January 31, 2011

* Getting dressed again .....

Fully dressed!  Isn't that what they say about those wonderful touring bikes when they have every inch of chrome and are shined to the enth degree?  Well ... Quinta de Luz is becoming fully dressed again.  She's looking very pretty I think.  More paint is required ... so I'm off to the paint shop to pick up another gallon.

My workers are down to a crew of two.  Should be enough to finish.  The second coat of pink is on the wall in the studio.
"Long is the road from conception to completion."  

One might say the above about this project.  I must check the start date.  I know it was February, 2010.  

January 30, 2011

More notes from The Creative Feast

The creative feast continues.  Today, it was flowers.  I think hand made flowers would look very nice as part of vintage cards.  I experimented today.  This is what I came up with.

I just 'played'.   The white and blue flowers are made with a punch.  I folded the white one accordion style, the blue one I simply 'smushed'.  A narrow piece of silk I had on hand is gathered by hand with a needle running stitch, pulled tight and tied off.  Another earring became the centre.  I'm quite enamored with the brown paper/newsprint ones.  I think they have great potential for shabby chick parcels, cards, etc.  Does anyone else have other techniques for making flowers?  I would love to hear.  I'm hooked now, and will probably make a little box full when the studio is up and running.  That way I will have them on hand for all sorts of occasions.

A little mail art was part of my day as well.  I'm going to stop for awhile now ... and await my mail box to fill up.  It's been great fun.  I am discovering decorating envelopes is a delightful pass time.

"I get MAIL; therefore I am."  ~ Scott Adams
chuckle, chuckle

January 28, 2011

* It's been a lovely day in the neighbourhood

I've thoroughly enjoyed my day.  I didn't venture past the courtyard walls and it was lovely.  The sun was shining, the temperature is in the mid seventies, the water makes soft noises falling gently in the fountain ... what more can I ask for.

Progress is being made in the Studio.  Glass is now in every window and door.  Painting is coming along, both inside and out.  It took four coats of paint to make a good job of the ceiling!  The first coat of pink is on two walls.  I was just a little concerned about these colours, however, I followed my heart and I think it's really going to be a fun room to be in.  Here's the latest photo of the progress.

Can't wait to see the orange walls.  The scallops along the top of the wall are fun.  There will be a small circle just below every one.  Hard to explain ...
Mail art was on the agenda today.  Honestly, I am getting such a kick out of this.  I posted a note on site saying that the next five people to post would receive a goodie pack from Mexico.  It took about half an hour to get five people who wanted to play.  Two from the USA, one from Canada, one from Argentina, and one from Trinidad and Tobago.  It will be fun to receive a package back.  Here's the envelopes.

Can you tell I had fun?

"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."  ~ Dale Carnegie

* The Stylish Blogger Award

Hi Tree over at Asleep or Awake.  I want to thank you for thinking of me when you were pondering who you might bestow this award on.  I am very honoured. 

The mandate for receiving this award is the following:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave me the award
2. Share seven things about myself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers to tell them of their award


1.   I have so many creative ideas in my head, sometimes I think I'm going to explode.  I have intentions to put some of those ideas to good use this year.  That is .... when this house is complete and I am organized again.

2.  I miss my family.

3.  I have had such an exciting year,  a year of extremes, I must now stop and take a break, rest, renew and when that's done .... rock on!

4.  One of the most exciting, challenging, creative things I have done in my life is to create this house from scratch in a foreign country.

5.  I believe there is a Power larger than we are.  I believe once we set our intentions and act on them, the Universe conspires with us to bring our intention to fruition.

6.  I am proud to be a woman.  Women, in the last thirty years, have evolved to a greater extent and to greater heights than we have in all of history.  We're movin' on up!  We are beginning to love ourselves and know who we are.  We are taking our power back, and using it wisely (well, mostly, anyway).

7.  I am proud of who I am becoming.  It has taken work to get here, and I've loved every minute of it, even the hard bits.  I'm beginning to love myself and recognize my gifts.  I want to shine my little old light back into the world to make other people happy.  I feel very blessed.

I am like you, Tree.  I don't have fifteen blogs to give this award to.  Therefore I choose the following.

