Friday, December 29, 2006


The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;--
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;--a fairy tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.
---Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This is a photo I took of the fog rolling in as the sun went down over our field. I'll be back blogging soon with words of my own and more photos. Wishing you all a joyous New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice

my thoughts are with the earth today

the changing seasons

moving from the darkest day of the year

towards the lightest

once again

on my walk today i found these

lovely tissue-paper-thin leaves

clinging to moss-covered trees

transparent skeletons

form a perfect reminder of the darkness

we're leaving behind

i collected a handful

and ironed them flat

between snow white


these leaves

how beautiful and delicate they are


On the Nineth Day of Christmas...

A personalized pendant made of a brass stencil and vintage ephemera made by Crystal
Such an original piece of art, creative and very cool!

She's homeward bound

Marissa's flight arrives this evening and we get her for 5 days, i'm so excited and happy - i know the time will go all too fast but i'm going to enjoy every second! many of you know what a rough year she's had (this is a photo i took before she left last july) but this strong young woman has made her mama proud and is creating a beautiful life for herself, new job, finishing her degree, new friends and a boyfriend she is quite serious about. which is why she will be leaving Minneapolis the day after she gets back, and moving to Denver Colorado, where the two of them can continue dating without him flying her to Denver every other weekend. She got a transfer from the bank she's now working at, so she's got a job waiting for her there, a room ready for her in a house with a couple other college girls (thanks to Craigs list) and she was accepted into University of Colorado Denver's business school, and will start up with her classes in a couple weeks (i can't believe i have a daughter who *loves* math, she takes after her dad in that way, certainly not me!). She is super busy, like any working college student, but she is excited with her new life. I am SO thankful every day for the 'wedding-that-never-was'.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Another Blustery Day

The weather is cloudy and rainy; another rain and wind storm is on the way. Hopefully we'll get through this smaller one without losing power but just in case we do, I plan to make one of my favorite soups (i've been making it for over twenty years) that I can warm up on the wood stove if I have to. This soup is comfort food at its best; you know the kind of food that tastes and feels so good in your tummy that you just don't want to quit eating it? This is one of those soups, and it's easy-peasy to make. It's from The cookbook Diet For A Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe.

Turkish Barley-Buttermilk Soup
Saute 2 large chopped onions in some olive oil
Add and stir till lightly toasted 1 cup barley
When onion is well browned add 5 cups of stock
Cook until barley is well done - about 45 minutes.
Remove from heat and let it cool a bit, than slowly add 2 cups of buttermilk or yogurt, add more stock if it's too thick. Sprinkle in about 1 tsp of dill (more of less according to taste) and stir in a bit of butter. Voila!- it's ready to eat, enjoy!

On the Eighth Day of Christmas...

A beautiful cd collage with a soaring bird made by Liz Smith ; isn't it just fabulous?! And another bird theme; i love birds, and like so many others, i can never get too much of them.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

12 Days of Christmas - Catching Up

because of the power outage, i was unable to show you gifts 3 - 7; here they are:

day 3: a beautiful 4" x 4" collage on canvas created by Edina Tien

day 4: a sweet little collaged notebook created by Deb Lewis, the perfect size for my purse

day 5: a lovely pendant made by Kristen Robinson

day6: is the day the gals opened the gift from me, a 4" x 4" mixed media collage on canvas board coated with beeswax.

day 7: this cool paper book necklace from Penelope

Monday, December 18, 2006

some journal pages

i promise to photo and post pictures of gifts 3 - 7 on my blog tomorrow. time got away from me today and before i knew it, it was too dark to get good shots. while the power was out, i did catch up on some of my art comittments - i made these five pages for Reiny Rizzi's calendar journal.

