Sunday, August 31, 2008

Jen Tong's Cannibal Hearts...

If you happen to find yourself near Lancaster, PA on September 5th, you should definitely check out the work of Jen Tong in her first solo show: Cannibal Hearts. The show will be at Metropolis Gallery. She is supremely talented and I adore the whimsical and fantastical quality to her paintings, prints, and drawings. If you are, perhaps, no where near Pennsylvania, you might want to CLICK HERE. This is a link will take you to their Flickr page where you can see some of her pieces from the show.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Walk in the Woods...

Today we decided to get a little fresh air and go for a walk. So, everyone packed up and we headed out to Graveyard Fields off the Blue Ridge Parkway for a hike and to pick wild blueberries. The name sounds rather foreboding, but is actually pretty moderate.

Above: Road sign for Graveyard Fields.

Above: Another shot of the scenery from the road.

Above: The swimming-hole at the base of the waterfall.

Above: This is a picture taken at the top of the waterfall of Sheila's painting set up at the bottom. If you CLICK HERE you can see the painting she was working on. Apparently the name of the waterfall is the Yellowstone Prong.

Above: This is a shot of our yield. We found tons of wild blueberries and blackberries. It was a lot of fun going out with the family. My mom and dad were there and Azalea was having a blast running around helping pick berries.

After our adventure in the woods, we stopped at the Moose Cafe right near the Farmer's Market for a late lunch/ early dinner. It was so good! I had, quite possibly, the best chicken tenders that I've ever eaten. We wound down the night with games of Bananagrams, dice, and watching Mrs. Henderson Presents.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dinner...

Here's a shot of our feasting. We had Hereford Steak, fresh farmer's market corn drizzled with garlic butter, heirloom tomatoes and creamy mashed potatoes. In the background, you can just make out some of the blood orange sangria we made. YUM!

Azalea's Birthday Celebration...

For Azalea's birthday, we went to The Toy Box to play with their many thousands of toys. Then went to the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company. That's where we saw Kung Fu Panda and enjoyed some supremely delicious pizza. I highly recommend the pineapple and ham pizza. The movie was very likable and the message behind it a good one.


After a harrowing trip to Verizon to update our phones, we swung by Barnes and Noble for a quick coffee and to see if they had the Children of Dune mini-series on DVD for purchase. While we were at Barnes and Noble, we ran into our friend, Patti Cahill. She's an amazing lampwork artist. Make sure to check out the latest issue of Bead & Button to see some of her work.


When we finally got back to the house, I made a variation of the tres leche cake. Instead of soaking a whole cake in the milk mixture, I crumbled the cake up and made it more like a bread pudding. It turned out great!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sheer Happiness...

video

I am just now uploading some of the photos and videos I took while we were in Philadelphia at Bead Fest presented by Interweave Press. I still wasn't used to having a camera on hand, so there wasn't the normal deluge of images to choose from and most of the photos were taken pretty sporadically. Above is one of my favorite little video clips I took of Azalea getting tickled by Cynthia behind the booth. Girl Wonder is truly the light of my life!

All in all, Bead Fest: Philadelphia was a good time. I got a couple new treasures and saw some folks that I rarely get to see. (Some of whom I will feature in forthcoming "interviews" on my blog.) Below is a picture of some of the goodies I picked up at the show:

I got a Russian hand-painted owl bead from 3C Studio Art Beads, vintage Swarovski and costume jewelry components from Collective Collage, glass flowers and lampwork urchins from the delightful Stephanie Maddalena, a unique lampwork bead that looks like petrified spaghetti from Joanne Zekowski of Z Designs in Glass, a new beaded owl friend from the supremely talented Dustin Wedekind (Check out his blog by CLICKING HERE.), unique vintage sequins (not shown) and a brass owl from Gail Crosman Moore, and of course, Swarovski flatbacks for an upcoming project.

Speaking of Bead Fest - did you see Jane Konkel of BeadStyle Magazine's blog post about "The Green Girl Gang" on their blog? CLICK HERE to see it.

New Issue of Beadwork Magazine...

Have you seen the latest issue of Beadwork Magazine from Interweave Press? The October/November 2008 issue has a featured spread crafted by the very talented and clever Melanie Brooks Lukacs of Earthenwood Studio. It's titled, Forging A Steampunk Fantasy. Melanie introduces the genre of Steampunk with a short story - I think, an apt move, as much of Steampunk history is tied with roleplaying. I just love what she's pulled together... and not just because I'm quoted in it either!

