• Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 314 other followers

  • Creative Commons License

  • Archives

  • Follow Merely a Suggestion on WordPress.com
  • Advertisements

The Fine Art of Packing

191cd654d1af6eb40670b5e244d08b8cThe first rule of moving your household is to sort your things and get rid of things you don’t use or like or need.  Whoever wrote that is NOT an artist.  I don’t own many clothes.  I mainly wear jeans or black.  I don’t have a lot of furniture except for shelves.  I have lots of bookshelves, wire cubes, ikea storage, etc.

To my rules of 1.  Never throw away anything made of 100% linen, and 2.  Never throw away a picture frame. add 3.  Never toss a bookshelf.  Number 3 is not my problem; the movers take them.  But the other stuff . . . .

Studio and studio storage

Why is it that most of the boxes are labeled Studio or Storage (the room off my studio)?  I swear I threw a lot of stuff away.


We are taking most of the breakables down early in a truck?  Where did all these breakable and “Necessary” items come from?  I did get rid of the cheap glass vases.  Many of them.

For over 20 years I have lived in a house with plaster walls that have hardened to the consistency of steel.  It’s almost impossible to drill a hole in them.  Therefore I have hung not very many pieces of art.   Most on nails left by former owners.

Pictures breed in an atticCheck this out.

Their packing estimate = $600.  ROTFL

Would you believe we already took a carload down?

I don’t know if I am taking things I will regret paying for.  I don’t care.  I am exhausted and my brain died two days ago.

What I do know is that I am hanging every #*@^%  one of those pictures because if you put them in your attic, they BREED.

More later–


New House–New Life

I’ve always wanted to live in a university town where town and gown really like each other. And now I will.

Steve is retiring and we are moving to Athens, Georgia. We are as giddy as teenagers.

We close on the new home Friday.  It is perfect for us.

 Lots of natural light.

 A screened porch and a deck.

 A studio with skylights.

We will move ____???? Retirement is in January. House has to sell. Donna Harding is my incredible real estate guru, so hope it will be soon.

Where we live in the meantime? We don’t know. Everything is day to day and I don’t care. Strange, coming from a planning Nazi. It is just part of how right this decision is.

Did you know that people over 62 can attend the University of Georgia for free? I am checking off classes in the catalog nightly.

We have spent a lot of time in Athens with my older daughter and my older grandson and their friends.  We love the foodie culture, the many arts groups and the amazing cycling. So many good things await us there, and I hope all of you who have so richly influenced my life will wish us well. I wish everyone could feel in their own lives as much joy and excitement as I feel today.

Y’all come on down. Real estate and taxes are cheap!

Jake Prater 2001-2015


Jake so sweet

Jake so sweet



Jake gives orders.

Jake gives orders.



Jake in charge

Jake in charge




jpknits.com No More

Simplifying, downsizing, decluttering—trend? fad? whatever? Some say it clears the mind as well as the home. I’ll let you know.

What I am choosing to do is to give up the jpknits.com domain. That means that website, not the blog, is going away. It also means the jane@jpknits.com email is also going away. I will still keep this blog and will check in from time to time, but the only way to get to it will be https://merelyasuggestion.wordpress.com so you may need to resubscribe if you came here via http://jpknits.com.

Patterns will still be available via ravelry.com. Email is jprater28209@gmail.com. Still on Facebook.

I have lots of places that will require me to change my email, passwords, user data; and I will try to work through them as fast as possible. Simplifying can be very complicated which is why I didn’t do this much earlier.

I hope that as a new Spring is here, you are making new things. Here’s my latest effort:

Gypsy bead pot Negative space

More later–

I Made Paper

Evan is working on his Cub Scout Art pin and I am getting to help.  One of the requirements he elected was to make paper.

Had a bit of trouble removing it from the mold.

Had a bit of trouble removing it from the mold.

Obviously, I didn’t know how.


Added bits of yellow cardstock after pulling the sheet.

Added bits of yellow cardstock after pulling the sheet.

But thanks to Google and YouTube and a house full of art stuff, I learned.


Added some orange and yellow construction paper to the blender when making the slurry.  Nice soft orange.

Added some orange and yellow construction paper to the blender when making the slurry. Nice soft orange.

I’m still a beginner, but this was fun.  I may get better equipment—-and I may not.  It’s mostly water, paper pulp from recycling paper, and gumption.  Suitable for age 8 to “I.m no longer telling.”

More later–

Family Problems

Do you have trouble getting a decent picture of the men in your family, even at important events?Pinewood Derby1Pinewood Derby2Pinewood Derby3Pinewood Derby4


Steve Lets Out His Inner Artist

T shirt 3

This is my husband Steve.
He is a right-brained mechanical engineer and he is very, very smart.  He knows lots of math and science things, but he also knows history and the arts.  He can name any rock guitarist in 6 measures.   He doesn’t think he has any artistic talent and, about this, he is dead wrong.

Steve's sketchbook

This is one of his sketchbooks.  Yes, it is a piece of shim with equations written in Sharpie.  He has lots of ideas–but that’s another story.  When I saw some of his designs, I  said YOU SHOULD DO SOME T-SHIRTS.  Ands he did.
Golden ratio

Recognize this formula?  Me, neither.  It is the Golden Ratio, or Mean, or Spiral.  It defines the perfect composition for an artwork.  Ask Leonardo.  It says a lot about Steve that this would be his first piece.  And that he would not label it and make it easy for the rest of us.

Here are some more of his early ones:
Avogadro's (Avocado') Number
Avogadro’s number. As an avocado. Pun. They get better.


Log of natural e
This defines the log of the natural e. Well, both daughters recognized it and it was a gift for Erice–E, get it? The white paint was not satisfactory. Already he is looking to improve his materials.

Kekule-benzine ring


This is his shirt from the first picture. Kekule discovered the Benzine ring. Turns out he was having a hard time figuring out how to visually represent it until he had a dream about a snake swallowing his tail. Hmmmmm.

Planck's constant
Another gift for Erica. Planck’s constant. So he drew a plank. Erica fell down laughing.

These were my Christmas presents.

Dali's iPhone


I love art that makes me stop and then maybe laugh. Salvadore Dali’s melting clocks fits
the bill in spite of its deeper meaning. Only for me I got a melting iPhone.

Chrysler Building
My favorite building in the world is the Chrysler building in New York City. Lots of Art Deco and gargoyles. Beautiful. He cut the stencil out of freezer paper. Lots of little pieces. I love it.

He, too, has been experimenting with art supplies.  He started with fabric paint from the craft store.  For Christmas I gave him Shiva Paintstiks.  He is having a great time.

Here are the new ones:

Sagitarius A (black hole)
This is the black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. I love the effect on the black sweatshirt.

Leo Szilard
This is Leo Szilard, the guy that discovered nuclear chain reactions.

The Shiva Paintstiks leave the fabric unchanged. No stiffness. And they can be mixed like oil paints. We both like them.

I’m so proud.

%d bloggers like this: