Saturday, June 30, 2007

Let Freedom Ring

We're hanging with family for the next week. Lots of BBQ, ice cold drinks, exploring adventures with the nephews and reading in the shade.

I'll post all the art created - by all of us, when all the company time has passed and we are settling back into the quiet and routine. (Will there be routine? It's like that *old* joke about playing the violin after breaking your arm. We haven't had routine for months now, so why would I think routine after guest time?) But, oh, the adventures we've had. Routine has nothing on adventure.

I love the depth of the background on this daily collage piece - tissue paper and layers and layers of paint, some metallic. I prepped a bunch of these - more of the finished pieces to come.

Have a blessed and safe independence day!

Friday, June 29, 2007

chasing rickshaws

As I've been watching my art through my daily collage practice I've really been thinking a lot about colour, texture and pattern. All of this thinking has led to remembrances of growing up overseas. Hands down the country that has most influenced every aspect of my life is Singapore. Four elementary school years - full of the most vivid and engaging field trips - to mosques, alligator farms, tiny little islands...and we participated in neighbour celebrations - oh, the weddings! And the little rooms full of shrines, candles, fruits and incense.

Family friends were married - a pretty western style wedding, quite different than the celebrations of our neighbours, except that the bride and groom arrived at their wedding is separate rickshaws. That was one of the great things about that wedding - the other great thing was that the groom found someone in Singapore to play bagpipes for the wedding march. So romantic, the bride being from Scotland.

Paging through this book brought back so many memories -- and dreams of travel.

I really feel blessed to have spent so many of my early years overseas. The gold, the texture, the batik, the awareness of the beauty of other religious celebrations and beliefs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

let it shine!

just returned from the best event. so inspiring and uplifting and a much needed breath of fresh air. the website is a little slow right now because their are so many hits - because of the media coverage, all the mentions at church and links from church websites. the video links

I tried using the movie mode of my camera to capture how packed the place was for Barack Obama. It didn't work. I'm certain there are YouTube videos out there though - I'll have to check into that and update if I find a good one.

A better speech, in my opinion - Bill Moyers keynote. I am so thrilled that there is still an honest journalist on the air! I pledge to public television and public radio primarily because of how honest and faithful Bill Moyers is. So it was wonderful to see so many come to see and hear him. His words continue to inspire me. One of my favorite bits (as printed in United Church News; GS26; June 24, 2007): "I have come to say that America's revolutionary spirit - 'life, liberty and the pursuit of justice, through goverment of, by, and for the people' - is under siege. And if churches of conscience don't take the lead in their rescue and revival, we can lose our democracy!"

Moyers concluded with an altar call. "Poverty and justice are religious issues," he said. He reminded listeners of Jesus overturning the tables in the temple and throwing the rascals out. "Let's call that Jesus back to duty, and drive the money changers from the temple of democracy," he said. "If you don't, who will?"

Monday, June 18, 2007

slow down, have a little faith

keeping up with my daily collage practice. some of my recent pieces. been exploring making prints of some of my favorites - please comment on my flickr account (or blog posting) of your favorites - i'll 'sweeten the pot' a bit, if you post a comment to either place, i'll add your name to a drawing to send you the print of your choice when they're done. (no deadline for now, mind you).

from a coffee series i've been working on.
(reminder, if you click on the images, they'll 'get bigger' and you can read the quotes or other details - this also works on the flickr photos).
two of the turpentine papers....they brought a migraine on. literally. even though i did all the work outside, they just *stink*. so much so that yesterday i soaked them in the bathtub to try to get the turpentine out. that did remove a good deal of the stink - and led to the bathtub getting an extra special, extra thorough cleaning - bonus!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

some things i love...

peony - oh how i love you! the unfolding, the centering, the labyrinth of petals.

farmer's market trip today, i went up there later than usual today. i was smooshing paint around in the studio - and skypeing charles of charles lifestyle knitting - such a generous guy -- sending me links to all these great knitting sites. all of a sudden i realized it was 12:30! i rushed out of the studio, pulled my hair out of it's ponytail, ran water through it to get rid of the ponytail bump, replaced the 'studio pants' - too similar to my 'messy paper' to wear out in public. in addition to the treats photographed (& the tofu puffs) i picked up a big pile of nectarines. my favorite bags of salad were sold out (they put little flowers on top - so sweet).

the strawberries came in this little white cardboard container (beneath the peonies). i cleaned and removed the stems of only half of them so far. nibbled on them before eating my new *favorite* lunch treat - kung pao tofu from hodo soy beanery. if you live in the bay area (or are traveling here) and if you love a spicy meal, give this a try. so, so, SO good! we also really love their tofu puffs dipped in a bit of peanut sauce.

thank you mom! i just heard this again on cast on (though i heard it read elsewhere and liked that reading better - the curse of listening to *so* many podcasts is that i cannot remember where i heard it before).

"The Lanyard" Billy Collins
The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the pale blue walls of this room,
bouncing from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past --
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sickroom,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift--not the archaic truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

10 things i need less of (& a bonus 10 things i need more of)

newest pair of socks. snake river socks (doing mine two at a time on one circular needle). i knit from the inside and outside of the yarn 'cake'.

my attempt with the turpentine papers. from these directions, i also smooshed with a gloved hand the paper - meaning i scrubbed the surface, because without doing that, the page did nothing interesting. they are still drying, i'll post photos of both the interesting and the boring later.

