bit over a week to just relax down to normal. I don't feel 100% yet, but you can't wait for perfect conditions to get started or you'll never start.

I am on day two of the RunDouble 10k event training plan to make me faster at that distance. I've tried two different Vibram five-fingers over two days (running) and I'm not in love with either pair. (More on that later.) Funny how working on speed and endurance has a way of making me feel so slow. Plus, I've been a wuss (maybe I need someone to call me a "waaambulance") and have been doing my running on a treadmill this week instead of outside with the bitter windchill and ice.

Combining the run plan with the Kettlebell Bootcamp should get me rolling on my Tough Mudder training. I will do a little repeat of the 21 day Kettlebell Challenge starting mid-February to give me morning and evening workouts. My goal is to stoke the furnace, burn off about 10 pounds this month to make me faster for Get Lucky 7k. Then I will "Park bench" it until April or later, depending on team feedback when our Tough Mudder team starts seriously training together.

I also went back to eating strictly protein for a week so that my digestive system can really get a reset after the holiday abuse. After that, I will just be back to my normal, whole food protein and veggie (with supplements) eating plan. I look for quick recipes and meals to keep the family meal plan interesting - or rather to keep me interested enough in the 15 things (exaggeration) I eat. I was surprised to find a lot of very doable combinations in couple Dukan diet recipe sites. The first two phases of that plan look very similar to my limitations - except I can add almonds, pears, blueberries, honeydew melon, watermelon(in small amounts), and quinoa.

My mileage goal for this week Monday to Sunday is 20 miles (in the land where 10 min of kettlebells equals 1 mile). I am already at 19/20.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: 42goals Goal Targeting App

You probably are slightly familiar with my quest to go digital/paperless a few years ago. This, partnered with the ever-present need to log every dang thing (not just a compulsion), has me leveraging some online tools like food tracking.

But when I changed from windows phone to android over a year ago, I lost a very cool app (iFitOne) that is only available for windows phones (#fail). Today, I found the replacement in 42goals.com! (free)

42goals.com is a very simple premise - you set targets and check off or tick them up and down. It took me awhile to realize how much I miss this type of goal tracking. It's so simple, but effective. There is a web site and an android app. Setting up all my daily targets through the web site helped speed things up.

The image above is from my set of goals on 42goals.  You can demo the app yourself.

I tried some other apps (like Happy Ritual), but it just didn't like the interface. I prefer to have a mix of things that are count based, measurement based, time based, and Yes/No.  42Goals delivers on that very well.  I also like the custom icons which you can add to goals.  It makes it more fun.  And aren't you more likely to do something if it is fun?  I am!

It doesn't do the quick summary screen or color coding the way iFitOne does, but I didn't have to write it myself either, so there's a compromise to it.

I love this kind of tracking.  It reminds me throughout the day of my goals.  It is also easy to keep on target before the day has expired.  (And, I often record my food when I get home so the little counter helps remind me to record things.)  And, over a period of time, you can see improvement in areas by looking at how close the average moves to your target.

If you purchase the premium version, you can create groups of goals.  I recommend starting with the free version.  If you love it, and have so many goals that it makes sense you view and manage them in groups.  (Here is a link to the user guide if you want more details or step-by-step.)

Oh, the planning on stats... on each goal, you can view the Planning and Statistics tabs.  If you have set targets and dates (which you can do), then you can view the collected information over time in a couple of graph styles by different time periods.  The image below is from the demo for the coffee goal.

For data nerds like me, there is also an Excel export option.  Since I use this to track my pain against baseline for a couple of different areas, mood, general food, caffeine, and activity - this is a nice spreadsheet that I bring to my physician when I go in for a checkup.

42Goals can hook into your Facebook account, but I'm not really about blasting my daily goals around on Facebook.  I guess I want to keep it private until I actually accomplished something.

There is an android app for this built by Fakhri Samara.  I didn't have success with it.  Was not able to get my data to even load in it and ended up uninstalling it.  I would not recommend that.  [Although, I would pay either a $20/year or one-time $45 fee if it came with a nice device app that I could download to my phone(android/iphone/blackberry/windows phone) and an iPad.]

Overall rating of 42goals web and mobile site = two thumbs up.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Dashing Through The Snow, The Kettlebell Monster and the Little Piggy That Stayed Home

polar dash -
i ran my first official 10k yesterday (was it just yesterday? wow, time flies when you're having fun). my goal was to finish it before 1 hour and 30 minutes; not be dead last; and finish before the course closed.  it was awesome to cross the finish line with 1:19 on the clock (official chip time of 1:17) and not be last-last.  i was 60 from the bottom, so i'm okay with that.  now there is so much room for improvement.  goal of 60 minute finish for the next 10k and maintain the under 30 min 5k.

lessons learned: i don't need all those clothes!  i was miserable hot (on top) and my [insert rear jiggly part here] was cold.

  • opt for wind pants next time 
  • wear normal winter gear on top 
  • keep face covered, but do not wear a hat because I overheat too easily

this little piggy wished he'd stayed home -
i'm not sure if i posted on here about my trip to IKEA last may? in 4 1/2 inch heels when i got my heal stuck in the mess-bottom furniture trolley while attempting to load a massive shelf into the high trunk of my car - i, of course, dropped it multiple times on my shin, ankle, and foot.  you know that feeling when you say to yourself - that's going to hurt later? it was that feeling until i got into the car and wanted to put my foot on the dash to drive home, because my toe was throbbing.  (i resisted that urge for the hour drive home.)  my toe hurt for a couple of days, and then i forgot about it until many, many weeks later when my toenail just came off pain-free.

one little piggy went to market, but the little piggy that normally stays home went running.  now piggy has a big blister under the whole toenail. the root of my toenail hurts like heck.  it must be something about having lost that nail once before - and it only having grown back in the last month.  it popped it right up and is about to come off again.  weird and gross and kinda interesting all at the same time.

kettlebell monster -
so with all that work on the bottom half of my body yesterday, and no kettlebell class thursday or friday - led me to double-kettlebell class tonight. holy it was upper body workout central tonight.  just in the benchmark swing tests (115 swings and 127 swings at 35 pounds a swing), i moved 8,470 pounds in 10 minutes.  hello. gotta feel good about that.

i'm starting to feel like i went 5k on my arms.  oh wait, that's coming.  just to remind me, my tough mudder training t-shirt arrived today.  easy run tomorrow.