to my online home for creative pursuits. Here I share projects in memory keeping, home arts, my inspirations, and a heaping tablespoon of the everyday. Thanks for stopping by.
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It also seems I've been so very busy this week that I've entirely neglected my blog. There's been work on our company web site (it's not live yet), the memory book for my daughter's kindergarten class, a visit from In-laws (which, of course means cleaning for days) and much more happening -- but no blogging.
Tonight I'm writing something for a mini book and then watching The Secret of Roan Inish. It's been so long that I can't remember the story, only that I liked it.
Everything is opening up. Everything is in full bloom; dogwoods, azalea, white clumpy things, purple ground-cover, pinks, yellows, reds, lavenders and the softest greens I may have ever seen. I feel a bit like it's the first time I've ever really noticed flowering trees so well. Flowers inside flowers, inside of flowers ... as though they endlessly repeat themselves. Today I am in love with the spring.
I like things simple, and I'm not really into antiques. Thrifting used to be fun, but I haven't done that in a long time since I've already re-donated so many of my intended fixer-upper flea market finds. However, I do have some family heirlooms: furnishings crafted by my cabinet-maker Grandfather, some china and silver, a few children's books from the 1940s. Those things mean a lot.
Appreciating relics of our family makes sense to me, but I haven't quite figured out how to incorporate some of them into our home. Especially the large, ornate mirror (pictured on the floor above). I wear the jewelry and we use the china and silver on occasion. I suppose, in time, other things could find their place somewhere around here.
Meanwhile, these treasures seemed like a good category for the 30-day macro challenge. So for me ... it's vintage week.
Serendipitously -- while looking more closely to take the photos -- I discovered an overlooked detail. My great grandmother, from Denmark, had fashioned a length of linen crochet work marking the turn of the century using such a subtle pattern that we hadn't noticed it.
Maybe it's kind of hard to make out from this close-up. Alternate view here.
It's just remarkable to me that all those many years ago, she had the forethought to mark that special year, hoping that it would be treasured some day in the future. Well, she should know that it is .. it certainly is.
Well okay, there's nothing wrong AT ALL with having a good, basic suit. But this is just not what I wear anymore and it hasn't been for a very long time. Who knows why I've hung on to these for so long, but I do know that pulling them from the box yesterday was like a time machine transporting me directly back to my 4th floor desk overlooking the old Postal Square.
These woolens served me well at the time -- in and out of cars, trains, meetings -- all that goes along with working in an ad agency and for a magazine, but they can serve someone else better now. Even when I have the need to dress, this is just not what I reach for anymore. Changing times; changing me. To the donations they go, along with three other overflowing bags of outgrown children's clothes.
Bye bye Anne Taylor, DKNY, Jones New York. So long suits. Have a nice second life.
Thank you each so much for the birthday well wishes.
Yesterday and today I barely looked up from the screen to drink coffee or eat my take-out veggie burger with side of sesame yams. Another spring .., another gala program for our school. (link added) This time, my services could better be described as desktop publishing more than graphic design. Short time, lots of formatting and tweaking, barely time to come up with a few repetitive elements (though I gave it a shot.)
I enjoy contributing to the kids' school in this way, but the trouble is, when the job is rushed I don't get the creative satisfaction so much holding the finished piece in my hands, and it felt a little like an assembly line production vs. creating something. Still, needed to be done and I'm the one who can do it.
I'll be clicking the purchase button on a few shopping cart accumulations tomorrow as a belated gift to myself. But tonight (unlike last) I sleep.
That was forty years ago, which makes me 44. 44 years today. Can it really be? So hard to grasp even for me the person who has lived each and every one of these 44 years, some more fully than others. It sneaks up on you so fast. You wait and see.
Time to take stock, I think, at 44 years. Apparently -- and not unlike the inability to stop repeating an untimely or inappropriate word, as with a vocal tic or a giggle at a funeral -- my astonishment at the fact requires that I say that foreign number over and again.
