Saturday, April 28, 2012

I have been spending much of my relaxing time in the evenings looking at on line pictures of tiny houses and alternative dwellings. I have always loved little spaces, little houses, little cabins. I lived in a little house for many years and I treasured our use of space and the cleverness with which we designed our living area. I liked the smallness and intimacy of a little home. With small spaces comes a simplifying of life. No room for this or that: out it goes. No, I am not paying storage for things I might need someday. Saving money was easier too when there is no space to put all the stuff you gathered. Things you kept were useful and had purpose or were treasured items that deserved the sacred space they used. I miss living like that and think that when I am an old lady, I will once again live in a teeny, tiny house. Maybe with a teeny, tiny fence all nestled in a teeny, tiny rural area.

Truly, I am blessed with all that I have. A studio, a home, a warehouse and a garden shed dot our land. Space is filled with things. Still it is the smallness of a home that draws me in.

Check out Tumbleweed Houses. Tiny House Swoon. So totally cool.

My current garage is larger than the home I lived in for more than 10 years. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

This Afternoon

I know that I should have been in the studio all day making new jewelry, experimenting with the new clay, trying out my new silversmithing tools BUT, it was so pretty and warm and sunny and delightful outside that we HAD to spend the bigger part of the afternoon at the beach. Right now, I am posting on line and Phil is trimming my herbs in the garden and the gentle scent of lavender is drifting in through the open deck door. I am relaxed and sleepy feeling drenched with the sunshine and pleasant day I have had. Let me share my afternoon with you.
A portion of a structure that washed up on the beach.

Phil surfing a board.

East Beach on Marrowstone Island. 

The actual beach surface showing smaller rocks. There were also areas of large round rocks.

Someone built a little hideaway on the beach!

Big root ball from a very big tree.

The bluffs, sloughing down towards the beach.

A barnacle encrusted clam shell. We call these big babies -
horse clams. 

Finally our found treasure - beach glass! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012


There are days when life just does not seem right and maybe laying in bed for half the morning or all day, feels like a good idea. You can get to falling so deeply into your imagined troubles that you forget to count the blessings you have. Today a friend reminded me to look at life and remember the blessings. I don't think she meant to cause me deep introspection but she has been in the hospital for four ( FOUR ! ) months with no end in sight. Friends and family visit her, she reads, embroiders and wonders when she will be better. I wish I lived even a little closer to her so that I could sit and chat with her but tomorrow I will gather things up for a care package for her and along with it send my love and wishes for recovery. Her reminder today, to be grateful for my health, for being able to make a decision to stay in or get out of bed, to tell her I love her, has been able to refocus my thoughts and helped me count my many blessings.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This is Why

Seeing deer resting quiet and still in an uptown yard without anyone bothering them is one of the many reasons I love living here in Port Townsend, peace is found in the normal-est of places.
After a couple of days of spring like weather, we are returning to rain and wind. We are not getting the kinds of storms we receive in the winter but it does make me like to be indoors. I was able to get out of the shop early today so I had a couple of hours to spend with Jake without electronic intrusions. We ended up having ice cream together downtown and then strolled the aisles of Goodwill where Jake looked at - what else - electronics. Anytime, my teenager says he wants to or is willing to be with me, I am going to take him up on it!

Just before the wind came up tonight I ran outside in the fading light of a gloomy spring afternoon and snapped some pictures from my sketchbook.
I suspect that some of these flowers will become charms.

A night time revelry. 
I am still enraptured with drawings done in black and white. I like being made to show color and contrast with a mix of textures and pattern. My mind wanders in the evenings and I think it ends up in a world of Lois vision. All pattern and fantastical flowers, whimsy and line. This whole little world created in my sketchbook as my mind drifts into dreamland and I am called to sleep.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fear & Embrace

It is somewhat to my shame that I have to admit that I am a Dancing With the Stars fan. The show makes me smile the entire time I watch it even though it must be viewed on my DVR as the commercial interruptions and yak yak yakking of the female host are too much for me. Anyhow, the contestant voted off on Tuesday night was Sherry Shephard and in her parting tearful speech, she said something that struck a nerve with me. " If something scares you, makes you fearful, run towards it because once you are on the other side, it's great. " I did paraphrase here but I like the thought that if I am afraid of something I should run towards it, embrace it and come out on the other side a better person.

