Wednesday, March 30, 2011
... and now, somehow, more than a year has passed since I last updated this-here l'il-blog-o-lette. 13 moons have ripened, dwindled, come to fullness again and again and again....
Ended up back here as I was working out ways to save a fun Wordle I made this morning, using the lyrics from Van Morrison's Sweet Thing, a lovely lilting tune I often find a-dancing in my head. Go right on ahead and try your own, 'tis very very fun!!! :)
Sunday, March 21, 2010
My oh my, how the time *does* fly!
Somehow finding another ArtFest adventure just around the corner...... So very much has happened in this life of mine since ArtFest '09 that I can hardly even *begin* to wrap my head around!
For now, I 'll just say that life is soooooo good; *such* an amazing abundance of delightful, wondrous experiences have taken place over the course of the last year! And a lot of them have been due to the connections and re-connections and deepening and widening of relationships made possible through Facebook. That's become the best way to reach me, so feel free to contact me there!
I've posted this collection of photos of my trades for this year's Fest on my FB page, as well, and will likely add to them as the extraordinary creative experience that is ArtFest unfolds!
More reports to come!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
So, this is *totally* a better-late-than-never kinda' post, Valentine's Day having come and gone some days ago-- but-- shouldn't *every* day be a celebration of love?!?!
Love in its many facets and shapes and sizes and colors and patterns and textures-- some hidden & secretly tucked away, some big and bold and visible....
In honor of this particular Valentine's Day, I participated in my very first online artists' swap, thanks to the warm invitation of my dear friend Kara Jones, and for my 20 signed & numbered limited edition art pieces, I chose to do my very first ATC's (Artist Trading Cards-- 2 1/2 " X 3 1/2 ", same dimensions as baseball cards.)
In return for the 20 Valentine ATC's I made and submitted to Kara, I had the delightful pleasure of receiving a package containing a gorgeous assortment of Valentine love from the 19 other artists who had participated.
I found the process of creating my Valentines to be quite enjoyable and satisfying, and what a wonderful way to feel the love that flows all around us, accessing the warmth and good wishes and creative outpourings of other artists in other places, all sending out love into the air, across the miles-- for Valentine's Day and every day! Since I have benefited so tremendously from the tutorials other artists have shared via this Web of Connection that stretches all 'round this big wide wonderful world of ours, a brief outline follows of the steps that went into creating my Valentine ATC's....
For my backgrounds, I decided to recycle some boxes from the recycling bin-- cardboard that once held breakfast cereal and butter now became the base for my creations, once they'd been covered in a couple of layers of thickly applied gesso (provides a blank white surface, with a good tooth for the paint to adhere to, and a purposefully interesting texture). I picked up a lot of great techniques for applying gesso from the excellent class I took at last year's ArtFest from the exceedingly inspirational Lynne Perrella .
One aspect of this project that was key was to begin far enough in advance of the deadline to allow for each of the many layers to dry completely before adding the next. Good exercise in time management! :) After the gesso layers came the paint, again applied to maximize textural interest. The jumping-off point for this approach to creating the backgrounds was loosely based on one of my very favorite techniques among the dozens that I've read over the last couple years as I have meandered my way into becoming a "self-taught" artist through reading just about every altered art/ collage/ art journal book that has been published over the last 10 years, as well as winding my way through the vast treasure trove of resources now so readily available online. The section by Juliana Coles in the book Kaleidoscope: Ideas and Projects to Spark Your Creativity where she describes her style of Extreme Visual Journaling has proven to be one of the most powerful ways I've found to circumvent my inner control-freak and delight in the possibilities of "planned spontaneity"....
After the paint had dried and I'd applied a coat of gel medium to seal and provide a surface for writing and drawing, I cut the backgrounds into the ATC dimensions, then drew my swirly trees/ dangly hearts/ and hand-written words of love using my beloved Pitt pens and Sharpies.
I decorated the backs of the cards with my name and blog address, and some cheerful designs using one of my other very favorite mark-making tools, the gorgeously vibrant Caran D'Ache watercolor crayons. If I had to pick one and only one supply to use in my art journals and paintings, they'd be the clear winner-- love LOVE ***L*O*V*E*** 'em!
So, here they are, ready to make their way out into the world....
