Saturday, June 30, 2012

the summer so far

An 8 Gates look at dealing with Time & Space during this course.
Summer is rolling along . . . What I'm enjoying in a rambling list sort of manner: the lake (and I'll list it again: the lake), playing with the 8 Gates/SummerQuest with Cat Caracelo & Co, creating, cooking food outside (aka barbecue-ing), writing random haiku for the Haiku Tree, gardening, cultivating herbs for drying, staying up late, sleeping late, meditating in the morning (when I'm up early), a cuppa Joe or tea with the chickens in the morning, no school, thunderstorms, watching Dirk on the gifted lawn mower tractor thingy, sitting by the garden and sketching or reading, doing that with Bennie, taking naps on the lounger (usually after I've sketched or read), the big blue sky, the deep green trees and grass and herbs, eggs (no tomatoes yet so I gotta list something) and . . . Did I mention the lake?
My Inner Explorer at the ready.

To the right, a Girl and a Gate.

To the left, a Map and a Gate.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

my dream room

Ah! My Dream Room!
As I was working on my mixed media piece, I glanced up to find my eyes rest upon a ceramic piece I created in High School (forgot which year, so bear with me). Of course, each project had a goal in mind. One project using the coil method, another using the pinch, throwing ~ natch. This piece was made with the idea of using the slab method of clay construction.

Mrs. D was an interesting Ceramics teacher. While students would be diligently working on their pieces, messing about in kneaded clay and slurry, she would expound on the intricacies of life. Mainly that it is cruel and unfair and you'd better gird your loins for it. There may be whole litanies I can't readily access of many topics uttered during class times as we kneaded, rolled or glazed. All memories so deeply repressed hypnotherapy might be the only means of retrieving them. Either that or a very good kinetic to read the vibes of anything made from Ceramics class ~ of which I nearly have all.

Aside from this piece, I have a closed container, a pinched face, a strange slab-constructed pencil holder (well, that's what it became when I didn't know what else to do with it), only one of my matching tea bowls. This piece, however, holds a certain place in my heart. Not only was the class required to learn slab construction with this project, we were to create the Room of our Dreams.

That was 30 years ago.

What's funny, hilarious nearly, is how these things I've put in the Room of my Dreams almost exist in my present day life. Not the divan though. It would be divine to have a divan, but it can wait. I feel my Dream Room is comfortable, furnished with things I enjoy now. There are cats and pillows and a book and a painting and plants. The room has a window with flowing curtains, wooden floors with a hooked rug. Funnier still, I wasn't really into knitting during High School yet I included a little knitting in progress on the divan.

Memories in clay. Slab construction, of course.

I always like my comfy pillows.

The cat lounging on the divan was meant
 to be modeled after a large tabby that
was my brother's cat named Orcus.

The white cat in the window represented
one of many my mother had owned at one
time or another.

The crystal on the book is a recent
addition. Not glued, just set in place.

There's the knitting and a cozy hassock
at the window for bird watching.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

permanent vacation

The lake southwest from the road.
Bennie and I went for a walk this morning ~ late, this morning. We can sleep late now that school is over. Not too late though ~ I like to get my meditation time in before the day gets rolling. So it was a mother/daughter walk. I remember taking walks with my mother nigh on 20 years ago. Rambles on local trails or just around the block ~ all good and easy times. Bennie and I walked down the hill with a camera and a bottle of water. I brought my crystal buddy along in a pouch made so many years ago it would need carbon dating for vague accuracy.

After walking, we lounged around outside taking in the summer breeze and sun. Bennie read and sketched. I worked on my 8 Gates piece and even did a little yard yoga. Yum!
And again northwest.

One more time northwest with a better
vantage point.

Funky grass.

Sneaking a picture of Bennie with
the Funky Grass

Tree, rock, fern.

Wild berry buds!
In another week we'll be feasting!

Happy little daisy!

My crystal carrying pouch.

My Crystal Buddy hanging out with the Stones.

A small portion of PiP.
(Play in Progress.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

on Vigil

Words over one of my vine photos.
Tonight, I tend the Flame, Brighid's Flame. I have a rare opportunity to spend time in the studio with the Shining One, the Forger, the Lady of Poems. Playing along further with my 8 Gates image and looking through my journal for images from the past few months . . . It is interesting to see how I've created some of these pages. The hasty scrawl across printed photos. A little watercolor. Plenty of collage. Images added to my words. Stuff I enjoy.

And so here a few of the pages . . .
Words, bark and vine.

Watercolor and musings.

Collage and planning.

Recon words, writing over writing.

Some pages simply have poetry.

Others are part of a process; such as this from
True North Arts.

The stuff surrendered in a sealed envelope.

Ah, color pencil drawings! The most immediate
gratification next to writing.

Some pages are spreads, like this one on Family.

Monday, June 25, 2012

are we alone yet?

Of course not, Silly! It's summer vacation and EVERYONE is home. Well, sort of. Some drifting Youths here and there ~ particularly if they have a car. Other Youths in their Man Caves. Bennie is the only one who joins me at the dining table to collage. The Man is at work.

