Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Day 28: Entry
The colors are off in the photograph but thought I would upload it all the same
I thought this piece was apropos given that it is the first day of school--and new schools at that--for both my children.  And now we all enter a new phase of our lives and have to say goodbye to the little years and hello to the older ones.  It's funny,  yesterday my sister and her friend were asking me, Are you freaking out how old your son is?  Are you going to cry when he goes to High School tomorrow?  And the funny thing was, I wasn't freaking out and didn't feel like crying until they asked me. After each question I would, say, "Well now I am!" So this morning, when I had to NOT put a note in Matt's lunch box,  because he is too old for that, I was sad!  But they left for school okay, and we all survived waking up a few hours earlier than our usual summertime rising. So, let's all embrace this entry and open as many doors as we can.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Long Time No Speak

I was working so hard on the other side of this pieces, when all of a sudden I turned it over and realized I could make so much more out of the underside.  The dancing lady was added in the negative space and I just love her.

Despite the reflection of the flash from my camera, I think this captures the essence of the piece -- and how perfect for the end of Summer, as its title is Green Vistas
I apologize for the lack of communication.  It has been three months and I feel like it has been a year.  The summer has flown--why do we always say "flown by"?  I mean, really, it could have sunk, run away, drowned, meandered (if it seemed slow), scuttled, swam, or  hopped.  In essence, the time has been spent--and sometimes it seems to have gone by quickly and sometimes dragged on like a horrible and persistent canker sore.  For the most part, I just feel that it has passed and as with all passings, you look back and think, I could have done more or I am glad I did that, or a little bit of both.  For now, I'll say--a little of both.  The good news is that I  have been published.  For all you beadaholics out there, go take a look at Beadwork Magazine--my piece is on page 56.  Very exciting.  And though I am sad to feel the air getting cooler and am nostalgic for lazy days with my children, the impending schedule of school and work seems almost refreshing and inspiring.  So much of summer is said to be inspiring--the warm weather, the beach, the colors--but in actuality, I got very little, new work completed this season.  Perhaps, summertime is my art hibernation time.  So I greet Autumn with a mixture of anticipation and wistfulness.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Birthday Bash

Braids of Time Necklace: $350
This weekend was my mother's 65th birthday and the whole family was in town to celebrate. My family and I were in charge of the ice cream for dessert.  You have to understand that ice cream is a serious business in out family.  Every year we hold a block/friends/family/school friends party in our backyard and serve make-your-own sundaes to over 100 people.  Now, there were only 14 people at my mother's, but the event was just as important because my parents have been known to drive three hours just to try out a new ice cream shop.  I really am not kidding here.  They read about the best-rated shops and every now and then take a weekend day to test them out.  Once we even went apple picking with them and the children at an orchard in the western part of MA just because it was near an ice cream shop they had read about.  In case you are curious, when we arrived at the store, they were out of almost every flavor because it was the end of the summer season.  That shop definitely did not make the top ten on our family list.  In addition, seeing as it was the end of summer, it was bee season and the place was over-run with hoards of bees attracted to the sugar of the ice cream melting in the trash cans, so all in all, the apple picking part was the best--except for the part when we thought we had walked through poison ivy.  

Do you see where I am going here?  We have these great plans and look to arrange a wonderful event and then things change somewhat slightly and we all have to balance ourselves to deal with it.  So, the first thing, was I woke up with a migraine and spent all day trying to hide it from my mother, refused to take my migraine medicine because that would make me want to nap, and subsequently felt overwhelmed by all the conversations going on around me, as my migraines tend to be sensitive to sound.  I faked Mom out until near the end of the day, but at least I tried. Next, we happen to live close to my parents--a mile or two away, so we thought, "Hey, why not ride our bikes to their house to greet the rest of the fam!"  (remember I have a migraine so the balancing thing was a little precarious!) Good idea in theory, but we still had to get the ice cream for dessert for the b-day BBQ, so an hour or so after I arrived, I rode home again to pick up the car, which is new, and which, by the way, does not fit three bikes in its trunk, so as you are all probably anticipating, we needed my brother to load the three extra bikes into his car at the end of the day and caravan home, because by that time our sugar low was setting in and no one was in the mood to bike home except for my husband, but he couldn't because by that time I really couldn't drive due to my head!  And all through this day, we are all running in and out of the house, doing one errand or another--speaking of which, my favorite ice cream shop gave me a bit of attitude when I picked up the three quarts and two pints of ice cream, one quart of hot fudge, and one pint each of marshmallow and blueberry topping, which was disappointing on an emotional level because I love this place, but maybe he was having a bad day.  Anyway ....