CLICK HERE to visit her Steam Week Compendium with more Steampunk history, inspiration, and jewelry designs.


Early Birthday Present...

My birthday is around the corner (at the end of September). For an early birthday present, my sister, Sheila, painted this portrait of me. She's getting really good! Make sure to check out her new blog, Painting Meditation. She uses her blog to chronicle her painting a day process and help raise money for charity. CLICK HERE to visit her blog.

Cute Owl Animation...

Lucinda Storms of Belvedere Beads left a wonderful comment on my post about my latest Anne Choi acquisition suggesting that I take a look at the above animation on YouTube. It was just so cute that I couldn't help but feature it in a post. The animation is titled, Some Facts About Owls and was created by Anthony Dusko of Notebook Babies. It's SO CUTE!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good Times...


It's good to be back in Asheville with my family.

We got in on Monday after the drive down from Philadelphia. Azalea has been helping me in the studio making a surprise for Anne Choi. Azalea is a good helper. She's been my artist assistant since she was two years old!

Yesterday we did more work and started planning out more activities for our trip. Sheila also came in yesterday. Cynthia prepared a feast for us. I'll post pictures of it later. We ended the evening by watching the first half of the Children of Dune mini-series. It was pretty good. I haven't seen it for a while. So it was like watching it all over again.

Anyway, it's back to crafting and cooking and having lots of fun.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Walk Around...

Today, we got a chance to walk around a little. We chatted with a lot of wonderful folks whom we don't get to see very much. My favorite is to meet the various customers who keep up with us via our blogs. It's nice to get to meet people face to face.

Tonight we had a wonderful time with the gracious and inspirational folks from Interweave. We love them! It was nice to see Melinda Barta who is coming out with an AMAZING BOOK! You just have to check it out. I'll be writing more about it soon.

I'm watching Azalea, so I've got to jet. But I just wanted you all to know that I'm thinking about all of you out in Blogland.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Philadelphia...

I got into Philadelphia Thursday afternoon. Cynthia wasn't due to come in for awhile, so I spent a good chunk of the day people watching and sightseeing. The two main points of interest were the Reading Terminal Market and The Fabric Workshop and Museum. At the market, I had some really good coffee and looked around at various stands and booths displaying all manner of food items. My favorites were the chocolate shops and the Flying Monkey patisserie. I got their double chocolate brownie and their monkey bars - which were delicious. CLICK HERE to enter their photo album of some of their sweets and lose your mind! At the Fabric Workshop and Museum, I looked at the Ed Ruscha exhibit and saw the new tapestry there. The gift shop was great and the staff was so nice and helpful. Tracy, a really delightful person who works there, showed me some of the Kiki Smith flip dolls.

Eventually Cynthia picked me up and we headed out to the convention center where the show is at.

Today we set up the show and I stayed at the booth mostly and saw lots of folks I haven't seen in a long while. Some from as far back as the Charleston show about two years ago. It was a lot of fun to touch bases again. I'm looking forward to walking around the show a little more tomorrow and snapping some photos (with my new Sony Cyber-shot that Greg and Cynthia got me) and getting some goodies.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Anne Choi Bead...

This is my latest addition to my collection!  Isn't it amazing?  Long ago, I had hoped that one day Anne Choi would make an owl bead.  Now she has made TWO!  This is the burrowing owl.  It has a Henry David Thoreau quote on it and I just love it!


"Convince me that you have a seed, and I am prepared to expect wonders."
  – Henry David Thoreau 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pens...

Today was my last day at my day job. Well, at least in the capacity that I've been working there for the past ten months. When I return from my vacation, I'll be at a different store with a different job position and hopefully much more time and freedom to make things – and thusly save my fragile sanity.
While I am very excited to begin my vacation, it was a little sad to say goodbye to my regulars. Today seemed particularly full of familiar faces. I think that the relationships you form with people are some of the most important things in life. Even if it's the most simple and benign interactions, there is the potential for greatness. For instance, we get a group of writers of young adult books who come in and write together, like Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld, Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, and Robin Wasserman. They've been coming in for over a year now. I see them busily clicking away at their keyboards and I can't help but wonder if some small spark of inspiration or creativity was exchanged. Was the bat sandwich in one of their novels inspired by their lunch they had that day?


