This Dirty Old Disease….

It’s been a year since I lost my mom.
And for those of you that don’t know, I also lost my sister Cindy to Cancer when she was in her 20s.
I capitalized “Cancer” on purpose. My mother also lost her life too early to that disease.
Cancer is a nasty and unforgiving monster… it doesn’t care who you are, how much money you have, what color your skin is…
“This dirty old disease” takes no prisoners. It sucks…. big time. (Not very poetic, but there you go…. it is what it is.)

I took the last year off to get my head together… to explore not only my own heart, but to rest, and to take time to
reassess pretty much everything.
So now I’m trying to get back on track, and starting to make art again.
Making Art is life affirming. Getting going again, and looking toward the future is the best weapon I have.
Tomorrow I start my schedule again. I’m going to try and catalogue my days here.
More blog posts…more updates from the studio.
Not for you, but for me.
Writing down my days makes me feel as if what I’m doing day-to-day means something…. a cataloguing of my days and hours.
Living my dream is affirming my mother and my sister’s dreams.
Embracing life is the only defense I have.

I was watching a youtube video a while ago, and learned that this song by Jason Mraz is about his friend, a Cancer survivor.
When I listen to it in the studio, it uplifts me. Maybe it will do the same for you.
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It’s all about living your life, and leaning on your friends…as the “remedy” for life’s heartaches.
And it also talks about focusing your energy forward and not to dwell on the negatives.
(BTW… I think this video clip is “illegal” as far as rights go, so in case in the future it gets pulled from Youtube, the song is called “Remedy”) Check it out.

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A Few Random Thoughts…

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wandering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them…”  -Annie Dillard

Over the past weeks I’ve been packing up my mother’s house with my sister.

It has been difficult work…..saying goodbye is very, very hard.

On the other hand, the process of sorting through her life is teaching me how to let go, and I’ve been starting to sort through the flotsam of my own house and clearing out the excess here at home as well. It’s very freeing once I convince myself that I don’t need all this stuff. Of course trying to pry anything in the craft department out of my hands is a whole other story! LOL I can get vicious….watch out!

It’s the strangest thing… with all this emotional introspection, I’ve never been more focused and clear about the direction I want to go with my work, and with my life.  That quote up there at the top of this post is by Annie Dillard. She’s my guru. She has been since I was a teenager. I go to her when I need a little direction. That quote is the inspiration behind  my new work.

frayed and nibbled survivor”… yummy , isn’t it?

My Resolution….

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Resolution as:

Main Entry: res·o·lu·tion
Pronunciation: \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English resolucioun, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French resolucion, from Latin resolution-, resolutio, from resolvere
Date: 14th century

1 : the act or process of resolving: as a : the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b : the act of answering : solving c : the act of determining d : the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance e : the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents f (1) : the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2) : the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable g : the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum
2 : the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation)
3 a : something that is resolved b : firmness of resolve
4 : a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group
5 : the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out
6 a : the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light b : a measure of the sharpness of an image or of the fineness with which a device (as a video display, printer, or scanner) can produce or record such an image usually expressed as the total number or density of pixels in the image
synonyms see courage

So 2009 is on it’s way out, and I have mixed emotions about seeing it go…
It was a hard one in many ways; the hardest moment was saying goodbye to my beautiful mother.

Moving forward is a very difficult direction right now. I keep wanting to look back, so the going is slow. And I’ve also been looking inward as well. I’ve discovered that I need to rest…. and I need to replenish my creative energy.And sometimes I’m going to need to cry….. and remember…. and take time for myself….and live a life that my mother would be proud of.

So I have made a resolution. I’m taking a year off. A solid year to explore new artistic avenues…. to feed the font, and  spend time with family and good friends. That means that I won’t be teaching, or doing bead shows. I may or may not sell work, but I will be making it… lots of it. I’m absolutely vibrating with ideas I want to try, and I want to stay up til 4:00am if I feel like it to work on them. I’ll try and share what I’m doing from time to time, and I think I’d like to write on my blog more often as well, but I refuse to make unrealistic goals this year…. it’s all about living in the moment.

In dying, my mother has given me the gift of time. I intend to make the most of it.

So wish me luck…. or rather …peace and continued inspiration.

And may your New Year be shiny and bright!

New Work…

I’m working on some new things. It’s so fun to get back to work. I’ve been dying to get back into the studio, but had to wait a few days for this cold/flu thing to run it’s course.

So today, I got back in the saddle, and put together a couple of things.

I’ve been obsessing about mixed media and my Konstruct Series again.

I’ve been gathering all kinds of “stuff” that inspires me. I have no idea what to do with half of it, but I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me, and trying to keep open to new possibilities. I find myself turning over in my hands all manner of Flotsam and imagining new uses for it. …some things I’ve been thinking about don’t even have any glass in them! Imagine that!

They’ll be up on my Artfire site soon.

talisman1

The Good, The Bad, and The WTF?

DSC02781a

Where did he come from? I knew there were sneaky things happening in the kiln last night when I was sleeping.

It’s the weirdest thing…. I used to make drawings like that when I was little. People with unusually huge jaw structures ….lol…and here they are again. Well, I suppose with all the goofy stuff I was playing with yesterday, my inner child wanted desperately to play too, and she did. Actually, I just ran across a bunch of art that my mom saved from when I was little… It would be fun to scan and post it ….maybe later on 🙂

More bits n’ pieces today… I feel like Frankenstein. I made a hollow bird body with wings, and I’ve been switching heads around on it …..What do you think?

head

or maybe……

head2

On a less freaky note, I like the new feet on my birds… they’re working out well. Not only are they stronger, but I like the way the huge feet look on them.

5-21-09c

Bits n’ Pieces…

I’ve been scouring through my boxes and bins, and gathering together all the little bits and pieces of projects that never came to completion… little ideas I had on the torch…. there’s a LOT of them. Eggs, birds, feathers, heads, tails and wheels… and my mind is on fire with ideas.

stuff2

net

I love this part of creation. I’ve been taking the month off from teaching and haven’t spent a lot of time on the torch either. I’ve been enjoying hearth and home, and my garden,  but now I’m getting itchy. I can only spend so much time away from the bench before I get a little crazy. So it’s back to the torch. I started a piece yesterday, and the first parts of it are out of the kiln. It’s weird stuff, but it’s making me smile, so it’s all good.

I’ve been inspired my Teesha Moore’s  zettiology images for the last couple of days… well obsessed really, and have been sitting down to the torch with her catalog by my side… What fun!

The piece I’m working on will be an androgynous being… on wheels… bird perched on the head. 🙂 I’m trying to figure out the wheel assembly, and I think I have it. We’ll see. It will be a couple more days until it’s completed. More heads today… might be a bird’s head on the body instead.. not sure. With feathers perhaps!

stuff

On another subject… I have a new bird design that I love…with  tail feathers!

tailfeathers

And I’ve found a solution to the feet problem I’ve been having, so the foot design has changed. They’re much more solid. If anyone had any issues with breakage of bird’s feet, PLEASE let me know… I’ll work out a solution. No broken little dirty birdie feet allowed! I want you to be a happy bird owner!

feet

K….. back to work… have a great day!!!