I'd like to cover a couple of items that have achieved prominence around here.
Last week my desktop machine went from the occasional blue screen to completely silent. A few days and few hundred dollars later, the beast was back up with a new motherboard and microprocessor. I realized during that time that my disaster recovery plan was weak at best. Last night my new 2 terabyte external drive came online to backup all my digital work. I'm reviewing all my software for graphics and music production, both for the latest versions and Mac compatibility. I plan to abandon the world of the PC, starting out with a beautiful 27" iMac. The 2TB drive will line up perfectly with the iMac's storage. Adobe will let me flip operating systems at no charge and my music software is usually supplied with both OS's. I figure that I can transition at my own pace with no downtime.
Paint making is so fascinating! I'm beginning to collect documentation and hope to learn and present a good deal more. I recently emailed with Nancy Jackson who authored a couple of great starter documents (here and here) for the Natural Pigments(NP) online library. I'm soon to be an active poster on the NP Watercolor forum. Nancy still mixes her own paints but no longer collects her own minerals. Check out her most beautiful tapestry work. Something I have long realized now is that artists are the most wonderful people--so full of sharing,encouragement, and kindness.
So that's where I'm at in the short run, but soon I know I'll have the itch for pencil and brush. :-)