Friday, December 19, 2008

Just checking on you guys . .

I hope you are all enjoying the pre-Christmas festivities. I have been happy with the arrival of Christmas cards in the mail box and hearing Christmas songs in the stores. I love that this time of year encourages us to reach out to connect with others. It is a perfect time to pause and reflect on the blessings we have, and think about how to help those who may not be feeling so fortunate. As you go about the extra effort that goes into the holiday season, remember to take time for filling yourself back up. And yes, you can do it with Christmas cookies, See's candy and homemade fudge! But I hope you will also include time to take a walk and breath in the clean, crisp air. Listen to the birds chirping and the happy sounds around you. Remember to take time to pray for those in need and for yourself. Read passages of inspiration. Snuggle with your four footed friends. Turn off the TV, light the candles and just bask in the glow of being secure in your home. It is a good life we live.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Its cold (for So Cal!), rainy and I think we need cookies . . .

Today was one of those rare days in So Cal with lots of rain and wind. It was the perfect day for starting the Christmas cookies I love to make only at this time of year. So I lit all the candles in my living room, got the mixing bowls out and and turned on the oven - yummy!! The house is toasty warm, good smells are in the air and my nest feels cozy and comfy! This is a big part of what Christmas is about to me.
Then I had a most unexpected surprise in the mail today. The house next to us had been abandoned by the former owners many months ago, such a sad sign of the times. In the interest of keeping things looking as normal as possible I would mow the weeds when they got too high. J. would go over and pull the weeds growing up in places we couldn't get to with the lawn mower and we would take in the newspapers that continued to be delivered in spite of my calls to have them stopped. We just generally kept our eye on the place. Well, a couple of weeks ago it was bought at auction and the lovely man who bought it totally fixed it up to sell. He sent us a check for taking care of it before he even owned it! I was blown away! What a nice man! It makes my heart happy to know this man fixed this house up right, and he cares about us wanting to have nice neighbors move in next door. I was very humbled and happy. The real estate situation has so many people feeling callused and cynical these days, and it just made me feel warmed to know it wasn't going to be that way for the house next to us.
Here's another story that warmed my heart and humbled me. I am teaching a class in January using tins to make altered art. I have three class samples in the store and this weekend a customer really wanted to buy one of them. It just so happens that it was my first one and my favorite one, but something told me to let her have it. When I asked if it was for her or someone else after she purchased it, she told me it was for a friend of hers in Colorado who is battling cancer. She bought it to send to her as encouragement. My heart just immediately melted. I am blown away when something from my heart and hands touches someone's heart. It really makes me believe in the power of the Spirit, and man, how that humbles me.
So today I wish you the peace of a quiet, cozy day, filled with your favorite smells and sounds, candles adding gentle light and a heart touched by the Spirit of the season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It is the busy time of year . . .

We are all in our busy mode these days. Things to be done for Christmas rather it is presents to give, items to make for shows or just the internal need to create, we are all doing it! This morning I was reading this:

"You are blessed because of the love you give forth. In coming days such blessings shall you have that you will feel you have no more room in your heart to receive them. Go now to the tasks that await your hands and I will work with and through you as you fulfill your daily portion of work."

This really speaks to me. I am reminded that the creations we bring forth with our hands, starts in our hearts and brings that love to the people we share our art with. And it's not just our art, it's the way we go about using our hands throughout our day. We drive, do chores, we touch and hug our family, friends and pets, we are cooking and cleaning, planting and writing. Our hands are there to express the love that flows through us in all the actions they take. I don't know about you, but that offers me great comfort as I go about my day today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home, happy and hopeful . . .

I am home and had a great time with my family for the Thanksgiving holiday! We ate turkey (and many turkey sandwiches!), played lots of Scrabble games, and enjoyed each other's company. A good time was had by all!
I am happy. I cleaned house yesterday, washed windows to let the sun shine in, filled bird feeders, caught up with friends on the phone, and in blogland. Putting order back into my world.
I am hopeful and letting the excitment and anticipation of the Christmas season start to flirt with my thoughts. I am going to a Christmas party this Friday, which is called Craft-O-Rama!! It will be my first time attending and I've heard wonderful things about it in the past that I can't wait to get to go play there this year!
I love this time of year. The season is about hope, love, the promise of good things to come and appreciation of the good things we have already.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving thanks for the blessings that are mine . . .