Despite all the chaos, our mother turned to us at the dinner table and said it was the best birthday because she had all her loved ones near her.  And I wanted to give her a toast but couldn't get everyone in the room at the same time, so just went ahead with it anyway over a bowl of wet, mushy, deliciously mixed up ice-cream sundae.  And all this just goes to show that trying and connecting and being with the people you love is way more important than being organized.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I worked the afternoon as the family bartender and managed to spill a container of simple sugar syrup all over the kitchen floor?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fly, Dream 2 Coming Along

Fly, Dream 2: Still working on it, and am experimenting with line and texture
Does anyone else hate doing french knots? I mean, I love the way they look and the texture you can get by sewing them, but, man, does it take forever to fill up a space--which is exactly what I am trying to do here. I used to work with a embroidery stand, and I think it was easier that way, so I  might start using one again, because as of now using the embroidery hoops is just not working for me.  The other thing is I keep using thread that is too short, so I get into this rhythm and WHAM! it's time to add new thread because the needle keeps falling off the old thread as you are pulling the knot through.  I am done complaining, but realize that this entry is basically an observation that sometime the process is not as much fun as the outcome--which is okay--not everything is going to be fun, but french knots are always the stitch that remind me that sometimes we do work for the outcome and not just for the process.  A completely non-yoga-like point of view, but one that does crop up now and again.  So, for all you artists out there that are struggling with a design, using a technique you abhor, but need for its outcome, or are just plain bored with the piece you are working on, I give you kudos and applause, because the life of an artist doesn't often come with positive regular feedback and/or raises for doing a good job!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Back and trying to be more regular with the posts

Days 27 and 81: Collage of paint, fabric, paper, and pastels on clayboard
So I started this post and almost headed it "Back and trying to be more regular"--which would really not have been a good thing, though my 11-year-old would have loved the defecation connotations.  But honestly, it's time to get back to work on a regular basis and this blog is just one part of it.  I just finished up a two-day show in our town and had some good sales.  Has anyone noticed that once you sell something the bug has bitten you and all you want to do is sell more?  So though it went well, I keep hoping someone will call me and ask for more pieces. Right now, I am working on a few commissions and a few more wall pieces as well.  In addition, I am looking to take a few chances with my work as the above piece illustrates.  Be well everyone!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Accepted to Danforth Museum!

Inside the Cocoon
This piece was accepted to A Community of Artists Show at the Danforth Museum. The show runs from June through the first week of August.  I am so honored to have been included.  Also, don't forget that tomorrow and Sunday is Newton Open Studios.  Come to 170 Evelyn Road and see my art as well as the fabulous art of photographers, painters, potters, and sculptors.  The show runs throughout Newton--it is a great walking tour of the city and you get to meet wonderfully creative people at the same time!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Newton Open Studios is Coming

If you are in the area, come to Newton Open Studios May 14-15, 11am-5pm.  You will be in for a treat, as artists around the city open up their homes and join other artists to display and sell their work.  I will be at 70 Evelyn Road, showing with painters, sculptors,and photographers.  I hope to see you there!
August Flame: Sold, but there are more where this came from and each piece is unique!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Back again

Color Waves Choker:  This piece is now on sale at the Store @ the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park
The entire venue is breath-taking!
So . . . surprisingly I am at a loss for words at the moment.  Have been sick for two weeks and am just back in the studio and to top it all off it snowed today.  I mean, really, it's April 1st, right?  Joke's on us.  The thing about Spring, even a spring covered in snow, is that you start to want to do and try a whole bunch of new things.  I know, I know, I said I was going to finish old projects first, but spring fever has gotten hold of me, so I think, maybe I will just add some new techniques to my old projects and see what evolves.  But for now, I am tired and have to go rest again--let those ideas gestate and see what is born this Spring and Summer!

