calm after the frenzy

 Maybe it's this time of year, right after the holidays, or being on this side of winter or maybe because of it being my birthday month ( again, yay! ) or it could be so many articles I've been reading, urging you to get rid of all the clutter, to pack it up, clear it out and not leave it all for others to have to deal with ... they all have their own stuff to figure out, they don't need yours, too, and I really believe that. 

And then there are so many who really need some stuff, the churches and shelters know exactly 
what to do with your extra coats and blankets.

That's where my mind and energy have been, organizing and making room. All the little things taking up space, seems like when the time is right it all becomes so much easier. Last month I wasn't even thinking about wrapping up all the pretty dishes, the tiny cups and bowls that come home with me from the church ladies thrift shop but these past couple of weeks there was just no hesitation.

The big obstacle I come up against is knowing when to stop because there are so many of these small objects that remain too important, too special, at least to me. Probably no one else could make any sense of the things I choose to keep but I can already see them being a star or supporting member in so many art pieces.

This clearing is certainly not for everyone but when you live tiny it is a form of survival, for yourself and your partner ... who, by the way, is terrible at doing it! But after so many years of him seeing that this is my way of coping when spaces get too tight and me learning to slowly and gently walk him through it, well, at the end we are both much happier and breathe easier with the feeling of
 lightness that we accomplish.

keeping up

We've had a string of beautiful, mild days and took advantage of all we could ... staying downstairs in the studio and working with clay, firing the kiln and trying new ideas. There were a few times the door could be left open, such a joy and surprise!

Today is much colder so we're upstairs, cooking soup. I took over the one spot of morning sun at the table, reminding myself how to bead, I found out pretty quick what happens if I don't continue to work on pieces.

Larry is writing his story for the newspaper, he's been doing mostly Manitou business stories each week but did finish a couple of sweet pieces in between many other projects.

That's a wrap for now, hope you're enjoying the day.

earrings + eco prints

I'm still playing with both, this is what yellow and red onion skins do to watercolor paper after being wrapped tight and left to simmer for a couple of hours in a rich brew of stuff ... so very cool! and I love using these to hang the earrings from, all up for adoption along with many more.


Thanks to my sweet friend, my anam cara Robin, we are taking an eco dying class together online ... so much fun! The results are a mystery every time and depends on so many factors, what fabric you use, what you put in the pot, how long you leave it in there or if you put things out to bake in the sun, and then there's the rust! That's a whole other level of outcomes.

A big surprise for me is how much I'm taking to paper, water color paper for now 
but I'm sure there will be different ones to try.

And, boy! this really changes how you go on your walks, looking at so many things that could work ... oh, look! what a pretty dead leaf, oh, there's another! and something purple, oh! a sunflower!

And then there's your kitchen where you'll find purple cabbage, red and yellow onions,  turmeric, paprika, tea and coffee, blueberries and on and on and on.
Just today I was getting ready to roast some tomatillas and right there were these perfect, little green husks, waiting to be played with.

One thing that helps me with projects is knowing what I want to use them for. Working with these almost square shapes came about because they would fit in the one big pot I had in one of the smallest kitchens on the planet. I've learned to not fight it, just work with what I have and I knew doing big amounts of fabric was not a reality but this I could do and then I could use them for hanging my pretty earrings on! I'll show you a few befores and afters ~

I really love those interesting shapes and colors so much more than the white.

Thank you, Deb, for sharing your fantastic desert knowledge and awesomely fun videos 
and beautiful grandbabies with us!

Random blessings

I do it all the time and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out you do, too. I've always said a morning prayer for the day, for us and our loved ones and an end of day prayer giving thanks.

But all through the day, at any time, I'll send out a blessing to someone I don't know ... it could be a young mother struggling with her tired children, I'll say "please let her get home safely and put those babies down for a nap" or an elderly man sitting alone on a bench, I'll just shoot love and caring thoughts right at him and hope that he is waiting for someone special to join him. Sometimes when we are stopped in traffic and I look over at a fellow driver I'll hope in a big way that they 
reach their destination with no problems.

It's just little things that make me remember, when we're feeling like we are out on that wire by ourselves, that we really are not.


That's how we are trying and hoping to handle this aging thing because, seriously, there is no way to ignore it. We don't dwell on it or worry about it too much, mostly we are pretty astonished by it, being from a huge group of young people who were dealing with the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution and drugs, many of us never thought we'd make it out of our 30's 
and the wildness with which we lived really showed that.

Needless to say how grateful we are, while so many didn't get the chance to worry about getting older, here we are. So, at this stage of the game you do all that you can ... take your daily walks, eat good food, keep up with your dental and vision appointments. That last one caught me by surprise this week when I went for a usual eye exam, thinking it would be about the same ...
a new prescription, new glasses.
Instead, I was told that I have a cataract ... bummer. 
I know the drill since Larry has had both eyes done already, he also had me to put all the drops in.
My first appointment is Thursday morning, should be interesting and just one more new thing.

a pretty pair

I've been sitting with these lovely lilac and pure white beads and just letting them do their thing, trying to think and not think about the sadness in El Paso and then more sadness hearing about the children coming home from the first day of school to find their parents gone. I've named this pair Heartbreak but I think they will bring joy to the lobes they swing and dangle from 💜