February 28, 2011

* First Day at Class

Kathleen and I are attending a one week intensive class on Intuitive Painting at the Instituto Allende.  I love that building and all the history which goes with it.  I know I have babbled on about that before.  Love sitting with the ambiance all around me in the one of the little restaurants.

Here comes Kathleen.  We enjoyed a very late breakfast before class.
Haven't seen Nina since she got back from Brasil.  Wow, her hair is LONG.  I begin my private classes next Wednesday.

Kathleen, preparing to paint ... in the ZONE.  

The result of Kathleen's first class.  If you have ever 'read' an intuitive painting before, you will get it. 
My first painting for the week is more structured.  I have carried this image in my head for months.  It feels good to have her on paper. 
When we arrived at Kathleen and Ivan's place, Ivan had prepared a lovely dinner, complete with candle light and wine.  I felt very pampered and cared for.
We took dessert up to the roof and sat overlooking the city lights and the clear starry sky.  Beautiful.  A wonderful end to another perfect day.  It took a lot of energy at class.  We were both quiet drained and content.  Another class tomorrow.

Painting, to me, is a unique experience. Each work is a surprise and has its own personal and intuitive meaning. After brainstorming feelings and memories, each painting evolves freely and independently. ~ Fernando Araujo

* Love in the Afternoon ...

44 came a'courtin' yesterday.  Love was in the air.  It was palpable.  44 took a long time to get ready to come to visit 3/8's ... and 3/8's took forever to tie the pink bow in her hair.  She had me iron it three times!  44 wore his heart on his sleeve so to speak.  The symbol of his love, which he wore around his neck says "Take my Heart".  Pretty straight forward, I would say.

The excitement of a new love!  You remember what it feels like.
We didn't mean to, however we did walk in on a very private moment.  I hope you don't consider this 'x-rated'.  I thought it was an indication that love still exists in many areas of life where we don't think about it.  
No explanation required.

You know what this means don't you.  Our family may be expanding.  We may be having more little 'ewes' ...... :o)

I always wanted a large family.
Wise men say, only fools rush in. But I can't help falling in love with you.
--Elvis Presley

February 27, 2011

* Poetry in Emotion ....

A very special day today. There was champagne.  There were toasts.  This was a day of celebration.  Three people became closer friends.  Three people cracked themselves wide open to their core.  Three people held nothing back. We trusted completely, we allowed, we spoke our truth from deep within knowing each of us was open to hearing, opening to listening, open to understanding with not an ounce of judgment.  It was a very safe place to express.  These sorts of days cannot be planned.  These sorts of days are a gift, given freely.  A gift accepted with love. 

Remember the old song "Poetry in Motion"?  Kathleen quipped our day was "Poetry in Emotion".  She was absolutely correct.  We read and listened for over three hours.  Suddenly we all knew we were exhausted.  Break time.  We had read with emotion our deepest thoughts.  We had spoken our deepest truths.  We listened intently to each other.  We felt deeply.  We understood.  We knew each others happiness, and laughed.  We knew each others sadness and cried.  It was indeed a day of "Poetry in Emotion".  A gift to carry with us forever.

Would you like to hear a poem or three?  One by each of us?  Thought so.  :o)  Here goes. 

Dreams or Reality
by:  Ivan
Who can say?
The images are
clear, muted, colorful,
dreary, sad, excited, terrifying
Don’t judge by the
appearances—allow the
vision to tell its story
Have courage to hear the
Wind of the Unconscious
tell you what you need
to hear.  Listen for the
“still, small voice” with a
trust and faith that the
Creator within wants you
to live without.
Stay true to the story
that is being told.  Allow
the chapters to be written
by the Unseen writer
Know the story might
never be “done”
“It is written”

Ivan reading.

The Ship
by:  Kathleen

It takes time to turn
one’s ship of life.
And by mid-life
it is a big ship.
I have been working the wheel
for some time now,
feeling the resistant press
of the ocean water against my hull
as I slowly change direction.
Yet, I hold fast to the awareness
that I have moved,
that each day
my angle to the sun is new.
And I keep on
in faith.

Kathleen listening.

Total Freedom
by:  Donna

And so we sit
naked in the late
afternoon sun
drying ourselves.
Habibi wrapped in an
orange towel -
me plopeed in all
my 64 years of glory
in a blue chair
on the back terrace.
Hair once on my belly,
fondly known as
my 'hair strip'
has found it way to
my chin.
I sit with a ten times
mirror, attempting
to rectify the invasion
if only termporarily.

