Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 85 (Or: For the Boy-Child)

Fondness for boy-child, fondness for doing things, fondness for the results of doing things, and a desire to illustrate for boy-child that anything is possible, if we put our minds, hearts and energy into things...

That sentence, above, is ALL over the map, and filled with all sorts of good things, and is an introduction to my next several things.

Boy-child, who is almost 15, and who is a lovely little lump of stuffing (in my humble opinion), is taking a health class, and this class, and several other things have prompted boy child to make some important life decisions for me (yes, for me).

(1)  Apparently, according to boy-child, coca-cola is bad for you.  Boy child says that he doesn't want me to die an early death, and that he wants me to stop drinking coca-cola.  Now, it should be noted that Coke-drinking is not a daily, or even weekly occurrence for me, but I agree with the boy-child, and want him to know that it's (a) important to be informed, (b) important to make informed decision (c) important to follow through and live those decisions.  No more Coke.  

(2) Boy-child, being a very active and rambunctious young man, is a member of the Board of Directors for The ReCyclery, a non-profit organization geared toward increasing bike use, and says that he wants me to ride a bike, instead of hopping in a car.  He says that he wants me to bike just a little bit, every day, until I'm as in love with biking as he is, and primarily use my bike for things.  Geez, he's smart!  Bike.  Every day!

(3)  He also says that he's worried about my health, and that he thinks my hands are chubby, and he doesn't want me to develop type 2 diabetes.  Okay.  After a momentary (sigh) reflection on the reality of this, I'm not shy to admit that he's right.  No more chubby fingers.

It's a really good thing I live with such a smart person, and that he cares enough to share his concerns and encouragement.  I may be biased, but I sort of love him.

Boy-child for President, 2020!  

85 down, 915 Coke-free days to go.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 84 (Or: rk post & C.J. Lane at The Red Raven in October)

I’m a little bit giddy.  And I have a HUGE geek-girl crush. 

Sometimes I get to meet, rub elbows with and generally fall in crushes with some seriously amazing people.  Laurie McClave (neighbor and bestie), C.J. Lane (bestie and cutie), and (new to me) rk post give me the shivers.  They’re just awesome in the sauce arena.  And I know them?  Or…in the case of rk…get to talk to them as they’re foot commuting through downtown Seattle to their “day” job?  Pssshhht.  Lucky me. 

AND I get to talk about games, and toy-stores, and my favorite coffee shop on the planet?  Stick a fork in me and call me pleased.   

A shortened and slightly altered version of the following feature was published today in the Port Townsend Leader, and because these peeps are so phenomenal, I wanted you all to see 

the WHOLE shmear…

Photo courtesy rk post

Randy “rk” Post (hereafter referred to by his preferred professional nomenclature:  rk post – no punctuation, no capitals) travels to conferences the world over, for comic-cons and fan signings of his work.  Each new location comes with a new tattoo, artists carefully researched by post, artwork “signed” by the artist in permanent tattoo ink. posts body, now featuring 20 of his visits, and 20 artists, is a visual map of his artistic proclivities and of his extensive travel.  

The travel follows a lifetime career of impressive freelance and contract illustrative work for Wizards of the Coast, Microsoft, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, 20th Century Fox (Alien vs Predator) among many others (post jokes that his work is “too extensive to list.”).

This life is a far cry from growing up on farms in Illinois and Iowa where post, the son of a John Deere salesman, never took an art class and thought he’d be a veterinarian. After what post calls an “extensive college experience” – an 8 year study program, spanning veterinary science, graphic design, and eventually illustration – post found himself at the tail end of TSR’s Dungeons and Dragons production, illustrating interior black and white illustration book-work for the famous RPG. This break into the world of illustration through Dungeons and Dragons, lead to work with Wizards of The Coast, where the door opened for a remarkable career in art and design. 

A soft, ready laugh prefaces posts description of the work, the experiences, and the travel that followed those 8 years of study. “Growing up, we never traveled anywhere that we couldn’t reach by car.” He says, but when Wizards of the Coast bought out TSR in the mid-90’s, the company flew artists out to Seattle – his first flight – and post now looks back on that flight, saying “if you’ve done it once, all the rest are the same.” The difference now, is that after 15 years of illustrative work, when post travels from Seattle, his home town where he’s the Senior Artist at Big Fish Games, he ends up in Barcelona, Spain, Moscow, Russia or Sao Paolo, Brazil – as well as many other international destinations.

