Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas 2015 - cold, wet, raining

Christmas Eve. If I go to bed, it is admitting that Christmas Eve is over and we have moved into Christmas Day. The hours move forward much faster than I would like. I am missing all that I had in the Christmases of my childhood. My grandparents. My family. Even the " relationships " I had with my sisters. It was a time of peace when we were little kids and all got along. The super fat trees my dad always picked. The ham mom made for Christmas dinner and the homemade chocolate chip cookies we would eat for breakfast after opening gifts. I miss so much.

Making new memories is always on my mind. It is the first time in 33 years there are no children in my house. My sons are grown, with lives of their own. No one wakes up at dawn's early light anymore to open gifts. There is not a mess all over the house as one gift is opened and played with before the next present is claimed.

Tonight, Abigail and Maia were here. A short few hours of company of the sweetest kind. Each and every Christmas now, I am going to make new stories to tell and keep close to my heart. Sing new songs. Wrap new gifts. Pass along kindness to everyone I meet. Happy Christmas and goodnight.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Turn

I always figured that when I was well into my eighties, that my hands would limit the time I could do craft and art work and I would settle down and write. Be an old woman writer. There are stories in my head that I want to get down on paper. Experiences that have led me here and there that need a written record. If I do not write down things about the 1970's and on into these years, who is to say that anything will be remembered by anyone? I have made it a priority for 2016 that I will begin to write, in this blog, the stories and narrative that wake me in the small hours of the morning. The nighttime grope for pen and paper to scrawl the words upon clean lined pages as fast as they tumble forth from my sleep edged thoughts.

This blog is going to become, or rather I am hoping it becomes, not only a repository of my charms and artwork but of my days. Look out 2016, she is or I am - beginning.

Friday, December 4, 2015

It is just miserable to be in pain. My arm has hurt, like muscular hurt, for just over a month now. Ow. I hurt it, it got better. I hurt it again, it got better. I hurt it big time, the third time and now I am stuck in radiating to the neck, back and shoulder pain. Sigh. This getting older sure happened faster than I thought it would. I guess next week I'll make it a priority to get checked out. Ick. I hate having to be at a doctor's. Time to grow up and face the music, I guess.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

On Monday, I spent much of the day in the hospital emergency room with Phil. Normally I would be a bit of a basket case, stressed, nervous, tightly wound. The emergency room is NOT my favorite place to be although our hospital here is very local, small and dang nice.

Anyhow, just as I was getting ready to drive to the ER, I posted on my FB page that I needed my friends to send white healing light to us. Amazingly, I was calm in the ER. I felt as if someone was lifting me up, keeping me company and making me feel safe and reassured. I have never felt this before in an emergency situation. I was embraced by an unimagined feeling of love and safety and comfort. I felt scooped in the palm of protection's hands.

Today when describing the feeling to the only person I have spoken to of this; she said, " Of course. It was all the healing energy and light and love sent by all your friends on FB. "

Wow, just wow.  I am not alone. I am loved. I am blessed. I will pass this lesson and love on and on....
On this Thanksgiving Eve, I am so very grateful for this knowledge, this surrounding feeling of love. Gratitude. Gracious gratitude.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Often, when I sit down during a quiet part of the evening, after a busy and bustling day; I doodle in a sketchbook. One of the things I find myself drawing a lot are self portraits. I've always thought they added insight into myself, a sort of self exploration, counseling session, that I could look back upon and see where I was on a particular date, a moment in time.

I have been adding color to this image and I'll do an update later but I drew this while thinking of all the lost children and families from Syria. Escaping their homes, leaving behind any semblance of normal, seeking freedom from bombing and repression, I feel their lost dreams. I feel lost for them. I feel powerless to assist them. I am heartbroken over such hatred I see in the world. As Thanksgiving approaches this week, I will be ten thousand times more grateful for the life I have and the world I was lucky enough to be born into. I will pray for peace. I will meditate on the tolerance the world needs and I will try to find in my prayers and meditation, a brief enlightenment, a guidance for the world, a bigger sense of compassion, a direction to help.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Do you know what has made me deliriously happy this week? It is having my oldest son, Michael home after a 10 year gap in seeing him and spending some time just hanging in the studio. 

