Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MOOD Store

Experiencing the downside of "merry" this year.

I'm unable to get into the holiday mood. I'm busier than ever at work and the crowds this year actually seem to be more patient and happy. I am enjoying the interactions with my customers but the minute I clock out, it's as if I just shut down the glee. Before I can even put the key into the ignition, I have to take a few deep cleansing breaths before driving home. And it's not that the traffic is all that bad, not like one would assume for this time of year.

I know why I'm down in the dumps. My mother, whom I caretake, fell on Thanksgiving Day and is not doing so well. Which makes it difficult to feel all jolly and merry and all HoHoHo-ish.

If worry is a gift than I want to find my receipt and return it. It doesn't fit. The color is all wrong. I have nothing to go with it. To be that easy, huh? What if one could walk up to a counter at the "MOODS" store and buy what one needs. "Excuse me Miss, I'm here to buy some Happiness, can you please show me which aisle that's on?" "Aisle 7? Thank you." And when you get to aisle 7, you find that you've already filled your cart with other moods. Joy, in a jar. Gratitude, in the 12 ounce can. Patience, in a really cute designer gift bag. And of course, you can't walk out without the 2 for 1 special! I mean, can you really only use one 5 pound block of calm? That stuff has a better shelf life than a Twinkie. So, why not get 2? It's not like it'll go bad or something. And, you can cut off a chunk and give it to a friend. Sharing the calm.

Now I have to go to the mall. I need to find Santa and ask for a gift. I want a GPS system. So I can find the MOODS store. Yep, that' what I want this year. I'm tired of going in circles looking for that dang place.

May the season bring everyone a dearth of well-being, comfort and the joy of love.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fairies, Gnomes & Trolls, oh Yes

This week starts the big rush for the holidaze.
But where is my energy?
I want to know which of the energy-sucking trolls or leeches or whatever has invaded my psyche. Why can't I drum up the "go gettum" that I need to get all the myriad of projects done? I'm just going to have to depend on the services of others this season.

Why haven't the Mop Fairies cleaned my floors? I put in the order for them two months ago, paid the deposit and everything. Too much to do all on my own. I'm not above paying for help. What're a few gallons of buttermilk and shrimp tails? OK, so I had to throw in a copy of Twilight also. I mean it was a signed first edition/first print! Still, those mop fairies really do a great job. Well worth the cost, only the finest for my holiday visitors. I'm even having the Kitchen Gnawwers show up to clean the oven and stove. They won't be here until Wednesday night. Plenty of time to to soak the pears in vinegar for them. The local troll clan is sending the window cleaners on Saturday. I couldn't guarantee the buffalo barbeque so they wouldn't show until the weekend. Oh, well, I'll just have to make due with dirty windows for Thanksgiving. But they will look great for Christmas!

You can hire anyone on the internet to do all those pesky chores for you these days. Life is so much simpler in our time. Whatever did our grandparents and parents do without it?

Hoping everyone has a splendid Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it, and if not, then may you all have a bright fun-filled week.

Stay safe.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Over, Done With, Finis

Today is the last day of vacation. Back to the J-O-B tomorrow. But, I don't mind. I am so lucky to have a job that I enjoy going to. Everyday is an amazing adventure at work. I am employed at an independant bookstore. But, we are so much more than that.

We take in all types of media and other stuff for trade/buy/sell. Our six Arizona locations ensure that we take care of our state-wide customers. As well as our out-of-state regulars. Let me explain what "stuff" means to us: books, magazines, video games, video game systems, hardware for vg systems, computer software and components, digital cameras and components, antiques ad collectibles, crafting supplies, art supplies, jewelry, ephemera and old photos, framed paintings and photography, toys, action/superhero figures, CDs, LPs, DVDs, VHS, audio cassettes, sheet music,comic books, RPG books and figurines, board games, jigsaw puzzles, household items, music instruments, furniture, memorabilia, oddities and the plain old weird! We evaluate everything brought in to us as to the sale-ability. If we think we can sell it, we'll take a chance on it. Of course, we look at condition or possible overstock issues. Some really fun and funny stuff comes through our doors.

As I said before, I enjoy going to work. I am blessed to get the opportunity to fill my "art larder" for alot less than I would pay in any store or online. And I have been given the opportunity to teach a couple of altered art classes, which are totally free to our customers. I am preparing to do a few more classes after the first of the year. We supply all the elements, our customers don't need to bring anything to the classes. I am also talking to one of our other locations about doing a class or two there. What fun!

I hadn't realized that I had the "teaching' gene. When I was given the chance to do my first altered art class I was so scared. I don't have any credentials in art or teaching. Who was I fooling? Ok, myself. But, surprise of all surprises. Some of the customers who came to my classes are accomplished artists or are already involved in creating altered art/mixed media. I was blown away by the comments they left. And requests for me to lead other classes. Talk about an ego boost. I can't wait to get back to it. I love teaching. And I found that I was really good at it. Teaching seems to come naturally. I feel over-whelmed with the need to pass on any and all information my brain cells can release. Wish I would've given this some serious thought back when going to college and becoming a teacher wouldn't have been a pipe dream. At almost 50, I don't see myself doing it. Guess I'll just settle for doing art classes at work. Fumbling my way seems to work for me! As long as my customers appreciate the community outreach and continue to show up, I'll volunteer to teach. Plus, it's so much fun.

