I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Coming Home

When I left my sister's house last week, I stopped by the cemetery to visit with Mom for a little while.
She is in the Queen of Heaven Cemetery, in Pleasant Hill, CA. It seems easier, now, to come and visit. It has been four years.
The day was lovely. I always sense that if she knows of her surroundings... that she is happy. She has others to talk to... other mothers that were loved too.
Some with small decorations that glitter in the sun.
The Robins were nesting in the Curly Willow tree nearby.

  She would have liked watching them fly about. She loved birds and used to feed all of the feathered creatures that came to our backyard when we were children. She would always leave them warm water on cold winter mornings and line the fence with birdseed. The birdbath would freeze over and she would show us how to take water outside, crack the frozen water, throw it out and pour the warm water into the birdbath so the birds would have water for the day. That was Mom. She cared about everyone.

I said goodbye to her and drove east over the hills , through Antioch and over the river. I was tired. Sis and I had a good time at Art is You in Petaluma but it was time to be home.
 The night before I drove over to see the Beans and my son and daughter in law. So I got to see the boys and take them the silly Halloween glasses that I bought them in Petaluma.
I drove through the Delta and decided to take the Delta loop road instead of going over to the Rio Vista bridge and then east on highway 12. The Delta loop cutoff is a quiet ride along the sloughs and ranches that are situated on peat dirt land between the rivers. There are cows, flocks of sheep and goats with beautiful white guard dogs that shepherd their flocks. I love this drive. It takes a little longer but it's a tranquil side road that I'm getting very comfortable with. Just after Brannon Island State Park on highways 160, there is a road that turns off to the right called (what else) W. Brannon Island Rd. I head across the San Joaquin River onto W. Twitchell Island Rd and follow this road all the way to the Owl Harbor Marina. This is were I cross the slough and  make a few turns left, then right, then left, up onto Jackson Slough Rd, which takes me back to highways 12 and east to Lodi.
 The whole loop is much longer, but I don't like to be out there on those levee roads all day, so this is a short cut to get back on a highway.
My friend, who lives in Isleton, was out of town for a few days, so I didn't stop there. I drove straight home.
When I arrived on the mountain, the Prospector and the Corgi boys were there to greet me. It was so good to be home.
That little family, Mommy, Daddy and the Beans, had just been up here two days before I got home. They had gone to Apple Hill above Placerville and came by to see Papa and the dogs. 
When I walked into the ~guest, computer, art and everything else I can use it for~ room, I noticed a piece of paper on the floor held in place with a big piece of quartz. I picked it up and read it.
You have found this note and when you find the next note you will know who it is from. from ?
I knew the handwriting.
I looked around for another one and there on my computer chair was "the next note".
There are two other notes in this room   Find them.    from?
Well, this was getting fun.
I looked around and found a third note.

This one was in red letters, under the computer mouse. It read,
I WAS AT THIS HOUSE    IN THIS ROOM. WHO AM I?  I LOVE YOU.   FROM AC  
That would be my oldest grandson. He's eight. He is very smart, handsome and , clearly, loves his Noni.
The feeling is mutual.
These letters are worth more than any gold in my gold pan... any money in the bank.
These letters are what makes my life worthy.
I have, in this messy room, drawings and letters from both of my Beans. They are the product of two growing boys that I love more than chocolate. I didn't think I could love a child more than I loved my sons, but it seems that we have the capacity to expand love anytime we need it. It's a renewable resource.
How wonderful!
I will be spending Halloween with my family in a few weeks.
Maybe we'll take Mom a spooky cupcake and the birds can help her eat it.




Monday, October 7, 2013

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on” – Albert Einstein

I'm pretty much a meat and potatoes person when it comes to clothing. My favorite outfits consist of jeans and a blue,long sleeved shirt. I roll up the sleeves and put on the most comfortable shoes I can find, be they Berkie's, boots or Keens, and I'm good to go.
But, I appreciate folks who have the imagination and the fortitude to wear "OUTRAGEOUS"  and do it well.
At *Art is You* I saw so many people who seem to be able to pull off really amazing outfits. Some were really wild and some... just looked great in an interesting and artful way.

This was Lorri-Marie Jenkins. 

She is an artist and lives in Benicia, CA. She decided to have her hair done in dreadlocks a few years ago. When this wasn't enough, she started wrapping her dreads in bright wool fleece which, after many washings, have become one with her hair (felted). Amazing! I love it!



This was our master of ceremonies... Rice Freeman-Zachery
She is one of the most inspirational artist that I have listened to. She always makes me feel good about finding the "artist" inside.

I didn't get a clear photo of her this year so I appropriated one from Google images. Even this one is not really clear. It's probably because she never stops moving. But, look at that red hair, the tattoos and the red tutu.

OH, yes... tutu's. Which brings me to another dynamo... Carrie Clayden.
This is her with my sister.
And this is the bottom half of her with one of her signature TUTUs on.
Carrie owns Hip Chick Designs in Benicia, CA.
She was even selling tutus at the Trunk show and sale on Saturday night.
She taught the Pet Portrait workshop that my sister took. She always wears wonderful handmade outfits that have "ARTIST" written all over them.

Then we saw this amazing shirt... in the lobby one day.
This woman was one of the attendees that looked great in a very subdued and creative way. She said that her top was a creation of VonksArt on Itsy and a "adornment" artist named Vainca Bauman.  Here's the link.
There was even a class at *Art is You* that was taught by Lorri Scott on re- purposing clothing and an impromptu fashion show of what people made in her class. I just couldn't take all the classes that I wanted to. This is one I missed. Maybe next year. I took a Nuno Felting class from her two years ago. She's a great teacher.
 This woman, above, was more the style statement that I like. More subdued... but creative and eye catching.
I'm sure that I missed a lot of artist and creative outfits.... they were everywhere.
My point to all of this is that you don't have to hide your wild clothing... that beautiful scarf or crazy pair of shoes... in your closet.
Wear what makes you feel good. Sew it, paint it, decoupage it and glue things to it. Make it say something about you.
Dye your hair orange if you want to. Get that tattoo.
Life is short. Be brave and wear your adornments proudly. 
Go ahead and draw with markers on an old pair of jeans.
Rice can't leave her husband alone . She paints everything. These are his famous jeans. He is our resident ~Art is You~ photographer.

So... what are you going to redo, this week?
What can you create that says something about yourself?

“Think left and think right
 and think low and think high.
 Oh, the things you can think up
 if only you try” – Dr. Seuss