Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chickens of the World get a New Lease on Life......

Today we have a picture of a very happy chicken.  I am in the second week of radiation therapy.  So far it has been going well.  Not many major side effects except for one.  I have lost my appetite.  It has officially gone on vaca.  I have also lost the taste for Chicken.  My closest friends and family members know how much I love chicken. I am the Bubba Gump of chicken, I can eat it any way on any day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Well, not any more.
The chicken in the picture is dancing because it knows it is safe for a while anyway.  What have I been eating? Oh salads, tuna fish, soup and fruit smoothies.  It is all good and I am amazed at the fact that I do not miss the meat.

I had planned to purchase organic chicken and other meats to be free of all the things they are given to enhance their growth.  The type of cancer I am being treated for is related to the production of too much estrogen.  Since I am way past menopause (it came early at age 43) I did not think I was producing estrogen.  I realized today it was all that chicken made extra big and juicy with growth hormones which include estrogen.  I did research to make sure my thoughts were correct, so it is no joke.  If I had been a moderate chicken eater, I may not be going through this today.  I had the test, I am not carrying the gene, so chicken is the scapegoat for now anyway.

You have to be able to find humor where you can and if it has to be at the expense of my dear friend chicken, so be it. I cannot say if my taste for chicken will gradually return, but for now the chickens of the world can feel safe, because today, if there was just me and one chicken left on the earth, it would be safe.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thank You Beautiful Lady

For as long as I can remember I have loved my Aunt Vera.  In fact I used to say "when I grow up I want to be just like Aunt Vera."  She is my Mother's only sister and her elegance is mesmerizing. 

Aunt Vera is an artist.  Her work exhibits her quiet elegance and for over 30 years she taught art in the Detroit Public School System.  Each year she worked to help arrange an exhibition for students at the Institute of Arts in Detroit.  She taught her students to love drawing, painting and collage.

We never really talked about art when I was a child, I just watched from the sidelines and could see how much she loved what she did.  She was the first person I knew who actually loved her job.

 On Aug. 4, 2006 my mother died quite suddenly and my aunt and I comforted each other.  Again with her quiet elegance we shared Thanksgiving dinner (it has been a custom for her and my mother to go to dinner on Thanksgiving and the first one after her death was especially hard). One of her paintings hung in my mother's house. When I sold the house, she asked if she could have it back since the spirit of her sister permeated its pores.

May 2007 I moved to Nevada-I just needed a change of scenery.  At Christmas that year I sent my Aunt a card I had made.  She called me and I will never forget the words "Girrrrlllll, you are truly an artist..."  Those words were so special to me---My beloved Aunt Vera appreciated my work.

During the past 4 years we have had many discussions about art and various techniques.  I send her samples of my work (Mother's day cards, Birthday cards, etc) and she continues to praise and validate me.

As I said earlier I always wanted to be like my Aunt, encouraging, loving, artistic and wise.

I love her deeply and will never forget the quiet lessons she taught me.

The picture today was painted by yours truly in October 2010.  My first attempt at still life, I can thank Aunt Vera for the courage to try.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Well I will be a Blue Nosed Gopher!!!!

I said that statement and had to laugh at myself.  Why did I say, "Well I will be a Blue Nosed Gopher?"  I am in the process of organizing my office/art studio.  I have so much stuff, excuse me, Art Supplies and I need to get some order.  I was placing and order for some storage drawers and decided to order a new set of drawers because the ones I have now are pretty rickety.  I found a good price for the drawers and as I was getting ready to click the add to cart button---my brain had the following conversation:

"Hey let's try and remove the wheels, maybe it will be steadier."  Right brain said "Sounds like a pretty good idea to me."  So off I went, moved all of the drawers, turned the cart over and the wheels would not budge.  Left brain:  Let's get something to pry them off."  Right Brain:  'Good thinking" (right brain is always so agreeable).  I run to kitchen drawer and get a screw driver because it is pretty heavy duty and may do the job.  The I look at the screws holding the cart together, "Hmmm, Left brain says, they seem a little loose, wonder what will happen if I tighten them?"  "Let's try", said right brain.

So I take the screw driver and start to tighten the bolts on the top and bottom, as I torn the screw driver the cart gets really steady.  You have to understand I have had this thing for nearly ten years and it has wobbled for that long, not once did left brain speak up.  To make matters work, I have two of them. Today I had decided to get new carts and throw the rickety ones out because I was fed up with them.  The more I tightened the sturdier it got, who knew?  When I finished  I exclaimed "Well I will be a Blue Nosed Gopher" and laughed.  In normal fashion, it takes me a while to get a clue.