One of the last regulars I said goodbye to was Robin Wasserman. Her latest book, Skinned, will debut in a few short weeks on September 9th. She is so nice and has the most hilarious blog. CLICK HERE to check it out. With her was a face I didn't recognize, but was none other than Sarah Rees Brennan, author of the forthcoming book, The Demon's Lexicon (due out Summer 2009).


I'll be returning to a neighborhood I used to work and live in for years, and although I'll be happy to reconnect with a different set of familiar faces... I will still think on all of the friendships made over coffee, cookies, and sandwiches in The Village.

Congratulations...

If you've been keeping up with my blog, then you might remember that I helped raise money by auctioning off some of my past Stringing Magazine submissions.  The money was for my friend and talented artist, Rachel Stokoe, and her mother to participate in the 3 Day Journey (a fund-raising event for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust.)  Rachel sent along some pictures from the event.  The walk was held to raise awareness about prevention and education about breast cancer, as well as help fund development of a cure to combat breast cancer!

Above:  Teammate (Krissie) and the mother/daughter duo have a soggy  first day.


Above:  Krissie, Rachel's mom, and Rachel on the last day.

Above:  Rachel's mom, Rachel, and Krissie at the opening event.

Above:  Rachel and her mom doing a victory dance in a parking lot.

I am so proud of Rachel and her mom!  They are really great people who have had to overcome so much and are striving to help make a difference.  And a BIG thank you go out to all the people who bid to help support their being able to walk.  TOGETHER WE CAN FIND A CURE!  TOGETHER WE CAN SAVE LIVES!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wedgewood Fairyland Lustre...


Not too long ago, I had PBS on in the background while I was working.  The Antiques Roadshow was on and I was hardly paying attention to it.  Though, what caught my eye was a collection of Wedgewood pottery called, "Fairyland Lustre."  These brightly-colored, whimsical, and enchanted-themed plates, bowls, and tiles were designed by Daisy Makeig-Jones.  I just love these magically inspired pieces!  CLICK HERE to read the story about the pottery and what happened between Daisy Makeig-Jones and the Wedgewood company.  I just adore these; however with an average price tag of $5,000 per piece - it doesn't look like I'll be adding one of these to my collection any time soon!

Below are photos of a few examples:


 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Knock, Knock...

With the addition of a few key props like Edith Piaf playing in the background, a baguette and croissant from the fancy French bakery, and a couple sips of wine, I felt as though I was vicariously traveling in Paris.  One of the things that I loved about "my" trip to Europe were the door-knockers in the shape of hands.  That's why I got the one above.  Since I live in an apartment, I don't think I can actually mount it on my front door, but I think it stands alone sculpturally.  Maybe I'll put it on the door to my studio... knock... knock... 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Working Hard...

Vacation time is fast approaching and I'm very excited.  For one, I'll be seeing my family and taking in much needed time off from my day job.  The mountains have a magical rejuvenating quality.  I can't wait to relax a little and make some stuff.  Secondly, the wonderful opportunity of going to the Bead Fest: Philadelphia has come up and I'll get to see a good many of my bead show buddies that I only see once or twice a year.  

With my departure imminent, there is much work that needs to be done.  I told myself that I'd have the apartment all sorted out and unpacked before I left.  This daunting task is making a great deal of headway, but I am uncertain of whether or not I'll be able to finish or not before I leave.  I had at least wanted to get the studio finished.  It's close, though.
  
Even though I've been pressed for time, I've managed to squeeze in a little cooking.  To the left is one of my experimental dishes: Garlic chicken and green bell peppers with a pickled onion and tomato salad over coconut rice.  It was very Asian in inspiration.

Here's another picture of one of my made up recipes of white fish that was stewed with onions and tomatoes.  It was salty and spicy, so I made up a batch of coconut rice to help counterbalance the savory with a touch of sweetness.  

Well, it's time to get back to work, I've still yet got a lot of deadlines to meet before I go.  I'll start posting pictures of the studio and my bathroom and all the household projects I've been working on as soon as everything is finally finished up.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bead Fest: Philadelphia...

