Monday, March 31, 2008

Button Button

I'm working on ceramic buttons. I've had some made for some time, but waited for a bisque firing. They're bisque now and I'm glazing them. One by one. It is a bit tedious, but I like it. some have wire shanks, some ceramic shanks, and some have holes.

I hope they will be attractive to quilters and mixed media artists. I will use some in my collages. I'll post a photo when they are glaze fired. Wish me luck!

News: I've quit eating meat. I eat fish. I heard from a dear friend and very admirable woman that her arthtritis pain went away when she quit eating meat. She's really a vegetarian. I'm just eating that way. Anyway, I have so much joint and bone pain, I'm trying it. My hands are better already. I quit about the first of the year. I don't miss it -much. I have broken training to have steak and ham once each and some chicken. I'm not really a vegetarian, after all! I''ve always liked the idea of eating close to the earth (I think I read that in Diet for a Small Planet) Today I read "If it (food) grows, eat it."

I'm also reading (Leslie Hay) and writing about self love and letting go of anger, resentment, and the like to feel and be better. Nothing we don't all know, I suppose, but it does take some thought and concentration to be positive and self-caring. I feel calmer and happier - not giddy -- just more positive about things in general. Try it - what do you like about you? Who do you need to forgive? Why hold on to bad feelings? Let's not waste emotional energy on bad thoughts!

I guess these last few paragraphs are about what we are or can be -- "You are what you eat" doesn't say enough. We are also what we think, do for others, how we care for ourselves., .... all to say we have a lot of control over our environment and well being. Leslie Hay says "the power is always in the present moment."

Anyway, that's what's on my mind right now. Your thoughts?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Photos and Journals - do you journal?

First of all, I think journaling is a wonderful practice for self reflection and help, recording memories, writing stories and poetry, recording history, drawing, oh so many uses.

I have journaled at various times in my life but none quite as seriously as now. I record what's happening, what I'm thinking about, what I struggle with, projects I aspire to, funny things my children say,... on and on. I have a bad habit of picking up whatever journal is nearby so my dates are scattered everywhere. Sometimes there are years between entries in a given book.

I'm not too picky about journals, but they must be spiral and blank. Spiral so I can use both sides of the page, and blank, because they should be blank. I wouldn't write on the lines anyway and if I get a lined journal as a gift or by mistake, I use it and ignore the lines.

I've been spending a lot of my available and driving time on photography this past year. Sometimes, as in a couple of prior blogs, I reflect on and write about my photographs. I have put a selection of them on journal covers at Cafepress. Most of them are images that evoke journal-like thoughts and feelings - doors, windows, trees, skies, nature. They make me think of reflection, history, future, nature, the meaning of life, oh dear, too far!

Anyway, I'm putting the link to my journals here because I truthfully think they are good covers for writing and drawing books. I hope you like them. I'd like to hear what you think.

http://www.cafepress.com/sceater/4431286

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Audrey Hepburn - Beautiful Woman

This is a poem Audrey Hepburn wrote when asked to share her 'beauty tips.' It was read at her funeral years later.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

I have always liked and admired her for her acting, poise, and beauty. I knew she was a sweet person, from this I know she was wise as well.

May we all be as beautiful in the important ways.




Friday, March 14, 2008

Depression

This is not for the faint of spirit.

Depression is a real and serious condition. And it is wicked, sneaky, and evil. It can drop like a bomb. It can sneak up in the night. It covers everything. It is physical, mental, and emotional. It is not something someone makes up or pretends. It is blinking real.

Depression can take all meaning out of life. It can make the most important things in life seem beside the point. In the depressed state, there seems to be no hope to escape it or feel better. Things will always be bad or will never stay good long.

Good takes on new meanings. Good is just not awful, miserable. Good is the high of feeling better. Good is I made it through the day.

Don't be misled by smiles and apparent adequate functioning. Those who are depressed can, for short periods, pull it together and put on a brave and cheerful face. It is not to deceive per se. It is to act normal, be there for someone, hide the misery, avoid detection, as depression hurts everyone in the vicinity. And some view depression as not real, laziness, emotional-ness, anti-socal, etc. So around others, in the breach, the depressed look and sound 'normal'. The acting takes extraordinary effort and leaves the depressed more drained and more depressed.

The loss. Depression robs and has robbed me of energy, life experiences, loved ones, creativity, love of life. Ever tried living in an aquarium of extra thick jello? Moving through it, thinking through it, smiling through it? That would be a peek at depression. Only a peek. It can't be explained. It is awful.

Yeah, I'm depressed today.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Cat Bite!

I was bitten by a feral cat yesterday and spent most of today going to the next town to see the Dr. All is well enough. More later tonite.

Ok, anyway, a feral cat that had been hanging around got in a basement window. We cornered it and thinking cats always go limp when you grab the back of their neck, I grabbed it. It not only didn't go limp, it bit me.

Greg finally captured it and caged it. I cleaned and bandaged my finger - three small punctures and some scratches. I know cat bites can be very germ-y, so I called the Dr. today. I got a tetanus booster and 10 days of antibiotics. Could be much worse.

Lesson: One cannot always immobilize a cat by grabbing the scruff of the neck..

