Saturday, December 18, 2010

What to Try for Next Year

Really, what do I want to try for next year? I think that I am ready to expand my horizons and spread my wings in the world of art. Enter some other exhibits, some that are hard for me to venture toward, try some galleries, expand the fiber art. Oh my God! What am I thinking?!?

I think my husband is rubbing off on me. He is venturing forth, again, into the world of fine art. He is very good. I think he has a great chance of doing well. And he keeps telling me that I need to get out there. Try something new. Yikes!

The only problem with this is that I am a very private person. I like to keep to myself and am happy to be by myself. I enjoy others, but how much will I have to extend myself if I try out this new venture? Who will be there? What will they think? I guess that unless I try it, I'll never know.

So, 2011 will be the year to put it on the line. To put it out there. To stick my neck out. Enough platitudes. I'm going to jump on the roller coaster and take a ride.

I hope that you will jump on with me!


Friday, December 10, 2010


We strive to be wise, to do the right thing, to have our actions and thoughts reflect us in a higher value. When I reflect back on 2010 I wonder where and when I was wise, and what was the wisest decision that I made.

I think the wisest decision was moving my studio into my son's bedroom. He told us that he wasn't coming home for the summer from school. He didn't need to have the room preserved for him any longer. It could become something else.

My daughter and husband urged, pushed, cajoled me to move into that space. After all, it was twice the size of the room that I was using, and it had so much light and higher ceilings. It would be great for me.

So I began the move. This entailed my boxing up what he had left here, and putting those things that were precious to him in storage. What a journey that was. The legos from his childhood, notes and reports from high school. Equipment from his summer job as a beach lifeguard. Each box was an event.

I cried that I was ruining the chances that he would ever return. How could I take over his childhood room? It wasn't right.

But after a while, I began to see what I could have if I did move there. The light. The space. The windows. The new and ever changing view. Maybe this would be ok.

His first visit home after the move was a little weird. He was in the guest room, now a guest. He didn't mind. He said is was ok.

And then I began to really enjoy my new space. In fact I found that I loved it! Just really loved being in that room. Exploring. Creating. Growing. Maybe that is what it was all about. He grew here. I helped him. And now his space is helping me.

Wisdom. To accept change and growth. To continue to explore. And to know that, in reality, it really is just a room. The home is what we do in the building.


Thursday, December 9, 2010


Social gatherings. Who, what, when and where was the best gathering that rocked my socks in 2010? I've got to say that it was a wedding, the first of our kids friends to get married, and the first for our dear friends.

We've known the bride since we moved here in 1997. She and my son were almost instant friends in elementary school and that friendship still exists today. Her parents became our dear friends and we are together several times a year to celebrate such holidays as the World's Shortest 4th of July parade and the lowest tide of the year. You know, those common events.

But back to the wedding! What made this so special was that it was also our daughter's 21st birthday. She wasn't thrilled, at first, then realized that it was a great way to start her partying! My son was home for the wedding and brought his wonderful girlfriend. We were all ready to celebrate this joining of two really special people.

The weather was great, but had been preceded by days and days of overcast and cold. The wedding took place at one of our local lighthouses. On the Jetty. At the ocean. Spray flowing over all of us to help cool down the air and just add to the joyous occasion. A very small and intimate affair, followed by a reception at a local restaurant.

Free flowing spirits. Music. Laughter. Fabulous food. And we danced our butts off. All of us. Together, a dancing family of joy and happiness for our dear friend.

Weddings are by nature a happy event, but this one was over the top. It seemed every person in attendance was at the top of their game. Laughter was loud and often. Cheers abundant. Congratulations on every lip. We were HAPPY in the most basic sense. Just sheer happiness overall.

It is such a pleasure to join together with those that you love, and to share in such an intimate occasion. I will never forget how I felt that night when I finally dropped into bed. The kids, however, continued on until 4 am with their partying! Ah, to be young again!