I hadn't originally planned on it, but since it lines up so perfectly with my vacation, I just found out that I'm heading down to Interweave's Bead Fest: Philadelphia.  I'm really looking forward to it!  It should be a great time and I'll get to see some of my favorite bead show buddies.  If you're in the area or are already planning to attend the show, you should definitely drop by my family's booth at Green Girl Studios!  Cynthia and Greg have been working hard on lots of new goodies and we'll also have some of Bob Burkett's new pieces as well.  You might even be able to snag one of the new Bronze PMC pieces that Cynthia's been working on.  I think there will also be a special guest appearance by the Girl Wonder herself, Azalea!  It promises to be a most wonderful time; please do stop by!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Little Promise...

Sometimes I think it's easy to promise to do more than what is earthly possible.  I seem to bite off more projects than I can chew all the time.  Sometimes the world gets in the way and it just becomes near impossible to try and do everything you want to do.  I can understand this.

I've noticed that on a lot of blogs I've visited recently, there have been a lot of pictures of feet.  I don't really have a problem with feet.  I remember in art school I had to do an entire series of sketches and detailed drawings examining the foot in different positions and exploring how the musculature worked.  It wasn't one of my favorite assignments, but I got through it.  But I know one person in particular who starts gagging and getting extremely grossed out by the mere mention of them.

So what do these two things have to do together?  It never feels good to make promises that one can't keep.  Well, I think it's time to promise something that I know I can keep:  I will never post pictures of my feet on my blog.  

Seems like a cheap shot, but with this foot fetish craze, it's a pretty powerful promise, no?  Baby-steps... errrr... or rather just small movements.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Yeti Mythos...

Did anyone else see the Associated Press article by Tim Sullivan called, Losing the Yeti in forgotten nation of Bhutan?  My train reading is a book by Karen Armstrong called, A Short History of Myth and it's interesting to read the aforementioned article in the context of mythology over a span of time in a developing society moving away from agriculture towards its own "Great Western Transformation."  The parallels are striking.

Dinner At Eight...

Above:  Dinner at eight... well... not exactly.  More like 11:30.  

Even as kids, we never really ate early.  We would try to squeeze in as much activity as possible before our evening meal.  Nowadays it's no different.  Usually I try to snag a quick bite of take-out before settling in for the night, but tonight I decided to cook.  I think there's something very human about preparing a meal.  It taps into a part of the brain that's almost primordially connected to survival and home.  Unfortunately I haven't had much time to do it and instead opt (or rather default) for the fastest and easiest route to filling my tummy.

Tonight, I decided to cook.  I made an altered version of an old family recipe for adobo – adding sliced portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions and tangy tomatoes.  I also used boneless thigh pieces.  Even though the bones add flavor and moisture to the cooking process, I don't like picking through them when I'm trying to quickly devour my meal.

It was nice to have a home-cooked meal after a long day.  I finished staining and sealing the shelves and almost finished hanging them.  I also had to run out to Home Depot again to pick up new bulbs for the kitchen light and get paint for the bathroom.  A leak had formed and every time the upstairs neighbors would take a shower, a steady trickle of water would drip from the ceiling.  This of course caused the drywall to get soaking wet and mold to grow behind the paint and tiles.  The landlord hired contractors to rip everything out, repair the leak, and fix the walls.  It looks great and I can breathe easier knowing I'm not inhaling black mold spores, but the bathroom is a little stark and lacking personality.  So I'm staying up late tonight and finishing painting the walls.  The color selected is called, "Velvet Morning."  It sounds like a cheesy romance novel, but it's actually a robin's egg blue.  I'll take pictures of everything once it's all done.

Bird Girl Migration...

One might say that there was a veritable bird girl migration to my house.  I picked up these great modified slip-cast ceramic pieces crafted by Asheville local, Robin VanValkenburgh (a.k.a. therunnybunny), on Etsy.  My favorites are the hybrids.  CLICK HERE to visit her shop.  CLICK HERE to go to her blog.

Note to Self...

My sister, Cynthia, said that I should make a list of all the things that I'd like to do while I am on  vacation in Asheville.  I had a good start.  Eventually though, I got a little distracted.  Instead I started dreaming up different perfume recipes.  While unpacking, I found a sampler kit of different fragrances.  They were preserved in wax, so as to keep the scents longer, truer and more clear.  So, I broke out my wax melter and started experimenting.

The primary notes would be made up of:
Bourbon Island/Madagascar Vanilla 
Mexican Vanilla 
Tahitian Vanilla
Spanish Amber

It would be accented with hints of:
Bartlett Pear
Frankincense
Tunisian Jasmine
Almond

It smelled warm and rich, but wasn't too heavy.  The pear added a nice bit of crisp fruit, as the jasmine complimented the floral undertones of the vanilla beans.  It breathed sweetness and lightness.  It reminded me a lot of baking a pear tart...

