Wednesday, October 29, 2014


~  for Tom and his family ~

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


There are days when I have to force myself to look up.
I am normally a relatively optimistic person, able to see the good in everything... and have extreme hope for the future...
but there are days... we all have them.

These past couple of weeks have been rough.
The death of a dear friend... being away from my son and granddaughter (it's her birthday this week)... worries over financial stuff... frenetically running to and fro... errands... helping family... physically not feeling well...  sometimes you have to wonder, what is this all for? Fortunately, I don't often get in this kind of a funk... and I am always able to pull out of it;
for which I am grateful.

And I am certainly grateful for where I am.... and what we have... and the steps we have made to forge a new future for ourselves here.... and I know that things could definitely be worse.
Everything in perspective, right?

This week is Halloween/ Samhain... my favorite holiday of the year; so I am trying to get it together.
According to the moon phases, we are in a waxing crescent moon.
If you read astrology, it is a time for gathering information, making plans, and laying a foundation for future endeavors. Emotionally, it is said to be a time for change and regeneration... for fortifying and strengthening yourself.
All good advise, no matter your beliefs.

And so I wish for you all today... strength... understanding... and energy to do what you need to do...
(myself included).. and the motivation to look up.

Monday, October 27, 2014


 leaves from 2009

 pumpkin lights from 2010

pumpkin still life from 2011

fall leaves from 2012

pumpkins on the steps from 2013

I've taken almost daily photos since 2008..... hard to believe.
A few days missed here and there... and alot that I have since tossed (or in the case of digital photos; deleted).
Every once in awhile though, it is interesting to go back through and see the progression... how things have changed... what the weather was like... where I was... sort of a visual diary, I guess.

So for today... a photo from this day (or close to October 27th) in various years gone by.

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 ❤