Wednesday, January 19, 2011


thinking about projects in my life... never been one for the big long term projects.

i think that my biggest commitments were one's imposed on me in a way. i mean i stayed with the same employer for 26 years. 3 different job titles and it was half-time for 15 years of it. tough job and motherhood but that was only half of the time too but such a rewarding big project. now i'm  still in halves living in two different places.

my art is small projects, never the big ones. little beads for my short attention span, then on to necklaces stringing the little projects into slightly bigger projects. selling stints short shows small shop

afraid to pull it all together for a committed project or is this still just the journey part to forgive myself and enjoy the process. should i expect more of myself and commit to something greater.  i don't want the stress of a deadline or the commitment of a large scale project, i would rather roll along and take the ride & see where it takes me. cutting myself short? or living the dream of a freelance artist not worrying about making a living at it not thinking about the money but the joy of creating and sharing. halves again. half the year i just delve into creating and then the other half goes into the marketing, reaping the rewards in a tangible way.

but something nags that i am stillunderachieving notlivinguptoit somehow but i'm beingkindtomyself with these babysteps and it's just blossoming in it's own way.

repurposing objects and i'm like one of those fascinating vintage supplies waiting in a collection  on the shelf until the inspiration hits and then i'll know what exactly needs to be done. for now just building the foundation, the skills, the networking and one day will amaze myself. don't push me but really i could expect more and don't take the easy way out.

collecting and gathering and spinning out in so many directions with ideas and inspirations, bring it into focus from start to finish but looking back quite a bit has been accomplished but i just need to find that stuck place that i'm perceiving  and workitout and don't ignore it or hate it or fearit but examine it and hold it. 

Monday, September 13, 2010


 I was an early reader, precocious in my ability to read aloud having been raised in a household that made bedtime reading a nightly habit.

 I was sitting in front of my second grade classroom reading to the class making sure I would captivate my audience with proper expressive inflections. I couldn't stand listening to other kids reading in their flat voices, stumbling over the words.

As I was reading, taking the task most seriously, a super loud fart was issued forth from one of the students.  I sat there mortified as the laughter erupted from the entire classroom and because I knew that I was going to be held by a standard above the rest with my place on front and center I fought to keep a properly solemn expression on my face. I was at a loss as my moment was stolen and I couldn't join in with the laughter. In fact I believe I froze until the teacher prompted me to continue on with my reading.

The poor girl Stephanie was to blame. I'm not sure if indeed it was her. The other kids said it was but with the way she was treated on a daily basis she may have just been the scapegoat. You see, Stephanie had cooties. Not the real kind but the insidious fictional kind that kids pinned on the outcasts. With her stringy hair and body odor and a lisp on top of that she was a target for all manner of cruelty. Why, you might get cooties yourself if you didn't hold your nose when she came near you or happened to be touched by her. A recess could come alive by the passing of cooties which would send a palpable shiver through me.

 She played in her own world since the rest of us refused to go near her. In her world of ponies and horses she would trot and gallop, cantering and neighing about the playground.

 I couldn't help but notice her delight when the speech teacher came to fetch her from class. "I love her" she exclaimed and she would cry when she would be delivered back to the classroom. How odd to love a teacher I thought.

 The taunting extended beyond the schoolyard whether she was aware of it or not. The dull pink shabby house where she lived didn't fit in with the rest of the neighborhood. We would hold our noses as we walked by on our way to Fairway to get our candy. I spotted her mother more than once at the Popular Market, fascinated I was by this small dingy stringy haired mother who apparently must love her daughter just as my mother loved me.
On Valentine's Day we were required to exchange cards with everyone so the ones with the cute skunks were relegated to Stephanie.

 Once in third grade I was rather ashamed when I was caught by my mother writing something unkind about the girl. In a fit of expansive expression I wrote that I loved everybody in the whole wide world except for her. I was afraid that without that qualifier someone might call me on it.  A sure fate of unwanted cooties if there ever was one. "That's cruel " my mother said and she hoped that I was better than that, being so mean to the unfortunate girl.

 "I think she has a cute name" my mother once said. I wondered how anyone could think that. My association with the name had become synonymous with something putrid.

 By the fourth grade and probably from the result of me being busted by my mom, I had begun to mature and develop sympathy along with a few of the other girls in my class. We largely left her alone until a small group of the more popular girls took her on as a sort of project and extended the kindness of helping her set her hair and perhaps giving her a few other grooming tips.

 It was that same year in a karmic moment that I was standing in the lunch line and a younger kid backed away from me saying "Ewww Stephanie!" Lucky for me another kid quickly stepped up and said "That's not Stephanie, That's Dan Rogers' sister!" and I was quickly elevated from the bottom of the heap to the status of a cool sixth grader's sister. It was enough to give me pause though and shoot a small pellet through my thin bubble of pre-teen self esteem.

 After elementary school she disappeared from my sphere and I heard that she was hanging out at the riding stables and maybe even was working there when she was a little older.
I always wondered how she survived our horrible treatment and to this day wish that I could apologize for my part in it.

Did you have experiences with an outcast in your childhood?

