Friday, June 30, 2006

On hiatus for a time

I'll be taking a blogging break during this very hectic time. I'll be back in a couple weeks after the wedding. I hope you're all enjoying your summer, I sure am!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

It Feels Like Summer

We've had record breaking heat here in the Pacific Northwest for the past two days; temperatures in the nineties which is something you rarely ever see here in June. People are heading to the water in droves, which is where Heather, Jeff, and the kids went this afternoon. Walter was at work (as usual) and I opted to stay home, and bask in the quiet! We're spending lots of time outside, sitting in the shade during the day. I haven't done any art but hope to do a bit this evening, we'll see...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Life's Simple Pleasures

Yes, the gang arrived yesterday and last night was just one big happy love-fest, all of us grateful to be together again. This is what Violet found interesting when my back was turned; ah, the simple joys of pulling tissues out of a box, one by one, and flinging them into soft piles wherever they may land. My plans for homemade soup changed to roast chicken and pasta salad as the weather here felt too warm to really enjoy soup. It was all quite delicious. Ethan asked me to tell him a story before lights out, so we composed one together, one about a little boy (names Ethan, of course) who road his bike and came upon a treasure-box filled with gold, diamonds and pearls; - he gave the pearls to his little sister Violet. He had a bike that could turn into a fast motorcycle on demand, and the little boy could fly even though he had no wings, without even flapping his arms. I feel very blessed to be invited to enter his world and share his adventures; more photos forthcoming.

Friday, June 23, 2006

*M* is for Mystery

Have you ever driven by a thrift store and felt a tug to pull over, that something special may be waiting for you? It happens to me on occasion, and when it does, I listen to it, and many of those times I have come away with some little treasure. It was going to be my lucky day again! There sitting outside the store on an old table was *M*. My hands were all over it at once, opening the hinged lid, happily surprised to see the green faded velvet lining inside. On the top is a large *M*, inlaid in a lighter wood. One of the bottom corners of the letter is missing, along with a big chip on one edge, and lots of scratches on the top. The price tage read 50 cents. I found my mind wonderiing about *M* who s(he) was, and what they kept in that velvet lined box. I don't know what I'll do with it, but I knew it was coming home with me.

Today Heather, Jeff,and the grandkids arrive - I'm so excited!! I had big hopes about how the house would look, all clean and tidy, even my studio would be in order. Well, here it is, the day of, and the house still needs more cleaning and tidying, the living room sits half painted, the flower bed desperately needs weeding, - you get the picture. It's true, I have been working long hours on art projects and other comittments that are now complete. But it's also true that I have squandered time I have had these past two days, allowing myself to get... *distracted*. This is how it often goes; I'll start cleaning, then look out the window and notice the way the sun is falling so beautifully on the meadow, the shadows, the shimmering leaves, and what I'm doing feels totally unimportant as I grab my camera and head outside. Or, I decide it's such a beautiful day, that the dogs and I need to take a least 2 walks. Or, I get a compelling idea that *demands* my attention, so off to the studio I run. So now it's Friday, and many of the things on my "to do list" remain undone. The odd thing is, the older I get, the less these "housework failures" torment me, and that feels freeing. I'm going to give it my best shot today, see how much I can get done, and then make a pot of homemade soup; when they open the door, the smell will tell them we've been waiting for them, that we love them, that they are so special to us, and that they are *home*. (Did you know that good homemade soup is magic that way?)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

An Art Marathon

I spent the entire day yesterday, from 7 AM till almost midnight (with the exception of a few small breaks), working on Sally Turlington's journal. The theme she chose for her altered calendar is "Not Yo Mama's Michelangelo & Da Vinci" - what a hoot! I worked on the month of June in the book. This is part of a year long journal collaboration with a group of talented artists from MMCA. Oh my goodness, the work already in this book is beautiful and inspiring; so much so that it's always a bit difficult to begin that first page. But begin I did, and I kept at it until I was finished. Doing this many pages in a day is a first for me, but knowing my daughter and family with be arriving in 3 days made it important for me to get it done while it was quiet, and I could put my whole heart into it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

