Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve

a street in St. Gallens, Switzerland

This past year has brought some amazing travel opportunities.
The first week of December, I was in Switzerland as a guest of Bernina. Every year there's a Teacher's Reunion (the group keeps getting bigger!). This year, we were hosted in Switzerland. There were all sorts of touring adventures, including a day in St. Gallens.

more tomorrow.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

November 11

Where did October go? it's been a whirlwind
Early in the month was the Idea to Image retreat at Chico Hot Springs. A small, intense group; great accomodations, wonderful food, no distractions. Then on to Fabrications in Michigan. This was my second year teaching at that Retreat (I'll be there again next year!). It was one of the most intense, passionate groups I've worked with.
A well organized retreat (Cathy Arnett rocks!), with a good mix of workshops. Home from Michigan and off to Houston. What is there to say? I loved seeing old friends, putting faces to names, seeing a few of the exhibits (ran out of time, sigh. Did not even get much shopping done. ...Well, except for some silks and a few odds and ends...).

A dear friend and I spent Tuesday at the Rothko Chapel - this had been a goal of mine for years. This year we finally did it. I think i need to put revisiting the chapel on my list of what to do in Houston. It was an awesome experience.

Now we are well into November. This week i head to Atlanta to visit at Fiber on a Whim, one of my favorite shops to teach at. Then home for Thanksgiving and off to Switzerland for a week.
I will be in studio the rest of December and most of January, all of February and i can't wait. These little books keep demanding my attention and i want to see what happens next.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

october 1

these little things are three dimensional. each panel is about 3.5 x 5". they are in various stages of completion.

the one above is not finished. the reverse side needs work (so i'm not showing it to you yet.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Autumnal Equinox

yup, it's today and it is official. Another season turning; Summer is gone. We are still being rained on - this is a good thing, it has been desperately dry for several years and the fire season has been horrid. Now the air is clean, the thirsty land is soaking up the moisture and the firefighters are taking control. It's great to have the moisture for all these reasons, and it makes it easy to stay in. Once the skies clear and the Indian Summer weather begins, I will want to be working in the gardens.

What has been going on? The week at Cedar Lakes was relaxing. It was a small group and I learned a lot. I came home inspired in an interesting way (more on that in another post).

With things calmer on the home front and wet weather, ,I have enjoyed some studio time. these two pieces are finished:


and a detail

march walk

and a detail

What's next? paperwork of course, the Retreat at Chico Hot Springs (if you can get lodging, there's a space in the workshop), then Fabrications at Garland, MI (full class!).

Fitting in between the external committments i've been thinking about new work. TREES have been on my mind for a lot of reasons. This ancient cottonwood fascinates me.

stay posted to see what happens!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

august 17 2006

the river has changed a lot since my last post. water level has dropped significantly, all sorts of roots and gravel bars are exposed that once were submerged.

As summer matures, the water level drops more but, dry as it has been, i don't remember it being this low in recent year.

On another note entirely, Miss Ella has settled in and is definitely in charge of the world. Otis is still keeping his distance but (with the help of pheremone diffusers) has calmed down significantly. We have hope that, eventually, they will be companions.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

july 15

the air is full of ash today and we're up in triple digits. it's a great day to stay in and sort out some odds and ends. My camera battery needed recharging before i could take pix off it. here are a few images for you:

this ancient lilac lives at Greenville Arms. in the Hudson River Valley. wonderful negative spaces.

A spot on the river bank where i walk in the morning. This photo was taken in April: high water.

March Walk: begun in early Spring, almost finished.

the newest addition to the household: Miss Ella. She sings jazz. She's six months old, very confident, loves the dog and has made herself Queen of everything. Otis is still afraid of her, after 3 weeks. I hope he calms down soon.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

another note

it's in the high 90s here and very dry. Yesterday afternoon the air was full of smoke. It smelled like my neighbor might be burning wood. Turns out there was a range fire about 40 miles out of town. As of about midnight, 2000 acres, and at least one home, had burned. This morning when Sam and i walked, the air was so bad the particulates were visible. My car is coated with ash; the mountains were not visible (mostly have not been the last two weeks). This afternoon the air is more clear. I have not had an update, but assume that fire is now under control.
This was the second range fire *in this area* in the space of 10 days.

Several days ago there was an article in our paper about the relationship between fire season and global warming. Our regional fire season has increased by almost three months per year. This year, despite good moisture in early Spring, we are still dryer than we were last year (which was bad, the 7th or 8th consequtive drought year).