The Red Raven PostMortem

Avatar of Woe, rk post

Red Raven Gallery celebrated its one year anniversary in September, and in the year since opening, has featured an impressive lineup of local artists and visiting artists – many with magical, fanciful and eccentric inclinations. The cooperative gallery of 6 artists is owned by Sarah Fitch of The Rolling Raven Studio, and co-managed and curated by fine artist Laurie McClave – who calls herself a “Jacqueline of all trades.”  McClave, whose impressive curation has brought in high caliber fine artists – photographers, painters, fiber artists – said that she “looks for individuals whose work is quality and who have a level of personal professionalism.”  Of particular importance, and an indication of her own measures of success, McClave pays special attention to “artists who have interaction with a fan-base, having a Facebook page or a blog, or some way that they’re keeping active and interactive with other artists and with collectors.” 

McClave, who studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, and a highly collected artist herself, keeps an active hand in the online network of artists, and it is partially this networking and marketing ethic which has enabled the gallery to host national and international artists.  “rk was one of my first MySpace contacts – remember the days of MySpace?” She joked.  “I knew I wanted to feature something gothic and creepy in October, and because I’d known of and followed his work online, rk came immediately to mind.  Much to my surprise, he said ‘yes’ when I approached him.”  Earlier in the year, the gallery hosted the phenomenal  Jel Ena Markovic, a Serbian born, Los Angeles based figurative artist, and PostMortem will be followed in November by German born, Seattle based  designer and artist Redd Walitzki (http://art.candygears.com/).

In a coup, an artistic scoop, if you will, The Red Raven cooperative gallery and McClave are “thrilled and excited” to bring illustrator rk post to Port Townsend. “rk features strong women and female characterizations, and uses the figure in a lyrical way.  There are dark undertones in his work, and the pieces offer an intrigue – he’s a softer H.R. Giger.” MccClave said of post and his work referring to the surrealist painter who won an Academy Award for design work on the film Alien.

On Oct. 6, PostMortem debuts at the Red Raven Gallery featuring the fanciful and eccentric art of illustrator rk post and photographer and Red Raven cooperative member C.J. Lane.  PostMortem, will show at the Red Raven Gallery, 922 Water Street, through October.  Both artists will be on site for the gallery walk on the evening of the 6th, starting at 5:30.

Both divine and diabolical

post has published a now sold out collectors volume of collected works “Potmortem: the Art of rk post” posts website describes the work in his online gallery, as “both divine and diabolical. Sinistry and innocence. Fluffy-cute and damn-that-looks-spiky.”
Cover Art, "Postmortem: the Art of rk post"

Notably, the original cover artwork painting for “Postmortem: the Art of rk post” will grace the wall of the Red Raven Gallery, a work highlighting posts strong female figurative work, and the gizmo-riddled fantasy world that he’s known for. post, says that for the Red Raven Gallery show, in addition to non-magic related work, he’s “found a forgotten trove of more recent pieces,” and will be labeling and selling with artist proofs and prints.

post has garnered a following in the illustrative world, and is especially known in Port Townsend for work in the Role Playing Gaming (RPG) world of Magic: The Gathering. The Port Townsend Gallery walk, on Saturday, October 6, 5:30 – 8:00 pm, will be lively in the diminutive alleyway gallery, with local fans of the gaming world, and fantasy art collectors assembling to see the original artwork behind familiar gaming characters and well-known illustrations.

The Raven and the Pumpkin

C.J. Lane and model Tassa Briel Greif
photo Cara Leckenby
In complement to the fantasy work of rk post, C.J. (Carole Jean) Lane, cooperative member and co-feature artist for October at Red Raven Gallery, has a gift with the camera lens. Lane started photography in college, and her passion grew further when she moved to Korea to work as a military staff photographer. Since those early days in photojournalism, C.J. has turned toward fine art photography, and she and her husband, Terry Lane, are the vision behind “Lanebrain Photography”. “ Her unique perspective and edge give her work a painterly quality,” said McClave, “and she has an important story to tell”. This month, that story will be of “The Pumpkin Queen” and “The Raven King” – fantasy figure photography, highlighting a creepy burton-esque bent.  C.J. is a founding cooperative member of the Red Raven Gallery co-op and is working in photography while raising a family here in Port Townsend

The gathering

Port Townsend community dedicated to Magic: The Gathering is celebrating a weekend of firsts starting at 6:00 on the evening of Friday, Oct 5 at Whistle Stop Toysin Port Townsend. Steve Goldenbogen, owner of the toy shop, is hosting a launch for the newest of 59 “expansion sets” (or game play kits) for players ranging in age from 10 – 60. “Return to Ravnica” is a much anticipated expansion, and the evening will be an interesting pre-cursor to meeting rk post, the artist behind well-known Magic characters, “Avatar of Woe,” “Morphling,” and “Arbor Elf.”

The following evening, Saturday, October 6th, post opens PostMortem at the Red Raven Gallery.  Goldenbogen is an avid Magic player and fan, and describing the extent of Magic: The Gathering’s popularity said “There are 59 expansions on the game, and over 12500 figure cards. I’m making sure that I’m off work on time for the show on Saturday, and I’m telling all my players.” Tournament play will continue at Whistle Stop Toys through January of 2013, on Friday evenings at 6:00 and Goldenbogen notes that he has plenty of members willing to teach new players.