Where do things stand at what is typically referred to as "middle age", the "half-way point?" Where things stand is that those terms do not seem to apply to me. I just can't associate with them at all. Is there a crisis, or a calm, or a little of both? Goodness, the latter I hope, because there's nothing like a bit of urgency to keep things interesting. While my life is no longer full of windsurfing, jumping from airplanes, or partying 'til 2AM, I do still like to have some drama in my life and I've turned [back] to art for that.
[I still see myself this way, but that trip to Paris was 5 years ago.]
You'd think that being forty-something would qualify me to dispense certain advice. And while I do think I've learned A LOT (especially in the last 10 years) I still think of myself more as a learner than adviser. I absorb ideas everywhere I can and remain very hopeful and optimistic. I do believe that life is still full of potential and possibility and I don't want to ever see it any other way as long as I'm fortunate enough to be here, fully engaged in this beautiful life.
So -- while I (like so many others) am edging off the last 6 pounds to my goal weight, and considering that (apparently!?!) I am firmly in my 40s -- overall I can say that one of the most noticeable things I've realized is this: I am not hard on myself anymore. Downright forgiving, in fact. I'm thinking too that maybe this might be the summer to try one of those swimsuits with the little skirty bottoms. Is it just me or have they gotten cuter?
[This is me now. An ordinary evening last week with two of my favorite people.]
Life seems more to be about moments to me now than grand gestures. Taking so many photos over the last year, adding words and stories to them has helped put that focus back where it belongs.
Jotting down little notes has helped me better identify who I am. For example, when I make cheesy scrambled eggs, you know those little crusty brown bits of overcooked cheese that stick to the pan -- the likes of which you'd never be served in a restaurant -- that's my favorite part. Tiny thing ... totally me.
These little notes are part of a new art project I'm working on, that I call Inklings. The title is so fitting for these brief, vague notions with words and images. Something I've been contemplating and developing for a while now. Watch for Inklings in my sidebar very soon.
My friend Joan has the sweetest way of celebrating her birthday each year. She sends flowers to her Mom. After all, the memory of this event belongs to the mothers. They remember the nerves, the uncertainty, the joy of new life. They lived that memory; we benefit only from and through them. Birthdays are the real Mother's days. I'll be doing something for my Mom today. Happy day to Mom. Happy day to me.
A few years back, in a Buffalo, New York hospital a tiny boy was born.
I don't know whether God has to work hard at things or the creativity just flows effortlessly non-stop. No idea, really. I mean, think about it -- if we are made in His likeness -- we all have those periods of creative mecca followed by a head-thumping, in-effective spurt (i refuse to call it block; no way.)
Nonetheless, back to this small boy just laying there minding his own baby-business, no doubt. And Somehow just two days later came a creative response in the form of a girl in a Pennsylvania town. With just 24 hours in between a match was formed. He knew before we knew and during that short time, either with much deliberation or a mere nod, some sort of answer, mate, solution, connection was made.
With Paul's birthday yesterday and mine tomorrow, this is our official family holiday known as the day in-between. I celebrated with two small ones today with a festive lunch break from low carbs, enjoying some favorite cheap eats.
The macro setting on my camera has been getting such a work out that I've decided to take part in a daily challenge through April: 30 days of macro, initiated by Orangeflower. I know from my recent morning series how the daily process [thinking about composition, light, angle and subject] can have a big impact on my photos. There is just no replacing the value in simple regularity of a repeated task. My 'closer look' photo set so far, is here.
Finishing up my D.I.B. beer now so I'll sign off ... until tomorrow.
In just 45 minutes yesterday at the library we each managed to select something. It's such a good thing they have such colorful little diversions for youngsters. It's been entirely too long since our last visit.
What's strange to me is that they don't make you pay the late fees up front before signing out more books. It goes something like this: "Mrs. Irwin, you have a late fee." "Can I pick it up next time?" "Sure." I never have cash with me, but they do take credit cards online now. It's big business, the late fee.
You know it takes so little really to feel better about the parenting skills lately.
Library: good ... something for the intellect.
What? They ate dinner (doesn't matter that it's left over Chinese). Good nutrition.
Kicked a ball outside for an hour? Kids are bathed? in bed on time? All good stuff. A good parenting day. Plus 74 degrees (F). Wow.
From snowmen to shorts in under one weeks time. Hello spring, so glad to see you here.