Thursday, March 27, 2008



This is my last post here.

SBS 11 - Difficult Decision

After quite a long, difficult deliberation, and not wanting to catch any of you off guard -- I am resigning from SBS 11. Essentially, because we all do our own thing then post about it (no challenges or trades or RAKs or interactions or mingles, etc.), I feel the SBS 11 group amounts to 20 blogs I 'must' read every day, or at least often. Lovely women & blogs, all, great art, but with my personal, professional and other artistic irons-in-the-proverbial fire, I'm just not willing to continue with that commitment.

Best regards and HIGH KUDOS to all of you!


I had already decided last night that I really NEEDED (not just wanted) to start a new blog anyway, that my mind, my art, my internal place have all been leading me in that direction. BE ON THE LOOKOUT, as the new blog creation is already under way.

Then, this morning, I received this "Daily OM" email.

March 27, 2008
Life As We Know It
The Status Quo

When our lives are going well, and sometimes even when they aren’t, we may find ourselves feeling very attached to the status quo of our existence--life as we know it. It is a very human tendency to resist change as though it were possible to simply decide not to do it, or have it in our lives. But change will come and the status quo will go, sooner or later, with our consent or without it. We may find at the end of the day that we feel considerably more empowered when we find the courage to ally ourselves with the universal force of change, rather than working against it.

Of course, the answer is not to go about changing things at random, without regard to whether they are working or not. There is a time and place for stability and the preservation of what has been gained over time. In fact, the ability to stabilize and preserve what is serving us is part of what helps us to survive and thrive. The problem comes when we become more attached to preserving the status quo than to honoring the universal givens of growth and change. For example, if we allow a situation we are in to remain stagnant simply because we are comfortable, it may be time for us to summon up the courage to challenge the status quo.

This may be painful at times, or surprisingly liberating, and it will most likely be a little of both. Underneath the discomfort, we will probably find excitement and energy as we take the risk of unblocking the natural flow of energy in our lives. It is like dismantling a dam inside ourselves, because most of the work involves clearing our own inner obstacles so that the river of our life can flow unobstructed. Once we remove the obstacles, we can simply go with the flow, trusting the changes that follow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oh Great ...

It seems I've exceeded my photo upload quota for a single blog on Blogspot. Didn't know there was such a thing.

Now what, start a Flicker account and refer everyone over to that whenever I have pictures? I hate that.

Start a new blog? With my picture-taking obsession, that means a new blog every 6 months.

Once I figure out what I want to do, I guess you'll get to see the rest of the Chinese Cultural Center pictures, and any art I might do in the meanwhile.

I'm pissed. And I don't feel well enough to deal with this stupidity right now. I'm going to bed.

Chinese Cultural Center - Red Wood

Kevin had physical therapy today, down by the Chinese Cultural Center, & although I left work at one to go home to sleep, as it turned out, alternative drivers to get him there and pick him up didn't work out. I had to go. I had to stay awake (it's too hot, already, to snooze in my truck while he's upstairs), but I couldn't tolerate the idea of trying to hold my head up for an hour in the doctor's lobby. So I took my MuthaCam along with me, and prayed the gardens would be unlocked this time. THEY WERE!!! Tri-corner red lacquer lacy wood. My favorite photo, this group. What an image/angle, as if the tree is riding in a boat across the sky, & dipping some of its limbs in the sky-water! Red lacquer, red lantern. Red lacquered eave [is that a dance?] Corner carving: detail Banana palm leaves and pagoda.
Wooden lace. Octopi-like roofline. Silhouetted pagoda wings.

Altered Book: A Sense of Place - Progress

All of my altered book spreads got finished Friday evening and Saturday, except the sign-in page. The cover, just masking taped to death, then coated with white gesso. This is just a base prep; I won't do the cover until after it comes back to me with the other 3 women's spreads. On the left is the tag that goes into the sewn triangular pocket. This one is my favorite layout. These are the back sides of 2 vintage envelopes, which I stamped then painted in. The tags inserted into the vintage envelopes. The backs of the tags -- I mean it when I say I'm trying to lighten up myself, be more fanciful! This one is Double BB's favorite layout.

