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December 3, 2008

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. — Albert Einstein

A few new journal pages…
tuesday zentangleimaginationrandom thoughts on monday

{click image for larger size at Flickr…}

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Topics: artwork, journals, quotations

Something to Think About

December 2, 2008

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” — Buddha

snow on the creek

Snow on the Creek

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Topics: quotations

Journal Art

December 1, 2008

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything from my journals. Mostly I’ve been doodling, of late, mandalas, ribbons and trees are my favorite subjects. I tend to use mostly pens in my journal rather than paints and/or altered art because I like to carry them with me, catching a few minutes at lunch or while waiting in lines to draw or write. I find the drawing and coloring process with pens to be very relaxing, almost meditative — much more so than *trying* to compose a page using altered materials. I added several new page scans from the past couple of months and earlier in the year to my ‘Visual Journals’ set at Flickr.

creme-de-mentheturquoise & brown mandalajanuary ribbons

{click image for larger size at Flickr…}

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Topics: artwork, journals

A Place to Make Art

November 30, 2008

I finally finished up the relocation of my art room. You may remember a previous post when we were putting up pegboard on one of the walls. Well that was many months ago, many months that my art space was in total disarray, making it nearly impossible to find anything or get motivated to work on anything. The main problem was that I couldn’t locate bookshelves like the ones I already had. I needed several new units and was not able to find anything else matching the dimensions. Once I resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to find the bookcases and went with wire shelving on the section of wall where the new bookcases would have stood, everything else fell easily into place. I still have a few little things to do — I need to make curtains for the teenie tiny basement window that lets in absolutely no light, I need to get a large piece of plexiglass for the desktop and I need to add a few personal touches to soften things up and make it *my* space. But for the most part, things are in place… ahhhh, that feels so good! I added new photos to my Flickr set (the photos of the completed new space are at the end of the set).

ribbon jarsdesk arealittle fiber book

{click any photo for larger image at Flickr…}

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Topics: around the house, artroom

If Today Was Your Last Day…

November 29, 2008

… what would you do?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day’s a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day
and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day

Against the grain should be a way of life
What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try
So live like you’ll never live it twice
Don’t take the free ride in your own life

(excerpt from the song “If Today Was Your Last Day” by Nickelback)

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Topics: journals, lyrics, music

New Favorite Song

November 28, 2008

Since I first saw the 2008 L.L. Bean Christmas commercial a couple of weeks ago, the music that plays as we view the Wicked Good Slippers has been going round and round in my head. I looked it up and the song is “Valley Winter Song” from the “Welcome Interstate Managers” (2003) album by Fountains of Wayne. I’ve never really been a fan of this band, not because I particularly dislike them, rather because I just haven’t been knocked over by anything they’ve done. This is actually a pretty good album, even if it is a bit on the poppy side — good background music when you’re busy with other things. There are several tracks I really like, including “Valley Winter Song”. As much as I like this song, it’s actually starting to bug me that it’s stuck on repeat in my head.

And the snow is coming down
On our New England town
And it’s been falling all day long
What else is new
What could I do
I wrote a valley winter song
To play for you…

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Topics: lyrics, music

The Bonds Between Siblings

November 22, 2008

I love reconnecting with favorite old movies. This morning when I came down my son-in-law had just put in the movie, “A River Runs Through It,” which I have not seen in many years. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve actually sat and watched the entire movie since I knew who Brad Pitt was. But watching Paul and Norman grow as men and brothers in the vast heaven of Montana, brought back to me the reasons I so enjoyed this movie in the first place. Like “Little Women,” which is easily in my top 5 favorite movies of all time, I cherish this movie for the sibling bonds it portrays. Although these two brothers are as different as night and day, one the gentle, sensible brother, the other adventurous and stupidly fearless, they always come back to each other and the things that shaped their souls. Throughout the movie we watch Paul, the younger brother, as his flamboyant antics command attention and steal the show time after time, often overshadowing his older brother. However in the scene where Norman tells his family he is accepting a teaching position in Chicago, it is obvious that Paul has nothing but the utmost respect for his brother and is deeply disappointed he will be moving away. The fishing scene that follows is nothing short of a tear-jerker, with Norman announcing his plans of marriage and Paul choosing Montana even though he realizes he will be left behind. The time has come for the brothers truly to stand on their own. As the movie goes on we witness the death of Paul and watch helplessly as Norman struggles to deal with the loss of his brother.

As parents we watch our children grow and struggle to become individuals, refereeing their spats and delighting in the things they share. It is our hope that as childhood transitions into adulthood, they will land on their feet and that their relationships with one another will not have been so severely bruised during adolescent squabbles that they will not find their way back to one another. Having had my four girls within a period of five years, they are very close in age. I have always been amazed by both their similarities and their individualities. Each has grown to be a wonderful independent woman, all of whom bring me such immense happiness. But even more than my pride in the delightful women they have become is my pleasure at seeing the bonds they have developed as sisters. I find such comfort in watching the ebb and flow of those relationships, strengthening through both joyous moments and struggles. It is heart-warming to see them pull together as one or the other comes up against life’s challenges, and even more so to see their joy and genuine happiness as they share life’s rewards and victories. There is a bond there that I do not have with my siblings, or even with my sister. Perhaps it is due to the wider span of years that separate us, perhaps other factors that we carried with us as we grew into adults. Whatever the reason, it is just not the same as that which I witness and am privileged to enjoy with my daughters. I am truly blessed.

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Topics: family, movies

Little Red Book

November 14, 2008

I recently finished up a new blank book using this scrumptious piece of red leather for the cover. I had purchased a lot of leather pieces on ebay a while back and gave myself the assignment to use one of the pieces in my next journal. I decided to make a little book to bring out east as a gift for a friend so had the perfect opportunity to meet this challenge.

The finished size of the book is approximately 4.25″ x 6.5″. The text block consists of 4 signatures, each containing 10 folios of textured ivory heavy drawing paper with torn foredges. Each signature is wrapped with a cover weight sheet of decorative paper featuring an Asian design in a coordinating color. The longstitch binding, stitched through the leather wrapper, is ivory waxed linen thread. The closure consists of a length of waxed linen thread wrapped around a decorative button and embellished with decorative beads. I’ve never done a leather cover before and am really happy with the way this turned out.

spine viewpeeking insidesignature view

{click any photo for larger image at Flickr…}

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Topics: artwork, bookbinding, books

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