Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Story: The Giver

It is cool this evening, causing me to again linger outdoors.

I sit in silence drinking in the world that seems as long as it is wide... and I wonder where I fit sometimes?

I love gazing up toward the heavens, quietly listening for the universe to speak in its usual soft tones, whispers, as I contemplate life, and watch the celestial marvels.

Forever, I have been dreaming, pondering, perhaps even scheming over this idea... this notion of falling I sit, hoping for words of wisdom to envelop me.

Then as if my thoughts could be heard aloud in the midst of my silent wondering, behold a shower of stars begins to rain down. My first thought is to quickly return indoors and find a pail, for I know of a perfect one that is tucked away in a dark corner.

It is this very pail, that I have saved from its apparent fate of loneliness and forgotten purpose, that can help me now to collect these gifts from the hovering sea filled with the deepest blues anyone could imagine.

But what to do... what to do with these wonders, they are surely not meant to be hidden away like buried treasure waiting to be plundered by pirate types and thieves... no.. No, they must be shared... and so I shall share them, indeed!

Share them with friends and strangers, alike. Perhaps they would brighten a day, or a life in need of a touch of stardust magic.

Maybe this is the wisdom I have sought, that in this world I am the giver of falling stars.

Monday, August 25, 2008

At the Seaside

A delectable gem arrived on my doorstep Saturday via the post.

This jewel to hold in the palm of my hand has whisked me away to a beautiful memory. A memory I hold dear and love reliving over and over again of a trip to Maine. It is the one and only time I have been in this state, and I have longed to return since I left almost seven years ago.

After staring at the cover and filing through the first couple of pages for a good half hour, I suddenly became engulfed by an urge to run away... escape.

I must admit that I have felt a bit overwhelmed lately. Life continues to be full and good, and I am so, so incredibly grateful! Part of me does not want my lengthy to-do list to end.

Having lots to do means a bright future of more wonderful happenings and memories. And I know, in my heart, that when I am not busy, I tend to feel anxious and restless, so being too busy is almost better than not being busy at all.

But there is a deep longing inside that began quite a while ago and is becoming stronger and louder. I have been re-evaluating my path.

There are things I do right now, here today, that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be doing. It has only been ten years ago that I quit a career in the computer field to go back to school and work part time, just so I could become the person I was truly meant to be.

I still remember those difficult days and marvel at the fact that I was so determine, even though everyone around me thought I had completely lost my mind.

There are things I do right now, such as creating, teaching, writing that I could never ever let go of... these are a part of me, and who I am. They are not just hobbies, but are truly pieces of my soul that must be fed and nourished.

This deep longing, that continues to relentlessly tug at my heart, is begging me to give myself some breathing room so that I may grow in my art making. Not to be in such a hurry to produce quantity, but strive for greater quality.

My mind is always a constant swirl of creative ideas, but lately those ideas have swelled up to an insurmountable mass with a driving force behind them that I can no longer ignore.

So to quench this thirst, this yearning to expand and grow, I have decided to be more choosy and selective in my offerings. I still plan to provide lovely prints, poetry books, and gift tags for purchase and try to add to that selection on a more regular basis, giving customers more choices. But as for original artworks for sale, those will become very limited.

Hopefully, this will allow me to work on more intricate and detailed pieces, take a bit more time to nourish my creative side without the pressures of trying to quickly produce works.

I feel so relieved... to be saying this out loud to myself, as if a burden has been lifted. Giving me permission to focus and concentrate on really creating more meaningful art.

Have you ever felt this way, the need to set yourself back on a path, letting go of a notion to please or to do something you thought was right, but ended up not being so right? Most likely you have... but I wanted to say thank you for listening, for visiting this humble blog, for your wonderful words of encouragement that are given to me through emails and comments, and for sharing your own stories.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

your dearest wish

The weather has been GLORIOUS. I have never known, in all of my years here in Kansas, of August days that have been filled with such cool temperatures, sprinkled with intermittent rain showers. I truly believe we have shamelessly borrowed this weather from our neighbors on the west coast that are suffering with the most unbearable heat.

I find myself wandering outside a little more during the daylight hours and then linger in my garden at sunset well into the evening not wanting this to end. The night air caressing my skin, enveloping me. I gaze across the immediate landscape into the farmer's field beyond, seeing small twinkling lights, and I imagine sharing this with you...

beautiful friend, let me tell you a story...
of wondrous summer nights
when fireflies illuminate the evening sky,
their flickering glow can be seen
along the hedgerow that leads to an open field;
and the story goes, or so I was told...
when the air is filled with their tiny lights
that each one is really a dream,
if caught by gentle hand
your dearest wish the firefly will grant.

As you hold this dreamy twinkle what would your dearest wish be?

Monday, August 18, 2008


What do Lisa Hoffman, Teesha Moore, Angela Cartwright, Julie Prichard, eb, Sarah Fishburn, &rew Borloz, Nina Bagley, azirca, Kelly Kilmer, Dawn Sokol, Ro Bruhn, Judy Wise, Linda Woods, and myself have in common? They are just a few of the 80-plus artists (and counting) that are participating in The Pulse. Join The Altered Page on Monday August 18th for the third edition of The Pulse: an artist survey. This month long project will introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals.

Check it out over on Seth Apter's blog, The Altered Page!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Gift

How can the sheer force of the internet not amaze a person? I am so incredibly lucky to have met the most charming individuals and endearing souls through a piece of equipment made from steel, nuts, bolts, and semi-conductors. Incredible how an inanimate object that has no thoughts or feelings can carry heartfelt words almost instantaneously to another perhaps living nearby or halfway across the world.