Of course, Daisy was delighted to meet Michael!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Falling into Fall Love

Fall is moving in for its' months long visit and I am loving the warn, sometimes clear days that slide into a cool night. In early evening, fog rises up from the fields near the county airport and I feel as if I have been transported to another time and place. The darker early evenings now allow me to plug in my blue and white Christmas lights outside that wrap my front porch. The steady glow and color of the lights makes me feel warm, happy, content.

This past weekend was one of surprise visits from friends and family. Mike and Julie were up from the Tacoma area in their RV and stayed at Point Hudson where the water provides days of rest, relaxation and entertainment. Julie made apple cake with cream cheese frosting for us that just filled our souls and bellies with the flavors of fall.
We went to a wedding reception tea party at the beautifully remodeled boy scout log cabin house. The venue was filled with music, food, joy, flowers and white tea candles. Lita had driven over from east of the mountains and we needled her into spending the night at our house so we could visit and chat and watch ghost stories on television. Jacob and his girlfriend stopped in to greet Lita and we all spoke of our weekend adventures into the mid Sunday evening.

Finally, today, after much nagging and barking, Clementine was able to convince me to head to the studio where she happily slept the day away while I made jewelry. Finishing up the evening was a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup and as a friend posted on Facebook about her grandmother wearing aprons; I realized I too had on an apron. That apron brought me around to my own grandmom and the aprons she wore as she cooked and baked and for the briefest of time; I was transported back to her  kitchen and the smells of her applesauce spice raisin cake. The circle was completed today and I go to bed tonight in the embrace of friendship, family and love.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fall is here and I am reveling in the warm, sunny and shorter days. This area is desperate for more rain and lots of trees will continue dying, as the summer was just too hot and dry, but the colors on the leaves are stunning! Just stunning. Fall makes me feel alive, happy and makes this workaholic studio babe want to be outside. There are simply not enough hours in the day to do all that I want to do! I plan on a writing a longer blog post later but for now I am leaving you with some fall color!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My grandfather was right all those years ago when, after hearing me wish for the umpteenth time that I was 18, he said that after I turned 18, life would fly by. Well, it certainly has and he was ever so right! I could never tell you how much I miss him because there are just no words.

Now I find myself married with no children living in this house. Suddenly it seems big, empty although it really is not. Phil is here. Clementine is here. I am here. We are cat-less for the first time in my life and that feels very odd. Empty. No purring, furry kitty but it is just as well now. Phil is so allergic to them.

I worked a lot in the shop this summer, more than I thought I would. I love it there but hated the heat and all the dryness of this now past summer. I bought air conditioning for the house not being able to stand the heat. I could not handle colored pencils or yarn with all the heat trapped in these walls.

I made tons of jewelry this summer and was totally blessed and a bit dizzy with delight when I realized most of it sold. I did not get to my bench to do much metal smithing but oh, did I design and make earrings, string necklaces, bang out bracelets. I dipped into my years and years of stash and collecting and made fresh, wonderful things with some very old and delightful beads. What fun!

I read into the wee hours of the morning under the ceiling fan in the bedroom turned on high spin. Dizzying high spin. I read of Chicago in the late 1800's, Missoula's current headlines, bear attacks, mountain climbing, People
 magazine and Vanity Fair. I fell in love again with the writing in Vanity Fair and took mental vacations with People.

I lived on cherries for about two intense weeks mid summer. I love cherries! The color, the shape the feel of the little colored balls of firmness and sweetness in my hands could send me over the rainbow!

Dreaming, I didn't forget. Planning, I didn't forget. Wishing away the days longing for fall, I didn't forget and now, my absolute passion for all that is fall begins on Wednesday as the season officially changes. I'll have to write updates on fall for my blog. I'll make lists of all I like to do during the cooler, wet days of fall.

For the rest of this half moon night, now very early morning on the 22nd, I'll go to bed and read. Transport myself here and then into my dreams.

Monday, August 17, 2015

I am tired of summer. Feel free to remind me of this if I am caught complaining about the winter. We need rain. Even the rain forest is on fire and deep in my soul, I am on fire too and not a fire that I want. heat and I do not like each other. Weird things happen and I blame it all on summer. It is just too hot.