This morning I was reading my one of my favorite books and this line jumped out at me: "Let quietness be in your heart today, peace be in your soul." I just really love the cadence of this sentence. I thought this would make a wonderful replacement for my typical, "Have a good day.", but my BFF suggested I may want to rethink that! I guess I will just keep it as silent mantra for traffic jams and long grocery lines! I wouldn't be surprised to see it show up in one or two of my pieces of art one day, though.
I taught class this weekend, and one of my students was given the class as a birthday present from her friend. That really touched my heart. I have been working on my journals for the gallery and will deliver them tomorrow. I have been having fun with them and want to make more when this batch is done to have on hand for future shows.
I know we are getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday this week, so I want to wish all of you that quietness in your heart and the peace in your soul as you celebrate your gratitude for your journey. I'll catch up with you all next week! Hugs from me to you!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Light of heart . . .

Today finds me feeling light of heart, hopeful and happy! I am feeling on track and on purpose and it feels good! I know this is a feeling that can change on a moment's notice, but for right here, right now, that is how I am feeling. Yesterday was such an art filled day. It started with dropping off the little ornaments you see here at Studio Maureen then a much anticipated trip to the Grove for inspiration and a few early Christmas gifts for some of my knitting buddies. Next it was lunch at the Beach House in Solana Beach with 3 wonderfully talented artist. We sat outside, watching the ocean and planning all kinds of road trips, future shows and having fun inspiring each other to go for the gusto in life! The next trip was off to the ATC group I belong to at GeeGee's in Carlsbad and trading art and stories. Yes, life is very good to me. I am breathing in, I'm breathing out and I'm enjoying every second of the journey.

Monday, November 17, 2008

11-17-08 Monday afternoon reflections . . .

I am sitting here today with the sound of birds chirping outside, the dryer running in the background and the shadows of the afternoon sun playing on the dining room wall. I am posting pictures of a couple of little journals I made because last week I had some good fortune. I was accepted to sell my journals at a new art gallery here in Southern Calif called Artists by the Sea in Cardiff. I made these journals a couple of years ago, and I just love them. I love the long narrow shapes, perfect for use as a gratitude journal, or for writing your favorite quotes. I make them with a variety of papers, paints and encaustic wax. I am excited the gallery accepted them and am happy I get to make more of them. My good fortune did not end there, I was privately commissioned to make a couple of PMC pieces, also.
So I was thinking today about the idea of where my thinking comes from. Is my heart in a place of abundance, or is it coming from a place of lack? Do I see the blessings of doors that open before me and walk through them with excitement and expectation, or do I stand back and hesitate, letting fear and doubt keep me on this side as I watch those doors close before me? These are all choices I get to make, and the choices I make will determine the flavor of my life. I have to admit I am a lover of vanilla, but sometimes I have to go out there and have the "death by chocolate"! I wish you your favorite flavor today . . .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

11-13-08 What's with the date in the title?!

I don't know if anyone has noticed, but the date of my last several blog entries have all been dated October 14th. That's because the computer needs a new battery and I've realized that it in no way interferes with me posting if a new one has not been installed! I am not a techno whiz, so I am saving this project for my IT man to take care of in his leisure. It was his suggestion that I could manually post the date of my entries. At which I balked, and then thought, hmmm, maybe I should . . .
So my thought for the day has to do with something that I wrote about in my gratitude journal the other night. The presence of the friends I have in my life. I know I am loved by these women who make sure to talk to me and make plans to spend time with me on a very regular basis. These women enrich my life beyond words. They are one of the cornerstones on which my life today is built - their love for me and the encouragement they extend to me colors my world in ways I can't imagine living without. They are each treasured gifts of my life. While reading, "The Voice of the Master" this morning it was reinforced with this sentence, "My love manifests for you in many ways - in ways of health, strength, wisdom of mind, soul understanding, in friends with whom I surround you; all are manifestations of My abiding love." I do feel very loved today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Do you smell a cake cooking around here somewhere?

This morning as I felt a deep sense of calm and peace. I am not even sure what I want to share with you today, but I feel the need to post. I am feeling more and more comfortable in my own skin (literally and spiritually). It may just be a wisdom that comes with aging, or a feeling that comes with acknowledging the need to search quietly within.
So here's the image that comes into my mind. We put all the ingredients into a bowl for making a cake - everything is there for the success of the cake, but without stirring it up, it is just a pile of raw ingredients (we are born with the right stuff). Then comes the mixing and stirring (life works on us and through us). Then things start to come together in a completely new way, smoother and more integrated - a form that can now be poured into a pan (we start to put our life experiences to work for us and others). If we pay attention and cook it for the specified amount of time, we have a delicious treat!
I know, I have a simplistic view of the world most of the time - and that's not something I think is always a drawback, by the way. In working with that spiritual principle of simplicity this week, I have been feeling those cake ingredients getting stirred into a smoother batter. And yum, I am anticipating the smell that cake cooking now . . .

Spiritual Practice . . .

First, I have to say I am ecstatic about the election of Barack Obama as our new president! I am so hopeful about the change in the future of our country, and the world. I know not all of you voted the same way, but I truly believe he is going to do great things for all of us.
I have been giving more thought to the idea of living my life from spiritual principles. My starting point is the art of living simply. It's about releasing things (literally) and ideas that are not supporting who I am today. Starting at the front door, I am working my way through the house "releasing" to the thrift store and the trash. I feel better already! I want to make my house cleaning chores go swiftly and easily. Really I don't want to do house cleaning chores at all! Less things to take care of, less things cluttering my environment and mind = more time for the things I want to do like make art, knit, read, lunch with friends. It is about being present in my life. My life today, not my life yesterday and not my life tomorrow, my life today. I suspect this may lead to things like eating less refined foods and adding more simple foods to my diet. Maybe even less clutter in my art and more refinement of what I want to express with it. Who knows where this will lead, but already on the path and I feel my breathing getting slower and deeper.

No complaining ?!!!!!

I have read a few articles lately that addressed the activity of complaining, or rather, the desire not to. Boy, that made me sit up and take notice. I don't think of myself as a whiner. I like to think I pretty wear my rose colored glasses with panache. But you know, I do have that part in me that is quick to leave a nasty comment out in the universe if something isn't going my way.
I read about a couple who made a commitment to not complain for a month! My gosh, I have to set the bar a lot lower than that! I am just going to try it for a day, and I think I have to start tomorrow, because I may have already complained about something today!!
Today I am going to watch for those situations in which I immediately want to be critical and/or judgmental. When they happen (and trust me, I know they will!) I will use the opportunity to replace those thoughts with being an observer and wishing peace into those situations. Even a day seems like a long time to practice this, but I am going to give it a try and I ask you, the reader, to let me know if you try it and how it works for you!

Gorgeous Day in Paradise . . .

Boy, today is one of those days we love in Southern California. The sun is shining, but is not too hot, the birds are singing, and the out of doors is just calling my name to come out and play! Okay, I really need to be out there mowing the lawn, but the fresh air and sunshine make it worth it!
I was gone last week visiting with my mom and little sister. I had a great time and it seemed especially sweet to get to spend time with my sister because she has not always lived close enough for me to get to visit with her. Turns out she surprised me by being a better Scrabble player than I thought she was . . .
The art room has been lonely for awhile, but I threw caution to the wind and played around in there all morning. No masterpieces to speak of, but I did practice with the collaging techniques I learned in Karen O'Brien's class the other weekend (a most excellent class by an excellent teacher, take a class from her if you ever get the opportunity!). I am working on an art journal and played with some of the pages in there. It felt good to get paint on my hands!
Yesterday I played hookie to go see the movie, The Secret Life of Bees. It was good, and followed the book very well. It was cast perfectly and definitely worth your time to go see it. The cinematography was a touch too Hallmark for me, I had imagined it being a just a bit more edgey when I was reading it. But hey, they didn't ask my opinion when they were filming. Still worth your time and money!
It's good to be home. I have missed my blog, but today I have this thought going around in my head that I want to share. Our thoughts and actions are like little pebbles getting dropped into the pond of life. We don't know how the ripples they create are going to impact the those they touch, so drop them with kindness, good will and the truth in your heart.

I am better!

