Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Hate It When ...

YOU know what people say when they haven't posted in a while. Well, I hate it when people say that because it's evident they've been doing something they *think* is more important than keeping us up to date on their lives.
We went to Montana the week after I started my new job and things just sort of fell apart blogwise. Thank you to anyone who still bothered to check this dusty space.
The new job is going fine but it is busy. There's some relearning to do with certain tasks.
Then this past Friday we said bon voyage to Catherine at Valley Art Gallery. Difficult to part with someone so dear. Food helped. (Some of it's in this picture. This is why I made chai spiced cheesecake.) We all had plates of good stuff and sent her off in great style ... I think!
Saturday, the weather was lovely. Much too beautiful to spend inside.
Today, Sunday, I took a Wisdom Book-making class from Kelly Kilmer at Art on a Lark, a lovely space in our town. Painting paper was so much fun. The book was longer horizontally than vertically, a new way to work on a book. Here is the front (green) and inside (pink). It's bound up with a painted and stamped strip of canvas.
The paints had lots of true pigment and were transparent with gloss gel added. Here's one of the pages, with blue, orange, green paints added, and maybe Payne's gray.
A look at the outside before the front was done. Oh, and the signatures had to be sewn in, but that was really simple. (I love simple. Then the pages were painted (that's up above). And here is the book with the strips of paper and "focal object" that we moved around until we thought we had it right. Must go now - femminismo
p.s. The figure on the front is a Russian clown photographed by Richard Avedon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

What I'm Doing Right Now - besides blogging

YOU can see what I'm enjoying right this moment. There is a tea aficionado here where I work and she's offered up some of her Darjeeling. A little cream, a little sweetener and I'm headed for a relaxing break from work.
Well, still working, but sipping while I work!
Later on, after sipping, I'm going to be skipping off to Valley Art where we will be saying adieu to a much loved volunteer: Catherine Wildt.
She is originally from New Zealand, and we will miss the lilt of her voice. But most of all we will miss her many contributions to the Valley Art Gallery. I think we all realized how much she does for us in the course of a week ... month ... year. But filling her shoes will be an awesome task and may take six or seven of us. Whenever anyone had a question it was : Ask Catherine. She will still be with us however, in our hearts and in the building around us that she has helped maintain and nurture.
To show her how much I love her I stayed up until late last night baking a Chai Spiced Cheesecake with Ginger Crust. You don't even want to imagine how many calories one slice has! (I certainly don't.) But I will be enjoying a slice of this delight while we have to say goodbye to our other delight - Catherine. She will be another reason to visit the City of Brotherly Love when she's settled into her new East Coast home. Bon voyage, Catherine - femminismo

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Be Careful What You Ask For!

NATHALIE wanted to know where those vacation photos are. Well you asked for it, but I will start small since it's past my bedtime.
We traveled to Montana and visited Alberta, Canada, and Waterton. We saw the Prince of Wales Hotel, built in 1925, but did not stay there. Think many $$$! We spent the night at another hotel for half the price. Near the Prince of Wales Hotel, however, we found this odd bearded fellow at the left. I think "he" or "she" might have been some pretty flower once upon a time. Anyone know what it is?
We also drove through Glacier National Park and got a photo of one of the 26 or so remaining glaciers. Very worrisome, our world's changing climate. I wonder about Candace in Georgia. I know her garden got washed away this year, but now I wonder even more how the floods there have affected the citizens. I hope all is well in your part of this world - femminismo

Friday, September 11, 2009

Going On Vacation ... Back Soon.

THE glacier calls and we must answer. Vacation in Montana!
Maybe I will be posting by BlackBerry. Maybe not. I'll give it a try but I'm not promising much.
Here is a Living Leaf I hung in town for September 11 - In Remembrance.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How Much Longer Until Retirement?

MY shoulders and neck are aching tonight and I have to ask that question in the blog title. I would like to have a tender, pleasant ache from bending over the art table, not a sharp, constant one from sitting in front of the computer dragging a mouse here and there.
But who am I fooling? If I weren't at work I'd probably be sleeping in, eating and reading - and not doing art anyway. (Or maybe I would. Now that I've said my greatest fear - that I wouldn't manage my time well during retirement - now I've got to make each of those seconds count.)
WHEN/IF it happens.
I was going to show you gelatin I made on Saturday. I took so many photos of the process. But I also took photos of the garden - before the showers began. I hope I haven't already shown these to you! How embarrassing to get SO senile!
Well, I will keep on going, since the gelatin photos are so utterly boring - until the end! Here are the autumn crocus which are likely confused. They poked their slim purple heads through the dry earth (how they do this I do not know) and now they have been drenched with buckets of rain. Fall? Spring? What's going on?
Later in the evening the Mister built a fire to warm us up and I brought these flowers in from shrubs that grow in our back yard. I cannot remember their name. I "watercolored" them in Photoshop.
This past Labor Day weekend in Oregon was very damp and cool - until Monday. That's when we finally ventured into Portland to see all the lovely creations at the outdoor festival "Art in the Pearl." (That's the Pearl District of Portland.) We were on a Quest to find me a new friendship ring. I lost mine 6-9 months ago. I bought it at Art in the Pearl, but had never seen these artisans again. Guess what? At the very last art booth on our very last swing through the festival, we found them! And I got a ring. It is so beautiful I can hardly stop looking at it. Here is where you can find the jewelers. Very talented ... and if you need a horse ... . Pictures of Portland and the ring tomorrow - femminismo

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Toast To Beauty.

