Thursday, December 31, 2015

goodbye 2015

I watched the sun rise this morning from my favorite spot in the house. We live on the  corner of the street and it's something of a fishbowl effect in our front room. But if you sink into the big comfy chair, the street disappears and you look out on trees and a climbing rose draped across the window.

My Christmas village is set up right by that window - and the sun rise over this little forested kingdom was beautiful this morning.

I'll be packing up all of the Christmas things today. Putting away Christmas feels like a first brave step into the unknown of a New Year. I trot out the familiar, the comfortable, the memorable things each Christmas. They serve as a comfort to assuage the grief, the shocks, the unforeseen events that hit me over the past 11 months. Then I put away those things and face whatever may come in the next 11 with a somewhat soothed sense of "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

I wish for you, a fresh hope in this New Year.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Thursday, December 17, 2015


I was there to see
my senior daughter playing flute in her last Christmas concert 

 I just let the music wash over me

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

red cup

birthday breakfast with my sweet sixteener

I recited my "the day you were born" story which included a 3 hour easy labor; our 1st night home in a flu infected household; us two spending the night on the couch. My spiel ended with "let's do this every year" and "why aren't you a squeakier wheel?" Every family has one. The quiet wheel.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015



Life is more hectic than ever and I've felt drained "beyond reason" (as I told a friend recently). I will be trying to tend to my creative side more kindly. My sanity and my energy will return as it always does when I have times of "slowing down and seeing" - the first and most important ingredients in a creative life. I've not much time to set my hands to scissors, paintbrushes, pliers, needle, thread, but my phone is always with me and the camera in it is awesome. I will blog these seeing moments. It is a kindness to myself worth sharing wth you.

Friday, November 27, 2015

colorful friday

we set out this so called "black friday" in search of any color other than black 
... here is our journey in photos ...

this photo is of one of my favorite sights from Interstate 5: 
the waste water (i.e. sewage) lagoon in between Everett and Marysville 
with a backdrop of the Cascades and a ceiling of blue:
Blue Friday

this is a small lake just before you get to Deception Pass on the way over to Whidbey Island:
Green Friday
here is my daughter with her dog walking on the beach of a tiny little bay on Whidbey:
Red Friday
here is Sadie hoping for a fish:
Golden Brown Friday

we went from Whidbey Island on up to Fairhaven and our obligatory stop at Rocket Donuts:
(I had a powder cake donut - boring but delicious)
Neon Friday

from Fairhaven it's a short hop up to Bellingham:
(this is a Baltic Porter which was being unmasked today)
Black Friday

leaving Bellingham we had a gorgeous sunset - the sun sets early up here - it was only 4:30:
Golden Friday

It was a great day of all of us together crammed into the car and driving all over hither and yon 
- as the girls are getting older it's rare that all of our schedules sync together -
we had the usual gamut of emotions from giggles to grimaces and cheerful chatter to sulking silence
- but, hey, it's life.  A colorful life.

Friday, October 16, 2015


I have this cool little flip book to store zentangle patterns. I picked it up at University Bookstore in Mill Creek.

If you've ever tried zentangling, you'll know how helpful it is to have patterns handy. I take mine off of the ring and spread them out on my table as I draw.

This week I'm drawing on stones.

It's a very peaceful process 
- that's the "zen" in zentangle - 
before I know it an hour or two have passed 

 I'm always amazed and humbled when something beautiful comes of it

 Making my mark.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

from the porch

I took these pictures 2 days ago from my porch

... beginning with the Moon ...

this was about 6:45 a.m.

later in the day I tidied up my porch
... all of these things "spark joy" ...
(have you read that book by Marie Kondo?)

 these are the many sticks collected on morning walks

and driftwood from Camano Island
(they are now settled into an old coffee can gifted by a friend)

 my token pumpkin 
(which is really a squash I'll be cooking this later week)

my prized, dried sunflower head

- and finally -
The Sunrise 
it had us all stopped
Standing Still

thank you for your lovely comments and kind words
I really do try to get back to everyone
- sometimes it just takes a little while -

Thursday, October 1, 2015

working girls

A lot has been going on since my last blog post a month ago
I've taken a day job in a small boutique in my home town
... so I'm a "shop girl" most days ...
At times I feel like an "Original" and  "I Am The Queen" of juggling my responsibilities 


At other times I feel like I am "In Full Bloom" and full of all loveliness
But mostly, it's a struggle.
It says: 
"Today's Struggles Create Strength For Tomorrow "


I often have all of these feeling all jumbled up together in one day, or one hour, or one minute
... just like this jumble here ...
In my spare time (ha!) I created these 3 metal shrines with "shop girls" this month.
Working in metal helps me when I'm processing things - perhaps it's the bending of the metal to my will - the hammering and piercing and shaping of something outside of myself.

Here's a quote that really spoke to me about this recent change:

"When we make a change, 
it's so easy to interpret our unsettledness as unhappiness,  
and our unhappiness as a result of having made the wrong decision. 
Our mental and emotional states fluctuate madly when we make big changes in our lives, 
and sometimes we could tightrope across Manhattan,  
and other days we are too weary to clean our teeth. 
This is normal. 
This is natural. 
This is change." 
-Jeanette Winterson 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


We were lucky enough to have 3 days on Camano Island - I have never been there even though it's only an hour away 

This is the beach we walked down to several times a day:
The beaches here are rocky and desolate 
- no beach umbrellas or volleyball here -
 we love it this way.
Our beach had tons of driftwood. 
Some of it was entire trees.
Here's a crafty fellow who made his flag with driftwood:
The kids made a game of "setting the driftwood free"  ... they said it was imprisoned on the shore and longed to keep drifting :)
I enjoyed the view from the house and attempted painting it:
And the art fun continues with all of my souvenirs - rocks on my desk:
Here's my try at an anatomical heart:
But my favorite is this moon and sun face:

September is here with cooler days and nights ... putting us in the mood for hot cocoa and cozy corners ... but I'll have summer souvenirs on my desk long into the winter months.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

shellac hack

Not having a lot of art supplies on a recent vacation ... necessity became the mother of invention 
Hairspray (I can vouch for this one in particular) is a great sealer for painted rocks
I had my micron pens and watercolor paint - but no sealer - hairspray did the job better than anything I have in my art cupboard at home!

Monday, August 17, 2015

self care cards

I had fun with my summertime art students a few weeks ago making decks of self care cards like these:
52 cards with self care prompts on the back:
Then we made boxes to keep them in like this one:
This particular card is good self care only if you have someone to wash the dishes too :)

I would be happy to email the PDF file so you can make your own deck of cards too. 
Although, it's up to you to gussy them up :)
(Let me know if you're interested when you leave a comment ...)

***leave your email address in your comment - but spell it out to avoid trolls - eg: "somebody at gmail dot com"