Monday, February 28, 2011

Jane Russell

You helped me understand how to be comfortable in my body
thank you

Have a smooth journey to your next adventure

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Geek at heart

Serious Geek alert, you have been warned.....

I have been waiting and searching for a workshop to take, one that I could afford and be inspired by...
clearly those two concepts do not always go hand in hand.
I was told about a letterpress studio that was a short drive away and so I contacted them and I got signed up for a day of Letterpress 101
I was super excited as I have been dreaming and researching letterpress for a while....I have become a serious letterpress fan.
Much like the love for the sound of a shutter on a medium format camera...oh that is such a lovely wonderfully intoxicating sound, soo too is the sound of a letterpress to me.

I wasn't allowed to take Industrial Arts in junior high, my father was afraid I would cut off my fingers or hurt myself in some I never got to take shop or anything. Instead I got a half a semester in home economics class with a teacher who thought I was going to blow up the kitchen or break the sewing machines.

so all this is BRAND NEW to me and super exciting.

I took the day off work and traveled to the local letterpress studio for an introduction day.
The studio was the artists converted garage, it was filled with three presses, flat files, an antique paper cutter (that looked like railroad equipment) and blocks of font and packing supplies.

I was given a quick overview of what each machine was called and how they use almost exclusively photopolymer for the letterpress now. (the same stuff I make my etchings with) except you needed to mail away for it...and so I was given a selection to pick from for the demo.
I picked a little bunch of poppies that she had drawn.
She showed me how to cut the paper and then how to ink the platen and turn on the Chandler and Price 10x15 press...
and then the sounds...ooooooooooooh the lovely sounds of the machine working.
I felt like a combination of a train engineer and Dick Van Dyke in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
I was running this amazing machine that made things!
(super geek I know, I warned you)
I was shown how to load the art into the machine and we made notecards.
then it was all done.

I asked about Vandercook SP15 which is what I imagine when I think of letterpress, and was shown hers, it is used mostly for bookmaking which her business does as well. I had mentioned a desire to make a handmade book and she let me know that she could help me with that if I wanted.

All in all it was an informative day, I was given a general overview and printed some cards.
I can add it to my list of information and resources
now know that I need a bigger studio if I was to include letterpress into my life!

I came home with visions of a bigger studio in my head and dreams of printing all day and night long

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

photo sent to Jesse who was in LA at the time

Saturday night a tornado was spotted a mere 10 miles from our home, the warning was slapped across the TV and so the cats and I took shelter in the lowest part of our home...the garage.

No touchdown, no one harmed; exciting none the less!

Lessons learned:
  1. What to do when you have a tornado warning, being from CA this is not general knowledge
  2. I can get the cats into carriers in no time flat and with little struggle, this will come in handy
  3. There is no weather channel on the radio
  4. You can not tell if the sky turns green if it is night time
  5. My name is Auntie M for a reason ( I know she was an Emily)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Murdull the Magnificent

Murdull Turtle 1989-2006

Beloved Miss Murds left us back in 2006 after a long battle with kidney failure.
She is still often thought of
sometimes seen as shadows around our home still.

Miss Murdull was a lovely little lady, who was social, patient and kind.
She was a wonderful company keeper and companion and loved a good car ride.
She was the widow to Egon, her life long companion, and mourned his death for a good 6 months.

She was a wonderful napping friend, as not only would she keep me warm and well protected, but her impression of a motorboat via her loud purr was often a lullaby for many of us.

Murdull loved the sun and was known to spend long hours on the patio stretched out on her woven grass mat soaking in every ray she could.
When not sitting in the sun, or napping she was a chatty kitty telling us many stories and listened with much interest in others tales.
She would often remind us what an excellent mouser she was and how she caught many a rodent in her hayday! She also enjoyed petting goldfish
Never one to be told what to do, she was instrumental in making sure Bo dog (my brothers dog) was in line to her needs and maintained respect for her authority.

Today we remember her and send sweet love her way, may you always have warm sunshine on your belly

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our fake wedding

June 1992
I met my hubby when I was 21years old, he was 19.
I had signed up for a pottery class and on the first day of class while the teacher was taking attendance someone walked into the room late.
 I looked over and the whole room went dark except for him.
Literally all else around me disappeared and all I saw was Jesse.
It was love at first sight.

It only took me two classes to build up enough courage to give him my phone number.
He called me that night and invited me to come over for a homemade breakfast the next day.
We have been together ever since then.

After being together for 7 years, we decided to travel to Nepal. It was going to be the new millennium and with all the "scare talk" we wanted to be somewhere undeveloped;
in case the whole world turned off for a few days.

We had gone to school in China back in 1992 and wanted to go back to Asia....We saw Nepal as a little pearl in Asia, not as intense as India and not Thailand (there was a lot of robbing taking place to trekkers at this time) so we booked our one way tickets. 
We would come back home via Europe, that way would could also do an around the world trip!

Jesse was a hiker and an outdoorsman so this upcoming trip was one of EPIC nature for him,
I on the other hand was a walker...and a slow wanderer....
so this trip was a little more outdoors than I was really prepared for.
We took kickboxing classes (lasted 4 classes) and I worked out on a stairmaster at home.
I worked two jobs to save money and Jesse worked and quit his longtime job and sold his car.
We packed up a backpack full of stuff and headed out around the world!

Jesse got a cold on our third day in Kathmandu, I started to wander while he slept...explore the city.
I would bring home 7-up and treats to eat as he blew his nose and read a harry potter book in the hotel. As the week passed he got better and we booked a 16day trek in the Lantang Region with a visit to the Holy Lake (Gosainkunda is sacred lake for Hindus and Buddhists alike, and is said to have had its origin when Lord Shiva swallowed poison to save the world. It is believed he pierced the earth with his trishul (trident) from where a fountain of water sprang forming a lake where the burning Shiva jumped to soothe the burning in his throat.)