Oh, and I forgot to add--anyone in the Boston area should come to Newton Open Studios during the second weekend of May (14th and 15th).  It's an awesome display of local talent throughout the city, and I will be showing my work with a bunch of friends at a group studio.  The website is NewtonOpenStudios.com.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It has been a while

Unfinished piece, one of a series, called Fly, Dream
fabric, thread, photography, and ultimately beads as well.
Okay, so about 10 days have gone by and I have not written or posted pictures.  The thing is, I have actually been working and making pieces for a show in May.  So how does one manage the time to create and also write about creating, which should be creating in and of itself?  It's a question I ponder when I can't sleep at night.  The other thing I think about is the fact that I tried to cliff dive during our family vacation to Mexico.  Now let me be specific, it was only about 20 feet high.  I climbed up there all confident, took a breath, ran toward the edge ... and then just stopped head hanging out over the side, with my feet gripping the edge.  Thinking this was just a one-time freeze, I tried again, and again, and again.  I was up there for at least 30 minutes.  Strangers from all over the world were cheering me on to jump.  One wise-ass from England, kept making gasping noises just as I would get to the edge--which I must say did make it more difficult to jump, though I guess I can't really blame him for my lack of courage.  My husband kept telling me to just do it.  Like the Nike ads--you know I don't see any Nike reps jumping off of cliffs!  My kids were yelling at me to just jump so we could get on with what we were doing.  And I swear, I really thought I was going to.  But I didn't.  It was very disappointing.  I try to do something outside my comfort zone every time we go away or try new things, just so I can show my kids that it is healthy to try new things and face your fears.  Well this fear seemed to stare me down and I realized that fear is really quite intangible, but sometimes very, very solid and immovable.  And it is fear that artist feel every time they start a new piece, get stuck in the middle of a piece, or even just finish one.  I have all these pieces that have not been finished, and I am hoping to face those fearsome little pieces and turn them into something I can feel proud of.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Directions finished--with minimal swearing

Yesterday I mailed the directions and piece to Beadwork Magazine for publication later this year. As you all know, I was a bit intimidated at the prospect of writing out the directions for this incredibly intricate and somewhat free-form piece.  But it is done--with minimal swearing.  Actually the most horrible language was saved for the car rides to and from the post offices.  Do people just forget how to drive when Saturday rolls around?  At one point, I was so frustrated, I just said to myself, maybe if I just swear loudly at no one it will reduce my road rage.  Lesson #1:  All it did was make me feel like an idiot.  But I did stop yelling, so maybe it worked.  In actuality, I think it was just grief over the passing of my dog that manifested itself as complete impatience with the outside world.  Funny how grief works--you think you're fine and then, WHAM!  You are not.  But still, you have to work, you have to teach your children, you have to help others and fulfill your obligations.  So, despite it all, I finished the directions and sent them off.  I am including a picture of the piece for you all to see--and a picture of Olive as a puppy. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Back from Vacation

Have you ever wondered why you go on vacation?  While away with my family, I had a couple of wonderful moments--for instance, when one night at dinner the kids and I were teasing the sh** out of my husband for falling asleep early and not realizing it.  I know it doesn't sound funny written down here, but it really was amusing at the time.  But the real moment was on the plane ride back when I turned to my husband and said, "Do you realize our kids didn't ask us for one present, didn't say 'gimme' once, and actually liked being with us?"  Those are the moments you really want to remember for the rest of your life.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

two down, two to go

Call me a coward, but I started with the easier parts.  At least they are done--and no swearing was involved, which my husband truly appreciated.  Ever since I met him, over 27 years ago, and at least since we have been together--about 23 years ago--he has been trying to get me to stop swearing.  There have been many reasons why he wants me to stop: for example, the one I often use with the kids, it's inappropriate. Or, you never know when a bad word will slip out in an unfortunate circumstance. It sounds trashy. It's rude. There are better ways to show how you feel. You don't want the kids to hear you use this kind of language.  The list goes on.  And each reason is a good one.  But though I do temper my language, I mean I think I am the only one in the word alive at this point who has actually said, golly-gee-willakers, and meant to say that phrase, I also sometimes need a few really choice and decidedly nasty words.  It is cathartic, strangely satisfying, and decidely not "nice."

Time Is Short

I have good news.  A trade magazine has accepted my a piece of mine and will publish it in an upcoming issue.  The bad news: I have to write out the instructions for making this incredibly complicated and time-consuming, albeit beautiful piece.  The good/bad news: We are going on a family vacation, so I actually have half the time the magazine gave me to do this. (Oh, as an aside, in the week before our trip I managed to have two killer migraines, and my son was home sick from school twice, and now has hives covering his entire body--the result of his immune system saying, "You think a virus is tough? Check this out!"  But anyway . . .)  How I handle this: I wake up at 5 every morning and think, "Get out of bed and work on this, you lazy bum, so you don't have to wake up at 5 in the morning anymore!"  Do I do this?  Well, today I got out of bed at 7 and am now writing to you all about how I am going to write the instructions, so that is a step in the right direction.  To continue my moment of actual productivity, I am actually not going to write any more for now, but will keep you filled in on how the directions are going.  Expletives might be used, so be forewarned.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

new post: doorways

Doorways: Unfinished Piece
I will probably add beadwork and maybe a little more paint
It started as part of the 100-day challenge from the Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine forum, and now I am working on it as part of another blog: Take a Word

