Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The simple joys of our little valley

How wonderful it is to be home again in the little valley I call home, nestled between the rugged Cascade range and the waters of the blue Pacific. A place so wonderful the earth seems to burst forth with joy.

A short walk through the pasture behind my home, down the lane to marvel over the flowers was a sweet hour of wonder this afternoon. Caesar, my faithful beagle buddy, drowsed gently in the sunshine waiting while I snapped photo after photo of poppies and lupines, peonies and campanula and the ever-present bumblebees, their pollen sacs laden with gold. These snapshots will be fodder for the creative mill, inspiration that will turn up in my images.

I take a photo of the poppies today and next week or next year they will emerge as silhouettes that might breeze across wallpaper or blossom on a sympathy card. I finally dragged myself away from the waving leaves and enchanting blooms, back to the studio where the scissors and pots of glue waited, surrounded by inks and glitters and stacks of paper just waiting to be cut.

Home to check email and there was a message so complimentary I blushed. Turned beet red. Laughed with delight and disbelief.

Do you ever marvel at the turns your life has taken? Today I am counting my blessings and finding them beyond number. My cup overflows.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Loving your job

It's a delicious thing to love one's job. To get up in the morning eager to get to work, to go to bed at night with a sigh of satisfaction. Recently in New York, I experienced again the pleasure of art that can be created out of a pocket... just a little pair of scissors, a sliver of paper... snip, snip, snip and you're on the way to another tiny wonder.

Between visits with friends old and new I couldn't resist slipping my hand into a pocket and drawing out those friendly bits of paper. Here a snip, there a snip, savoring the blessing of a delightful job.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Surtex was so wonderful...

What fun it's been to see so many old friends and make new ones!

New York City is the intersection of the world. This week in New York has been a marvel. Rocketing to the top of Rockefeller Center for dinner, a wonderful evening with friends in the Rainbow Room. Being humbled by the recognition of my work and left breathless at opportunities that seemed impossible only a few short years ago. Sharing laughs with other artists like Barb and Susan in the picture.

Sometimes life just leaves you marvelling. I'm practically speechless... but because I'm me, that doesn't last long! I am already humming "New York, New York" and planning the next trip to Surtex!

If you missed me at Surtex, I'd love to meet next month at Licensing Show in New York. Email or phone to set a meeting time as I won't be in a booth, just walking the show and meeting by appointment.

Hum along now... "Here's to you, New York, New York!"

Monday, May 14, 2007

Those beautiful hummingbirds

This afternoon I wandered by to see how the baby hummingbirds were coming along.

What a marvel they are! The female posed daintily, as you can see. She hovered by my ear, sat on the handle of the basket I was carrying, and even stuck out her tongue at a gnat that flew past. Who even knew hummingbirds had long, slender tongues, silvery as the mercury in a thermometer and slim as a horsehair?

These are baby rufous hummingbirds, and hints of ruby and emerald are beginning to shine on their feathers. They are not a bit shy, zooming about our heads and chirping shrilly to let Steve and Katherine know it's time for another meal. When Steve brought out the syringe, the birds opened their beaks wide, as if he were their mother, and sat patiently until they were full and sleepy.

I spent most of the day cutting silhouettes of hummingbirds. Can you tell? I am enchanted by the little birds.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Small Miracles

The phone rang this morning while I was working away at a new composition, alive with hummingbirds and morning glories.

Katherine, a basket weaver who lives just down the road, invited me to walk over and see a treasure in her garden.

Steve and Katherine's barn has been home to a family of hummingbirds for the last seven years. This year, when the eggs were newly hatched, the mother was killed, and my neighbors tucked the babies, nest and all, into one of Katherine's finely crafted baskets and dashed to a wildlife preserve, where the tiny birds were coddled.

Yesterday, the fledglings returned, and now the basket sways from a branch just below the farmhouse window.

Steve was feeding one of the birds when I arrived, using a small syringe full of liquid that the tiny hummer sipped like it was a flower. Not shy at all, since she's used to being hand fed, the gentle creature lingered on the edge of the basket and flitted around the base of a tree, grabbing gnats with the slender bill while she flew by. I could hardly snap the photos fast enough. What an amazing opportunity!

The experience is all the more wondrous to me because those thin little beaks and flashing wings are being cut into paper this very afternoon. A small miracle in my everyday life.

Thank you, Katherine, for sharing the joy.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bringing the garden indoors

It's May and the garden just beyond the studio windows is tempting me with all the joys of springtime. The lilacs are so sweet that even when I am not looking, they lure me with their perfume. I finally couldn't resist and brought armloads into the house yesterday.

Deadlines are crushing lately but I am so lucky! I can take my work outdoors and sit under the trellis with my scissors and paper, and snip away while the bees wander through the lilacs, linger on the honeysuckle and buzz past me, sitting quietly and gathering inspiration for the next project while I finish the one that's due this afternoon.