May 31, 2011

* A Lovely Relaxing Day ....

Wendy and I can make the biggest mess in the shortest time ... I've never seen anything like it.  There should be a contest, we would win for sure.  What a team.

We began our play time about 10:00 am ... while it was still cool.  Soon we had all the paints, brushes, accessories, and everything else you might imagine spread out before us.

This was the first day for a very long time that 'n o t h i n g' worked for me.  You know those kinds of days .. the harder you try, the further you get away from anything which might resemble art.  Wendy, on the other hand, fell right into the zone, and created a beautiful nicho.

She's tacky, but she's mine.  I didn't want to hurt her feelings, she was quiet insulted when I told her I was not pleased with her looks.  So I put her up with the rest ... she feels better now.

Shortly after 2:00 pm we decided we were hungry, so went to our favorite Mexican Fish restaurant.  Same kind of fresh fish, served at least fifty million different ways.  The restaurant has great ambiance, situated on the side of a busy highway with huge trucks rolling by in the middle of an important sentence.  We don't let this deter us ... the food is excellent.  I tried to catch the dust in the photographs .. but it seemed illusive.  Not when we were sitting there choking on it.  Sometimes, in the middle of a small tornado ... amazing how hot and dry.  Missed the dust in the photo ... you can't really even tell it was windy .. the banana trees look deceptively still.  Anyway, for posterity's sake, I'm including our view out on to the highway.  

A wonderful day was had by all.  Let's do it again soon.  
“Music is the balm that heals the forlorn ache of a distant star.” 
Personally, could not live without music.
Thanks for dropping by my lovelies!

May 30, 2011

* Crayons and Other Fun Stuff

What would we all do without our toys!  The thought makes me shudder .. he he.  It was a milestone day for my stash ... my water colour crayons arrived in the mail.  I am so excited.  I purchased the same set you spoke about on your blog Lenna.   I think you bought a set as well.  (I want to be just like you when I grow up ... ha ha)  The entire box looks good enough to eat.

Also registered for The Sketchbook Project 2012 today.  I know Valerie is going to be part of it.  Who else that I know and love???  It will be fun to be in this together and able to compare notes.  It was so challenging to choose a theme.  I finally decided upon "Travel With Me".  I felt I could go anywhere with that in my imagination and it would not necessarily have to be about 'trips'.  After all, our imaginations can and do 'travel' to some amazing places.  So I'm happy with that.  It will be fun when the web site is up and running.  I'm looking forward to it.

Spent the day doing errands, getting groceries ... all the usual suspects.  This afternoon I caught up on some mail art and a couple of swaps I am involved in.  

I'm finding postcards very amusing to create!

That was my day in a nutshell.  Tomorrow, Wendy is coming over and we are going to make Nicho's. When we get hungry we are going out for a fish dinner.  YUM.

Take care of yourselves.  Thank you for dropping by for a visit, my lovelies.

"Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn't you - all of the expectations, all of the beliefs - and becoming who you are." - Rachel Naomi Remen

* Did I tell you?? ....

There are lots of things I haven't told you lately.  When I began this blog, it was all about speaking my truth.  It was all about my journey and moving forward.  It was about my 'coming out' party, healing from a very long and difficult depression.  It was all about becoming whole and 'Flying Solo' again.  I believe I said in my first post, words like: "I plan to speak my truth, be authentic, be rude, be controversial, be angry, be ecstatic, be blissful, be romantic, be profane, be aware, be an observer, think out of the box, and be a little mad (as in off the wall) from time to time."  

I've slowly shifted away from this philosophy simply because I have grown, and done some incredible healing.  I have grown so far beyond being afraid of Flying Solo,  I felt the need to change the name of my blog.  It simply didn't fit anymore.  I'm in such a different place.  There are times however, when I must 'get back to basics', be honest about my journey and share what needs to be out there.

I have found my creative self, and am allowing her to flourish. Such a huge blessing for me.   It doesn't mean 'stuff' isn't happening.  It doesn't mean I don't want to record the journey with all the hills and valleys of a normal life.  I do.  That's what makes it real for me, and that's what will make it worth while to me when I read it ten years from now.  It is my hope, sharing some of my journey may help others with the rough spots in their own life.

So .. here's what I have not shared with you.  I am WAY out of emotional balance.  Doing what had to be done to complete this house nearly finished me.  The last six months was hell. I was given no alternative but to fight.  This is new to me.  It's not part of my authentic self.  I found anger within I didn't know existed.  I had no one to soften the blow, I had no soft place to fall.  I became everything I detested in a human being.  Rude, obnoxious, outspoken, sarcastic and uncaring to others needs.  I thought only of myself and what needed to be done to complete my home.  Absolutely no other approach worked.  I tried them all.

