July 31, 2011

* Playing with Ledger Books

I've been a naughty girl ... e-baying again!  I've been very strict with myself lately because of this mess with the house, however, I saw these old ledger's and couldn't resist.  There were two sets of two.  I bid on both, minimum bid and forgot about it.  Much to my amazement, no one else bid, so I ended up with four books all from the early 1920's.  YUM.

I cut one apart and made a journal.  All my supplies have arrived now for book binding.  I have the waxed linen thread and book binding cloth in stock ... so I can 'go for it' whenever I feel the urge to play.

I did an open spine binding and had some challenges with this one.  I'm not sure why, although I think it was because I had so many of the pages different lengths and they kept shifting.  At one point I pulled the thread to tight in the wrong direction and ripped one of the signatures quite badly.  Alas and Alak!  Such is life.  I carried on, had fun finishing the book. Decided to collage the front.

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful summer weekend.  Thanks for dropping in .. the Sangria is on this week.  We can sit on the terrace and chat!
Travelers, it is late.
Life's sun is going to set.
During these brief days that you have strength,
be quick and spare no effort of your wings.  ~ Rumi

July 29, 2011

* Playing with Beads ...

Love playing with beads.  During those inbetween times, you know the kind.  Sort of restless ... sort of don't know what to do with myself.  I turn to my box of beads.  I'm getting much better at making beaded chains.  Love doing it.  The act itself is very meditative.  I just sit there, get into this lovely rhythm, crank up the music and before I know it, I have some kind of a beaded chain going.  I used a couple of them in this piece.  I'm not sure this piece is finished.  Have to live with it for awhile.

Be Well.  Be Happy.  Thank you so much for your visit.  YOU, my dears, make my heart sing.  xx

 "Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you."
— Rumi

July 27, 2011

* Sunday Afternoon Revisited ...

This painting has really taken me for a ride.  It got so difficult and became so 'precious' I could no longer work on it.  Once I begin to 'like' a painting too much, think some of the areas are 'well done' so therefore avoid going near them, adore some of the brushstrokes or the colours,  I am sunk.  It simply doesn't work anymore.  I have to be able to work on the entire painting.  So I put it away.  I have just taken it out again.  With the attitude "I have nothing to loose", I have re blocked it in.  I like it better already, however time will tell.  The first coat of oil will have to dry before I can touch it again.  If I can stay detached, it will may be somewhat decent. 

Also, painting intuitively is different.  I have no models.  Nothing to look at.  It's all in my head.  Most of my intuitive paintings have a little of the 'unreal' in them .. this one is all the reality of the human body.    Here is the first round.

In the meantime, while I'm waiting for this to dry, I may begin the winged heart.  We will see.

Hope you are all well and happy today.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  You are all gifts to me.

"All glory comes from daring to begin."
~Eugene F. Ware~

July 25, 2011

* Play Day Monday

Had a lovely day at home.  Pat arrived shortly after 12:00 noon with incredible sandwiches from the Bibliotecha, so we enjoyed our lunch on the terrace before venturing up to the studio.

Pat particularly wanted to make a card for her friend, which I forgot to take a photo of.  It was quite dramatic with a black and white Japanese print on black cardstock - then a small plate underneath, also black which we stamped with words in opaque white ink.  Rounded all corners .. and voila.  A gorgeous card.

Then we decided to have some fun.  Pat had a couple of magazine photographs of paintings ... perhaps New York.  We each picked one and went to work with the materials which were already on the table.  Hand made papers, inks, alphabet and number stamps.  Pat was quite perplexed so I asked her to ask her card what it wanted.  She immediately replied she felt like making black marks across the page.  I handed her a black marker.  Free hand or straight?, I asked.  Straight.  I handed her the ruler.  Then she was off on her own having fun and being free with it.  Here are the final results.