RAK, Doodles, & Doodle-Inspired Art Piece

This is an Easter RAK I received from Jeri, who leads the An Affair With Art online group. Lovely, but fun, too! I am on a mission to lighten up my art, to step back occasionally from the literal kind of things I make. Saturday morning, I decided to take some sheets of bond paper and just -- scribble. Then I turned each sheet this way and that, to 'see what I could see' by way of shape & form -- whimsical, ethereal, suggested, fanciful. Lovely birds! That's all I was able to see in this sheet! Another of the 4 doodled base pages I did on Saturday morning. Voila! Some of the 'pieces' and/or 'forms' I saw in this doodled page. More doodle ideas. Notice, especially, the one in the bottom left-hand corner. This is Genevieve, who came to life in about 11 minutes -- but because she is such a lady, she still manages to look composed & elegant. I just had to see what I could make with one of the doodled shapes, & Genevieve arrived!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Want My Mommy!

Started feeling wonky on Sunday. By yesterday morning it was all over - The Flu Had Arrived. When I'm sick, like this, I still just want My Lovely Mother's presence, her hand on my forehead gauging my fever, her voice saying softly, 'How are doing?' What I mostly remember about yesterday, though, is that I accidentally left the TV a) turned on, and b) tuned in to whatever channel it is that shows American's Next Top Model reruns, and so every time I woke up, I seemed to be catching the latest elimination. Lots of bawling ANTM model rejects. Lots of funky odd dreams as a result of bawling model rejects.

Today, my back is so sore from laying in bed all day yesterday that I'm attempting to sit up for awhile. It's not working because then my queasy stomach starts rising into my throat even though there's nothing in it, and my head hurts/pounds so much I only want to go lay down. I think today is going to be a very long day, but I can promise the TV will not be tuned into another ANTM marathon. ANNOYING ! ! ! P.S. Somehow, even in my stupor, I did manage to pick the woman who actually won the contest. This young lady's name is Saleisha, and I thought she seemed very Halle Berry-esque. That is a quality I would love to have more of: Halle Berry-esque-ness.

But first I have to go lay down.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Window Ledge Vignette

This vignette, in our master bath, caught my eye as I passed from the kitchen to our bedroom. I don't normally see it at this time of day (1 p.m.), not even on weekends, and I immediately noticed the angle of the light. This is the bathroom Double BB designed and decorated, in white and gray, one black & white beach/dune grass photo, white accents and wood furniture, deep deep lilac towels and rugs. I adore this bathroom, it is so spa-like, so CLEAN feeling, so perfect. AND the only finished room in our fix-er-upper house. Seashells, starfish, and Double BB's ancestors. (Actually, the photo is one from the newspaper, a couple we adopted because we have NO pictures of Bobby's family.) Three white candles. Candle, open window, and fresh green oleanders.

My Secret Loves - Coming Out of the Closet

This entry is solely inspired by the oh-so-sweetly fierce Beth. These are things I heretofore hadn't run around bragging that I love, but now I'm shouting them to the world!

I love:
The Carpenters, the Partridge Family, & even hollerin' Michael Bolton
blowing bubbles
farting INTO the campfire (& admiring my own gaseous plumes)
Herbie the Love Bug
Top Chef & Anthony Bourdain "No Reservations"
The Waltons, reruns, movies, anything
Having somebody else brush my hair
Big Stick Crayons & Cinderella coloring books
Barbie movies (thanks to Ciera)
Hugging my friends & loved ones, even if they're shy about it
Writing letters (handwritten, NOT EMAIL)
Making snow angels (which I have to do in the sand, out here in the desert)
Climbing into fountains & splashing
Wearing high heels, even tho' I'm already 5'-10" tall
Dresses/skirts better than jeans
Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy storybooks
Hearts - especially necklaces & earrings
Going to places like Nordstrom's to try on formalwear, making the snooty saleswomen cow-tow even when I have no intention of buying anything!
Mumbling French epithets under my breath when somebody pisses me off
Drinking milk out of the carton
Checking out the titles on other people's bookshelves
Riding in the back of pick-up trucks
Sleeping outdoors
More whipped cream than anything else in my hot cocoa or latte drinks!
Eating whipped cream out of the can, actually!
Eating frosting out of the can, too, come to think of it!
Food fights (picture the scene out of Fried Green Tomatoes)
Kissing Scenes in movies
Benecio del Toro, the only other man on the planet aside from Double BB that I could NOT say no to
Being photographed, even though I always HATE pictures of myself
Dancing in my studio, me with me
Listening to music on the way to work and pretending it's me, in concert, playing that mind-blowing guitar solo or singing my lungs out!
Rubbing my palm across the sheen or texture of wood & stone

Ok, maybe that's enough for now. Beth, I'm waiting to see what YOUR list looks like (ha!!)

Friday, March 21, 2008

More Field Day - Oh, The Stabs of Nostalgia!!

