Wednesday, December 30, 2009


"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never knows. We guess. We may be wrong but we take leap after leap in the dark." Agnes De Mille

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Cruelty has a human heart,
And Jealousy a human face,
Terror the human form divine,
And Secresy the human dress.

The human dress is forged iron,
The human form a fiery forge,
The human face a furnace sealed,
The human heart its hungry gorge.

By William Blake

Monday, December 28, 2009


Today I have decided to post some art that hangs on my walls. This year I treated myself to other people's art---people who I have found on these blogs. I think it is a good thing to support other artists and I also think that art should be affordable so that everyone can own it and purchase it. There are great buys on ETSY, where I have found most of these pieces.
This piece is by Gina who lives in Tasmania. Gina is a very talented artist and currently she has an incredible calendar that she is offering for 2010. This piece, above, is one that I especially like because it has a special number on it: 17. My husband and I got married on December 17 because it is a combination of my two lucky numbers: 6 and 8. The number 17 is both of those numbers depending on if you subtract or add. This isn't a very good photo of the piece but I can tell you that it is very special. It has many different layers of incredible paper and it is all white and framed in a deep, black frame.
This is a section of one of the walls in my living room. Because the walls are dark redwood, I try to pick out pieces that are bright and will stand out. I have a few plates here: one from New Mexico and one from Italy (both gifts to me from my sister and my mother). The yellow piece with the four circles at the bottom is from Mary Buek. I have just recently purchased another piece which now hangs below this piece. I will post it separately on another day for everyone to see. The piece above it is from Jimmy Adamson who was a teacher at Sierra College. He studied ceramics at UC Davis and has created some really great stuff. The small piece is an acrylic painting by an artist named Kary Stickney. Kary is a California artist who exhibits some of her work at Studio 41 in Benicia, California.
This section of the wall overlaps with the photo above and it also shows two more plates which are American-made redware pottery from Pam Ambrust. They can be found in stores and museums across the United States and abroad. To the right of these plates hangs a grouping of four encaustic pieces from Crystal Neubauer. These four pieces I fell in love with and purchased at different times. They started out as a group of sixteen, I believe, and then she sold them off separately. I wish I would have purchased the entire group, they're that wonderful!
This is a photo of a piece that I did titled "Crescent City" (Excuse the camera flash-I can't figure out how to alleviate that when there is glass in front of the art). When we were up in Crescent City, California visiting friends once, we walked the beach and I picked up all these stones like I always do. As I was bending down and picking them up, I noticed a similarity between all the shapes of the stones that I was collecting and then it all made sense to me. I did these tiny watercolor pieces that represent the sand, the ocean and the sky and mounted the stones on each piece with a tiny piece of string. This piece was done in 2002 when I was attaining my Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art and was part of my final project. I have it mounted to the right of the photo above. I have close-ups of a few of the individual pieces below.
I stitched details on each piece with my treadle sewing machine. I do everything with that treadle! It has since become my signature to do stitching on most of my work if I can. I have since seen many pieces of art that have tied stones. Whenever I go someplace now I make it a point to collect rocks from the places that I visit and I also take a series of photos from each place too. Then, I come home and make a piece that has all the components of the place that I visited: the rocks and the landscape. It forms a complete memory (picture) unit for me of that place.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Today my twins and I spent the afternoon in Nevada City visiting their Victorian Christmas. We got some shopping done before the crowds and rain arrived and it was a treat to see St. Nick, dressed in his finest attire walking the streets.
People had to take a second look when they saw him walking down the street with his hand on his staff and ivy on his head. He looked beautiful and it was a beautiful day.

I am wishing everyone out there a joyous and wonderful holiday season. It will be here before we know it and I'm sure there are some of us who are doing last minute baking and errands before the big day arrives. Stay safe, hug your children, love your family, call your friends and family who live far away, and remember that "It's a Wonderful Life". Frank Capra believed it and so do I!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


She's getting ready for her Christmas recital with her Mommy in this picture. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful family. You don't always get this lucky. What a special moment to see her Mommy curling her hair, her painted red fingernails, her beautiful velvet and embroidered snow-flake dress, her sweet smile. She sang her heart out tonight too! She knew all the words and swayed to the rhythm of the beat while the words sprang forth. Then, at the end of the recital, a quick dash to the cookie table! Yum...a frosted Christmas tree adorned with red and green "ornaments" at every tip. How could any little aspiring singer deny herself such a treat?! be four again with not a care in the world. Just singing, dancing, laughing, learning, and being loved. She's the fairest one of all.