This was fun.  I just kept ripping pieces of different papers, ripping the painting, and putting it on the card.  It did stamp some numbers, the most prominent of which are 9 and 5.  The painting is of busy streets.  Subconsciously, I chose the hours of work.  Interesting I thought.  Didn't notice it until I was finished the collage.
 It was almost dinner time when Pat left.  Habibi and I had our din din and then Wendy came over for tea.  She's leaving for a month to go back to the States for a little holiday.  This morning I have my class with Nina.  Going there once a week keeps me focused, keeps me going, keeps me painting.  It's a good thing.

 “I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.” Kim Basinger

* My Lady of Abundant Blessings

Hello all my lovelies.  I miss you, however, I have been keeping tabs on what you've been up to in blog land.  Thanks for all your wonderful comments on the last post.  It could leave a girl weak at the knees.  :o)

My Lady of Abundant Blessing is complete.  I will be able to hang her in my home as soon as the sides of the canvas are dry.  We have had a discussion about having prayers on the heart she is holding.  I asked if I could paint a winged heart, hang it above her and put my prayers there.  That way, the winged heart can fly around hunting and gathering while My Lady is able to stay with me.  She agreed.

This painting, for whatever reason, has great presence and a great sense of peace.  As I mentioned, my critic was not present during this painting and it was such a glorious experience.  Yes, Donna, I have changed the locks!

click for details
Thanks so much for popping in.  Hope you had a wonderful weekend.  I'm having a play day with a friend today, and back to painting with Nina tomorrow.

I have to say the quote today made me laugh out loud and I couldn't help but share it with you.
"A lady is smarter than a gentleman, maybe, she can sew a fine seam, she can have a baby, she can use her intuition instead of her brain, but she can't fold a paper in a crowded train."   ~ Phyllis McGinley

July 21, 2011

* Nearly finished ...

Oh RATTS!  I really didn't want to show you "My Lady of Abundant Blessings", until she was completely finished, however, I am too excited.  I'm really pleased with the way she is turning out.  What's wrong being happy with my work, you may ask?  Just about everything, and it makes me so happy.  My critic has left the building, and all I feel is joy.  Love it!  Usually, she (Miss Perfect aka the critic) nags constantly at me.  Such a relief to have a break from it.  Only my Muse is present, and she is so loving and supportive.

Now, for My Lady of Abundant Blessings.  Her hand still needs some work .. the colouring isn't quite right.  Her earrings, although she insisted on having a pair, are too bright, and I want to tone them down a notch.

She has also requested that I collage some 'requests to the Universe' (prayers) on her heart, and perhaps add some milagros.  I'll have to wait for the oil paints to dry, otherwise this will not be a happy ending.

Other than that, she is pretty much finito.  I can't wait to hang her in my home.

I want to say thank you to the Universe for this painting.  My Lady is gift to me.  She came through me flawlessly.  I never had to change a stroke.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Take care and have a wonderful day.

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.  ~Meister Eckhart

July 18, 2011

* Just can't seem to stay away ...

Here's My Lady today.

Class with Nina tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by.  

Trusting you intuition means tuning in as deeply as you can to the energy you feel, following that energy moment to moment, trusting that it will lead you where you want to go and bring you everything you desire.” ~ Shakti Gawain

July 17, 2011

* I told you ..

I would keep you posted on the painting.  I did paint for a couple of hours today.  'She' is very demanding.  Wanting so much detail ... it takes a long time on a huge canvas with a little brush to create detail like this.  I haven't done much to her face ... but her surroundings are coming along.  She's informed me flowers falling in abundance from her hair are in order.  OK!  OK!  I'm listening.

To all of you who left your beautiful comments yesterday ..  .. WOW, you touched my heart!  It's lovely to be missed.  I'll be around .. probably more than I think I will .. :o)  Certainly, I will still be blogging about my painting with Nina.  and ... I will be looking in on you from time to time. 

"So you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering." ~ Brenda Ueland

July 16, 2011

* My Little Love Birds

Today, while I painted, my little Love Birds (Doves) sat on the railing outside the studio, huddled up and puffed out like it was -40 degrees.  It was windy, but not cold.  The entire time I painted, they looked in on me, content to watch and be together.  At some point, the light was not good and I closed the curtain.  When I went to leave, I peaked out with my camera in hand.  They had turned the other way.  Nothing interesting to watch inside.