In addition to formal tournament play, Amy Smith, Executive Director of the BoilerRoom at 711 Water Street says that there are “all the time games at the Boiler Room these days. There hasn't been a day in the past two weeks without a Magic game.” The Boiler Room is a non-profit youth resource center and coffee house, with convenient couches and tables for game-players of all ages.

More information, and game kits, about Magic: The Gathering can be found at Whistle Stop Toys 1005 Water Street, Port Townsend.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 83 (Or: Stop! Collaborate and Listen!)

When in doubt, don't - Benjamin Franklin
When in doubt, do it - Oliver Wendell Holmes
When in doubt, tell the truth - Mark Twain
When in doubt, eat chocolate - me.

Into every life, a little doubt must creep.  A little:  "What the hell am I doing?"  A little:  "What the hell are YOU doing?"  A little: "FOR THE LOVE OF CORN, WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?"

When this happens to yours truly, I have a tendency to slide down a long slippery slope (lined with razor blades) of whininess, crabbiness, over-perfection, and ironically - avoidance.

Advice:  STOP!  Collaborate, and listen!  (Vanilla Ice - good in coffee, and good for a bit of comic relief...and...good for soothing a doubt riddled soul?)

Stop!  Hold it.  That's right, don't just gaze down the gaping maw of doubt, being ever drawn forward toward the things that might not even need to be asked, let alone have an answer.  Just check yourself before you wreck yourself, will you?

Collaborate! Good.  Now that you've pulled yourself back from the precipice, let's just see if we can put your head back on straight.  Let's get on that collaboration thing. I'm not sure what Vanilla Ice meant by "collaborate" (he goes on to describe how he "flows like a harpoon"...what a maniac), but what I mean when I say it is:

  • (1.) Friends are important, and they're really good at helping one get to the heart of the matter (even when we don't want to go there) - it's an even better experience when there's chocolate involved.  
  • So (2.) get with somebody else, get out of your own head, stop being so stinking self involved - give something, do something for others, be something other than what you're doubting.  It helps.  
  • (3.) Testing?  TESTING!  So...are you really in the rut you thought you were in?  Did you find something better to focus on?  Did you decide that you're sort of all right in a funny sort of a way?  Excellent.  That's as it should be.  You're awesome.  We're all awesome, really.  Even when we're full of doubt.  
  • Because (4.)  Doubt is an important part of the human process.  We question, and we solve.  That's what we do.  Drowning in doubt is one thing, but a healthy dose of doubt can nudge us toward something incredible, if we let it, if we don't dive face first into it, but instead gently take it in.

...And Listen!  Little doubt worms won't become big doubt worms if we ask ourselves daily what/who/why we are, and then answer...and then LISTEN.  Free journal (write and write and write), draw, intentional breathing, yoga, be with it.  IT being the question and the answer.  Listen to yourself, listen to friends, listen to the QUESTION in the doubt and the ANSWER in the dark.  It's all there, and these smaller questions, answered daily, are the key to living.

If Vanilla Ice says it's so, then it is.

Day 83 Down, 917 to go.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Day 82 (Or: What's That Chicken Doing?)

Maybe you don't remember this, but earlier this year (day 65, if we're counting, and we are) I pledged to do some things in the garden this year. Several things. Things like: Build raised beds to grow veggies in; plant fruit trees; raise chickens; raise BEES; and several other home-steadish things.

What actually happened:

I bought 5 fruit trees (two apples - a yellow and a red - a pear tree, a cherry tree and a plum tree) and planted them in order that the poor, pathetic, mangy neighborhood deer herd (yep, it's a whole fuzzy Bambi family) might have a nice midnight snack. And they did. Repeatedly.

I bought tomatoes (the deer ate them), and basil, pumpkin, cucumber, lettuces, and strawberries (the slugs ate them) and didn't plant them at all. By this point, the deer had decimated the fruit trees, and I'd basically given up on life.

We adopted a murdering chicken. Yes. There's a henicidal maniac bird living in my yard. And she's old, so there aren't any eggs, if you're thinking that there might be a marginal pay-off for adopting said bird. Henrietta (isn't that a sweet name for a killer chicken?) was banished from her hen-house after taking the Top Hen status one step too far. She killed a fellow chicken, and now she lives in our yard. Alone. And she crows (yep, she's top hen) every morning, and doesn't give us eggs, and poops everywhere. But she IS very pretty. So we sort of like her.

Also, GOOD NEWS! The quack grass has now invaded every last tiny corner of my life.

