About Me

My photo
i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

goosie-gander photography
i think that one of the very best things about the internet is the amazing friendships that it's possible to make. people that i may have never had an opportunity to meet and share with any other way are right there at the end of my fingertips.
talented people. kind people. generous people. really GOOD people.
one of my favorite people on the internet is Heather Addley aka goosie-gander. i first noticed Heather in flickr (www.flickr.com/photos/headdley) where her astonishingly beautiful photography caught my eye. Heather is a fellow macro enthusiast and manages to capture this magical world with enormous talent.

i was delighted to recently discover that she has her own website (http://www.goosie-gander.weebly.com/) and hope that you might take a moment and give yourself the pleasure of checking out her work. all of the photography within this post are shots that i've taken (with permission) from a beautiful book that i recently received full of her stunning imagery.

Heather has the ability to bring often overlooked things into focus with beautiful color and clarity. you will indeed be visiting worlds that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. fleeting moments that have been expanded into universes unto themselves. these are photos one can really be surprised by and get totally (and happily) lost in.

take a few minutes and treat yourself to the extraordinary art of Heather Addley.

trust me. you'll be glad that you did~!~

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

first off, i would like to thank everyone who has been kind and supportive while i've gone through the loss of Sophie. she was a gentle personality within my life that i will always miss but your kindness and patience has made the initial days of my grieving process much more bearable.
thank you.

you may remember that one of my Christmas postcards did not make it to it's intended destination and so i've been working on a replacement card: the tide pool card.
i finished and mailed it a couple of weeks ago. it has been received and is being deeply appreciated. this response to my art always both delights and humbles me as i see that what my creative mind and hands have produced has not only touched another person and lifted them to happiness, but also arrived in there life exactly "on time" or just when they seemed to need it most. a phenomenon that is simply not possible to predict.
while i'm working on a piece i often let intuition take it's course and am never completely sure just where i'm going creatively or where i'll end up . . . a bit scary and a LOT slow. i touched on this somewhat in one of my recent posts. at it's best, my creative process allows me to simply become a conduit for a (creative) power higher than mine . . . i think of it as being directly linked to Mother Nature (the ultimate creator). as i open up (and become more accepting of the fact that this process sets it's own pace) i have noticed an even greater joy in my artwork. so, interestingly, it boils down to trust . . .

coincidentally (?) my newest reading in "Wherever You Go There You Are" this morning ended like this:

". . . we could experiment with trusting the present moment, accepting whatever we feel or think or see in this moment because this is what is present now. If we can take a stand here, and let go into the full texture of now, we may find that this very moment is worthy of our trust. From such experiments, conducted over and over again, may come a new sense that somewhere deep within us resides a profoundly healthy and trustworthy core, and that our intuition, as deep resonances of the actuality of the present moment, are worthy of our trust."

so i go forward refreshing my commitment to the goal of carrying this trusting intuitive process into all parts of my life . . .

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies."
Mother Teresa
happy valentines day

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Charming Gardeners

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
Marcel Roust

i want to share my newest completed doll quilt which happens to be a collaborative effort. i pieced the top together approximately ten years ago (!time flies!) after being inspired by a similar quilt in one of my favorite books at the time called "Celebrate With Little Quilts" by Alice Berg, Mary Ellen Von Holt and Sylvia Johnson. on my last birthday a very good friend offered to quilt one of my unfinished tops for me . . . and after a LOT of thinking, i finally decided on this piece. She is a good hand quilter and i always admire how much she accomplishes with the time that she has . . . one of those people who is focused and able to see the usefulness of any idle moment and take advantage of it. now what that means is that she doesn't have much "spare" time so i was really honored that she wanted to combine my work with her own and i'm totally thrilled with this finished little quilt~!!~isn't it cute~!?!~ isn't it "happy"~!?!~ these would be the perfect words to describe my generous friend too ~ she's as close to a ray of sunshine as it gets and i am so grateful for our sweet friendship. every time i look at this little quilt i smile and think of her. she is definitely one of the "charming gardeners" who makes my "soul blossom".
the original quilt that i was inspired by is actually bigger than mine which measures approximately twenty four inches square. frequently i make changes and apparently that is the case with this one . . . it was so long ago i can't even remember for sure what i was thinking~!~
the yellow fabric that you see used in the background of the basket blocks and the outer border is one that i hand dyed myself.
i used a homespun yellow and green check fabric for the backing and i decided that i liked the way that it looked folded over to the front as a binding. this is not something i usually do but it seemed just right for this piece. unfortunately while i was trimming the batting away i accidentally nicked into my backing; not once, but twice~!~ now you need to imagine a fair bit of cursing at this point in the story . . . that went something like this: !@#$%!%$!#$#$#%$%^%%#$#$%$#^%$&^*&(&(()*^&%%^&%()*^%&^%&^%)))after i was finished with that exercise in creative speech i decided to make the best of it and just think like a child might while making her dolly a quilt . . . so i made a couple of small patches and carefully sewed them on. i then emphasized them with some primitive stitches in red thread. i think it turned out pretty darn charming (just like my friend)~!~
the quilting is far more complex than what was suggested by the book and the thread used for quilting was actually a weaving thread handed down from my friends grandmother to her. i've met this grandmother (who recently celebrated her 100th birthday) and it's easy to see where my friend gets her outstandingly fun personality~!!~
so in the end this piece is finished with sentiment beyond the many stories i could actually tell you and i will treasure it forever.