my latest project

I designed a scarf with vintage kimono silk fabric for a special project, it was fun. I included image transfers I made on silk, hand stitching, stamping with textile paints, and embellishing with buttons and beads. It was hard to photo all of it at once, so I did it in two sections included a close-up. I think I may be designing a similar one, but a bit wider with fringe, for a shawl.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

feeling a bit blue

These flowers caught my eye at the grocery store yesterday, sitting all alone in the flower tub, surrounded by bright sprays of golden yellow and white daisies, crimson mums, and the other more common flowers. I was hypnotized by the beauty of the single varigated blue and violet petals that delicately surrounded the nubbly golden centers. Without another thought I bought the entire bunch. When I got back to my car, I positioned the brown paper grocery bag so as not to disturb the flowers that were delicated positioned in the bag's center, the whole lot gently leaning towards the front seat. It was only then that I noticed one of the flower heads doubled over, snapped at the neck. I picked up the bouquet and as I examined it further, I noticed several of the other flowers had broken necks as well. I had been so enchanted with the rich color and texture of the whole arrangement, that I had neglected to see the individual flowers. That probably explains why no one else had bought them. It was a good lesson for me, reminding me how limited my sight can be when I get carried away in the moment with emotion, and how very different that reality can look when I look deeply and really "see". I put all the beautiful little petal heads into a water-filled crystal bowl that had once belonged to my mother. I actually like the arrangement in the bowl better than the stalks now in the vase. Everything feels a bit sad and poignant today. As the wedding steadily approaches, I'm having to let go of my baby girl, in yet a different and new way, yet another stage of being a parent. I remember so clearly when her dad and I were the loves of her life. Although it was a long time ago that she was that tiny little girl, this wedding is another severing, another reminder that she has moved on without me. I know it's a good thing, it's the best, raising our children to be strong and independent. It's just so hard each time we have to let go, yet again.

Walter is getting a half hour dance lesson today. He's meeting Marissa at the studio. They'll get a private half-hour session to familiarize him with the basic moves he'll need to know for the father-of-the-bride/bride dance. Marissa chose the song "Daddy's Little Girl" by Al Martino...I KNOW there is going to be some very wet eyes during that dance :-)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

like chocolate?

I have to share - I just discovered a bit of heaven, a bar called 'Ritter Sport'. It is made in Germany, dark chocolate with a marzipan filling. OMG!!!! And I just found out that they've been around for a long time and come in lots of flavors. No more for me until after the wedding; fitting into my dress is already a tight squeeze :-)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

new books and a movie

We rented the movie Winged Migration, what a beautiful film, really amazing. The documentary film took three years to make and focuses on the migratory pattern of several birds over all seven continent. There was very little narrative, just amazing photography of birds in flight, their habits and the incredible scenery of our planet. The wide range of music was choreographed to fit the scenes and they did a wonderful job. Meditative, heart wrenching in parts, and just beautiful.

And the mail brought me 3 books I bought on a splurge - these will probably be the last in a while as we're on a new and quite frugal budget - so I'm especially I got these in under the wire!!

Quilted Memories by Lesley Riley
Collage Unleashed by Traci Bautista
Alphabetica by Lynn Perrella

I'm looking forward to curling up on the couch and feasting my eyes on all the delicious eye candy.

the power of words

I'm reflecting, what do I really know about any of this, I want to know but I don't really *know*. The older I get, the less i know. But as I've gotten older and hopefully wiser,I have taken on some beliefs, and one of them is I no longer underestimate the dynamic power of words, thinking them, saying them, believing or disbelieving them. If I don't believe something, I best not put it into words and say it. The power begins to sprout in thoughts, putting down roots that grow deeper with repeated attention and tending, waiting for the thought or belief to be spoken aloud, taken out into the sunlight, where it can crystalize, manifest, and grow. I find that tending my mind, and all the thoughts that take shape there, is a rigorous and never ending job, I try as best I can to remain vigilant and faithful; removing the lies, what would do me damage, or hold me back, and acknowledging and nurturing those thoughts which move me in the direction of discovering my authentic self, what I long to know and be, what I am. At almost 50 years old, I'm still such a beginner at all this. On good days,I begin my day with this goal in mind; to be aware and curious. It sounds easy, it's not; I try to do my best, I'm human, that's all I can do, and I try to be kind to myself when I don't do so well.