On the UP side, my new neighbors planted the MOST productive, verdant, healthy and incredible front lawn. Boy-child says the neighbors lawn makes him angry. I caught him lying in it the other morning.

I'm really glad Fall's upon us. I don't think I can take much more of this.

Day 82 down, which means that I have 918 more days to put up some deer fencing.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 81 (Or: An Antiques Roadshow Roadtrip)

First of all, an update regarding the state of affairs in Leckenby-Ville: You should know that there's a mollusk on the loose in the house. That is to say, there's a snail, and he's been wandering about for several weeks leaving his...leavings...and then evading all attempts at capture. I'm seriously considering letting the chicken loose in the house to see if she can find him. And eat him.

This should be a pretty decent indication of the kind of mood I'm in today: Exasperated, with a hint of hilarious.

And I've got a confession to make: I actually enjoy these moods. I think these moods are some of my best (even though there are occasional exclamations of words containing the hard K sound), and are not to be wasted. I might need to find some outlet for this mood other than blogging. Perhaps a nice rant directed toward one of my many pet-peeve-people? And there are MANY, I'm happy to say.

All of this being said, let me tell you how totally fabulous Day 81 of One Thousand Days was.

So fabulous. There. I told you.

More? Oh, okay...

Day 81 of One Thousand Days was spent with 6,000 other people on the set of the Antiques Roadshow at the Convention Center in Seattle!

Pause for effect.

When one is at the Roadshow, One MIGHT see Mark Walberg!
Here's what happened:

1. We forgot the tickets, and turned around about 20 minutes into our road trip in order to retrieve them. HOWEVER, we made it STRAIGHT onto the ferry, and arrived in Seattle 50 minutes before our 11 o'clock entry time. We were rather pleased with ourselves, but perhaps too pleased, because...

2. We promptly got lost. Twice. Our excuse: Downtown Seattle is engulfed by a series of "detours" which are designed to make the country bumpkins lose their minds, and their way.

This is what one of the four lines looks like
3. Missing our original ferry and getting lost were EXACTLY the right thing to do. Arriving at the Convention Center four minutes AFTER our check-in time, meant that we parked about 2 feet from the entrance, avoided one of 4 horrendously huge entrance lines, and were that much fresher than all the other roobs who had been waiting an hour and a half to get in.

4. We then waited an hour to get in.

5. We then waited another hour to get in.

When you get into an event like this, please be aware that (None of the literature will tell you this, so take notes):

1. The crowd, and each individual comprising the crowd holding precious tickets (which, for some reason felt like the Golden Ticket into the Charlies Chocolate Factory), is PRIME people watching fodder. I was a little bit stunned to find that about 40% of people were in wheel chairs, but the remainder were people toting precious possessions ranging from a $50 pistol lamp, to a $45,000 bell. And by god, spend as MUCH of the 2 hours that you'll spend in line waiting to speak to an appraiser getting to know as many of the fabulous people around you as possible. They just might be holding a $7,000 Stieff Teddy Bear, or a worthless Japanese battery operated barking dog. Fun stuff.

2. Know that someone in the room has a $100,000 something they found in the attic, but that someone is not you.

Someone Hit it BIG!
3. Yes. The appraisers are wearing fabulously tailored suits, wild ties, and some of them may or may not even be wearing a pink satin vest. Maybe. If you spot any of these appraisers, stop, stare, and make sure your mouth is a little bit open, and that you look appropriately awed.

4. Know that your big butt will appear several times on film when the show is aired. Because you're in the crowd, and you've been waiting in that line for 2 hours, and while you're standing there, some lucky lady with a series of 1950's mall advertisements is being filmed RIGHT BEHIND YOU for her tearful reactions - and you're standing there looking gormless. But that's okay.

5. That photograph that you had hanging casually in your bedroom? It's an Orotone (a photograph beautifully processed on glass), by one of the pioneers of the Orotone process. And it's worth upwards of $1,000. And you'll meet the collector of the photographers work, because he's spotted your photograph from across the room, through the masses of people, and will leave you with his card in case you ever want to sell. Charlie McCarthy may give your 14 year old son the creeps, but he's in really good condition, and he's worth about $100.

Creepy, but oh so worth it!

81 down, 919 to go.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Day 80 (Or: How Do you DO This?)

This is the garden I strive for

"I'm in a garden. My own. It started as nothing - in fact LESS than nothing - a barren, compacted, dust-bowl of a yard, with drainage issues..."

If we're going to describe what it's like to live a creative life (and we are - blame it on Kiera, she started it), this is where we begin. A creative life, for better or worse, is like tending an unruly garden...

This barren patch of nothing is, I realize, where every other yard-owning-wanna-be-master-gardener starts, but MAN is it tempting to move to another house, one with a garden already installed, one where there's security in knowing that all you have to do is show up, pull weeds, and reap the harvest of other people's work. And then you get to go back to "life" - whatever "life" is...but importantly, you're not tarrying in the dust-bowl that's a stand in for a yard.