I wasn't going to leave a link to our website but after thinking it over I decided it wasn't such a bad idea. Come see us at: www.bookmans.com

Stay safe,

Friday, November 6, 2009


Why do celebrities, athletes, politicians & rock stars incite others to create art in their names?

My mom has a passing obsession with certain celebs. I made this Marilyn Monroe tag style book for her earlier this year. I hadn't tried this before and I think it came out pretty, well, pretty. The scans don't show the pieces in the best light. I'm gonna have to learn how to use my digital camera so that I can take better pics and not have to resort to scanning the images.

Back to my topic: Stars into Art. Why isn't it enough that papparazzi plaster photos onto any and all available surfaces? Why must we play into the obsession by plastering their images onto and into canvas, paper, stone, glass, fabric and plaster? What do we gain from it? By creating and owning our art, does this somehow bring us into closer proximity to the one that we want a connection with? Why must we connect with people whom we won't ever know? Should art be about someone or something that we DO have a connection with? An artist paints a portrait of a person that hires him/her. There are sittings that establish connections. The artist gets to know the subject through dialogue and constant contact. Connection. Although the subject of the painting may not ever become a friend or associate. But we continue to insist on glorifying a person who is already being glorified.

So, yep, I enabled my mom's obsession. And I admit, I had fun doing it. Now, I want to do one for myself. Johnny Depp! I own all his DVDs. And a poster, or two. Never thought I'd glorify him in my art though. But might have to make a hypocrit out of myself!

Stay safe.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leather & Ladies

I've been playing around with bookcovers. Since I work at a used bookstore I have access to so many components that would otherwise land in the dump. Really old books that are falling apart can be de-constructed and used for the creation of so much art. I especially love leather books. But time can be so cruel to them. When that happens, the next logical step is to save as much of them as I can. I made these pieces out of lovely covers that have an amazing appearance all of their own. These leather covers just screamed out to be transformed. I obliged. There's plenty of color play and texture on them. Metallic paints and Pearl Ex give them both a shiny appearance. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them now. I've never framed any of my pieces, wonder how they'll look if I do. May have to give it a go.

I've placed them at the very end of the blog.
Enjoy looking and let me know what you think of them.
Bright Blessings,

Oooh, Downtime

I'm on vacation!

After my recent bout with the flu, I headed right back to work without benefit of any transitional period. This past week has been long and back-breaking. Now, there's time a-plenty looming on the horizon. Eight days. At least two of those will be catch-up time for some desperately needed rest and recuperation. Then, I plan on heading up to the northeast part of AZ to see some friends. Dear friends, whose health and well being are very important to me. They are the type of people who you just know they love you, unconditionally. Being there with them creates an honest, spontaneous, glorious feeling. Anything I attempt at art is wholly supported and validated with love. I miss them. We live too far away from each other.

And, let me tell you about the food!

Organic, wholesome, nutritious. Fresh eggs & goat cheeses from the next door neighbor. Veggies from the local farmer's market. The clearest, coldest water from the well. And a friend who can cook up a storm. Combine all that with the most amazing "skyscapes", along with the non-city glare of star filled sky and you have the perfect setting for nourishing the soul.

The one commodity that cannot be bottled, canned or packaged in any way: is the quiet.
Quiet that allows the mind to clear out completely. Emptying itself. Then, filling up with color and music. Of a nature untold or beheld. Experiences that while being profound, are yet, confounding. Paradox. While at the same time, being utterly clear and concise. Sometimes you don't even know any of this is happening. Therein lies the magic of solitude. For there is no one but yourself to know if any truth lies within or without. Finding the "quiet" inside, is THE all.

Stay safe.

Friday, October 30, 2009

When the Winds of Art Blow In

I never know when the urge to create will take over.
I've been really sick with the flu lately and yet ideas for creating keep popping into my head. The willingness to do art is there but the energy needed just isn't. I find myself wandering over to my art table, dabbling with one thing after the other. I must have ten projects in the works.
And none of them are related! Like I said, one idea after another.

I find if I don't write some of these ideas down, then they seem to just disappear. I mean, you'd think a really good idea would stick around, just waiting to burst forth onto paper. It all seems so clear when the thought enters my mind. Then. POOF! Gone. Taking all the pretty colors and shapes with it. And the new stuff I'm working on: not the ideas I originally had! Maddening.

I see online that there are lots of art journals. It's like everyone is doing one. My only journalling experiences have been with the written word. Ala diary-type journals. I can't begin to imagine what it takes to start an art journal. The ones I've looked at online are so magnificent and amazing. And "showy". My journalling was always a private thing. Don't get me wrong, I believe I will someday make an attempt at the art journal format. I mean, why not? It's art. I just don't know about the "journalling" part. I could pretend that the journal is a book. And I'm writing the next great novel. Anything could happen.

