Saturday, October 25, 2014

for the weekend

Another week has completely blown by... and I find myself with a billion things I ought to be doing... and no energy to do them. Such is life. Sometimes things are just so chaotic and frazzled that you just have to step back and prioritize. Make a list. Figure out what you need to tackle first.... and then rest until you can do it. Do one thing at a time. Cross them off the list. Move on. Drink some hot tea.
Watch a movie. Snuggle with the dog. It'll all work out.
And that's where I am right now...

And wherever you are this weekend... here are some links to look at:
*steelbison (art)
*Akira Nagaya
*Yuli Brodskaya
*paper quilling
*Little Red Riding Hood (french 1847)
*Nunzio Paci
*Watkin's Glen in 1973 (not far from here)
*a french WWI soldier's room... untouched for 96yrs
*San Francisco in the 1940s and 50s
*forgotten words
*unborn baby animals
*on growing wildflowers
*eerily beautiful abandoned places
*recent solar eclipse and some photos
*a DIY blog I came across

Friday, October 24, 2014


I love being out in nature... and it was one of the factors driving our thought process when we moved back to our hometown, here to PA. We wanted to be close in proximity to my mom's house (which means in town)... but yet close to areas where we could enjoy seeing the occasional deer and such. Fortunately in Potter County... that was not a hard thing.
We often enjoy seeing deer, wild turkey, fox, bear... and recently... a fisher! to our yard.

When I was in 9th grade we had to do a leaf collection for Biology class. I was in heaven then, running through the woods in search of varieties of tree leaves.
Since moving back; I've been trying to re-learn the trees and plants and such.

One of my favorites back then, was the sassafras tree.

According to one website: "Native Americans and early settlers considered sassafras to be a cure all for all sorts of ailments. The root bark was once believed to be a curative, capable of treating everything from headaches to malaria, fever, liver problems, stomachaches and colds. In addition, the wand was believed to increase hunger. The wood, which continues to be used in furniture, was often used in flooring and bedsteads because people believed the sassafras fragrance would drive away bedbugs and other pesky insects.
Early settlers also believed that beds made from sassafras would drive away evil spirits, give people restful sleep and ease problems with the digestive system. Burying money near the roots of a Sassafras tree was said to bring prosperity."

Upon further study, I read that the roots of the sassafras can be steeped to make tea. It was also in the past to make a "root beer like" soda. It was mostly discontinued as it was found (in very large doses) to cause liver problems in rat test studies. (I am old enough that I remember sassafras soda being sold in the area). Although today... some micro-breweries have taken to using small doses in specialty beers.

The photos for today's post are ones I took of a sassafras tree.  This tree is unique in that it sports 3 different shaped leaves: un-lobed oval, bi-lobed (mitten shape) and tri-lobed (the 3 pronged shape).

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Yesterday I watched a video of Paul Klein giving a talk to a group of art majors.
And because that's how I roll; I want to share as much information as I get..... back out there.
He recommended 3 important "rules" about your art:

1. Be distinctive.  ---Be yourself. Be that one in a million. Don't have your stuff look like everyone else's. You are unique... and your work should be too. Figure out that little "something-something" that makes your work different, distinctive and uniquely you.
2. Get yourself in the game. ---You need to be your own best advocate. You need to get your work out there in the public eye. Create opportunities where your work can be seen. Make a list of places to potentially have your artwork seen.... and start tackling it.
3. Make good art. ---Create work. Make stuff every day. Make things/work that evoke a response in you... because it will probably evoke a response in others. Keep at it. Be consistent.

Personally, I am working really hard at these "rules"...
(although I didn't see this video until yesterday, I have been doing this for quite some time)
Yes, I have days that completely suck... and I feel defeated, but I keep at it.
And like the little engine that could.... I know I am on the right track.

See you all tomorrow.

(( the photograph for today's post is one I took in the deep woods here. I happened to be in somewhat of a ravine, and it almost had the feeling of coming up from deep withing the center of the earth... and up into the light. I feel this way a lot of the times about my art/photography/jewelry work. Sometimes I feel like I am in the middle of a deep, dark hole... and I have no idea how I can get out.... when suddenly -- and sometimes of my own making--- the light will shine in ... and it will all be OK ))

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Today a dear friend, father figure, and mentor passed away-- and I am bereft for the family; whom I adore.
He was an incredible, stellar human being in so very many ways... and loved and respected by all.

