Thursday, December 31, 2009

flounders floundering.......with parameters.

Tsukiji Flounder

Much as I feel right now. I'm struggling with time and healing and the fact that I can't DO any of the things that I am programmed to do. From mind to hand is how I usually operate. An interrupted circuit, the sounds of a grinding and frustrated engine, trying to become 'quiet'.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

different kinds of offerings....

Ema (絵馬?) are small wooden plaques on which Shinto worshippers write their prayers or wishes. The ema are then left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami (spirits or gods) receive them. They bear various pictures, often of animals or other Shinto imagery, and many have the word gan'i (願意), meaning "wish", written along the side. In ancient times people would donate horses to the shrines for good favor, over time this was trasferred to a wooden plaque with a picture of a horse, and later still to the various wooden plaques sold today for the same purpose.

Ema are sold for various wishes. Common reasons for buying a plaque are for success in work or on exams, marital bliss, to have children, and health. Some shrines specialize in certain types of these plaques, and the larger shrines may offer more than one.

The second picture is of a Pachinko Parlor, a different kind of shrine. Bowing to chaos, smoke and loud, loud sound.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

48 hours in.....

Just saying 'no' to evil
Kyoto Side Street

almost 48 hours into my new thumb. a left handed update. the only problem is getting to the question mark on my keyboard.

i suspect this will be slow going for awhile.

i hope that every ones holidays are enjoyable, and that you all can take some time for yourselves!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Home safely.


From Wikipedia:
"Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社?) is the head shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines.

Because Inari is the god of business, each of the Torii is donated by a Japanese business.

Merchants and manufacturers worship Inari for wealth. Donated torii lining footpaths are part of the scenic view.

This popular shrine is said to have as many as 40,000 sub-shrines (matsuji) throughout Japan."

The single most breathtaking batch of images from my trip came from this location. I don't know where to begin on my recall from this time away.

I'll start here, with much to digest.

So many thanks go to so many people for making this trip possible, not the least of which has been ongoing well wishes for a safe return (now completed) and healing thoughts towards Tuesdays procedure.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm off......

The time has finally come. Today is the final pack job for my trip to Japan.

Last week I had a loss of a most treasured accessory, unquestioningly my favorite scarf. It has traveled with me for 6 years or so, essentially my 'security blanket'. A silk and wool scarf created by Inge Bauer, a German feltmaker extraordinaire.

Yesterday I was possessed to create a version of my own. In this time of anticipation it seemed imperative to have a warm and soft 'comfort object'. In my long hiatus from feltmaking I was pleased to have a new found communication with the fibers, the result was a piece I am pleased with......and of course look forward.....way the resumption of my time to create more, later.

In the meantime, a junket around Japan, traveling to Tokyo, Kobe and Kyoto. I am armed with a couple of travel guides, figuring I'll have 17 hours of study time once I leave the ground. Ooooh, monkeys and fishmarkets, oh my.

For those who might place orders between now and then. I apologize beforehand that I won't be filling orders until my return, 12/19/09.

I returned Sunday late from a lovely time in south Florida. The guild and its members surely make you feel welcome. I loved my time in Diane's home and the jungle outside, made to think about how much time and effort needs to go into trying to tame nature and fight back the inevitable and rapid growth of vegetation in a tropical climate. It's challenge enough here in currently dormant New England. A giant thank you to all who chose to come and spend some time with me in the three great days that I spent with all of you.

I leave conceding to take my 'real' camera, and trying to channel a zen approach to packing as I have to haul whatever the choices are all over the country. Oh yeah, minimalism.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just focus on the important parts....

....and it is up to each of us to determine what is most important.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am reminded.....

Clouds over the Isle of Man

.....of a comment while traveling with my daughters, both lots younger than today, Lily probably 5, Olive 8. Lily said after watching the video on board the plane,
specifically the slide to safety, "we'll just land in the clouds, right?"

Such delightful naivete.

A day at home with all 4 of us roosting together, a large chicken to roast.

May all of your thanksgivings be thankful.