...and now I've had the chance to spread a little more love by sending these words and images out into The Land of Blog! As I'm still pretty new to bloggin', I've encountered a few little frustrations in my attempts tonight to arrange the elements within this post, the relative sizes of the photos, and the way it's all laid out. For now, though, the hour has grown late, so I'll close for now, and continue to investigate and experiment with the shiny new tools at hand. For now, I will wish for each of you
a gleeful sense
of loving energy
as the seasons cycle by,
as love fills the air....
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Yesterday~ the 20th of January, 2009~ was my favorite kind of weather-- blanketed by thick, misty, silvery fog, with...
CHANGE on the horizon!
I remember only one other day on this island that the fog rolled in, settled in, and stayed wrapped snug around us allllll day long like this, soft and cozy and enveloping-- September 28, 1996, the day of Sequoia's birth, another day when the world as I know it changed forever....
Two words came to mind to describe the overwhelming emotions of these 2 amazing days, and the days that led up to them, the choices made by individuals and communities to
*C*H*O*O*S*E* *H*O*P*E* *O*V*E*R* *F*E*A*R*....
1. to show or feel a lively or triumphant joy; rejoice exceedingly
1 : an act of rejoicing
2 : an expression of great joy
Great joy, indeed!!! Here's to a brighter future!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
In the meantime, hoping each of you has had a holiday season full of warmth and light and love, and I look forward to sharing more of that powerful YES-energy as the new year unfolds!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Greetings, all, from the land of delightfully warm sun-shininess! (Well, at least for a well-loved and much-appreciated day or two, anyway....)
Thought I'd make a wee list of just *some* of the many things that have been making my heart sing this week...
*You're invited to check out my latest set of photos @ flickr for some lovely visual impressions from the highly enjoyable Mama's Day '08. The stunningly gorgeous henna work was done by Ms. Kara Jones (*SO* one of my very favorite people in the whole wide world!), and the stunningly gorgeous card and flowers were from the one-and-only Ms. Sequoia!
(Yes, I'm still figuring out stuff like inserting hyperlinks and uploading to flickr and etc etc etc so thanks for your patience as I wind my way through the twists and turns of this virtual world full of useful tools for conveying thoughts, images, sounds and sights and emotions....)
*As summer time draws ever-nearer, my taste-buds giggled with glee this week at the delightful combination of the year's first cherries, dipped into the whipped cream atop my iced white-chocolate mocha-- fuel on Friday afternoon for the evening's shift at Luna.... I am most thankful indeed to have a job I truly enjoy, which continues to nourish me in sometimes surprising ways-- and it's certainly an easy commute! :)
*Right this very minute, merrily multi-tasking my way through the evening, my heart soars along with the ***rawther*** gorgeous "Soaring and Silken, Sad and Lovely" songs of Devotchka, as described by NPR-- including an archive of one of their recent shows at this site.
Planning to catch them on this coast soon at the Capitol Hill Block Party in July....
*Also looking forward to an 8-week online art-journaling class that will begin June 2-- I've long enjoyed this artist's enthusiastic and welcoming approach, and the price is exceedingly reasonable at $15-- should any of you out there also like to sign up! :)
OK, 'bout it from me for now.... What's been making YOUR heart sing this week???
Saturday, May 3, 2008
First stop, just this side of Olympia, was the uber-fantastic Shipwreck Beads, which actually managed to exceed my high expectations-- imagine a vast airplane-hangar-sized building full-to-bursting with just about any type of gorgeous glittering shiny and sparkling bead imaginable, by the strand or by the piece.... I'd actually set aside a chunk of money from my birthday cash of 3 years ago to be used (sometime!) when I'd have the chance to visit this bead-lover's paradise-- so this was one of those dream-come-true kinda' moments! Most definitely worth a repeat visit, especially as an hour's shopping only resulted in making it to row 8 out of 31 rows-- lots more to wade through next time, too! But this time we were on a bit of a schedule, and needed to head on down the highway to Olympia proper for...
Procession of the Species, a wonderful, celebratory annual community event a little bit like Vashon's own Islewilde, with weeks' worth of workshops leading up to the big spectacle-- in this case an astoudingly long and varied collection of people of all ages dressed up to represent all manner of creatures from an impressively wide spectrum of species, with the final group being a sizable contingent of pink flamingos doing the samba!