Such was the beginning of my friendship with Susanna Gordon. After admiring her pages in Somerset Studio's Artful Blogging Premier Issue, I immediately hopped onto the computer and visited her site. From those first moments, I have been enchanted.

I am a horrible about lurking on blogs, but finally I built up the courage to leave a comment one day. Since then, Susanna and I have shared many conversations via email, enjoying each others company, talking about our daily lives, and our art.

I have admired Susanna's winged messengers for quite sometime. At one point I wrote her to say so, and she kindly offered to send me one, so that I might photograph a few of my own moments with her treasure here amidst the plains of the Midwest.

My winged messenger arrived in the post along with some other wonderful goodies, right before I left on my trip. I wanted to wait and offer her a proper thank you for such wonders. I look forward to reveling in this gift of friendship and sharing many more pictures of my messenger among the landscapes of Kansas in the future.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Art Unraveled

The air is full of electricity... creativity and sharing abound, smiling faces full of eager anticipation were the constant during my time spent at Art Unraveled. I expected nothing less from my days... what fun, what adventures to be had.

Although my trip started out a bit bumpy with a phone call in the middle of the night on the eve before my journey. My flight had been canceled due to bad weather in Denver. Suffering from a sleep induced fog, I could barely wrap my mind around the caller's words. All I could think to do was cry.

However a knight in shining armour quickly stepped in, my husband gently took the phone from my hand and spent the next two hours working with the poor airline representative, that must have picked the short straw and had to call me, to find a solution.

By 2:00 a.m. the tears and panic had subsided and there was a plan. Instead of flying from Wichita, I had to make a mad dash to Kansas City and hop on the next available plane. Luckily, my husband was able to go with me so that he could drive the car back home.

Let me tell you, I have to admire the many brave souls that fly stand-by because I am not one that can do this without having stomach in knots, waiting and worrying the entire time, which seems like an eternity by the way, until I am comfortably or uncomfortably in a seat on the jet.

After several kind individuals, or angels in disguise, and a few lucky breaks, I finally arrived in Phoenix right before the airport closed due to a nasty storm that engulfed the city around 10 p.m.

Poor Marylin had to fly to Phoenix all by herself, gather bags, gather boxes, pickup the car, find the hotel, and then come and retrieve a rather frazzled daughter-in-law later that evening, all the while driving in the dark in a strange city.

BIG KUDDOS to this very brave lady. I am not sure I could have managed the same feat.

If I slept a solid hour after a full day of wondering whether I would even make it to Art Unraveled, I would be greatly surprised. But lack of sleep, fretful expressions, and this nagging cloud of worry disappeared when I arrived in class on Friday.

How could I not be completely enchanted with such incredible students that dove head first into the Portraits of Nature Workshop and created the works of art you see below. Like a bird released from its cage, I felt like I was soaring right along with my students as they painted.

This magic did not stop on Saturday, no indeed.... I was overwhelmed by the beautiful spirits that came to my vendor table. I felt so close to crying tears of joy all day. Affirmation after affirmation kept coming in waves that washed over this weary soul. How could I be anything but utterly grateful to those kind individuals that stopped to talk and/or purchase one of my treasures.

Sunday's workshop was just downright fun... this group picked up where Friday's workshop left off, creating the most luscious vintage journals. It was the perfect class for a last day of a week long retreat. All the books were so charming. I could have easily stacked them all up and stuffed them into my bag to take home.

I missed a few of my students... I know some are camera shy and that is ok, but I want to thank them just the same for spending their days with us.

Many, many thanks to Linda for coordinating such a wonderful event. I look forward to visiting again next year!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Summer to Autumn - away

It is time again for me to leave this studio of mine and venture out into the vast world. I will be traveling to Phoenix to teach two wonderful workshops, one on Friday and the second on Sunday.

On Saturday, I will be offering a table full of delightful treasures to purchase. All of these terrific happenings are taking place at the incredible Art Unraveled Retreat. If you are in the area, I invite you to come join in the fun!

I always feel both happy and sad before I leave on a trip. Happy and giddy with excitement because I will be going, doing, having such lovely experiences, sharing with friends old and new, and spending time reveling in the artistic endeavors I cherish so.

Sad because I miss home. Yes.. even though I am well into my adulthood, I feel an aching in my heart for home when I am away from this familiar place with its sweet smell of coffee scented candles burning, peach apricot tea steeping in my favorite mug, soft sheets on a comfy bed, my beloved pets, and my darling husband.

I will even miss Mr. Toad.

So to keep you company while I am abroad, I leave you with a most charming bit of art from my Season's Journal, inspired by my Summer house guest.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fourth Annual Fiber Arts Festival

I am so very pleased and honored to be selected to participate in the Fourth Annual Fiber Arts Festival juried Exhibit at the Sixth Street Gallery in Vancouver, Washington.

Although, I was unable to attend the artist reception on Friday. A good friend of mine, Jan Harris, was kind enough to snap a number of pictures and send them to me. I thought I would share the images of this wonderful opening night event with you.
My piece is titled, "A Summer Story", and features a mother Bluejay feeding her young. You might remember them from a previous post.

If you are near Portland, be sure to make a short drive across the river to Vancouver, and check out all the incredible art galleries and this Fiber Arts Show running through August at Sixth Street.