Tuesday, February 26, 2008


This is my daughter dancing isn't she beautiful !

I have been dancing in the mornings.... what an experience... at first I was totally self conscious which is pretty funny since I was alone with the dogs. The first day I told them " No laughing" They didn't laugh but I am pretty certain Gracie was smiling.

Day four of the morning dance I feel totally amused that Gracie sits and watches everyday. I do wonder what she thinks. I doubt she is judging my movements. It is interesting for me to think that large groups of people are dancing together in prayer. I wonder what the energy in the room is like. One day I'll find out but for now I am pretty happy doing my morning dance all by myself with Gracie watching... and smiling at me.

What I am discovering is that I have been very limited in how I physically move in the world limiting myself out of self consciousness about my body. Much of my dancing feels like an 80's aerobics class.... remember the pony? As I relax into the music and dance without dissecting every move I make I begin to relax and find a way to be with the music which is quite different form dancing in a nightclub or an aerobic class. It is a great metaphor for life how I move in dance reflects how I move in life. Watching my thoughts as I dance is also quite enlightening... I didn't know I had some of those thoughts in me. What I do find is a flexibility happening in my inner world and I am seeing it reflected in my outer world. It will be interesting to watch how this unfolds over time. I am excited about it and how it will affect my work and my feelings about being seen with my work at shows. I am so shy about that. Something tells me it will be a big change.

This morning during the dance I was picturing this glorious art piece in my mind it will be my next piece and I am excited to start it.

Today is my 47th birthday. I had a great dance and morning writing session to start the day. I am taking the day off from work except for the postcard I will make for myself to set my intention to be do something I love every day. I am spending the afternoon with my dear friend we will do whatever I want. Isn't that a wonderful gift she is giving me!

So if you are reading this you know my age ....an age I am thrilled to be!

Don't forget to breathe and if you are brave...put on some music you love close your eyes and move a little you'll be surprised what happens!

Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Work In Progess

Here is a picture of the new piece I am working on and promised a picture of in yesterday's post.

It is small about 15 x 25. It is hand painted with Tsukineko inks and heavily quilted. I love these inks they are very easy to use.

I am hoping to finish it in time to hang it at my show in Harrisburg.

My friends who went to the Art and Wine festival might recognize it but it has changed a lot.

Naming this little quilt will be fun !

My kitchen is clean and that feels great. The smell of day old stir fry was getting to be a bit much.

Water Has Arrived

We woke to a sunny day. The ice is melting.

The water truck is backing in the driveway as I type this. My daughter is cheering from the loft! I am sure she is already contemplating a shower. I'll be happy to get myself a clean kitchen again.... the dishwasher is already running.

It has been an interesting week of work with the Monday holiday, no running water for 3 days, and 2 snow days for my kids.

I managed to stay on task and get my work schedule completed. This included making all the changes to my web site that I have been needing to do. I did this with no trouble I might add. Yea for me a good couple of days on the computer boosts my confidence in this area. I am trying to make peace with the computer and embrace all the ways it makes my life easier.

I put my new work up on the site if you haven't been there recently don't forget to tell me you stopped by ...I have some surprises in store for the 25th and 50th person to reply to my contact form since the New Year started. I know you are visiting but it would sure be nice to have you say hello.

I already need another trip to the photographer with some new pieces. This is good it means I am getting things accomplished.

I have been reading Sweat Your Prayers by Gabrielle Roth what a great book if you are looking for a new way to approach your spiritual life and like to dance this is the book for you. I purchased some of her music and it really speaks to me. It gives me the urge to move! I can't wait for some alone time so I can turn up the volume and do some dancing. I did sneak in a some dance last night when I had the house to myself for a little bit. I see the future and it is dance in the morning... good exercise... energizing ... this can only improve my art. I posted the link before but I'm doing it again. Her site has some wonderful music playing so you can hear what I am talking about.


That's all for now. I am going to go stick my hands in some lovely hot water and start washing up the pile of dishes that have accumulated.

Be well and don't forget to breathe.

Friday, February 22, 2008

No School ... No Water

We are having our second day in a row of no school and no water. Last night I told my teens ... stay up as late as you want.... hopefully they will sleep until noon so I can get some work done.

I am working on the computer today and I need absolute QUIET! See how I laid out my plan so careful ?
Actually I need more than quiet but quiet really helps!

I plan to update my website photos in my gallery today and I need all brain function focused on that !

Still no water.... the truck slid into the ditch on the way to our house yesterday.

I am hoping we will have water delivered by the time my kids rise today. This is also part of my careful planning.

Still.... if the roads are terrible... I want the delivery man to stay home with his feet up. He is the sweetest guy I hate to think of him out in this weather. If he does deliver it is hot cocoa with marshmallows for him!