Reflecting on the passing of my own father just a few years ago... I empathize... and understand their grief...
all the while, having some relief that the suffering and pain of their loved one... is finally at peace.
And not unlike the season's... he was glorious and full of color and bloom right up until the very end...
and now, we  must prepare for a quiet, restful time ... until we see him again.
And we will ❤

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Ah... it is late, I fear.
Certainly late in the day for me to be posting... but not too late to appreciate the beauty of the trees around us...

I've had a rough day with my SLE; and so I think I will just wrap things up for the night and do a more "thoughtful" post tomorrow.
I wish peace and rest to you all...

Monday, October 20, 2014


I don't think I've had 2 days off in a row; in probably the entire time (almost a year) that we've lived here... with the exception of when we went to Chicago for a short trip at the beginning of June.
And it feels odd.

I would like to say it's because I've been working and earning a living... but in reality...
it is days mostly filled with volunteer work... looking in on people... helping folks out when I can... trying to help family, etc.
Throw in there times when I had some temporary work...
Working on the house/yard/studio...
working on Etsy stuff... going to shows... etc.
It's been really busy.... and sometimes I look around and wonder what I've been doing... and what (if anything) I've accomplished.

I had yesterday  and today off, through a comedy of errors... or perhaps other forces at work.
Who knows.

Yesterday was a mish-mash of feeling guilty for not working on things...feeling oh-so-far-behind on things... yet so very tired... reading tons of stuff on the internet... reading some blogs... watching a movie...  drinking coffee... and planning on things coming up next.

And I've been reading some books; one of which is called "Making a Living as an Artist."
The first section addresses myths about being an artist ... and there are several... but I will only touch on a few that really hit home to me:

1. "artists must be discovered"... and along with that one..."It's not how well you do your art, but who you know." I'm sure it seems like this. Certainly I have had moments where the thoughts cross my mind. But the reality is... we all start from somewhere... and it's up to us as artists to "get the word out" on our art... and be proactive. Odds are, no one is coming to my door any time soon. So I have to go bang on a few doors myself.
2. "artists are poor business people." Well, yes... some are. I am definitely one of them. But I am trying to learn every day. I think in general, artists need to get over the notion that you have to be suffering and poor to be any good.
3. "artists don't get any recognition until they die." True for some... not true for everyone. Again. You (I) have to be careful about sweeping statements like this. Every situation is unique. So are you.
And more to the point I think.... do you want recognition? I think on some level, we all want to know that what we do is important, that what we do is valuable, and what we do is needed. No matter if we are artists, mechanics, scientists, or moms. We all want to be appreciated.
Personally, I think there is a definite lack of feelings of being appreciated with so many people I know... so my own quest... such as it is ... is to try to make everyone feel validated, and needed, and appreciated.

And with that.... I will say THANK YOU for reading my blog today... and I'll see you all tomorrow.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

for the weekend

Well... I can anticipate that most all of next week will be filled with editing photos (personal and ones for the local Potter County Visitors Center), working on some matting and framing of photos for people, and working on new jewelry items and such for my Etsy shop.

In the meantime, I will be going to the Open House even at our local Potter County Artisan Center tonight... so if you are in the area; please stop in. We have live music by Tim Walck; and there will be a demonstration by the students at Essence of Motion Dance Studio, LLC.
Plus, sweets and treats... and a meet and greet with some of the artisans :)

And for you! my fabulous readers; I've compiled a few links that I thought might be interesting fodder for your weekend:

* a super awesome crystal I got at the Gem and Mineral Show last weekend
*How to make a steampunk top hat
*the YMCA is sponsoring a contest where you could win $5000 for your community!
*this is sort of a friend of a friend... but she runs a gallery in NoLa
*awesome Halloween pumpkins!
*want to buy an entire Victorian Town? It's cheaper than you would think! Here's more... and here's the listing.
*one of my favorite clothing stores (that I've never bought from, because it's out of my range... but I can dream, right?)
*an evolving view of animals from the New York Times
*what to eat when you're broke
*another one of my favorite sites... recycleArt
*SPOILERS! Images from Project Runway at New York Fashion Week
*a cool fall craft project
*and just something FUN!

((the photos for today's post are ones I tool at Rock City Park, near Olean NY))