I PROMISED Candace I would join her in doing a shrine for Labor Day. Here it is - Monday. And this is what I have finished.
I am going to be putting more touches on my "Shrine to Beauty," Candace, but sorry other events intervened.
I'll have more photos tomorrow of lots of fun stuff. I will include one thing I spotted today in downtown Portland at Art in the Pearl -- a special VooDoo Bacon Doughnut "cake" boy. I think he might be a Beaverton Beaver.
What a wonderful weekend it's been! Haven't had one this good in quite a while - femminismo

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Men and Dogs - One Thing in Common.

EVER NOTICE that men and dogs have one thing in common? They both run and howl at the sound of the vacuum cleaner? So today the Mister and I traded spaces for a while. He went to his shop to practice guitar and I vacuumed the living room and hallway.
Time was also spent scrubbing stains from the carpet - which I vow must be replaced.
It's late in the day now and I've just watched "Mad Men" in real time. Usually I see it on Monday or Tuesday via our cable system "On Demand." That's what they call their service, which costs a few measly disposable dollars every month. $$ (worth it, because you can pause and rewind)
It rained so hard today we went out to check our vegetable patch in between downpours to make sure things were still standing. Good thing, because two peppers and one tomato plant were in trouble so we staked them up. The Mister stayed out in the rain, which began again, picking beans and got about four quarts of them - shared with neighbors.
Art Sparker had a link to a great YouTube video - "The Cunning Vixen" - and you should really check it out. I hope my link takes you there. It is extraordinary! - femminismo

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Harvest Time

HARVEST moon is on its way next month - I think! We have green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos in the garden. I remember in May I showed you a sad plot of ground with not much going on. You wouldn't believe the place now. There is one Roma tomato that's grown a branch that reaches into the top of six foot tall bean plants!
Tonight we had two small ears of corn (nothing to write home - or blog - about), grated cooked zucchini with parmesan cheese and fresh steamed green beans. The cherry tomatoes are so sweet.
We need to have a little more sun to ripen the tomatoes, but this always happens in our part of Oregon. Rain is forecast for this weekend and I don't know if it will split all those red orbs or not. Maybe we should get out the umbrellas for the tomato plants.
If we don't get busy eating it all up there is going to be plenty for the owls, raccoons, birds, slugs and possums. Can't stand the thought of waiting another year for ripe t'maters. But that's the way it goes, right?
Hope your harvest is going well - femminismo

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fall Is In The Air ... Along With Words.

TODAY I am thinking of taking on new challenges and remembering in time - before tomorrow - that today is self-portrait Wednesday. I love red. I love books. So this is a good place to be taking my self-portrait. Finally one without a triple chin showing!
Maybe I am perusing this shelf because I know November is coming all too soon, and with it will come NaNoWriMo. This year I already have decided what to write about. I decided last month or the month before. And I put the idea of what to write about into a safe brain cell. One that, right now, is inaccessible! It was something I've always wanted to write about. An idea I had a long time ago. Ah! Something is coming back. I think I've remembered, but no clues tonight. You will have to wait until tomorrow - or November.
Today, Sept. 2, 2009, for the record, I got a tetanus shot at the doctor's office. They are so good about reminding you what is due. Good, quick shot; sore arm.
And I've been training the person who will take over my old job. She is smart and quick and will do well and I can go on to my new job in a peaceful, quiet office. Where I can s.h.u.t. the door, if I want. I think I hear my sanity calling!
I love this blog. Where else can I keep track of my life so well? Where else am I so dedicated?

These lilies, if these things are waterlilies
Which are dancers growing dim across no floor;
These mayflies; whirled dust orbiting in the sun;
This blossoming diffused as rushlights; galactic vapours;
Fluorescence into which we pass and penetrate;
O soft as the thighs of women;
O radiance, into which I go on dying . . . .

P.S. Full disclosure: came back to edit and correct one mis-typed word in the poem. Snodgrass must have been rolling in his grave!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Welcome September

TONIGHT I attended the eighth of 12 meetings at NAMI - National Alliance on Mental Illness.
We learned more about empathy tonight and reflective conversation. The use of emphasizing "I" and not "you" when making statements to our mentally ill family members.
Brain disorders are what I am learning about during this 12-week class.
Many times we believe family members are alcoholics or drug users because they want to be. Sometimes it's to quiet the voices they hear inside or to escape those voices.
Sometimes it's a dual problem.
If you have someone with a brain disorder in your family - bipolar illness, schizophrenia, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder - look into finding your local NAMI chapter and seek out the information they can provide. The Family to Family class is excellent! - femminismo