Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Monday, May 29, 2006

Dedicated to our faithful friends

I made this doll for Bernie Berlin's auction for the animals, coming this fall. All proceeds will benefit A Place To Bark for animal rescue. Bernie has an article coming out in a future issue of Cloth Paper Scissors that explains more about this project, and I will post specific information as I get it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

And another...

I used vintage kimono fabrics to create this doll.

I love the flower girl

"Oh, I don´t know just why.
She simply caught my eye.
I love the flower girl,
She seemed so sweet and kind.
She crept into my mind." --- the Cowsills

the field in bloom

Over the shoulders and slopes of the dune
I saw the white daisies go down to the sea,
A host in the sunshine, an army in June,
The people God sends us to set our heart free.
- William Bliss Carman, Daisies

Each spring as I walk the trail through the field, I watch the wild things bloom, all in their time. First I smell pungent aroma of the skunk cabbage growing in the wetlands and watch them throw their other-worldy yellow heads out of massive green sheaths. Shortly after, the daisies arrive, one of my favorite flowers. I chose daisies for my wedding bouquet as I love their simplicity and unpretentious nature, the way they tuck their snowy white petals close into themselves at night and the strengh and vigor they need in order to survive in the jungle of field grass, weeds, and rocky soil.

And then there is the scotch broom. Many despise this invasive plant as it takes over the spaces that used to be occupied by field grasses, but I have admiration for this magnificent plant, the way it sends it roots down deep and out, enveloping the surrounding soil and keeping it safe and secure from heavy rains and floods that would wash it down river. And could there be a more beautiful golden yellow? Soon it's blossoms will have withered and dropped and it will once again look like a troublesome branchy bush with intentions to take over the entire valley, but for now, I think it's wonderous.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Yes please, do come in

I took this photo in Pozos, Mexico while on a workshop with Micheal DeMeng. The spread out town was sprinkled with ruins and run-down buildings. Often these buildings look neglected and abandoned from the outside, but if by chance, you happen to walk by when a person is opening up a door to the place they call home inside, you might catch a brief glimpse a garden paradise, hidden from the rest of the world, known only to the owner and selected family and friends that are permitted entrance. I felt at home in this place of tumbled down ruins, scattered in the vibrant desert countryside, sometimes almost hidden by new growth.

Yesterday I started reading 'Journal of a Solitude' by May Sarton, again, for the 3rd or fourth time in the 30 years since I read it for the first time, a gift to me from my sister. She said the book reminded her of me. When I read it, I feel it too. It's such a comfort to feel understood. it is one of my favorite books

Let me share a small portion with you, a small glimpse.

"The reasons for depression are not so interesting as the way one handles it, simply to stay alive. This morning I woke at four and lay awake for an hour or so in a bad state. It is raining again. I got up finally and went about the daily chores, waiting for the sense of doom to lift - and what did it was watering the house plants. Suddenly joy came back because I was fulfilling a simple need, a living one. Dusting never has this effect (and that may be why I am such a poor housekeeper!), but feeding the cats when they are hungry, giving Punch clean water, makes me suddenly feel calm and happy.

Whatever peace I know rest in the natural world, in feeling myself a part of it, even in a small way. Maybe the gaiety of the Warner family, their wisdom, comes from this, that they work close to nature all the time. As simple as that? But it is not simple. Their life requires patient understanding, imagination, the power to endure constant adversity - the weather, for example! To go with, not against the elements, an inexhastible vitality summoned back each day to do the same tasks, to feed the animals, clean out barns and pens, keep that complex world alive."

My daily prayer is to remember and hold on to that.

