Tuesday, April 30, 2002

After an early-morning walk in the park, I picked some tiny purple flowers in our front yard. I don't know what kind they are, in fact, they're probably weeds, but I don't really care; they're pretty. I picked a generous handful and put them in a cobalt glass votive to make a teeny arrangement. Then I brought them upstairs to do a quick watercolour sketch before leaving for work. Giving myself a 15-minute time limit forced me to work loose and splashy and concentrate on my main focus: the deep, velevety colors.

Monday, April 29, 2002

Tonight was the special on Gilda Radner... I waited and waited, and finally at the very end they showed the clip of her singing "Tap Your Troubles Away" on the Muppet Show when she was glued to everything that wasn't nailed down, including Beaker. {Yay.} I did think it was a little off that they interviewed Kermit the Frog, but not Gene Wilder. Hmmmmmmmmm......

Sunday, April 28, 2002

Paul and I went to the bookstore recently to stock up on journals — I've decided after my latest success with journaling this week to get a journal devoted only to work. It's black, spiral bound, and of course unlined — I like being unconfined and to have room for lots of sketches if the mood strikes. While we're in the bookstore {because there's no way you can go in for one thing and not wander around for ages} I decided to go see if they had the latest SARK book. They didn't, but they did have her book "Eat Mangoes Naked" so I had to pick it up since I don't have it. I sort of flipped around, and then decided to just open it up anywhere and see what I got. I opened right up to a story about her chalking up the streets in NYC! SARK! Chalking! 3 pages of it! I grabbed Paul and made him read it too. I had a moment right in the store. My other moment came when we left the store and saw the gorgeous full moon smiling at us. We drove home through the park as usual, and Paul wanted to get out and stargaze. So we did! We walked up to the hilltop and tried to find all the planets in alignment. We found Venus {very low in the sky and flickery} but not too much else. The moon was so bright, I could read the little logo label on Paul's windbreaker clear as day. Since Jupiter was aligned with Mars I sang "Age of Aquarius" to them and the moon and Paul. We smooched under the stars.* *{sigh} Shouldn't every journal entry close that way?

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Once I asked Mom and Dad for the recipe to make zucchini bread. I was handed a typewritten sheet from Vacation Bible School way back in the 70s. There was writing on the back in Dad's handwriting: Fill radiator. Check squirter. Elena name plate on bike. Play Winnie the Pooh with Elena and Anthony. Also Silly Sandwich. Dad would always write notes to remind himself of things he didn't want to forget. And that included taking the time to play with us. He never worked weekends. He never went on business trips. Working late for him was such a rare occurence that I can only think of 2 or 3 times in my life that he wasn't there at dinner. We, the family, were his number one priority. And it showed. Happy Birthday, Dad. I'm so glad you're mine.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

I have been working on an intensive project, one that's going to require a lot of creative input. Anyway, last night I was worried about all the stuff I had to do, but this morning I woke up differently. I decided to open up my journal at 5:30 this morning and started writing. There's a part that could see all this as oppressive, but at the same time, I felt challenged. I noticed there was a spark; a little part in the back of my mind that was just waiting with its arms folded, sitting there with a little "oh, you just WAIT and see what I can do!" smirk. A part of me that says, "Bring it on, baby!" And that's the part of me, the spark, that I am going to honor and celebrate and feed into. And then I proceeded to write and write and sketch and work my way through almost the whole project — things became so clear to me — maybe my subconscious was helping me work on it while I was asleep.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

I have an interview on the Creativity Day website, celebrating "Creativity and Innovation Day on April 21st as an inspirational worldwide event." It's a veeerrrrrrrrrrrry cool site. Also, today is St. George's Day. Hug a dragon today!

Monday, April 22, 2002

This weekend I had chalked for Earth Day: "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." {Albert Einstein} and drew lots of butterflies around it — three little ones and one so huge we nicknamed it "Mothra." So when we got home, I started watching my Saturday morning cartoons and knitting, and I turn on to the middle of an episode of Recess I've never seen before. Spinelli spends two days chalking up the whole playground and all the kids love it. A passing helicopter touches down and a woman from some art association hops out, praising the artwork. Everyone climbs to the top of the jungle gym to have a look at the whole thing. And then — a hose bursts and the whole thing is obliterated. They find Spinelli happily zooming around on her skateboard, who says she doesn't care that it's gone. "It's doing it that was the fun part." The whole message — chalking is art and doing it {making art} is fun was sweet and not lost on me. Especially since at the close of the show, it started to pour outside.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Tis the season to be chalking... there are new chalking adventures on the site!