One week from today I start on my big adventure. I leave for Miami in order to teach for the South Florida Jewelry Arts Guild, 3 classes, one in Copper Clay, one in a Felted Brooch and one in Coloring Metals. I fly home, have a day to repack and then head to Japan where I will spend 10 days, 6 of which will be teaching and demoing. 2 days in Kyoto where I will look for the monkeys in the mountains, visit some temples, and just take it where it leads. My time in Tokyo calls for a visit to the Tsukiji Fish Market. The excitement is strenuous. I am home for 2 days and then have my surgery on Dec. 22. Who knows what then? At least I will have technicolor memories of days passed that were action packed!

I am looking forward to so many things.

Monday, November 2, 2009

oh my........

Bronze and Copper Clay Pendants
Fine Silver Pendants

Needing to trust the bigger 'timeline'.....I am finally at a stage to switch activities from production to tagging and packing......after a trip up to Putney to watch my girl, Lily, play a soccer game this afternoon.

I have been hard at it for many days, ever since the porcupine siting actually.

From morning till night......make, make, make, occasionally wondering if this or that might be the last 'one' that I will make. I am reminded by my wise friend that I had full trust in the chosen Doctors abilities when I booked the surgery......keep remembering that.

The 3 ring circus is down to 2 rings.

Plenty of time to think while in solitary 'lockup', accompanied by Pandora radio, set to stream 'Bob Dylan radio'.....they make excellent choices.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Amorous Porcupine....

I'll fight my repressive tendencies to share a true story. In the course of flitting back and forth yesterday between house and studio I encountered 2 porcupines. The large, logey, prehistoric looking one hot on the trail of the smaller, demure and childlike version of same. He starts to mount her...a few times. I , wondering how this all works with quills and tails in the way, was surprised to see the male, up in prairie dog fashion, turn to me with his claws crossed over his upper chest while sporting an enormous erection. We had a stare down, I laughing, and he went back on all fours...after the 'sweet young thing'!

Country living at its best, HA!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thanks Boston......

Yesterday the show was fun, thanks all!

Back to the drawing table.

I'll come up for air soon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Trips Completion....

My long trip has concluded.

It had me on the outskirts of my organizational abilities, amazingly enough I didn't forget anything......some things were more challenging than others to put my hands on....but they all made the trip. The challenge was packing for 6 different classes in two different cities.

So much for my time with family, friends and students, both new and repeat, were heartwarming.

Art and Soul was funfilled and eye opening with the myriad of cool material manipulation that is going on. I think people enjoyed their introduction to felting as a viable addition to their cache of materials to call upon. Many thanks to you folks that stuck with me for all 3 days, I enjoyed that continuity so much.

This pumpkin patch picture, taken with my iphone, so beautifully captures a hauntingly beautiful afternoon with my sweet and always fun friend Meesh, known to some of you as Michele Goldstein. We not only went to this great place but we took a drive to the Oregon coast and had a climb up an old lighthouse and had lunch next to a whole flock, pod, gathering of sea lions, so cool. Thanks Meesh and family for tolerating me for this extended time!

Southern California and time spent at the home and store of Carole Tripp at Creative Castle was just great. She and her workmates, friends and customers did so much to make me feel welcome, a hearty thanks go out to each and every one of you!

Now, I have a brief window to try and gather materials, have a beadmaking day and repack in order to head into Boston for the Bead Designer International show in Watertown this coming Saturday, from 10-5, please come on by!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

things I love.....

In preparation for painting I took these photos, plan to use parts of them for an abstraction.

At the edges of my ability to organize...I leave on Thursday and need to be prepared to teach 6 different classes..

Art and Soul Retreat and Creative Castle, anyone going to be in Portland, OR or Newbury Park, CA?

There will be a sale night at the Embassy Suites at the Portland airport on this coming Saturday night, lots of good stuff for sale!

My teaching at Creative Castle will have an ongoing trunk show while I am teaching...October 9-11.

Hope to see some of you out there.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Animated carrots.........

What will they do next? They came to visit in our CSA package.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

surgery is scheduled....

originally I had thought that I would schedule surgery for earlier in December when I got a most incredible invitation to go to Japan to demo and teach both felting and glass! I feel like the luckiest gal alive!

This gets me home from Japan on Dec. 19 and into the O.R. December 22, leaving me 5 weeks to gather my wits, indoctrinate the physical therapy and see what my limitations are before heading to Tucson.......

all I can do is take it as it comes, and invite whatever that is instead of hiding behind a wall of fear...i say to myself...and you.

this life is so full and rich....and short.

i am going to paint today, giving myself that luxury as I then need to choreograph the next two weeks....pack for two different gigs in two different cities.

i have finally found the person that i trust to give me a 'thumb replacement'. yay.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

with thanks.....

