Friday, August 31, 2007

Camping in the Cool Country!

I'm going up tomorrow to join my hubby and sons in the cool country (I can never leave on Fridays cuz I do payroll) ... so here are some scans of recent stuff to hold you over!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One of My Dreams

This is a dream I have over & again, and each time it progresses a little -- a continuation dream. I love it!

July 12th Collage

I did this collage on my birthday, just past. The painted drawing of the lady is copied from a breast cancer article; I loved it and wanted to see if I could duplicate it. [I can't remember the article, but it seems the publication was Cooking Light - but maybe not.]

What I wrote on the opposite page is this:

"Today is my birthday. I always look inside to make certain I still know who I really am. At work, and sometimes in other places and at other times, I feel like the mannequin, someone who is very careful about her behavior because of my circumstances. But inside, I am soft, sometimes hurting, always honest, fragile but also strong, and today as I am copying/trying to painting this, I feel beautiful. My heart stays pure because I remember to laugh, and to love, and also to create."

"Want It" (visualization collage)

Left and Right sides of open spread collage/visualization. I love this one.

French Dream Collage

Collage with Red

These are the left/right sides of a journal layout -- I wanted to play with shades of cream as a base, and add red. LOVE the way it turned out. On the top left corner of the right side is a coffee filter -- I'll use it as the pocket for my journal entry.

Somebody Please 'splain ...

... what the H-E-double toothpicks is going on with women's tennis? I tried to watch some last night & couldn't think for the massive, continuous, decibel-cranked GRUNTS. I used to love to watch tennis, & just chanced across this match on an obscure cable channel. Not only do I love the game, the finesse, the serves and swings and lobs, but also the sound of the players' shoes on the clay or surface, the satisfying whack of the ball against the rackets, the referree gently shushing the crowd if their volume escalated above a whisper.

I don't get it -- for umpteen decades, tennis players have managed to play serious, hard-core, kick-butt tennis without punctuating every hit with an eardrum-shattering shriek. What ARE these women thinking? Is this a new audio trend in athletics, these ridiculous grunts, screams, cries, EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY HIT A TENNIS BALL? Why isn't the ref shushing these players? Do they need their estrogen levels adjusted? Honestly, they're out-grunting the male players of ANY sport. Gimme a break, zip it and let's just play some tennis, here.

Great Quote

My Uncle Scott sent this:

Drinking a cuppa at Starbucks, I saw this quote and fell in love with it. - Scott.

"Childhood is a strange country. It's a place you come from or go to - at least in your mind. For me it has an endless, spellbound something in it that feels remote. It's like a little sealed-vault country of cake breath and grass stains where what you do instead of work is spin until you're dizzy."

~~ Lyall Bush, Exec. Dir. of Richard Hugo House, a center for writers & readers

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Re-Think of Postings

I came home tonight in a frenzy of excitement, wanting to review my journals to see what I wanted to post (i.e. the collage to go with the 'Bones' poem I already posted). But in reviewing that, and some of the other precious/proud pages, I realized I had used several black & white photos which I'm not sure are copyright-free. Matter o'fact, I know that the ones I used in the Bones collage are NOT -- I ripped them out of Focus magazine and another collection of photos. I don't want to start a habit of showing 'my' work when it's centered on the art of others, not unless a) I have their permission and/or b) I can give credit, name the photographer, or at the very least the exact publication/page. No no no. I would feel pretty intruded upon if someone did that to me. So instead I'm going to stick to other, equally cool pages but which I can call 'mine' in a more precise sense. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I'm still in the copying stage, and when it comes to 'drawn' things, I'm probably ALWAYS going to be in that stage. So some of my journal entries include elements I've seen/been inspired by in magazine ads or articles, and I've incorporated them into a journal entry and made them my own. I'm making it my statement right now that if I've done that, I'll make sure to say so when I post such an entry. I'm also going to pay close attention, going forward, to the sources of the images I use, write down names of folks, publications, etc.

Actually, my hope is that I'll have more time, and the resources, to start shooting my own photographs. Having been my Dad's unofficial-but-rapt understudy all these years, and as I told Veronica -- I'm capable of taking some darn good pictures. And if they're 'mine', I can do whatever I want with and to them without ANY unintentional or accidental thievery.

Bottom line is that every artist in every genre works too hard at his craft for Toni Baloney to come along & partake without concern or care, even if what I make out of it is 'good shite'!!! As long as it's in my personal journal, which normally nobody sees but me, I am willing to live with myself. But posting it feels wrong.

