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Thai Gold and Purple

April 15, 2014

geranium finished


On one of my many trips to Eugene, I took the opportunity to visit Oregon Art Supply and gather up a few missing studio goodies. I was so tempted to purchase a bunch of book binding cloth and other fun stuff, but I refrained!  I kept the purchase to a minimum; new paper, photo mount spray, and spray fixative for charcoal. Not too bad. The new photo spray mount was a must have. My other bottle was near the end and actually ruined one of the cut panels (2 hours down the drain!). The new bottle works perfectly! The purple trim in the above image was part of the paper purchased. I’ve been using Thai Unryu paper which is thin, comes in big sheets and does a nice job for trimming out the luminaria edges. The new paper is stiffer, thicker, fits nicely in my flat files, and is different to work with. I like the color plus the fact that it’s sturdier than the Unryu. I’m certainly open to changing things around a bit.

My plan is to spend the rest of April increasing stock for the new shop opening June 1. Photos, some sort of hang-tag (business cards?) and a variety of other fiddly things are needed. I also need to create new light bases and test LED bulbs. Hopefully family drama will remain calm. Fingers crossed.




April vortex

April 12, 2014

It’s already the 12th and I’ve still not retrieved my life from the grips of the estate. Husband is off yet again, this time to Chicago for a family visit. Taxes are not done on either fronts (home or estate). Due date is Tuesday… ya know, tax day. Nothing like putting everything off until the last moment. I hate operating this way!


Friday night I managed to print a block for the Leftover print exchange. It’s an older block and I’ve never printed it in this color (burnt sienna) before. I’ll probably chine colle it to another thicker paper in a day or two after it dries enough. It too needs to head out the door by the 15th.

I’m still working on my Rural Arts application. The main stumbling block is the letter and artist statement. Everything else is in order. Hopefully I can pull it all together tonight and send it off Sunday morning. Fingers crossed!

The home I grew up in is finally on the market. Trying to get it up to speed has been a major hell of it’s own. Toss in a brother who doesn’t care what state it’s in, along with multiple other factors like ants showing up on Friday…. Then toss in the whole emotional element of it being an artwork my father designed and created. Whew! Too much! And then there is the brother living there. How do you deal with an out-of-work alcoholic who doesn’t care how things look to others? He has no pride in anything he works on and I keep getting the short end of the stick. I’ve even had a huge discussion with my Realtor about the situation since this brother is causing issues with showing the home. Probably way too much sharing, but that’s where my life resides. I keep telling myself  “It will get better. It will get better. It has to get better!”

Enough ranting

Photos to come of something fun very soon. I have no idea what it is, but it’s coming!

Saying NO, but moving forward anyway

March 31, 2014

beach sculpture1

Today has been odd.

This morning I wrote a quick note to the curator at the local art center stating I wouldn’t be submitting to this year’s Rural Storefront Art project. The submission deadline is today.  I had decided it would be in my best interest to refrain from entering due to all the craziness from my parents estate and current health issues. Seemed fairly straight forward to me. A good solid decision… but I was feeling like maybe I was cheating myself out of an opportunity. Advance 3 hours and I run across a Facebook posting stating the deadline had been extended to April 13. Hmmmm, let’s rethink this project. One house has sold and the next goes to market this weekend. My stress levels could drop quickly over the next few months decreasing body pain. I could put forward a project that seems fairly straight forward in execution, materials, and expense. Maybe the most recent idea I came up with this past weekend could have a chance. So, I’m moving forward. Letter of interest is in the works. Bio/Res requires attention. Photos are between 2 computers and will need tweaking to fit their size/dpi requirements. I can actually do it if I get off my lazy ass! This certainly doesn’t secure a spot for me, but at least I’m adding to the jurors pile to go through. Fingers crossed for this one!

The second interesting thing was also related to a different posting on Facebook. Apparently there is a new shop opening in Salem featuring Oregon artists. They apparently don’t have anyone who creates lighted work. Who knew? The organizer, Jennifer, will be sending me info.  Salem certainly gets plenty of visitors being the state capitol. What the heck! I might as well go for this too. Opportunities certainly come at strange times when you don’t expect them. After this week I should be able to squeeze in loads more time for luminarias! I might even get the ETSY site stocked again. I see upcoming freedom from giant family burdens coming my way!!

Oh, and my blood tests revealed I’m within normal healthy levels of everything. That should really stump my doctor! I’m just happy to know it’s not arthritis or any of the other unsavory things they were testing for.

The above photo was from my husband’s recent trip to China. Dameisha Beach park is in Shenzhen (near Hong Kong). He spent the majority of his trip in Beijing with a few days in Shenzhen. Maybe I’ll tag along this fall. :)

Plugged Nose

March 30, 2014


If you are a caged bird and not feeling well, how do you convey your problems? What happens when you have a cold and your nose is clogged with crud and no one will give you a hankie and cold meds?  You certainly don’t have digits to pick your nose with. Well, you might come close to death if your owner isn’t paying attention. I feel like a bad owner for not having been aware of my little guy’s circumstances. Spring and fall are notorious times for birdy head colds at our home. When sinus issues start, I typically see him shake his head, which I wasn’t seeing. However he was sitting on the cage floor with head tucked under his wing and not eating a stitch of food for several days. A very bad sign! Saturday morning he wasn’t even responding to sirens or any whistles. Not a good thing! I thought he was a gonner. However, I proceeded to scoop him up and make a trip into the bathroom where I swabbed out his nostrils (getting bit in the process- always an excellent sign of spunk), and plunked him back in the cage. Humidifier was set up and running right next to his home. In less than 2 hours he was feeling better, munching bread, broccoli and even some millet.

Quigley is the sole remaining cockatiel in our household. He’s about 24 years old at this point (23 years with me). Having been a rescue bird I don’t know the hatch date. He’s outlived his mate and the one son I kept. We like to grow them old at our house. I’m really not certain what the key to our success is. They only go to the vet when things get really bad. They don’t eat pellet food because I’ve never been able to switch them over. Yes, they just get seed and extra stuff. Toys can only consist of natural materials since we’ve experienced zinc poisoning in the past. Cage locations almost never change, nor do perch locations or food cups. With old birds comes bad eyesight and arthritis. They don’t like change at this stage of life. In an average household, these little guys live 7-12 years.

He’s perked up considerably since Saturday morning so we will keep up with the increased humidity, extra bread,  and millet sprays. He was even chatting to me when I first checked him this morning. All good signs.




March 25, 2014

3 red, 2 lavender, 1 black, & 1 green with yellow. It sounds like a magical concoction that would lead to some interesting art project, but alas  it’s not. The colors refer to blood collection vials to check my body for a bunch of stuff. CBC, ESR, Uric Acid, RA factor, CMP, CRP, ANA,, HLA-B27. Whew, quite a mouth full, but hopefully it will unlock worsening pain issues. In my brain, it’s a toss up between Psoriatic and Rheumatoid arthritis. Which one will it be? Or will it be something totally different?  I’ll find out in a few weeks. My vein didn’t appreciate all the blood sucking. The phlebotomist had to switch arms to get enough blood. At this point, I have to realize my jogging/ running days are over. Walking, biking, and swimming need to fill the exercise void.

I’m hoping to get a break from house stuff soon. Maybe by April 1st or 2nd.  I have a print due April 15th and I really really want it done! Can I have my old life back yet???


Happy Spring

March 20, 2014


Metallic tapping might not be the first sign of spring one would think of, but certainly one at our house. Apparently, ladders of the metal variety contain sap. Who knew?! Or maybe it’s a birdy morse code that has yet to be unlocked! In the above photo is our camera shy Sapsucker, part of the wood pecker family of birds. This particular one LOVES to tap out messages on the big metal ladder propped against our house. It drives the dogs nuts because they think someone is knocking on the door. Que barking for 10 minutes and running frantically between front door, windows, and outside. Maybe he does it to grab out attention? Maybe he does it because the reverberation is really cool? The jury is still out but one thing is for certain: the ladder will be coming down in the next couple of days.

The only art practiced over the last chunk of time has been “the art of plumbing”,  “the art of cleaning”, and “the art of making multiple trips to the hardware store”. Lots and lots of driving too!  Not much fun but necessary. By next Tuesday, one of the properties owned by my parents will have been sold and the next one will be on the market before months end (fingers crossed for both!). April is looking like a great month for real art!

Plum Blossom

March 12, 2014


Beautiful sunny warm spring weather! What a JOY! It would be even better if I wasn’t stuck inside, fixing and clearing out old stuff left by renters from years ago. Who knew they crammed so much junk into the attic space? So far I’ve uncovered bags of clothing, an old TV/VCR combo, a stereo system, loads of gardening buckets, bags of some students papers, an artificial white christmas tree, and an incomplete guitar stand. Dave has been wanting a guitar stand! Maybe I’ll find the missing part in the attic today! Actually, he wasn’t thrilled with my find and now says he just wants a case. Personally, I wanted to hang it on the wall in his “man cave”, but that is too reminiscent of what my brother does, and no one wants to be that geeky! Anyway, the remaining items will be inventoried and taken to a donation site or recycled.

Chimney sweeper for the main house today and still some roof work to be done. Still more yard work too. Carpets will be the last thing to install. With luck, house #2 will be on the market before the end of March. By Friday I might have electrical quotes and be able to make a firm “yes or no” to the sale of house#1. I just have to keep the motivation going and sunny beautiful days really help.

Of course my brain is thinking about creating a hand-cut paper plum blossom lamp…… might be nice! April will be studio time. :D



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