Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm Here

"I'm Here" Journal Page, 1/29-1/30/11. Water-soluble crayon and marker.
Lately I've been feeling rather lonely and adrift. Although I have many online friends and am happy to be part of the large online art community, I sometimes wish I had more friends locally. When you're unemployed, you tend to be rather isolated. Sometimes it seems as though everyone else is out there living their life, and I'm here at home, apart from it all.

I know I need to get out more, maybe volunteer somewhere. I spend too many hours in front of the computer, when I could be making art. I suppose I am not alone in that!

I've been staying busy with my online classes, and job hunting. The weather's been so cold I don't want to go out of doors. I suppose that this is where I am right now, and it's OK, and I can accept it.

But a good laugh with a good friend would be a good thing right about now, I think.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Busy, busy!

Hello, everyone!

It's been a busy week for me, but I am not complaining. I have been steeped in some crafty goodness and online workshops.

On and off since the fall, I've been working on a Remains of the Day journal. As the funny and talented Mary Ann Moss explains, it's a terrific way to use those little bits of paper, ribbon, fabric (really, anything) that you've had hanging around for ages. I have a tendency to hoard items, thinking they are too precious to use. Such as vintage ledger paper, transparencies, and things I've gotten in swaps. This class encourages you to just grab 'em and sew 'em down! And not to think too much about it. Which is good for me, because often when I work, I overthink what I am putting onto a journal page or a collage. I'm working intuitively on this, and I'm liking it very much--and I also like the results!

I also signed up for Lesley Venable's Altered Cuff Class, a link to which can be found on her blog, here. I first met Lesley at Art Is... in Connecticut two years ago, then sat next to her in a class at Art & Soul Hampton in 2009. She and her husband, Tom (a/k/a Mr. Lesley) are very sweet and fun to hang out with. I had the pleasure of being in Lesley's Altered Vintage Photo Album class at 2010's Art Is retreat in Danbury, Conn., where I was introduced to her Brother Project Runway sewing machine--leading to my getting a Brother CS600i machine for Christmas this year, with all the fancy stitches! Woot! Anyway...I digress. I am working on my first fabric cuff and promise to post photos of it soon. Like the Remains of the Day journal, it's a great way to use up scraps and pieces of your fabric stash.

And then I decided to take Gail Schmidt's Fabric and Lace Composition Journal class. Yes, I'm in a fabric-y mood. I love lace and ribbon and pretty fabrics, and am hoping to start an Etsy shop sometime soon. I'd like to learn to make journals as well as alter existing ones. So far I am enjoying the class immensely, and Gail is an excellent teacher. She takes you through the process of choosing fabrics, preparing the journal, printing on fabric and other steps patiently and thoroughly. She is also one very nice lady! Gail designed my blog banner for me at a very reasonable price, so if you're in the market for a blog banner, Etsy banner or business cards, drop her a line!

I will be posting photos of all these projects as soon as I can, either here or on my Flickr page. In the meantime, here are some closeups of journal pages I did a while ago. Hope you like them!

Stay well and stay warm!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When A Pet Dies

This is a photo of our late hairless rat, Pinky. He passed away in October 2010, admidst many tears from my husband and me.

Pinky lived longer than a hairless rat is supposed to. He was two years old, as opposed to the expected 18 months. Still, it was very hard to let him go.

Today, I learned that an art friend lost her beloved pet cat. Then, I read a sad post by Katherine at Apifera Farm about the passing of Gertie, one of her pygmy goats. Not long ago, Katherine lost Georgie, another pygmy goat. Both posts brought tears to my eyes. Whenever I read about someone losing a pet, I cry. I guess I am just a softie at heart.

To my husband and me, animals are not just animals--they are family members. Since I was a child, I have believed animals go to heaven, where they are looked after by St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. As an adult, I learned about the Rainbow Bridge. I believe someday we will be reunited with our animal companions, as well as those people whom we were privileged to know in life.

Blessings and comfort to those who have lost beloved animal family members.

Peace to you all.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 
Author unknown...