Friday, October 30, 2009

Is it Really October?!?

What has happened to me this fall? I feel that it has gone right by me and I have missed it. Of course, fall has officially started a little over a month ago, but for some reason, I feel that it is over and done with.

These beautiful leaves are from last year; pressed between the pages of my geographical dictionary. I have not collected any leaves this year. In previous autumns, my house has been littered with collected leaves.

I did buy a round of mums. Their carcasses are now littering the porch and yard. I have put out no Halloween decorations. I don't even have a pumpkin yet!


October is my favorite month of the year. By far. Halloween is my favorite holiday. The falling leaves never fail to energize me. Well. At least until this year.

Perhaps it has been family illnesses. Between me and my husband, we have four aging parents, none of which live close by. It could be the lack of, uh, demand for my artwork. What has happened to my art career lately I feel I can compare to being laid off (at least I have health care benefits through my hubby's job). Our winter storm two weeks ago surely didn't help. While some streets are cleared of branches, several streets are still chest or head high with branches stacked next to the sidewalks. Severely damaged trees still stand upright with their remaining leaves still turning, but I know their days are limited. There's none of that H1N1 vaccine around these parts and I worry constantly about my daughter catching it. And, of course, there are some of those pesky political issues I will keep to myself from now on.

I will do my best to make sure this is my last depressing post. I've read those books on blogging. "Keep it upbeat", they say. I'll do my best. Perhaps I'll feel better when that dishwasher repairman finally shows up, does his thing, and I can get into the studio.

I wondering if some of this blahness can be cured by acquiring a good book. Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Mini Rant

Darn cute, huh?

Today my daughter and I were doing a little shopping downtown. My daughter trips over the curb next to the driveway of a very busy parking garage. She looked like a low flying aircraft. She went quite a ways before hitting the ground. Just a few scratches. And no tears from my brave kid, even though I could tell she wanted to cry.

I really can't describe in words how I felt seeing her on the ground. It was certainly not a pleasant feeling. That intense feeling lasted only a minute, leaving behind a small knot of fear. I quickly realized she was alright. If she had broken her arm or leg, it would have been bad, of course. But we have health insurance. My family would not have been quickly on the way to bankruptcy.

My thoughts today have been with those who are not able to get health insurance. That intense, but brief unpleasantness I felt would not be so brief for the uninsured. That concentrated fear would be never-ending.

Yes, I have health insurance. For now. At this moment in time, we are a fairly healthy family. The insurance company is making a fair amount of dough from us. The CEO will be able to afford a better suit and eat a larger steak.

I cannot imagine what is must feel like to know that I couldn't afford to pay for my family's healthcare. However, I do know what it is like to live in a country that tolerates such a situation.

Every day that knot of fear in my stomach grows.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Up and Coming

Two new pieces in the works.

I guess it is obvious that I am still in my house phase.

The final results will appear on Etsy this weekend.

The bottom piece is actually "done" as of yesterday afternoon. I'm still deciding whether it needs a yellow moon or not. This photo was taken last week before my vacation.

Two more house pieces are forming on the studio table.

I am promising myself when these little house pieces are done, I will clean my studio. I dropped a large bead on the floor yesterday. When I went to retrieve it, I discovered that it had grown two sizes and changed color. Darn those dust bunnies. It is REALLY getting NASTY. Shame on me.

Monday, October 26, 2009

These (Temporarily) Vagabond Shoes

Aaaaaahhhhhh . . . a long weekend in New York City.

The plan was to see as much as we could of the city. Take in a couple of Broadway shows (ok, just one for me). Eat as well as our wallets would allow. Visit the Georgia O'Keefe exhibit at the Whitney Museum. Purchase fall wardrobe for me.

Four out of five aint bad. My feet are still aching from the walking. The Lion King and Wicked were viewed. Ate fantastic food at Nougatine and Mas. And I purchased absolutely nothing but a cab ride in the rain.

Within minutes of our somewhat aggravating arrival (we were called a**holes by another driver just one block into the city), we had rid ourselves of the car and scuttled underground to purchase unlimited subway tickets. The city spread out before us like a carpet of concrete, and glass, and scaffolding, and people talking to themselves.

Sat next to the Flatiron building on Broadway and had ice cream on a warm day.

Played and climbed in Central Park on a chilly day.

Did the required pilgrimage to Rockefeller Center.

Yeah, yeah, there are loads of other photos. Didn't want to bore anyone with excessive photos.