1.  Carolyn's Creative Whims.  A very creative lady and beautiful soul,  I have known since 2001.  We have shared all sorts of art and participated in many round robins together.  We have always kept in touch.  I adore Carolyn's blog.  She's always coming up with new and fresh things to experiment with.  The interesting thing about our relationship, is we have never met in person.

2.  Nomadic Notebook.  Another woman, Patty, whom I have never met, however through personal communication, have grown very fond off.  Patty is not only a photographer and a word smith, she has many other creative attributes.  Her latest adventures into creating wonderful retreats are so exciting.  I wish I was closer.

3.  Salma, over at Imperfect Stepford Chronicles  is another interesting, very powerful woman.  Salma is lives in Canada, raising and home schooling a beautiful family, while she works, cooks fabulous meals, is a passionate activist and loves life.  Sometimes I don't know how she deals with everything on her plate.  Her latest blog is mostly visual.  Beautiful photography which says it all.

4.  I have just been introduced to Kati at The Red Tin recently though a mail art group I joined.  Such a talented woman!  Sewing and quilting are her passion, however there is so much more.  You will love her blog.  I do.

5.  Please visit Gerri at It's All Treasure and enjoy her incredible creations.  I find it very inspiring, I'm sure you will as well.

Thanks again Tree.  I hope most of you will have a peek at the above blogs.  I'm sure you will agree with me they are "Stylish" and much much more.

"Stylish" ~
characterized by or conforming to style or the fashionable standard; fashionably elegant; smart or chic: She wore a very stylish gown to the inaugural ball.  She wrote a very stylish blog!

January 27, 2011

* House Update ...

Before I bring you up to date on Quita de Luz, I want to thank Tree who writes "Awake or Asleep" for her kindness in awarding me the Stylish Blog Award.  Tomorrow, I promise I will talk about that and say Thank You properly.  It's lovely of you, Tree.  In the meantime, you can pop over and get acquainted with Tree HERE.

As you are aware, there have been some issues with de Luz, however things are moving slowly but surely forward.  I wanted to post a few photos to bring you up to speed.

The Studio is so close to being finito, I can taste it.  All the doors and windows are in.  The glass is now being installed.  Bathroom is almost complete.  We are waiting for the shower and sink fixtures which are on back order.  Should be in about a week from now.  After that a small bit of tiling around the shower and magic will happen - completo.

Gas has been installed to the fireplace.  An outdoor water outlet for the hose now exists on the terrace.  So what's left?  The remainder of the glass installation.  Electrical throughout the studio.  Terrace and stair railings.  Painting of the studio and outside of the house.  A small portion of the inside of the house needs repainting.  I won't predict timing ... but soon ... very soon.  Here's the latest photos.

Yes, I'm going with the BRIGHT colours!  I was getting cold feet and thinking a pale yellow might be better, when I suddenly got my courage back and thought I'll never know unless I do it.  So ... here goes!  Lime green, orange and pink.  I can always paint over it .... right???
This wall looks out over the mountains and has access to the terrace.
Looking towards the access from the stairway.  The door you see is access to the bathroom.  The indentation in the wall to the left can be made into a closet.
Looking toward the stairway access.  The large window at the end looks out over my driveway and the rooftops. I can't wait to sit at that big six foot table and spread out!   Habibi is inviting me to play.

The bano.  Fixtures and some tiling still to be installed.

As you might remember, I choose a few Day of the Dead, and Frida Khalo tiles.  They are scattered here and there.  Fun.
We are on the way downstairs now to see the newly cleaned driveway.
The huge sand pile, bags of cement, shovels, sifters, bricks, tiles and various bits and pieces were removed today.  The wheelbarrow looks lonely.   A serious cleaning and some paint will make a huge difference.

January 26, 2011

* Notes from The Creative Feast

I feel like I'm having a creative feast these days.  Every day I am creating a little something, even if it's organizing my bins to take up to the Studio.

Do you have old earrings?  Earrings you don't like?  Earrings that have passed their time in the world of fashion.  I've been raking my brains as to what to do with them when suddenly I thought of glueing them on to clothespins to make paper clips.  Then, I thought as I was in the process of building a bulletin board out of corks, would it not be fun to have sparkly tacks to hold papers in place.  My bulletin board still has a long way to go ...  I definitely have to pick up the pace in the wine drinking department.  ;o) 

Here's the results of my endeavors.  I think they will be fun and add a little pizazz to my studio.  I'm still going to make a few paper clips as well.