The warm Mexican breeze carasses
my skin
and drys my hair.
I glance once or twice
behind and upward
to see if anyone
may be gazing
down at our private moment
from the nearby roof.

The shadows are long
and form exact shapes
on the courtyard walls.
Birds begin their even song,
cocks crow,
distant traffic makes its way
to unknown destinations.

The sun sets as
I will set one day
Always there
Always in existence
Only disappearing
from our limited view.

3/8ths and 44 enthralled by it all.

 When I asked 3/8's if she had a poem she would like to share, she very shyly and in a little voice said the following.

Sheep don't fly.

It was time for dinner.  We sat on the terrace, enjoying the soft air and feeling the darkness of night embrace us.  Candles flickered, water bubbled in the fountain, dusk came and went, the stars appeared.  Our peace was shattered from time to time by Habibi, who with his watchful eye spied a cat on the roof and literally tried to scale the wall, while using his biggest voice.  Cat's enjoy this, taunting from a safe place, smiling down on their distraught prey.

Night fell upon us and it was time to say adios until another day.  Kathleen and I begin our one week intensive of 'Intuitive Painting' at the Instituto on Monday.  Should be a very interesting week.  I'll keep you informed.

“Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls.” ~ Voltaire quotes 

February 26, 2011

* Poetry Reading Today at Quinta de Luz

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The little blurb on 'tea' included in the invitation is because, you may remember, Ivan and Kathleen brought me tons of tea! So grateful. And, yes, I do feel 'rich in tea'.

I am so looking forward to today. I love listening to other's writing, especially when it is really good. For me at least, there is also something magical about 'being read to'. I love it. There is absolutely nothing like hearing a piece of writing in the author's own voice. If you have ever been to readings, I'm sure you will agree.

Another creative play day with dear friends ... sharing our work. Can't wait!

Outgoing mail from Mexico .....

Browsing the dim back corner
Of a musty antique shop
Opened an old book of poetry
Angels flew out from the pages
I caught the whiff of a soul
The ink seemed fresh as today
Was that voices whispering?
The tree of the paper still grows.
~Pixie Foudre

February 23, 2011

* Finally ...

a hair cut!  It was driving me crazy ... you know ... when your hair gets to that 'impossible' stage and you have no choice but to get to your hair dresser quick.  I have been going to the same hair dresser since I arrived to SMA.  This lady lived and worked in the USA and can speak English, however chooses not to.  It's been a quiet relationship.  Senora Laura has lovely energy ... so gentle, and even though we had never really spoken, I like her very much.  Today was different.  We had a conversation.  She started it.  "Where is your house?", she began.  "Santa Julia", I replied.  We chatted on and off the entire time I was there.  I think I have been accepted.  I think she is comfortable enough with me now to open up a little.  I was honoured.

From there I went to the Mercado to see who I fondly refer to as 'the nicho lady'.  She has her own factory in San Miguel, wholesales to others, and for whatever reason we refer fondly to each other as "Senoritas" and laugh about it.  It is our private little joke.  Today I visited her to return a bag full of nichos which I had picked up by mistake when I was there last week.  Much to my surprise, when I got home and looked in my bag, it was full of nichos I had never seen before ... all the same ... all not mine.
Today when I returned them, she was so happy and surprised,  I received a dozen little silver tin geckos which will make absolutely splendid brooches.  I tried to say no ... honest.  She insisted.  Senorita said such a very small part of the population would have returned them to her.  Sad, isn't it.

Time for a late breakfast.  I walked to Juans Cafe which is always a cheery place to be and enjoyed my food with an elderly gentlemen from Alexandria, North Virginia.  In his 80's, he comes here to escape the cold and enjoy the ambiance of Mexico.

By the time I was finished eating ... just enjoying a very well made capuchino, Kathleen came and joined me for a fresh squeezed orange juice.  After that we explored some shops, the artisans market, sat and had a fresh limonada with mineral water ... and suddenly it was after 4:00 pm.  We sat on the curb by the market waiting for a taxi, chatting happily and taking a few photos.

Look at that 'happy'.  How can you not love it.

It was close to 5:00 pm when we left.  I dropped Kathleen off and continued on the pick up my mail.  Received some great mail art and letters stuffed with little goodies today.  Such fun.  Returned to my beloved Quita de Luz and my Habibi for a lovely peaceful evening.  Spent some time on the phone with a friend, cooked a little dinner, decorated a few envelopes for some outgoing mail art, showered and climbed into my bed about 10:00 pm.  Another wonderful day.  I am so very blessed.