I am happy, I love my cart and after I finished this post, letft brain has informed me that we need to do the same thing to the other cart  Hmmmm..... time to get busy.  The picture today is of my now beloved and colorful cart.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I am excited

This is a picture of a page I am thinking of using for the cover of my Art of Giving journal.  I am taking a class faciliated by a very talented and spiritual artist, Regina Lord.  Why am I excited you might ask????? Because except for the Blue Moon ephemera I collaged on to the page, I painted the entire page myself including the flower, thank you very much.

I have been spending the last two weeks working on my pages and I like what I have done.  I did find out that I like simplicity.  I do not like a lot on the page, but I do like what is there to stand out. 

The glossy middle of the flower is a glass bead I found, and I used a stencil for the words gratitude and faith.  Need to add a little journalling, after all it is a work in progress.  More pictures later in the week.  Take care and be creative

Saturday, August 06, 2011

7 Months and Counting......

Fort Townsend, WA, picture of some of the buildings at night.  I mailed my registration today.  I am so pleased and excited.  March will be here before I know it.  I have started conceptualizing my trades for this year.  I am calling it "mixed bag" because it will be a smattering of different things.  I have 7 months to get them together so I will work a little at a time.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Life's changes

During the past week I have come to realize that I do not have to write a book to add thoughts to my blog.  What a relief.....I am taking the Art of Giving online class given by Regina Lord of Creative Kismet.  It is a 30 day class an we are creating an art journal.  The class is both thought provoking and a lot of fun.  I will post some of my pages later in the week.  So for today, I am posting a picture of tape that I made from adhive tape and alcohol inks.  With the Popularity of Japanese Washi take increasing, there have been a lot of suggestions to try and make your own tape.  I did and it was fun.

I promised myself in April, that I would spend this summer creating and so far I have been doing just that.  It is time to put all the techniques I have learned throughout the years to good use.  I am also keeping a word of the day journal.  I have the cutest little book called a Mnemosyne (bought it from and each morning when I sign on to the computer for work, I right down the first word that comes to mind.  Next I have to go back and decorate the pages.

Art tool I used today that I have had for a long time:  Xyron 150 Create a Sticker machine.  Oh man, I made my own stickers and used them.  Now I need to make more.  Hmmmm this will save me money.

Well, until next time.  Let me know what you are thinking.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I am online -

I am so happy today.  I am online.
I participated in the sketchbook 2011 project and my book has been digitized and is available for viewing.  Info needed for review...Glenda Hoagland, theme:  It Must Be...(which is chosen from the on the drop down menu) then enter city - Henderson and State NV.

This is such a treat for me.  I really took a chance and participated in this project.  I was not confident in my ability to fill a book with drawing, so I did a collage of pictures from my various travels, hence the title is "It must be...time to hit the road".  The pictures here are the cover of the book and one of the pages in the book.

Stop by and take a look.  It is time for me to get started on my book for 2012.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I have to do it my way......

I realized today that I really have to stop worrying about what others think.  What do I mean you ask?  I live alone.  I eat dinner at a tv tray and have a large dining room table that sits empty.  This table allows me the space I need to create; my drafting table is just too small.

I became ashamed after a friend made comments about my arts and crafts taking over.  I really felt bad and moved all of my thing from the table.  It looks very pretty, but, it is begging to be used.  I can hear it calling me, "use me to make cards, use me to make books, my molecules miss you."

It was then I realized that I put too much stock in what others think.  I stopped knitting and crocheting for over 10 years because my husband thought it was a waste of time.  How sad.  I stopped making cards because I convinced myself that the work wasn't good enough.  I stopped going within because I thought nothing was there.  How sad.

This is the funny part.  My husband died in January of 2001.  I was sitting the basement one Saturday morning in October and the thought hit me "Hey....there is no one to complain about me knitting..." I turned off the TV went to the yarn shop and bought yarn and needles and have been knitting and crocheting ever since.  I have made some of the best gifts.....

I am in the process of putting my art supplies back on the table.  My cutting mat is in place.  I have the most beautiful plant in the middle of the table and it will stay brings life to the creations.  Oh I feel so happy to be able to look at my table and see the things that make my heart sing.  I have made thank you cards, completed ATC for the Wild Card Swap and have startd backgrounds for the June Swap.  Gosh am I happy.

So, I am going to use the rest of my life perfecting my way of doing things.....should prove to be very interesting,

until next time......