I have an opportunity to do something in 2013, not a big something, but it scares me, makes me wonder if I can do it, fulfill my obligations, learn from the experience, enjoy it, become better for it. I am going to run towards it, court it, embrace it and grow with the opportunity. I don't mean to be mysterious here, it is too early to speak of it, but divine providence lead me here and let me absorb Sherry's message and by golly, I am going for it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Now that I have decided to open a gallery again, I need to spend some time everyday painting or drawing. I must find the discipline to get everything done that I want to get done for home, shops, family, websites and more. I also want to adopt a dog but that is another post another time.

In any event, I am just going to post a couple of my recent drawings and leave today at that. There is also a name for the new gallery, 940 Gallery. It is the street address but really I should call it  All My Little Chicks Gallery, as I consider my artwork my little chicks, part of the spelling of my last name, VenarCHICK.
These flowers would also make great charms too. Hmmmm

Not quite done yet, but I like the direction it is taking.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The full moon has come and gone and along with it a surge in energy that I felt every where I went and in every thing I did. Incredibly bright, the light from the moon helped me sleep. I find it very comforting to open my eyes briefly at night and see the moon light streaming through the venetian blinds. There was no wind, warm air was moving into our area and we have enjoyed two, count 'em two days of sun!

I wish I had some pictures to show you of work that I have done but having been in the shop for the last six days and all I have managed to accomplish is being in the shop. I have tomorrow off though so I am going to hang in the studio and try to finish a drawing and make a few things.  Tonight I actually found some energy and straightened out the warehouse a bit. With the new shelves from Regina in there, things are easy to put back into their places if only I would do it at the time! When customers visit and shop from the warehouse, it is so much easier to have it be all neat and tidy.

Spring is filling the air here in Port Townsend and already I am envisioning a garden and flowers and sitting on the front porch knitting on warm afternoons. ( Not too warm though, the mid 70's will be just fine. ) I have even purchased plastic glasses with palm trees on them for ice tea parties on the porch. I can hardly wait!

So in ending this rambling post, I am hoping your Easter Sunday was filled with the blessings of family, friends, sunshine and good food.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ompa Loompa - the color I wore today

Grape hyacinths adorn the hillside behind my shop.

I had an absolutely lovely day today. Partially because the sun was out of course, after yesterday's drenching rains and ice pellets, light from the sky alone, was enough to make it a lovely day. More than that, it was one of those days where things seem to fall into place and all is right with the world and people are in a good mood and the vibe hanging in the air is one of renewal and spring reawakening. A trumpet sounds and the earth springs awake and becomes friend to the sky and people respond with laughter and kindness. Amazing, simply amazing.

First off, my friend Dale has agreed to join me in a gallery venture and in June we hope to open the 940 Gallery and exhibit our work, he photography and me paintings, permanently in our own space! I have been too long away from the painting world and now, I have a gallery space urging me on to painting, finishing a body of work. My artist's soul feels reborn! I could dance with inspiration and tomorrow I will think of what needs to be done to make the space into a gallery. For tonight, I will celebrate a gallery   and an opportunity to do what passionately moves me.

I had lunch with Marlene and although it was not nearly as long and lingering as I would have liked, it was wonderful to have her back in town! Six weeks on the road was TOO long, Marlene! I missed you my salad with yogurt dill dressing buddy!

I hired someone for the yarn shop and I think she will be terrific! I knew there would be a person nearby that would want to be a diva in the shop along with the rest of us and I am delighted it is Rebecca!

Finally, I tried on a ring that my jeweler friend Jeff bought for $ 75,000! He strolled into the shop so casually with his dog, Bunny and said I have something you might like to see; five carats of gorgeously stunning diamond. Yum - delight.

Some days are like this, magical little things happen and I ma rejoicing in life and sun and people diamonds. Blessings and gratitude, those are the words today and really, everyday.
That incredible diamond temporarily on my finger.

Monday, April 2, 2012

When I sit down to draw designs for charms, I often find myself doodling first suns and then flowers. I'm not sure what it is about flowers but I see so much in their natural layering of petals, leaves, stamens and stems. Maybe it appeals to the folk artist in me who has spent years decorating furniture with the whimsical and imaginative flowers found in everyday decorative painting from around the world. You may see a flower, I see a story. I like telling that story, preserving that memory in drawings and metal.
Happy Flower

This is one of my most recent flowers, cast in white bronze. I love the story it is telling of unfolding itself layer by layer, petal by petal. I am waiting for more blooms in my flower bed and more stories to tell after all these spring rains leave me blooms to savor.