Saturday, February 26, 2011

Can You Spell Kauai?

I FINALLY learned how to spell it by Googling it enough times - about 17 majillion. I still don't know how the natives pronounce it, but I aim to find out.
There were so many choices on where to go for vacation, but when it's two people deciding there's always a flaw and it takes twice as long.
It has to be warm. It has to have beaches. It has to be interesting. It has to be relaxing.
So it was finally decided: Kauai it was. I will have pictures when I get back and hopefully the time to post them. I have been a really bad blogger lately, and since this is my journal (she reminds herself) I had better do a lot more writing and posting.
February has been a busy month, with lots to do at work and a lot to do at home. It snowed again on us and the temperatures have been very cold. I told the tree peonies not to leaf out yet, but they never listen to me. Year after year, they just keep getting more and more frisky and can't wait for spring. They have to sprout out those lovely green leaves that spread themselves in the sun and waggle in the breeze. In the fall they turn gorgeous colors. And the flowers!? Well, search this blog for "peonies" and you'll come up with lots of finds, I'm sure.
Here is one more picture and then it is time to do something non-electronic. I know, it's hard to find that nowadays, but I want to find a book to read, so off I go to my "library" - femminismo

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Long Strange Journeys

ISN'T it amazing that no matter how old you get you can still feel the thrill of spring and new growth? You can sense it all around - in determined flocks of birds rising into the sky with new energy and resolve; in thrusting green shoots from the soil, seeking to rise from the seeds left amid last year's dead stalks.
This is not the time of year when it pays to go against the flow. However, going against the flow - breaking all the "rules" - might be an option if you would really like to get somewhere in your personal growth. Things to ponder.
Today, at lunchtime, I drove to an artist's studio to photograph some of her work for an upcoming show at Valley Art.
Barbara Hertel lives in a tiny town (one large church beneath towering fir trees and a teensy store) surrounded by open fields for actual farming. Her studio is a wonderful place, filled with finished artwork and works in process.
Case in point, this vessel that will become wonderfully meaningful with its saying painted in Hebrew. I will have to ask Barbara again what it means. Something like "we are the clay, you are the potter, we are the work of your hand," but not quite like that. I wish my memory was better!!
I can't wait to see this when it's finished!
She was working on more, but let me show you some of her finished work. I think you will like that too.
She cooks her raku in back of her studio and fires the most wonderful glazes on to get iridescence and "crackling" galore. Barbara fires up the wonderful "Guardian Spirits" that you can see on her website, and she has other figures she is now doing. I can imagine my own sweet faces in the empty spaces on these figures, can't you?
Barbara and I were talking about our mothers today, in passing, and this year - at her suggestion - I have decided to have a celebration of remembrance in June for my mother. It is time. We think of her and still mourn her loss, but it the right time now to celebrate all the good she did and her spirit and zest for life. Why these two figures here might be mother and child.
So I also got some sad news today. News that sent me reeling back in time to remember a long ago part of my life. Reminded me of how far I've come and the strange journeys since - hence the posting title. Long journeys, changing companions, forgotten promises, remaining distant heartaches and a series of "what if's."
If I had it all to do again. If I knew then what I know now. What if my friends knew the mistakes I made? What if they knew what I was really like? Have I been forgiven? Have I forgiven myself? Lots of questions in life and there's no knowing the real answers for long ago questions, because we aren't that person any more.
So let's throw them all in a bucket and let them soak for a while. Here's one last picture; one of the disintegration project and then I must go off and get myself some sleep - femminismo

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February's Disintegration

I HAVE another Disintegration Project going on this winter, after hearing about a similar experiment by another altered bookmaker. Last night, just as the night time temperatures dropped, I took this bucket outside. It holds a softcover book, some water and has dripped paint in it.
Who knows what will happen?
I only overheard a bit of - a sort of an explanation of - what someone else had done, so now I'm trying my own version. You know that old game of "Telegraph" where you whisper a message to one person and it gets sent around the circle? Usually, it ends up something quite different. I'll bet this book will be a one of a kind thing. I plan on adding some metal bits and letting that soak and rust, and more paint (acrylic) from time to time so I can see what that does.

I'll reverse the book now and then, also, to give both top and bottom equal time in the juices of February. Brr! I feel cruel, but the whims of science (and art) must be bowed to - femminismo
p.s. The container of puzzle pieces was very colorful. I could barely stand not having time to put it all together!