Sunday, September 7, 2014

Ummm, revised!

Hello from Lalaland!

I have been a bad blogger. I don't know how I've managed to get so busy that blogging is nearly impossible, but I am and it seems to be!

Floating in a birch forest

One of the engineers of the submerged forest-beaver!

I am the epitome of the person of a certain age who lost her job a few years ago and now has a portfolio of part time options:  two office jobs totaling 25 hours a week; LOTS of pet-sitting jobs, in which I am away from home from overnight to 3 weeks at a time; free-lance work in desktop publishing; volunteer work with the senior center; a home to establish in Mom's house, which consists of converting an old workshop into a studio/kitchenette--yes, I'm actually finally getting started on that project.

Playing with Magic setting on new camera

I have been in limbo with that project, as getting brothers motivated is almost impossible without the moola to pay them, and thanks to a recent financial benefit, we are moving forward. I went on a scouting mission to Home Depot this weekend, looking at flooring, paneling, paint colors. I should be in there by Thanksgiving....HOPEFULLY!

Breaking up housekeeping...

One of the coolest things I've done this spring/summer is take an e-class by Kelly Rae Roberts! She is one of my favorite mixed media artists, and this class was just a blast. The best part was meeting so many like-minded artists and learning to be fearless and express myself with paint. When I get my studio back together, I hope to plunge back in and do lots of artistic stuff. I miss it. I had a great start early this year when I set up a temporary studio space, but that is gone now and everything is moving into the garage for the remodel.

So I hope to reconnect this fall and reestablish myself as a blogger once again!

Meanwhile, enjoy this lovely time of year!


P.S. Thanks, Tammy, for noticing me here!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Simple Twist of Fate

Hi Folks,
Well, Another month has passed, and it's a cold bleak day in New England. A simple twist of fate (circumstance, karma) has me stranded in my favorite home in the "wilds of Worthington" with 3 dogs and a yard full of birds.


The twist was that after staying in all day on Saturday watching it snow, I decided to drive to the Old Creamery and pick up some food, including a nice hot container of clam chowder. After driving a few miles, I regretted my plan, but carefully continued on. Coming back, I slid into a tree and smashed in the front of my car. Luckily I wasn't hurt! I gathered my wallet, my groceries and walked to the nearest house. Some very nice people took me in and called 911 to get help.

Their house was warm and cozy. I was invited to eat with them, but decided to eat my clam chowder, which had popped open and squirted most of the groceries with goo. I cleaned up the tote bag and the groceries and ate the remaining soup.

Meanwhile, the fire dept. came and checked me all over, then the State Police came and asked me questions and called the ambulance. They checked me all over too and advised me to go to the hospital, which I refused, as I didn't feel any pain. Eventually, the tow truck came and towed my little Subaru away and these kind people drove me "home" to the dogs. I ended up with bruises on my shin and my breast (from the seatbelt).

My insurance doesn't cover rentals, and I really can't afford to rent a 4WD car.  Plenty of people have offered help, but with 6 miles of dirt roads and winter conditions, I haven't taken them up on it yet.  My office sent me work to do, and I have a couple of consulting jobs on the computer too, so here I am!

Please excuse the poor indoor photography!
Another twist--Since I moved in with Mom in October, I haven't had any place to play with art. The room that will be my studio was all full of tools, wood, sawdust and cobwebs. Big stuff like Dad's old workbench and Richard's grand piano (for sale cheap) littered the room, not to mention tons of nails, screws, washers bolts, hammers, screwdrivers, etc!

So a few weeks ago I started condensing and cleaning the room. If I couldn't get rid of the workbench, I could use it for my own work table. I found a couple of pieces of plywood to cover the holes and dirt and put it in a corner of the room. I cleaned and de-cobwebbed till I was sneezing and coughing. Then I stapled up some sheets over the bare 2x6's and hung a couple of corkboards. I brought in a cubicle cabinet with red containers in each cube. I laid a couple of old rugs on the cement floor and set up a couple of card tables to work on. (Everything else is pushed to the other side of the room for the moment.) I dug out lots of supplies and bought a few more.