I have been re-reading Julie Powell's book Julie/Julia and I realize that like Julie, I hope to one day "make it big" with my art/writing.  It would be extremely exciting, though obviously not exactly ground-breaking, to have that happen.  And in the midst of my dog-crisis, sister's new baby, and the daily joys/pains/questions of raising children and being a partner in a marriage, I have these fantasies of selling my work world-wide and writing about it and life in general.  This, all in the middle of a recession--with last year's sales being truly awful.  So it came as a huge surprise that a piece of mine was accepted into a magazine and that I was also invited to show my work at an art fair--both of which came about today!  Thus, this is the reason I am putting up my unfinished piece, Doorways.  Doors are all over the place, and while some seem to be closing--such as our time with our pet--others might open.  And some you can't even really see until you actually go through them.  I used to try to figure a lot of things out in my head, but now I often find myself just doing and then seeing what happens.  It makes for less worry but more adventure and fun--though I have to say, I still have not taken the literal plunge and learned to scuba-dive like my hubby would wish.  I would much rather learn to parachute.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You Want Me To Do What?

Contact Sheet of Bracelets
My sister had a baby last week.  Her first one, and he is truly gorgeous.  He snuggles right into your arms and even though all the books say babies this young don't smile, he does, and especially when I hold him.  And, no, I am not a doting auntie.   Well, maybe I am.  My kids are in their tweens and teens and though they are still cuddlers, they are certainly not babies.  While I was sitting at the dinner table last night with my family, I received a text from my sis saying that she was going to bed and would call me in the morning.   Normally I don't answer texts or allow smart phones at the table, but seeing as she had just had a baby and I didn't want to wake her up when she was sleeping, I broke my own rule and answered the text.  But doing so got me to thinking--and I am sure this is not an original thought--but it did make me laugh.  You know the joke that I think Joan Rivers said, though I am not sure . . . the one about squeezing a watermelon through a hole the size of a lemon.  Well, I was thinking, what about the baby.  He's nice and cozy, swimming around, and then all of sudden he realizes, "Wait you want me to go where?   You mean I am supposed to fit through that?!"  No wonder babies cry a lot.  That kind of trauma would make me cry too.  The funny thing is, I told the joke and everyone smiled and humored me.  And then a minute later I started laughing again, and my son says, "I knew you were going to do that.  It's the delayed laugh-again thing you always do."  He was nice about it (OMG, there is that word again!), but really, I can't believe I am so predictable to my teenage son!  It was kind of sweet, though, that he knew me so well.  So, this is what my sister has to look forward to: Good-natured teasing by her teenage son--hopefully barring the other option of goth/preppy/fill in whatever clique you want to-I-hate-you-and-everything-you-say.  I just count my blessings every day that my children can still laugh at me.
Metamorphosis: Freeform embroidery, beadwork and quilting on fabric collage

So, back to what I should really be talking about: ART.  This Thursday is the opening for the LOVE Exhibit at the Bangkok Cafe in Roslindale, MA, 6-8pm.  Come eat and meet the artists--one of which is me.  I should be there around 7, after finishing up carpool.  Ah, the juggling act of a working-stay-at-home mom!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love and Healing

Migration: Already Sold
Freeform embroidery on painters linen with beadwork
As an artist I am used to finding out that a piece I am working on just isn't going to be finished.  The composition might be wrong, the colors off, the fabric the wrong texture--and no matter what improvisation or flexible alteration in creation I try, the piece just fails.  Well, that happens in life too.  Normally I have something funny or quirky to say.  Today I am just not able to.  Our family has to return our family dog of two and one-half years because she has become aggressive in sporadic situations.  You know nothing is perfect, but it is so strange to love something so obviously wrong for you and/or flawed.  I told our children that while humans have a huge capacity for love, they also have a huge ability to heal and recover from pain and sorrow.  Our dog is spending the weekend at a "farm spa" so we can have a birthday party here without me losing my mind, and while she is away I both enjoy the freedom and choose to remember her affection and quirky moments.  Like, how when training her not to jump on the counters we would put wasabi or hot peppers up there as a deterrent.  The problem was that she eats so quickly that when she jumped up I am not sure the spice even hit her tongue before it reached her stomach!   Or, how when we hike in the woods, she runs ahead and then turns and waits for us to catch up. Or the way she loves to chase snow when you shovel, or, as I mentioned before, loves it when you shovel the snow in her face.  There was also this time when she was a puppy and she was playing with a chew ring, and she got tangled in it with her front paws caught in the front and the rest of her trapped on the other side wriggling around.  So, dogs change.  And the one you thought you had grows into one that you can't live with despite all your best efforts. And love sometimes isn't enough.  And then you have to cause your children pain in order to save them from worse future pain.   Sometimes, you have to know when to say goodbye.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Time to Write, Sing and Celebrate