Scanner at Work

There has been a scanner sitting to my right, here at work, for two years ... coated with dust, never been used, never seen anyone here use it. I thought it was broken, and (like all things here) no one had gotten the urge to unplug it and tote it to the trash.

This morning, I looked at the scanner. The scanner looked back at me. The scanner winked, said, 'Hey, Baby!' I blinked. I got out my journal, found a page, and stuck it under the lid (this is a flatbed scanner). I plunked down in the chair in front of my neighboring computer (which sits lonely 6 hours out of 8) and waddya know, there was a scanner port shortcut icon on the desktop. Click. 'warming up lamp' ... when that was done, I clicked on 'scan' ...

well, I'm attaching the results of the 3 attempts I made, my journal in various stages of either advance page prep or one actual entry. COOL!!! Now I'm going to go nuts thinking of everything I've wanted to put on my blog that I couldn't scan, prior to this!!! WHOO HOOOO!!!!

Top: an advanced-prep page, which includes a vintage envelope on the bottom, circa 1873. I love hiding journal entries within a journal entry in these envelopes. The shell stamp is Christine Adolph's design called 'Parisian Shell' from her Shore Cliff series (one of my very favorite stamp designers/lines).

Middle: Another prepped page with 'faux postage' made by me using Michelle Ward's 'Bird Sanctuary' stamp line from Stampington & Co.

Bottom: A completed page. The vintage B&W photo came with a whole stack of others from my friend/co-worker, Greg. The pink/brown-ish background to that is actually a sanded/color-washed postcard that comes with my orders from KT Crafts ... I LOVE her logo/business cards and decided to use one somehow in my journal (thanks, Kelly).

Monday, August 27, 2007

Minnie Driver, Sea Stories

My review, as posted on Amazon. My first time ever doing that!

Sultry, Sensational, But No Surprise, August 23, 2007
By "Antoniafufu" AZ USA

Ms. Driver applies all her skills as an actor to her musical expression in this CD: nuance, heat, subtlety, aplomb, and genuine presence. Sea Stories has lived in my CD players (work, vehicle, & home) since I purchased it 4 weeks ago. Her ability to take a single word and massage 12 emotions out of it represents, to me, her effortless interaction with her deepest self and her willingness to deliver what she finds there. Listen to her sing the phrase:

"They're smiling but they're thinking:
'there but for the grace of God'",

from the infinitely exquisite [& my favorite] track 'Coming Back to Life.'

I'm also tickled by the character Ms. Driver conjures for me in 'Mary': 'Go ahead and cry, but let that be the last thing you give him, Honey, now let's go inside & make a voodoo doll' ...

Sea Stories ambushes the senses in the loveliest way -- not at all by sneak attack, but with its directness, its accessibility, the maturity of melody & lyric, and the range afforded by Minnie Driver's vocal skill. Not at all surprising, either, is the imprint of her creative hand in the writing of the songs -- her ownership of their emotion and message by virtue of her immediate center in the songwriting lends itself to the full-bodied ease of her delivery.

This is one of the few PERFECT CD's ever to have entered my world.

Bobby Brown, by request (here ya go, Kelly-lol)

These are the most recent pictures I have of my husband -- these were taken May '06 in Italy (Venice, Tuscany, Rome) & only tolerated [by him] because of the fact that we were in Italy & do-overs weren't exactly going to be possible the following weekend. Normally, he will NOT allow his photo taken; or he makes ridiculous faces to ruin all potential shots. In these Italy pics, he's containing his disdain of being photographed to the point that he looks either serious as a monk, or seriously constipated (sorry, Honey)!!! But who cares, he's still gorgeous, gorgeous I say!!

Top: in Venice, Bobby, me, my mom (Molly)
Next: in Rome, looking at a ruin of a horse racing track.
Next: in Rome, he not only hates having his picture taken, he doesn't want to see it in the digi-cam
Bottom: in Tuscany, Bobby & friends taking a cooking class (the fried sage they made for us was INCREDIBLE!!! I'll never forget that. The whole meal was good but that sage, wowza!)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Piece I'm Proudest of, To-Date

This piece, entitled Honored Remains, was a commission from my younger brother, Cameron. He & his twin, Chris (Ciera's Dad), are longtime airplane wreck-chasing devotees, & on their initial wreck chases, they collected pieces of the wreckage. Once they learned this was anti-protocol amongst the chasing community, they immediately stopped, but already had amassed these pieces. Cam wanted to do something special with them, & gave me complete freedom as to what I did. It took me quite a while, but when a guy I work with gave me a leftover piece of fence fabric & a bunch of old, perfectly rusted wire, then idea seemed obvious [thanks, Greg!] -- a 'memorial' [or shrine, of sorts], like people everywhere create in makeshift fashion at the sites of tragedies great & small.