Which brings me to the conversation that prompted all this inner investigation and clarification. My lovely daughter, my youngest, is making the final preperations for her July 8th wedding. She had her first fitting a couple weeks ago, here's a picture of her in the fitting room, she's a beautiful woman, inside and out - I'm so proud of her.

She and her sister were raised in a liberal and free-thinking environment, we've always encouraged them to think for themselves, listen to their intuition, and follow their heart and dreams. She wants to get married, she wants to have a family. She's a junior in college, going part time now, and also loves being a student. She is marrying into a family that is almost exactly opposite from the one she grew up in - conservative, traditional, definately not free thinkers...I don't believe she yet sees what she's getting into, but she will learn. We've had several talks about marriage, about it being the coming together of two unique and individual people as equal partners. That is what she wants and expects.

They were going to meet with the officiant yesterday, a woman. That was a problem initially as the groom wanted a man conducting the service ( i start hearing alarm bells). A man was unavailable on that date so they *settled* for the woman. My daughter told me on the phone yesterday than O** wants the officiant to make the announcement at the end of the service: "and now I introduce Mr. and Mrs. O**** HisLast Name". He felt adamant about it, it's traditionalal. And he wanted the phrase "man and wife" not "husband and wife". OMG!!!!! I am horrified! When my husband learned this he said "your're going to have to have a good talk to her about this". Which I did, that day, before their appointment with the officiant. I learned she didn't want these things, she'd expressed it, and they'd gone back and forth on it - the compromise was "husband and wife" but the "Mrs O** LastName" would stay, he was fixed on that. She told me she went along with it because she didn't want yet another fight. He said it was traditional, and it was no big deal. We talked about how not all traditions are inherently good, it's a very good thing when the bad ones are extinguished - like slavery, women not having the right to vote, etc.
I reminded her how women had spent years fighting for this very change in wording because of the power in the words - the handing over of ones identity in that one sentence. She was no longer a Kendrick, she gives up her birth name, and with his version, she gives up her first name as well - she is now a MRS O....sounds a bit like property I'd say. I'm quite impassioned about this issue and when we were done talking she understood why, and had a sick feeling inside when she thought about going throught it, and was actually mad that he'd pushed for it. YAY!!! If she listened to me and decided she wanted to go through with it anyway, I wouldn't have said another word, I will respect her decision. But I don't want to see her compromise on something so important, something that diminishes her, all for the sake of keeping the peace - if it were me, it would be a deal breaker. He's probably not going to like me, he probably already doesn't. I can't help that, I will always support my daughter on her journey towards becoming her authentic self, as I will support him if he wants it, it's up to him.

Monday, June 12, 2006

finding my way

this collage is combined with a photo i took on a river walk this evening

Gathering Petals

I've been enjoying my old fashioned roses for the past month. Yes, they are wild, strong-willed, and often out of control, but I do love them. When I look at them, i feel happy and warm, much like the feeling I had visiting my grandma's house when i was a child. They look so *old fashioned*, in their butter yellow, pale pink, and crimson petals, climbing up and over our front porch railing. But alas, all good things do come to an end... they are now losing their petals and I feel a bit sad. It's time, once again, for me to give them a fearless pruning, and then just watch and wait, hoping for a second bloom in late summer.

I worked all day yesterday and on into the evening, getting everything ready to go out UPS today - I was hoping I would be done early so I could spend a day on the beach, the weather was perfect! But, I am thrilled that I did it, that I started it and that I finished it - the CPS article is done, the dolls packed up and it's all ready to go. Doing this has helped bolster my self confidence, which is something I seem to struggle with a lot. Now I'm telling myself, "see, you CAN do it, and you can do more, MUCH more!". I'm hoping if I keep encouraging myself in this way, and keep taking on new challenges and facing my fears, that I will evenutally believe, it with my whole heart.