I'm not doing SoulCollage® today. Instead, I'm trying to go a little deeper into the 8 Gates by making a large collage that will most likely include drawing, writings and painting. So far, there's the Funky Explorer Guy, a Pumpkin Seedling, a Shadow Guy, a Map, a Very Large Eye, a Very Small Black-Winged Angel, a couple of Gates, Kreatures from a Krampus night, a Circle of Stones and a Defiant Looking Girl with the words I am Powerful . . . All stuff of dreams and thresholds yet to pass over. I plan on moodling over this piece for a few days with pen, pencil and paint. It means we eat in front of the TV, but, hey! It's summer vacation and the rules have left the building.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Solstice Blessings!

With little time to spare this morning ~ house guests, one Youth to get out the door ~ 
the candle is lit for this Summer Solstice Blessing. 
Bennie moves on up to 9 Grade today. Ian takes his last exam. 
Tom is getting ready for his summer work at the local Recreation Center. 
At the zenith of this season all is well and as it should be.

And now . . . time for long days by the lake!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

in preparation

Cronewort and Juniper waiting to be bound.
Tomorrow is Solstice. I don't have much in the way of garden variety vegetables for the altar. The weather has not been a Tomato Happy one. So I hauled out herbs meant for bundling, dried from last year. Some Cronewort (Artemisia vulgaris) and Eastern Red Cedar or Juniper (Juniperus virginiana) all good for the protective and integrative (instead of clearing) properties.

Bennie and I sat this afternoon making up a few little beauties for smudging or just all-round incense. What's nice is how it was all grown here, half way up our mountain. These Cronewort and Juniper bundles will be added to tomorrow's altar for Solstice.

And now I'm off to find some sunny, summer things to add as well . . .

Finished bundles ready for use.

Monday, June 18, 2012

woods walk & a gift from the First Gate

Went into the woods past the fence just
to find this skunk hole under the roots
of a pignut tree.

 I want to use this image for a drawing or painting.
I thought it would be my First Gate in Cat Caracelo's
SummerQuest/8 Gates exercise.
It wasn't.

I found a rock and a tree kissing.
Two of my favorite woodland beings found
in an intimate way.

The Kiss close up.
Notice the two runes etched in the rock.
Gyfu (X) and Cen (<) ~ a gift of fire.

Then there was this darling, comfy thing.

Yes, here . . .

full of velvet invitation.

The gift of my First Gate.
A mask I made while staying in
South Wellfleet, 1989.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the domestic arts

Starting with the Dish Pile Free Form Sculpture on
a Drydock.
Since time steeping myself in any creative endeavors leaves the building frequently, I've decided to include the many ways I create around the house . . .
Note the jaunty angle of the glass in the
center depicting the artist's attempt at
asymmetry and balance.

The blurry Cutting Board and Rightly-Angled Bread
Knife with Butter Bowl and Wine depicts the artist's
existential angst. Why the bread knife? Why the butter
bowl? We comprehend fully the wine bottle.

 In Unfolded & Folded, we see the artist's playful
cavalier attitude toward dish towels. What secrets are
lying within that folded dish towel? What is it the
artist dares not reveal?

Note how the juxtaposition of these items on the counter
show a certain regimentation of life. Dishes get dirty.
Dishes get clean. Dishes get dirty again and the hands
require lotion. One can feel the treadmill existence this
artist is trapped in just by how these objects are
gathered in this space. Oh. The horror.

Finally, here we see in this
complementary color usage the freedom
the artist seeks. The dishes are done.
The hands are dry. She can finally leave
the confines of kitchen drudgery.
She can move on. Note the feeling in the
drape of the towel. Clearly, a
signature piece!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

the many virtues of comfrey

Oh there are many places to go to find out about the wonders of comfrey! Here are a few . . .

Susun Weed: Here and Here. And don't be afraid.

Mountain Rose Herbs has a lot to say.

Don't forget the Mother as in Mother Earth News, baby!

Looks like some nifty info here too.

But all herbs come with a personal story. And mine is this. Quite a long time ago, Bronze Age for us perhaps (we had only the One Child at the time), Dirk had blown out his knee on a job. Kicking in carpet, I think. It was swollen twice the size. We wouldn't spend money on silly things like health insurance or doctor's visits then. Diapers were all the rage as was baby food. Needing Dirk back on his feet and earning, I vaguely remembered reading somewhere that a comfrey compress does wonders for swollen bits. I set to mashing leaves and flowers throughout the day, wrapping that mash in a damp cloth, applying that herbal construction to the swollen knee. Dirk had no problem lying on the couch with his leg up as I exchanged heated compresses for fresh, cool ones. The next day, the swelling went down by half. Another day spent in much the same way for both of us saw the swelling gone completely.

Now, I aims to make some infusion for short memory loss and stuff . . . The leaves are safe, but not the roots. Like Susun Weed says.