Sunday, December 25, 2016

If You Just Believe

Believe in what your heart is saying....
Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri

It's another official holiday and I'm in Arizona with relatives. So many Christmases and changes. Still bright days and some shadows. New faces and many from old are gone. My heart still celebrates the season. It still believes in possiblilities and renewal. May we never be too old for that.

Josh Groban, 'Believe':



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Memories

Families are like fudge-mostly sweet with a few nuts

Holidays can be tough on families.  And depending on how your family is/was,well....Mine is and has been to paraphrase a bit from Charles Dickens: "the worst of families, the best of families." So there are some members I have close bonds with and others not so much.

 In the last couple of years I have lost all of my uncles except one and I keep in fairly close contact with him. I spent an hour on the phone tonight sharing holiday memories with him. The hard part is he remains in the Midwest where I'm from so I don't get to see him often. The good part is because he doesn't get out and around as easily, he enjoys talking on the phone and we always have excellent conversations. Plus he has provided in recent months some pieces of puzzles that have existed for years in our family system.

So here's to our families, they can be the best of our times and they can be the worst, but they are there. Here's hoping that this holiday they are the best.

Selah, "Where Are You Christmas':

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Peace, Love and Holiday Spirit

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. 
 Hamilton Wright Mabie

In the years since my Mom passed I have decorated and kept more holiday traditions with the hope that they will continue to future generations of my family. But for me it's a time to reflect, renew and enlarge the heart. Granted it may look like a Christmas tree shop threw up in my condo and people may be ready for me to remove my holiday accessories at work by January. But it's fun and I won't trade this time for any other. As my hippie friends say:

Peace, Love And Holiday Spirit.

Carrie and Wendy Wilson, "Hey Santa":

Sunday, December 11, 2016

All Of This And A Cup Of Tea

While there is tea, there is hope.
-Arthur Wing Pinero

I find myself taking refuge more and more in a quiet cup of tea. During the time I've been away I have returned to school of sorts and am in the process of becoming a certified life coach. So I find myself curled up in a chair, reading texts, developing a business plan... gaining new skills that I hope open up as the new year approaches.

Due to the recent election and what it could mean to this country and our future, I find myself sipping a cup of tea and contemplating what my response will be. I am a clinically trained social worker. The ethics I espouse encompass social justice and action. And action is probably going to be a response I choose, but I will observe, contemplate some more  before I chose the action that is needed.

Finally in this season of renewal, I have created a ritual of stepping back from the holiday busyness and spending quiet time to appreciate all I have and have been given. To reflect on gratitude and share it with those I love. And to know that even as we approach the longest day of the year, to know what our ancestors have known for thousands of years: even when all seems darkest, light will appear and the hope for a better tomorrow is born anew.

The Piano Guys, 'O Come O Come Emmanuel':

 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Opening Back Up

Begin to be here now what you will be hereafter
William James
 
 
Opening up shop again. I could give a million reasons why I wasn't here, but since I began my blog so many years ago in the holiday season....it called to me to return. Luckily no one had adopted my domain and I am back, working, studying and growing...

I'll say more in the coming days....but I did spend my time well...I'm adding ukulele and mandolin to my instrument playing efforts. And I'm studying to become a life coach (no specialization yet).

Sarah McLachlan, "Wintersong":

 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Flame Within


In remembrance of the loss of yet another artist

Brief is the moment we have here
Life bright and glowing from within
Remember to give out I love yous
Tomorrow the flame may fade

LoLo and the Force, "Only the Lonely":

 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

And She Flew Free



We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. 
-Author Unknown

It's been a month of changes. I gained my clinical license. Have had family drama and as a result of the license there are recruiters reaching out to me. So the possibility for continuing with major changes in the coming months is there. 

I've been doing embroidered portraits on vintage linens. This one was a long work in progress and aimed at being a symbolic self portrait. I just finished it. So as I look back over the past months, I see the cocoon I wove in my home and work to prepare for the change. Now I am trying to fly free and see the possibilities in love, life and career
.
Lucinda Williams, "Still I Long For Your Kiss":

 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mindfulness #1

For the next several weeks (I hope) I sm going to be doing a mindfulness exercise to help get my creative juices flowing and then I'll return to my regular format. Simply one photo; one word.

Let's begin:


Threads


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Another One.....


No words except for the ones he left and a thanks for the soundtrack of my formative years.

                          Bruce Springsteen, 'Chicago Tribute to Glen Frey-Take It Easy':




Monday, January 18, 2016

Threads


May your bobbin always be full.
-Unknown


Just a peek into one of of two areas where I am working on my embroidery portraits on vintage embroidered linen. I stumbled onto some luster ware pin cushions and I have adopted them to hold needles. Whimsical and fun. Since I am have been working on 'Dropcloth Samplers' from Rebecca Ringquist, I find myself inspired to work with all sorts of threads and yarns, beyond normal floss as she does and find myself drawn to all this lovely texture. It's funny. I am going to be teaching some basic embroidery to patients at my clinic as a sort of therapeutic modality to help them relax. I brought in a completed sampler of stitches and I found people were touching 
and caressing the lines. We love texture and I think we are instinctually drawn to it.  It is one of the reasons I decided to deepen my artistic efforts in this chosen medium.

Banks, 'Beggin For Thread':



Saturday, January 16, 2016

I am....


I think I am, therefore I am. I think....
George Carlin

I had a philosophical discussion with a friend about at what point can you say that are you an artist. To make the proclamation that "I am a artist". Is it after you attend a series of classes and get a diploma or a degree? When you produce a series of pieces? Take part in an exhibition or your own gallery show? Or even ultimately have the crown and mantle of artist placed on you by those that make up the 'art world'? All considered possibilities, but not for me.

There is another quote that I found by Lana Del Rey that sums it up:

If you are born an artist, you have no choice but to fight to stay an artist.

And that is the essential truth. It is a calm inner knowing that you have to follow a certain path of creating. It may be painting, photography, embroidery, writing. It may be bringing children into the world and raising them. It may be developing a policy for your company, but if the spirit of creation illuminates what you do then we all can shout to the universe, I am an artist! Most of all I am the artist of my own life.

I have to acknowledge that this discussion came about because of David Bowie's passing and his last artistic creation 'Blackstar'. The last months of his life he continued on the path of being artist, both of the life he wanted to create while he had it, and the artistic works he wanted to share with the world. He inspired me to look and to continue to look at the life I am creating and what I am sharing.  I found something that he said in an interview (lots of quotes today)  that follows the theme of being and sharing that I have alluded to:

I suppose for me as an artist it wasn't just about expressing my work; I really wanted more than anything else, to contribute to the culture I was living in.

Thanks David for helping us to see that we all can be artists.

Chris Hadfield, 'Space Oddity':



Monday, January 11, 2016

Tribute


Words burning molten inside
Released 
Dance bright caught in earths reflective light
Now burnt
Stardust
Falls
All is silent tonight

David Bowie, 'Starman':



Beauty Is...

  "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." -Anonymous  I went outside tonight and found the waning moon in a glow surrou...