Phil dropped a piece of the Haitian art on his lower leg today and came into the studio bleeding. His sock was bloody and blood rain down his leg. He, like Jake and the boys in the neighborhood used to do, came to me for healing of his injuries. The only thing I had in the studio for his icky boo boo was hand sanitizer. I told him it was going to sting a bit but I was unprepared for his big yelp when I applied it. I told him between his cries of pain that if it burns, it is killing germs!

I've been taking this day off and working in the studio filling in the empty jewelry displays. I have been so lucky and made so happy by the amount of jewelry that has sold this summer. People are being properly accessorized every where if they have stepped into my shop!

Anyhow, I meant to go to bed at least an hour ago but I had a late night energy surge and worked out in the cooler studio and now my brain does not want to wind down. If it were not for Clementine and her sad brown eyes telling me it is time to go into bed, I might never get there!

I do love the colors of orange and yellow in things and find those colors often in my own artwork. These colors remind me of the good things about summer, like blooming flowers and corn on the cob. I'll leave you with the flower pictures from Chimicum's farm market and finally, finally end this day!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Even as I sit in my newly air conditioned home; I am longing for fall. For cooler days, bright, crisp, cloud filled skies and rain! I have so missed the rain. We are lingering in a heavy brown, dry drought. It is sad to see all the brown and I hope what I am seeing are dormant plants, grasses and trees; not things that will never spring back to life once we get rain. If, we get rain. I am feeling like the rain is a far away, nearly lost friend that I can't quite reach out to.

All these years of living here and this is the first time my home has ever been air conditioned. Never needed it here as we had our reliable breezes off the strait waters every day and the skies were filled with rain, cooling rain. Now, with this the hottest summer on record, I am feeling decadent and indulged with air conditioning. Two pregnant summers here and I never had the need for this a/c. Climate change is definitely rearing its ugly head. I am mad about climate change and I can make adjustments in my life to help diminish these changes but my impact is so minimal on the big picture. Must not let myself get into this spiral of anxiety and change coming to the world through climate change. Just breathe.

Anyhow, I am inside making treasure tubes for the lobby shop. After 23 plus years of having the shop, I have bits of this and that left around so I fill tubes for embellishing projects. I could just dump things into the big tubes but no, I have to make them just so! Color families, complimentary textures, some of the beads, a few buttons, bits of ribbon and yarn, leftover fabric; give me such pleasure. Pleasure I am now sharing and selling to my customers. Incidentally, I have a name for the lobby shop now after 13, 14 ? years..... Embellishments, The Lobby Shop. A name just to the point.

I am cool, content, feeling creative so it must be time for a knitting break. Happy Blue Moon on this sizzling
Today in the dining room.
A close up. $ 4.95 a tube! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

So it is summer. Days of intense, surrounding heat have finally given way to some cooler temperatures and a bit of rain. I miss the rain and I can not stop staring at the clouds! Clouds vanish from the sky most summer days and I swear if I lived in New Mexico; I would never stop looking at the sky. Deja vu!

I work a lot in the shop these days and when I am not being all people centered there; I can be found in the studio making the jewelry to fill in the spaces that jewelry has sold from in the shop. I love all the excitement and stories in the air from the people visiting town. It's like a little party every day in a place I like to be - the bead shop!

Cherries are another good thing about summer! I can eat them for every snack and at every meal. I could turn into a cherry for how many I have eaten and lusted after. Tonight's dinner was loaded with fresh vegetables from the Sunday Chimicum farmer's market and the green beans were an absolute delight!