Now we are home. Missing restaurants. Missing museums. Missing cabs and subways. Missing the noise and the excess. Checking into real estate. Realizing that we could only afford 35 square feet of living space. Absolutely knowing that it's not quite enough space for a family of three and a home studio.

Now, if I can make loads of sales by next spring, I can visit again when the daffodils bloom.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Pieces on Etsy!

Essentials of Geography III, IV, and IV. Available in my Etsy Shop.

Ohmigosh! No orange! Again! Perhaps now that it is fall and there is orange all around me, I do not feel the need to put it in my work. Give me time. I'm sure orange will show up in the deep, dark, depths of winter.

I have a few new pieces forming. I'll post pictures of the progress soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Down the Housewife Hole

Like Alice in Wonderland, I have fallen down a hole. Not a rabbit hole, but a housewife hole, or perhaps a well.

Either the hole is very deep or I am falling very slowly. I am able to look around me as I fall. Looking at the sides of the well I notice that they are filled with loads of laundry and dishes. I can see toilet brushes and dish scrubbers. There are cupboards filled with items. I took a jar from one of the shelves as I fell past. It was labeled "Comet." I took a bottle from another cupboard. This one was labeled "409".

Down, down, down I went. I had plenty of time to think. "My family will miss me when they have no clean clothes." I hope there are no bats down here. I also hope there are no spots or stains. But I know they are on the bottom waiting for me. I ask myself questions out loud. "Will 409 get out all of the grease?" "Does salt get out red wine stains?" "How best to clean up all of that cat vomit?"

Suddenly, thump. I am at the bottom. I have fallen upon a heap of dirty sheets and damp sponges. I was not a bit hurt.

But I AM pissed off that this stuff has taken over my morning. Dang. I call myself an artist. How silly.

Anyway, I'm off to follow a white rabbit and see what comes of that. After I put those sheets in the dryer.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Talkin' 'bout my Generator

Up here in central Pennsylvania (or down here for some of you) it is winter. It was fall just a few days ago. The leaves were turning and the dog and I would enjoy ourselves walking through the leaves and raising our faces to the brisk breezes.

Today, if one raises their face to the sky, I might just get smacked with a falling tree.

A nasty, wet, heavy snow started to come down Thursday morning. Put the stress on the word heavy. Every few hours I would swing an ice-laden broom up into the sagging trees to attempt to knock the snow off. Eventually I lost that battle. Half a redbud is splayed across my garden. The little dogwood is missing, my Japanese maple is at a 90 degree angle. Out front, the large trees started to break apart Thursday afternoon. At midnight on Thursday the power went out. All through the "silent" night I could hear the splintering and crashing of the old maples and elms in my neighborhood. The drunken students yelled in response. I got no sleep.

Friday morning, hubby filled up the generator and hooked it up. We have a stove, furnace and hot water heater to keep us warm. And two lamps downstairs. And obviously the computer. We are lucky. Hubby has been patting himself on the back.

Four years ago, watching and reading of the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, hubby realized that life after disaster is pretty much up to the individual. He purchased a generator immediately. It has remained silent until now. Now I kind of feel like an elitist as I take a warm shower (in the dark) and locate an outlet that is working so I can make some coffee. So far no one has taken us up on our offer to use our shower, but the longer this goes on, the more like it seems we will be passing out towels.

More snow due today. Hubby and I will be sitting in Beaver Stadium watching football. Nothing I like better than sitting outdoors in the rain and snow. At least I'll have a warm home to come home to.

So, won't be going up into that cold studio for a while. Hard to do any work without the lights. At least I can blog. Whheeeeee.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Can See Russia from My House

I've had such fun working on this piece.
I received a grab bag of maps from Ebay a couple of months ago. One of North America was just lovely. The colors of Alaska and the surrounding sea really appealed to me. I cut out a chunk of Alaska and coated it with acrylic medium and set it aside. The words "I can see Russia from my house" kept popping into my head. But how does one going about doing a piece like that.

I needed more maps. Paula of Self Taught Artist to the rescue. I now have a map that does indeed show how close Alaska is to Russia.