I became a different person.   I did what I had to do to complete this project.  I literally made it happen.  The anger which accompanied the process has taken it's toll.  I didn't know I had it in me.   Amazing what we find in the depths, isn't it.  The process has not been without it's mutations.  I did what I had to do and am now paying the price. I'm exhausted emotionally.  I need time to heal, time to find my balance again.  It will happen.  I am allowing it.  Patience is the key.  I am learning.

Next thing on the list I have not shared with you, for the record of my journey.  I have severe osteoarthritis in both knees.  No way around it.  It hit suddenly, out of the blue.  First one knee and a couple months later, the other.  Walking is difficult. A cane is now my companion.  I am no longer mobile.  It's a shock.  Walking more than a block and standing more than a couple of minutes impossible.  DECISION:  Have both my knees replaced.   I will not spend the rest of my life living like this.  It's out of the question.  I am in constant pain.  I need to be mobile.  After all, I have things to do ... places to go ... and I'm excited about that!  I need to LIVE my life.

What else haven't I told you?  Oh yes, I'm addicted to prescription drugs.  Our generation was the first generation to be blessed with medicine in just about all fields.  Our parents were awe struck.  Their children didn't need to suffer, they could consume a pill and be 'cured'.   We were taught to hold Doctors at the same height as Mt. Everest ... after all they were gods!  We took there potions without question.  After all that acceptance and belief,  I am addicted to prescription drugs. It's time to think for myself again.  It's hell getting off them, however I am determined.  I was misdiagnosed some thirty years ago.  The last time I asked a Dr. for assistance to get off a drug, she gave me another drug to assist in the process. That was about eight years ago.   Should it happen you are addicted to some 'hard' drug such as cocaine or heroin, rehab is available.  If it's a prescription drug, born and raised by the pharmaceutical industry, you are on your own.  I've made a personal decision.  I'm coming off drugs.  It's hell.  I've had nights of gasping for air.  I've had panic attacks.  I've had side effects you can't imagine.  The drug I am coming off, once considered to be the best drug ever to be introduced to the market place for its particular purpose, is now considered by many in the field to be poison.  Law suits are launched but never make it to court, because the pharmaceutical industry makes sure clients are paid off before the case becomes public.   God forbid the pharmaceutical industry should be in question.  It's big business, it's corporate North America, and the bottom line is the almighty dollar. What else can I say.  I am angry. 

Over the past five years, I have successfully left one powerful drug behind, and am close to leaving the second one in the dust.  The third will be the most difficult.  It is the most addictive.  I will do it.

Don't worry!  Tomorrow I will be back to my usual self .. my creative self ... the self I love and nurture.  In the meantime, I have been honest about some of the darker parts of my life which must be nurtured and healed.

Thank you for listening.  I know it's not pretty.  We all have our issues in life.  No one is exempt. These are mine.  I wouldn't trade with anyone else ...  

The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.  ~Max Lerner, The Unfinished Country, 1950

May 28, 2011

* It's Magic

Yesterday, it was a bracelet.  Today it's a necklace.  It's magic!  The creative process is an incredible one.  The more I get to know it, the more magical and mysterious it becomes.  Sometimes I have absolutely no control.  That's when there is no doubt in my mind I have my own personal Muse.  The thought delights and pleases me.   Whatever I'm working on, the painting, the story, the poem,  the object, the collage, the multi media piece simply tells me in no uncertain terms what comes next.  I have no choice but to follow along.  I think that is pure magic.  It doesn't happen in any other areas of my life ... but the creative process?  Ahhhh ... there is real honest to goodness magic in creation.  In many cases, I don't have a choice of what step to take next. Sometimes I am just told what to do.

So ... having said that, yesterday I made a button/charm bracelet.  It was fun.  I thought it was finished except for the clasps.  Today, when I went to the studio, the bracelet wanted another strand.  I thought, OK .. that will look good.  When I was finished, it looked to heavy.   When I held it up to my neck, it was a necklace.

I got out my box of chain and tried a few different pieces.  Still not sure if I like the one which is on it now.  It might tell me tomorrow ... lol.

“Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise.” Julia Cameron 

May 27, 2011

* Bits and Buttons & Sketchbook Project 2012

For those of you who are interested, information of The Sketchbook Project 2012 is HERE.  I know some of you were involved last year.  I would love to hear from you.  So many questions.  I'm thinking about making the commitment this year.  For those of you not familiar with this massive traveling sketchbook project, read about it by clicking on the above link. 

Experimenting with old bone buttons and bits.  Most of the 'bits' on the bracelet are harvested from vintage jewelry. Some old garnets I have made into hanging charms, a couple of turquoise lucite balls, and vintage costume pearls   The verdict is still out.  Not sure whether I like it or not.  It's still a work in progress.  There are several things to be added and a couple to be changed around.  No clasps .. ha ha.  Didn't order any.