I am feeling better!! Life is getting back into the place that I know it to come from! Man, nothing like having a few days of temporary poor health to make you appreciate what feeling good is! Unfortunately I have given this to J., so he is going to have to deal with this for a few days. I will pamper him and nurse him back to good health, though.
Today I meet with my friend for lunch at St. Germain's in Encinitas. I love getting to do that. The ride home up the coast is like icing on the cake. While in Encinitas I went to The Black Sheep and bought some new yarn for more chemo caps. I got a hand dyed cotton yarn from Chile, and a gorgeous deep purple Debbie Bliss bamboo/merino blend. While at lunch, one of my students from this past weekend came into St. Germain's to have lunch with her husband - how cool was that! This morning I came up with a great class idea. I am excited to get the details worked out and will post a picture of it when I get the sample finished.
Yes, life is still good! I feel blessed and hope that you are feeling likewise. Today I want to leave you with this thought: "Authentic empowerment is the knowing that you are on purpose, doing God's work, peacefully and harmoniously." Hoping you all have that sense of inner peace and harmony today.

Sniffle, sniffle . . .

Ah, I write today with a fistful of Kleenex in one hand and a glass of orange juice in the other. I have succumbed to a nasty cold and it is kicking my butt! Good thing for you guys germs cannot travel in blogland. Did I mention I sprained my ankle last week while I was taking my walk? Within the last 5 days we also have had two fires on Camp Pendleton and I could see the flames moving in the direction of our house from our front door. I have the box of important papers by the front door and the kitty carriers in the corner in case we have to make a fast get away. I think the good news is the ground has now all been burnt so there is nothing for a new fire to use for fuel. Sounds like my charmed life is falling apart!!
But there have been bright spots, too, as there always is in life. I had such a good class this past Sunday, three ladies who made teaching PMC so fun. I love how the universe puts such nice people in my path - I always get the best students! I also am scheduled to teach at Studio Maureen this coming Saturday and Sunday I am taking a collage class with artist Karen O'Brien. Today I received the funniest card from my BFF, I love unexpected mail sent with love and a laugh inside! So see, life is still good and I am going to be good as new in no time (cough, sniffle, cough)!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Interesting times . . .

Wow, it is such an interesting time in our country's history right now. The election, the economy, the weather around the country, one's attention has a lot to focus on these days. In finding balance it helps me to get back to the basics, making good wholesome soups, reading great books, spending time journaling, meditating and communing with God, spending time with the people I love, and working on my art. I am fascinated to see what is happening at this time. I have a deep feeling that we are going be okay.
I am posting a picture of the chemo caps I have been working on. I have found a local oncology office I can donate them to and I feel honored to help comfort someone in such a small way. It's all about helping each other as best we can.
So today I hope you find some way to do something that makes you feel good about yourself, taking care of who you are, creating something artful, spending time with those you love. It's all about making meaningful connections.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ahhh, the sweet smell of success . . .

I am happy to report that this weekend's art show was a huge success! The vendors all made sales, the weather was perfect, it felt like fall and this artist came home very happy! My beaded spirit dolls were a big hit, I only had two left! I can't wait to make more! I saw lots fellow artists I haven't seen for awhile, enjoyed meeting new people and just really had a good time.
I have some ATC cards I need to make, one group is doing a Halloween theme, and the other group is doing fabric with Shiva paint sticks - both should be fun to do. I am working on my knitting still, I have 3 and 1/2 chemo caps done and I finished one of two socks for my second pair I am knitting for myself. What is it about that ball of string and two sticks that is so darn alluring right now?!!
Well, just wanted to check in after the show to let you know how it went and to send a smile your way today!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My little art room mascot . . .

This is my little girl kittie, Gwen, doing what she loves to do best in the art room - sitting in my chair! It is not uncommon for me to be working with my back to the door and I will hear and feel this big thump as she jumps up on to the back of the chair and sits behind my head and decides to keep me company and take a nap. It is one of those feelings that makes my heart feel complete and content. Note the in progress work on the art bench for the upcoming show!
I am still knitting like a fool. I am loving the projects in the Knitting for Peace book I got and another book I picked up this last weekend by Nicky Epstein called Knitted Flowers. I am doing a field trip tomorrow to the Yarn Lady in Laguna Nigel - an awesome yarn shop I can't wait to introduce my friends to! I can't wait to see what yarn calls out to me in light of the new projects I have been knitting. There's something about knitting that makes me think of old ladies (and I am getting up there, but don't consider myself old yet!!), and yet there is something very calming, and meditative and grounding in doing it. I don't want to be like the old auntie that crochets doilies for everyone and they smile as they take it and then put it in the Goodwill bag! Hence, I will not be making scarves or doilies!!!
Well, I'd best get back to my projects for Saturday, but just wanted to share a picture or two of Gwen with you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Prayers for my blog friends . . .

