Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Visitor

"When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins
 from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door,
full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness? ...

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world."

from "When Death Comes"
By Mary Oliver

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Waking Up

The Journey
by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets and clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Taking Time To Heal

Tomorrow is my surgery. I made this journal page with that in mind. I'm nervous but thanks to the support and love of all my friends I know everything will be fine. I want to thank all of you for your kind words, your emails, your calls, and your prayers. All of them are greatly appreciated! :)

I plan to take a few days to recover and then spend some time with my family. I'm really looking forward to my sister visiting soon. We always have such fun with our movie marathons, art journaling, shopping sprees and general silliness.

Just a while ago I heard crunching of snow outside the door. It is getting kind of late and I couldn't imagine anyone visiting at this hour so I crept quietly to the front room and peeked out the window. There in the moonlight I saw three deer by the window. They were eating berries off one of the trees. They were right there in front of my window and didn't see me! We live up on a ridge and often there will be deer passing through but this is the first time I've been this close. It was such a nice surprise! And a great way to end the evening on a positive note.  ;)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dark Lady: Journal Page

Been playing with collage and paint in my journal. I love using my CitraSolv pages for the backgrounds. I've torn up a few and pieced them together for this page. They have that look I just can't make with paint. I think they look like concrete here...kind of grungy. LOVE that!

This is a larger journal page; about 9 x 12. I like to work in different sizes. Found this cool sketchbook at Barnes & Noble. It had a Paris street scene on the cover. Couldn't resist that! The paper is kind of thin but when you collage, it holds up nicely. Ooh, I must stay out of there. I've been lusting after one of the Kate Spade Nook covers...I visit it every time I go into the store. Maybe hubby will get it for me for Christmas.  ;)

I've also signed up for a couple of workshops coming up in January. One is with Misty Mawn (yay! finally another workshop with Misty!) You can read about it  here.  And another workshop is with Michael DeMeng (I love his work!) through Creative Souls Ning site. You can read about it here. So lots to look forward to in January.

I want to say Happy Birthday to my brother Jamie. Today he is a big 4-0! Ha! Don't worry, little brother, I'll always be older than you. Love ya!  ;)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In My Dreams

I always think of my Mom a lot this time of year. I dream about her more. She loved Christmas! ;) She would put up two trees...more if my Dad would have let her. She loved to decorate and have an open house on Christmas Eve. It was very important for her to have the entire family there that night. Others were invited, too, but the family better show up. No excuses! Her eyes would light up when we were all milling about, munching on her cookies and fudge (yummy!), usually teasing each other about something.

So sometimes in my dreams I get these letters from her. It's as if she's on this trip and she's checking in. ;) They are usually just short notes that refer to a vague house she's staying in. It's all very strange but somehow reassuring. She seems happy. She never mentions coming home but she always seems full of energy and busy. That was how she used to be before she got sick: always doing something. ;) I sometimes wish I could just join her now. But I guess we all go when it's our time.

This will be the first Christmas I won't be spending with my family. Due to my surgery being so near the holiday we will just be staying put this year and not be making the trip. But a quiet holiday won't be a bad thing. I'll just keep reading her letters... in my dreams.  ;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pretty In Pink: Journal Page

It's good to be back home! Although I already miss Columbus :( I was itching to sketch and paint and get back into my studio with all of my paints and supplies. And I picked up a BIG load of goodies while I visited the Blick Art Supply store in Columbus. :) Lots of huge canvasses, paints, and encaustic paints in many yummy colors... yes, I was in heaven!

So tonight I worked on sketching this girl. I've been in a frilly, girly mood lately. Oooh, I LOVE the color pink! So I sketched her out and painted her all up in a nice sunny background. Then scanned her into Photoshop and added some digital elements. Just playing around with pink: Pretty In Pink. ;)

I was so excited to see that Blick was selling the Caran d'Ache Neocolor II crayons individually. And I found THE perfect shade: flesh! LOVE it. Used it here on the girl. Blends great with all of the other colors I have. Now I am in my happy place.  ;)

I have to get caught up in my painting class and in the art journal group. So much catching up to do. Just wanted to take a little fun time to play tonight. Also had a close call on my trip back due to bad weather but I DID make it home all in one piece. So I hope to get back in the groove within the next few days.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


In my highwire days
I can see all the way
from Highwire Days by Psychedelic Furs

I'm off on my trip today! This is how I'll be feeling on the road. LOL! I've been reading about a lot of fatalities lately on the interstate I'll be travelling. It reminded me of this guy...up on the highwire. Hopefully I'll be able to see all the way if there is any danger looming ahead. ;)

This was a digital manipulation I put together a while back. I really liked it. It was a combination of an image I was able to get using the CitraSolv method (man on highwire) and then digitally added the rest. I have a fresh batch of CitraSolv pages that I've packed away for my trip. Of course now the house smells like oranges but hubby can deal with that. ;)

So, let the games begin! I hope to check in at least once from my little retreat. Have a great week everyone. I'll be playing dodge cars for a while out on the interstate but I hope to maneuver everything just fine.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dream Wonderland

So I go from monsters to Wonderland! You just never know what you'll find here.  ;)  I woke up this morning to a beautiful snowy wonderland. It's still pretty! But it can stop now. I have to head out on the road tomorrow and I don't want too much of the pretty white stuff to hamper my trip.

It's strange but I had a wonderland sort of dream last night. Very much like the scene here, only it wasn't wintertime in my dream. Without going into too much detail, there was a forest and there were rabbits. That's all I'm saying. LOL! The weather today and the dream last night...I had to put together something art-related!
By the way, the elements for this digital piece came from Tangie Baxter at Scrapbook Graphics.

Lots of preparations on tap for today: getting ready for my trip, projects I want to take with me. I love working on my art while I'm on vacation. I'm working on some projects for a special friend and I'm so excited about them that I'm taking one of the projects with me. So I have to make sure I have all the supplies I need for that.

I see the snow is still falling so I must get out and do my errands while I can. Hopefully it will stop soon and the roads will be clear for me tomorrow. Wish me luck that I'll get there safely! I'll post something next week. There just may not be a photo to go with it.  ;) For today, though, I will enjoy a little of what's left of my Dream Wonderland...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.
-- Rumi

I'm rushing around getting ready for my upcoming trip to Columbus this weekend. So many preparations and so many things left to do here before I can leave. But I wanted to at least post a digital piece before I left.

I've talked about the painting class I'm taking. It's about to end and our final assignment has us thinking hard about certain aspects of our life. Without giving away too much of the class, we are to do some soul searching. And that has led me to discussions with friends about their lives, etc. The whole issue of barriers keeps coming up. Barriers that we put up in our lives to keep people out, to protect ourselves, to push people away. Seems like we all do it.

I'm going to visit my BFF this weekend and we are the queens of barrier building. So, yes, barriers are ever present for us anyway. So this weekend I am going to try and work on maybe chipping away a little at some of my barriers and see where that gets me. Being with my good friends, laughing, in the city I love, that has to be a good start I think. I'll let you know if I make any progress.  ;)

By the way, this digital piece was put together mainly with elements from Lily's "End of Love" kit at After 5 Designs. I just love this background paper. It is what drew me to the kit in the first place.