I wish for you a day filled with beauty and mystery.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Aventures in Babyland

Heather and Violet flew back to San Diego last night so my schedule is feeling normal again, which includes my morning dose of computer time. We had a wonderful visit, as always; the experience is hectic and invigorating at the same time - quite the contrast to my quiet and reclusive lifestyle. And the house is NOT babyproof at all, so a crawler can find quite the treasures in all the cubbies and shelves near ground level. And then there is the staircase. Violet always had her eye peeled for the open family room door for her chance to race-crawl to the stairs when we had our backs turned. She certainly kept me on my toes! Heather flew in to give her little sister Marissa a bridal shower and it was a huges success
Marissa felt like a beautiful soon-to-be bride, pampered and special, surrounded by family, friends, and a table full of delicous foods with the room decorated in her wedding colors.
She got some beautiful gifts - lots of pretty nighties (I didn't realize people still gave those at showers, I'm so out of the loop) and lots of other goodies. I bought her a couple feather pillows as I know she loves them. Heather was a wonderful hostess she's such a socialite, I admire her and continue to be amazed by all the dormant qualites that keep awakening in her.
Violet somehow found a quarter on the floor and gave us all quite a scare as she popped it in her mouth and wouldn't open up so we could get it - I got a finger and pulled it out but it gave us all a fright - she is so quick, I'd forgotten how fast little ones out on an exploration can be. Here at the house she discovered the cabinet with the doggie things.
She pulled out the bag of rawhide bones and crawled off with them as fast as she could with Daisy (our cocker spaniel) in hot pursuit! Then she headed for the low cabinet that holds all the VHS tapes and DVD's and pulled out a stack of those.
I pretty much let her do whatever she wanted as long as it wasn't dangerous for her or something she could destroy. She had all my kitchen towels on the floor as well as all my plastic ware, it brought back such sweet memories for me of when Heather and Marissa were babies...the time has gone by so quicly.
After all that activity, Violet was ready for a bottle and cuddle from grandma. Life doesn't get sweeter than this. I am looking forward to artmaking again, it's been days, and need to get cracking on my article about my dolls for the October issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.

Monday, May 15, 2006

under the morning moon

the early morning skies are amazing here in the spring. here is what i woke up to when i padded out of bed this morning and stepped outside into the cool morning air; i couldn't ask for a better start to my monday.

my mother's day felt full and productive. i spent the morning hours emptying books out of our bookshelves into three piles: goodwill, keep, sell. we have a huge book collection, so many that the solidness of the wall of books felt too dense for me, i need space - lots of empty space. So the house is going on a much needed purge; furniture is being rearranged and/or discarded. i'm painting over all the cream colored walls in the living room/dinging room a beautiful warm creamy yellow. i've started the painting and hope to complete these rooms sometime early this week. we ordered a beautiful area rug to go over the carpet in the living room - which will also brighten up and cheer the place. i'm also doing a major redo in my studio ( where one of the living room bookcases ended up) so hopefully i will become a more organized artist and can find the many missing treasures now buried in that space.

marissa came over just after noon bearing a lovely bouquet of flowers for me. we sat and drank tea, talked and laughed while we addressed 100 wedding invitations and 100 more return envelopes containing RSVP's. a memorable way to spend my mother's day, with my youngest daughter, my baby, yet soon to be a bride. i feel happiness tinged in sadness; i'm happy that she is happy, like all mothers i want her to create a happy and fullfilling life for herself, the sadness fills in the empty spaces, she is all grown up, her room is empty, her bed unslept in.
i'm still reckoning with the changes that go with this chapter of my life; the big empty nest, watching and feeling the ways my body is aging and recognizing those changes in my partner as well, and then staring into this abyss of freedom and openness - this later part of my life, as it waits to be filled with the me living from this new place.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

And For No Reason

For no reason
I start skipping like a child

For no reason
I turn into a leaf
That is carried so high
I kiss the Sun's mouth
And dissolve.

For no reason
A thousand birds
Choose my head for a conference table,
Start passing their
Cups of wine
And their wild songbooks all around.

For every reason in existence
I begin to eternally,
To eternally laugh and love!

