Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here comes 2009

I spent most of the day, not being very festive, sorry to say. I guess I won't ever be one of those huge New Years Revelers. Not one of those people who goes out to downtown Burlington to celebrate First Night (and freeze.)  There are probably a gazillion reasons why I don't get all hyped up and I could starting naming them, if I stopped to analyze the thing, but I won't. 

I have started to right down my HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOALS. More about that when I get them all worked out. These are my personal and professional goals. Ones that push the limit. Have you ever set a H.A.G for yourself and it actually come to fruition? If so, that's fantastic! If not, don't stop trying to get there.  Anything is possible.  You just have to  imagine it. There's the Vermont Coaching Center showing it's brainwashing techniques on me again....
Ok- so it may not have been a festive day- but it was a productive one.
1-I did a little damage at the Christmas Tree Shoppe. I don't shop there often, but some things they sell are super cheap! I picked up a lamp shade for $2! That's a bargain.  
2-Did the food shopping, New Year's Days is our traditional Mexican feast.  I'm making flan! YUM! 
3-Got Henry his season pass for Bolton Mountain. ( we love Bolton! )
4-Took care of some other mundane paperwork
5-Cleaned the kitchen 
6- Unpacked more of the studio (it has been in boxes since we moved) I've created quite the purge pile- I will have to have a BIG destash sale on etsy!  Maybe a few giveaways too.
7-Played ball with the dog
8-Read to my children
9-finished a bunch of ACEOs.... and here they are. They all have a little heart. Something I am trying to work into my life for 2009- Trying to open my heart a little more, let it grow wings and soar. 
I also treated myself to a wonderful trade with a great Etsy artist friend Kim Geiser aka Persimmon Gal. She created this beautiful 10"x10"mixed media painting that I just fell in love with. 
She traded me for the Gypsy Heart Shoe Assemblage.  It's my latest piece of inspiration.
So I will leave you tonight with that:
Follow your heart, you'll love where it takes you!!!! 
Happy New Year! May blessings be with you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Playing with Photoshop

One of the things that I want to be working on in 2009 is Photoshop. I would like to revamp my banner, avatar, business cards and website to make them all look more professional.
So I started playing with a photo I took of Mickey.
Took out the background, played with the filters and color balance. The results were very interesting.
I'm going to keep at it over the next month. This is very cool!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Winter Marches on....

Not really- we had a real winter christmas- almost two feet of snow on Thursday- then the skies turned grey on Friday so I created this treasury on Etsy.
Then this morning I awoke to our creek over flowing the banking, 46 degrees and green grass. Could it be that global warming is real? This sort of weather is terrible for VT, where most locations in the mountains rely on the snow to bring tourist dollars here- Especially during the Christmas- New Year's break.

So, it feels like April- so I should make lemonade out of lemons, take the dog for a long walk and try to get a bunch of stuff done-

Sunday, December 21, 2008

a long to do list

It's snowing again- we got a total of 10" on Friday night- so no company Xmas party for me-
And they are forecasting another 12" today. We spent most of the day yesterday out and about in Burlington. We battled the cranky people at the post office ( anything liquid, fragile, potentially hazardous inside, would you like packing tape with that??) , food shopping at a very packed market (i still don't know what i am making for xmas dinner), lunch out at Halverson's, our favorite cheap date/burger joint, shopping on Church street at the Artist Market and some of the little boutiques and a visit to the Firehouse Gallery to see a cool new installation ( more pix of those soon). Finished up the stragglers and will pack up all those boxes to go out tonight. We came home made a huge batch of shrimp pad thai for dinner then Jack and I finally got the tree all decorated.

TODAY-We are hanging out all day- trying to get stuff done-the list of things to accomplish is very long...(glup)

this is my to do list (it will probably spill into the next three days)
make a pot of chili
make sweets to give away - peanut brittle, fudge, cookies- if the oven will work
finish the journals
Clean the kitchen, including sweep and mop the floor
Clean the entire bathroom
Straighten the living room
Dust and Vacuum
Do three loads of laundry
Changes sheets on all the beds
shovel show
do day job homework so counterparts in Asia have everything they need on Monday morning
post items on freecycle
post new ACEOS on ETSY (yes! I did finish three yesterday and have no pictures to show!)
clean out fridge
take out the trash
play with the kids in the snow
make a holiday sound track
pack up all my orders and finally xmas boxes going out
finish xmas cards

so happy decemeber 21st- welcome to the shortest, darkest day of the year-
the days are going to get brighter and longer from here. it's a beautiful thing.... rejoice!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Making Journals

Last few nights, in between stuffing plushies and doing chores, I've started on a project to make collaged journals to give as gifts. I bought a bunch of blank books and gessoed the covers-Painted them with a base coat wash of color. Applied a second wash of antiquing hue. Then started to collage like I do on the little shrines or book cover that I sell. I had made a couple of gel medium transfers a few weeks ago. Last night I soak and removed paper. That's always a chore, but the results are worth it.
Now I'm off to wrap up Christine's box and get the house cleaned and decorated.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Crunch time