After some yummy spicy noodles we drove on out to Sasja's dad's place out in the countryside near Olympia-- the pretty rolling hills and fences reminding me of my old Kentucky home-- to spend the night in entertaining conversation and a hearty next morning's breakfast before making our way back to I-5 and on down South to the lovely state of Oregon. Pleasing scenery along the way, including a stretch that actually reminded me of yet another beloved region-- farm lands along the corridor just beyond Portland are increasingly becoming devoted to picturesque vineyards, so of course Italy sprung to mind as we cruised along, quality tunes like Plans providing a fitting soundtrack as we drew ever nearer to our ultimate destination, the raison d'etre for this escapade...
Eugene, Oregon!!! Home to the fine-and-fancy McDonald Theatre for a truly magnificent performance by The Swell Season. And let me say this was one for the books-- on The Patented Perpetua Scale of Concert Awesomosity, wer'e going to have to go with a perfect 4 out of 4 checkmarks for Things That Make For The Best Possible Live Music Experience.... Those little extras that make the event extra-special!
- Of course it is necessary for the performances to be of the spontaneous-and-heartfelt variety, not merely a rehashing of the songs on the latest album played in a different order-- and boy howdy was this the case to be sure! Gorgeous, stirring lyrics/ impressive musicianship/ witty banter/ the whole package!!! I was exceedingly pleased that the opening act featured Liam O'Manlai of my long-beloved Hothouse Flowers (barefoot, as usual-- just like back in Dublin's Phoenix Park clear back in '91....) along with another clever yet deeply soulful Irishman named Ronan O Snodaigh (who has sometimes toured with Dead Can Dance!) Sooooo.... a definite checkmark YES for item #1
- Placement within the venue is most certainly a key component in one's enjoyment... so.... Being as we were right smack on the very front row, mere inches from the band, we will certainly award a checkmark YES for item #2! :) General admission rocks! Patience to queue up early can definitely be rewarded by a ridiculously right-smack-dab-in-the-midst-of-it-all vantage point. Nothing like being able to see every little wisp of an expression that crosses the performers' faces, each little detail of their interactions as the show progresses. Love it!!! So.... on we go to...
- Set List in hand after the show-- check YES #3! Quite fun to have that tangible souvenir of the event-- and you can analyze the hand-writing if your'e so inclined! ;)
- Umm... meeting the band is awfully nice! (Bonus points for photographic evidence! :)
Yup.... 4 out of 4! :) Now, after all that excitement, some tasty Cajun food and a frosty cold beverage-- outside on a patio, mind you, after midnight, Eugene having blessed us with sunshine/ 70's on this fine day whilst up north on Vashon 'twas cold and raining! Short walk back to The Downtown Inn, then some sleep before checking out Eugene the next morning (excellent vegan breakfast at Morning Glory Cafe and a quick stop at Buffalo Exchange (adorable Dansko Mary Janes in *exactly* my size at oh-about $100 off retail price!) before heading back up Northward, stopping in Portland for the oh-so-crucial triumvirate of VooDoo Doughnuts (all kinds of crazy and creative toppings like Fruit Loops and Mango Tang-o--- YUM!) and Powell's Bookstore and Whole Foods....
And, then, finally, homeward-- only to encounter the first rain in days as we entered Chehalis.... sigh.... Good to be back on the Island, though, to see friends and loved ones.... So glad to have had the chance to enjoy this action-packed few days, especially as I can't help but think that The Great American Road Trip may soon be a thing of the past. Gasoline had climbed up past $4/ gallon while we were away, and who knows how high it is likely to go. The great news, though, is that a lot of these destinations could have been reached fairly easily via mass transit-- wer'e fortunate to live in an area where train travel is still possible, as Amtrak shimmies up and down the coast, from Seattle to Eugene and lots of other interesting places farther north and south, as well....
Sooooo.... 'bout all for now-- more photos from the trip can be seen on my flickr account, and will upload additonal photos soon of the procession and such soon. (Bit of a challenge to get their uploader to interface with my digi-cam software, but working on it!) Pics and post from wayyyy back a month ago @ ArtFest still to come, as well! Ciao for now to each and all!