I’ve posted the revised “Adventures in Chalking” article complete with photos! And from that page you can access 2 brand new chalking adventures: one from Paul’s latest Earth Day project, and one from my Cornerstone weekend in February, both with lots of pictures! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 18, 2002

I went to Fabric Land with Heidi and picked out a skirt pattern and this luscious material....All this is because {a} I went shopping recently and was so disappointed in the selection of clothes that were meant for my size {adult} when the clothes I really liked were in the girl's section. I even rather hopefully help up a pair of pink pj's with unicorns up to my waist in the desperate hope that I could squeeze into them... nope. The second reason is {b} that darnit, I'm a creative person, and it's about time I started dressing like one. Faeries are way more interesting — and way more me — than plaid. I got a little extra material to play with... I may even make myself a little bag to hold my magic wand in.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Listening to Donovan today gave me: People walking around, they don't know what they're doing They've been lost so long they don't know what they're looking for Well, I know what I'm looking for but I just can't find it I guess I'd better look inside of myself some more I'm looking, all right... I heard the story yesterday on NPR about this amazing woman who ran the London Marathon in 11 hours. She's 90 years old! I'm 1/3 of her age and it would take me way longer than that. I was so inspired after hearing her story that I had to roll down the window and blow massive amounts of bubbles to the rest of the cars waiting at the stoplights.

Monday, April 15, 2002

I'm a big believer in synchronicity, and today did not disappoint. I've been doing a lot of thinking and planning on marketing my artwork, starting with a line of greeting cards. Today I went on Amazon and was directed to SARK's latest book: Prosperity Pie: How To Relax About Money and Everything Else {not what I had come on the site for} and the excerpt from the book listed this quote: You are enough You have enough You do enough It's true It's true! I could use some relaxation, about money and everything else. Hmmm. {sound familiar? I put this quote in April 9th's blog.}

Sunday, April 14, 2002

A trip to the library’s annual book sale {$3 a bag} got me many goodies, including Lake Wobegon Days, Out of Africa, a book of short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Eight Cousins, and my very own copy of Archy and Mehitabel, one of my latest favorite reads. My friend Craig came to visit today {after a trip to my brother's} and we exchanged Christmas presents at last. I was gifted with the White Album {I own all the Beatles’ records, but not CDs} and Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, which I don’t think I’d seen since I was 8. {Beatles and Muppets... so dear to my heart. I’m pretty easy to figure out.} The biggest excitement of the day was that we moved into our new bedroom – all painted, carpeted, and woodstained. The room is lined with windows and when you lie on the bed all you can see are trees and sky and a little piece of house. Now I just need to paint a good picture for over the bed...

Saturday, April 13, 2002

This morning was Paul’s 3rd annual Earth Day with his studio. The kids and their parents cleaned up the park, and then they planted a dogwood tree and flowers donated by the studio. We brought coffee, donuts, iced tea, soccer balls and a frisbee, and lots and lots of chalk! I started out by chalking “Adopt the secret of nature: her secret is patience.” {Ralph Waldo Emerson} and asked the kids to draw things they’d find in nature. Well! They drew, flowers, trees, a snowstorm, lightning, a rainbow, bugs, butterflies... you name it! Heidi and Glenn came by and gave us sea creatures – a crab, a whale, and a picture of my ancient goldfish, Archie. It was an exuberant and colorfully joyous celebration of nature that took up a good portion of the path. We sat in the gazebo, finishing off the coffee and watching the happy reactions of the families passing by who discovered the drawings. {Yay!} Pictures will be coming soon...

Friday, April 12, 2002

Paul and I walked in the park this morning, where we had a magical experience... We wandered along our usual route, and there, at the foot of a tree, was a magic wand! It was a branch that was almost completely straight and just lying at the foot of the tree as if someone had placed it there to be found. I pointed out that I already had a magic wand, but Paul needed one. So he wisely decided to take it with him. While we strolled along, we discussed Harry Potter and general lengths of wands, and whether he should trim it {yes} and stain and polyurethane it {yes and yes again}. Not from Ollivanders, but the next best thing. Just a few steps further and we met up with a pair of wild rabbits. They bounded off to investigate a pair of dogs, whose owner was the lady I met on chalking adventure #1 {who wanted to go to grad school}! How serendipitous can you get? She said hi and that the bunnies were very friendly and not afraid of dogs – and truthfully, they did seem more afraid of the two of us than of the 4-foots. On the way home I sang this song: The moon belongs to everyone, The best things in life are free. The stars belong to everyone, They gleam there for you and me. The flowers in spring, the robins that sing, The moonbeams that shine, they're yours, they're mine. And love can come to everyone, The best things in life are free. ~ from the musical "Good News" {1927}