These are the finished plushies, I made for my nieces and nephew in Colorado. They were very fun to make- and very easy. Now that they are done, all my boys at home, Henry, Jack and even Mickey, seem to want one- I guess I have to make a few more over the weekend.
I still have to finish packing everything up. I'm making some special for my sister, and it's not finished yet. I also bought her a very special something from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Pretty Little Pendant. Her box has to go in the mail by tomorrow - come hell or high water. I'm pretty behind this year, don't know what my issue is. Usually, I've got all the cards done and mailed out- Presents out the door and the tree decorated by now.
At least the tree is up- I did that yesterday. We will get it decorated tonight or tomorrow. I wish I could slow down time. It keeps moving on, a what seems like breakneck speed-
which reminds me of a DD song-

The Valley-

These are days of hit and run
In the stream with everyone
Is a moment of our lives
On a wandering river
Going on together
Many journeys to arrive
I've been walking
Through the valley
Through the tall grass
And the shadows
And I feel it
I can see it
Yes I need it
I believe it
Through the city
And the towers
Turning minutes
Into hours
And I feel it
I can see it
Yes I need it
I believe it
When I think I'm being strong
And I lose direction then a life starts looking mischievous
Finding revelation
Out of desperation
Always stretching time
But it's never long enough
You think you're happy
Think you're free
But maybe we're just
Comfortably dizzy
I've been running
Through the valley
Through the tall grass
And the shadows
And I feel it
I can see it
Yes I need it
I believe it

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

snowing again

still a little moody- the snow doesn't help- just adds to the overall melancholy. winter marches on....
got the kids off to school, although they were hoping for a snow day- there's about 3" on the ground right now. we expecting another 3" by the end of the day. had to make mickey a sweater last night- he doesn't seem to care for the cold.
there will be lots of shoveling to do tonight....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

it must be me....

I'm in a moody kinda funk- not quite sure where it's coming from- could be a lot of things-
1-the holidays- they always put me back to being a 9 year old who did not have the happiest of childhoods.
2-the self imposed stress connected to Xmas- thinking everything has to be perfect- that I have to make the handmade cards, have to finish handmade gifts. that I don't have a lot of $$ right now to buy something for all the people that you are supposed to buy for, like the mailman, my sons daycare providers, my colleagues, my family, my friends, the mail man, teachers, etc.
3- lack of sleep
4-my dear husband working on a project over 60 miles away. i won't see him until tuesday of next week.
5-the crummy economy 
6-the unpredictable winter weather
7- hormones-
8-my oven is BUSTED and I can't bake my usual xmas cookies.
who knows
I'm trying to break out of it- I took some Emergen-C. I've been active- with our new dog, Mickey, there's no choice there. He has to go out for his walks. I've been listening to positive upbeat music. but, it's still there. Maybe, i should go to the store and buy a case of PIMs. That usually can give me a lift. ( But who needs all those calories?)
I need to take a step back and just count all my blessings- See the pain points and know the possibilities. (there's the coaching center of VT getting into my head. again.) It all just feels a little overwhelming right now. I wish my days had about three extra hours in them, so I could catch up with my sleep. I wish the economy would just get a little better, so I could sell something on my Etsy site that was over $20.  I wish I didn't get so emotionally tied to one day of the year- I wish that everyone I loved wasn't so far away right now. I wish this moody feeling would pass right now, so I could get on with all the other things in life, that I really want to enjoy.  Maybe it's just me... but I think other people, must feel this way sometimes.
I know this will go away- it will just take a little bit of time....
do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark
in the hopeless swamps of the approximate
the not quite, the not-yet.
DO not let the hero of your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, 
but have never been able to reach.
Check your road and the nature of your battle.
The world your desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours.

ayn rand- atlas shrugged

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Live in Montreal -Duran Duran - RCM

Yesterday was one of those days that just went by too fast. First thing I remember is Stephanie and I were driving up 89 in a snow squall and the last thing was crashing hard on the bed in the hotel. All the rest rest feels like it went by at 100 miles an hour. I really want to write it all down in great detail, but at this point I am so tired. I think it is going to have to wait. So, for now, I will leave you with pictures from the show- Which opened with ( of all things) Wendy Carlos, opening title music from a Clockwork Orange. DD played all the hits and a few songs from the new record, Red Carpet Massacre. I wished they would have played a few more of the newer #'s and less of the old hits. I guess I've seen these guys enough times, that I really don't need to hear, Please, please tell me now, the reflex, view to a kill or save a prayer, live, ever again.

Set List:
The Valley
Planet Earth
Hungry like the Wolf
I Don’t Want Your Love
Save a Prayer
A View To A Kill
Falling Down
Come Undone
Ordinary World
Is There Something I Should Know
White Lines
Wild Boys
Girls on Film

I think White Lines and Sunrise where perhaps the best songs they performed. The band really started to connect in the 2nd half of the show and were really rocking by that point.

And Oh Yeah, I forgot to mention, with the help from a few industry friends, Stephanie and I got to meet the guys before the whole thing started. That in itself, was pretty fantastic. I got a sweet little kiss from John and Roger- Simon, had a cold coming on, so there was no kissing him!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Going to Montreal

Tomorrow, Steph and I are going to Montreal to see Duran Duran at the Metropolis. We are making a real trip out of it and staying over night and coming back on Thursday. There will be lots of good shopping, great live music, great food and lots of drinking.