Fly, Dream: Fabric Collage, Photography, Paint, Beading, Quilting, Embroidery
Price: $750

It's time to write a new blog post, even though I haven't really done much artwork this week.  It's been a hectic week, what with a dog crisis, a migraine, and my baby sister giving birth to her own baby!  How does one manage time and find ways to create?  I find that during weeks like these, my brain starts overflowing and I have the most creative dreams.  For instance, as everyone in my family will tell you, I cannot sing--I mean I really cannot sing--but I love to sing with the radio especially in the car, which is excruciating for all who drive with me, because I can't tell if I am off-key.  And not only do they have to listen to the horrible sounds emanating from my mouth, but they also have to answer my constant questions of "Is this better?  How about this song?  Am I on-key now?"  So, to get back to the point, I dreamt last night that I sang a song at a karaoke bar, and my family said, "Wow, that wasn't too bad."  Go figure.  I woke up so happy that I had finally found a song I could sing, and then I realized it was all a dream . . . but maybe it is a sign of times to come, so I think I will just keep practicing.  In the meantime, I am waiting for my sister and her husband to choose a name for their little one, who, did I mention, is extremely cute.  In honor of sons, I have included one of my pieces, Fly Dream, which evolved from a photograph that a friend of mine took of my son as he jumped off sand dunes on a walking trail.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Becoming CyberSmart

Hey, I just created a link with my brother-in-law's blog!  Anyone know what this actually means?  As a cyberspace newbie, this is all somewhat astounding for me, but I figure, why not try it out?  Anyway, his work is phenomenal.  Today is my daughter's birthday.  She turns 11!  Be sure to read that carefully, otherwise the exclamation point looks like a "1" and it appears that Leah is turning 111.  That, however, is not the case, but 11 does seem incredibly big to me--especially for my baby.  Every year, for each of the kids, Nessy and I sneak into their rooms the night before their birthday and decorate them with streamers and balloons and signs and ribbons.  This year, for Matt's birthday we wove a net of streamers and suspended it above his bed.  Last night for Leah, we curled ribbons and hung them all over her ceiling.  Every year, we make a mess load of noise as we try to be quiet and Matthew sleeps through the noise.  Leah, however, almost always wakes up and fakes us out--pretending to be asleep when she really isn't.  Most of the time I can catch her at it.  This year, though, she really fooled me. So I guess she really is growing up--which means I will have to start ordering the tracking devices, chastity belts, and phone tapping contraptions for delivery soon!  I've been busy baking cakes and decorating them neatly, which is extremely hard for me as I tend to be a VERY messy person with anything sticky or goopy.  I once tried wax-resist fabric painting one year and that was quite a scene!  Cutting the stencils was okay, but my entire body and work-space was covered clumps of wax and paint when it came time to create the pattern onthe cloth--definitely not a medium I am handy at.  Anyway, her cake is neat and pretty and I did not have a nervous breakdown trying to make it that way, which was nice (sorry Ms. Welsch!--for an explanation, please see previous blog discussing the word "nice").  Now, if I could just get the frosting out of my hair before we go out for dinner . . . .

edfredned's sketch blog: Groundhog's Day 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ground Hog's Day

Ring Around the Wrist: Already Sold

Picture Jasper Pendant: $495
Picture Jasper cabachon bezel set within seed beads and suspended on a chain of triangle beads, seed beads, and garnets.

Lonely: Already Sold
Anyone want to bet we have at least 6 more weeks of winter?  The snow is so high here in Boston that I succumbed to calling a plowing company to plow my driveway--much to my husband's chagrin! I actually like to shovel--it's a really super upper body workout--but this water-soaked, ice-laden mess was more than I could handle.  We also tried making a snowman in our backyard, but couldn't walk well enough to roll the snowball, and then with the layers of different kinds of snow, couldn't get the ball to stay together!  In the words of my daughter, "You know, this snow isn't all that much fun." And she has a hand-made sign above her bed that says, "Let it snow, please!"  If she isn't having fun, then hardly anyone is!  But let's try and be positive--we got to sleep in a little today, we are having lots of family time, and thank goodness, we have a roof over our heads and can get in from out of the cold.  And, as I write, the neighbors' children are coming over to play with our children--IN THE SNOW!  So, I guess the novelty has not completely worn off.  Which leads me to my next idea, if Mother Nature can make it snow over and over and over again without getting bored, how do we artists keep doing the same thing without getting bored?  Has anyone ever been in the middle of a project and just thought, "I can't wait to finish it, because the creative part is over and now it's just going through the motions to finish up the piece"?  The way I survive the monotony it is to work on about ten projects at a time.  Right now, I have 4, no wait 5, necklaces; 2 bracelets; and 4 wall pieces--one of which is almost 4 feet long--on route to being finished.  This doesn't include all the ideas and plans gestating in my brain.  Perhaps, like Mother nature, I bounce from one state/project to the other scattering my creations as they form just like She releases rain, snow, ice and sun beams all over the planet.  Or maybe, I just have a short attention span!  Enjoy your winter everyone and remember to help those in need during these hard months!

Monday, January 31, 2011

3rd Annual Love Exhibit

Comfort III

On display during the months of February and March, 2011 at Bangkok Cafe, 25 Poplar Street, Roslindale. 
Boston area (Roslindale, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury) artists selected used various mediums to express the theme of love. Participating artists are: Kasey Davis Appleman: Mixed Media;  Gert Condon: Photography: Kathryn Deputat: Digial Print; Amy Joyce: Silkscreen Print; Bill Mahan: Acrylic; Jeff Margulies: Stained Glass; Chris Roberts: Pastel; Alicia Shems: Fiber and Beads; Glenn Williams: Acrylic and Janice Williams: Digital Design.
There will be a reception with the artists on Thursday February 17 from 6-8 p.m. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served courtesy of Bangkok Cafe. For more information visit http://www.roslindalearts.org
This exhibit was created to celebrate Bangkok Chef/Owner Raungdet Titisuttikul's ("Danny") birthday on Valentines Day February 14. Bangkok Cafe has been a strong supporter of local art for many years.

Come and visit the exhibit--we all need a little more love in our lives.  I will be showing one piece--Comfort III--as seen above and on a previous post.  In fact, as I was standing in line at the pharmacy waiting to pick up my family's prescriptions, I realized how uptight everyone is.  I had one woman practically sitting on my lap in an effort to get to the counter faster.  I could actually smell the peanuts she had been eating in line on her breath.  Anyone ever heard of personal space?  But then, as I was driving out of the parking lot and watching every driver's harried expression,  I realized, you just gotta chill.  There is nothing we can do about the weather (storm coming tomorrow and people are freaking out!)
Breathe In, Breathe Out
price: $245
Crystals, ceramic beads, jasper, and glass drops
What we can do is breathe and realize that a little kindness goes pretty far in making or breaking someone's day.  There was this one woman in line who let a pregnant woman go before her and started chatting with her two-year old son.  How sweet was that? Then, on the way home, I made room for some cars to go around a fire truck parked on the curb, and the looks of relief on the drivers' faces was just so gratifying.

Anyway, I have a whole series I am working on with photographs of people and if anyone wants to use one of their own photographs and commission me to make a piece that is meaningful and specific to you or the people you love, just contact me.  Let's spread some love through art.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

migraines=lost time=guilt about missing things=stress=migraines

Eden: Fabric collage with beads and quilting.
Already Sold
Okay, so I woke up with a migraine today and anyone who has had them knows how time-consuming they can be  First, you have the pain and nasuea. (Well, not actually first.  First, you get the pre-migraine, which I sometimes miss.  Yesterday's was the junk-food craving that I merely attributed to PMS.  Enough said about that.)  Next, you debate, do you take the medicine or not?  If you take the medicine, you sleep for a long time.  If not, you can try other things like caffeine and OTC drugs, but if they don't work, then the migraine gets worse and you can lose the window of opportunity for breaking it, and then you're really screwed.  It's kind of like child-birth:  There is only a certain amount of time you can actually have the epidural.  Too early and either the doctor's won't give it to you or it will wear off too soon.  Too late and it's time to, you know, actually have the baby.  I have child-birth on the brain as my sister is having her first baby any day now. . . but to get back to the topic at hand.  So, even after the migraine ends, you get this kind of headache hangover, which interferes with how efficient you are and what you want to do, eat, etc....  In the end, I opted for the meds and proceeded to sleep on and off for about 5 hours.  Now it's 4:30 and most of my Saturday is shot: I couldn't meet up with a friend, and I missed out on hanging with the kids and the hubby for part of the day.  I am determined to go out tonight though, despite the foggy feeling in my brain.  As you can see, the whole thing could become a vicious cycle, which is why I decided to actually write about it and post it for the "world" to see.  My thoughts are multifold: One, if I share the guilty feelings, maybe they will disperse so widely, they will lose their intensity. Two, right now, I really can't work on such small things as beads and sewing, so it's just a lot easier to type and sometimes look up at the glowing screen.  Three, actually no one in the house wants to play games or do anything right now and I am avoiding folding the laundry, so why not use the time somewhat productively and erase some of the guilt for not doing much today.  Four, sometimes the more you say, the less stress you feel.