Now that I have a couple of houses, what next? I need to make the Russian house look more Russian. I need a bear. Where to get a bear? Wait! I have an old children's book of fairy tales. Gotta be a bear in there. Sure enough. He's a bit cute and fuzzy, but he is the perfect shade of green. The house is still bland. I need a roof. I search through my husband's books for some Russian text. He'll never notice a missing triangle.
I can't help but want to look more at this beautiful book. Suddenly, the page falls open to the Henny Penny story -- The Sky is Falling. Somehow that seems so appropriate. But what could be falling from the sky. Certainly not a mere acorn. Missiles! That's what!
A quick sketch and then a new stamp is born.
Where to stamp those missiles? Why, I think they should be the foundations for the houses. And those way cool spikey sequins would look like a cross between explosions and stars in the sky. I also need to make the piece look fuller. I will stamp blue on blue for the bottom. Something not too ugly but gives the feeling of death and destruction. Leaf skeletons. And those fish. They look kind of dead too.
I'm going to add some missiles in the blue "sea". They kind of look like fish swimming back and forth from Alaska to Russia. And I'm going to add my laminated paper buttons with nonsense text on them. Love the circle in circle target feel of them and I need some more texture at the bottom.

So there it is. Not really meant to be a Sarah Palin political piece.

I hope I don't have to do one entitled I can see Iran from my house!

p.s. Some new things are going to show up on Etsy. However, I'm not quite ready to part with this piece just yet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It Was 20 Years Ago Today

October 14, 1989
Kim and Steve

Tonight's anniversary dinner out has been somewhat altered. The babysitter has been dispatched so she does not catch what Lily has. If Lily gets worse closer to dinner time, we will cancel the whole thing and order Chinese. No big deal. We had 13 years of dinners alone before the young'un came along. Besides, if tonight's dinner is a bust, I'm sure it will be made up for during our upcoming trip to NYC. Unless somebody gets sick. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


So, there was going to be a new piece posted this afternoon. But since you do not see a photo here, you may safely assume it was not completed.

Working from home has its perks and its pains. When a phone call is received from the school nurse, it is I that stops everything and rushes to school.

Today my daughter's school nurse called about 1:30. She reported that my daughter had a headache and a fever of 106. Good God! I stopped my sewing, quickly shut down my studio and attempted to phone a nurse at the pediatrician's office to see if I should bring her in. After being put on hold for 10 minutes I hung up and phoned my hubby to make the call while I went to pick up my daughter. I was to call him when I reached the school and by then he would know whether to take her to the doctor or the emergency room.

When I got to the school, I told the nurse she had never had a temperature anywhere near one hundred AND six degrees. She told me it was probably not an emergency. I responded by saying that I thought that a fever of one hundred AND six would be an emergency. I recall making another statement about her fever of one hundred AND six degrees. We then rushed out. The school secretary ran after us saying that my husband had called and had been transferred to the school nurse. We went back in the room and the nurse was telling my husband that her temperature was one hundred POINT six. She then showed me what she had written down earlier. Didn't she hear me say one hundred AND six at least three times? She had never corrected me.

Needless to say, my daughter is at home, playing games and watching television and quite happy. Jeez. What a scare.

So my newest piece is still sitting in the sewing machine, needle down, awaiting my return. That won't be tomorrow since it was "suggested" my daughter stay home tomorrow because of her fever of one hundred POINT six.

So, we've worked a puzzle, discussed homework, and had bathtime. She has played horses, read a book and watched television. My little piece will sit in the machine until Thursday. This is not easy for me. It is so hard to just STOP. It is kind of like being gagged and bound. Stuck in an elevator. Locked in a box.

On the other hand. I have a sweet daughter that does NOT have a fever of one hundred AND six.

You'll just have to wait a bit longer to see "I Can See Russia from My House."

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Blogland

As the cooler weather takes over, I shuffle through the fallen orange, red and yellow leaves. I breathe in the crisp air infused with woodsmoke. Then I rush inside to get some hot cocoa (really it's that iced coffee I'm addicted to) and get on the computer. There's nothing like those autumn days spent surfing on the computer.

As a result of this surfing, I have added new arty blogs to my sidebar.

Cindy Pestka at Artgirl Island
Aimee at Artsyville
Lori Vliegen at Elvie Studio

Dana Barbieri at Create Share Inspire
Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson at Paper Paintings

I am unable to comment on those last two blogs listed. I'm suspecting embedded comments again. I want them to know that I am a regular reader but just am unable to be a regular commenter.