Today my heart finds it's self being called upon to say special prayers for several people. I am a big believer in the power of prayer and I feel it is an honor to pray for those we care about. I don't always know exactly what I should be praying for so I just ask they be given the strength to carry the heavy weight in their hearts and to feel the hugs of those that are caring for them during their hard time.
Today feels a bit like fall and there are yummy smells in the house from the pot roast cooking in the crock pot (anticipating J's return from his hike on Iron Mountain). I had time this morning to work in the little art room creating more beaded figures and squeezing in a little more knitting.
I have wanted to comment on Kelly Rae Roberts new book, Taking Flight. It is an excellent book! My thanks to her for giving us fellow artists such an inspirational and technique filled book! I think it is up there with some of my very favorite art books - way to go Kelly Rae!!! If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, it is now in Barnes and Noble and is worth looking for on the shelves.
I feel the need to leave you with the following words today: "Love is warm about you, for you shall function through spirit and there is all strength at your command."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some things for the upcoming show . . .

Just a short post to give you a peek into what I have been working on lately, in addition to my knitting projects, that is. These figures are what I am making for the upcoming art show. They are very rewarding to create. They are the perfect combination of things that speak to my heart, rich colors, metal, inspirational words and cool faces. They range from about 5" to 8" tall. This is my first time putting these up for sale so I will be interested to see how they do. There is a feel of fall in the air and I am loving that!! Fall is my very favorite season and it energizes me in a way no other season does.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The knitting fool . . .

Well, you can see how I have been spending my time lately! I have been working on the other projects I wanted to make for Josiah. I love to sit and knit so it hasn't been a struggle to get into this! I need to finish up one more bootie and finish off the bear I am making then I can mail everything.
A funny thing to tell you. I have a cat named Sam who loves to sit on my printer while I am on the computer. The printer is off my right side and behind me. He sits up there purring and keeps reaching out and tapping my shoulder to make me turn around and pet him. He is very insistent about it and it always makes me smile because he has this sense of routine about "our" computer time. I don't really think it's a good idea to have him sitting up there on the printer, so please don't tell Dell in case I need to return it because it mysteriously quits working one day!
I don't think I 've mentioned that I am in a local ATC group. At our meeting ast night our challenge was to create a card using vinyl. I had fun with this one and just wanted to share another little piece of art from the little art room in the back.
Well, as you are all aware, these are interesting times for our country. I am feeling calm and secure, kind of like being in the eye of the hurricane and watching things swirl around me. So I leave you with these words for today: "At the heart of our essence and being is the place where all intention, thought, word and deed rest, and prepare to become the full manifestation of themselves." I just love those words, ". . . at the heart of our essence and being . . ."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Welcome to the family little one . . .

Life is good today! I have been working on creating these last few days. My knitting needles have been calling my name and I made this little sweater for my nephew and niece's newest family member, Josiah, born on Monday morning - welcome to the world little one! I am also making him a couple of hats, some booties and a teddy bear. Knitting baby sweaters is one of my favorite things to make. They are just so dog gone cute! I picked up a new book called Knitting For Peace and it is whetting my appetite for doing even more knitting.
I am going to participate in an art show on October 4th, so I have been working on things to take there. It's been quite a while since I have done any selling, so this should be interesting! I've been working until about 1:00 a.m. and watching the Science channel - just getting into the creative flow.
My BFF is leaving on her trip to France to visit with her sister for a couple of weeks - ahhh, I can taste that French bread now! Check out my link to La Fourchette, perhaps Leslie will post a little something about what they are up to while she is there!
I am feeling like life is full these last couple of days, a good place to be and I leave you with this thought, "Anything less than compassion doesn't serve your highest good." Wishing you the opportunity to practice your compassion today.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Another lazy weekend