It's Saturday.  Have a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for coming to see me .. I do adore your company. 

"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy."
— Rumi

May 26, 2011

* Can't stop playing with Jewelry ... This is my 475th post!!

At least for a few days.  I seem to need variety these days, although I could do with a long project as well.  Today as I rummaged through my bits and pieces, I chose a broach as the centerpiece of a necklace.  It evolved from there, taking it's own twists and turns.  My main issues are I don't have the proper findings to work with.  I know so little about what I really 'need', I ordered wrong material (jump rings too light weight), or neglected or order material all together (clasps).  Frustration sets in.  Can't finish project.  Findings north of the border.  I simply have to settle down and get used to it now don't I.

I'm finding what appeals to me about this type of jewelry is putting the old with the new, placing the worn out with the sparkles, putting the casual with the dressy.  Old bone buttons, Swarovski crystals and prominent wire please me.  So many combinations which makes it very interesting and visually stimulating.  If I go with the premise nothing has to 'match', it literally frees up my imagination to invent anything.

Here's what happened today:

I'll have to order some kinds of clasps for my stash.

The earring in the middle is a MOP (mother of pearl).  It has a metal shank.  I think it's beautiful in this plain and simple form.
By itself, it's exquisite.  (Sometimes we need to be by ourselves to be exquisite.)  I was able to leave the shank and simply glue it on to a finding with E6000, which means it could, if necessary, be used again.

Does it fascinate you as well?  Where did these pieces originate?  What was their original purpose.  Who wore them .. where have they been .. how did they get here???  Intrigues me no end.  I guess that's one reason I love old things so much.  There is a history and a mystery.  I can ponder all that while I'm holding them in my hands creating something new, yet again.

The least excuse to celebrate, and I'm right there.  Within the next month or so, I will be reaching my 500TH post.  Incredible, since I secretly thought I would never make it the first month.  To celebrate, there will be a little giveaway.  Nothing LARGE I'm afraid.  Without using FedEx out of Mexico, I can send 13 oz. in a flat envelope.  Those will be the parameters.  Ephemera, Mexico stuff, whatever goodies I can dream up.  Don't worry, I'll make it interesting.  Hope you will join in.  I'll keep you posted, (no pun intended ...).

Oh by the way ... how many of you take photographs of your work to use as a critique?  I do it all the time when I'm painting, and have accidentally  noticed it is very useful for everything else as well.  If there is something I don't like which I didn't notice, I get it first time I look at the photo.  I reworked my bamboo earrings, because when I looked at the photograph, I realized how much the bird earring needed another pearl at the bottom.  Makes all the difference.  Life is in the detail.  Love it.

see what I mean?
  Here's a cool thought ..

Everything in creation has its appointed painter or poet and remains in bondage like the princess in the fairy tale ’til its appropriate liberator comes to set it free.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

* This and That ...

Errands today.  Grocery shopping, restocking must haves for studio, pick up mail, etc. etc.  I left mi casa before 10:00 am.  It was already HOT.  I had thought I would go to centro, walk a little, sit in the jardin a little and perhaps have a late breakfast.  Just couldn't do it ... even under all those beautiful trees in the jardin ... still HOT.  We are breaking temperature records almost every day.

I was home around 1:00 pm.  Made a little lunch, did a little housework, sat on my little covered terrace with the fan on high.  Too HOT.  Thought if I made it to my studio, put on all the fans, cranked up the music, I would be fine.  I did make it to the studio.  I struggled with my creative muse for a couple of hours.  Nothing worked.  She was to HOT too.

Had company this evening for a couple of hours.    Earrings are not particularly good.  I will re work them tomorrow.  They both have potential, just not 'dancing'. 

Take care, thanks for stopping in .. I adore your comments and the fact you take your time to leave them.  Thank You..

"The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas."
— Dr. Linus Pauling

May 25, 2011

* Experimenting with Jewelry

It would be so much fun to make some jewelry.  It's in my head.  It's out of the box.  Nothing matches.  Pieces come from anywhere and everywhere.  When I began to think about this and did some research, I realized that's what's HOT right now!  Funny isn't it.  Anyway, I don't want to look at other people's stuff.  I don't want to be influenced.  On the other hand I have no idea how to go about this.  I just play ... I experiment.  I make mistakes.  I learn.  The biggest issues I am having is making the pieces hang beautifully.  There is definitely a knack to that.  It's probably all about weight and balance, like when you load a small plane.  I have watched a few things on You Tube, just to learn what I'm doing incorrectly.

A few weeks ago I began working on a necklace.  I think I had a photo on the blog.  I took it apart today and started over.  I didn't like the direction it was headed in.  I'm finished.  It hangs reasonably well.  As you know, I don't like things to match - so I made three earrings.  Two of them make a matchie poo poo pair (although they are not the same), but the third one is very different.  It's effective because there is a piece just like the earring in the necklace.