This was an emotional piece for me because I wanted to personalize it, make the lost lives dimensional somehow amid the wreckage. I ended up using a woman's wedding band, earring, & scarf, an old leather-covered button from a man's vintage coat, a child's piece of artwork, even a copy of a death certificate, & entwining those with the crash pieces, to humanize all the broken metal.

I'm extremely proud of this, more than anything I've done yet.

The link below is to Cam & Chris' website where Cam's written commentary on the piece/each photo, reside. I really appreciate Cam challenging me with this commission, & their honoring it on their website.

Age Sings the Music of Bones

I wrote this poem in response to a collage/piece I did in the visual journal for the crew guy I work with. I wish [I WISH] I had a scanner and could upload the collage, but the poem also stands alone, for me.

Age sings the music of bones,
pared down, finally, from
the flesh of
so many unanswered questions,
uncertainty & hesitation,
inexperience, & fear,

to a skeleton of
honed realities framing
simply-shaped dreams,
fewer, more fine & focused,
knit together by
self-awareness &
hard-won answers.

Bones rattle a more pure song --
fewer chords, perhaps,
but a stronger melody,
& at last in the
brave key of

L. Antonia Brown
8:45 a.m.


These are shots Chris took on his cell phone of Alex, my nephew (the blond-headed guitarist on the left) & his band, called Trinsic. They had a gig at a local record store this past Friday night, which I bloody missed because of my bloody migraine!!! Alex looks like a natural -- well, shoot, he IS, he is his father's son! I'm still $%&#%**^@%&@ mad because I missed it. Frickin' headaches!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dream Journal-Writing Location

I am in AWE of this gypsy wagon, I want it! I want it! I want it! The color, all the nooks and crannies, the graceful shape, the mobility. I sent this picture to my best friend, Veronica, and we both ended up 'shopping' e-bay for gypsy wagons. They're out there to be had, just slightly above my present budget (ha!) This photo is from the trailer/stills for a movie called Stardust, with Michelle Pfeiffer.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Lettuce Fest & Rest

Ciera and Snowflake taking a lettuce break on the couch.

Ciera's 'familiar'

This is Snowflake, sweet sniffer, lettuce-feaster!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Heart

This is Ciera, my 6 year old niece, who confidently totes my heart around in one palm & her gerbil (hamster?), Snowflake, in the other. Ciera-Boo-Beara, she of the jump rope mania, the 'Daddy, I don't WANT a ponytail' wail, she who is the serious fashionista (pink, or cheetah, please, & all of her jynormous collection of jewelry at once), she who can ingest 29 vienna sausages in a row if Daddy isn't monitoring her intake, she who will consume pickles and/or cheese coming, going, & in her sleep, even the 'stinky' cheese, she who usually possesses 'garden feet'(dirty dirty dirty, but with polished toenails) whenever I visit, which is a lot.

Now is most definitely the time for her official introduction to this-my-blog, as she figures prominently in my every thought.

Little Girl Now

Lyric idea:

If you close your eyes now & pause
All will be dusk & trees, a hush ...
A calm inside, like a doe at full moon
& then can you finally think to let go?
Drink the dark, cool inhalation?
Cover under the green air blanket?
Dream of wind-brought silences
& NOT needing, NOT grasping?

just rolling over -
playing make believe -
shhh a litle girl now
like a little girl

unclamp the vice of bitter remains --
ask, once again, an innocent 'why?' --
then forget the question & wander away
to the fascination of a field of daisies.
It's as simple as that - can you recall?
No magic to making Barbie dolls real --
No effort in moments slowly unwinding.
or counting miles 'tween thunder & lightning.

it's just rolling over --
playing make believe --
Shhh ... like a little girl, now
... Like a little girl
shhh ... like a little girl, now
... like a little girl

testing a photo upload

My Sweet Niece!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lunchtime Nostalgia

I love the smell when I open a tea bag -- it doesn't matter what kind of tea it is. Even in this humid, 115-degree weather. But really, tea and cold weather just absolutely go one-with-the-other. Standing in front of a pane of windows frosted over, feet in a pair of thick socks, hair in a pony tail, gazing out at the stars and both hands cupped around a steaming cup of Lemon Lift or Earl Grey or white jasmine or apple-cider tea. such an incredible feeling of being in a coccoon amid a chill. At night is beautiful enough, but I love doing the same thing on a winter morning. At Grandpa Andy's farm, I always stood by the window over the kitchen sink because I could see the short stalks left from the corn jutting up through the snow, & the vast stretch of the fields, the bare black trunks & arms of the trees on the wind breaks, the railroad tracks, the cattle all huddled in the corrals. It was like seeing that whole world in a snapshot. Grandpa always came to fill his coffee cup, in his old green parka, and he'd stand beside me and put his hand on my shoulder. He seemed to understand my holding still, and taking it all in, because he never rushed me. He also used to point things out to me, little vignettes -- pheasant crossing the road, a windmill turning, a mother cow & her calf standing at a salt lick.