Spending the weekend with leisure on my agenda. I have been rereading The Secret Life of Bees, one of my very favorite stories. I don't often take the time to reread something, but I was just in the mood for walking beside Lily as she triumphs over her circumstances and hearing the words of wisdom that come from observing the community of the little bees. Today I picked up Wicked to read after this. The Wizard of Oz is one of my other favorite stories.
I am working on some things for a craft show in October. I am thinking of making some of the jewelry that we have been creating from the jewelry challenge with Deryn. I think it will be a big hit! I am also in the mood for knitting and am finishing one of the two socks for my second pair I have ever knitted. Something draws me to knitting baby sweaters and I pulled out my patterns to start another one. My hands are feeling the need to keep busy and my mind wants to wander . . .

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dyed and Toted . . .

I am back from my trip to Santa Cruz where I learned to dye fabric with Lorri Scott and to create a tote with DJ Pettitt style. Linda and I started out early on a sunny Saturday morning from San Diego and headed up to Santa Barbara to pick up Bette. There we stopped for lunch and a quick shopping trip in the Art From Scrap store. They had an exhibit by Charlotte Valestra entitled Anything Goes, which was very interesting to see. Wow, that was fun! I can tell that will be a regular stop for me when I go up to my mom's from now on! We had a nonstop talk fest on the rest of the ride! We met up with Karen in Santa Cruz and the four of us spent the weekend creating together.
It started on Sunday morning at Lorri's studio. She introduced us to arashi shibori and tie dying on silk, cotton and linen fibers. Lorri was good enough to set up an indigo vat so that we could also experience that. The day was hot and we were busy all day long playing with color and texture. We created treasures to use in our totes which we were going to make on Monday and more to take home for future creations. My favorite was the shibori dying. That night it was off to the wharf for a chance to unwind and eat dinner watching the sunset.
Monday morning we were off to the same general location for our workshop with DJ. We spent the day learning how DJ goes about composing and constructing her purses. Unfortunately we didn't have enough time to finish our projects, so the pictures I am posting of mine are still in the beginning stage. I will continue to work on it and will post the finished project once it's completed.
The frosting on the cake was the ride home yesterday. We came all the way down the coast on Highway 1. This is my most favorite drive in the world. If you have never had the good fortune to make this trip, you owe it to yourself to make this happen before you leave this earth - it is beyond words. It always fills my soul to overflowing when I get to do this. I posted a picture of Linda, Bette and myself at the spot we stopped for morning coffee and the chance to sit and soak it all in as we started at the north end near Big Sur. Life doesn't get any better than this!
I had a really good time, laughing till my stomach ached, getting to meet the infamous DJ Pettit, good times with the girls sharing about life, art and funny stories. After the long day of driving, it was good to get home.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fun in the Sun with Fabric Weekend . . .

I am off in the morning for my weekend workshop with Lorri Scott and DJ Pettitt. Can't wait to see the cool stuff we are going to create! See you guys back here the middle of next week!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vintage Spoon Book Project done with my BFF

I know these pictures don't do this project justice, but I so want to share about this on my blog. Several months ago, my friend Tamsie and I decided we wanted to start growing as artists by picking projects to do together. The only problem is I live in California and she is in Minnesota. Okay, it's not really a problem, we can use the mail to get things back and forth and the element of surprise is a big bonus. Tamsie picked the first project and it turned out to be one that we both initially agreed to,(something to do with a lot of blackness and we found that we couldn't really get into it after all.)
So the next pick was from Cloth Paper Scissors May/June 2008 edition. It's a Vintage Spoon Book by Kelli Perkins. This was just the ticket! We used alcohol inks, fibers, vintage spoons, vintage buttons and text. We both made one complete spoon for each other, and then we just colored one and sent it on to be decorated by the recipient. My spoons are the pinkish ones, and Tamsie's are the adorable little ones done in browns and moss greens. I put my "book" on an antique key I picked up at the flea market in Paris last year. What fun this was!!! It is my turn to pick the next project. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lazy Summer Days . . .

