Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Found Ritual

Its always interesting to me that when you start reading blogs you really never know where they will lead you. I was reading Superhero Journal's blog
and I found a link to this little ritual on Jen Lemen's blog. It's all about letting go and is very simple but powerful too. It might be just what you need to get moving in some area in your life. I have done similar things with writing on
paper and then tossing the paper into a fire but being out in nature might be an added dimension.

We might go take a drive in the Mountains today so I'll be back later.

I did this journal page on a favorite line from Mary Oliver's poem The Summer Day.

Here is the entire poem

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

I started a new journal for writing and of course I needed to decorate the cover. First I put gesso on the cover and then added Portfolio water soluble oil pastels. Then I added a light wash to blend the colors. I glued down these 2 images and then stamped the vine in the remaining space. I really like the look of this.

While reading Olivia's posting today I went to Jesse's blog. She has an interesting challenge going that on one hand I am afraid to do and on the other hand I can't resist. It involves the quote "Do one thing that scares you every day" - Eleanor Roosevelt. So her challenge is to do this for a month. For me the first step was saying I will do this so that is the first fear that I faced today. I have done a journal page on this that I will post later.

Friday, September 28, 2007

River Bound

I did manage a trip to the river yesterday. I brought Flynn and we had a nice long walk. Here he is taking a drink. Usually that means he gets in the water to get his belly wet and sometimes more. It really was a beautiful day for a walk.

Here is the Art I did yesterday, I am still going through the book on drawing realistic faces. I tried noses, lips, ears and hair. I find it easy to follow their lead. It may be another thing when I try to draw a real person. I think the next step will be to try and draw from a photograph.

I was working on my mermaid and it really looks awful so I have painted over it and will start again. Maybe I need to approach it differently. Maybe do it in watercolor or just collage one. I have the weekend to finish and be happy about it.

I got the Heart book in the Mail. This was a book I was involved with after meeting Elise Buskey at the Artnest Retreat. Some of the copies will be given to artists at Art & Soul in Portland next week. I had mine mailed to me since I am not attending.

Look how fat this book is! It is really incredible to say the least. There are 34 different artists in this book who did both from and back pages. I'd love to show it to you but to uploaded 68 pages will be a bit much. I will bring it to Sedona, those who are going to the gathering will at least get a chance to see it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Living With Intention

This morning when I got up and immediately turned on CNN to see what was happening in the world I thought I need to come up with a new morning ritual. So after turning off the TV I decided to meditate instead. I don't do a real formal meditation. Sometimes I just sit, sometimes I will focus on breathing, listen to a CD, sometimes I write. Today I decided to just light a candle, some incense and breathe and if any ideas came to me that I would just jot them down.

Today's ideas were all about setting an intention for the day like they did in the What the Bleep movie. So I am intending a few things today rather than letting the day take a hold and go wherever it wants to. The idea is so freeing, just how do you want your day to go today. Try thinking of that in the morning and set some intentions and see how it goes.


Art for today. I worked on these journal pages yesterday. I think the gratitude one needs a little work yet. I found it hard to write over the oil pastel. The only thing that worked was a Fiber Casteel Pitt Brush pen.

I had one background page I did that I hated the color so I just lobbed more paint on the page and really liked the results. This time I was just using cheap acrylic craft paint. I keep forgetting that I can use that too. I think the brand was DecoArt. Then I stamped an image over the paper using Adirondack ink pads in Denim and Eggplant and a Brilliance ink pad in Moonlight White. I found doing the stamping over in other colors really gave the piece some depth. I wish I had taken before and after pictures as you would be impressed with the difference. I will try and remember that next time.

Quote for the Day: "I wake up in the morning and I consciously create my day the way I want it to happen. Now sometimes, because my mind is examining all the things that I need to get done, it takes me a little bit to settle down and get to the point of where I'm actually intentionally creating my day. But here's the thing: When I create my day and out of nowhere little things happen that are so unexplainable, I know that they are the process or the result of my creation. And the more I do that, the more I build a neural net in my brain that I accept that that's possible. (This) gives me the power and the incentive to do it the next day." - Dr. Joe Dispenza (from What the Bleep Movie)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Art Journals

Look what I received from my friend Ginger yesterday. She asked if I could stop by her office since she had something for me. I was totally surprised and I love my Writing Lady. She will come in handy as Nanowrimo is right around the corner. I will need all the help I can get. People tell me that the second year is harder than the first. Oh well, Iam up to the challenge.