Monday, December 14, 2009


"If I were the moon, I know where I would fall down."-----D.H. Lawrence, The Rainbow

Friday, December 11, 2009


Today my favorite mail box was filled to the brim with cards, a few bills (boo hoo), and THIS wonderful necklace that I ordered from Jen Worden who lives in Nova Scotia. Jen is a talented mixed-media artist that I have been following for quite some time and I love her aesthetic. The piece is rusted, has a heart (which I am always a sucker for!) and is titled "Love Travels". It certainly does. I am thrilled with the piece and her work.
It came wrapped up in this beautiful blue paper and was tied with a blue chenille ribbon. How absolutely perfect!. This is the time of year that we think about our loved ones, near and far, and how apropos that this is titled "Love Travels". I would have to say that, yes, indeed, love does travel.

But, love can be misunderstood also. And then that love is thwarted. Having your love thwarted hurts but not anymore than being shunned or avoided. Avoidance doesn't cure anything. It only prolongs. I am reminded that as a child I could sleep with the lights on when my sister could not. We shared a bedroom and it was our "deal" that the last one in bed was responsible to turn off the lights. Sometimes (being the older sister and also a stubborn Taurus) I would crawl into bed last and just turn over. My sister would say "you have to turn out the lights". My reply (more than once) was: "I can sleep with the lights on". And, so, to those who have thwarted my love these last couple of months and refuse to see that I was being considerate and also that I was hurt by not being included, I say: "I can sleep with the lights on".

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


When I was a little girl (and that was quite a few years ago!) my grandmother had these candles and used them for decoration. Actually, there were twice as many but I split half of them with my sister. So now, each Christmas, they have the honored space above my kitchen sink. They have never even been lit, can you believe that? I think that she got them from Woolworth's (do any of you remember Woolworth's?) and they were all wrapped up in a box and have never lost their attraction for me. Willow had a photo of some ornaments that she has and one of them has the exact same face as my choir people. Only difference is that hers is a glass ornament and mine is made of wax. Both are quite fragile though and I will assume both are quite old since she has been collecting antique ornaments for quite a few years.
These little fellas are a small collection of Santas that I have. Some have been hand-made and some are metal or resin. The one on the left was hand-made by my mother's best friend and her husband. I love primitive-looking items the best and so I gravitate toward those when I am looking for more. The second Santa (tall and skinny) is one that I hand-carved. I love to carve wood and this was one of my first attempts at a Santa.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


There will be no school today, that's for sure! We had snow here in the Sierra Nevada foothills along with power outages and lots of ice. The schools are closed as well as many businesses because of the low elevation snow. In some areas this snow fall has broken records. I always enjoy the snow at this time of the year, as long as it doesn't last too long. Because in our part of the world, now always means power outages. And power outages always mean that food will be spoiling in refrigerators, people who only have electricity will be unable to cook or heat, and those with wells might not be able to use water for bathing or flushing toilets. We, fortunately, have thought of all the alternatives and have a generator in the case of power outages. And, we heat with wood so we are always cozy and warm. so far from the main city centers we are always the last to have our roads plowed and our power restored. The roads today are very dangerous and California Highway Patrol is not allowing cars without chains AND 4 WD to pass on certain sections of the highway. This included OUR highway today so we had to turn around and drive an alternate route. Just part of winter in the foothills. It beats living in the city and having to fight traffic and noisy neighbors though.
My daughters live next to each other. They are twins who have married brothers. Is it just because they are twins that they share everything and are best friends? I think this is part of it but then I live next to my sister and we share quite a bit also. Sure, there are times when we all disagree about things but when "the snow flies" and we need each other, we are there for each other. Best friends. Sisters. Brothers. Uncles and Aunts. We help each other and are there for each other. You can't ask for anything better.
Here's Uncle Joel and Natalie with "Frosty". We all had fun making him yesterday and he will be the last remnant of the fallen snow once the rains begin to fall again.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This little guy is one of my favorite ornaments. Whimsical. And it has one of my favorite components: a heart. I have a huge collection of heart related items. Anyone that knows me, knows that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I say exactly what I feel because really, that is all that I have: my feelings. My feelings are at the core of everything I think, say and do.

"Go to your bosom; knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know." William Shakespeare

Michael Patrick King, who wrote the Sex and the City series said it best in the episode I heart NY, 2002:
"Seasons change, so do cities. People come into your life and people go, but it's comforting to know: the ones you love are always in your heart and if your're very lucky, a plane ride away."

Here's to all the people I love. I am reminded, especially at this season, how very important they all are to me. And, lucky for me, they are either a car ride or a plane ride away. And the phone comes in pretty handy too. There is nothing like hearing the voice of someone you love on the other end of the receiver.

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