Each day is a new canvas to paint upon. Make sure your picture is full of life and happiness, and at the end of the day you don't look at it and wish you had painted something different.
-- Author Unknown

* Another Play Day

Life is tough in San Miguel.  I had to endure another day of creating.  Amazing is it not?  Jen came over mid morning, fresh squeezed orange juice and baking under her arm.  She pulled a beautiful tin mirror from her bag which she wanted to paint and hang in her studio.  I had an idea for another nicho.

It didn't take long for the day to fly by.  So enjoyable to be in the company of people who are 'hit with the same brick'.  I said that to Jen today.  She had never heard the expression before and had a good laugh.  True though ... like attracts like and it is amazing to be with other creative souls.

Here are the results of our efforts.

We made another wonderful mess.
How gorgeous is this mirror!
Hard to see.  I'll show you a close up.  I put a vintage pin inside.  A small Spanish Galleon brooch from Spain.
Still a little difficult to see.  I pinned the galleon on to red velvet.

Yet another Frida, which I did yesterday.
“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand;
gratitude brings joy and laughter into your lives and into the lives of all those around you” – Eileen Caddy, The Dawn of Change

February 21, 2011

* The Accidental Nicho

This is the nicho I didn't mean to make.  Just sat down at the table to look at images, and you know how it is.  I got involved.

"Forever and Ever"

You know that old song .... hum along .... "forever and ev...er ..... my heart will be true" ... well, you get the idea.

Today was a lovely quiet day at home.  I read, I putzed, I cleaned a little, did a load of laundry, finished off some mail art for mailing tomorrow, organized some art materials, .... and, yes ..... I accidentally made another Nicho.  I'm not sure what goes on.  I don't deliberately set out to make one ... they just sort of 'suck me in', and soon one appears before me completed.  I'll post that one tomorrow!

 "The real joy of life is in it's play.  Play is anything we do for the joy and love of doing it, apart from any profit, compulsion, or sense of duty.  It is the real joy of living."
~  Walter Rauschbusch

* A Great Weekend

Father time has again slipped away, almost unnoticed with my weekend of bliss.  Time.  Such an illusive, mysterious illusion.  Monday already.  Early Monday morning to be exact.  4:15 AM and I'm enjoying a cup of tea writing my 'online journal'.  Habibi is curled up at the bottom of the bed, cool morning air is drifting through the windows.  The quiet at this hour of the morning is comforting.

Saturday was a glorious day.  No workers.  I arise early, open the doors and allow Habibi to do his morning check of the property.  Kettle on.  Coffee .... s t r o n g coffee.  Yum.  My morning read and rituals.  Then, my eyelids feeling heavy, slipping back under the covers and falling asleep for a couple of hours.  Relaxation.  Feels great.  At 11:00 when Kathleen called I was still propped up in bed.

I did get up and get dressed, not because of any external pressure.  I just wanted to.  K & I arrived after lunch and we spent one of those afternoons which slips by unnoticed until all of a sudden it's 9:00 pm.  Such an enjoyable day of deep conversation, laughter, lovely music, a little wine and some good food. 

Eating on the terrace, water dripping in the fountain, music drifting outside in the background, good conversation in the company of dear friends.  It all adds up to BLISS.
Friends ..... such blessings.

Today I slept until noon.  I never did get dressed.  I read, I putsed, and made a nicho totally by accident.  I had no intention, however, when I sat down at the table to jazz up a few images, I just kept going and a nicho appeared.  I'll post it tomorrow.  Happy Monday.  Hope you all have a great week.

"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked." -- Bernard Meltzer.

February 19, 2011

* Studio Angel ...

Before I show you my beautiful Studio Angel ... I want to talk about the moon, la Luna.  I'm pretty sure I'm in love with her.  I know I can't keep my eyes of her.  Her beauty makes me weak.  Her ability to suspend herself above us and accept the fact she is shining and gorgeous because of the reflection of someone else -- that big guy in the sky, 'el sole', amazes me.  Last night la Luna was in her full glory.  She shone down on me with dignity and grace.  The night was bright because of her.  I was comforted.