Actually, though, I had a thought yesterday that I forgot to mention and which I will do here and now.  As I had been saying, I have reading about John Adams, and he kept a constant diary.  Sometimes of esoteric thoughts, sometimes just scribbles of what he saw and did that day.  They seemed to me to be much like blogging, but a great deal more private.  If Adams were alive today, would he blog?  Would he write, for anyone who wanted to see, all of his thoughts and ideas that he did on those tiny little notebooks?  And is anyone who writes these kinds of journals--be they electronic of paper--self-absorbed or is he or she really just observant?

There is this whole movement in art of journaling--taking books and altering them, or making your own journal of art.  I wonder what Adam's art journals, if had made them, would be like?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Apres Snow Day #3

Sunset bracelet: on display at The Store @ the deCordova

Metamorphosis: On display at Chestnut Hill Chiropractors
How are you all today?  Now that I have some followers, I know I am not talking to empty space, which is kind of nice--to use a word that my 5th grade English teacher absolutely hated and, which when I do use it, I cringe and say a small internal apology to Ms. Welsch for not thinking hard enough of a more descriptive word.  I just started reading David McCullough's biography of John Adams right now and I said to Nessy last night that sometimes I don't like to read it, because I feel so inferior when learning about all that this man did, while not having running water, heat, electricity, cars etc.  But it was funny, one of the passages in the book talked about how inferior Adams felt a lot of the time.  How he was constantly criticizing himself, making plans to be more industrious, setting goals, and falling short of those goals.  Not that I would ever compare myself to Adams, but it did make me feel a little better to know that a man who helped change the course of our country had similar thoughts and concerns.  He also seemed to vacillate between many interests, which anyone who knows me will attest to being one of my struggles.  But in the end, today I focused on one of Mary Oliver's poems,  "Wild Geese."  The first line states,  "You do not have to be good."  And the rest of the poem is just quite beautiful.  This poem is, to me, about the moment, about letting yourself enjoy your own place in the world, about nature and love and disappointment and ultimately hope. So, when I sit down to work today, instead of trying to be as good as Adams, I hope to find merely today and all that it has to offer.  Things like my son's small smiles, my daughter's exclamation that she loves to laugh, and the teasing that my husband jokingly did before he left for work.  And I think, how nice (there's that word again) that there is some quiet today so that I can share these thoughts with you.  Anyway, enjoy your day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Now for Another Topic

Crazy Quilt: In process for over 6 years.   I can't decide if it is going to be one of those UFPs (unfinished projects), or it just needs a little more time to gestate.
Does anyone like sports?  I seem to be a crazy blend of sports fanatic and artistic, sensitive soul.  Now that every team I wanted to win in the NFL playoffs has lost--and I mean every single one (though I was a little on the fence with Green Bay and Chicago--I know that is weird given their "till death do we hate each other" personas.  But, you see, I lived in Chicago for 13 years AND I have a lot of friends who are Packers fans, so I guess I get to be a little indecisive for this one.)  But back to the topic, being a Boston Fan (capitalization on purpose) through and through, obviously last week was a killer, but honestly, each team I wanted to win in each game lost.  So I am taking this as a sign that, really, I should be spending more time working on art and promoting art than watching the sports games.  Maybe I could find a way to watch them in my studio?  No, that wouldn't work, because I really need a fair amount of quiet when creating.  I tend to talk to myself--out loud--which my son reminded me of yesterday in the car to my great embarrassment.  And I need the quiet so I can "answer" myself when figuring out a composition or color problem.  I figure March Madness doesn't start for another 4-6 weeks, so perhaps I can get a lot done in that time so I can reward myself with some fun bracketing with college hoops!  Given the time crunch, I'd better go work now.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Change in Information/ Thoughts on Poverty

Comfort III
Correction:  This is the piece that will be hanging at the Love Exhibit at Bangkok Cafe through February and March.   Other artists participating will be Kathryn Deputat, Kasey Davis Appleman, Amy Joyce, Glenn Williams, Janice Williams, Jeff marguiles, and William Mahan.  Bankok Cafe is located at 25 Poplar Street in Roslindale.  And, this is one of the fun parts, there should be a reception --most likely February 17th, 6-8pm.