...To you out there in 'blogland' for noticing and commenting so encouragingly on my painting results! There is so much going on in my mind and world. This past week is a blur....from my lovely time at Squam, spending two days with the incomparable Mary Beth Shaw and finding Kathy Dorfer and Stephanie there at registration, how cool is that????.... Bunking with a new found friend, Coco.....only to scurry off.....feeling like I had given birth meet up with my sister and dad in Portland, ME where we spent the night, got up and headed up into the Rangely Lakes area of Maine to meet up with Tom and Sean where we spent our day aside the beautiful Dodge Pond and captured the stories of my dads life on film (of course it is no longer film....) and had such a special time. I can't thank all of you enough....for showing up just when you were needed, and doing your 'jobs' flawlessly!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Squam Lake........

Where I gained the courage to push paint around. uh loving it, wondering how I might proceed, wanting to head directly to an arts supply store....tomorrow, heading into Portland,Maine. Perhaps I will get lucky there?

Friday, September 11, 2009

urchin distraction/abstraction

It's sick how much I love urchins...and pods.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tiara turned Necklace.....

I had intended to make a tiara, it just kept growing and has a new life as a necklace. My life is interesting right now, with plans and projects filling my days nicely, happily in the studio.

Loving the weather, filling orders, thanks for your interest!

I see Shunji tomorrow, it's been months since I've been under his care. Shiatsu isn't what I ever would have thought of when someone said 'massage', he breaks through barriers, I swear.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Empty Nest.

It was a really different experience dropping Lily off as a sophomore, things were on a much lower hummmmmm. Her new room assignment is a dorm room that feels like a tree house, I loved it.

I took a detour through the turkeys, pigs, chickens, lambs and horses.......the sky was a 'Simpsons' sky, accompanied by georgeous colors, smells and temperatures. Sadly I drove home, just feeling like some measured time is lost.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I am home and catching up~ slowly. My adventures have been action packed and full of so many details that my head is sometimes swimming.

Lily goes back to school tomorrow which leaves Michael and I in the empty nest again. She is ready.

Today was lovely, spent time with my friends in and around Boston, the day splendid. I'm a big fan of September in New England, the weather and air quality can't be beat. Blue, clear, puffy white clouds, 70 degrees. I was remembering the feeling of Labor Day on Cape Cod when there was a mass exodus and the cape returned to those of us that lived there year round, all errands became much simpler. You didn't have to hibernate if it was raining outside, a trip into town on a rainy day was always a challenge, all of the people that had come for a beach vacation would explore the towns and villages and totally clog up the passageways.

I have started to update my 'shop' page, a bunch of cool metal shapes are now available for sale, more to be added tomorrow.

This acorn is accompanied by a cuttlefish casting of a heart done by Sarah Nelson whom I used to teach with at 'the Worcester Center for Crafts'.

I have some time this catch up, jump forward and hopefully get some fresh ideas going. A painting workshop mid month is starting to capture my attention and has me thinking of subject matter, I want to abstract the inside of some pods, of course.

I really have had a fine time since my last entry here. Philly was fun and the Felters' Fling was exceptional, what a lovely group, 60 felters! I had the pleasure of transporting 3 other instructors, Jeannette Sendler, an incredible woman who lives in Scotland and has done some inspired projects, all over the world, have a look......and Karoliina Arvilommi , and Rod Welsh (whose website is down).They are felters from Finland who guided a dozen women through a rigorous process of hand felting the most incredible rugs and were a joy to spend the day with. It was such a comfort to see friends made over the last 7 years and to meet new ones, gain courage from talking to friends about their experiences with the surgery that I am contemplating, see my friend Pat from MassArt days, and to uncover layers of friendship. That only happens over time, and can't be forced and so beautifully illustrates the truth that none of us are one dimensional, we all have a story and a series of experiences that mold us into our current permutation.

We traveled together into NYC and the Cooper Hewitt Museum where there is a felting exhibit going on currently, we had a nice lunch and I took them to a hotel where I left them and I headed back to NJ where I picked my car up with a new fuel

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Murphy's Law, again?