I move piles of dirt around, I break my back, I spend hours imagining a French country garden, or a formal English garden, or a wild-flower garden. And I battle slugs, and I wrestle bushes, and I hack away at that persistent, thorny and invasive blackberry. And I try to keep myself from looking over the fence at the neighbors garden, where the grass is inevitably (and so cliche!) greener, and the hedges are preposterously polished, and even though I know they've taken all the shortcuts, hired big earth moving machinery, had the professionals in, planted the "easy" plants, used copious amounts of Round-Up and Sluggo, I want what they have.

My meager patch of weeds will NEVER be the glory of the neighbors yards. Never. What the hell was I thinking, imagining that you can be a...gardener... I notice the sideways glances from people driving up the street, and I think "if I could JUST manage to move that weed pile, and at LEAST have the boulevard in shape, maybe they'd all approve."

And then it happens. The worst thing imaginable. I'm tending a bed, doing as I should, and I kneel on a slug. Slime's everywhere, and trying to remove it just makes it MORE everywhere. I hobble around a corner, heading for the house and BAM straight through a spider web, and now there's spider and slug everywhere, and those little spiky seeds have invaded my socks, and I'm slimy, and itchy and completely discombobulate by nature's attack on me.

That's it! I can't stand it. I give up! Must-have-chocolate-and-Hulu! NOW! Ignoring is a management technique, right? And what horrible-slug-infested-thing isn't just a little bit more tolerable with chocolate? And if I'm watching re-runs of the x-files, I can't actually see the impending-doom-in-dandelion-form.

And then, two things happen:

(1) That rose bush? The one that's given me fits since I planted it two years ago? The one that I've shaped, coddled, clipped, de-mildewed and de-spotted (who knew plants mildew)? The one which causes me daily to wonder "what was I thinking, planting this fuss-pot of a plant?" It blooms. It's a delicate white, multi-blossomed glory. It's EVERYTHING I've ever wanted in a flower. And more.


(2) Unbidden, un-noticed, a little pineapple strawberry plant has made inroads, and is producing the most divine, soft white ripe and delicate strawberries. I didn't even know it was there, and I did nothing to specifically love this particular plant, it's a gimme. It came about, simply because I was caring for the plants around it.

The garden: Blank canvas, work-work-work, doubt, judgement, work-work-work, frustration, envy, work-work-work, nature fights back, work-work-work, procrastinate and dally and indulge in chocolate, work-work-work, produce something incredible, work-work-work...and back to the beginning, work-work-work.

80 down, 920 to go.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 79 (Or: Creating Zoe's Space)

Zoe's room, or the room that Zoe wanted, was just JUST out of reach...She had the room (and oh how lovely it was!  gorgeous light, skylights and windows)...but it wasn't yet filled with the things that she wanted.  It didn't yet inspire the things she wanted to be inspired to do.  

Zoe's room, like many of our rooms, contained some very useful things (exercise equipment, great shelving and storage, the wrapping paper), and some beautiful things (gorgeous vintage pieces, a closet full of art - art is often found in closets!), and just...wasn't satisfying.

She wanted to be inspired to create!  She wanted to be soothed and feel nurtured!  She wanted to meditate and write and read and be in a space which was her own.  We worked together (I asked a MILLION questions), and slowly, she identified a color scheme (neutrals and woods, accented with blue, yellow and a splash of red), and her favorite art pieces, and then I set to work, shaping a space which would contain FOUR different areas:  A reading nook, a craft and writing space, a meditation space AND the exercise equipment.  That last one threw me for a loop, but I solved it!

Decisions:  Zoe should have a seating area, where she could be alone, or with a friend, and be able to look at and be inspired by her creative/writing space, and her meditation area.  And she should NOT know that the exercise equipment was there until she was using it.  

Solution:  Screen that exercise equipment!  A row of really fabulous, built in cabinets, was re-arranged to create a screen, and Zoe and I spent an hour or so Shopping in her own home for loved art, decorative items and fabrics in the spirit of her nurturing and meditative space.  That's my FAVORITE part!  

Conclusion:  Gorgeous!  But don't take my word for it...

Zoe's reading nook - An owl pillow, made for her by a friend, blue pillows pulled from an unused sunroom, art hung, and lighting pulled from other un-used areas of the house.

Zoe's writing desk - a family heirloom, a drawing of the family castle, paintings of mother and father.

Creative spaces, a tall table (with Zoe's vision board) and her writing area.

What to do with that exercise equipment?  Swing the bookshelves out to screen it!  Bottom left is the view from Zoe's reading chair - you can't even see the equipment!  Mission accomplished.