Choose some old earrings and clip the backs off them with wire cutters.
Choose a strong glue.  Add a little to the back of the earring and to the tack.  Press firmly together and let dry overnight.  I chose the equivalent of "No more Nails".  I have issues with glue here.  Not many of them seem to do the job.  This is working.

In one of my mail art swaps, I received a very neat little hand made book or 'zine'.  So simple, I have been making them and sending one in my outgoing mail swaps.  It's made out of one sheet of paper, properly folded, with one cut.  Super simple and so much fun.  Decorate it any way you wish.  This one I am showing you is a miniature one.  Made from a piece of 6" x 6" paper instead of the usual 8 1/2" x 11".   If any of you want the directions, put a note on the comments and I will send them to you.

All from one little piece of paper.  The book is decorated after folding.
"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love."  ~ Rumi

January 25, 2011

* A little of everything

Just a quick update of a general nature.  The studio is making progress .... very slow, and very sure.  It will happen.  I simply have to dig deep for more patience.  I know it's in there somewhere.  Now, where's it hiding?!  I'll post some photographs in the next couple of days.

Miss Sylvia's house is coming along as well.  A little faster progress over there.  Estimated completion time .... another week or so.  The roof terrace is going to be smashing ... and the view from the open terrace now on the forth level is absolutely spectacular.

I walked over on Saturday night, chicken soup in hand, and we had a lovely evening ... catching up on the progress in each others lives.

I've been doing more mail art.  The first letters went out about three weeks ago, and not one of them has reached it's destination.  Not surprising.  The cards I mailed out long before Christmas took six weeks to two months to arrive.  Good news is, everything has reached where it's supposed to go, even if it took ages.  I'm hopeful all my mail art will arrive in time.

Met Pat today for lunch at Juans.  Have I told you about Juans?  It's where I get my good coffee, one french roast, one decalf.  Juan grinds them and combines them.  It makes for a great cup of strong coffee and I don't fly away on too much cafine.

The food is always good at Juans, the atmosphere amiable, and very casual.  Sun and shade both reach the courtyard so there is a choice.  Great local hang out and good place to meet people.  Today Pat and I got caught up.  She had gone home to the US for Christmas and with me being sick we hadn't seen each other for about six weeks.  Also ran into another friend who joined us for coffee.  Nice day all in all.

Under the umbrellas at Juans.

Playing catchup.

"Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life."

January 24, 2011

* The Erosion Bundle, Part II

I'm excited.  Just hung my bundle out in the tree.  It will be an interesting journey over the next three months to see what happens to all the bits and pieces inside.  You may want to pop over HERE and have a peek at the other interesting bundles and 'their people' who are taking part this year.

If you missed the process I went through to pack this bundle, please go HERE to read all about it.  This is soooo much fun.

My little bundle full of art stuff, swinging in the Mexican Sun
"Creative minds are rarely tidy."   -  don't know who wrote it, however it makes me feel a whole lot better!

* The Erosion Bundle Project Part I

I read about the Erosion Bundle Project on The Red Tin, a delightful blog by "Katie" who I've met through the mail art part of my life.  It sounded exciting and I couldn't wait to try it.

Today I put together my bundle.  In January I am to assemble a bundle of art materials, wrap it in whatever I wish, tie it up and expose it anywhere I wish to "Mother Nature" -- in other words the elements.  In April, I take my bundle inside, let it sort itself out, and make some art out of it.  Great project.  I wrapped my bundle today.  Tomorrow, I will ask my workers to hang it it my tree, or perhaps I will simply hang it from the terrace railings .... that way I can get it down when required.

The process was fun.  I decided to wrap it in some brown velvet and some matte.  The matte material is woven here in Mexico and I would say is perhaps the equivalent to muslin in the north.

I chose brown rayon velvet for the outside of the bundle.  I lined it with matte which will overlap and become half the outside of the bundle.