My computer is all boxed up and ready for Fed Ex to come pick it up. Dave is letting me use his computer while mine is in the shop so to speak. They say 7-9 business days in the shop and if you add shipping times, it could be gone 3 weeks or more. I will be happy if I have it back in time for Nanowrimo which is November 1st.

Ok now to my subject. I was on my friend Janet's blog Lavender Loft and she talked about seeing these Utube videos on art Journaling that were really good. After seeing them I have to agree. Check them out here
Also go to Suziblu's site and there is a 3rd video. She is fun and engaging and she will get you past the fear into creating your own art journals.

I tried the Portfolio water soluble oil pastels that she demonstrates with and they are fantastic. They are great to blend with your fingers, I've added water too and the color really intensifies them. If you can't find them locally there are amny places on the web that have them.

I had been doing some pages in a journal but I struggle like everyone else. I think oh why can't my art pages look as good as Judy Wise or Teesha Moore or Violette's . Well I realize that they are never going to look like theirs, they will only look like mine. I need to just create from where I am that day. No one else will be able to make pages like mine either. I think that is the beauty of the whole thing. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and just bring our own individual creations out there to the world. You never know someone else someday will say Oh I wish my pages looked like Kate's,(insert your name here) I love the colors she use and the images just stand out, or some other nonsense yada yada yada....

On that note this a page out of my Art Journal, its about a man and his dog whom I met on Monday.

I usually don't due these but this was simple so here we are:

You Were a Whale

You see the unseen and connect on the deepest level.
You help others find their soul's song.

Quote of the Day: "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." ~Judy Garland

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Art Every Day

Kai has been doing this Art Every Day challenge of sorts, so I have been inspired. This is what I did last night. I took out that new drawing book I have on faces and tried to make some eyes using their techniques. This is just the beginning but I think I am getting better. I really liked the Asian eye. Since there eyes are so dark you really don't have to work on a pupil or anything. I am learning a lot about shading and how to use those tortillon things. If you have no clue what I mean they are little paper stumps that you use to blend pencil. They work pretty good once you know the technique.

Its warmer today so I think I may go down to the river and sit for a little bit. Communing with mother nature is always a good thing....

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's Freezing

Well not really, its just cold. I left the house this morning in a crew neck t-shirt, a sweater and a jacket and pants. It was pouring rain and cold. I am home now and have a fire lit. I am warm when I am by the fire but not anywhere else.

Heroes season opener is today. Oh what fun that'll be. We just watched the last episode so we'd be ready for tonight. There is nothing like having an obsession.

Just when I think I am finished with the Charleston trip I remember something. This is the page that Pam did in my book,


Something for for my Fiber Arts friends. I spun these 3 skeins of silk and they all look totally different. Any time I have green or teal colors I have a hard time photographing them. I am not sure how I will use them but they are pretty.

One thing I like to do every year is to re-wax my spinning wheels. The wood loves it and they look so nice when done. It occurred to me that I have not use d my Jensen Production wheel in some time. After the wax job I began spinning the cotton I started a long time ago. A picture of white cotton is mot very interesting, I know but the wheel is looking pretty.

This is some buffalo I am spinning on my other wheel.. It is very fine and really needs to be spun long draw. It should make a fine 2 ply and I will probably make a small scarf out of it.

Art Journal

I have been working on that journal. I gessoed all the pages and then painted them with a variety of colors for backgrounds. Not I just need to wait to journal on them. I did make one major error, I forgot that you need to sometimes remove papers so the book will close. This book was not anywhere near closing, so I ended up removing the pages. After I have used them all up I'll make a cover for it. Here are a few sample pictures. On some I used watercolor so the look is subtle and on others I used acrylics and stamps and other tools. I got these sequin screens in Misty Mawn's class that make great designs.

This was done with watercolors so it is very light and subtle.

I have stamped on this one with a dragonfly stamp.

I used some heavy bodied acrylics here along with some stamps.


Sarah gave me a surprise request last night. She asked me to make her a sweater. She grew up with all this spinning and weaving and really had no interest in it whatever. So I am excited that she want me to make her something. He request was a charcoal gray pullover sweater with a crew neck, long sleeves and some texture in the knitting. I know she want this as soon as possible so I will be looking for a simple pattern I can use. I am not sure I have enough yarn in that color so I may need a trip to the yarn shop too! I guess your kids really do appreciate you more after they leave home.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Rest of the Trip

This is the booklet from the exhibit. The weavers were all signing each others copies. I did not get everyone's but the majority of them. It was funny having people ask for your autograph, my ten minutes of fame.