When I turn into a leaf
And start dancing,
I run to kiss our beautiful Friend
And I dissolve in the Truth
That I Am.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

cloud meditation

this morning it was impossible not to notice that i was having a difficult time concentrating on several of the very left brain tasks that needed accomplishing today. since it's a gorgeous day, i thought a brisk walk with the dogs might help get me get centered. i practiced touching the ground with my feet as i walked with awareness, smelling the fragrance of apple tree blossoms and pine, while listening to a variety of bird chips and songs ringing out in the distance in all directions. When i looked above me i saw big puffy white clouds cast in a deep blue sky sea. they immediately caught my attention and for a moment almost took my breath away with their beauty. i stood still and watched for a bit, until my neck pain called for my attention, but i didn't want to stop watching them - it felt like the most important thing i could do in my life at the moment, much more important than doing all the paperwork and business tasks that called for my attention all morning. So i brought a thick comforter outside and laid it on a patch of bright green spring grass, in the shadow of 'heather', the pine tree named after our oldest daughter. i was instantly filled with memories of lying on the grass looking up at the sky when i was a child - how could i have forgotten how absolutely divine and mysterious it is? i always know it is in my head but i must lie down on the grass and look up and watch and experience it in my heart to really *know*. at moments, there was pure silence, not a single sound, how incredible the emptiness sounded!! mostly there were occasional sounds...bird chirps, the wind rustling the leaves of the poplar trees (i love that sound), and once i heard the sound of flapping wings as a large black raven flew directly over me. gratitude flows out of my pores right now for this beautiful experience called life.

May Journal RR

May is the month that I work in Deryn's amazing calendar/journal - this book is just gorgeous and i'm thrilled to be part of this talented group of participants from MMCA. Here is one of my pages

journal RR page

another journal page in deryn's book

journal RR pages

another page done in Deryn's calendar journal

for journal RR

this is one of my pages in deryn's journal

Monday, May 08, 2006

i've been tagged

by sarah of rustic relics

i do....and i don't.....

i do enjoy a cup of freshly ground french roast coffee with milk in the morning
i do not like sugar in my coffee

i do like the way i look with a little make-up/mascara
i do not like to put it on so i rarely wear it

i do enjoy taking photographs
i don't particularly like the task of uploading and resizing them on my slow computer

i do enjoy wearing my favorite shoes which are extemely comfortable
i do not wear shoes with heels

i do have a healthy diet
i don't exercise as much as i'd like to

i do like a cup of green tea in the afternoon
i don't like it without milk and honey

i do like to walk the trail on our property along the river
i don't like it when the dogs find a dead salmon on our walk and roll in it

i do dearly love my dogs
i don't like to brush out tangles and mats in their fur

i do love a clean house
i don't like to spend the time to do it

i do love to spend at least a couple hours a day doing my art
i don't like to stop doing it once i get started

i do like to shop at thrift stores and small specialty stores
i don't like to shop at department stores and malls

i do like to be honest in my interactions
i don't like it when i'm afraid to be honest because i don't want to hurt someone's feelings

i do consider my spiritual life to be primary
i don't always remember to 'be here now' in the present moment

i do like creating art when i'm in the flow and don't know what the outcome will be
i don't like following directions or a pattern

i do like living out in the country where it's beautiful and quiet
i don't like it that i have no close friends near by

i do like experiencing intense relationships and heart to heart connections
i don't like small talk

i do like working out of my home
i don't like it when i feel isolated

hmmmm....that was fun to think about, thanks sarah! now i tag: deb misty maija annax

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Say Cheese...

the gals all agreed to pose so i could take a group photo.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

On the way to town

I couldn't have requested a more beautiful day if that were possible; the sky is so blue and the Olympics still covered with snow. This is the road I drive to Tahuya when i get packages addressed to my home instead of post office box. I love the drive, it's 15 minutes from our to house town; once in town there is really nothing there but a fire dept and a post office. There used to be a small grocery store/diner there; it's where Heather worked a couple summers when she was in high school. It closed up about 3 years ago when there was a rock slide that shut down the road for several months, they just never opened it back up. I do love it here! the past few days when I think about moving i feel my heart heart ache and flutter - part anxiety and homesickness, I don't know if really want to move - I am a loner and would probably be a loner even if I moved into town. Walter is feeling the same pangs of doubt. Time will tell...