You can see what a delightful pair they are!
I painted for a couple of hours this afternoon.  My Goddess is changing.  She is becoming what I see in my head.  Certainly, not 'real' .. more of an illustration.  I have not painted this way before, so it's all very experimental.  We will see how she turns out.  Here's where I left her today.  It was very difficult to get a good shot because I'm painting in oils and there seemed to be a glare no matter where I stood.  The paint is still wet.

I'm going to take a little break for the summer. Won't be seeing so much of you.  I'll still be around, but not on such a regular basis.  Things to do, issues to get cleared up.  I'll be back in September.  In the meantime ... see you now and then.  Thanks so much for dropping by.  I love visiting all your wonderful blogs.  I'll keep you posted with this painting.
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  ~Ovid

July 14, 2011

* Lennas' Postcard Swap ...

Lenna is currently hosting a couple of swaps.  An ATC swap with a monthly theme, and a one time three for three postcard swap.  I chose the postcard swap because of the mailing situation here in Mexico.  Cards are not due until September, and I thought, surely the card would make it if I mailed early ... like NOW.

I completed them today.  The theme of the swap is "A Summer's Day" ... my theme within that theme seems to be 'Summer Flowers'.  Here they are.

The shoe image is from a water colour by Dennis Kyte.  Google him ... you will be in awe.  I have had a couple of images of his since the 90's and thought he wouldn't mind if I used them in a one time postcard with acknowledgement on the back.  In both cards, I photocopied the image directly on to card stock.  In this particular instance sewed coordinating ribbon around the edge.

Both cards with these images came from old telegrams I had.  I have not yet used the originals.  They were issued in Belgium in the 1930's.  The entire page contained the telegram itself, plus these lovely flower girls.  This, of course, was in the days, when a telegram was delivered directly to your door.  These were celebrations telegrams, for birthdays, weddings, etc.  So beautiful.

Both these images were added to fabric post cards I sewed.  The girls were glued, then sewn on in a random manner.  The words "Summer Flowers" are hand stamped.

This is the same Dennis Kyte image enlarged a little. I antiqued the card stock with TH distress ink.  The words were hand stamped,  then covered the entire card with a sheer sparkly fabric.    It has softened the image and given it a very romantic look, I think.

Do hope you are all having a lovely day.  Be well.  Thank you so very much for stopping by.

More than kisses, letters mingle souls; for, thus friends absent speak.  ~John Donne

* Night time activities ..

How's a girl supposed to get any rest?  Got up to go to the loo ... on the way back to bed see huge body of cock roach (I'm talking two inches here) walking across floor ... my instinct is to kill.  Turn to fetch my shoe.  When I look back, roachie is Gone.  Consequently, a roach hunt.  Finally spotted him.    Shoe in hand ..  smash to death.  I'm obsessed ... smash smash smash!!  Relief!  Huge sigh!  Can go to bed now, and sleep peacefully.  Suddenly I spy huge antenna waving and wiggling from atop the piece of wood which holds the curtains.  OH NO!  New strategy. Quick instincts.  Grab the raid, grab the little stool.  Sneak forward, climb up and PPPPHHJSSSSSSSSHSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHH  --- Raid everywhere, including into my lungs.  I don't care.  Can no longer see huge antenna ... more raid PPPHSHSHSSHHHHHHHHHSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHH ---- huge wriggling body falls on to floor.  Grab shoe ...... smash smash smash.  I am driven ... one more smash for good luck.  Next I'm on body pick up and flush duty.  SHSSEEEESH!  THEN ..... some other little bouncy creature bounds out of the corner.  More raid, more smashing!  It's like the killing fields over here.  I'm wide awake the adrenalin pounding through my veins.  Ain't life grand.  Hope you are sleeping peacefully.

July 12, 2011

* Back with Nina ..

OMG it feels so good to have a brush in my hand again.  I could feel I needed to get back to some painting.

