Monthly Archives: November 2005

Purple gold wonderland – another journal


My layout in Ally’s purple/gold/amber color journal
(Click to see larger view in separate window)

This was such a delightful little book! It was diminuitive in size, but what it lacked in size it made up for in thickness. All of the art on the pages was wonderful. I selected a marbled spread. The longer I stared at them, the more fairies emerged from the pages. Since I needed to incorporate a photo of Ally into the layout, I decided to do some storytelling around the images as well. This was the result.

Wild woman comes a-knocking…

I feel a quiet tension, when she makes her presence known. She’s been nudging me to read Pinkola-Estes’ “Women Who Run with the Wolves” again, saying that I still had much to learn. I’d gotten a hundred some-odd pages read and stalled. I don’t question her certainty; I know she is right. Perhaps this is the midlife crisis they mentioned in my youth, the one everyone spoke of with such dread. There is as much time behind me as there is left before me. A time to evaluate where I’ve been and where I’ve yet to go.

I had one of those days today. It started out with a lot of soul-searching about relationships, and escalated, before even getting to 7:30AM, into a “scene” with one of my co-workers. It wasn’t much of a scene, as scenes go, since she was doing most of the “scening” and in some strange, inexplicable way, it unfolded in a sort of alternate reality-I managed to insult her with my jocularity; my attempt to lighten the tension with comic relief was met with angry disdain; she felt ridiculed. First I apparently insulted her by inadvertently excluding her (after I’d just asked if I could get her something downstairs in the cafeteria-how dare I not know that she was joining us for the walk down?!) Not my intention, of course, and had she not been in a haze of self-pity and lack of proper measure of self-esteem, that would have been apparent to her, and the “look” I got would not have prompted me to explain why I had had the audacity to suggest that I pick something up for her… and I tried to chide her back into a better humour; didn’t work. As it was, what had already started off as one of those days went from bad to worst. So I shut up like a clam and spent the better part of the morning trying to keep my emotions in check, mostly due to my earlier ruminations about the direction my life was presently in, and not so much the “scene”, but that just added a final component. A bit of self-pity was joining in on my party, too.

Wild woman is telling me to run away so that I can find myself. Of course, being who I am, I am trying to figure out how best I can run away in spirit, without having to go anywhere. Maybe it’s time to hop on my bike again and get back “into” my body… and feel the saddle sore again, or lift some weights and feel the lactic acid burn. Maybe exercise will do the trick; at least for now. I’ve been angry at my body for ballooning and turning into this inflated mass that it’s become. It is time to gather it with love and come to terms with it; the excess is simply insulation… I know that on a visceral level.

And all this to say… some mellow with age, and come into their own, like a fine wine; others never ripen. They rot on the vine and fall off, their purpose unfulfilled or unknown… reaching a sour and bitter end. I hope that my life will ripen into the fruity richness of a good bottle of Sangiovese… and not sour (like others’ I’ve seen) into cider vinegar.

Ophelia completed – hibernation setting in


Ophelia in Laurie Zallek’s Aqua and Red journal
Mixed media

The days are shorter. Darkness decends upon this hemisphere. Instinctively I settle into my winter mode, wanting to do little more than rest and schlep around inside, and not do a whole lot. I want to read… and rest. And yet I have so much to do. Nothing much gets done.

I completed the Ophelia layout today. It photographs a bit differently than it looks, because of the reflective nature of the leafing. I have moved onto the next book, Ally’s purple, gold and amber. I’m a bit stymied about my layouts right now, but I’ll figure it out soon… I feel the muse lurking in the outer-reaches.

About the Ophelia layout… funny how some things just come in a flash of inspiration, and others I have to dig deeper for. This one came without much effort. The colors (aqua and red) immediately made me think of water and… something… and the water led to Ophelia and what she represents to me. An end of innocent or idealistic love. I suppose we all get to that place, sooner or later. Well… on to staring at the next layouts to see what they have to say.

I finally popped my contacts in this morning (they’re gas permeables, so I couldn’t leave them in for very long for the first time). I had them prescribed a year ago and they’ve been sitting in the cabinet. I just wasn’t up to putting them in and the struggle of getting used to them. I was bitching loudly this morning about how I hated my glasses and couldn’t see with them, so my son said “Why don’t you put your contacts in then?!” Usually I ignore the comment, but today I was frustrated enough that I got up and actually popped them in. Yikes… it’ll be a while before I get used to these. My eyes teared for the whole time they were in (less than an hour, I reckon) and it took me forEVER to take them out… at least until I figured out how easily I could “pop” them out. Sheesh. I’ll try again tomorrow.

I feel like having some pot pie and salad for dinner; even better… meat pie (mmm!)… except they know of no such thing out here in the Western United States. Guess I’ll have to make some from scratch… one of these days. We’ll probably go to Champagne for dinner instead, and maybe poke into Border’s while we’re at Crystal Court.

Tomorrow we visit the Grands… hope traffic won’t rob us of a quarter of the day. The 91 is such a pain in the ass to drive, and the 15 is getting to be a bitch too. I hate traffic… and driving in the car, or truck, in our case. My time is so precious that spending it in the car seems so wasteful. I’m so looking forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving long weekend… and my week off between Christmas and New Year.

Upside-down Ophelia


A work in progress
Pastels, colored pencils, acrylic paint and china marker

An idea was brewing for Laurie Zallek’s beautiful ‘aqua and red’ art journal yesterday, and I excitedly set about sketching in the book my interpretation of the drowning of Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I envisioned shades of blue and teal for the background, with the lovely Ophelia floating in the water, surrounded by red leaves. I got a good part of the sketch completed, adding color and the text ‘Ophelia’ in what I thought was the upper left side of the spread. Duh. I realized afterward (too late, of course) that I’d created the layout upside down. This evening I decided that I’d work with the layout in this new configuration, and removed the text, painting over it with some acrylic paint, and then overlaying it with an acrylic medium transfer. It’s now got a ways to go, but perhaps this reconfigured layout was what was meant to be.

The second November journal, Ally’s amber, amethyst and gold book, showed up today. Hmmm… I’m going to have to “sit” a spell with this one. It has some lovely marbled pages, and so many wonderful pages by the other contributors. It’s quite fun to be on the tail end of the project and be able to share in the enjoyment of the art that was created by those before me.

Soaring spirits… and procrastination


Stabilo CarbOthello pastels and Classicolor Caran d’Ache colored pencils

My very good friend Kelly shipped over a box of some fabulous colored pencils and pastels to me this week. Amidst ooohing and ahhhhhing, I test drove them, coming up with the above results. I thought it looked like a spirit soaring through the ether, but my son is of the opinion that it looks like Calcifer or Howl from the movie Howl’s Moving Castle.

Instead of packaging up ornaments (like I should be doing) or even making some jewelry (which I would do if I were even a tad bit more ambitious), I’m ready to grab some magazines/books and head for bed and read with my eyes closed. But seriously… I need to package up my “balls” and I’m debating upon whether I should make little business cards and whether or not to put price tags on my ornaments. [sigh] Decisions, decisions…

I worked like a madwoman today… I ended up working through lunch. No shortage of work to do in my day. I’ve been on fire this week, but I’m totally wiped out when I get home. No wonder sleep sounds like the plan for the evening.

I’ve got balls…


Adventures with glass ‘balls’ (ornaments)

I spent the weekend preparing for the craft faire which will be held at my office this Friday. I decided that I would hand paint glass balls. I was initially going to also make some polymer clay (or other type of) jewelry, but alas, what with Halloween and a parent-teacher meeting this week, I am running out of time. Hope the ‘balls’ sell. 🙂