10 things i need less of
(in no particular order, i'm listing them with numbers, just because i like numbers):
1. plastic bags (trying hard to remember to keep the canvas bags in the car).
2. heat
3. sugar
4. blogs to read
5. paper (especially computer print outs)
6. knitting patterns (see above)
7. "freedom isn't free" bumperstickers.
8. the intentional meanies
9. french pedicures (& manicures)
10. procrastination

10 things i need more of:
1. drinking water
2. swimming
3. magic
4. my home church
5. the new century hymnal
6. walks on the beach/hikes by the water.
7. deeper bathtub
8. time at independent bookstores and cafes.
9. new music (the CD exchange is really helping).
10. get back to writing my morning pages.

it's getting hot in here...

i cannot stop taking photos of the glorious flowers here! and i love the succulents everywhere too. i am tempted to get a little kiddie pool - it's not yet july, our little cabin in the 'burbs is concrete - it just sucks the sun and steams the place up when we are both at work and the house is sealed up for the day.
fenceline photos, paths, journeys - very drawn to them as we continue to trust and follow this new direction, new adventures, new celebrations. this photo is a little dark, sorry about that. i checked out two digital imaging books from the library - going to learn more about playing with my images to get them ready for professional printing!

other news - i've been receiving absolutely fabulous cds in the exchange i participated in. later today i'll take photos of the creative packaging to share with you all, so come on back to see.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

click here -

beautiful you tube video. i have yet to figure out how to put the photo here. watch this though. it reminded me of the remarkable courage it takes to go for our dreams. but when the dream and our talents match - wow! so, i am all a flutter to get back to the studio, to take a class, search the internet (there are so many instructional videos out there), to pick the brains of my friends - to *somehow* finally learn a bit about scanning and cropping and *making*prints*of*my*collages* and other artwork. because the dream keeps knocking, and doors keep showing up and i have got to leap - and open those doors.

was in chico this past weekend. beautiful people. oh! the lucky folks who get to wander the aisles of that farmer's market every week. juicy peaches. fragrant basil plants. wonderful plush toys. a photographer that collaborates with a poet friend. beeswax candles (i so should have bought more!). garlic so beautiful i had to photograph it. a coffee cart i should have asked to photograph - the wonderful teapots and propane stove, the drip coffee, the hand-lettered sign. the whole place was communal, sharing, trading, laughing. a joy. and the art in chico!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

fibres, fibers, banners & mendhi

sewing and knitting projects. the banners (there are more) are to be further embellished with glitter, lace, papers, buttons and more. i love my sewing machine (click on the banner image to see three different stitch patterns that i've played with so far). i knit these socks *way*too*big. hmmm. i do love this colourway, the relative lack of pooling - i think i'll have to create another skein so that i can knit another that fits better - and perhaps really sit down with the universal sock pattern to create my very own lacey design.
listening to the sskpodcast (one of my *favorites* and my name is on this one because i have skyp'd with them) and mendi tattoos were mentioned too...i've been exploring lately. i may spend a lunch hour this summer getting a mendhi tattoo from an artist on telegraph avenue. i am drawn to body art - as shannon (i think it was shannon) mentioned i likely won't have a permanent tattoo because -- how do you decide which of the many beautiful images do i permanently imprint on my skin? ...labyrinth ... lotus flower... birds in flight ... nest ... tree - but would i *always* appreciate having these images *on*my*body*? so, my goal regarding mendhi tattoos is to have some beautiful floral vine like design on my feet.
is it odd that i should, in the same post, talk about socks and henna tattoos on my feet?

Friday, June 08, 2007

'painting is the best way i've found to get along with myself'

always seem to be adding a bit or two to these pages. i've been doing a lot of quick painting sketches and then filling in with paint, markers and collage bits.

stamps, and white - oh how i am loving the white! and i recently have been playing with the flickr toy that creates these word generator ('first friday').

found a pile of new papers, it's pulling me into new ideas and new pages. these are a few at stages i could show. i've also been working on another pair of toe up, two at a time magic loop socks. though i keep forgetting to take a picture to post. we're headed out of town for the weekend, so i'll finish them before i get an on the needle photo, but i'll post an on the feet photo when i return. (and i'm bringing another yarn cake of my hand-dyed to start another pair, so i'll take an on the needle photo of them too).

our good friends own the strictly organic company. we love them and their *truly* amazing coffee. before we knew them though coffee people was my coffee of choice - and only their rich dark 'black tiger' espresso blend. C was recently in PDX and picked up a lb. for me. Oh those 'slammahamma's - mexican chocolate mochas with a triple shot of black tiger espresso! picks you right up in the mid-morning!

i just love those english country looking gardens. this page is really looking for some journalling. i'm looking for a good chico coffeehouse this weekend to sit and add a bit more to the pages and knit a bit too. more upon our return.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

days of seed pods and music

my favorite photo from our walk tonight. i have no idea what this is - do you? please share. i love how the camera captured the shine of the seed pods / fruit?

created 2 mixed CDs for an exchange. i am so excited about this. i initially thought i was going to do a winter wonderland mix, but ended up doing more of a 'music to create wonderful things in the studio' deal. the packaging for the double CD was fun to construct too. i *finally* opened up the new sewing machine. i even tried a couple of different stitches - the leaves and one that had little bumps in it. more exploration to follow. i also sewed up one of the banners that i've had sitting in piles in the studio.