I went with a blank canvas, however I did have ideas whirling in the wind storms of my brain.  After taking the intuitive painting class this winter, I wanted to expand on a couple of the paintings which had surfaced then.  What I knew was this.  I wanted to paint a woman, wrapped in a shawl and or with flowers surrounding her face.  She would be holding her heart.  More than that I did not know.  She appeared quickly on the canvas and I have her blocked in.  More or less what I want, although details will be revealed as I continue I'm sure.

“The heart is the only broken instrument that works.” T. E. Kalem

July 11, 2011

* Is That You?

The air is soft tonight.  Mother natures' breath brushing softly over my skin.  Or is it the first kiss of a would be lover as his lips caress my neck every so gently.  I'm not really sure if I've been touched, and yet small shivers run up my spine and goose bumps rush along on my arms.

That's what the air is like tonight.  Scottish mist.  London fog.  There but not there.  Moist.  Full of life.  Succulent.  Sensuous.  The fragrance of wet leaves stir my senses.  Autumn, fading with grace into winter.   Canadian west coast evenings.

November 30, 2008

Enjoy your day.  Thanks so much for dropping by.  
Memory feeds imagination.  Amy Tan

Nicho Play Day

Wendy came over to play today and you know what that means!  We made NICHOS.  Wendy rolled up in her car around noon with half her studio on board, hauled it up upstairs, arranged herself comfortably at the table, and asked the burning question.  "Which nicho am I going to work on today?"

I looked at what she had unpacked from her 'luggage'.  A pile of about ten nichos lay in front of her.  It made me smile.

And so the afternoon slipped by.  About 3:30 we took a break and went out for a wonderful fish dinner.  Then back to work.  We worked straight through quite a spectacular thunder storm.  Well, I didn't.  I held Habibi, who was shaking uncontrolably.  Wendy rocked on and made Nicho #2, which I forgot to get a photograph of.  Here's the first ones we made though.  They will have to do for today.

"Ode to Frida"  My attempt to use images of Frida in an iconic way.  Overall, I was pleased with the attempt.  She will hang on my wall.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  We will chat later.  xx

No one else but you can make your marks. Listen to your bones. Speak with your spirit. Edit with your head. Live with your heart. ~ Susan Holland

July 8, 2011

* A Visit with My Muse ...

Even though I am in the land of awry, even though I am well out of balance and the teeter totter nearly gave me whiplash bouncing me off when it hit the ground, my muse was lovely enough to come for a visit.  She is such a delightful muse, able to take me to another place 'far from the madding crowd'.

Not long ago I was playing around with a long strip of muslin ... making those lovely twisted flowers.   The kind that have the frayed edges and look oh so charming.  A fabric cuff with a flower on it was whirring in my head.  In the mean time, I have been looking at and holding beautiful small molded faces,  asking them what they wanted to be when they grew up.  DONNA (drop into her blog, it's FAB) had sent them to me some time ago, and although I absolutely adore them (they make my heart go pity pat), I really had no idea what they wanted me to do for them.  Suddenly, a few days ago, they announced they wanted to be 'flower girls'.  I agreed and thought of my cuff bracelet with the little faces in the middle of the muslin flower.

Yesterday I picked up a magazine and low and behold, there were my girls ... blooming beautifully in a visual journal.  They had beads for centers, but I knew this was my inspiration to get on with the project.  The background in the piece which inspired me was not to my liking, so I invented my own.  Layers upon layers.  No stretched canvas on hand.  I cut a piece off my roll and went to work.

I began with some very old vintage paper from a catalogue.  It was almost too dark. Out of my paint box I thinned some light green metallic paint with water, washed it over the top of the canvas and allowed it to run where ever it wished.  After that dried, I wanted a richer background.  Into my napkin stash I dove (thank you Carolyn), and chose a couple I thought would create the next layer.  Next,  a strip of torn vellum with dragon flies on it and some mixed copper/gold leaf dotted down the right hand side of the page.  I used rubons for 'Once Upon a Time' at the top, stamped the quote on some tissue paper, used golden mat gel medium to stick the layers together and this was the result.