I'm pretty stoked! And although Stephanie is 10 years younger than me- I think she is too.

Talk about getting in touch with your muse. Music has such an influence on my art and my process and Duran Duran (believe it or not) is one of my favorites right now. I was a huge fan when I was in high school and then sort of fell out of love with them in the 90s. I recently re-discovered them when they put out their Astronaut record and have been hooked sinced.
I've been processing the why's that are behind the connection between my art and this band, and it has a lot to do with the moodiness of it all. There's a certain poetic melancholy that I associate with the lyrics. There's that old connection of their heart throb status in my past- but then there is this new connection that is more deeply rooted in something else. Je ne comprehend pas.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

commitment issues

Last week, when I was making very large gel medium transfers, I was inspired to start a new project - three collages created from an old class photo. Looks like the photo is from the early 1900's, some where here in Vermont- I think it's Woodstock, but not sure. There's a distinctive brick building in the background. I'm pretty sure this is the the green at the center of town.

So I went out to Recycle North looking for canvas to collage over- they are in the middle of re-doing their art section, so it was slim pickin's. I found one and picked up a two pack at Michael's and as luck would have it- they are all the same size.

I gessoed the recycled canvas and then took over the dining room table laying out the collage elements. Usually when I am in this mode- it's really easy to go from step to step. But for some reason, I was hemmin' and hawin' about this. I'd put the elements on, take them off. I don't know what was making me so unsure- Maybe it is because they were real blank canvases, that I paid money for, instead of some thing re-purposed from the thrift store or dump. Who knows....

When I finally had a rough idea of what I wanted I started in on the background, gluing down large sheets of really old news paper (1916)- Pulling some off with tape and then painting with a wash to make it look all old and uniform.
We took the dog to the park for an hour or so, had some lunch, then it was back to the canvases. Laying three out on the table, laying the elements back on, taking some off, thinking about it too much. I did this for several hours. Between the indecision, I was scanning and listing new pieces on Etsy.

Finally, after the kids where sound asleep and I felt like it was time to just take the leap- I started in on with the glue. Now, two canvases, have first layers glued- and I'm ready to start up on the final one- I don't know what the problem was.... just a little fear of commitment I guess.

Friday, December 5, 2008

80s Look of the day - Friday December 5

I had too give up a little sweetness for this friday's 80's look of the day-

Pretty in Pink-
If you mixed pretty and pink, breakfast club and 16 candles all together as one story, that would be my life in high school. Yes, Molly Ringwald was my alter ego.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I have talked about the Osho Zen Tarot cards before. We actually use this deck of cards as a team building exercise in my office. Today, I participated in a monthly off-site managers meeting and (at the request of one of my colleagues) I brought the zen cards to share with the group. Everyone pulled a card, some had very intriguing ones and that resulted in some provocative questions. ( That's the point of the exercise really, to have your brain focus in on something you may or may not be ready to address.)

My card today, could not be any better. it was the SUCCESS card. That's where I am headed! and it feels good.....

Here's what the card means according to the Zen Tarot book:

Watch the waves in the ocean. The higher the wave goes, the deeper is the wake that follows it. One moment you are the wave, another moment you are the hollow wake that follows. Enjoy both--don't get addicted to one. Don't say: I would always like to be on the peak. It is not possible. Simply see the fact: it is not possible. It has never happened and it will never happen. It is simply impossible--not in the nature of things. Then what to do? Enjoy the peak while it lasts and then enjoy the valley when it comes. What is wrong with the valley? What is wrong with being low? It is a relaxation. A peak is an excitement, and nobody can exist continuously in an excitement.

Returning to the Source Chapter 4


This character is obviously "on top of the world" right now, and the whole world is celebrating his success with a ticker-tape parade! Because of your willingness to accept the recent challenges of life, you are now - or you soon will be - enjoying a wonderful ride on the tiger of success. Welcome it, enjoy it, and share your joy with others - and remember that all bright parades have a beginning and an end.

If you keep this in mind, and squeeze every drop of juice out of the happiness you are experiencing now, you will be able to take the future as it comes without regrets. But don't be tempted to try to hold on to this abundant moment, or coat it in plastic so that it lasts forever. The greatest wisdom to keep in mind with all the phenomena in the parade of your life, whether they be valleys or peaks, is that "this too will pass."

Celebrate, yes, and keep on riding the tiger.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We have a winner!!!

Yes friends- Jack put everyone's name in the bucket and pulled out......
Thank you everyone who entered- I'll be doing another drawing again soon, I'm sure. Keep your eyes peeled.

I have decided to do two special promotions at my Etsy Site. FREE SHIPPING on all orders $50 and up. Also, mention my blog post and receive and additional 20% off your order, regardless how much you spend. Both offers end December 15th.

I'll be listing new items all week- here's the latest: the Messenger of Truth, Altered Book that was on display at the Firehouse Gallery in Burlington this September.