Today finds me in the mood for love - not like you're thinking!!! Well, there is nothing wrong with that kind of love, but right now I am thinking about the love we express when we use our time. I was fortunate last week and found a used commercial paper rack for my art room. Most of you don't know I have been hoarding my papers in a rubber maid container, that wasn't really working out very well for me. I am ecstatic to have a real live paper rack for the art papers I am addicted to buying. Of course, the next thing was putting it in the room and then moving everything out of the way for it. One thing leading to another, total art room clean up. Ahhh, such a good feeling to have things at my disposal and the clean work spaces to play on!
I had such a fun class on Sunday. I taught a PMC class and the students were great! I love watching how people express their creativity using the same mediums. I don't know why, but I get blessed with the best students!
This weekend I am leaving for the Santa Cruz area to play at a workshop with Lorri Scott and DJ Pettitt. I am excited about a girls road trip with the express purpose of making art! Other than getting to go back to France, my next favorite kind of trip!
So today I have posted a picture from the first page of my new sketch book. It makes me happy to think I have already used all the pages in my other book and am now starting on a new one! Today, life is good and I hope a little of that joy finds it's way into your corner of the world.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another jewelry challenge piece . . .

I finished this piece for the summer jewelry challenge a couple of weeks ago, but I never got around to posting it because I thought I would be making more. Well, this is the only one I made and because I am wanting to get on with the other projects I am posting this today. I had a dickens of a time finding my book yesterday because I put it in a spot I don't normally put books. I must have searched high and low for at least an hour last night looking for it. I finally gave up and put my cranky self to bed. Then low and behold, this morning I found it sitting on that shelf I don't normally put books on!! What a relief! I am looking forward to continuing on the jewelry challenge journey. Yesterday I had the opportunity to do some more metal etching and I know I will find good uses for it in the projects to come.
I have been working on cleaning up the little art room in the back. It has become a bit unorganized and I have found myself wanting to create outside of it, so I know it is time to get it back into shape and make it the space I love to be in. I am not a neat freak by any means, but I don't like not having any open space to set things down on. It always feels good to get things back in order.
I realized I haven't left you with any inspirational words lately, so today I am leaving you with these: "Life is love, beauty and wisdom, as well as energy and imagination. You will be able to use It's power in exact proportion as you embody Its essence." - Ernest Holmes, The Art of Life

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hi from SoCal

I can't believe it's been this long since I last posted. Wish I could tell you I've been out of town, or busy in town, but the truth is, I've just been hanging out. I have been working on trying to develop a class or two, finished one of the pod projects for the jewelry challenge, and have been reading a bit. I've been combing through my art books for some inspiration and direction. I'm trying to look within and get accountable for myself (urghhhh!). Summer is my least favorite season of the four. It's hot, it can be humid, and I just feel very lazy and not very productive. My time in the summer makes me feel like I am just waiting. I don't know what I am waiting for (fall?), but maybe in the natural rhythm of cycles, we need this down time, too. What are your thoughts on the season of summer?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My latest project with Carla . . .

Well, I finally took some pictures of my latest clay creation with Carla. This is my prayer altar box that I worked so long and hard on and now sits proudly on my mantle. There are a couple of cool things about this project. It has a removable lid and the view inside (all though a bit blurred in my photo of it!), is very interesting. The inside is glazed and the drawer that slides into the piece contrasts very well with the black interior. The other feature I like is the shrine placed into the piece on the bottom. The removable drawer was a real challenge, but I love the face on the back wall of the inside and the word "serendipity" on the drawer front. The box measures 14" x 6".

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I am experimenting here today. I was surprised when I returned from my mom's to find out that I had been selected to receive a blog award from this nice lady. I am new to the blog world and have not received such an honor before, so I am trying to follow the directions to get my links in where they are suppose to go. Hope this is going to turn out the way I want it to!
I need to nominate other people for this award so here is my list of people who inspire me.
1. Leslie at La Fourchette S'est Emballee she will make your mouth water and your eyes happy while she shares her experience in France with us.
2. Deryn at Something Sublime who inspires us all with her jewelry creations and fun jewelry challenge this summer.
3. Liz at Be present, be here a grounding soul who always makes me feel happy that I have checked out her blog.
4. Andrea at The Artful Eye a very accomplished artist whom I am always happy to see in a class we may be taking together.
5. Katie at Joyously Becoming a very talented artist who's work inspires me on a deep level.
6. DJ at DJ Pettitt a very sharing and wonderful artist who posts very faithfully to her blog.
7. Joanna at Moss Hill a very inspirational spirit and artist whose creations touch my heart.