The muslin was sprayed with glimmer mist which I made myself.  I am a little disappointed with the colour of the pink flower.  I simply didn't have the deep rich colour of ink I desired.  Then I added the stems, made of ribbon layered with a row of sequins.  Velvet leaves, red wire and small flowers finished the piece.  I painted the little faces with my water colour crayons and sealed them with with a gloss fixative.  Added the small metal roses to complete the look.

Look at those little faces.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Thank You Donna!
The process for this piece was amazing.  So smooth.   Everything I wanted, was available to me without leaving the studio. That's when I know it's working.  The piece of lace on the left is an old piece, however, I did add some glimmer mist in coffee, olive and yellow just to tie it in with the background.

Thanks for dropping over.  Wish you could stay for coffee.  :o)

“The most potent muse of all is our own inner child.”  Stephen Nachmanovitch

July 7, 2011

* The Country Fair

I want to say Thank You to those of you who left me comments yesterday.  I have to tell you, for whatever reason, I was shocked.  I found myself weeping at one point.  All that loveliness!  All that support!  Such beautiful souls you are.  How can I tell you how very dear you are.  ... and very special.  ... and very appreciated.  XXOO

Late 1960's.  England.

The moors, the hills the dales, the rolling patchwork quilt of winding roads and twisty paths and stiles over fences that lead me to the secret places of the past, where antiquated merry go rounds play their magic tunes.  The music drifts unnoticed from hill to hill and falls upon the ears of those who cannot see the horses.  The ponies, handsome perfection in their best bib and tucker - painted and shining in every detail of their ancientness.  I find myself longing to ride, loosing myself to history in the music box sound of their score.  The thought of taking a pony home crosses my mind.  And then I envision seven of them in a circle,  facing a cocktail bar in the middle for party purposes.  I smile to myself.  The thought pleases me.  I bring myself back to reality. 

The organ grinder, grinding out his happy tune with the monkey on this shoulder, so out of sync with this time and place.  A small crack into the past.  The monkey enjoying his day, sitting comfortably atop his masters shoulder.  I muse in times not so long ago, pet monkeys were a popular and common site as people promenaded in the great parks of London to see and be seen.  Ah what days those must have been.

The massive steam tractors puffing and huffing noisily, whilst by their side gigantic, magnificent, gentle work horses toil in silence.  Each lost in their own beauty and dignity.  The miniature steam tractors, so fascinating to small wide eyed boys familiar only with electricity and toys with batteries.

The sheep dogs tending their sheep.  So fascinating to watch.  So beautifully trained and willing to work because it is in their blood.

Another moment in time.  A little time machine of sorts.  Another afternoon which transports me back and away from reality.  I find it magical. This is what Europe does to me.  The villagers.  The Lords and Ladies.  The Squires and the Barons.  All in one enchanting day at an English Country Fair.

“One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”

I have to add this quote by Maya Angelou.  It was on my facebook page and I very much agree with her.  What do you think?

Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.

July 6, 2011

* Taking a Teeny Break ....

I'm going to have to take a little break from creating whatever it is I've been creating.  Some of you know this year for me has been horrendous.  I was actually doing very well until about two months ago when things began going awry after I had already gone well past my limits in the awry department.

Then a couple of weeks ago ... well let's just say, I need to get my balance back.  Even my creative spirit has been brought to a hault, however, this evening I did do an art journal spread which I am going to share with you.  This is exactly how I feel.  Don't ask me to explain.  Please accept.  I would be in big trouble if I ever tried to explain this publicly.  Also, please know, I am in absolutely no physical danger.

So, having said all that, I would like to somehow keep you amused.  As you know, I have been digging through my old writing.  Even in the late 60's, young North American women were a novelty in Europe.  I was pursued.  Believe me, I know, I was there.  This is a piece from that time in Europe (Palarmo, Italy), in 1967.  I hope you enjoy it.

"The old tower clock in the square was striking 6:00 am as I awoke.  Dawn crept through the wooden shutters allowing lines to form on the chair by my window.  I arose and dressed in the clothes I had laid out the night before.  A pair of long black stockings, a long black dress, a black shawl for my shoulders, a smaller black shawl for my head, and finally a pair of fine black leather shoes.

