Friday, December 30, 2016

Dirty Little Secrets

Dear Blog,
I am sorry to have neglected you all these weeks and months like that one grape which falls out of the bag and rots in the corner of the drawer. I see you often, but sort of just grab what I need and go. So today I am writing to apologize for abandoning you since I have discovered all these dirty little secrets.

DLS #1 – Begin prolific is a bad thing. It was supposed to be a good thing. I am learning it would have been better to put down the brushes and scissors, and picked up more books. Reading only fills up the brain, not the basement.

DLS #2 – Being prolific is dangerous to one’s health. You see, all these created things have to be put into a cyber gallery space that requires hours and hours of typing. Hours and hours of typing leads to carpel tunnel pain. Pain keeps one away from typing so you poor blog site, get the short end of the straw. I know you will always be there on the screen, waiting patiently for me to return, but those cyber surfers are short on attention and need constant feeding.

DLS #3 – I really should write down all the great thoughts I have for blog ideas that happen to evolve during the night, but I’m just not that dedicated. It would mean waking the cat who then starts to howl thinking it is feeding time. Then the bladder kicks in because it hears the cat howling and thinks great, gotta go…now. So I don’t write ideas down for you blog, I just vow to remember them.

DLS #4 – I can’t remember much anymore. If I don’t write it down, I forget. Of course I also forget where I put the paper I wrote it down on. Let’s just blame this one on the cat again and move forward.

DLS #5 – People don’t really shop on line unless it is with a big company. Maybe they can’t find us little people. Maybe they don’t realize that I refuse (so far) to spend $ “boosting” posts. Maybe they don’t realize that I have yet to figure out Instagram which supposedly is essential to selling. I heard that about Pinterest. My wrist hurts just thinking about it. If thinking starts to hurt, I won’t be able to read, so I guess I’d have to go make more stuff. I think Catch 22 needs an upgrade….more like Catch 82….

DLS #6 – Okay, once one gets all their pictures taken, edited and uploaded without annoying backgrounds and distracting bodies (per trend), one comes to find out that now the pictures are supposed to be with people wearing stuff and in an environment. Really? So now I have to find people willing to pose and then do all that wrist action going through the process of data input again? Can I sue myself for workman’s comp?

DLS #7 – We live in a mobile world dear blog. Well you don’t. You just sit here in your blue W icon waiting for me to feed you words. But people do. Those same people who are supposed to be ordering merchandise from their mobile devices and wanting it shipped. I’m cool with that. I’ll ship you whatever you want to buy, but will you be someplace stationary long enough to get it? I can envision those drones chasing somebody down the street trying to drop off their package…like a scene from a Woody Allen movie.

DLS #8 – Dear blog, I hate to hurt your feelings but nobody reads you anymore. Not since I stopped talking about other people’s art. Plastic Jesus remains a big hit, but nothing else really interests anybody. It’s you and me Snarky. Maybe I should do fake review of shows that should have existed but didn’t. If it works for the Ruskies it should work for me right? This has potential……

DLS #9 – Bloggy, I did avoid you as well because of this tumultuous year. You are supposed to be a place for opinions and comment, but with all the vile rhetoric going around this year, I felt it best to lay low and not wake the sleeping cat.  Keep the claws in the paws, keep the tail low and go, ride the fence and hope everybody calms down…..

DLS #10 – I will put forth promises to you that I will write more. Don’t believe me. Staying home again is rather nice. The world is full of crazy drivers and distracted people so why should I venture out and write about a show that nobody will ever read when I could be sitting on my patio or walking the woods? Hell, I’m old enough to move to the Villages, shop on Senior Citizen’s discount day at many local retailers, and give young hooligans a stink eye without worrying about the resulting wrinkles. I even look forward to watching Hogan’s Heroes every night just so I can sing the theme song (yes, it has real words!)

DLS #11 - There are many more dirty little secrets about this online shopping and selling biz that I wish I knew then but I do know now…. However, if kids can learn common core math, then I can figure out cyber clouds. So Bloggy, while you wait for me to come back again, don’t feel like I have abandoned you. There are so many cool and funny things to write about, but between you and me lies an ornery cat.  

That’s about it for now Snarky blog. Thanks for listening (or recording I guess). See you soon (really, I’ll try harder). Love, me. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Circling the Airport

No, not literally. That phrase best captures where I am right now (for the whole 5 of you wondering). With the closing of a brick and mortar and a return to the home studio process, something happened. I think I retired (for now anyway)…. from the career which defined “me”.