The cat? We fed it and turned it loose tonite. It is healthy, just very wild and very frightened. Animal Control never showed up.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Women in Art - Portraits

I received this link from a friend and I really like it. It shows 500 years of women's portraits in art. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I makes me think of my friends and family. the many different faces of women and the something that is in all of them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUDIoN-_Hxs

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Tumbledown House

I have photographed this old house 3 or 4 times, many shots each time. It is near our house, but I go back there for more reasons than convenience. What happened? Why is this house so dramatically falling down? Then again, why is it still standing and not razed? When is ruined ruined? When is old and crumbling ruin and when is it beauty?

This house could tell many lovely stories of families, seasons, events, challenges, and victories. Or, maybe it could only tell of neglect and loneliness. The tales it tells are as varied as the viewers, as they are in our eyes and through our personal filters. What does this house say to you? What stories do you hear?

Perhaps tales of hardship, hard work, and the hard times and hard wind that did it in.

Perhaps tales of bustling farm life, many children, many meals, and the saddness on being left after the storm.

Perhaps of a hardy couple's first home and their hard work on this sparse prairie farm land.

Daydreams, memories, stories that are really our own - or, just an old house...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Friends

I didn't have many friends as a child or youth. I didn't know how to be a friend. My best friend in High school was killed in a stupid plane crash. I still miss her. Then, fortunately I met a wonderful friend, I say a sister, in my 40's. We are remarkably close. One thing I have learned from her, among many things, is to take good care of friendships. She carefully tends her friendships and faithfully contacts and keeps up with each . I've never known another who is as diligent and caring about relationships as she is. And, as a result, she has friends all over the states and England, several from grade school.

As a mature adult, I've made new wonderful friends. Friends I can tell my troubles to. Friends who'll tell me theirs. We share interests, worries, laughs. I know I can count on them. I want to be friends always.

I count that as so so fortunate. for one who didn't know how to make friends, who waited to be befriended, I'm so happy to have good friends. Be a friend and cultivate your friendships. They are treasures we should store up on earth!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Notecards












I've been making notecards for fun. Right now I have them on Cafepress but I have ordered a printer that will print of a quality I can print and sell direct on ETSY. I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't wanted to sell anything home printed because ordinary inks won't last. The new printer uses archival chrome inks that with proper care will last 100-200 years, depending on the source one reads.

It's an EPSON R2400. I got the higher quality scanner too and it will scan negatives. That's another project. I have hundreds of black and white negatives that I can now digitize and print. I have one very special picture taken in central park in NYC the morning after the blizzard on '93. It was very hard to print in the darkroom so there is only one good copy. I hope to make a limited edition of it. It has been very popular and is probably the best shot I have.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to some new projects with the R2400. Anyone have one? It is the same as the R1800 with some extra black inks.

Warning- if you get gifts from me in the next year or two, it is likely to be monogram notecards or art prints!






Saturday, March 1, 2008

News and such

Saturday. I wanted a me-day. Greg was gone two nights this week on business and I was mom-tired. I planned to spend the day in my art rooms. Instead, I went back to bed. I wish I had spent the art time, but I did enjoying laying abed. I do have a lot of art stuff going - i have a new kiln. I'm test firing it now. Just touching the shelves and controls was calming and energizing at the same time. Now I really want to get throwing!



I also broke in a new storage device for my computer. I had built up a huge amount of files of photographs and multiple versions - 65gb. I've been saving the RAW files in case I learn to deal with them. So far all i can do is move the color curves around a bit. Photoshop has a lot of capability- more than do right now.



I'm liking the new digital SLR. Light weight, one lens for macro 35mm through 420mm. f-stops easy to change. I shoot aperture bias.



So, I have a big art space in the basement, a new kiln, a slab roller, a new camera, computer and storage sufficient to edit and store photos, oh, and a digital drawing program. I should be cranking out pieces right and left, right? I'm not. Well, not other than photographs. No collage, no pottery, no painting, no beading with the sterling I bought at the Houston bead show.



Why? It isn't just having twin 4yr old boys. I get time. My husband is great about taking them and giving me time. Is it depression or artist block or lack of images in my head? Am I not inspired - no, I am. I want to do. But, I sometimes think "omg, I'm not an artist! what was I thinking" Oh, well, enough pityme.



It was 50 degrees here today. Beautiful. We take our coats off when it gets above freezing, so this was a WARM day. I''m longing for Spring. I didn't do that so much in Houston where it is never really winter. Back to art, I think spring coming will be inspiring and motivating.



I've been playing with photo collage. I have one in the works, but will wait to post it. I need to let it stew a bit.



I'm discouraged about my ETSY shop. Several of us are discussing them(ETSY) making fine art a bigger priority and providing more art categories. That should help. I have really enjoyed discovering photographers through Etsy and Flickr. What wonderful work I have seen. One of my favorites lives near here in Lincoln and is interested in old buildings too. We exchange notes.



Greg read that old farm buildings are likely to be razed to reclaim farm land because crop prices are high. There are a lot of them here and I would really hate to lose them. I can see as I drive the county roads that over time owners have simply moved over and built a new building and left the old. Sometimes there are three generations of building.