Thursday, August 25, 2016


Today I am taking a day trip with a friend... and taking a much needed break.
See you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Several weeks ago, I started a new "series" of posts... if you will... 
And so on Wednesdays; I intend to post an old photograph to inspire your creativity.
Write a poem!  Plot out a short story!
   Have inspiration for a piece of art or composition.... let your artistic soul shine.     
(you can click on the photos in this post to make it larger to see).

A year or so ago, I bought an old family photo album.
One of those little 5x7 size ones with black paper, chock full of photographs.
I believe they were from a family in a nearby county,
as there is at least one photo that shows the sign to the McKean County Fair.

But what's the story?
So... do you think this happy couple was walking their prize bull to the fair?
Perhaps their younger son or daughter entered him in the contest,
and is now taking his parent's photograph with their very dapper bull?
At any rate, they sure look like they are having fun.

See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Last week I was talking about a couple of articles I had read on the "disease of being busy."
In one article, the author had referred to the Muslim practice of asking "Kayf haal-ik? Haal-e shomaa chetoreh?" ... which translates to: How is your haal? .. with haal meaning the transient state of one's heart. In other words, when people ask how you are doing... they are really wanting to know.. how are you feeling. Are you feeling fulfilled? joyous? happy? aching? in misery?
The distinction being... not so much what you are doing... ie: running errands. But how are you feeling as a fellow human being?

It is a thing to ponder. So many times we (I) get so caught up in the things that need to be done, that I fail to experience the day. We are so busy doing.... we forget to do the things that make us happy and cause us to feel fulfilled.

Sort of like the old adage to "take time to smell the roses."
One of the reasons why I love photography so very much, is that it makes me slow down. It makes me take in the details. Appreciate what it is I am photographing. To think about what it is about my subject that I want to convey to whomever sees the photo. Do I want to convey it's softness? it's starkness? the heat? the damp? ... and how do I take that photograph to make this quality more noticeable?

It is also true for me in the studio. If I have too much "clutter" .. or projects at hand, it is far too easy to get wrapped up in the doing... and not the end result. And so... one of the things I am hoping to concentrate on these next couple of weeks, is to sort out some of the things in the studio space to sell either online or locally. Cleaning out is good.

See you all tomorrow.

Monday, August 22, 2016


It's "Maker Monday!" .. my series of posts where I feature something the daughter or I are working on, and encourage the maker lifestyle.

This weekend, I led a class on making collaged art pieces. We talked briefly about glues, boards, archival sprays, tools... themes, color combinations, composition... and of course, had lots of fun.

I love collage. I think most people can say they've done a collage or two in elementary school, girl scouts or some such function.... but not many folks pick it up later in adulthood. To me, collage is one of those very "forgive-able" art forms. There are no wrong ways to do it. All kinds of supplies and ephemera and such are great fodder for the craft, and because there is no fear of doing it wrong... it opens you up to some fun exploration and emotional release.

These whole past couple of years, with it's profound up and downs... has had me itching to  make more. 
And so I shall. But... seeing as it's "Maker Monday"... I thought I would show a few pieces from the class.

See you all tomorrow...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

for the weekend

This is the dill in our small garden. I think it's stunning.
There is just something amazing about the color, and the way it forms into these little "satellites" of seed, that just make me smile.

According to one source, dill belongs in the celery family, and is native to Southern Russia, Western African and the Mediterranean areas of Europe. As such, it is a featured element in many dishes... from soups and borscht, to pickles and additions to yogurt... and more. I think most people (or at least folks I know) think of dill in terms of it's use in pickling.
Here are some links that offer more information on this fantastic herb:

*National Gardening Association
*World's Healthiest Foods
*Old Farmer's Almanac
*Organic Facts

And of course, there are tons of fabulous recipes out there that incorporate dill in the dishes. I think one of the most interesting ones I saw, was for a dish from Serbia... where they use lots of dill with roasted potatoes or french fries. Sounds yummy to me  

I hope you are enjoying your weekend.
Yesterday, I led a class on collage at my friend's place - Firestone Forge.
It was fun! I love collage, and it was great to be able to share my experiences making it with a few folks.
So... not my "usual" weekend post... but I will see you all back here on Monday for my "Maker Monday" post with some photos and such.

Friday, August 19, 2016


Summer is going by so very quickly.

Yesterday the daughter and I were able to get more things for our upcycle projects.
We also came across a fantastic easel and a drafting table, so we need to make room in the studio space for these vintage, worn (but very useful) pieces of furniture.
And along the way, we also picked up lots of items for future sales and such... so today is going to be a day to try to sort through some of the studio space, organize it better.. and begin to take "inventory" of what we have and what we need to do with it all.

And, of course, it's Friday... which means we have our fabulous Farmer's Market to go to.
We also have some work to do in our garden. Even though it's a small garden... we've somehow managed to have quite a few squash growing out there... so we need to tend to it this weekend and see what all is coming ripe soon. 

The flowers for today's post were growing near a friend's house. 
When I was a kid, we called them "Butter and Eggs." Apparently, it's Latin name is Linaria vulgaris.
It seems to be commonly thought of as a weed. But according to folklore, it was medicinally used in a tea as a laxative, and used as a treatment for jaundice and other skin diseases.
Historically, they were used in children's gardens as they reminded folks of snapdragons.
I just think they are pretty.

See you all tomorrow for my weekend post.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


The other day, I mentioned I had read an article about "the addiction of being busy." 
Possibly a dramatic interpretation... but interesting nonetheless. 
I think we are all busy. Sometimes, we are too busy.
We get caught up in obligations, responsibilities.... trying to live up to expectations (either put on us by ourselves, or others)
... and it just gets to be too much. We tread water.... we sink... sometimes... we drown. 

This has been an interesting summer. If I think about it, the whole past 5yrs or so has really been trying. I know it will get better.
I believe it will get better. We are all striving for it to get better... and it will. It's just.... the getting there that can be so difficult.
And so we run around, trying to fix it... trying to make do... trying to work hard to stay afloat.... and well... that is exhausting too. 
The worry of it all.
The endless cycle of getting to the next day... the next week...
...the next round of bills.. the next task at hand... the next project due... 
I know you all understand.

I think for me, I often take on too much because I sincerely want to help, and am deluded enough to think I can make a difference.
But... there also comes a time when we all have to take a step back, and reflect ... and see how things are working. 
And if they aren't... to see how to fix that.

At any rate... those are some of my thoughts this week.
Hope you are all doing well.
See you all tomorrow.