Friday, July 07, 2006


here it is, well into July. The late Spring was such a busy time; cutting back on some of my involvements may have helped, who can tell, grin. I've been home for three weeks almost, with three more to go before a trip to Denver and then a week in Lowell. So far what i have managed to do is rest up a bit, deal with beaurocratic issues for my BIL, adopt a kitten to keep the older cat company (he is afraid of her, it might not work. sigh), paint the living room (1/4 of one wall to go!) and gradually get reacquainted with the studio.
I am in the process of revisiting and reclarifying my goals and intentions with an eye to streamlining.
It's a challenge right now, reinventing daily/weekly time structures to include the things i need to do for and with my BIL. This is not exactly a "sandwich generation" situation, but it is close. It isn't going to change; he is part of our daily lives and daily responsibilities. For me a major impact has been the diversion of my attention and energy. I am not able to fully concentrate on my work, haven't been able to since late Novemeber and it is making me more than a little owley. Strategies for dealing with this are gradually developing. Changing one's work habits is always a slow process.
meanwhile i have several small mixed media pieces, have been drwawing daily, espanding my approach to journaling, walking twice a day (great meditation!) and am slowly gettingback to the writing project. photos soon.

Friday, May 26, 2006

seasonal molting

from time to time i let go of things in my life. The intention is generally to reassess where my time and energies are going. In a way it's a form of clutter reduction, if that makes any sense to you.
Right now i am feeling that i've taken on too many things, cannot do them all well, am running behind and not keeping up as i should with correspondence, newsletter, blog, web page updates. [Even if i am not doing the writing, these things still pull at my awareness]. It's time to shed some of the excess committments and reconsider what i am doing and why.

all of this to say, i am taking a break from the blog, such as it is.
i will still be reading yours, and who knows, maybe i will add this back in when life calms down a little.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

May 11

I'm headed to Atlanta for a weekend at Fiber on a Whim; am looking forward to seeing Jan again and meeting her daughter, Kristin. Sunday is a day off. I hope to visit the High Museum. Then Monday, down to Ft. Myers where i will spend a few days with the Southwest Florida Guild. Home next weekend. My bags are packed and most of my to-do-list is finally caught up with! amazing. This is the first time in ages that could be said.
It is lovely Spring here. We've had good moisture for the first time in years and the results are incredible. The lilacs are profuse and holding well. Amazing fragrance. Last weekend was devoted to planting the pots and barrels, a little early as we could still get frost, but it is good to have that done. When i get back on the 20th, there will be color to greet me.
There will be internet access for the week and i have my camera packed (as well as the download cable!). Will try to post and get caught up.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

rainy sunday

I had a great day yesterday!
seriously! it started with lovely surprises, i was in good spirits, NWA upgraded me to First Class on my flight out of Billings, (but not on the other legs) spent the entire day, 8 am to 11:30 p.m. in transit, arrived Greenville Arms in the wee hours.

Yesterday was not a good flying day for some folks: sick planes, cancelled flights, bad weather in key airports. all this resulted in overbooked, overweight planes and some inconveniece for travelers. Lots of families flying together, trying to get on the same flights with each other as they were rerouted. i took a bump and spent lots of time in Minneappolis, then again in Detroit. Of course, my luggage arrived in Albany on the early flight. It was safe in a little locked room. While we were waiting for someone to come unlock the door, the "station manager" came to visit with us. He was warm and personable. it was interesting getting the point of view of an airport manager.
while in transit i read, and also listened to Bach! My new little iPod's maiden voyage. The Brandenburgs through Bose headphones. a very peaceful way to sit in a terminal. last year i bought the noise cancellation headphones to use when i fly. they've made a big difference in my quality of life (smile). Last month i got the iPod, thinking i'd put my portfolio on it. Haven't gotten that far yet but did record some of my favorite music. yesterday's experience validated the impulse. it's much easier to stay calm and collected when the cacophony surrounding me is neutralized.

So: Greenville Arms. if you read Mrs. Mel, you know about this wonderful gem. I have the day to myself, my workshop starts tomorrow. Most of this day i will spend writing, working on some small stitch projects and may actually update my website. After lunch will visit Lesley Riley's class, then there's a reception.

This is a lovely place and welcoming. It isn't good weather for walking, but that's okay. later.

Friday, April 21, 2006


this blogging thing might not be for me. it's been over a month since i posted (although there are several drafts in my folder). maybe i should give it up, say "uncle" and just be a reader.
on the other hand, i could sare myself the aggro of reading a certain long mail list and hang out here instead.
there's a thought. hmmmm.

tomorrow i fly away. heading to Greenville Arms in the Hudson River Valley for a week's workshop and yes! this one i am looking forward to. i have a wonderful sized group, Kim LaPolla has been fantasticly organized and it's Spring! what could be better. my bags are packed, NWA upgraded my ticket for the first leg of tomorrow's flying (always a good way to start a trip!), and earlier this week i finished a major project. sigh of relief. i am leaving a messy house but when i come back on the 30th the lilacs and apple blossoms will be in full swing and it will be beautiful.

about that project: I spent a good week reviewing slides and selecting a show for a regional art center. (no not a fiber or quilt show although there are fiber pieces included). Words to the wise:
review your slides.
Project them.
Do not send out slides that do not show your work well.

