No wonder I love to work with clay! My paleobrain wants to write with clay and a stylus.

I am quoting from this website (here) about the earliest known method for writing and recording goods and exchanges. If our first means of communication (outside of verbal), thus documenting in “hard copy” our possessions and transactions began with little objects made with clay, then I allow myself to participate in the modern day counterpart of this activity — working with polymer clay.

I look at the favorite activities of my children and grandchildren – who would have guessed that play doh (and we used salt and flour clay and real terracotta clay as well) was fulfilling one of our earliest language desires. To make objects of what we love, we own and remember.

According to the article in Scripta, 2009, by Denise Schmandt-Besserat, Tokens and writing: The cognitive development. Shapes – cones spheres and discs, were measures of grain, and the tetrahedron was a measure of labor.

Jump ahead (in the mind of those same individuals)

Here is a scholarly website that explains more about this language and the method for creating the markings and provides links to some old tablets in museums around the world. This image is a crop from the gilgamesh flood story.

And this quote from the site above says the “scribes” were kind of like secretaries. but apparently male — “a scribe whose hand can keep up with the mouth, he is indeed a scribe!”. btw…. i learned to type in high school… i can keep up!! haha.
Wikipedia says: “Cuneiform or Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform, one of the earliest systems of writing, was invented by the Sumerians. It is distinguished by its wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets, made by means of a blunt reed for a stylus. … The system consists of a combination of logophonetic, consonantal alphabetic and syllabic signs.” THe part i like is the LOGOPHONETIC CONSONANTAL ALPHABETIC SYLLABIC. All inclusive, everything there. I think english might have been all inclusive at one point, and probably like all things, morphed from some prototype… but it has lost so much of that logo portion that it is hard to see. An interesting thesis would be to find those letters in english which do still retain some of their original pictographic elements. And yet, right here and now, pictographic elements of speech are used in the emoji and congi symbols as we “speak” so to speak. haha. (but wait…. we have color as part of the glyphs.

What i think is even more bizzare is that I made four styli from leftover polymer clay this morning, with the partially rounded side, and two flat sides that meet at right angles. They are about 2-3 inches long. I can’t wait to make my first “clay” (polymer clay that is) tablet.

Tile family room floor with game boards

This little (not so little) project was a huge undertaking for me. I like mosaic, and have done mosaic with all kinds of tesserae, but until about 10 years ago had not really used mortar and tiles and grout. I decided to do the floor in the basement which routinely floods regardless of how much landscaping I do or how many times a year I clean the gutters, etc.  Carpet is not going to work, and the peel and stick vinyl tile from the previous owners did just pop off, after so many soakings.

I wondered if i could tile the floor.  First two years were spent learning that asphalt? asbestos? stickly black mastic requires some heavy duty preparation before it will let thinset adhere.  So the first 1/10 of the tiles came up, and i decided to practice tiling the washing machine room (just plain concrete)… that project was finished about 4 years ago and counted out at about 10,000 pieces of tile all from scrap. (ah, i might have purchased one or a half dozen tiles, but really it is all out of the trash bin at a local tile place).  I put a stained glass window in the window well (also left overs from a bathroom window I was replacing in a rental property, which rented before i finished).

I began the bathroom that is in the basement next to the family room, and finished that, and a little stained glass window (a long thin small window) with little half moons of glass, kind of in memoria of the outhouse half moons.

Then to begin again the family room which now has a central mosaic of the shield which is carved in stone on the fireplace on the front of the house, and I bordered the entire room with a three-row motif –about 1sq inch for two rows which contained two inch tiles of various widths and colors.  Across the fireplace i replicated the arch as a variation of the border.  The remainder of the room is just random tiles, mostly 2×2 squares which i cut from various scrap pieces.

The fun part was to mosaic in some board games. Monopoly, checkers/chess, a small version of go, scrabble, ur, sennet, chinese checkers and tic tac toe. That actually kept me interested in finishing…. this floor, plus the hall and bar and bathroom (sampled in a stratified random approach, with the min and max) comes in at about 25,000 pieces. You can see part of the scrabble board in the lower left.

The sad thing for me is that i developed a sensitivity (apparently) to the metals and additives and have to go back to quilting for a while.

BMW art cars (my 320i flower car in the middle)

Could not resist putting my first BMW art car in the midst of all these famous cars.  I think it is nice, and surely not like the others.  Two 320i cars I have painted with flowers, and one of them I used gallery glass to make dimensional flowers, but didn’t like it (the texture just kept holding the dirt and grime) so i removed it and put the BMW logo flowers on it instead.  That second car I had only just finished painting when someone ran a red light and T-boned it…. totaling it, I was so sad…  In truth, it had become such a “bare-bones” transportation vehicle, no air conditioning, seats beginning to wear out, interior rugs just thread bare, I think it was time.  So that car is posted HERE, and my first painted BMW art car is posted below.

320i BMW art car flowers Marian Miller


Word wrap around a round object in wordpress: a test


this is a test of whether i put the html code i got off the internet in the right place in my word press blog. the goal was to wrap the text around an object which is round. incidentally this pix was a medallion painted for a church and it represents the apostle jude – a ship on a stormy sea. the answer to word wrap is-that NOPE i didnt get it right. But my son did, and you can view it in chrome but not firefox or old browser versions of explorer

Make your own scrubbies

I have been making my own scrubbies for a long time. It is so simple, and I thought i would share.  These are just the netting bags from oranges, cuties, apples and other fruit and veggies that get pitched into landfill (recycling is not an option for most of this stuff). Just cut the wire ties off the ends, roll them up and collect them into a bag that has a knot tied in one end and is turned inside out so the knot is inside.  Stuff it, twist and open the twisted end to go over the wad of netting again, and repeat, leave enough to tie a knot in the end, cut off part above the knot.  Its easy, and it saves 3 bucks and is good re-use of materials.