Time of a Lifetime.......Annual ArtFest Retreat

I was reviewing my posts and find this one that I never published it was originally written April 11, 2011....enjoy

I returned yesterday from my second ArtFest Retreat.  Why do I call it a retreat?  Because it is a time for me to reconnect.  Reconnect to the part of me that loves to create.  This was my second year a ArtFest.  I was a lot more comfortable and was much more observant.  I got a chance (thanks to my creative soul sister Colleen) to see Port Townsend and taste its special flavor.  I had three outstanding classes from three outstanding teachers:  Jill K. Berry - Spontaneous Deconstructed Journal;  L K Ludwig The Big Book and Orly Avineri - The Art of Correspondence.

I have to say that each class brought something new out of me.  Deconstructed Journal class showed me how I could be spontaneous in creating a journal, and I love the technique Pochoir (I could tell you what it means, it's more fun to google it and see for yourself).  The Big Book class allowed me to play with the technique of scraping but it also showed me that I do not like binding books by sewing them. Give me a bind it all any day.  Love, Love, punching them holes.

The last class was The Art of Corespondence and I must say it was the best way to end the session.  The class was centered around making Post cards.  If you look below you will see a picture of one that I made.  You start out with a large sheet of water color paper, use ink, paint and imagination and the result is nothing less than spectacular.  I was thoroughly amazed at what I produced.

I love ArtFest and plan (God willing) to attend again next year.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I changed the page

I did it, I tried to like the cutesy page, but it just wasn't singing to my spirit, so I changed it to the one I wanted in the first place.  I loooooveeee the color spashes in the background.  Isn't life like that really?  Anyhoo, I am happy

Creating through Cancer......

A couple of months ago I changed the background of this blog to reflect my creative side. I looked at it over time and did not like it. I tried to change it but the page for change would not open up. I was really bummed about that. Today I realize that this is the correct page background for this time in my life. It is colorful and cheerful. Over the next few months I will need this as a reminder to be colorful and cheerful.

You see, I have breast cancer in both breasts. It is in the early stages and highly treatable. I will undergo radiation therapy on both breasts at a minimum. Not sure about any other forms of treatment. I had a lumpectomy of the left breast on May 20th and will have a lumpectomy of the right breast soon. This way I can have radiation therapy at the same time on both breasts.

I plan to spend this summer creating; blogging and journaling about my experience. I find that sitting down and letting the creative juices flow is quite exhilarating. In fact it puts a smile on my face. I will be working on Christmas presents, perfecting background painting techniques and just plain having as much fun as possible.

There is no time to feel sad, Sure there are moments when I feel a little down, that is normal. What I refuse to do is let it control my life. I have had a good one and expect to continue in that vein. I have a lot of changes to make in my life over the next few months.....I don't really know what they are at the moment, but I am sure the Spirit will lead me, just like He led me to write today.

The picture today is part of a collection of post cards I created while at ArtFest in Port Townsend, Washington this year. I had so much fun creating and I plan to continue. So, for today, I am going to work on the Family Reunion Souvenier book, complete ATC's for by Badbaby monthly swap and complete the lapghan I have been working on for months.

Until next time......

Friday, March 11, 2011

Where has the time gone?

Where has the time gone???? I have been really busy over the past few months and now time has just gotten away from me.  I decided to change the look of my blog to reflect more of what I do and love today.  Crafts...I have been taking classes, making books, learning to paint, participating in swaps.....just having fun. 

My journey has done a complete about face.  That is not to say that I am not still on a spiritual journey cause I am.  It's that the journey has led me to understand two things...
1.  I have to truly use those talents that I wrote about and said I was going to dig them up
2.  The creative process is truly spiritual.

Why is it spiritual?  Because you go deep within yourself to find that element of truth that is waiting to be released.  I participated in the Sketchbook Project sponsored by the Art House Coop in Brooklyn New York.  Just under 10,000 sketchbooks will be touring the country from March to August.  The link below will take you to the site so you can learn more,

I was so proud of myself when I mailed the finished book on Jan. 14th.  I did not make a copy (ok so I forgot) but it will be digitized and shown on the arthouse site later this year.  Next I created 38 pages of the same design for a Fatbook that will be given out at Artfest in April.  Mailed the completed work March 12th (picture to come).  Last night (March 9th) I finished the last of 50 books I made to give as trades for Artfest.

That is why I have been so busy.  Doing something I have never done before and loving it.  I had to let myself go and understand that it does not matter if everyone likes what I have done, it is the process, the mere effort of matching paper, glue, colors in a design that makes your heart smile that makes it all worth while.

I have one more major project to complete by May 1st.  The fiction book project also sponsored by Arthouse coop.  I will be writing and illustrating a book that will tour the country.  So much to do, so much to create.......Look what I found when I did a little digging.