 79 down, 921 to go!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 78 (Or: No Calorie Chocolate? Yes, Please!)

Did you know that there's such thing as CHOCOLATE COSMOS? It's a flower. And it smells like chocolate. Really!

This is what it looks like:

It looks like chocolate, too! Lovely! And I happen to know that Cosmos are silly-easy to grow.

So, anybody who knows me and has followed my blogginess, knows that I adore chocolate (and wine, and brie). That same person (there may or may not be more than one of you) has probably wondered if there's a better decision to be made, when one is in a kerfuffle, than burying ones-self in chocolate. And, although I'm being coy, here, what I'm really trying to say, is that I've got a chocolate problem. A big one.

Well! Not any more! Day 78 of One Thousand Days, over-indulging in SMELLING chocolate, and LOOKING at chocolate can't be all that bad, can it? No. No it's not. I've decided, and I'm not running this one by Holly for approval.

And to top it off, as I was rabbiting down the rabbit hole of the internet, I discovered THE most delightful gardening site, Heavy Petal, with an amazing post about all kinds of chocolate flowers. Weeee!!

Andrea Bellamy, the genius behind Heavy Petal, posts about the West Coast garden, and lovingly highlights foodses, decor and other gardening delights (such as CHOCOLATE FLOWERS!) Take a peek. You'll like it!

78 down, 922 to go.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 77 (Or: Earth Without Art is Just "EH")

I'm an artist. Sort of. I'm an aspiring artist? A wanna-be artist? A pseudo artist? Hmmm...

Okay. Maybe it's not fine art, but I do occasionally produce drawings/paintings/design/collage. Never sold any of it (other than monkeys). I do sell my design capabilities (as in...interior design, web design, graphic design - at Leckenby Co.), but never art. Yet.

I don't exactly have plans to become a visual artist, although I definitely have plans to continue artistically living my life - viewing, creating, appreciating, befriending... BUT! I live in this delightful artists community, where you can't swing a dead sable without hitting an artist or an aspiring artist, and as it happens, one of my besties runs a cooperative gallery.

THAT means that I get to shmooze with local artist appreciators, rub elbows with several seriously talented fine artists, and help disseminate art in the world. Generally.

Last month I started helping my friends on Gallery Walk night (the first Saturday of the month, new shows debut, artists are available for discussion, and generally, art is celebrated with food, wine and good company), and now, on the first Saturday of each month, and in particular, Day 77 of One Thousand Days, you can find me at The Red Raven Gallery, helping my friends Laurie McClave, and Sarah Fitch to make the world more beautiful and interesting.

Hints, should you wish to enjoy/partake of/or serve at a gallery walk:

1. Although gallery walk is known as a bit of a walking booze fest, never serve more than two fingers of wine, as you want people to be precisely smashed (not overly, and not underly) in order to effectively help them to appreciate/buy art.

2. By god, you'd better know what you're talking about, or believe that you know what you're talking about, or have an intention to know what you're talking about, if you want to talk about art.

3. Take that last little hint and stuff it in the toilet, because EVERYONE, and I do mean everyone, has something important to say about art. That's why there IS art. To get us thinking. And even if all you have to say is: "That looks like my cat!", it's a valuable assessment, in my book.

4. Do not - DO NOT - be a snob. Damnit. Yuck.

77 down, 923 to go.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 76 (Or: Moving On UP)

Moving is hard. Disgusting, overwhelming, dust-riddled, hard. There are things to be put IN to boxes. Things to be moved to places. Things to be taken OUT of boxes. And then there are all those things that won't fit in boxes.

Exhausting. My head hurts after writing that paragraph, and I have an urge to crawl into bed and never come out again.

Just packing a box to take to the Goodwill gives me PTSD. And surprisingly, it seems that this is my lot in life these days. That is, boxes. Boxes being packed. Boxes being unpacked. Stuff being moved from one place to another. Sorting. Packing. Moving.

Well, who am I to question? Yesterday, Day 76 of One Thousand Days, I did one of my favorite things: I helped someone else (helping other people is like my bottle of wine - it's soothing) with their boxes of loot. Spur of the moment, I put on my Moving Outfit (which closely resembles my every-other-kind-of-thing-outfit) and helped a besty move her boxes to a new house.


76 down, 924 to go.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 75 (Or: Traci Intelligently Rants)

Over here at One Thousand Days, occasionally we recognize that other people might have something important to contribute to the world, and that we aren't the only ones doing Things.  

Traci Adams, a high-school friend and Facebook buddy, and all around highly intelligent girl, can be found photographing lovely things, spending time with loved ones and perusing the natural world.  And when she's not doing one of those things, she's paying keen attention to social and cultural issues, ideas and yes, even memes.  Who doesn't love a good, relevant meme?

