Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Perspective... it's a word we artists bandy about almost without thinking. Where are you as the viewer in relationship to the image? What changes in your picture when you take a different perspective? What would be the most effective perspective to convey your message? Thoughtful artists can spend hours considering this before they ever set brush to canvas or sledge to rock.

I've been pondering my own perspective on life lately. Having major surgery and taking some time off to recuperate gave me time to simply lay on the sofa and think.
I decided I need to change a few things, make adjustments, tweak my perspective on what really matters.

I decided to celebrate more, to live in the moment in a fuller sense than I've done until now, to savor the scents and tastes of the season. I want to laugh without self consciousness and cry without shame, not to care who sees me at either. I'm turning over a new leaf so to speak, and it feels so good. I'm relishing the joy of being thin again, feeling comfy in my clothes. Turning the electric heat pad on high to warm my tootsies when I climb into bed and savoring the pleasures of a steamy shower.

Perspective can be such a liberating thing, but only when you've got it right. It's great to enjoy the pleasures of life, but I'm also enjoying giving it away with a new fervor.

My husband & I wrote a check that was big enough to really sting the bank account and found that giving really is more fun than getting. I am learning that I do have the gift of being an honest encourager. And it's fun. Everywhere you look there's someone who needs a smile, a gentle word of hope, a whisper that says, "don't give up."

My surgery and recovery gave me time to adjust my perspective and it's been a good thing. Thank God for time away with him to get things straightened up a little bit where the lines had gotten just slightly blurry.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Running past autumn's miracles... and stopping

After dropping my package at Fed Ex today, I parked the car in the trail lot and zipped my windbreaker, ready for a run on the trails through the forest. This is always a challenge for me. It's one of my favorite places for the peculiar walk / run that is my daily exercise routine.

The problem is that there are so many fascinating diversions in the forest that it's hard to keep a fast pace. My eyes wander to the changing miracles. Today was no different than any other day, or shall I say it was delightfully different than it was only yesterday. The wonders I found then were not the same as those that caught my eye today.

Who can pass a sight like this pool without pausing to admire the trees and their lovely reflections, smooth as glass in spite of the wind? Or the tiny mystery of berries I can't identify?

Mosses and mushrooms, the last blackberries, a great blue heron rising in flight... Delights abounded at every turn. I ran along the path, stopped to admire, ran, stopped again, ran, stopped yet again.

By the time I returned to the van the sun was setting over the marshy bog on the eastern side of the woods. Tomorrow I will be snipping out cattails and herons. I am living with miracles and I can't help it. The amazement just kind of seeps out of me and into my work.

I am truly blessed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

3am inspiration

The small, rustling sounds of pencil on paper, the scratching you can hardly notice during the day is magnified in the moonlit silence at 3am. I anticipate this and roll over ever so gently, avoiding waking my incredibly patient husband whose snuffling breaths rhythmic. I wish I were sleeping soundly as he is.

But I'm laying here, wide awake, dreaming up new designs. I reach for the pencil and tablet I keep on the bedside table for moments like this, and hold my breath, hoping I can write ever so gently, and avoid waking Russell.

This is my time of inspiration and often my best ideas come in the middle of the night like this.

Whether it's nostalgic fashion for a mug with a pincushion tucked in or chrysanthemums on a lamp or leaping bunnies for cards, my dreams seem to be peppered with ideas and I am awakened with a flash of inspiration which just has to be recorded with a scratchy-sounding pencil on my wee little tablet, so the plan won't vanish when daylight comes.

In the morning, my husband will find my chicken scratching on stray sheets of paper littering the bedroom floor. He will smile and shake his head.

"My creative wife," he'll mutter, "She's even drawing in the dark." We creative types are definitely hard to understand sometimes.

For now I reach for the pencil and note "mums overall... vary scale... plum on vellum..." I just love those middle of the night ideas and the pencil and paper laying by a good book. How lovely to make your passion your job.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Looking at the world through amber glasses

Most women love shoes. I understand the attraction but for myself, give me a new pair of glasses anytime. Today I could not resist a pair of very artsy frames, marked down to 70% off, probably due to their funky color and unusual shape. Evidently I am the only one to find the rather bold amber yellow frames irresistible.

"Are you sure?" asked the girl in the shop. "They can't possibly match with much."

"Funky, definitely funky," my husband said. "Those glasses look like your most artistic self."

"Buy them," he advised.

And I did, the moment I checked the price tag and quickly figured those gorgeous yellow frames were an unbelievable $30. (The only thing sweeter than a great pair of glasses is a great pair of glasses at a bargain price.)

Just one hour later I walked out clad in those amazingly quirky eyeglasses, grinning like a fool.

You see, I am definitely not like everyone else.

I love eyeglasses that are a bit odd. I have my father's old 60's aluminum and black frames, small enough to fit my face just perfectly. I have an idea the next pair will be authentic vintage.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Russell hauled in an enormous basket of beautiful organic apples and pears from the garden this afternoon, and I took a break from mocking up product to peel, slice and put on the stove a generous batch of homemade cranberry applesauce.

Now the whole house is redolent with the perfume of simmering apples. Is there any more delicious smell on earth?

Back to work now, I sniff the air. I don't care that I look exactly like Caesar, our beagle, when he's hot on the trail of some mysterious smell in the garden. It simply smells too good to miss.

I don't think anyone anywhere has a sweeter life than mine, full of the twin satisfactions of creative challenge and the simple joys of home and family. So much to be thankful for this autumn afternoon.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A new baby in the studio!

Yes, it's true! There's a new baby in the studio. No diaper changes or burping, and though you will find me murmuring to it at 3am, this is the only photo I've taken of my new darling.

It's lovely having a new work tool and I'm enjoying getting to know its finer features. A confirmed Mac-aholic, I am pleased as punch with the latest member of the studio family and could not resist sharing.

I am resisting the urge to brag on all its fine points and nobody knows if it's a boy or a girl, but I'm definitely in love with my new Mac.