We started the trek with a harrowing bus trip that made me puke and think I was going to die via the bus flinging itself off the narrow roads and down a sheer cliff.

We trekked for 7hours that first day and being a child who was raised at sea level for my
WHOLE life I was finding it hard to breathe.
Jesse watched as I took heavy lungfuls of air high in the mountains and then stop and take a picture.
I was the last one in our foursome to reach any of our points as I was always stopping to take pictures.

Our stop for the night, was a cabin that overlooked the first of many valleys in the region.
The cabin was two stories and whitewashed, the windows were framed in blue think paint and there were flower boxes...I thought I was in Switzerland.
Jesse was already sitting with the guide and porter and very relaxed
when I dragged my sorry sea-level ass into camp.
I sat for a moment and then asked if there was a bathing area;
while I took a shower out of a bucket in the barn next to the donkey...
Jesse got our bags upstairs and a plate of food for me.
Returning to the group refreshed, I ate a little food as the guide looked at Jesse
and asked how long we were married for?
Because of our research before leaving, Jesse and I knew that culturally it was more appropriate to say we were married, (I had gotten us cheap silver bands for $10 before leaving the US to wear while we trekked.)

Jesse looked up at Robin Garung (our guide) and said, that we just gotten married in February, on Valentines day and that this was our honeymoon.
He then proceeded to tell the guide all the details of the wedding,
how it was a small group of friends and family, that we were married outside
and we kept it simple, so that we could save money to travel to Nepal.
He told him what we wore and that we danced all night long.

The guide was surprised and I was silent the whole time, only offering smiles and nods of agreement.
Jesse had woven a beautiful day in his mind and told this new friend all that he had imagined for us.

When darkness came and we went to our room, I asked where he had gotten this date from and the details...he said that it was an easy date to remember and that it was romantic to think of it on that day.

We walked many many miles together on that trip and many trips after that...and in 2002 on Valentines day Jesse asked me to marry him for real.
He said it was the perfect day to ask as it was already our anniversary.
Nov 1 2002

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sylvia White Gallery Tonight

click picture to see the entries

Be A Saint Art Auction with Sylvia White:
"As a show of support to further our commitment to Ventura: California’s New Art City, Sylvia White Gallery is proud to continue the tradition we started last year, with our second annual Valentine’s Day, Be A Saint, ArtAdvance.  This unusual event will include a juried art auction.
Each artist selected by the jurors, will be entered into the ArtAdvance Lottery.
One lucky artist will be the grand prize winner, picked at random to receive $1000 cash.
The number of $500 winners will be determined at the event, depending on money raised."

I have a piece in this show, and both hubby and I will be there to root it on.
Hopefully tonight it will be a in a bidding war

Thursday, February 3, 2011

You know what I mean....

Fire breathing dragon, art purchased from the 8 year old Ruby who lives across the street.
A sweet deal at .25cents
Ruby says: "I draw animals really well"
I agree
So I have been juggling many plates these and work and life.
Aren't we all though...
I attended a memorial service this last week, and although no one likes to think about death.
It had me thinking a lot about death, mine, family lost and still here and my hubby.
Frankly, It shook me up pretty good.
I was thankful for a date that night with my sweetie to try
reset all my fears back up on a shelf and enjoy the present.

Murphy's law had a good laugh that night, as the concert we went to had a lot of songs about loss, heartbreak and untimely deaths.
I guess I needed to address my fears...or at least acknowledge them.
In light of this "eye-opening" experience, I have started to take vitamins again, had my doctor look at some funny bumps on my leg and am slowly walking away from bread and dairy....
slowly, I mean there is no reason to act suddenly don't need to shock the system or anything.
Gosh I love mint chip ice cream....
We have also begun to actively looked at when we can take a little vacation.
We had a little break this last July joining some friends at a lake, but hubs and I have not taken a good vaca since our "honeymoon" two years after we got that would be 2004!

In the meantime, I have been making new work and submitting it where I can. As I told a friend, my goal is to make my husband a kept man...he has done so much for me it is the least I could do.
He thinks this is a fine idea as well.

I was lucky enough to see my friend Tiger Huang's exhibit at The Ojai Center for Art.
It was an amazing exhibition of traditional Chinese paintings of animals and landscapes mixed with his current loose figure work. Tiger studied traditional calligraphy in China and the central installation piece at the show was an amazing display of this tradition.

the piece started with a large rectangle of paper on the floor that had line after line of character brushwork, on top of this lay practice books splayed open and face down on these papers, surrounding a wooden box that was filled with meticulous lines of characters that were pulled from the box and pulled over the ceiling supports. The size and detail in this piece left me silent, to me it displayed such discipline and focus and love for his art. I was inspired to find a greater focus and purpose.

Still silenced from this work I wandered home slowly and found a lovely meditation spot but a mere couple miles from home.

A reminder to grow and plant ideas and water them.
I am a sucker for a good garden what can I say...
plus there were baby goats!

I have made a few new pieces one was just accepted into a juried show that offers Art Advances, this means I am in a drawing for possibly winning some cold hard cash as well as selling some work!
I submitted three pieces but am thrilled with the one they chose:
"A Sense of Something" 2011
this piece has all my hallmarks:
Phone poles, clouds, my scratch thru with the ink and it is PURPLE!!
Hopefully someone will love it and take it home

Until the next epiphany, I am going to be in the garden grounding my thoughts
 and pulling weeds, it is good for the soil and my soul.


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