back on the grid again

we've got power again, how exciting! you don't realize how much of your life is entwined with electricity until you don't have it. i spent lots (most of my time) in the studio, day and night. I bundled up and lit the candles at 4:00 when it got dark - I kind of enjoyed the whole experience actually, except for the feeling a bit cold and no hot showers :-)

anyway, i'll be catching up with photos today so you all can see the 12 Days of Christmas packages i've been opening. it was so much fun to have a little gift each day to open, it warmed my heart.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Power outage here

the storm took out our power as well as 1.5 million other peoples. it's been three days now and we still don't have any power - it could be 3-4 days or longer till they get to us, so i wanted to let everybody know i didn't disappear. we have a wood stove going that keeps a couple rooms downstairs fairly warm, and a generator going to run our well pump so we have water, albeit cold, and can use the toilets as well as run our freezer. we are roughing it for sure, but, i've always got my pot of hot water on the woodstove and as long as i've got my hot tea, i'm happy. i'll be back online soon!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

On the Second Day of Christmas

Look what I found in the precious little package I opened this morning! A beautiful soldered pendant created by Amy Huff. I only have one other very small soldered pendant, so I'm tickled to have it. To see what lovely gift the gals in group 2 opened, check out the 12 Days of Christmas blog.

Well, I am very happy to report that I'm feeling good again!!! The doctor put me on antibiotics as he was convinced I got some kind of bacterial infection after the flu- and after 3 days, I can feel the difference in my energy. I am so very thankful; I found myself smiling at everybody while doing my errands today.

One of my errands was an early Christmas present, for me, with my husbands blessing :-) I bought a brand new sewing machine; a computerized Janome DC3050. I am so stoked! I have a small sewing machine collection but they are all older mechanical machines from the 40's, 50's, and 60's. This new machine does 50 different stitches, 3 one-step buttonholes, and only weighs 20 pounds, which was the reason I got a machine; I needed a light one I could travel with. I think this machine will be perfect!

We have a BIG storm coming in this evening. We've already had lots of rain and the winds are going to pick up later. They are predicting gusts of 60 miles and hour, so there are going to be a lot of power outages around the sound. We've already lost our internet satellite; thank goodness we keep dial-up for a backup.

I played in the studio last night, and finished up this collage that had been sitting around for over a year. It was almost done, but not quite. It feels so good to have it *finally* done and on its way to a new home. I photographed the piece at a slant, unfortunately, so you can't see much of the green wooden frame around the edges.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On the first day of Christmas...

Today is the day! I finally got to open package #1 of the basketfull of twelve little bundles I have sitting on the buffet, constantly luring me over, tempting me to unwrap just a corner and take a wee peek, but i stayed strong. And it was worth waiting for- lovely silver earrings with the most beautiful blue beads made by the talented Shari Beaubien. Thank you so much Shari; the craftsmanship is amazing! This swap was the brain-child of of project hostess Lelainia Lloyd who even started a blog to commemorate the whole process through photos here. I'll be unwrapping one handmade gift each day until Christmas and sharing it with you here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

and grace will lead me home

I haven't written about it, but ever since I got sick with a bad case of the flu late last September, I haven't been the same physically. It's like the virus has burrowed somewhere into my body and every time I exert myself (by exert I mean spend a day shopping, or playing with the grandkids) by evening I find my glands swollen up like little balloons, sore throat, cough, and general fatigue and malaise. This has been a repeating pattern now for over 2 months, and I am puzzled at the viralancy of this bug. Has anyone else experienced something similar this winter? I haven't been to my doctor, so i made an appt. for tuesday. I found myself feeling discouraged after spending all day yesterday in bed (again!) and then waking up and feeling no better. I am drinking boatloads of tea with honey and lots of fluids.

Anyway, the point here is, my physical body has been challenging for me to live in these days, and I found myself feeling sorry for myself and even a bit fearful this morning, wondering if I'm getting the same auto-immune disease both my sibs have. Bad combination - fear and self pity!

As I sat here this morning reading some blogs, I read something that shook me back to myself. I'm quoting this from my very sweet and wise friend Judy from her interview with Artella which you can read on her website.