I picked up my black umbrella. Slipping quietly down the narrow stone stairs I stood in the doorway.  A gentle misty rain was falling.  The cobblestones, old plaster walls and balconies appeared magical in the wetness and early morning light.  I stepped into the street.

The heavy humid air filled my lungs as I took a deep, deliberate breath, hoping to inhale the oldness, the history, the energy left from centuries of existence.  As my feet touched the cobble stones I could feel the memories of this place.  A small shiver ran up my spine.

The city was coming to life as I strolled the narrow streets.  Brilliant colours of fruit and flowers appeared in market stalls in stark contrast to the beautiful muted backdrops of the streets and buildings.  Two small boys, eager to get a head start on life, darted in front of me pursuing their soccer ball.  Vendors were busy stocking their stalls to display the daily wares.

No one paid me any mind.  Visually, in my blackness, I had become ordinary.  I could now be the observer, instead of the observed.

The streets became narrower, and as the city around me awoke, it began to stretch and move.  I could hear the sounds of footsteps, lively chatter and laughter.  Nearby a church bell rang, and donkeys with baskets loaded on their backs climbed the hill ahead of me.  Above me, a women hung her washing out to dry on her ornate balcony.  Twittering song birds in their cages appeared as their owners hung them on the outside walls for the day.  The smell of fresh baked bread, Italian coffee, fresh fruit and goats cheese permiated the air.  A man peddled past me - his baskets loaded with ripe tomatoes.

As the day wore on, old men sat at tables in the street and gossiped over bread, cheese, olives and red wine.  Women, sitting in a row facing the wall, busied their hands with traditional needle work, and chatted about the local goings on.

I stopped still.  I closed my eyes.  I breathed deeply.  I became one with the essence of my surroundings and quietly imprinted the scene in my heart for future reference.

As I crested the hill, the mist began to lift and the sun peaked through.  My umbrella became my walking stick.  Before me lay the Tyrrhenian Sea -- the bluest blue I had ever seen.  My heart raced.  My step quickened.

The fishing boats had left for the day.  The bay was quiet.  As I neared the small beach, the rhythm of the waves tugged at my soul.  In my blackness I was invisible - the sea and I could have our privacy.  We would spend a wonderful day together.  I was home!"

"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."  ~ Miriam Beard

* 6:00 pm Paddington Station

While rummaging in a huge box of my writing which I dragged all the way from Canada with me, I came across this poetry I had written while living in London, England.  The date on the piece is March, 1970.  Reading it again, after all these years, actually made me a little homesick for those days, and the beautiful English countryside.  I'd like to share it with you.

6:00 PM Paddington Station

A sea of faces -
Legs running, hands clutching
heavy cases
and small parcels.
People and trains
coming to
going from.

the sound of red buses,
the smell of smog,
a drizzle of rain.
Brightly coloured
against a gray sky.
Car horns blaring
A traffic jam.
Milling crowds,
moving as one.
Some sad,
some happy,
some numb.
6:00 p.m.
Rush hour in London Town.

6:30  p.m.
The train,
warm inside -
moving slowly at first.
Rocking gently
faster and faster
racing by
warehouses and smoke stacks,
backs of lonely gray
brick buildings
alley ways
and dust bins.
The light fades
leaving only the
warmth of the
train ...
night falls like
a shroud
and in the distance
London glows.
I turn away from the window.
My thoughts turn to you.

8:00 pm,
Westbury station.
A drive through dark
winding roads
to a quiet house
and warm fires.

Cool night air
hot water bottles
and warm cuddly blankets.
The stillness
of the English countryside.
A stillness which is almost
a sound.
The moon,
gliding through
a clear night sky,
sleeping birds,
a stream
to lazy to bubble,
the wind,
tired from its days journey
resting in the trees.
The sounds of night.
The sounds of silence.

A distant whistle.
Footsteps on the path.
Birds early morning song.
A restless wind
who has slept too long.
Voices downstairs and
the smell of bacon frying.