I used to love doing this with a big mud puddle in the middle. Why don't we adults get off our lard butts and do more of this? Giggle & carry-on & play games ... key word: PLAY!! Chris says Ciera is taller than everyone in her first grade class except one other girl, and also taller than most of the 2nd and 3rd graders. Well, consider: Chris himself (& his twin, Cam) is 6'-4"; I'm 5'-10", my maternal Grandpa was 6'-3" ... I hope she never never never becomes self-conscious about it! In this picture, it must be said, Ciera looks exactly like her Aunt Toni. Really strange sensation!
Strategizing? Scoping out the competition? Do they make bags big enough for tall adults to race?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ciera's First Grade Field Day

This just in from my bro', Chris: "Field Day was FUN!!! Ciera won her long foot race!! Her legs are so long, they other kids dont have a chance (not even the boys). Her First Grade class won the tug of war against all the First Graders AND her class beat the Second Graders!!!"

Altered Book: A Sense of Place

[front] My on-line group, An Affair with Art, is now holding an altered book round robin. This is my first official altered book, although I do some serious remodeling on/in all my journals! Hence, some nerves and general quakings. Here is the first page (front and back), complete. I'm to do four layouts, then move it along (four women in my group). My theme is A Sense of Place ... to be a journaled depiction of wherever it is that each woman becomes herself, in the deepest way, feels most secure, creative, powerful. [back]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wings 4 You: Accomplishments, Qualities, and Affirmations ("Who I Am Now")

Synchronicities bloom and abound! Dame Carla posted another list of prompts, which I only now finished scribbling to myself about in my Journey Journal. I love it! I just wrote this morning, in my regular journal, that I wished I could get each subsequent prompt AS SOON AS I finished the prior one, and here she was anticipating me!

Prompt One: brainstorming a list of the things I've accomplished, things that have made me proud of myself. Now dig it, I'm writing all this in a regular composition book from Walmart ... each page has 23 lines, so I stopped at 23. I'm going to summarize, too, and just give you five.
1. Balance beam
2. 21 years of marriage, and my sons
3. Creative writing, visual art, 32 years of journal-writing
4. Adjustment to new places, people, environments, atmospheres (moving all my life)
5. My natural athletic ability, i.e. great dancer, good at almost any sport, that sort of thing

Prompt Two: Recognize and list the personal qualities I have that make these accomplishments possible These five are listed in the order of how many times each of them appeared in my individual accomplishment breakdowns.
1. Open-minded
2. Seeking change
3. Risk taker
4. Work ethic
5. Laugh at self/sheer joy

Prompt Three: Write these qualities as affirmations of who you are right now. Start each affirmation with "I am" and write it in the present tense.
1. I am willing to put in the time, effort & personal sacrifice, for as long as it takes, needed to make & SEE progress.
2. I am brave and welcoming in the face of change.
3. I am an explorative, original, abundant & adventurous writer and artist.
4. I am happy to appear foolish in pursuit of my dreams, and I am an initiator.
5. I am articulate and fascinated by all manner of communication & contact, with others and myself. Affirmations take mental refuse, such as this, and obliterate it. Look at it -- it's nothing but weather-worn bits, disintegrating to dust under the slightest positive thought-breeze! Affirmations make clear the difference between building blocks and debris, and make mental house-cleaning so EASY! Who needs Martha Stewart (did I say that!)?

Dame Carla says, and I LOVE this, "You can use affirmations to positively mobilize your inner resources." And by means of such simple ingredients: Accomplishments, to Qualities, to Affirmations.

[photos: mine]

DJ Boo Bear

This just in from Chris: "Ciera got gold "grills" for her front teeth ... "

Ohhhhh, Anthropologie

Just got an Anthropologie email, with this dress on the cover. Inside description: Gibraltar's Gleam Dress: Like sunlight bouncing off rolling waves, a strait of polished trim dazzles below ocean-blue cotton and reflects the silvery stitching found along the draped sweetheart bodice.

This dress ... oh, this dress!

--------- I REALLY MUST LEARN TO SEW!!!!!!!!!! The catalog price is $178. Ridiculous!!! Just plain ridiculous ... I don't sew but I can recognize overpriced when I see it. The bodice appears somewhat complex, but the bottom is one seam between the two fabrics, gathered waist. C'mon. I could do this, with help.

Any volunteers?

Today's Message from the Universe

"Take it from the farmer in me, Antonia... the more seeds you sow, the more plants we'll grow.

I love wearing overalls,"

The Universe

This has particular potency for me due to my history with overalls (which I, too, LOVE wearing, and embroidering on)

... & the more blown-out, frayed, faded & raggedy, the better!

[Googled image]