I'm finding it a very challenging piece to photograph.  Perhaps because of the contrasts in colour and value.  The colours are better in person ... here goes.

Every since I can remember I have been absolutely fascinated by religious reliquary.  Pieces I adore the most are ancient and have deep roots in the culture.  Russian Icons drive me insane, and in a perfect world I would own a few made by hand silver types.  I settle for collecting medals, milagros, and other interesting tid bits from around the world.  I used a lovely old small brass cross, an old crystal rosary center, a small image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a milagro.  They have no religious significance for me.  They do touch a deep deep spot in my soul.  Who knows why.  They are symbolic of the Universe for me.

Is anyone else MESSY?  I absolutely cannot get over how quickly I can make a trip over, fall down, never find anything again, MESS.  Gotta go clean in up, so I can start all over again.

"A messy house is a must - it separates your true friends from other friends.
Real friends are there to visit you not your house!"
— Jennifer Wilson

May 23, 2011

* Hanging "When I Was Three", More Mail Art and some Earrings

It's 1:13 AM.  Impossible to sleep in this heat .. at least for me.  The temperature is still 75 degrees F outside, and I would say hotter inside because of my west facing exposure.  (who knew!)  Ah well, that's life .. I will have a nap manana.  

It was lovely to open my comment box and find all your wonderful, supportive notes and suggestions about hanging When I Was Three as well as all the loveliness you always leave in your wake.  :o)  All great ideas.  I used no mas claves (no more nails) glue to adhere the ruler and material on to the metal piece, however, then there was the issue of something to actually hang it from onto the wall.  I rooted around (Valerie would say in her hall closet) ... I say EVERYWHERE (because I'm still so unorganized) ... and found some little plastic hangers which you use to hang twinkle lights from.  I glued four of those to the back of the ruler, ran some ribbon through them and IT WORKED.  Here's a better photo than yesterday, without me clinging to it in front of a computer screen!

By the way, Gerri, I did check out the  crop a dial.  Looks fantastic.  My only concern is perhaps I would not be able to purchase grommets here which would fit the machine.  I'll have to check it out.

Then I moved on to mail art.  I'm a little behind in that department.  Had fun today, writing a few letters and decorating a couple of envelopes.

OK, so that was that.  I took a break, had a late lunch, tried to occupy myself.  Honestly, I'm so restless these days.  Anyone else?  Is it Spring Fever?  So, up to the Studio I went and worked on some earrings.  

Put some rhinestones in for eyes this time.

You may remember the metal filigree balls I found at the market.  This is one of them.  They are light as feathers and I think might make some nice earrings.  Experimenting at the moment.
“There comes a time in your life when you realize who will always matter, who does matter, and who never did. So don’t worry about people from your past, there’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future.” – Unknown

May 22, 2011

* When I was Three, Mail Art and a quick RAK Swap

I picked up the transfer I did the other day and held it in my hands.  The one of me in my navy blue cape.  I was three years old.  No ideas of what I wanted to do with it were in my little brain, however, you know how it is.  You pick a piece up, hold it in you hands for a little while and soon things begin to flow.  The finished piece has turned out very very shabby. I think I may FINALLY be loosing my perfectionistic tendencies.  I actually like it.  I used two pieces of material and a piece of paper from my Erosion Bundle.  The fringe on the top of the transfer stayed.  I've turned the photograph part into a pocket where I may write about how my cape came into being and tuck it in there.  Vintage buttons appeared from their jar.  I wanted to use a traditional Mexican Milagro (miracle).  I chose a heart.  Then this little glass blue bird called to me.  She represents The Bluebird of Happiness.  I found an old bag of trim with a few beads and sewed it onto the bottom. I enjoy using stamps to give my work a sense of time.  In this case, I found a stamp of King George who was on the throne in 1949 when this photo was taken.  He is young and handsome.  It would give the viewer who knew nothing about this piece a clue as to it's vintage.  Some lace, a little stamping, and some typing on my old Eaton's portable.   It is done.

I have no idea how I'm going to hang this.  The old metal piece is not sticking too well, even though I used an industrial type glue.  The entire piece mounted on an old ruler.  I feel I must learn to do rivets.  Rivets would work with this piece.  Any suggestions?

At any rate, it's done.  I will concern myself with the hanging part tomorrow.

And now for something completely different.  Thank you, John Cleese for being part of my life!  (I just love that line!) A little mail art.

My first hand made post card.  What a hoot!
By the way ... there is a quick RAK Swap over at The Altered Paper.
You may want to check it out.  Looks like fun.  I just signed up. 

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire
and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
- Napoleon Hill