DM: What is your favorite piece of your own art and why?

Judy: "My favorite piece is whichever one I am working on that day. That is the piece that has my full attention and love. Actually, I am not all that attached to the work I create. I accept that my work, like my own body, will vanish one day and that in the bigger picture is not all that important. The joy and love is in the act of creating it.After that it is just an object to be cared for, admired or discarded."

You might wonder what this has to do with physical suffering? I'm not sure exactly, except that I know that the conditions I experience today, are part of a wonderful gift, the gift of my life, the life and reality I take part in creating. Everything is impermanent, I don't need to dwell on the future, as the future will take care of itself. To find joy and love in the moment, regardless of my conditions is the challenge. So today, although my body is hurting, my spirit is once again soaring. Thank you dear Judy! You never knowhow what you say, might effect someone else.

Shortly after I read that, I opened a book I keep in my bathroom. i randomly open it usually once a day. This is what I read today:

"You can choose to think in a higher way more often. Giving thanks will lead you directly to your heart and your abstract mind. By giving thanks, you bring light into your crown center at the top of your head, through the doorway of your heart. Because of the increased light, and new heart opening, many ideas and gifts can be sent to you. They may unfold in a week, or month, but you have created a doorway for many good things to come to you". - S. Roman

Giving thanks seems to be a healing balm for everything. I feel thankful for all of you!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

6 Weird Things About Me

okay.... i was tagged by Sally Turlington and Syd McCutcheon so I feel challenged to play.

1. i tried to think of something weird about me for 15 minutes (really!) and couldn't come up with anything...i think THAT is weird.

2. if i have to wear shoes, i wear my favorite shoes, the exact same shoe which i have in 3 different colors and i'm ordering another pair of them in black

3. i don't like to talk on the phone, it's a strain, but i love to hear my family/friends voices on the phone

4. i love people but i'm a recluse; i'll go for days at a time and not leave *the homestead*

5. i have the keen ability to totally ignore a messy house, piles and all, if i want to do something else instead of clean, which is most of the time

6. my favorite pants to wear in the studio are faded teal linen drawstring pants with holes and rips everywhere, the crotch is pratically missing. i keep another pair of pants nearby to change into fast if i hear someone driving up to the house

i tag anyone who wants to play!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

reading books and drinking tea

Oh, and most importantly, spending a lot of time playing with my grandchildren. Here they are in the snow, having a ball. Weird we've had snow on the ground here for over a week - it's just not warm enough to melt it.

I'm off to a slow start today, so I thought I'd slow it down even father by spending some time on the computer, cruising blogs and websites, googling, you know... I AM teaching myself Photoshop Elements, and I try to put in at least a half hour a day into that. I bought an excellent book called Photoshop Elements 3; the Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage. The best manual I've found to date, and one I can easily understand, which, coming from a lopsided right-brainer, says a lot! I look forward to learning the tools well enough that I can figure out how to do whatever it is I want to do with photos and artwork.

I've spent lots of time lately holed up under my soft, worn, quilt with a cups of hot tea and a book. Just as I have several projects going at the same time in my art, i have several reads going at the same time. I devoured 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath in three days and I'm now well into 'Ariel; The Restored Edition', also by Plath. I'm reading 'the WAR of ART', a book recommended by artist Lesley Riley, and am finding this book to be an absolute gem at addressing resistance I might have in any area of my life. My bedtime read is 'Pilgrim at Tinker Creek' by Annie Dillard and I've got her book "Teaching a Stone to Talk" at the ready when I finish Pilgrim. I also just bought a copy of 'Anne Sexton; The Complete Poems' that I'm reading bits at a time. I'm so grateful to be reading again; there was quite a stretch recently, when i just wasn't able to read much, but a new medication I'm on is making it possible once again, and opening back up a whole new world for me.

I hope you are all doing well, finding some enjoyment in the changing of the seasons.