Note to Self:  The perfume recipe sounds a lot like the limited edition Haagen Daz ice cream you so much love.  You must be running low.  Visit grocery store immediately!

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Morning Trip...

Above:  Coney Island at dawn.

I woke up early this morning.  I woke up before dawn and decided to go for a little trip.  This year I really haven't been out to Coney Island except for the Mermaid Parade.  I sort of don't count that though, as the experience during the Mermaid Parade is extremely different than when one goes without throngs of people in crazy outfits.  It can be quiet and peaceful.  It can be rejuvenating.

I normally don't care for seagulls.  I mean, I like them in an abstract way.  I like most birds.  But seagulls can be very aggressive and quite annoying in their scavenging.  On one outing to the beach as a child in Florida, I was bitten by a seagull and I think that has left a lasting impression.  However, this morning they were calm.  It was nice to walk along the water's edge, having the water come up around my ankles, and see the birds dancing around the beach.  

Sometimes when I go deeper into my thoughts, I just keep walking and thinking.  This was no different.  I walked from Brighton Beach all the way to the end of Coney Island.  From one end to the other.  I would have walked further along the beach were it not for the stone jetty and the fencing.  But still I walked on, exploring the neighborhood.  Eventually I stumbled upon Coney Island Creek.  I had never been there before.  For people who think that Coney Island is a dirty beach, they haven't seen this one!  It's covered in flotsam and jetsam.  It's covered in trash, washed ashore and left behind.  Part of me was absolutely disgusted and horrified at the sheer amount of trash on the beach.   The other part was fascinated by this area that seemed to collect tidal deposits.  It was the same kind of spark I get when passing a landfill or abandoned building.

Above:  Coney Island Creek Park is covered in litter!

All in all, it was a good morning trip.  I combed the littered beach for treasures for a little while longer.  I also walked to the Home Depot and bought some polyurethane for my shelves.  I'm looking forward to when I can put them up so that I can free up some much needed space.  To see more pictures from the dirty beach CLICK HERE.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Boko the Burlap Owl...

The newest addition to my owl collection hails from the far reaches of Ottawa, Canada.  Isn't he great?  I just love his fierce expression and hard gaze.  His name is, "Boko the Burlap Owl."  He is a three-dimensional soft sculpture formed out of wire and fabric.  Tracy of Etsy.com, a.k.a. Squishy-fish, created this cute little fellow.  CLICK HERE to see her shop!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Desiderata...

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with god,
whatever you conceive him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

- Max Ehrmann

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I Love You Ikea...

One of my biggest mistakes in my last studio was not having visible storage.  For me, if I can't see it, I probably won't use it.  This is why my work space, to the ordinary passerby, would look like a disaster area.  I would have everything scattered about and in piles.  To me it made sense.  The clutter was actually mentally organized.  (Or at least that's what I would tell myself.)

So, in my new space, I wanted to do it right.  I thought about getting a cubby system with pull-out clear plastic drawers.  I already have smaller versions for part of my bead stash. But organizational systems (especially ones from The Container Store) can get expensive.  I thought about building something custom that would meet all my needs and look killer.  However, I barely have time to sleep as it is – let alone adding another big project under my belt.  Not to mention that until I get the storage solution up and running, everything is dispersed and hidden amongst twenty or so boxes and it would definitely slow down the progress of any project.

Luckily, a new Ikea opened up in my neck of the woods.  It's only five subway stops and a short (free) shuttle bus service away – maybe 20 minutes in total.  Ikea is one of those places that a good many New Yorkers seem to love to hate.  They condemn it with criticisms of it being too big, commercial, noisy, crowded, and flimsy.  But seeing as how I'm not a descendent of the Rockefellers and didn't inherit the heirloom cabinetry from the Old Country, affordability, accessibility, and a plethora of options are all good things.  Whereas, the ominous they love to hate Ikea – I simply love Ikea.  With the help of fabian (the most inexpensive, easy-to-put-together shelves), a couple of meatballs for strength, and some lingonberry soda for hydration, I will have the perfect studio storage solution!

Iviva Olenick in Fiberarts...