I am the challenge host this month at Fast Friday Challenge... my challenge to the group was to save their spam mail for a few days and then make a quilt that represented a subject line that piqued their interest. We have had lots of fun conversation about this. Not all spam is x-rated. I am looking forward to the quilts made. I have already had some .... interesting questions ; )

I am working on an old piece ... something I started in September when I as demonstrating in my booth at the Rend Lake Art and Wine Festival . I sat all day doodling on fabric with inks. I am doing some heavy quilting on this piece. I will post a picture tomorrow.

Be well and enjoy your shower today!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Brilliant Assistant Arrives

A brilliant assistant arrived soon after my last post. Life is wonderful that way.
Our friend Steve is helping me put together some brochures for my show in March.

What a gift this is to have a friend like Steve in our life. As for pay if
I want to start charging him for meals he shares with us he will let me pay him.
Isn't that something? I feel grateful beyond words!

As for some other computer challenges I am still looking for the perfect class.

This week I am busy preparing for the show to be held at the Harrisburg Library in
Harrisburg Illinois. I will hang it March first. It will be there for 2 months.

I found this quote today isn't it wonderful!

"No matter what you are doing, keep the undercurrent
of happiness.
Learn to be secretly happy within your heart in spite
of all
circumstances." -- Paramahansa Yogananda

I have started Eckhart Tolle's new book A New Earth it is really wonderful.
He is able to teach some complex ideas in an easy to understand way.
This quote is in keeping with the spirit in that book.

Be well and remember to breathe.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

More on computers

This picture is of me discovering my husband has surprised me with a new laptop being given to me at my surprise birthday party last year. 2 big surprises in one night... not for sissies! No! I am not crying ! Had I known then the trouble that lap top was going to bring me... I would of been.

I had to expand on the subject of computers. My post yesterday was written after a long week full of hair pulling frustration at my computer skills not being up to the job.... more of a vent than a post.

There is a lot to really love about them. The exchange of ideas , communication with loved ones, information gathering, and photo storage to name a short list. You already know these things yourself so I am telling you nothing new here. Learning how to use them is an ongoing effort as the computer world changes all the time I suppose this is part of the frustration for me. One new change for me is using Vista...yes... I am a Vista owner those of you who know are already groaning when I say this. Vista is a whole new world of learning ... mostly learning where things are hidden. There has been some teeth gnashing and tears.

It is like finding that perfect pair of running shoes and then the company upgrades them to something better... but... not better for me. I know these changes in product are all part of marketing but jeez could we live in a world where we make do with what we have for a bit longer. The fact that we can't depend on a product to be built to last but instead buy them built to replace when they break annoys me. The link below tells the story pretty well if you are interested.


Anyway, I have jumped the track of my conversation on computers. I find computers challenging because they are so logical and my brain doesn't follow the logic very well. My husband says I haven't paid my dues yet and that I have to gut it out and learn it by error or take a class and spend the time and money to have someone teach me.

What I would like is an assistant. Someone I could pay to be brilliant at the computer so I could be brilliant at making art. This sounds like the perfect plan to me.

Is it possible for me to be brilliant at computing and creating art at the same time ? I wonder if the two can co exist in my head. I know there are many talented artists who are also computer smart. I wonder how they paid their dues trial and error or the classroom. Trial and error is just not working for me. So it comes down to hiring that brilliant assistant or going to school.

I also know I am not the only artist who struggles to manage the computer skills necessary to
compete in the art world. Thankfully, I have some friends who are computer smart and willing to offer help when I get stuck.... but sometimes the stuck I am in is pretty sticky and they can't even help me because I can't explain what I have done. It is that whole computer language skill either you know it or you don't and if you don't people start talking to you like you are deaf.... louder.... like that will help.

So I am on the hunt for a computer class or a brilliant assistant who wants to put in some computer time for me for not a load of money. Whichever comes first I'll take it.

I better get my back pack ready.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Computer Love

I am computer challenged... I give up... I surrender to my lack of understanding.

I need a class.... I will take one.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

There is Enough Time

I realize I have been spending too much mental energy worrying about not having enough studio time. I resent interruptions in my work day. The pressure I have been creating to get things done interferes with the joy of doing it. Most days I really like working in the studio even though creating is not always joyful sometimes it is downright unenjoyable! Spell check has notified me this is not a word but I like and will keep it here because I want to.

There are times I will stay home for days at a time usually in my pajamas. I put clean ones on every morning and call this getting dressed for the day. Living in my pajamas feels like a pretty natural state. My postman has seen me in my flannel pants more than he has seen me wearing jeans. I have to confess this started feeling weird at Christmas when he was delivering packages every day! I even contemplated getting dressed just for the postman so he wouldn't think I was that weird lady recluse living in her pajamas. More likely is that Ron the postman has never noticed what I am wearing. Well... except for the day I had to chase my dog Gracie back in the house. I was wearing my flannel pajamas with the big yellow paint spot on the rear end and bed head.