I am leaving you all now for a nice long sleep this night . In closing, here are a few pictures of what is transpiring here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I am sure that many of my customers think that I have all my beads neatly organized in little divided boxes, all stacked comfortably on a shelf or shelves in my studio. Well, here is the big scoop - I do not keep them organized in the traditional beady ways. They are grouped like my brain thinks and designs in a loud song of color and pattern, texture, light and dark, large and small. All shapes and sizes, all colors and patterns. I design like my brain thinks. All at once, creating to the music in my head and the notes that run through my hands.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Last night, around midnight, I turned on the Christmas lights, the pretty blue LED ones and the twinkly white ones, threw on a light jacket and sat out on the porch watching the night stars. Frogs were singing all about. Planes crossed the sky with their blinking lights and the air was cool, sweet, smelling of hot days to come this summer. I saw a shooting star! Feeling enchanted, I sat back and breathed the silent prayer of thanksgiving that many mothers breathe during June as our children graduate school and move on in life. It was with bittersweet sorrow and anticipation that I looked at that night sky and thought of how quickly the days of my son being a little boy had flown past me. I turned, blinked and he is 18. On the precipice of a future that I will not always be a part of. He is leaving me now, a bit at a time, finding his own way in the world. So yes, it is a happy sorrow that surrounds my heart and knocks at the door of my soul.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The other day I was grooving in the shop wearing my brand new 100% cotton, bateau neckline, three quarter length sleeve, lightly striped tunic tee shirt. I felt as if I were on vacation on the Mediterranean Coast. Feeling summery and happy and loving what I do for a living and playing in the shop when someone said to me, " Is that a new shirt? " I smiled and said, " Yes! Isn't it great! Only four dollars at the thrift shop! What a find! " She looked at me and said, " I think you must be very brave. " I had to stop and think for a moment. She actually was thinking that here I was, a slightly larger woman wearing horizontal stripes! Oh my! The universe is collapsing and folding in upon itself. Stripes! On someone not at all thin! Was I being brave? No, I was loving me, loving the shirt I was wearing and feeling good. I told her, " If you've got it; flaunt it. "

Would we say something like this to a thin woman? " Those vertical stripes make you look like a flagpole...."  or to a man, " Wow, those stripes accentuate your belly. " No, people feel it is okay to insult a bigger woman. The last legal discrimination. Just when you think we as a society are moving forward; we really are not. What would you have done?

By the way, I am wearing that shirt again this week. What's even better? I have it in two other colors, too. HAHAHHAHA

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It is raining here. Absolutely pouring. The wind is still blowing and the big brass bell in my alder tree out front is still dinging. I love it. This is a Northwest spring afternoon and it is fabulous! I can nestle into my studio and get a bunch of things made and done for the shops. I feel like cooking so after a quick run to the grocery, I am baking potatoes and chicken. Phil is going to love this chicken, made one of his favorite ways with a ranch dressing on them. Tangy and moist.

I used to always use Tuesdays to make my own work. To experiment and make things and artwork that did not have a necessarily retail selling price. I have let those days slip away and Tuesdays have become another work day. That ends with this Tuesday, the 21st. From now on Tuesday is going to be MY day and I will just get to play. I will make no appointments, no schedules, no set projects. Just my mind exercising its creativity and stretching wings into unexplored territory.

The nice thing about the rain at this moment? I finished knitting a baby afghan. I have worked at it for the last couple of years always putting it down to take up a new project because I did not know anyone having a baby. Today, drum roll, I finished it! My first all cotton knitting!
I also have a drawing I am working on and although it is a long way from being finished; I am really loving these new pencils! Lots of color and a soft, creamy feel. I can't remember what they are called but I love them .

This is my pencil table. A sunny yellow, vintage formica table. Nice and small with drop leaf sides for my studio. Perfect size. Perfect funk. I like my pencils being so close to where I like to work. So many ideas in my head now. I think summer will bring more drawing time. Maybe even time to play.

Many people come and go in your life. Each leaving a bit of themselves with you, imparting lessons and shared experiences to accompany you on your life's journey. Every time I sit down to draw, I think of this and the many people who have passed my way. Sometimes I can feel them over my shoulder watching me work. I am never alone even though I work alone. It is the people in my life and the people that have come and gone, that enrich each and every drawing. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It is eleven twenty five on this Tuesday night. The house is almost quiet and Clementine sleeps at my feet, ready to go to bed as soon as I say it is bedtime. I am waiting up late to give Jacob his penicillin at midnight hearing him groan in his room as he turned in his sleep. I am surfing the internet on a tidal wave of useful and useless information. I am dreaming of a tiny house in the middle of no where and building a different life but then maybe not as another website draws me into a different world. Another place.