A journey
through sleepy villages,
and peaceful countryside
alive with
a charm all its own.
Orange brick and stone fences.
Quiet streams.
Green grass,
thatched roofs and
lazy cattle.
High hills, protecting
tiny towns hidden
deep in the valleys,
away from the
changing hands of time.
Small boys,
and big dogs,
Stone bridges,
cobblestone lanes,
stone churches, lonely and cold.
Old headstones and memories.

A walk by the
glassy lake.
Moorhens and ducks,
still unaware that
spring has come and
they must build new nests.

A peaceful afternoon, high
in the hills.
The wind, warmed by the sun
against my face and through
my hair.

The clouds play tag with the sun
and make shadows in the valley.

Pussy willows, just waking up
from winter.
Pine trees with long needles.
A carpet of moss and
snowdrops underfoot.

I cross the stream on a narrow tree.
Picking snowdrops.
I laugh and play with the
echo in the hills.

The tulip tree in full bloom,
the view from the front window.
The old mansion,
quiet sheep,
and the little bird house on the
front lawn.

Inside, the warm fire,
laughing, talking,
home cooking,
riddles and rhymes,
old photographs and
stories of childhood days.

Sunday evening.
The weekend almost gone.
Good times pass so quickly.
Time to leave,
The train
back to London,
peering out the window
to catch a glimpse of
the house.
A warm compartment,
happy thoughts.

Thanks for dropping by.  Take care.  I hope you are making yourselves a wonderful day.

"We're lost, but we're making good time"
- Yogi Berra

July 5, 2011

* Are you sure it's not Christmas already? ...

Time is flying by.  July already.  Where did six months go.  I'm convinced someone is up there playing with the big clock!

It has seemed like Christmas a lot around here lately.  I often find myself on my little covered terrace, opening envelopes of delight, going through them piece by piece and enjoying every minute of it.  When I picked up the mail, yesterday was no exception.

It all began when I asked Gerri of It's All Treasure, where she got some alphabet letters she was using.  Her reply was, "What's your address, I'll send you some.".  I was doing the happy dance.  Yesterday, the 'letters' arrived, and I was doing the cha cha.  Lookie see ...

Vintage linens.  OOOOoooo YUM!  You have no idea how much I adore these.  I brought a very small bit of old lace with me, but that was it.  This will significantly boost my stash .. and, just look at the colour of these pieces!  No coffee or tea dye needed here.  GORGEOUS.

Next comes the sparkly stuff.  Bits of German scrap, beaded fabric, brass brads, netting, sequins and more.
Then the paper goodies, and fibers.  Stickers and fibers, and labels, and book plates, and tiny beautiful note cards, and a gorgeous little tag from Gerri in a little bag of special treats, AND 'the letters'.

Thanks so much Gerri.  I will enjoy every piece.  None of these goodies could I go out and buy here in Mexico.

I spent yesterday out and about.  When I came home, after drooling over the mail, I did some organizing in my Studio.  I'm beginning to get things sorted, so they are at hand when I need and want them.  I've resorted to a series of plastic bins.  It seems necessary here in order to keep the dust at bay during the hot dry season.  Once I have shelving built, I think it will work wonderfully.

Hope you have a very lovely day.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Always a pleasure to find your comments of support and love left on my pages.  Take care.

"The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world.  There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give.  Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It's overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt."  ~ Leo Buscaglii

July 3, 2011

* My Traveling Art Binder ...

Do you remember a while back when I purchased a binder/bag to carry a little art material, so I could work in a coffee shop, park, plane ... etc.?  I was happy with the configuration,  not happy with the look.  Here's a photo.

I spent a little time playing with my lumier fabric paints.  Now it looks like this.

I find it so much more appealing.  I even managed to get rid of the horrible logo, by making it into the centre of a flower.  I drew the design on with a black thick nibbed sharpie.  It was a risk, because I didn't know if it was water proof, or how it would react to paint.   I was pleased it didn't run, so I can use them again for fabric painting.

“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”  Anais Nin

July 2, 2011

* Sweet Valerie in Dusseldorf ...