I've been lucky as a juror . Several times i have had a number of days to select a show instead of the standard 6 hours. It is a luxury to be able to go back and look again and again, to TRY to see beyond the fuzz and dim light to what is really in the work. In the end though, very few works with bad slides make it into shows that have a fair number of entries. Really, artists owe it to themselves and their work to get good slides.
end of lecture.

on to the evening. it's Friday night and i have a date.
will pledge to be a better blogger.
enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What I've been doing

these all look a little over-exposed and slightly keystoned. please forgive.

"dawn"; an older piece that is getting more work now: beads, stitching and minor color adjustments.

"spring rain": almost? finished.

"equinox: waiting": made as a gift.

where I've been

Earlier in the month I spent 7 days on a Cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. It was an interesting experience. I'd never been to that part of the world before. Were I to do it again, I would not do it as part of a Cruise experience, teaching or otherwise. I like to spend some time in a place rather than being there for just a couple of hours. And to be absolutely honest, I had a lot of trouble with the contrast between the excesses of a large Cruise ship and the realities of life for the people who work on the ship and in the communities where the ship docked.
Still, it was beautiful and a warm break from early March in Montana. I did enjoy the students, the people watching and being in a tropical climate.
Here are a few photos from the trip.

Playa del Carmen was the point where we took the the ferry from Cozumel to the Yucatan. A colorful place, also proof positive that McDonald's is everywhere.

The beach at Tulun, on the Yucatan Peninsula. If you look carefully, you will see evidence of what the hurricanes left behind. Towns were wiped out; harbors filled with sand. Here, just extra sand deposited inland.
It was a hot and brilliant day. we arrived in the early afternoon and had less than three hours. I'll post more photos later (have to process them.)

Just one of the photos taken at the ruins of Tulun. More on that later, I hope. This was the high point of the trip for me. I studied Pre-Columbian Art History in Grad School (with a focus on the Maya) and remain fascinated by the people, the culture and what remains.

Earlier in the week we were on Ochos Rios, Jamaica. It was lush and wet. About 15 minutes after we got there, the skies opened. I have never been so wet. The texture of leaves and bark was awesome. These leaves were/are bigger than I am.

My return was an adventure: 6 hours in an airport, 9 hours in flight, home at midnight. Two days later I was back in the routine of tending to the legal and financial issues for my brother-in-law and playing catch-up.

I do have new work to show you though! watch for the next post. [what, two in one day???]

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Winter Getaway!

We came to Chico Hot Springs yesterday afternoon for our Winter Getaway. Natural mineral hot springs, wonderful dinner, quiet evening in a comfortable room. No distractions, no demands, just a lovely and relaxiing break from "real life". The photo was taken back in the Fall. Before I leave this afternoon, I'll take a few more and upload them tonight. This is the location for the Idea to Image Retreat coming up in October. This morning we met with our rep here and talked about some of the details. I'll be ready (finally!) to mail brochures late next week.
After the stresses of the past 10 weeks, we are beginning to find our way back to focus and clarity. I do have a new piece in process and am deciding how to mount and present it. I'm thinking it needs to be in space with light coming from behind... but am not certain.
more to come.

Monday, January 09, 2006

what i have been working on

nebula 3, the monster piece.

acrylic and water color pencil on Lutrador, stitched and quilted.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

an incentive to post

the holidaze and family issues have been so intense, it seems there is nothing to talk openly about here on the blog...being tagged for the 4 things meme should help me get going again, eh? Thnaks Deb!

Four Jobs You've Had:
Crisis Worker: Domestic Violence Center
Custom Hat Maker
Greenhouse Manager
Technical Writer

*Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
Love, Actually
Blithe Spirit
Bringing Up Baby
Out of Africa

*Four Places You've Lived:
Athens, OH, when i was in grad school. can you imagine?
Tucson, discovered beads there [a lifetime ago]
Chincoteague, VA
Baltimore, city of neighborhoods

* Four TV Shows you love to Watch:
what's TV??? don't watch it, have no idea what is current.

* Four Places You've Been on Vacation:
define "vacation", grin.
loosely speaking: Alaska; Sand Creek, CO; Chico Hot Springs, Pray, MT; Montreal, Quebec, CA

* Four Websites You Visit Every Day:
AQ Webring
ArtsJournal on line

* Four Of Your Favorite Foods:
garden rasberries
Maryland Blue Crab
wild salmon

* Four Places You'd Rather Be:
near the Atlantic Ocean
any major East Coast City (museums! galleries! food!)
a deep tub of very hot water
the studio.

Four Albums You Can't Live Without:
Brandenberg Concertos: Christopher Hogwood, Academy of Ancient Music
Malcom Dalgish, hammered dulcimer
Malcome Dalgish and Grey Larson: Thunderhead
Dire Straits

Four People You'll Pass This On To:
Cathy Arnett
Cathy Kleeman