According to Wikipedia:

Murphy's Law: The perceived perversity of the universe has long been a subject of comment, and precursors to the modern version of Murphy's law are not hard to find. For example, in 1841 a newspaper in Norwalk, Ohio printed this verse (a parody of famous lines in Thomas Moore's Lalla Rookh[1]):

I never had a slice of bread,
Particularly large and wide,
That did not fall upon the floor,
And always on the buttered side.[2]

My version of an example:
Yesterday, after leaving a lovely time at the Philly Beadfest, armed with my friend Susan Nestor, we were loaded with suitcases and headed for NYC when the accelerator on my car was no longer connected to the gas pedal. I was going fast enough that I had momentum enough to negotiate over to the side of the road and stop, conscious of the possible view to our right, a corn field WITH deer in it, I stopped.

First call, AAA. "No, sorry, we can't pick people up on the turnpike, you need to call a 'sanctioned' tow company". Tow company #2 arrives and tells me that I will need my registration so "why don't you get it out now, before we load your car up". At this point I am trying to wire a repair possibility near Maplewood, NJ, where my in laws live, up the road 100 miles. I have my registration in hand, along with a map, pen, talking on the phone and who knows what else and a gust of wind whips the registration out of my hand, (we are parked on an overpass) and it flies out of my reach and floats like a feather down like a cartoon. Truck #2 took us up the road a bit, dropped us where AAA could find us.

We hooked up with the AAA truck which took us to the Maplewood area and to a repair place where I left the car, got a rental, took Susan into the city, abandoned our plans for a fun filled shopping day and cruised on home...a 12 hour adventure. Still haven't heard from the repair place...but I needed to get home as I leave again at 6 AM tomorrow. This is my part of the story.

When I called to tell my husband of the circumstances he tells me that his chain saw just totally seized up, while trying to get 3 cords of wood 'processed' for next winter and that he was off to the forward ....the dental report, "sorry, Michael, you need a SECOND crown on that tooth"!


Got to go to work. Felters Fling, here I come!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ice storm last December

Talk about the grass looking is hot here in MA, has been for a few days. 95 is too hot for me. I've spent the last two afternoons in the movie theater.

'Getting up early to try to accomplish the repack, regroup, preparation for both Beadfest, and The Felters Fling.

I leave with my daughter, Lily, early tomorrow and will drive to New Jersey where I will drop her with some cousins and then carry on towards PA. I am ready to get back to work in the public realm after some solitary time and recovery after Sunapee, that really is an event, defined by its HUGE time commitment.

Hope to see you 'out there'.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I love the Copper Clay.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Totally wiped....

After trying several times to post a pictoral link to Kate Mckinnon's huge soul clearing/smallerizing/simplicity promoting web sale, I just guess you need to hop on over for yourself and see what she is parting with! It will be added to for several days and promises to include treasure aplenty.

I am in a full blown 'used up' place. Trying to regroup, recharge and forge on. I start this process with an early morning dental appointment.

A week from today I will drive to Pennsylvania where Beadfest Philadelphia will take place. I will be teaching a Coloring Metals class and my favorite, The Embellished Brooch class. These both take place on Thursday the 20th and then the show goes Fri., Sat. and Sunday, I would love to see you there!

Here we are, mid August and summer has finally hit. I have worn my wool socks almost all summer long.

This picture offers a taste of some possible 'Embellished Brooches' including housing for them.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunapee is over.

Sunapee is over for the next 12 months. The weather was entirely in our favor with the exception of the set up days' rain. Beautiful, blue, nice air. Lots of talk of time passing as each year this long event brings back together a large group of independent artists with some time to share the years stories.

Thank you attendees, friends and fellow craftsmen, I certainly had a nice time!

These pots of Natalie Blake, ceramicist extraordinaire, always blow my mind in her use of color, form and texture.

My world feels fractured, I need to piece it back together today.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lockets anyone?

Bead and Button proposals are in, of which these lockets are included. I have been having fun with the scarab form.

So we're off on our marathon junket! Set up began for Sunapee today and all went surprisingly smoothly, given the 5 inches of rain that fell overnight. Tomorrow all inventory will be installed and then I'll be a shopkeeper for a full 9 days. I am looking forward to it. My reality shifts every year for this span of time.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Juanita, parts of the pile!

So many projects, so little time.

How about those polka dotted daggers?