Do you ever wonder if the post people talk about what comes in our mailboxes? Living in the rural Midwest I am sure the covers of some of my art magazines have made some heads shake.

When I did the art2mail postcard exchange I had a lady postal worker named Lyn delivering mail. She loved the cards and even asked if she could see the ones that came in envelopes. She said the postal staff would gather around the new cards that came in to see the new ones as they came in.

Lyn... I might add worked in her comfy clothes and shares my same birth day. I never worried about being in my pajamas when she delivered mail. . She always came inside to see what I was working on when she delivered a package to the door. I miss her big smile and her enthusiastic love of my work. What's not to like about that? She'll be back in a couple months and I look forward to it.

Here is the address to art2mail if anyone is interested . Some of the postcards I made for my last exchange are pictured above.


Sometimes it is important to say yes to leaving the studio for an outing with a friend or a trip to run errands. It feels good! I come home refreshed and ready to go to work again. It is nice to talk to someone who listens and responds that isn't me.

Instead of thinking there is not enough time I am going to believe there is lots of time for me to create...and really isn't every minute of life about creating something... a thought ... an idea... a sound... a belief. .. a movement.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Clenched Fist

Have you ever been driving down the road and realized your fist was clenched?

I found myself doing this yesterday.

I have discovered myself doing this before and in fact went through a time that I found my hand clenched so much I decided I had a physical ailment.... much easier to think that than that I was clenching somewhere in my life and my hand was reflecting it.

This clenching brought me back to my artist pages this morning to sort it out on the page. Am I feeling grasping, clinging, angry? No answer yet but I'll keep going to the page and keeping my eyes open.I don't know the source yet but I trust it will come to me if I am aware.

In the meantime I am breathing.

I promised a picture of my current work...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Gray Days and Creativity

It always amazes me how inspired I feel on a gray day. Here is the view from my studio window where it is snowing slush this morning. It is also quite windy and as I work I can hear the sound of the wind in the trees my quilting is taking on a wavy look.

I am getting a lot of work done today and will post some pictures tomorrow of my current work.

For now I'll get back to work and enjoy the roar of the wind and the warmth of my studio.

Take time to stretch the body and the mind.

Remember to breathe.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

Good morning... I hope everyone is planning to vote today!

I will vote when I go out for errands this afternoon.

Today will find me finishing up the quilting on 2 pieces from my blackbird series. The next pieces for this series will be in a different color scheme and I look forward to working with some new colors.

In spite of my numerous sore muscles great progress was made on these pieces yesterday. It is so wonderful to have my creative energy back and a body that was able to do the work in spite of sore muscles.... don't get me wrong there was a lot of involuntary groaning throughout the day...really... any time I moved especially if it was sudden.

For fun............
I am participating in a trade put together by Susan Lenz. She will trade either postcards or ATC's. Susan is planning an exhibition with all the traded post cards she receives.

My selection was postcard number 10 ... the card is beautiful and 10 is my lucky number so that made it an easy choice out of the 163 postcards she has made for trading. That is pretty amazing when you think about it... a lot of work and they are all unique and quite pretty.

Work was started on my postcard for trade and it will be mailed today. This is really a great idea! I am tempted to select another postcard because I really enjoy making them but I think I will restrain myself so others can get an opportunity to participate.

Here is the link to Susan Lenz's site for the trade and exhibition.. .

http://cyberfyberex hibition. blogspot. com/

Remember to vote it is important!


Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday Monday

Happy Monday!

We woke to a dense fog in the woods this morning. After a wild ride of lightning, rain, and snow this past week the fog seemed fitting... vanilla frosting on the weather cake.

I am happy to report my internal fog has lifted. My 2 week long artistic funk was really trying my patience. I never know what precipitates the sudden collapse of artistic enthusiasm but when it arrives I fear that it will never end. Many artists experience this so I know I am not the only person to stumble into this place. As suddenly as it arrives it is gone and I never know what brings this new creative energy back to me but I was on my knees with gratitude this morning!

I worked on my homework for my online class with Liz Berg this past weekend and enjoyed the process of jumping into color swatches. My scrap baskets were organized in the process this was an added bonus.

The soccer team I sponsor invited me and all the other parents to a soccer game yesterday. I had never played and did not know that you could not use your elbows to hit a ball. Well... you can.... I did .... but you are not supposed to. I also did not know that a body could hurt from the chin down. If I took a poll of the parents who played in yesterday's game I could predict we all took pain reliever this morning.

Question for the day ... can I sit down at George to thread paint on a rear end that hurts as much as mine does this morning?

Until next time...
Remember to breathe !