On Jan 11, I invited Emily to come and do some art, thinking company would help me get creative. Em didn't make it, so I did a piece of art anyway. She didn't show up the next day either, so I did another one.  I determined to create one piece of art every day. Not only to expand my artistic mind, but to help me be in happy mode during this difficult time of the year.  I can easily become depressed when it is cold and gloomy, so I need to keep myself creative.  It is so uplifting to be playing with my art supplies!

Collage is my main genre, but I want to get more and more original. I also want my new art to be affirmative and to encourage people. I like to use recycled materials when I can. Eventually, I will get some painting lessons and mix things up.

I packed a pile of art supplies and brought them here to the "dog house" and kept working (playing). Today is day 11 and I'm still doing it!  For now I can say that being stranded with the dogs is, in a strange way, my own art retreat!

 You can see my daily artwork and follow me on Facebook.

Meanwhile I hope your twists of fate are all good ones!



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another Beautiful Day with my Best Friend

It has been a lovely day. After 2 or 3 long weeks of cold winter weather, we had a break today in the 40's with two more even warmer, though rainy, days coming up. A reprieve, as it were, on the solstice. When I lived in Colorado, we had these reprieves off and on all winter. Here, not so much!

Colorado snow!
I worked late last night on a computer consulting project, so I got to sleep in till 10!  Trisha called at 11 and said, "lets go!" and we went shopping. We stayed away from the weekend-before-Christmas crowds and headed for a little country town called Conway. We'd heard of a "pop-up shop" selling woven, felted and other lovely hand crafted items. This woman's studio and shop were beautiful. I envied her the organized, beautifully furnished space filled with weaving looms, a sewing machine, and tons of yarn and felting supplies.

After that we explored the Field Memorial Library in Conway. It is a wonderful green patina-domed rotunda with wings on 3 sides. It's ceiling is held up below the dome with marble pillars. Very patterned and veined marble. It also trims the doors and covers the walls. The floors are mosaics. This building was donated to the people of Conway by Marshall Field about the time of the industrial revolution when Andrew Carnegie was also building libraries around the country. What a wonderful sound our voices made echoing around under the dome. I think the librarian was happy to have us there, as we were the only guests. She never even hushed us. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten my camera!

But where I was really anxious to go was "Loot", a newish store in Turners Falls which carries all kinds of factory, school, office and other old building cast-offs. Being a mixed media artist, this was right up my alley, so to speak! We must have poured over that stuff for an hour! There were typeface letters, and all kinds of other lettered signage, there were old newspaper ad plates, skeleton keys, little tiny things, big industrial things, some new and crafty things and many tiny succulent plants. There were big nail bins filled with amazing little vintagy things: old matches, ephemera, tags of many colors, old photos, die cut metal hearts, onionskin and other magical papers and things...

More loot
Turners Falls is an old factory town on the Connecticut River. There are still lots of working mills, but most of them are either empty or repurposed. Imagine the loot you could find in the attics and cellars of these old buildings! Evidently the owners of Loot did just that. Now, instead of running off to Homegoods, I think I'll be visiting Loot regularly!

Then the Loot folks sent us around the corner to Funkshun, which was fun too! They had aprons, potholders, various other stitched wonders made with these MAN fabrics. Trisha got an apron and a doll for Christmas presents. How fun is that!?!  They had WOMAN things too, Wonder Women and cowgirls...

We had a late lunch at the deli of the local co-op and watched the people walk by. A woman set up a guitar outside and sang her heart out.  "Halleluiah" by Leonard Cohen was the first one I heard and what a great voice!

One more thing I had to do was go to Trader Joe's and buy Pecans for my Mom's Christmas pie. (This year's requests were Pecan and Mincemeat pies.)  What a zoo that was! The pecan shelf was naked! There were no pecans in the store. I grabbed a bag of raw cashews for myself and got out of there. Another back road to our little town and we were home in time for supper!

I love a good weekend adventure with Trisha!