Monday, February 28, 2011

woman with pansies


Who can forget the feeling of flying when riding a bicycle down a hill. You work so hard to get to the top, then with a rush of wind and a thrill of exhiliration you scream toward the bottom, and it's all over so fast.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Here she is, just waiting to be printed on fabric and stitched to your cq block. If you want a high resolution file, just say so in the comments below and tell me your email address so that I can send it on its way to you.

The image of the woman is from Divas d'Este Victorian Women Collection. De and Dawn, the Divas, have wonderful collections of all kinds of images, on cd and reasonably priced.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I love the process of making these journal pages but I am getting bored with the format. It's much more fun to do this work if I can share it with others. Starting tomorrow, I'll be offering some different sizes of high res images -- cigarette silk, atc, and post card -- that can be downloaded and printed. I am taking requests. If you have a theme, a particular (non-copyrighted) image, or just an idea of the colors you want, let me know in the comments section and I'll see what I can come up with.

For now, I am limiting this to the first ten people who reply. I don't think it will happen, but I don't want to promise more than I can deliver.

So, what'll it be? Your name, a lovely geisha or Victorian woman, maybe your kitty or your dog? (You supply the pet images, of course, I'll make the collage.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Another "secret" journal page made in photoshop. The words are obscured by a partial image of a painting that I did, combined with a photo of a rainy day in in my backyard. The hot red painting and the cool green backyard worked together somehow, one of those happy accidents.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

a kinder, gentler way of cleaning

This morning I walked by my laundry room shelves for maybe the 10,000th time. For the first time, though, the load of toxic chemicals on the shelves caught my attention. There were obvious nasty things like chlorine bleach, and there were less obvious, nevertheless, nasty substances. It occurred to me that this is something I have some control over. I can't control the toxic Tea Partiers, but I can darn well determine what I am exposed to in my own home. (At least for now; who knows what the Repukelicans will get up to next.) Enough politics! Sorry!

Here are the before and after photos of the shelves:

I am so inspired that I believe I might make up that recipe in Mother Earth News for an entire year's supply of laundry soap.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

intellectual geisha

The image of this woman is one of my favorites. Something about her seems schoolmarmish, the glasses I suppose. And the bun on top of her head. The crane is her daydream as she sits, perhaps, facing a roomful of noisy children. Maybe she wishes she could fly above the earth in silence.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

frou frou birthday banner

In contrast to my brother's wild and crazy birthday image my sister sent a pink birthday banner. She wonders if either she or my brother is adopted. :)
She makes beautiful things from paper. The banner's flags are about 1" square and strung on tiny pink satin ribbon. The banner was wrapped around the pink card and it was held in the pink envelope. The little white heart has a birthday greeting stamped on it. The whole thing is very girly and pretty. I keep telling her she should open an etsy shop. 
My husband is making me a gift which is not finished, my son did not even remember that it was my birthday, and I am grateful to my two siblings for making it a special day with their very cool remembrances. A Junk Yard, for lack of a better word fiend, and a frou frou girl gift. I'll be smiling about this for a long time after my birthday has passed.

(Oh, I am also enjoying the book, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, that came along with the banner.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

on the road again

My 22 year old son is leaving for Chile in the morning. He is familiar with travel in other countries and I know that he will do fine, but if you are a mother, you understand that letting go is really, really hard. One of my favorite photos of him was taken about 4 years ago at DFW while waiting for a flight to Mexico. It was one of the first times I could see him as an adult, which is sort of a shocking experience for parents, I think. At least it was for me. I love his intent look as he sits reading while waiting to board the plane.

The photo is four years old and he has since, of course, become a man. He planned this entire Chile trip by himself and has lined up work on organic farms. He has even rebuilt his mountain bike so it will be suitable for the terrain where he is going. He wants to become fluent in Spanish and learn more about sustainable living. I am proud of him.

My feelings about him and his departure are tucked away on a barely visible layer of this image. I have said what I needed to say, both on my journal page and to him in a phone call earlier today.

It all seems so normal and a growth opportunity for him and blah blah blah. But I am his mom, and my chick has hopped further out of the nest than ever before, so I am allowed to cluck a little.

brotherly birthday wishes

My brother and I don't have an easy relationship. I love him dearly, I am sure he loves me, but somehow we manage to stay sort of crossways with each other. It doesn't help that I am a slightly crazy bossy big sister or that we own a business together. So, you can imagine that a birthday email from him was very much appreciated. The image below is what he sent along with happy birthday wishes. I laughed out loud when I saw it. I think it is a hilarious image, especially since he is in his late 50's and I am, as of this b-day, gulp, 65. It's the kind of humor we would have appreciated at a much younger age when our relationship was much simpler. I remembered once again, how funny and smart and cool he is. I wish we could unring the ball and go back to those days when we laughed together and just had fun.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


For the last several months I have been depressed. Clinically depressed. It's not pretty. The Cymbalta commercials say that depression hurts. I can confirm that. The only reason I have not been hospitalized is that I don't have to work and I have a husband who is the most encouraging, loving, patient, kind man in the galaxy.

I wish I could say something original about clinical depression. Something that would lift me right out of it. Something that would replace sadness and numbness with joy and creativity. Something that would give me back control of my life. It would be a short statement that would simply change my brain chemistry, because different brain chemistry is what I need. Everything I do to cope with depression is hard, hard work meant to compensate for having been dealt really crappy brain genes. (If I knew what to say, I would share it!) Barring magic words, I have to come up with a plan for getting better because what I am doing now is suicidal.

I know that I should eat right, get the right amount of sleep, exercise, take my meds, meditate, connect with other people, do something creative every day, and so on. Having the energy to even make a stab at it is another story. Most days I don't even get dressed, much less comb my hair and put on makeup.

Something I have learned about myself is that I feel much better in orderly, clean surroundings. The rub is that it's sometimes impossible for me to make the effort to clean and organize my living space. The rest of the time it's just very, very difficult. When I barely have the mental or physical energy to take a shower, I probably won't scrub down the shower stall. When I sleep too much because even the thought of getting out of bed is overwhelming, I probably won't make the bed when I do drag myself out.

One of my unhealthy tactics to avoid the pain of depression is to focus on my computer for hours at a time, days at a time. It has started to feel like an addiction. Uh, make that "it is an addiction". I get up in the a.m. and make a cup of tea, then it's straight to the computer. Sometimes it's all I do all day, which means that I am not contributing to clean, orderly surroundings, making healthy food, making art, or exercising. It's utterly self-defeating. I don't feel well because I don't do the things I need to take care of myself, and I don't do these things because I don't feel well. Bummer. I don't want to give it up, but if I don't give it up I am not going to get better. As a solution, I have decided that I have to earn computer time by doing what I need to do to live my life. 45 minutes of doing what I need to do earns 15 minutes of computer time during the day. If I stick to it, I get a couple of hours on the computer in the evening. I'll just have to see how this works.

So What Am I Going to Do About the Depression?

The only way I know out of this black hole is this: baby steps. Yep, just do one little thing at a time. Establish routines, build good habits, keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. If I vow to clean out every closet in the house today, I will assuredly crash and burn. I can probably manage to clean out a shelf in one closet, realistically. Maybe that will feel so good I'll put some dishes in the dishwasher. If I can let that be enough, that one shelf, and give myself credit for progress, I think I can find my way back to my life. Slowly but surely, I can plod back to that place where joy is my state of mind. And then I will fly!

If you read this far, I am amazed. But if you did, and you relate to what I am talking about, please leave a comment. We are all in this together!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Birthday card to myself. How could I not be happy while looking at those colors?