In my house, I enjoy symbols which remind me there is something bigger out there than little old me.  Something I try to understand, knowing deep down, the real workings of the universe are so huge, I will never comprehend the details.  Yesterday while I was at the market stocking up on mail art goodies, a little voice called to me from the corner.  There she was, sitting on the shelf, wanting to come home with me.  The perfect Angel for my studio.  She is sooooo Mexican.  She is sooooo Perfect for my play room.  I brought her home. We are both delighted.  I'm trying to pry a name out of her, however, so far she is not telling.  Last night while I was taking her photo, I noticed for the first time she is a little crooked, a little less than perfect, or perhaps totally perfect.  I can relate to that and I love her more for it.  A 'little off' ... just like me.  ;o)

Isn't she lovely?  Even has the Frida above the lip thing goin' on. 
"Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek." ~ Tom Robins

February 17, 2011

My Nicho's from the Nicho Party

Didn't have time to finish my own Nichos yesterday ... too busy enjoying my company.  (YES!  We missed you Judith and promise to give you a rain check).  I spent a lovely day completing the two Nicho's I began and would like to share them with you.

With a heart and wand in hand, this nicho is entitled "spreads love and magic".   I used one of the brown paper and newsprint flowers I made.
Frida.  Adore doing Nicho's with Frida as the main attraction.
‘Creation is a drug I can’t do without.’

February 16, 2011

* Did you say Nicho Party?

Yes, that's what I said.  Inspired by my friend Wendy, who holds Nicho Parties regularly, I invited a few women over to explore this creative medium, make a mess, and get caught up with each others lives.  I set the party up outside in the shade.  How good is that.  Sitting outside, with friends who also love to create, chattering, laughing, getting caught up on the 'gossip', creating something lovely.  It was such FUN.  A great way to spend a day.  I liked it so much I definitely will do it again.  It does not have to be Nichos, it could be any creative activity.  I actually wanted to have a Valentine Card Making party, however I knew I didn't have enough 'stuff' to play with.  Next year I will plan for it.

Champagne was the first order of the day and we toasted each other, life, friends, Quinta de Luz, and of course Nichos.  We nibbled on fresh guacamole, cheese, crackers and freshly baked ginger bread cookies Wendy brought.  I hadn't seen Jen and Isabella for awhile and it was lovely to catch up with them.  They had never made a Nicho before.  Pat, from Aparicio days came ... also new to Nicho making.  Kathleen, who has wanted to make Nichos for years, and in fact has carted blank Nicho's home, which are still blank, made THREE Nicho's today and is so inspired will probably take an entire suitcase of them home with her this year.  She has plans for making them with her granddaughter.  Wendy, the Nicho Queen, brought samples of her glitzie style with her so the Nicho Virgins could behold and be inspired.  Yes, we had a blast. 

Everyone brought a nicho and an object to put in it.  I got out all my paints, brushes, glue, and decorative elements to play with.
It was nice and neat.
Soon, it looked like this.  Everyone lost in 'the zone', trying different colours, different designs, different ways of embellishing.
We look happy.  We are.
Pat's first time Nicho.  Very cool.
Jen's first time Nichos.  Gorgeous I think.

Isabella's is lovely as well.  Very antique looking.  She's a photographer.  Cropping one of her own photos and using that as the insert was brilliant.

Kathleen is ready for more.  I love what she created.
I love the Nicho with the little doors.  Wendy loves doing Nicho's with Our Lady of Guadalaupe in them.
A day spent with friends is always a day will spent.

* A PURE BLISS day and a little Mail Art.

It was a beautiful day in San Miguel.  The sun was shining.  It was neither too hot nor too cold ... it was just right.  Kathleen came to de Luz and we spent the afternoon together.  Kathleen arranged for an aesthetician to come to de Luz.  We sat on the covered terrace while our hands and feet were soaked, snipped, rubbed and polished. It was a Bliss day.  We laughed, we had tears in our eyes, we dreamed, we philosophized, and wiled away the hours in the warmth of the Mexican sun.  We dined on fresh sandwiches and drank agua ... it was delicious.  Our feet and our hands are happy.  Our hearts are full.  We deepened our friendship.  Kathleen treated me to this beautiful 'spa day'.  Ah yes, life does not get any better than this!

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same.-- Anonymous

February 14, 2011

* Happy Valentines Day in San Miguel

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More VAleNtiNE LoVE ThoUGhTs  have arrived from Chicago for #44 and 3/8ths.  Dear friends, 7/10ths (twins) and a  relative, another #44, have sent their love and a family photograph to remind you they are thinking of you and miss you.
Happy Valentines Day, Ivan and Kathleen.  It's so very lovely to have you close to me.  To all my friends in Canada, the United States, Australia, my special people enjoying the warmth of Maui at the moment,  Anne and Karen and your families, I hope you have a LoVeLy LoVe dAY.  I'll be thinking of you all.  XxXOoo

"If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you've made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand."