Monday, January 28, 2013

it's that time again

Today I feel like Gollum. Only my golden ring is time. I want to write, but I want to create inventory, but I want to make new tiny things, but I want to work on that shadowbox, but I want to see a friend...

But I want to be alone. And to work on everything. and to eat directly from containers. and maybe nap. or read something sad on purpose and cry in the bathtub.

Did I mention pms? Did I need to?

Here are a few things i made yesterday and love so much..

Off to making, more more making...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

On the mend, and loving what I make

I'm on day 5 of some relentless ailment that has made me long for Ann Boleyn's fate. Last Thursday it began with 'My throat feels scratchy', and it's spiraled from there. But, all is not lost. I'm feeling much better, though not yet well. Today I will bathe! I'm also determined to walk, but seeing as it's -16 with the windchill here in Buffalo, that will happen in a mall. Just like those adorable seniors who show up as soon as the doors open and do laps in their orthopedic sneakers. Only it's already 11am, and I won't likely wear sneakers.

I've had a fresh spate of views and emails about my matchbook cities. here are a couple..
 I love making these and I am grateful to the young man in NYC, who first inspired me to make them more than 20 years ago with his own very different matchbook city.
They're time and labor intensive. They make lots of glue balls and the occasional paper cut, but I love them. I've lowered the price some, too, in hopes of getting more wedding favor orders. it feels so good to make these for weddings. Especially when I'm able to mark the exact location on the map..
The hearts mark the location of Jaya and Raymond's wedding, and the bottom section has his childhood home on it. Happy Making.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Bridesmaid Invitation Gift Boxes

I Love making these boxes. I've had great success with them, and so far everyone who has ordered them has responded with so much enthusiasm.

 These came into being after I made my brother Butch a 'card' of little discs strung together that told a story in images. Here it is.. Earlier that month, I had ordered a tiny ceramic farm from an Etsy seller (also seen in the above post!), and it came in a little 3" round box, which I loved! As I searched for more of the boxes, hoping to make little dioramas in them, I found these paper mache boxes which I've used ever since.
I started making boxes that said 'I Love You', Thank You So Much' and the like. It was actually a customer who first said, 'could you make me one that says Will You Marry Me?'. I've been in a wee panic of late, as these boxes seem to be getting harder and harder to find. I've tried to buy some recently, only to be told 'Sorry, we can't get the round ones anymore'. What will I do if they are no longer made? Adapt. But I don't really want to change them. I love the 2" size, and the color.
In the meantime, I'll keep ordering and purchasing what I can find! Maybe I will single handedly revitalize the mini round paper mache box industry.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Am 40!!

Ohhh, Birthdays! They're funny things. Much like New Years Eve they lose their lustre after a certain point and become a day that is weighted with expectation. A lot of pressure for one day. Eventually they come back aroung to being fun. It is your Birth day, after all. The day that you finally made your entrance upon the stage o' life, and that is worth celebrating!

Turning 10 was Huge. Really, double digits was just so cool.
Turning 16..not much of a big deal, really.
Turning 18, I bought a lotto ticket and my first pack of cigarettes...just because I could (slaps forehead..d'oh!)
Turning 21...*sigh* I honestly don't remember much except that I didn't get proofed.
Turning..26..I cried about being 'nearly 30' and that was 'nearly 40' which felt like the end of it all.
Turning 30...was Huge! I was so thrilled to turn the corner on my tumultuous 20's, and to do it feeling like I looked so much better than I thought I would at 30 (?) Seriously.
And my 30's have been amazing. I quit smoking. I learned how to choose myself, and how to state my needs. I spent a year on my own, and reveled in my independence. I helped start the Queen City Roller Girls, and was happy to move on as the league continued to grow. I fell in love with Nik, and we drove to Key West. We camped in North Carolina. We traveled to Ireland and Belgium, and the Netherlands together. We got engaged in Doolin, Ireland, got married in Nik's parents back yard, and traveled some more. I walked away from my job, became an artisan/crafter, and found reserves of creativity I didn't know I had in me. I found forgiveness and peace with my mom, and was honored to be with her when she died. I grew to feel so much love for my in-laws and found out I'm a sharp shooter with a cowboy pistol. I've camped and kayaked and hiked. I reunited with an old friend, only to let go of her again, and in the space left open I welcomed a friendship that I treasure. I found in me a deep longing for roots, and chickens, and a property to call home...
And so, so much more.
I am striding into my 40's, strong, healthy, happy, and optimistic. In these next 10 years I will continue to cultivate the amazing relationship which I'm so blessed to be in. To grow and adventure and struggle and soar with Nik. To make a home, and work side by side with her to grow food and flowers and raise happy chickens. I will nurture friendships that are, in turn, nurturing and full of love and support and laughter. I will spend so much time with Mammy and Pappy, and help them when they need it and to enjoy their company. I will travel to Europe again. I will keep creating, and keep learning. I will continue adapting to the twists in life's path and will do it with hope and love and wonder lighting the way.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The start of something grief free..!