Anyhoo, I'm glad she let me re-post her recent status update, which is FAR more than a status update, as these things sometimes go.  Traci's "teaser" posts, get me thinking, which is a good thing.  Thank you, Traci Adams, for intelligently ranting your way into Day 75 of One Thousand Days!

Editor's note:  I've added links to some great resources for doing exactly what Traci suggests...

Today’s thoughts -

Complain, complain, that is what we do….

I am guilty of this too…. 

But the answers are simple (ok, relatively simple)…

Not enough money? Not enough time? Food becoming scary? Etc……..

1. Buy less crap = more money. We as a generation were programmed by advertising to think we “need” SO much, but… we don’t. NO ONE needs a new cell phone every year, that is just STUPID. No one needs a new wardrobe 4 times a year. No one needs SO much stuff.

2. Grow some food = more money and better health. I am not saying everyone has room for a huge garden and few people have the time and knowledge to survive on what they grow. But supplement your diet with whatever you can, and another benefit, gardening really does relax you and is rewarding.

3. Eat less meat (or none, your call) = more money. Alas the American love affair with meat has gone out of control. The cost to the animal’s health (ie: your health in the long run), the fuel consumption, the food to feed them…. Who wants to eat a zombie cow that is only alive because the medication they are giving keeps them alive?

4. Drive less (or not at all) = more money. I am SO guilty of this…. I LOVE my car….. all of the reasons for driving less are too obvious to state.

5. Turn off electric powered things like lights when you aren’t using them = more money. I really hate to sound like my parents, but if you aren’t in the room, turn off the light….. and don’t get me started on “decorative” lighting….. sigh….. (editor's note:  Check out one of my FAVORITE resources, YES! Magazine, and their article, written by Collin Beaven:  10 Ways To Change Your Life (Not Just Your Lightbulbs)

6. Lastly start trying to shop locally and from real people. Not just food, but everything. These giant corporations are OWNING us. Real people and small local businesses sustain local economies and provide more jobs in the end… The great CEO on high in a tower in NY cares not a lick for whether of not my neighbor has a job or loses their house…. It is also near to impossible to hold them accountable. But if the small corner store is selling you crap…. You stop shopping there and walk two blocks to the better business. THAT is how our system is SUPPOSED to work. We are supposed to have the power to punish bad business via their pocketbook.

These are just a few small things that we should all start to do more…. Or less…. You know what I mean. : )

Thank you for your time…. : )

75 down, 925 to go.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 74 (or: The Battle Of The To-Do List)

Damned to-do lists. I have a serious and I do mean SERIOUS love/hate relationship with to-do lists.

In fact, there's a constant running list of things, projects, musts, life imperatives and other little niggling thing-doodles begging for my attention. And if I ignore them, they eat me up. As much as I want for them not to. And they're my own little brain-worms, so I should be able to make them go away.



How, oh HOW do I make to-do's go away, without actually doing the 3 million things on the to-do lists?

Answer: I don't.

1. Do what I can.
2. Let the rest go.

So there.

Because I'm feeling sporty, I'd like to share my good friend Tom's to-do list. It's a master of a to-do list, and it's exactly the sort of thing that makes me drool a little. Both because I'm totally overwhelmed by it, and at the same time in love with it:

Thomas Edison's To-Do List, as perused by Brain Pickings (which is generally one of my favorite blogs EVER).

Frankly, given the slobber problem, I think John Lennon's to-do list is a bit more my speed ("#4 Marmalade." Oh yeah. That's the stuff - OH! And "HBO guy comes between 3-5" !!!).

John Lennon's Handwritten To-Do List, again, on Brain Pickings .

Day 74 of One Thousand Days I did what I could.

And since I hate them so much, I wonder if a CUTE to-do list would make life better?

Download this cutie over at Noisette Academy (someone has clearly embraced their to-do listing. Someone OTHER than me).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 73 (Or: Organize, Organize, Organize)

Ran across this very succinct article regarding organization, written by Amanda Enaya: Why Clutter Matters And De-cluttering Is Difficult.

The article does a fairly great job of pointing out many of the realities of organization and disorganization.

I'm particularly fond of numbers, and found this little tidbit to be a great numerical representation of the ills of disorganization:

"Clutter is expensive: It costs an average of $10 per square foot to store items in your house and almost 10% of American households rent storage units, spending more than $1,000 annually in rent. One quarter of people with two-car garages can't even get their cars in there because they are storing their junk instead. Twenty-three percent of us pay bills late and incur fees because we have lost the statements.

How's this for a reality check? The average American spends one year of his or her life looking for lost or misplaced items, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. Get rid of the clutter and you will eliminate as much as 40% of the housework in an average home."

Organization is a very large part of my life. Always has been, always will be.

Not that everything has always been organized, rather, organization has ALWAYS affected me, influenced me, and been something that I focus on in all areas of life - one might call it an obsession, were one so inclined to put a label on my...er...tendencies.