Suddenly, without any warning or sound, the Easter lily on the dining room table just over my left shoulder pops into open flowers and sends out the most heavenly scent reminding me of spring, and Easter, rebirth and home when my dad every year came home with an Easter lily for my mom from the grocery.

So pretty. So scent-ful sending me off to a time before I was this adult I am now. Sending me to bed to dream of remembering.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Missing you

If you knew that one of the last times you saw someone would be the last time; would you act differently? I ask that of myself nearly every day, missing my brother Bob more and more.

Monday, March 9, 2015

With the seemingly endless rays of the sun keeping me at once awake and energized, I have been spending nearly all my free time in the studio. I take sun breaks, sitting on the corner of my studio deck and turning my face towards the sky, but I am in the mood to get the studio revved up for spring and summer shop work. I have lots of jewelry to make and paintings to paint.

My energy level falls with the sun. As night comes around, I feel myself slowing down and longing to just sit and knit the dark evening hours away. I live in a part of the country that is known for moss and rain and wet, cold temperatures but we have missed a lot of that this winter. Now, when the sun shines, I almost feel as if the sun again? Ha!

I love spring and fall and lust for true winter but these early warm days when so much of the country side is in colorful bloom, makes me happy. Awakened even to the possibilities future creative projects bring me!

  I see drawing, painting, beading, knitting, collage, embroidery, and more in my future. I am loving all the color and texture and air music, this time of the year brings. Watch me go!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Today, as I put make up on my face in preparation for my cardiology appointment, I looked at my hands. Really looked at my hands. The first thing I saw was how much they look like my mother's hands. The shape of the fingers. The way the nails are colored. Then I looked again and realized how much my hands have done for me and given to others and forged my career, my life's work. I saw them caressing a lover, a husband. I saw them cradle and soothe my sons. I saw them lovingly plant a garden and move through household chores. They pet cats and dogs and any animal that would hold still long enough to be petted. They drew and painted and knitted and beaded and used saws and tools to make wooden furniture. They continued to use smaller saws to make jewelry. They tried to make my face beautiful and my legs smooth. Such busy hands that keep moving through my day, through my life, through my work. I love them as much as I need them. The blessing in this story is looking at something we see and use all the time through the eyes of wisdom, age and timelessness as my hands will carry on through the next generation.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

After Tucson

Honestly I thought that I would be able to get so much drawing and knitting done in Tucson while working the show that I packed a bunch of art supplies and three ( what was I thinking? ) knitting projects. The weather was extra warm, the show kind of on the quiet side, the friends amazing as always and the work day, just plain wore me out! I managed two drawings and nearly finishing one knitting project which now waits to be rinsed and blocked.

I love my annual Tucson trips not just for the bead shopping and friend filled dinners but because of the light in the sky and the green growing things so different than here. I like the textures of the palm trees' trunks and the way their leaves ( fronds? ) make a linear pattern against the bluest of skys. I like the way the clouds form, high and white against the pink/ purple/ mauve of the Catalina Mountains. I like the artistic touches that line the freeways and overpasses. I like adobe walls and the seclusion of homes behind walls, especially walls with lots of textures. I like the long, skinny spiky brown branches that are made into fences and deck roofs. I like the smoothness of flowers on a blooming cactus against the thorns of the big green arms of fine, ancient cactus plants.

My fingers don't hurt there. I give my hands a rest from jewelry making but I think it is the warmth and dryness in the air that makes me pain free. I enjoyed for the first time this year, chocolate nachos as a dessert. An angel treated four of us to our dinners without leaving a name. Only a card with " please pay it forward " on the reverse. We will. I loved my time there and look forward to next year when we are hopefully deep in a winter that needs escaping, a winter that missed us this year.

I like the piles of gemstones and beads at the shows. I hunt and search for only the finest treasures to bring back to the shop. This year I literally reached deep into piles of cheap, imported junk to find stones worthy of bringing home. My trunk show will be worth the wait for my customers and filled with intriguing beads and stones.

I am just not one to remember at the times I am involved or having fun to take pictures. My camera may be at hand but my thought processes are definitely somewhere else! 

For now it is getting late and I am sleepy waiting for my teenager to come home so I will end this posting for this wee early morning hour. Until next time.