The first layer of 'stuff' includes metal, playing cards, ribbon, tags, vintage lace, an old earring. an old watch, a small crochet item and some ribbon.
Next I added maps, postage stamps ad vintage postcards.

next, a vintage dictionary page, some clothes pins and more metal.
Now, some scraps of material.
Some already rusted wire and a metal circle.
more paper, maps, tags and material.
All wrapped up.  Now, Where to hang it until April?
"The thing that a lot of people cannot comprehend is that Mother Nature does not have a bullet with your name on it, she has millions of bullets inscribed with 'to whom it may concern"

It will be interesting to see what she has in mind for my bundle when I take it down in April.

January 22, 2011

* A Gift from a friend.

I couldn't believe my eyes.  Astonished ... that's a good word for what I was feeling. I surveyed the scene before me ... I found myself standing there with a smile on my face.  Allow me to explain ...

When I moved to Mexico, I left my 'room' of art stuff behind.  That was and still is the hardest thing about coming here.  My stash ... it's gone.  Anyway, that was then ... this is now!  Carolyn and I decided to do an art swap.  Yesterday I went to pick up my mail.  Carolyn's swap had arrived.  It was a little larger than I had expected ..... a medium size UPS box!  I couldn't wait to get home.

Everything poured out of that box ... beautiful papers of all types and sizes, coloured envelopes, rolls of tracing foil, shadow boxes, a kit Carolyn had put together for me with ink and pearlex powder to make glimmer mist with hand written instructions on how to make it, rhinestones, puzzle pieces, tags of all shapes, colours, and sizes, cigar labels, stickers, specialty items such as cutekuts, a krylon gold leafing pen, cast off papers for a project I have in the wings,  collage papers and German scraps, postage stamps, shapes to make shrines, a board book ready to embellish, chipboard shapes in sheets called periphery I have never seen before and more ... it just kept coming out of the box.  I was actually giggling at one point.  Remember, I have not been in a store which stocks these items in over a year.  I am seriously down a quart. 

This morning I am sitting here going through it all again.  My mind whirs with possibilities.  I realized the other day as I was sitting at the table creating something, just how much I love and adore paper.  Any kind of paper.  Old paper, new paper, patterned paper, blue paper .... it does not matter.  Paper and possibilities seem to go together for me. 

So my dear Carolyn .... Thank You!  Being here with no places I can get my little hands on art supplies like these .... this is the very best present I have had in years!

I took a photo.  It doesn't really do it justice as you can't see everything .. however, you will see why I am so excited.

Gift from a Friend.

“Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.” ~Richard Bach

January 20, 2011

* Full Moon Setting

Full Moon setting January 20, 2011
A perfectly round pot of creamy butter in a soft, dusky blue velvet sky, awakened my senses and left me in awe of the perfection in our magnificent Universe.

"Aim for the moon.  If you miss, you will hit a star."  W. Clement Stone

January 18, 2011

* Do you ever feel like this?

I've been feeling edgy lately.  Out of whack.  Out of balance.  I was very close to an anxiety attack this morning, which I really try and avoid at all costs.  They are such uncomfortable moments to endure.  Have any of you experienced one?  No fun is it! 

My practice, as you probably already know, it to stay in the moment, to work on one thing at a time and to do it mindfully and enjoy.  Well, that seems to have gone down the tubes temporarily.  My 'slinky' is waaaay out of balance.

Issues with the house, meetings with the builder, problemas to sort out, compromises to make, taxes to pay, FM2s to apply for (requires paperwork to assemble, copies to be made) etc. etc. etc.  My mind has also gone on a creative binge - so many ideas - so little time.  Things I want to get done this year.  Changes I want to make.  There are times so many creative ideas exist in my brain at the same time, it feels like someone pushed the blender button and I'm getting a creative smoothie.  Friends are arriving, ... Miss Perfect came out to visit me.  Had to send her from the room.  Sorry Donna, things just won't be perfect when they arrive.  You are still 'under construction'.   Just the normal, little things of life, but all at once.  This morning, I had to take myself in hand.  On the edge of stepping into the anxiety pot hole, I took myself by the hand, sat myself down in my most comfortable chair, and instructed myself to breathe deeply.  Breathe in the light, and breathe out any feelings of anxiety in my body. 

I sat with Julia Cameron's "Prayers to the Great Creator" and allowed the book to fall open of it's own accord to a page which would serve me well.

