Stuff I have / Stuff I create

As I begin to move my studio, I am overwhelmed with all the stuff I’ve collected. Three years here and the shelves are bulging. Some items are overage from various client projects. Often it’s cheaper to purchase 100 boxes wholesale even if I only need 60 . . . and who knows, there might be a future invitation that needs that exact box.

Art materials / media come in so many forms and inspiration arrives from various sources – books, photos, found objects and more. Even the juxtaposition of items on a shelf can trigger a new idea. Books arranged by color and size (courtesy of  my niece Hanna) create interesting visual patterns.

Paper – I LOVE it. It’s truly amazing what artisans worldwide are creating. The dotted magenta paper’s waxy smell reminds me of Indonesian batik fabric.

My daughter’s hand imprint is stitched on a pin cushion. This late 19th century Japanese sewing box is a new treasure and knowing that another woman used it for her supplies makes me feel connected to the past.

Tape guns, e-xacto knives, calculators, colored pencils, ink jet printers and scissors – couldn’t do my work without them!

Another addiction – ribbon – used in custom jobs and my own artwork.

Natural elements, papers, ribbons and studio ephemera come together in finished gifts for a client’s party.

These paper prayer flags were created using leftovers from several jobs. The calligraphy scraps were salvaged from a friend’s trash! Once again the prompt from 52 photos project – Elements – is the inspiration for this post.

P.S.  I will be having a studio sale in mid September . . . my trash can become your treasure! Stay tuned . . .

Walking to the end and back

The beach at Manzanita is wide and flat. Walk north and you run into Neahkahnie Mountain – a formidable hulk of columnar basalt. Walk south and you’ll go for miles, all the way to jetty. This past Saturday morning I chose north.

The air was warm, no wind to speak of . . .  and the water was crystal-clear.

The beginnings of a drift-wood beach house?

With the tide coming in I could only go so far.

So many rocks . . . I did bring one back for my soon-to-be studio pal, Leah, to cover with her lovely felt.

The receding waves’ frothy bubbles made great polka-dot shadows in the shallows.

Turning around and going home.

Everything’s connected . . . one way or another

An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, 

regardless of time, place, or circumstances. 

The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.

Ancient Chinese Proverb

August is generally a slow month work-wise. Clients intent on soaking up the sun don’t require my invitation design services and I, too, have the opportunity to enjoy the lazy summer days . . .

. . . not so much this August – I’ve been busy as a bird dog. One job – designing invites for a dinner party is particularly challenging – I can’t mention either the honoree’s age or the fact that it’s a birthday celebration. Fortunately the restaurant’s decor affords plenty of inspiration and my collections of Chinese trinkets, papers and ephemera are finally being put to good use.

On The Street is this weeks 52 Photos Project prompt and these photos taken last October in San Francisco not only fit the bill, they also connect to my “Chinese” theme. As this was my first trip to Chinatown, hours could have been spent strolling the streets and snapping pix. My sweet traveling companions, while indulging this photo frenzy for awhile, had other plans, so a return trip is in my future . . . what a delightful destiny!

Holding on to each precious moment

“It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another. I didn’t realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed!” . . . “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it–every, every minute?”

This week’s 52 Photos Project prompt, A Moment in Life, called to mind Emily Webb’s final speech in Thorton Wilder’s classic play, Our Town. Sharing favorite photos of those nearest and dearest to me and remembering these moments allows me to hold tight to each and every one!

Biking with my sweet husband Robert is always a treat. Biking on a stunningly beautiful Seattle day . . . even more so!

My wonderful nieces Majken and Hanna and fabulous daughter Hattie cavorting in their new pjs (which they’ve received every Christmas eve for the past 20 years). 2011’s ensemble featured owls – an homage to Harry Potter – one of their favorite books. Trowser, the cousin’s Irish Terrier was not so thrilled.

My gal pals, Jeanette and Robin, cooling off in a North Carolina river during our cross-country drive.

My amazing brother, and travel buddy, J.S. enjoying the sun, good wine and more in Sonoma.

Hattie and Miss Winnie Cooper goofing in the kitchen.

Henry, our newest family member is a rescue kitten from Kitty Harbor.

Rose, a wily, endearing Irish Terrier, while no longer with us, occupies a warm spot in my heart.

Todays’s Iphone pix from Ravenna Gardens. Moments to hold in my mind (and photo stream) for sure.

August: a month full of gifts

In my family birthdays are an excuse for extended celebrations. We don’t just honor the “birth” day – we give the entire month to the birthday girl or boy. August is my birthday month (and my brother’s as well) so we’re in the throes of a “wild birthday rumpus.”

These lovely earrings are from my sister-in-law. As a collector of hands, in all shapes and forms, they are the perfect gift for me!

Another earring pix – coupled with a favorite postcard (given to me by an old friend) of Christo and Jean-Claude’s “Running Fence.” I think that all of their thought-provoking installations are visual gifts.

Beach birthday celebrations are the best. This past Saturday’s stunning weather capped off several days of delicious food, great bike rides and good times with family and friends.

August is full of gifts, both received and given. Making homemade blackberry and raspberry jam is an easy way to capture summer in a jar. Having enough to share with my pals is the perfect way to celebrate my wonderful birthday month!

Delicate, soft, ethereal, fragile and subtle

It’s week 15 of the 52 Photos Project and the prompt is delicate. Soft, ethereal, fragile or subtle are other options. Good words to transform into photographs. The delicate pattern of my mom’s wedding china (Avon by Wedgewood) evokes memories of special occasion dinners with grandparents and family friends. However, these Bianca lilies are not subtle, their scent envelopes the house with a spicy, sweet fragrance and the white flowers make quite a statement.

Ethereal perfectly describes this wonderful sculpture at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. The hardness of the bronze and the softness of the dress so captivated me that I forgot to write down the artist’s name.

Miss Winnie Cooper is most definitely soft and leaping delicately on to and off of the mantle brings her great joy.

I think that true blue flowers are always ethereal. These morning glories seem almost too perfect to be real.

My garden is home to several lacecap hydrangeas and while they appear very fragile, these blossoms are quite hardy.

I often think of this poignant saying, “Remember me when this you see, or I will be forgotten,” when I purchase abandoned photographs and letters at flea markets and garage sales. A not-so-subtle yet ethereal phrase that I embroidered on soft linen.