I hope you all have a lovely summer day!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It's a 10 grain cereal Saturday

These past couple days have been very busy, and the business has been productive which makes me feel happy. The energy around me and in me has been calm, no wedding dramas, and for that I feel grateful.

I have one goal today, to finish writing the article for CPS; I know I can finish it today if I stay focused; the staying focused part is a struggle for me many times as my mind jets off in opposite directions. I finished 4 more dolls (ones I've already posted pics of here) so I'll be sending off 8 dolls along with the article on Monday so it will arrive by the due date - nothing like waiting till the last minute! I think I work best that way sometimes. I'm looking forward to that celebratory glass of cabernet I've promised myself when I get done :-)

I haven't been making any art for the past couple days and I've been thinking a lot about a piece I did a couple years ago called "Clementine's Vision", so I decided I'd share her with you here:

And forget not that the earth delights to
feel your bare feet and the winds long
to play with your hair.
---- Kahil Gibran

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Poem and Pictures

Soil for legs
Axe for hands
Flower for eyes
Bird for ears
Mushroom for nose
Smile for mouth
Songs for lungs
Sweat for skin
Wind for mind
---Nanao Sakaki

I spent a wonderful afternoon in Seattle with Terry Berg in her studio learning the fine art of polaroid and emulsion transfer. She is a wonderful teacher, I had a blast, and I learned so much. I seem to learn best through *mistakes* and so it was with this as well. The photos and transparencies I brought and wanted to use were either on the dark side or lacked the dramatic contrast I would have liked, but I learned and practiced the basic techniques and feel confident enough to experiment on my own should I decide to buy a Day Lab at some point. I tweeked these transfers a bit in photoshop to make them more viewable - I will incorporate them into a painting at some point in the future.

I made a transfer of my latest painting/collage:

A photograph of a doorway I took in Mexico layered with papers

Another photograph from Mexico - I love doorways

And yet another doorway - one of my favorite things to photograph

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


May your trails be crooked,
winding, lonesome,
dangerous, leading to the most amazing
May your rivers flow without end,
meandering through pastoral valleys
tinkling with bells,
past temples and castles and poets' towers
into a dark primeval forest where tigers
belch and monkeys howl,
through miasmal and mysterious swamps
and down into a desert or red rock,
blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and
grottos of endliess stone,
and down again into a deep vast ancient
unknown chasm
where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled
where deer walk across the white sand
where storms come and go
as lightning clangs upon the high crags,
where something strange and more beautiful
and more full of wonder than your deepest
waits for you --
beyond the next turning of the canyon
-----Edward Abbey

Monday, June 05, 2006

I dwell in Possibility

I dwell in Possibility
A fairer House than Prose
More numerous of Windows
Superior - for Doors

Of Chambers as the Cedars
Impregnable of Eye
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky

Of Visitors - the fairest
For Occupation - This
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise.
------Emily Dickenson

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cheers to Our Health

I'm doing MUCH better, I have definately turned the corner and am on the upswing. I feel so very thankful, so grateful. The past several days have been really difficult, physically and emotionally. Now that I'm better, my doctor confessed to me that I'm extremely lucky that I listened to my intuition and stopped taking the medication when I did, as my symptoms were heading fast towards Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which is often fatal, and even when it isn't, the damage to body systems is extensive. I feel like one of the luckiest people on earth right now, grateful and thankful to be alive, and grateful for all the love and healing energy that was sent my way - I felt it - thank you so much!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

two steps forward, one step back

I thought I had turned a corner as far as my health, but not quite. Last night I was running a high fever again, and more rash appeared. I still have a fever today and feel poorly. This medication has been out of my system for 3 days now and still my body is severly reactive. I guess I just need to rest in bed today. Hope you all are doing very well - remember to appreciate your health and thank your body for being the miracle it is.