This was my prayer for this morning.  I wanted to share, because it could not have hit the nail on the head harder had it been planned.  A moment of serindipity, which I often experience.

Wisdom Gives Patience to my Soul
My soul is a patient traveler.  I am grateful for my patient soul.  Despite the temptation to think and act rashly, I root myself in the goodness of Spirit and act with temperance and wisdom.  I treat myself with gentle compassion when I find myself anxious or panicky due to imagined difficulties.  At all times, in all places, I remind myself that Spirit is the source of my security and that when I rest in Spirit I rest in loving companionship.  In times of loneliness, when I feel misunderstood and abandoned, I allow myself to feel the presence of Spirit, guiding and supporting me, holding me safe and secure despite my fears and misgivings.  I bless the path I travel with spiritual safety.

ahhhh ... that does feel better!

January 17, 2011

* Quiet time with Inspiration

Salma over at Imperfect Stepford Chronicles was asking in her blog if we prayed, meditated or had other rituals.  I was telling her about my morning quiet time and what it entailed.  It always includes some reading from my current inspirational book.  Salma thought it might be fun if I would share some of those books with you ... so here goes.  These are some I have read this year, and a couple I have yet to read.

In the past I have pretty much devoured everything Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Carolyn Myss, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Julia Cameron, Melody Beattie, Sanaya Roman, Echart Tollie, Gary Zukav, Miguel Ruiz, etc. etc. etc. had ever written.  The first book which I considered 'spiritual' was Living with Joy by Sanaya Roman.  I read that book in 1986 and have never looked back.  Over time the reading a book which inspired me in some way has become part of my morning rituals.  A few of years ago, something in me felt like it needed 'more' ... something deeper ... something which would perhaps assist me with deepening into my authentic self.  I found Thomas Moore and Care of the Soul.  I have a couple of books of his I am going to read this year.  Then, a couple of years ago, it changed again, and I wanted to connect with my 'creative spiritual self' ... so I began to choose different books again.

Here are some of the books I have enjoyed very much this year.

Julia Cameron's "Prayers to the Great Creator" is part of my everyday life.  Each morning I simply allow a page to open.  That is my prayer for the day and my inspiration to think about.  I adore this book.
Sorry for the photo.  I snitched if off Amazon - couldn't find my book.  I really like Mike Dooley's writing.  We are on the same page in our thinking and it makes sense to me.  Enjoyed this book from cover to cover.  Putting some of the ideas which suit me into practice.

Another Mike Dooley.  Helped me with some of my more stubborn 'core beliefs' I am working to change.

Not an author I am in love with having read a book or two of hers before.  This one however is about connecting to our creativity.  What we ache for.  Although she's still not a favorite of mine, I did learn from this book.

An interesting read.  Explores the soul through our creativity.  A book I am taking in small bites and savoring it.
An interesting read about calling love into your life.  I chose to make it generic - all kinds of love.  What I learned was to love myself just a little more than I love anyone else.  How to do that.  Still practicing. Also some fabulous approaches to turning challenges into stepping stones to move me forward.  

A delightful book by a young author.  How our thinking is changing.  Wonderful.

Not a book I could ever tackle all at once, I adore picking it up now and then and reading a chapter, a snippit, a couple of pages.  Bob Brezsney is incredibly brilliant.  An off the wall spiritual, inspiring book I adore.

Another book which incorporates all our creative talents in order to build a deeper, fuller, more joyful existence.  Just what I'm working on!

If you are a Carolyn Myss fan, as far as I'm concerned this is one of her best.  It takes you on a journey to the depths and you can clean your castle on the way.  A lot of well worth it work.
On my list to read next.  It's currently sitting together with the next book you will see, waiting to be read.
My other Thomas Moore in waiting.  If you have read "Care of the Soul" and "Dark Nights of the Soul" you will know he writes in depth and it's wonderful.

My current inspiration read.  I'm taking my time and enjoying every word.  Just what I need at the moment.

"A book is a human-powered film projector (complete with feature film) that
advances at a speed fully
customized to the viewer's mood or fancy. This rare harmony between object and user arises from the minimal skills required to manipulate a bound sequence of pages. Each piece of paper embodies a
instant of time which remains frozen until liberated by the
act of turning a page." 
  ~ John Maeda