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!