Mrs. Edgie

"A ceramic glazed mini pitcher that held some sort of liqueur at one time"

"A small cut glass vase"

  A well worn trail through a small stretch of woods lead from the  neighbor's house to "Mrs. Edgie's".
 Mrs. Edgerton lived alone in an old house. She became the neighborhood surrogate grandmother to us.
   Her house filled with so many antiques and fascinating objects on every surface. The house was infused with the odd cooking smells of older folks, cabbagey mustiness exuding from old appliances. Decorations of less modernity, linens and pot-holders, aprons of old patterns.       Even the treats were exotic in their old-fashioned way, candied grapes with their crusty skin of crystallized sugar. Homemade sherbet in the aluminum ice cube tray again with a surface crust of ice crystals that made it extra special. Store bough sherbet couldn't compare.
  On Easter she hung beribboned bundles of treats in waxed paper from the bows of the big pine tree in her yard. A couple of jelly beans, some candied grapes and those speckled malt ball eggs.
  We spoke to her in the voices that we learned in speaking with our own grandparents, polite tones with enthusiasm and reverence.
  Sitting still in an old wooden chair regaling her with our small adventures, I sensed that because she was old that too much activity was inappropriate.  The room begged for stillness and reverie.
 I was curious and covetous of the objects surrounding me in her living room. Perhaps I was bold enough to show sufficient interest in the pieces  because more than once she gave me small gifts. A small cut glass vase, a ceramic glazed mini pitcher that may have contained some liqueur at one time.
 We brought her gifts and treasures as well, my brother and I. I made her a red heart shaped potholder that had "I LOVE YOU" written on it. I wasn't sure whether the fact that it hung unused was a testament to the non-functionality of it or that it was special. I had similar confusion about the apron I had sewn for my favorite grandmother as she was never seen wearing it although she remarked often that she loved it because it had pockets.
 During the 1964 election I heard my parents speaking about liberals and conservatives. I remember asking what conservative meant. I knew that my parents didn't consider themselves conservative. I suppose my mother was trying to simplify her explanation for my  8 year old mind as she explained that Goldwater was a conservative and wanted to keep things the way they were and that conservatives had more old-fashioned ideas. In  my mind that must mean that Mrs. Edgie was a conservative because she had so many old-fashioned things and lived in an old-fashioned way. I'm not really sure what her politics were but this is how I wrapped my young mind around that concept so I assigned that leaning to her.

  Did you have a surrogate grandparent in your neighborhood?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

kimmy doll

At six foot four, the neighbor's father was an imposing figure. The fact that he had one crossed eye made him all the more scary. He was strict and never made conversation or played with us. He was to be feared. And there were so many rules at the neighbor's house. Children were to be home for dinner at a quarter to five and not a minute later... or else.  I think "or else" involved the backside of a hairbrush.
Dinner was served at 5:00 o'clock on the dot. (even the word strict conjurs an erect, tight-necked straight-backed towering image for me to this day)
The kids weren't allowed to go barefoot in the summer as we were.
They had the unbelievable regimen of having to take a bath EVERY NIGHT! My mom was content to let the summer swimming at the public pool  and the saltwater dips at the camp in Maine to soak away the first layer of grime we accumulated. The back to school bath on the other hand involved a scrubbing equal to a Moroccan salt bath.
 One day  I was in the young son David's room sharing a bit of naughtiness. David was about 4 years old and I was six. He was giggling in his rapid-fire staccato, talking about "wieners and hotdogs".
What he couldn't see  but I could was his father standing,  towering in the doorway surveying the situation, his crossed eye scanning the room and bearing down on my young sinful, naughty soul.
I wasn't even doing the talking. My guilt was for listening, witnessing and even enjoying David's oratory.
 My heart sank as I was ordered home immediately. So scared I was that I left my Kimmy doll behind. With a confusing mix of shame and embarrassment I indignantly vowed to never set foot in their house again.
How would I ever get my Kimmy doll back was a pressing concern. How would I explain the tears and solemn vow to boycott their house and get my mother to fetch Kimmy doll without implicating myself?

As you can see nearly 50 years later Kimmy doll in my possession and memory fades as to how I resolved the dilemma.


There were the little differences that I noticed at the neighbor's house.
That little scrubby sponge that they used to wash dishes. They used Ivory Flakes and perhaps their water was softer too and that would explain the excess of fine foamy bubbles. The suds would foam up through the fine pored sponge. It felt so different from the terry cloth washcloth and detergent we used at home.
 I would beg to have them let me wash dishes. At home it was said that I kept the dishwater warm with my tears. It wasn't until I was a pre-teen that I figured out the perfect routine for washing the dishes for our family of seven on my assigned Saturday night.
The black & white portable TV would be set up on the kitchen counter with the detective show "Mannix" on. I was allowed to stay up until 10:00 on a Saturday night. I would languish over the dishes until my hands were suitably pruney and at the end pick at the softened calluses on my hands, scraping away the dead skin with the sharpest paring knife.
 Usually the next morning I would be in some sort of trouble for leaving a scuzzy sink load of undrained water or ignoring the impossible to scour broiler pan on the opposite counter.
 You would think that my mother would have appreciated my baking endeavors as well but with the rogue mixer spattering the walls like a Pollock painting and the scrim of flour ringing the outer reaches of the counter she hardly thought my treats were worth the mess.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A little Bit of Alizarin Crimson

My art teacher in high school had one bit of advice for every painting in class.
"Just a little bit of alizarin crimson!" with a flourish as she would proceed to improve your painting in her own style. Admittedly it was an improvement and would really make the colors pop.

For me this new blog is to upturn stones to unearth pale scurryings and wigglings of words which I am shy to express on my other blog.  Wordflexings and unleashings, wanderings and reachings, scrapings of diatomaceous brain plaques, and discovery. As with the alizarin crimson I would like to highlight and excite  the words that drift through my head and bring forth something new.
I weary of my same everyday thought patterns and need to embark on new a exercise of my post fifty mind. Welcome.!...!