Everything is making me cry. EVERYTHING. Not hard, and not for long, but lots of fast tears. Odd.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Spare Dream

Took a nap. Restless sleep, hot. Dreamed I rented a hovel on an Indian reservation in a place that reminded me of our drive from Phoenix to Telluride in 2002. Dusty, bare, endless weaves of layered mesas in colors from tan to lilac to sage. Very few plants but oh! A universe of skies. And clouds. The hovel? Sides of cracked, fissured earth, a door of wood so old it was nearly dust itself. Water from a hand pump. Outside toilet. A cot bed, springs & frame. Mattress propped on the wall. One straight-backed chair. No glass in any of the windows, but what a blessing with those views of that sky, that world above. As I was hanging my few clothes on nails along one wall & rinsing my dishes {enough only for one} in a big metal bowl of water I'd already pumped, a man drove up in an ancient and rusty truck. An Indian man with hair black & sleek to his belt. A threat, somehow, in his walk as he approached me. He said, "White woman -- you're not welcome."

'My money was acceptable enough,' I told him.

"What do you want here?"

'Do you welcome someone who is only seeking silence, solitude, and the sky?'

He was a beautiful man. I felt him. I watched him. He looked at the sky for a long time. Then he said, "For a price."

'What price?'

"You make love to me."

I turned and went into the hovel. He followed and then stopped in surprise, to see me re-packing my clothes and dishes.

"Is that a no, then?" he asked, his voice changed.

'Oh -- I would have made love to you freely, if you would have said anything but what you did. You're a beautiful man. Beautiful. But to have sex as payment for something I don't owe? Never.'

Then I woke up. I was angry, upon awakening, because I'd really wanted him and he'd made it impossible.

I have no idea where that dream came from. To be stripped like that, to bare earth and the most minimal of shelter -- all of it a backdrop for a sky that brought my soul back into my throat. And a place for meeting such an exquisite man -- a man obviously as confused in his own way as I was. I'm still hungry - to touch his hair, to breathe it, lay on his back with my breasts tangled in it, my head back and my eyes staring at that sky.

I was asleep less than 30 minutes and I FEEL like I lived a week in some parallel universe. Like being given a vision but not being able to explain it to myself. Just react, over & over.

Arizona impressions

[written while/after looking at some of my dad's photographs from the Grand Canyon]

Arizona lies horizontal.
Sage & saguaro reach to the side, hold
light the color of sand, or the color of
an exhalation – something lilac & rich.

To take a walk is to erode to a texture, like
all I find around me:
branches on the ground weathered
like the pock-marked face of a used-car salesman,
gray but full of promises.
Every stone is almost the same color as the one next to it,
pulled & rounded from the same river & from being
skipped by the same tides of wind.
The grass is suntanned & skeptical, spiked like a Mohawk on
the head of the earth where it grows.
I can’t take a step without my boots crackling over something, &
then the mountains are framed by surprised quotes of birds.
Everywhere, I hear insects & wind, insects & wind,
a strange harmony, almost but not quite soothing,
like a lullaby with too much percussion.

The coyotes step more lightly than any animal, & run skittish
at every rustle made by their own paws.
Watching them, I want to run like they do, all grace & question.

The sky unfurls in long narrow stripes:
cyan, ecru,
rust, peach, celadon,
a banner providing no hints about the weather it shields.
But to look at the sky is to know the landscape beneath it.
Hills are truly mesas, tables, with edges blunt & scarred.
The scrub hovers close to the ground, clinging, the
way the wild animals do when they walk,
the way a nearby rider's horse does,
almost a courteous tiptoe before the majesty of this outdoors.

This is a masculine landscape,
luring the truly female from me –
It is dangerous but protective.
It is direct.
It is firm.
Its contours could be the ridges of
a man’s abdomen, or the slope of his back.
I want to lie down here.
I want to lie down & be touched, rolled,
like this place.

I want to stretch horizontally
like the cacti
& the long loping riverbed,

to be filled;

and finally
exhale, something lilac & rich
& fully weathered.


Performance Anxiety

Veronica, you inspired me, so here's my blog. I have no pictures of MOI to post, so I chose the 'scribe' template.