Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Potluck with the neighbors

On Sunday afternoon, after "Trick or Treat" ended, Paul and I went over to Jim and Cathy's to celebrate 2 other neighbors birthdays. Marci baked a fabulous cake....from scratch. Yellow cake with raspberry cream filling and French buttercream frosting. Yum!

This is Gust, one of the birthdays we celebrated. He and his wife are very fun, they have 4 kids that are so adorable.

Here's Joey (I mean James Bond) he is 4, what a great kid. Isn't he the cutest?

Our hosts Jim and Cathy. There was quite a houseful of family and neighbors. We live in a great little neighborhood. It's been such a kick to meet new neighbors and spend time getting to know them.
Marci (on the left) and Liz (Gust's wife). Every Saturday, Marci and I go out for breakfast and go grocery shopping and do our errands. She is the sister I never had. We have soooo much fun together. We like the same music, same colors, same just about everything. Many times we even say the same thing at the same time....funny!

Quite the spread! Cathy made a vat of beef stew, we all brought something for the potluck.
Cheesy mashed potatoes, fruit salad, coleslaw, fruit fluff, biscuits, pumpkin bars. We were all stuffed!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting your hands in it

Not long ago, I worked for Arnold Grummer's Papermaking. It was the best job I ever had. I did mostly administrative work there, but every now and again I was able to do creative work. I remember doing a demo at a store and a gal stopped by my table to watch. She was a graphic arts student, and everything she did was on the computer. She said she missed the tactile experience of creating art. She bought a papermaking kit so she could get her hands into making art again. That's why I love working with plaster. The process of sculpting texture with my hands on a surface is so enjoyable. I like having the push/pull of making something very smooth or having rich, nubbly texture, watching a piece evolve with layers of paint and glaze. Being up to my elbows in paint, stain, plaster....whatever. Getting totally and completely lost in making art.
For me, there's nothing else like it, nothing else comes close. Your asignment for today, go get your hands into something to have that tactile experience. Go on, I'll wait right here.......

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wonderfully Wise

Last Friday night I had the opportunity to take a class with Judy Wise. The class was "Making Art a Business". It was a small group, in fact we were able to sit fireside at the Washington House Inn. So much great information in that 2 1/2 hours. I think we all felt very encouraged from what we learned. Judy put together handbooks, full of great information.
I have been one of Judy's blog stalkers for a long time, it was so nice to meet her and have a chance to talk with her. If only there were more time! She is the coolest! I wish I would've have been able to take her classes all weekend. Perhaps we can convince her to come back......!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Plaster is a blast to work with. I've tried some different things, like mixing up a batch and pouring it onto a wood substrate. After the plaster is dry, scratching calligraphy and designs onto the surface, then painting with acyrlics. I'll have to find that photo and post it.
Back in April, I took "Plaster Architecture" with Stephanie Lee at Valley Ridge Art Studio. She has done her homework and really knows her stuff. What a fantastic teacher! In class I made a geometric form and a sculpture to hang. I just finished this leaf, it's 18-20" long. Layers of plaster over a wire armature and many layers acrylic paint, the quote was written with a gel pen--the entire piece was sprayed with polyurethane. If you click on the photo, you'll see the rich texture of the plaster, it looks like an encaustic surface. Next I will experiment with wax on top of the plaster. Oh, the possibilities, I could keep myself pretty busy working out ideas, dang day job!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Last Saturday we took a drive up to beautiful Door County. It was the perfect day for a 3 hour drive (a 3 hour drive). The leaves are beginning to change~~splashes of red and orange and yellow~~just gorgeous. We went to Charlene's Gallery Ten in Gill's Rock, I wanted to meet her, see the gallery and show her the tiles she'll be exhibiting for me next year. I also took along some of the funky copper and snake skin pendants I've been making. The gallery is very cool. There's a spiral staircase that leads to 2 smaller rooms where there are solo exhibits.
We also stopped at Dovetail Gallery. Paul did some electrical work for a woman whose bestest friend owns the gallery. Kathy carves eggs and makes them into sculptures. We wanted to meet Kathy and see her gallery in the heart of Egg Harbor. Beautiful gallery! She will exhibit my calligraphic work next year. Have I mentioned how excited I am?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Aging parents

My mother (82) is getting out of the hospital today. She went in on Sunday night with shortness of breath. Way back when, she had TB, had a lung removed and lived in a sanitarium for almost 5 years. She lived through it when others thought she wouldn't. My grandmother even bought a plot for her, because she thought my mother wouldn't survive. My mother was the care giver to her husband (not my father) of 20 years. He had vascular dimentia. Symptoms just like Alzheimer's. When she could no longer take care of him, he went into a nursing home. She went to see him twice a day to feed him. When her brother was in a nursing home, she made sure he got what he needed. She is a very caring person. She was told last night that her lung is beginning to shut down. I can't even imagine what it feels like to not be able to breathe.
I envy people that have good relationships with their parents. My mother was never able to give me what I needed. I learned I couldn't trust her as she would pass on what I told her in confidence. I am quite sure I never gave her what she needed as a daughter. Our relationship is very surfacey. I would like it to be deeper and broader, but that's not the way it is. Time is running out. How do I spend the time with her that is remaining? I need to chip away at the wall I have put between us. I need to be there for her. I need to be with her for me too. I know this will not be easy, but it will be good and rich for both of us.