Thursday, April 11, 2002

I went to the park after work today – after a bout of inertia – where I decided that it was time to start acting like the artist I am (instead of gathering dust in front of the tv). So I packed up a sketchbook, a set of watercolour pencils my mom bought me in Italy, my journal, and an extra-thick-and-fuzzy hooded sweatshirt and walked on over. I went straight to my new favorite spot: there’s a big weeping cherry tree that spreads itself over a brook, and its branches hang down in fringes and almost touch the ground. I parted them and sat inside in the little room it made, right at the water’s edge. I started sketching. In front of me and all around me were these dangling branches of blossoms, white but stained a delicate blush pink at the edges. Just beyond this curtain was the brook that winds away at my feet, and I think: I could step onto that glossy surface and walk away somewhere. Somewhere where I’m free to draw and paint and I actually have the energy to do it. I sat there until all the children playing in the park had to go home for dinner and I got cold. I picked a blossom to press in my journal and wandered home to paint.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

I just read The Ultimate History of Video Games. This was the can’t-put-it-down book of my vacation. It labels itself as telling the history “from Pong to Pokemon” and it delivers! If you ever played PacMan (no joke – its shape was inspired by the pizza the programmer was eating) or looked for the secret room in Adventure*, you will love this book. You can read about the many court battles, the college students who hacked their way to greatness, and the reason Sega dropped out of the video-game race. This book will make you crank up your Stella emulator and play Space Invaders until the cows come home. *As soon as we got home, I had to find that hidden room again. I had done it way back in 6th grade (thank you, Keith Prior!) but I didn’t remember how. If you want to find it too, check out the links below. linkage: the Stella emulator plays games from the Atari 2600 on your computer. Atari Age is a great site where you can read the manuals and see screenshots of almost every Atari game. Hours of surfing fun. Instructions to finding the secret room in Adventure are here

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

It's so amazingly warm out; my hair is reeeeeeeeeally curly and fluffy today (humidity, natch). I'm wearing my new Powerpuff Girl socks (from Jim) with my oh-so-comfy MaryJane shoes. It's a relief to finally get some kind of plan of action going for me and my artwork, usually I'm just kind of aimlessly wandering along, doing whatever strikes my fancy. Luckily for me, I am married to quite an entrepeneur and he's just about the best combination coach-cheerleader there is. We're going to start applying for copyrights, making up databases for orders and inventory... I may even get a Handspring (okay, Paul, I said might) and use Paul's old cherished laptop. I need to remind myself that I'm doing everything at my own pace; there is no timeline and the only person I have to satisfy is myself. I keep reminding myself of the words of SARK: You have enough You do enough You are enough I also take to heart her words, "If you're not getting rejected, you're not trying hard enough." I haven't been rejected nearly enough, and it's time for me to try for some stuff that's out of my reach and see if I surprise myself. And if not... I can always try again, right?

Monday, April 08, 2002

I know this should come as a surprise to no one...
I took the What Mythological Creature Are You? test by peacefulchaos! More about me and unicorns here.

Sunday, April 07, 2002

Back from vacation! I read, slept, read, knitted, read, walked, read, painted, read... you get the picture. After these action-packed days we'd spend our evenings in front of the fire with bowls of peanut-butter ice cream. (yum.) Paul would read Sherlock Holmes mysteries aloud while I knitted. (We tried it one night with me reading Alan Mendelson, the Boy from Mars, but somehow it just wasn't the same...) One great thing we did this week was to hash out a plan for me to make my own line of greeting cards! This summer will be the first wave (Christmas cards) and then I have projects planned for after that. In my spare time (!) I'm going to start on one of the book ideas I have in mind. When we got home and I powered up my computer, I was thrilled to see this gorgeous ambigram of my name, which reads the same right-side up as upside down. (Thank you, Kevin!) I was also mentioned in the "Inspiration Issue" at Soapbox Girls! (On the Big Inspiration List....scroll alllllllllllllllll the way down... that there's me.)