So with a humble heart I thank Molly for nominating me for this blog award and encourage you to visit with the very talented women I have linked for you above. I hope they will appreciate how much pleasure they have given to us by sharing on their blogs. If you have been nominated and would like to pass on this award, please add the logo to your blog. Link back to the person who has nominated you. Nominate seven other worthy receipents. Add links to their blogs and then leave a message for them to let them know. Enjoy passing along the good feelings!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm back in the land of blogs!

I am home and back to blog posting! I spent last week with my mom. She was in a bad car accident earlier this year, but now seems to be fully recovered and up to her old tricks. A big relief for me! Mom doesn't have internet access so it's always a step out of the mainstream when I go to her house. I don't mind, it is actually a great way for me to slow down and unwind. I had hoped to have some jewelry pieces to show you for the jewelry challenge, but J. has been home all this week and it hasn't afforded me the time I have wanted to play. He will be back at work on Thursday, so maybe by Thursday night or Friday?
I went to the Quilt Show in Long Beach on Friday and it was excellent! The vendors and the art were almost overwhelming, but so cool to see! I picked up a few things to play with, hopefully to be pictured in future postings. One of the highlights was to get to meet Beryl Taylor and watch her create some of her material paper. There was also some of her original art from her book and and it was a treat to see it in person. The art quilts were fabulous and made me want to just sit at my machine all day and play with fibers and material. So little time and so many projects!
Today I picked up the newest issue of Somerset Studio's Artful Blogging magazine, and it is as good as the first two issues. I love that publication. In fact, I was driving to the store to buy it when the earthquake hit just before noon today. I didn't feel a thing, but plenty of other people with their feet on the ground did! I have already sat down with the magazine and gone cover to cover looking at the pictures, but now I want get a cup of tea and actually read the articles. The fun thing to do after that is to go check out all these new blogs I haven't been to before.
It's so good to be back. I leave you with this thought. Do something fun for yourself today. It may just be 15 minutes to paint with one of your favorite colors, or to write a poem, or to watch the birds at the feeder in the backyard. But do take the time to do something just for you today. You'll be the richer for it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wow, this week went by fast!

Boy, this week was a bit busier than usual for me! Funny how I've gotten use to life in the slower lane! Some fun stuff happened this week. I was able to get my prayer box glazed and it now sits proudly upon the mantle at home. I am happy with it, and I'm very grateful to Carla for being so patient with me in making it. Friday was a great day of show and tell with two local artists and lunch on the veranda, an excellent day! I am super excited about plans being made for a workshop in August with DJ Pettitt and Lorri Scott in Santa Cruz! A girl's road trip with the express purpose of having fun and making art!!! Speaking of road trips, I am going to visit with my mom this week and will be checking back in with you guys at the end of the week. Just in time for the Quilt Show in Long Beach on Friday!! I am hoping the following week to pick up with next projects in the jewelry challenge. Did I mention I had a great group of women in the PMC class I taught today? We all had fun and created some very cool pieces! So until the end of the week, I'll leave you with this thought, "Your miracles are an inside job. Go there to create the magic you seek in your life."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What a cute kitty!

This picture makes me smile:) This is the little kitty who came to our front door crying one night earlier this year and decided to stay. We named her Gwendolyn, I affectionately call her Gwennie. She is very loving and is a much loved part of our family. One of the sources of pleasure for me in my day is to watch the birds at the bird feeders in my back yard. I don't think Gwen gets it that we won't get to see the birds if she continues to have a front row seat to the show.
This has been a very nice relaxing weekend. I had a girls day of art and lunch on Friday. What a great day with two cool ladies. Yesterday was spent watching movies with my honey and doing some knitting. Today was kind of a repeat of Saturday - no complaints from me! I have been looking through LK Ludwig's new book, True Vision and it is making me itch to get into some art journaling. Something I have a big interest in, but have not taken the time to get my hands dirty with yet. Perhaps this week . . .
Okay, keeping it short for today, just checking to say hi.