Here is a picture of Waterfront park from the steps of the City Gallery. I loved this view, it was quite beautiful.

This is a closeup of the fountain, shaped like a pineapple. I thought it was really a pretty fountain.

When I was in Charleston I made these collages in my moleskine journal with receipts and momento's I collected. They were really fun to do.

After the Thread Project events were over Pam and I just hung out. She took me to the Isle of Palms beach again and I spent the afternoon there by myself and it was really heavenly. I had lunch at Coconut Joes and walked the beach and went shopping and got these treasures.

On my last day in Charleston I spent walking around downtown. I went to the Charleston Museum. I found out it is the oldest museum in the United States. It had wonderful exhibits. I especially like the exhibit Clothing to Dye for. That was something I could really relate to and the clothes were great. Then I visited the Joseph Manigault house. It was a summer home for a Rice Plantation family and was very interesting to see. For some reason I forgot to take pictures that day. I was really enthralled with all the wonderful architecture in Charleston. Pam took me to see some really beautiful homes. I was more in the state of oh thats cool instead of snapping pictures. I regret I did not do more of that.

I brought Jack along on the trip, here he is with Tripp Pam's cat.

One Day Pam brought this Magnolia home, It was so lovely and the smell just incredible, I wish I could send that fragrance to you.

Pam had these Peony's in my room and they were just gorgeous. I thought they were real at first. She had lovely touches like this all through the house.

.... And last but not the least our Pamela doing the Violette pose...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

One World, One Cloth

The Third Thread Project event was held in the Evening of that same day. These first pictures were taken a few days later. I went back to see the panels again when there were less people and easier to photograph.

Hope Materializing

Threaded Harmony

Ariadne's Prayer

Weaving Reconciliation

Dawn Looming

Lienzo Luminoso (Cloth of Light)

Sophia's Mantle

The event was held at City Gallery which is right on the waterfront. Here was the outside. The evening started with a one act play performed my local actors. It chronicled Terry's story and some of the stories people sent in with their threads. It was fantastic. Then the exhibit was officially opened.

This is the banner on the outside of the City Gallery.

Here I am next to the cloth that I wove on.

This big ball of threads are what was left over, I think it symbolizes the world with all its similarities and different threads.

Here is a close up of the button holding my cloth together. It is teak and it is from Thailand.

This was from on different panel on Weaving Reconciliatioin. I thought the Disco ball was so funny.

This is a close up of the button on Hope Materializing. These buttons were made by Susan Ryles and were the words Hope in many different languages.

A close up the fringe on Hope materializing. I thought it was interesting that this particular weaver attached some threads to make the fringe.

On my fringe I added beads, like Chinese coins, Peruvian ceramics, Japanese and Czech glass beads etc. I also wove my cloth while listening to music from all over the world, including John Lennon singing "Let's Give Peace a Chance".

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Thread Project Events

Here I am with one of my favorite people, the author Sue Monk Kidd. She is just the nicest person. I had met her at a talk in Park City, Utah but that talk was brief due to the crowds. This time I had a longer conversation and that was great. I can tell you that they are going to film a Secret Lives of Bees with Dakota Fanning and Queen Latifah playing major roles. Sue is best friends with Terry Helwig and she was the reason I got involved with the Thread Project in the first place. I had read about it in her newsletter.

Here I am with Terry the founder of The Thread Project. She is really to be commended, she was given an idea and she followed through on it. I wonder where the world would be if we all followed up on our ideas.

The first night was a celebration to meet the weavers and just socialize. That was really a fun evening. Pam and I really enjoyed the free flowing wine and the wonderful food.

Here is a group out on the porch catching those wonderful evening breezes. We managed to meet a great group of women from Atlanta. Unfortunetly that picture came out blurry. These women met on spiritual trips and became friends. I met a lot of women going through transitions or big changes in their lives, it was awesome hearing all their stories. The owner of the Sophia Institute was quite the role model. She found herself in a career she didn't like, gave it up and bought property and created this great retreat center. Her story was quite inspiring.

On day 2 of the Thread project events all the weavers met to tell their stories and to have them recorded. There were 19 weavers present out of 47 so that was a pretty good showing. We were mostly from the US and one came from Canada and one from El Salvador. Every one of the weavers had a wonderful story to tell.

Here we are listening to stories. To the left is Carolyn Rivers the owner of the Sophia Institute and then to her right is Judith Crone the weaving consultant who wove the first and last panels, and then Susan Ryles who made the clay buttons and a few weavers whose names I do not know. Please remember all pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.