Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Flight to Adventure

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go..." (yes, I'm heading north for an adventure.)

'cause I'm leavin' on a jet plane
Don't know when I'll be back again..."
( Written by John Denver, 1966; sung by Peter, Paul and Mary.)

Got my maps, flashlights, bug spray and rain gear (just in case). I think we hit the right weekend because it's going to break records here in Northern California with 100 plus weather. Hopefully, up north, it's not going to rain and the weather will be pleasant. Either way, we will be prepared.
I will take my trusty, black New Balance hikers that I wore in Germany... broken in and comfortable.
... and these really comfy hiking sandals, that I found in Reno last month, for walking. Got to take care of my feet, 'cause if they aren't happy, the rest of me will be miserable.
 And I bought some new camera equipment. This is getting to be an expensive hobby. Fair warning to anyone who wants to "just buy a camera..." It doesn't stop there.

I'm leaving the hollyhocks and the bumble bees...
The dried clover that I've been so desperately trying to photograph with macro precision.
And the lizard who will be glad to see me go because I keep sprinkling him with the hose every morning. (I really think he likes it or he'd leave.)
I'm saying goodbye to the corgi boys and the Prospector...

"What... Where are you going now?"
and I will be flying to Portland to met my friend "D", who is driving from Montana. We are going to a photography workshop this weekend on the Columbia River. I think we will learn a lot and it will be fun. Then we will drive down the Oregon coast and "D" will bring me home.
I leave Thursday morning.

"The photograph itself doesn't interest me.  I want only to capture a minute part of reality." ~Henri Cartier Bresson

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sister Visit and a little Creativity

Carl and Cutter were so happy. Their "auntie" was here all week and they love her.

Carl had to share "his spot" on the sofa...
And he would look at me, as if to say, "I love that she visits but it's hard to share my spot."
 He wouldn't budge from his side of the sofa
until Sis offered him a Cheetos and then everything  was OK.

We had a wonderful week. We went into Sutter Creek and Amador City, spending time in our favorite stores, talking to some friends and finding some "goodies" that we couldn't live without.
But, mostly, we made art. 

Remember the bottle art that we made the last time she was here?   This was a little Watkin's vanilla bottle that I created a few months ago.
Last week we went to bigger bottles and got crazy.
This was mine. It's not finished, but I love the "steam punk" look to it.
This is an old soda bottle. I Mod Podged some old dictionary pages onto it, let it dry and then sanded it off. The ridges of the bottle really stand out. Then I antiqued the paper with some walnut ink, using my finger and rubbing it in.
The metal piece over the top is an old biscuit cutter I found in an antique store.
The legs are the bottom half of a plastic skeleton and the wings are a cheap metal butterfly.
The "face" is a rusty pipe connector with a bit of screen covering the end.
There is a woman's face inside, behind the screen. (Just some clip art I found.)
The rest is for your imagination. Symbolism is a big part of this kind of art. It's unique to the artist and has lots of ambiguity.

Sis has taken classes from an artist that really takes this art form to a different level. His name is Micheal deMeng and I will be taking one of his classes in September at the Art Is You retreat in Petaluma, CA. His work is very dark and filled with ambiguous interpretation.
Sis is braver than I and she is not afraid to stretch the boundaries of her imagination.
This bottle was transformed with paper, a beautiful, old drawer handle, a plastic doll face and trinkets from my sister's collection of ephemera.
She found some gold cloth wings in my junk drawer collection and covered them with scraps of cool black and white paper. She also backed the bottle with the same paper so it could be seen from the front, through the bottle.
 The bottom piece was a gear and a faucet handle with a small piece of faceted glass over the top and some burlap type material connecting all of it.
 The face has a bee over the mouth. (Talk about symbolism.) Then she painted and antiqued all of it.
 I love the look of this bottle. It's elegant yet shabby... or, as a friend of mine would say, "Gentile poverty"... and a lot of imagination.
We had so much fun with this. Just take an old bottle (it doesn't have to be a good antique) and just start adding stuff to it. Use glue, Mod Podge, glue guns. epoxy and spit. Anything will do... but most of all use your imagination.
We spent one whole day doing this. Cheap fun and very creative.

The Corgi boys miss her.  So do I.
Carl is still wondering where she went.

"She will be back boy, don't worry."