I remember, as a child, that my mothers pantry had open shelving. Now, this isn't unusual, many pantry's have open shelving. However, what I'm sure was unusual, was my 7 year old hatred of looking at mismatched cans, boxes, labels, housewares. Hatred. One of my first room-mate situations blew up in a million pieces on the first day, when the room-mate moved all of the pantry items onto an open shelf in the dining area. Instead of using the cabinets in the kitchen...AAAAaaaaagggggghhh! I moved out that night. Organization interruptus.

And then there's the work-space. I. Can. Not. Work. If. It's. Not. Square. Organize to look like this:

First, make things square. THEN work.

And my refrigerator magnets? Boy-child likes to tease me by ruffling them up. I, of course, notice immediately, and SQUARE THEM UP. Little maniac.

I have a friend who invites me over to her house in order to be amused as I square up her coffee table. It ALWAYS happens. Sometimes I don't even know I'm doing it.

All of this, and I can happily say that I'm now applying these organizational...er...tendencies...in a more direct way. I'm helping other people to learn how to be just as obsessive as I am! Or, at least, I'm applying my obsession to their spaces, to give them a newly launched organizational space. I organize, for folks and businesses, and I can probably attribute this little bit of newness to my Wild And Crazy One Thousand Days efforts (that is, the attempt to make better things happen in the world - for myself, for others...).

73 down, 927 to go.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 72 (or: The Lazy Cat's Lazy Lesson)

Everything I need to know I learned from the cat. Or from the 14 year old boy-child, but that's another posting altogether...

Lessons from a lazy cat:

1. Purr Make a joyful noise! Sing, hum, listen to someone singing or humming. Bask in good vibrations. That purr is a soothing technique. Of course, in nature it's designed to sooth a victim which will soon be in the cats belly, but as it applies to humans, it's a lovely concept, so PURR!

2. Drink the cream and eat all the boring food pellets as if they too were cream. That is to say, luxuriate in your life, in the treats and in the mundane as well.

3. Appreciate those who give to us. Practice gratitude. The hand that scratches our ears and furry bellies, the person who fills our bowl with cream (or pellets), the person who cleans up after us or just makes our lives bearable. They're gifts, and we should wrap ourselves around their ankles when they're trying to reach the bathroom in the middle of the night.

4. But not too much... Lest we forget that much of what we have in our lives, we've hunted for in the tall grass, and isn't handed to us in a platter, don't be afraid to self-congratulate, and luxuriate in our own tongue baths. What I mean to say: Neither depend too greatly on others nor give others the power over us. Be just a little bit aloof.

5. Nap No explanation needed here. Rest is good. Napping is good. That's why they call them Cat Naps.

6. Find the sun spot. This relates back to that cream thing, above. Find, in each day, the place where it's pure enjoyment, warmth and relaxation.

7. Find the soft spot. There's almost never a reason (unless it's medical) for discomfort. Fix it if it ain't comfortable. Find the pile of fresh laundry, the freshly made bed, the towel dropped by the 14 year old boy. Find that place and stay there for as long as possible. Or at least until the vacuum starts and you feel an overwhelming urge to climb the nearest tree and cower in its branches.

Lazy Cat Practicing Life Lessons

72 down, 928 to go.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


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Day 71 (Or: More About The Hood!)

Day 71, Continued!

Just in case you haven't already seen the ream of pictures and information from the Boy-Child's and my house building adventure, you can check out the loveliness here!


Day 71 (Or: Throw Another Party!)

I've said it before, some Days are just a no-brainer.

Boy-child and I live in a charming CHARMING neighborhood. Our neighborhood is the old-fashioned kind, where neighbors share sugar, and recipes, and chat over the fences. Where kids (35 of them on two blocks connected by two public trails!) play capture the flag, hide out in the community tree fort, create block-long hopscotches and bike/skate/scooter in circles for hours. Parents yell for kids at dusk, and living rooms are frequently filled with 7 or 8 children for game nights.

14+ households abide along a two block stretch, and, perhaps because many of us partnered to build our houses with Habitat for Humanity, or perhaps because we're fun-loving, family-minded individuals, we've grown into a community which cares for itself. Blessed, we are.

Day 71 of One Thousand Days, we hosted the 2nd neighborhood Block Party BBQ of the season, and it was delightful! There were kids, party lights, seafood skewers, chocolate-mint-raspberry cake, and lime-ade, and LAUGHTER! We decided to petition the City for speed bumps and "Slow - Children at Play" signs, and have plans for creating a neighborhood food garden. Yay team!

If you've never done this before, I highly recommend it. After all, if we can't rely on our neighbors when the zombie apocalypse hits, we're pretty much screwed.

71 down, 929 to go.

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