Her name was Naomi. And to her, the name conjured hot, silent breezes that would brush past your skin like silk. The aromas of cinnamon and cardamom and roasting things lingering over exotic crowds of beautiful dark skinned people dressed in emerald greens, sunset oranges, the blue of desert skies and cold rivers. Women with kohl rimmed eyes and black hair falling from under shining nets of delicate gold and discs of silver.
But Naomi was none of these things. She was plain. Taller than the other girls, and most of the boys. Solidly built, and when she was in motion, she tumbled full tilt through the world, rolling, running, leaping, all dust and limbs. Otherwise she could sit for hours, barely raising her eyes from her book. Her eyes were the color of wash water after a summer days play caked skin was rubbed pink by her distracted mother. Her hair was nearly always snarled, and an in between shade of blond and brown, which promised only to darken a shade or two as she aged.
Here is an image of Naomi, laying on her stomach beneath a trio of pines she considered her very own, with a book out flat before her. Pine needles and small twigs dug into her fleshy elbows, which she wouldn't notice until she headed home with the first flickering of the street lights. She is alternately reading and gazing off through the pine boughs, embellishing and reinventing to her liking. She first tasted figs this way, imagining the filling of a fig newton crossed with the green flavor of a crisp pear. She smelled the ocean, like the fish counter at the Piggly Wiggly and the salt water she was forced to gargle every winter when her throat got sore. She has spent the entire summer between the library and her pine tree fortress, discovering the world in books and in her mind. It was a rich place, lush and unknowable in its entirety. It was full of kindness and danger and beauty beyond her reckoning. It held dresses of satin, and pig roasts, and frost bite that could turn your toes black. It held mysteries and murders and cars with no tops that let your hair whip out like freedom as you drove along the oceans edge. It is the summer that Naomi fell in love with books, and she fell in love with her mind, and she couldn't wait for school to start again.
September rolled around with the frustration of clothes shopping and the thrill of supply shopping. She grudgingly said okay to a plaid jumper and a blue wool skirt. She pleaded with dewy eyes for the binder with the unicorn on it. Her heart nearly burst with joy as she sharpened all three of her brand new pencils and inhaled the raw, intoxicating aroma of their shavings. She counted the days. It took her longer and longer to fall asleep at night, until finally, finally the first day of school arrived.
6:42am. Naomi leapt from bed clear into the middle of her room, and was off like a shot. She sat on the toilet, tapping her toes on the cold linoleum, trying to relax her bladder enough to go. "Finally" she whispered. She washed her hands and face, braided her own crooked pigtails, and ran back to her room. Ack. The plaid jumper. New Monday underpants, red tights, the too white shirt with the peter pan coller, the dreaded jumper. Into the kitchen by 6:50 and her mother wasn't up yet, as the alarm had been set the night before for 7:00 on the dot. Naomi dragged a chair to the cupboard and was pulling out cereal when the light flicked on. Her mother stood at the kitchen door, sleepy and smiling at her. "Omi, for pete's sake girl, what have you done with your hair?" she asked. Naomi shrugged one shoulder, reaching up to feel the lumps and stray hairs, "Braided it" she said.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy! New! Year!

This year I will endeavor to write more often.
                                      to travel more.
                                      to see more of the people I love More often.
                                      to speak my heart and mind more bravely.
                                      to be more ambitious about finding homes for the things I make.
This year I feel more grateful than I ever have.
                        more in love.
                        more centered.
                        more joyful than I ever have.
                        more hope.
This year I will leap and shimmy and twirl my way into a brand new decade.
 I will honor my 30's and the lessons that they held.
I will throw my arms wide open to my 40's in the belief that I am vibrant, open, beautiful, learning, loving, and healthy...and that it will keep getting better.
In my 40's I will hold onto the hope of going to France, Prague, and Scotland.
                                                       of  finding, creating, and loving a Home,
                                                                                      and Land,
                                                                                      and Chickens.
                                                       of nurturing love, intimacy, and connection.
                                                       of my continuing creativity, and my evolving in creativity.
Woot! Woot! Let the wonders begin!!