Sunday, November 30, 2008

Post Turkey Post

Here I am on the last day of the Thanksgiving Weekend, relaxing. I can hear the husband out there moving fence while I'm sitting here, at the open windows watching the sun begin it's swan song for today. The temp is mild and everything is looking pretty fresh from the recent rains.

Turkey Day was delightful. My daughter hosted the whole tribe for a wonderful dinner and lots of fun. See her blog for some of the activity she put us to.

If you look back a bit you will see the bounty I received for my birthday. Well, lucky, lucky me, it continues. Look what showed up in my mail from Randi

This journal, like everything Randi, is so beautiful and tactile. I have several other things etc. that she has sent me, and left me when she moved away. I love them so I tend to use them as decorative pieces. This journal came with a strict admonishment to USE it. And so I will.

After all, who could resist painting and sewing and scribbling on pages like these? Thank you so much Randi. She knows I have a big place in my heart for her, just because of who she is and because she is the person who got me started on all of this altered and mixed media fun.

I do have an excuse for not starting on this baby yet. Several posts ago I shared a journal of security envelopes inspired by Mary Ann from Dispatch from LA.
I have been at work in this wonderful messy crackly thing.
It has an addition to it's cover. The flower was on a birthday card I received from another Mary Ann, a very special friend. What I love about this is the way each page becomes part of another because of all of the windows. Journaling is usually a planned activity for me. I have been struggling to be more spontaneous and this encourages me. It sits right on the desk, handy for doodling or random gluing of whatever scrap I discover in my hand. None of these pages are probably finished. They just keep evolving. But I thought I'd share a bit of where I'm going here. I find it very satisfying.

This left page has a clear pocket with the 1000 Journal Pages card in it. It is a fold over so it is like a little journal in a journal. Do you have any idea how much that tickles me? So odd, how we have these little 'things' that don't really have words to describe them, but that are such powerful parts of our inner works.
I have been including the waxed paper I use when I am painting in the pages of journals that I make. Another one of my favorite things.

Do you work in several journals at once? The orderly part of me wants to finish one before I start in another, but the want-it-all-want-it-now part of me loves jumping around.

This started out to be a page on which I cleaned up the last bits of paint left from another project in the altered book I'm also using. She has crazy lips and her hair looks like mine felt the day I did this. A nice space all ready for some words.
This next page stinks. No really, it smells. I was in one of the corrals with my granddaughter awhile back and she began picking olives (we have a literal forest of olive trees) and squeezing the juice onto tree trunks, rocks, fence posts and the like painting pictures. The color variations impressed me so I picked up a baggie full and decided to use them in a journal spread. This is particularly meaningful to me because there is evidence that they used to grow and cure a large quantity of olives here on the ranch.
While I had fun experimenting with all the different shades and just smearing this juice all over the pages, it wasn't so fun trying to get the color out of my finger nails! Then, a few days later I discovered the smell. I have some of those perfume samples that come in magazines and I've actually been planning to put them into some of my pages. This seems as good a time as any to do it.

I think I've bent your ear and strained your eyes long enough. I'll leave you with this fragment from the Journal of Jules Renard (see earlier post)..."To seize the fleeing idea by the scruff of the neck and rub it's nose on the paper."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Joy and Satisfaction

This has been an amazing week! The historic and momentous events that came to a climax last evening reminded me to sit for a moment in the gratitude I feel for simply being alive right now.

My birthday continued last evening when, as mentioned before, we headed to my favorite Thai place for dinner and MORE presents all wrapped in the love of the rest of my brood.

and these
were a gift from daughter #2 and Miss D. They came from laralewis

Because they know how much I love earrings, I got these from daughter #3

I love reading the blogs and always get inspired when I do. A few days back Mary Ann of Dispatch From LA showed us a journal she made from security envelopes and a padded mailer. For some reason that got into my head and I couldn't rest until I'd put one together.

It's all nice and fat and crinkely. Here is a peek at the pages. Can't wait to start pasting.

Like the song says, "there's gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny day."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Off To a Great Start

Birthdays are big business in our family and yesterday my family made sure mine was super. Go here to see my first surprise.

Then, the husband and I celebrated my birthday with my daughter, her husband and the Divine Miss O, and my son and daughter-in-law. My son-in-law, who is a fabulous cook, made his famous Chicken Parmigiana which was followed by a yummy carrot cake, courtesy of my son and his wife. Of course there were presents! My daughter gifted me with a subscription to "cloth paper scissors" and the perfect apron.
Also, a pair of leather earrings made to suit by my daughter-in-law.

Tonight, I'm off to my favorite Thai restaurant with my other two daughters and my other granddaughter, the Growing-up-so-fast Miss D. And still there is more! The husband and I have a date to go shopping for a new camera. I need the rest of the week just to count my blessings.

Last Thursday, I practiced more face painting. One of the eyes is totally messed up, but I'm going to leave it. Otherwise how will I ever be able to see my progress?

This one I tried to shade as if the light were coming pretty much straight on. I also felt a bit more fanciful, thus the color choices, very different for me. Except for sketching out the features, I went on automatic and just slapped the paint and layers on. A friend was creating with me and commented that she sees me differently when I am painting. More freedom in my whole self. Makes perfect sense since that's exactly how I feel when I'm having at it.
"Waste not, want not", my mother always said and this is what happened when I attempted to use up all of the paint left from the Blue Haired Goddess. Sharon, who knows a lot about painting faces, has got me hooked on using napkins in my art so I added one of my favorites. This page is just waiting for some words. Just like this one

was the first time I posted it to show off my new Indian wood blocks. Although the Sunday L.A. Times has gone all stingy in it's coverage of books, what is now called Arts and Books is still my favorite section. Two weeks ago, they reviewed The Journal of Jules Renard and I fell in love. Do you find yourself madly attracted to something, for reasons you cannot fathom, to the point of feeling that the information has come screaming through the entire Universe just so you would find it? No? Uh-oh. I assure you I'm relatively harmless. Yes? Ah, a fellow eccentric. Please read on. I immediately ordered the book, which explains the little note on the lady's dress, and can't believe I don't have it yet! In case you can't read the quotes, here are my new, favorite philosophies:

"It should not be thought that laziness is unproductive. Within it, you live intensely, like a hare listening. You swim in it as in water; and are brushed by the grasses of self-reproach."

"Every time I want to settle down to work, literature gets between."

"Five o'clock in the evening. Silent, slow struggle between shadow and sun. Shadow gains ground. The trees have it up their waists, their crests still in the light. At the top of the field, the oxen dazzling with whiteness."

I love alliteration. Just ask the people in my writing group! I'd never heard of Jules Renard before that Sunday. Anyone familiar with him? I also like the idea that maybe, someday, someone will be going through my things and find this journal page of mine and will follow the clue to find the book in my library (which, at current rate of expansion will be HUGE). A bit of immortality for Jules and me. See what happens when I take my mind off leash?

The miracle I referenced in a previous post seems to be still in progress, so all things considered, I'm having a bountiful week. And my wish, for you my friends, is that you experience the same.