One of my goals in blogging is to share interesting blogs with others. I'm sharing these blogs because I feel they have the same goal of sharing. Their blogs include links to other blogs and/or show their followers. I most definitely appreciate that. I did come across a couple of other blogs that I was excited about following and sharing, but ultimately, I changed my mind. The most recent was ALL about the author. Her book, her magazine articles, her galleries, where else to find her work. Her sidebar was very full of herself. And not a mention about anyone else. Grrrrrrr.

Please feel free to share with me any blogs you think I might enjoy.

I am now off to photograph my three newest pieces. A few weeks ago, my husband showed me how to attach my camera to the tripod. Do you think I will be able to do it? I'm off to wrestle with technology. I NEVER come out on top in one of those contests. NEVER.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Rainy Day Fun

Nothing like running errands on a rainy day to lift one's spirits. I've had a lovely time tooling around town, cruising through the obstacle courses of elderly and toddlers in superstores, and repeatedly opening my wallet and throwing out fistfuls of cash.

To top off the cash flinging frenzy, I saw lots of interesting, and somewhat depressing things, on this rainy day.

1. Driver on car phone -- talking with his hands.

2. Jeep in parking lot -- spare wheel cover has U.S. Flag and written on top of this is "Let's Roll".

3. Motorcyclist dressed all in camouflage. Wonder if he's roadkill by now.

Have a great weekend! Stay safe. Stay sane. Spend sparingly.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Old Pieces, Part One

A few months ago, I removed my Ebay store. The goal was to quickly transfer all artwork over to Etsy. You see how quickly that happened, huh?

I've decided to pick up the pace. I have added the Midlife Crisis series to Etsy.

Actually, these pieces aren't so old. I just made them last summer. But in this age of rampant technology, everything seems aged after just a few days.

I have put together and photographed (in high winds) one of the pieces shown a couple of posts ago. This piece should go on Etsy tonight. Three other pieces have been put together and quilted and are awaiting their buttoning, beading and gluing. Hopefully I can get another new piece on Etsy this week.

Yes, I still love orange!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Overwhelmed? Underwhelmed?

I've been away from the computer for approximately 72 hours. And now I feel completely lost. Damn computers. Why don't I just turn off the technological world and go create? Can I really do that?

On Friday, we went down to Roanoke, VA, to visit my mom in the hospital. We found out by talking to her doctor (something she had done only once, briefly) whom we ran into in the hall, that she did not have a heart attack. At least this year. He thinks she had a gastro-intestinal bug. Everyone one else (no doctors included) think that it was a reaction to her new heart medicine which he had prescribed. Anyway, we went to visit at the hospital Friday night, and she was released soon after we got there. She seems to slowly be recovering. Not easy when you have severe acid reflux, kidney problems, circulation problems, etc. The worry had me overwhelmed. The medical world, well, it leaves me underwhelmed. No one doctor seems to know what another has done or prescribed. So frustrating.

Now I am home and catching up on the blog world. So many artists have done so many wonderful things over the weekend. And these wonderful things have been photographed and documented and discussed. For all I know, spiders have taken over MY studio. Other artists blogs are asking deep questions or showing youtube videos of masterpiece making. I got nothing. So perhaps I should share what other people are doing.

Bridgette Guerzon Mills explains her results to an artistic exercise. One I am reluctant to do for what it may reveal about me.

Robyn Gordon at Art Propelled has gathered another round of artists, this time the theme being handwriting, text and type. All fantastic artists.

Jennifer DeDonato at Colorfly Studio has shared an awesome link to Dan the Monster Man, a papier mache artist.

Jo James is whipping up even more cool critters.

And Paula at Self Taught Artist talks about what it takes to put away your art (at least temporarily) and start your life over.

But here I sit on a Monday morning in front of the computer reading about all of this fantastic art and these creative lives. I feel overwhelmed. I don't know how I can possibly create with such incredible talent already out there. Then I think of what I have been doing lately. I really like my new little pieces, but I feel underwhelmed by them.

Perhaps it is the domestic day I am having. Yes, one of these housewife days. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It is just not the day I want. It is Monday. I'm supposed to be excited about getting into the studio. But instead, I have cleaned the bathroom (really needed it), eaten some bonbons, and I am now waiting for the Maytag repair man. He's supposed to come between 10:00 and 12:00. Anybody wanna liven things up by placing bets on when he will actually arrive. And then we can make bets about the cost of the repair on the dishwasher. Let me start . . .


I've got no more to say. Gonna start some laundry and get out the Swiffer. I'd watch some stories on the TV, but that's not necessary as long as there's Facebook.