In October, I was presented with the Alumni Gallery of Achievement (Hall of Fame if you will) Award from my high school. 5 of us were inducted. On stage, giving a speech, doing a recorded message for the in school TV station (sure a long way from the nerdy AV guy who hid in a dark room and knew how to magically work the film machine), engraved image on the wall for perpetuity, intro at the homecoming game…all those bells and whistles one would expect for being honored to have been busy and very successful for 35 years in a chosen profession. It was great….but it felt like an ending. Not a bad thing, but like an “okay, you can put the brushes down now.”

Couple that with the timing of empty nesting 6 years after the fact…..I was gone before the kids were….and it just feels weird. Now don’t go thinking I am going to go back to serving on committees and boards and special events and all that time absorbing activity…I am rather enjoying the emptiness.

But nature abhors a vacuum so I hear and down time has never suited me. Now I sew stuff, or rip it up and remake it, or cut things apart, try something new and may ending tossing in the dumpster. It is like creating a painting but without the cleanup. Some may think that rearranging garments is not as “impressive” or “worthy” as creating something on canvas.  Perhaps. But at least I don’t have canvases stacking up along the walls waiting to be disposed of by my kids if nobody wants them. Someday they can just drive a van to the local clothing donation center and say hasta la vista baby with no guilt attached.

Textiles (fancy word for garments and clothes so I sound more impressive) still require an understanding of line, shape, color, texture and space….especially when one never uses a pattern or guide. The elements of design still exist, only in a different form.  I am still working with my hands…more so now than ever before. My brushes were always between me and the surface. Now I am in direct contact with the media…I can feel each stitch and how the fibers are reacting. The colors, especially in denim, have subtle variations that can affect the look of a piece on the human body. Textiles have different weights to them just as watercolors are different than acrylics. The only downside is the number of pins and needles I lose on the floor, in the carpets, on the chair cushions……and the times I stick myself with various sharp objects. Sewing is far bloodier than painting!

Another reason I am circling is personal and related to family. I need to be ready to “go” at any time should someone older or younger than me need help. It is simple to turn off the machine and walk out the door. No clean up. Sometimes life is a holding pattern and other times we can land safely and disembark. My extended vacation downtown is over and I am back on a plane to a new adventure. No idea how long the flight will be, where it will take me or what lies ahead, but there are plenty of drinks and snacks on board and I have a window seat! Will I paint again? Absolutely, I miss it already and ideas are building up, but now is not the time. My supplies are in the overhead bin and I can’t get to them just yet. You will know when I land….and you can bet I’ll be well dressed. Until then, please check out the online shopping site at and the associated FB page Hoard Couture Original Denim. The Fine Art America merchandise and print site will be have new (old works) added to the inventory as well over the next several weeks. Plus I have to learn Pinterest, Snapchat and who knows what else…so knick knack patty wack give this old dog a bone and let’s learn some new tricks!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

In the Spirit of Peace

Normally I would not post anything too religious or political but I have to share this because it really touched me last night. I attended the Walsh University Celebration of Lessons and Carols, a concert by the Walsh University Chorale and Chamber Singers of which someone special to me is a member of the chamber group. Two hours of music and verse, old standbys and some bring down the house southern gospel. Impressive indeed.

One hymn however was unknown to me and the text was included for the audience to sing along. It was introduced by the conductor, Britt Cooper, as piece he selected on purpose to address the tensions that have faced our country since the election last month. His explanation was longer than that of course but no need to elaborate here. You will understand when you read the words below. Sorry I cannot provide a musical reference as to the tune itself so think of it as poetry and search your hymnals or the internet for further details. Also, if you so desire, substitute “little child” for a deity or symbol of your own faith but I believe the context and intent will remain the same.  Enjoy in the spirit of peace and fellowship.

We Wait the Peaceful Kingdom
(Kathleen Moore / Hal Hopson)

We wait the peaceful kingdom, when wolf and lamb shall lie
In gentleness and friendship without a fear or sigh,
When lion shall be grazing, when snake shall never strike;
A little child shall lead us both strong and weak alike.

Where is the peaceful kingdom? When will this new day start?
We long for peace and comfort to reign within each heart.
Yet not in our lives only, nor simply in our home:
We pray that all creation will one day find shalom.

When wars of desolation and hate come to an end,
When nation meets with nation and calls the other “friend”,
Still in peace in all its fullness will only have begun:
“shalom” for all creation begins with justice done.

That little child shall lead us to walk the chosen way,
To share the peaceful kingdom, to greet God’s newborn day.
The child born in a stable is sent to break our chains,
To bring through word and table the day when justice reigns.