My friend, Iviva Olenick, will have some of her work included in the September/ October issue of Fiberarts, a magazine featuring textile art and craft! The skillfully embroidered pieces are from her series of work titled, Were I So Besotted. Her work is quirky and wonderful, wistful and utterly touching. CLICK HERE to see the supplemental web content or click on the image below for a larger view.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Schmap...

Remember this photo of me, Holly Black, and her husband, Theo? It was taken last year at the Bad Faerie Ball during Faerie Con . It is now being used as a "guidebook photo" for Schmap Philadelphia! CLICK HERE to see it in action.

Sunny...

"Do not anticipate trouble, or worry 
about what may 
never happen. 
Keep in the sunlight."


Above Left:  Detail of a totem pole in Vancouver, Canada.  Taken by Rachael Ashe.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Small Victories...

I've finally set up my computer station in my studio. Hurray for small victories! The space as a whole is coming along nicely. It's warm and cozy and feels like a place I will like to spend a lot of time in. I've made work in all kinds of situations and in all sorts of conditions, but I prefer a place where I am comfortable. If I'm at peace, my mind seems to open up without a lot of prodding. Over the years, I've developed a set of tricks to help facilitate the process, but I think good things will be made here easily and without a lot of strenuous work.

Once I've got it all pulled together, I'll start snapping photos. But I want it to be a surprise until it's all ready. One of my biggest problems is that I need a storage solution that makes everything visible and easily accessible. Out of sight - out of mind. Then again, it's quite enjoyable to go rummaging through my things, as I realize just how cool some of my stuff is.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Power of Thought...

"The universe is change; 
our life is what our thoughts make it."


Left:  The Ancient of Days (also known as, God As an Architect) by William Blake.

Being Wanted...

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who has sent me emails expressing worry and concern over my absence from the blog world.  My intermittent and sporadic attempts to rejoin my fellow bloggers with quotes and the like were obviously red flags of my doom and peril.  You all know who you are and I love you for your positive energy, well wishes and for keeping tabs on me.  But... I am just fine.  Over-worked and unorganized, yes, but still standing.

Two weeks ago marked the second year anniversary of this blog.  For two years, I've blogged on almost a daily basis and have met so many wonderful people through this medium.  It has provided an opportunity to continue to strengthen and fortify friendships, family relationships, and creative connections across vast distances.  I am thankful for this blessing.  I am thankful for everyone who reads my blog and shares in my daily observations and musings.  It has exceeded and far surpassed any expectation I might have ever had.

So I might not be in mortal peril or in jeopardy, but right now, I'm in a state of "In Between."  The most literal example is that many of my possessions are still in boxes and are still awaiting to be unpacked.  On a professional level, I'm waiting for my "promotion" to kick in and afford me more time to spend on my art and creative pursuits.  Speaking of my creative pursuits, I'm at a bit of a standstill.  So many ideas are swirling around in my head and are jotted down on napkins and on the backs of bills and other scraps of paper, but few of them have reached a finalized state of completion.  Making things, as many of you know, is at the very core of my happiness.  This lack of creative release, normally would make me insane.  Luckily, my home-life has been a bedrock foundation and the love and support of those I cherish has kept me from teetering off past the brink of madness.

The In Between time has not been without its own rewards.  Foremost it is the gift of introspection.  It has forced me out of the psychological coils that wrap themselves around the roots of everyday dilemmas and made me examine what is important to me.  

It also has reminded me and driven home the need to cherish the relationships in my life that give me balance and a center of gravity.  This blog, for example, has suffered due to my current state of affairs, but were it not for that... would I still be reminded of just how many people come to it and connect to it?  Would I have forgotten how much of a creative outlet this blog could be?  The state of being In Between has also prompted the sensation of being wanted - that if I had something to say or to share, there would be people to listen.  This reminded me of an article that appeared in the March 2006 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine.  It was written by Fiona Apple about her reflections on the Free Fiona movement that surrounded the release of her latest album, Extraordinary Machine.  CLICK HERE to read it. 

I can relate to some of the feelings she talks about in the article.  Where music is her solution - the making of things is mine.  Expect to see some changes here in the near future.  I hope good ones.

Sheila's New Blog...

My sister, Sheila, has just started her own blog!  She's titled it, Painting as Meditation.  She uses her blog as a way of recounting her travels, showing her artwork and raising money for various charities.  This month's charity is Doctor's Without Borders.   I'm really happy that she's joining the blogosphere.