Keep safe.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This Flu Ain't Funny

After visiting the land of the dead, I decided it was time to come back home. I've had the flu since Tuesday the 20th and just got back to work on Monday. I've been sick before but nothing in any of my experiences prepared me for this stuff. High fever and rib-breaking cough. Fatigue like I'd been running a 26K everyday, for a month. Without training. Various and sundry aches, pains and complaints. About the only good thing to come of this is that I didn't have an appetite. I couldn't eat for 4 of those days and when I could, it was sparingly. You know, I think I lost 15 whole ounces! Take that Stairmaster. All kidding aside, I was feelin' poorly.

I somehow managed to get a wee bit of art done. 10 minutes at a time, since that's as long as I could stand. Finished up all but one of the swaps/trades I had going. I ran outta steam.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to put pics on this blog and so far, while there are photos here, things really aren't working out well. My capacity for focus and concentration must not have returned, yet. Ugh.

As this is apparently a work in progress, please bear with me. I'll get it. Eventually.

Stay healthy and safe.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ill Wind Blows, Really Blows

This has been a week of failure. Just when I thought I was really going to complete all those artistic endeavors needing to be mailed out. The flu strikes. And I do mean the serious, "Lordy, Lordy", someone please help me kind. Too sick to go to the clinic, too broke to pay for the emergency room. And the lines at all are too long anyway. Self diagnosis via WebMd. Plus I know the culprit at work who brought this stuff into my life. He took out about half a dozen of us.

When I can stay up longer than 10 minutes, I'm trying to finish all those ATCs that are begging for attention. Am making some headway but don't see as how I'm gonna get them mailed out in time for deadlines. I've warned off my friends so that I don't infect them too. Now, I need them to show up and go to the post office for me! Where's my cake? and why can't I eat it too? Oh, because I have no appetite and when I do try to eat, I get nausous, that's why! Illness just makes everything all kaphlooey!

Trying to concentrate is an exercise in futility at the moment. So, this is a short post for now.
When I feel better maybe I'll be back to the same crazy you've gotten used too.


Sunday, October 18, 2009


Lately, I've been feeling the pressure of time unlike any other period in my life.

Today I am seeing the inner clock click away the seconds of my day. I have 5 challenges, swaps or trades in the works and none of them feel like they can be completed. But, I know as a professional "procrasinator" I will dig deep and get them all finished. What I hate about this personality trait is that I always do it. I tell myself, "Hey, you're doing it again, stop it!", and continue to proceed with the same-ol'-same-ol' anyway.

Aren't you supposed to get smarter as you age? Well, can someone tell me when that kicks in? Is there a special day? Or time on the clock? Or a ritual that must be performed? Cuz, I tell ya, I am so ready to do whatever it takes for the "smarts" to kick in and take over!!

Maybe I should invest in some sort of efficiency training. Or one of those time management seminars! When some dude in a fancy suit asks me what my time problem is I can tell him:
"Oh, I'm here so that I can use my time wisely in the creation of art. I get lazy and don't want to put aside all other daily chores or duties and get down to the creation of art. " Can't you see his face! Eyes all big and mouth all agape! "How many employees do you need to manage in your art?""Just me." Except, there's probably some ingenious module created just for the type of person I am. And, after spending $500.00 or more, I'll be fixed! Until real life intervenes and it starts all over again. Money wasted. Money that could've purchased even more art stuff that will sit around waiting for me to finally get to it! Vicious cycle.

So, I guess I'll go back over to the table, for the umpteenth time, and do just a bit more to the six or seven cards spread out on the surface.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quality Matters

How often do you get the chance to spend time with quality people?
"Quality time" has become such a buzzword. I think the person you spend any time with is what matters. If there is a true connection than 2 or 3 minutes can be life changing. I had that experience just a while ago with a friend in Oklahoma. We were IM-ing. I just figured out how to do that 2 nights ago and tonight was so much fun. I could hear her voice. Actually hear the "snerk" she typed. And could visualize her wonder as she looked at her first ATCs. This amazing woman, whom I hold in high esteem, gave ME compliments. On art. WOW. It's not something we've shared in the past. (I think she may have got bit by the ATC bug!) How cool is that? Since this art journey of mine started, I am astounded by the support I have received. My art was something I thought I was supposed to hide. To shy away from the questions my friends asked. I didn't think I was "good enough" to let folks see my work. Now, I know that it doesn't matter, friends let you do what you do. And love you for it. Quality friends may not be numerous, but they will always be the most important element of this, my creative/artistic life.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Help comes from a Friend

Friends are the people who help pull you out of a daze. They have the longest arms in the known "queen"dom. Arms so long that they can reach across the universe of the world wide web. Virtual Friends. Never met. Yet often missed. This new site's first posting is a homage to such people. A wonderful group of "VFs". ATCfor beginners is a Yahoo group that I am blessed to be a part of. It is with great gratitude and humility that I express my thanks to this wonderful group of women. So many have reached from afar to assist, congratulate, advise and cajole in order to help me become a better, more centered & confident artist. It is my pleasure to thank Jeanie for all her assistance. She's the mortar that built this blog. Thanks J.