this is a macro shot of the label that i made which has all of the important information on it. i like to embroider around my labels once they are attached.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

lifting up the work
the thread waiting patiently
rhythm mends spirit
i'm a "Did" today Pom Pom~!!~

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a peek into my progress . . . the blocks are all sewn and i am now in the process of hand sewing them into their rows and the rows into the center section of the quilt. i have remained remarkably true to my initial vision and am quite satisfied. once the center is finished, i'll add a skinny (red) border and then it will be time to hand quilt it. that's my favorite part~!~

Carolyn asked me if this was a "slow cloth" and when i read her question i had to laugh because i live a slow life in general so yep, it must be~!~ Carolyns comment lead me (happily) back to her own blog and i discovered the term "slow cloth" once again . . . imagine Carolyn being thought of as slow at anything~!?!~ one of the reasons that i enjoy her blog so much is that there is always so much going on . . . so much to see . . . so much to LOVE~!!~ and her "slow cloth" piece was pictured in progress and it's no exception; it's bold, it's red, it's beautiful AND, apparently, it's "slow cloth" ~!~

so once again i was left pondering just what this term "slow cloth" was about . . . and via this link and that link and a brief google search i discovered Elaine of Red Thread Studio: www.lainie.typepad.com/redthread/ This is an intriguing term and she's given it a lot of thought and some definition within her blog. i will let you go and discover it if you're interested but in a very small nutshell it is the idea that one works through an art process with a lot of attention to the process itself, the history of the process and the joy found within that process and less attention to the finished product. it seems like such an obvious thing: enjoying the creative moment but it's amazingly easy to become caught up in achievement in art simply for the sake of the finished work. i am constantly raking myself over the coals about what must be done in any given day and what isn't crossed off of that (long) list is ammunition i use against myself to consider my self worth less.

i used to be this busy, productive person who could do pretty much anything that i concentrated on trying to do. very energetic and very motivated. but even when i was at my peak (so to speak) i found that i would get through my art pieces in a relatively slow manner . . . allowing one process to influence the next. sounds good doesn't it? the problem was (and still is) that i didn't think that was good enough. i was constantly comparing myself to others who seemingly finished so much more than i did. i see now that i almost had it right . . . it just might be okay to work in this way and it's okay if that happens to mean less measurable progress.
i know, i'm ranting . . . still trying to piece it all together and feeling like i almost have it figured out . . . the "zen" of practicing art . . .

all of this thinking has brought to mind a book that i've had for quite some time called "Wherever You Go There You Are" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. i dug it out and have begun to re-read it.

this a.m. i read: "Fundamentally, mindfulness is a simple concept. Its power lies in its practice and its applications. Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. This kind of attention nurtures greater awareness, clarity, and acceptance of present-moment reality. It wakes us up to the fact that our lives unfold only in moments. If we are not fully present for many of those moments , we may not only miss what is most valuable in our lives but also fail to realize the richness and the depth of our possibilities for growth and transformation."

before i retired i was feeling completely overwhelmed. i was angry and less capable of doing what i needed to do with every passing day. so i pursued and was given the gift of an early retirement. i looked forward to being able to take better care of myself and yes, enjoying each moment that i could more fully. i'm surprised to be discovering that in some ways i've become much less satisfied with life in general and with myself in particular. how in the world could this possibly happen when i'm given each day with the only real agenda being self care~!?!~ if i take things easy and rest as much as i should then i feel lazy and unproductive but if i add many things to my to-do lists i feel sick and sicker . . . quite the nasty cycle.

one of the suggested exercises within the beginning of this book is to just "stop": to simply be a witness to a given moment (or more if you can). JUST a witness, nothing more. "Die to having to have anything be different in this moment; in your mind and in your heart, give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are." i'll tell you that it's a lot harder than it sounds~!~
. . . the "zen" of practicing life . . .

i'll also tell you that Gracie thinks she has a thing or two to teach me about this whole process. she is a regular practitioner of this mindful moment stuff . . . the "zen" of being a cat . . .