Sweet Valerie in Dusseldorf on the beautiful Rhine awarded me 'The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award'.   Oh Valerie ... THANKS!

Now I have to tell you my secrets.  Eight things about myself ... let me see now ...

1.  When I was born, they got me switched with another girl child.  I didn't meet my parents for two days.

2.  Often appreciate my gourmet cooking classes in Paris in the 60's.  I still enjoy cooking a beautiful meal and eating it alone.  I actually quite enjoy eating in silence with good music on.  (Old habits from my days at the Ashram)

3. There is a little spirit house situated along the old road to Mandalay.  (Now what's it called?)  Spent a wonderful night there once.  One of my favorite memories of all time.

4.  Can't stop reading Science Fiction.  Hooked, addicted.

5.  Longed to study science and physics at Cambridge.  Had a scholarship.  Parents said it was not a suitable field for a woman.

6.  Hiked the West Coast Trail, not once, but twice, back to back.

7.  When hitch hiking from London to Glasgow in '69, Prince Phillip picked me up in his Rolls.  He often picked up hitch hikers in those days.

8.  Unfortunately, I'm in a very mischievous mood ... none of the above are true.  I know!  I am a naughty girl ... but what can one do.

So Valerie, dear Lady, Thank You So Much For the Honour.  I know I have 'played' with it, however it does not lessen the significances of your intention and my acceptance of a lovely gift from a friend. 

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies. --Ralph Waldo Emerson  (ha ha)

July 1, 2011

* A great mail week ...

As I mentioned yesterday, I received the three books from Lenna's Little Book Swap.  Such a treat.  Everyone (and there were nearly sixty contributions) put a lot of love and a lot of effort into each book.  They were all incredible.  Here are the books I received.  By the way, Lenna just listed two more swaps.  Be sure and have a look, they are always such fun.

This is Janet's book.  I fell in love with the two little frogs.  The graphics in this little book are wonderful.  These frogs can't help but make a person chuckle!
Valerie, my blogging friend from Germany made this little gem.  Each page is different and just as beautiful.  I love it.
Bobbie made this wonderful accordion book.  More than a plain accordion book, each page is folded, as you can see in the first photograph. Looks complicated.  The colours and the paper are beautiful.  Inside there is room in on each page for something special ... hmmm.  I'll have to put some thought in this. 
Artists rarely send these books out alone, unaccompanied.  They are most often beautiful wrapped, with some lovely little enclosures like tags, or a quote, or a little card, a beautiful little organza bag and even a miniature close pin with a lady bug on it.  These artists are a special group.  It would have been so much fun to be able to get them all together and have a show.  The talent assembled is palpable.

I wanted to say a special thank you to Janet, Valerie and Bobby.  These books will now be my little treasures.

As an aside, I'm going to mention the blog of Donna Meyer again today.  The name of her blog is 365: Make a Book a Day.  Anyone interested in making books will find her blog most interesting and a wealth of information.

The same day, after a good month in the mail (who knows where, really), Valeries' envelope of goodies arrived from Germany.  No reason for this gift.  Just a lovely gesture from a generous woman to a blogging friend in Mexico.  Thank you Valerie.

Let's begin with the envelope.  A work of art in itself.  Valerie does spectacular mail art, and this is no exception.

It traveled a long way and obviously got sidelined somewhere.  Such a fun piece of mail art.
The contents was wrapped in wonderful hand stamped tissue paper, and lots of ribbon.  This bag of jewels will be great fun to add to my stash.
I think Valerie has a real style of her own.  I call her the "Queen of Tags" .. love this one.  The little book is absolutely jam packed with details, colour and wonderful graphic elements.
A great accordion book, covers finished and blank inside so I can play.  She included some wonderful elements to inspire me.
This is the card Valerie made me.  I am in LOVE with this little bird!  She makes me laugh and smile and everything in between. The detail is marvelous.  She even has a small seed bead for her eye. Completely charming, don't you think?
Thanks for stopping by.  Do it again soon.  :o)

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
~Maya Angelou