Anyway, I hope you are all doing well in this dead time of the winter.  We are bracing for yet another snowstorm and, honestly, I am not sure if when I shovel, I can toss the snow high enough onto the snow mounds.  They are seriously over 6 feet tall!   I have been saying for a while that I want to work on my upper body strength, so I guess this is a cheap way to do it--no gym fees and the like.

Next thought:  I have been reading a lot of inspiring stories of how people start non-profits to help the poor or how they think of ways to use surplus food to feed the hungry.  So, then my mind starts churning and I think--maybe I should change professions and really help people.  And then I think maybe I should do a series of pieces on these issues and then donate some to charity.  

In other words, as an artist, how does one reconcile the luxury of art with the necessity and need that pervades our world?  Yes, there are always arguments that art lifts one's mind and enlightens one's perspective. But it has to be out there to do that and it has to touch those that need it.  It's a conundrum.  I mean if I were a doctor, I could just say that my profession in an of itself helped others.  But art . . . that is a profession were the help and altruism is a little more subtle.  I would love to hear thoughts on this.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things are looking up--as long as I don't slip on the ice!

Comfort II
This piece is now hanging in my one-person show at Chestnut Hill Chiropractor Rehab.  It will also be shown later at a show in Roslindale, MA--theme of "Love."  I  like this theme--it is something we all need a little more of and need to give a little more to others.  It has been a good professional week.  Sold a few pieces at the deCordova Museum shop and was accepted into the Roslindale show.  Moments like this are too few, but are greatly cherished.  By the way, has anyone else out there become a cookie monster?  It must be the weather, but my family and I are eating cookies faster than we can bake them.   It's a little freaky.  Maybe the next series I will work on is Food!  Anyway, gotta go stitch, sew, and bead.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Apres Snow Day

Another day, another post.  Trying to keep up with all the Web-advertising/marketing is a job in and of itself.  However, work must go on.  We all enjoyed the snow day yesterday--especially my dog, who I think could live in two feet of snow quite happily as along as there was someone out there to throw snowballs at her--and I do mean AT her.  She loves it when they hit her in the face.  Go figure?

As for art, I am working on a new necklace design and am kind of jazzed about it.  In addition, I have started another version of Pear/Pair Trees and have applied to a juried show. We will see what happens.

I keep thinking of the Arizona tragedy and am speechless by its sorrow and loss.  Really, I keep erasing my sentences as I try to talk/write about it.  One sits here and creates art in the hopes of making people feel connected--be it to an idea or a feeling or a thought--and then all that seems so small in the face of such tragedy and evil.  I don't know perhaps if everyone would just find one beautiful thing each day--a smile, a photograph, an action--and carry that thing in their hearts throughout the day, then these episodes would decrease.  A simplistic idea, perhaps, but one I try to enact as I go through my days.  Today I will be remembering the park where I brought my dog and the icy snow-laden branches with the huge expanse of white untouched snow (that is until we got there!).

I wish an image of that kind of peace and beauty to you all each and every day.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Slow Day

Hello again . . . it's been a slow day.  Have you ever woken up with intentions of being productive and then the day just slips along and you find yourself procrastinating?  Well, that has been today, but seeing as it is only 12:45  I am hoping to make up for lost time in the later part of the day.  I did manage to find more storage space on my computer and take the dog for a long walk and think about pieces I want to make.  I must also be a little honest and mention that I had a nice long breakfast after getting the kids to school and read a bit--that was a real time-sucker!  So, after taking care of computer business, house business, and even defrosting a piece of fish for dinner, I am off to the creative races.  I wonder how many tired cliches I can use today?

But let's talk turkey (3rd cliche of the day):  I have been working on some of those pieces from the 100-day challenge and have combined them with a project idea from Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine.   The result is a nice little set of small mixed media pieces.  Does anyone else out there in the blogosphere also absolutely hate to cut matte board?  I find that no matter how well I measure I am always just a bit off and have to fiddle around with the board to get it just right.   It's kind of like adding the clasp to a necklace or bracelet--truly my least favorite part of the project, but also one of the most important aspects of making a piece look professional.

It's been nice chatting, but now I have to go actually work!