Joyful Noise!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


What makes me beautifully different? Bottom line. I am different. I've always thought differently. My red hair makes me look different. Being different has always been a part of me.

Perhaps what people see is that I believe in consequences. I believe in redemption. I know we can be better, kinder, less focused on material goods and being "better" than others. I hope to be good, and am sometimes bad, but strive to do the right thing.

Doing the right thing, though, changes upon circumstance, environment, even day of the week. And sometimes even planning it, it turns out wrong, or rather, not right.

And I do wonder what impact this will have at the end of my life. Will my actions and thoughts really light others up? Will they be inspired? Will they remember me? Will there be light once again at the end of the tunnel?

But really, what counts, what is really important is what I do while I am here. There may be an after-life but I'm not counting on it. I don't look forward to "heaven" where everything is wonderful. I work to make my life here, on terra firma, as heavenly as I can, as fulfilled, as deep, as passionate as I can. I want there to be a mark when I'm gone: a scorch in the earth where my light once shined so brightly that it left a mark. Maybe that's what makes me different. This is what I have. This is who I am. I will be there for you, with you, looking forward to what is coming next. Lighting it up!

Different? Perhaps, but aren't we all just a bit different? Isn't that what lights us all up, keeps the flow going, inspires and tires us, and makes life interesting?

Make a difference. Make it count. We never know what it will end.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Where do we find our community? I've found mine here in Santa Cruz county, one of the most marvelous places to live! Wasn't born here but spent so much of my childhood here that it has always felt like home.

When we made the decision to move from San Jose to Aptos, it was hard leaving the community that I had always known. We were moving only 45 minutes away yet it seemed like a world away. I still see my dad's face as we pulled out of the driveway on our last load to the new house.

From metropolis to beach town. From Silicon Valley to the beach. Quite a difference.

I found community at first with the kids and their schools and all the activity that entails. Then it was the kids sports and that involvement. And along the way I became a quilter and fiber artist.

It happened because our first winter here it rained for 19 days in a row and I needed to do something new and fulfilling. My sister quilted and I never understood why you would cut fabric into small pieces and then sew it back together.

But now I get it. Boy do I get it. And I haven't stopped since 1997!

And along with this new love came a new community. We have here one of the most fabulous quilt guilds ever. From the newbies to world famous quilters and fiber artists, all coming together to share their knowledge and learn together.

After finding the guild I decided that I needed more and opened my own Quilt shop, full of rich colors, wonderful people, and constant sharing of ideas. A warm, loving, giving community which stretched around the world as I had customers from all over the world. And I loved this community.

But things change and the shop had to go. What remains are connections to that community, memories of these communities, and the willingness to continue to build new communities.

Reach out and become part of those opportunities for community that arise. You never know what will grow from the experience.


Monday, December 6, 2010


I've registered for this series in which we write daily based on a prompt. And post on our blogs. At least that is what I think I'm to do, so here goes...

Make. What was the last thing that I made?

I just finished a wall hanging for myself, based on a design that I have up for sale at etsy. It is holiday inspired, but personally felt.

For days and days, whenever I was driving I was thinking about a White Dove. What could I do with it? Why was I focused on a white dove? What did it mean? So I looked at images of doves, spotted one I liked, pulled fabric and got to work.

The first dove piece I made was for JOY, not a person, just the joy of making it. Upon finishing my husband asked if I had drawn the dove. I confessed that it was an image from a religious site that lets you use them if you sign up for their doctrine. I didn't sign but used the image with some changes. I don't do religion.

So he asked me to draw a dove if I was going to make any more pieces. I reminded him that I do not draw, and he volunteered to draw one for me (one of the reasons that I married him) that I could use. And that is the dove that I used for my PEACE wall piece.

I love making these wall quilts. It frees my spirit. It opens up possibilities. It uses up my stash. It pleases others. It's fun. Sometimes people buy them.

But most of all, I now know why I was thinking of white doves. It is the beginning of something that I'm not quite sure of yet, but am willing to go toward.