Saturday, June 18, 2011

One Week and Counting

New work, Happy Happy Home
I can't believe a week from today is the Retreat show!  I feel so fortunate to have been asked to be a part of Deb and Bob's newest venture, because I'm in really good company, and still have to pinch myself.  It is really going to be a fun weekend.  My very favorite (aside from Kip) road-tripper, Christine is coming along for the adventure.  Which sure is convenient, since I'm not sure how I would get all of my gear into Maude-the-Pod, and her SUV will do that quite nicely.  Otherwise, I'd be borrowing my sister's mini-van (aka The Iron Maiden) which, as you know, fits the bill, but is all wrong for my image.  haha

Anyhoo.  Christine is coming over Thursday night to help me pack up, and just hang out.  We'll get Kip to the kennel since my girl is out of town, and hit the road Friday morning.  It's about a 4-hour drive to Camano Island, and we'll arrive mid-day to set up my booth.  My brother, bless his woodworking heart, built me some fabulous 6'x3' panels to hang my paintings from.  They are AWESOME!  I can't wait to get my booth together.  I'll take lots of photos next weekend to share.

Happy Happy Home detail
I really love doing shows and fairs and festivals.  It's fun to see all of my heart's work all pulled together, dressed up, and polished and pretty.  I also love meeting other artists and vendors and all of the wonderful peeps who come to the shows.  It's good to get out of the studio, step out of my comfortable little colorful world, and make new friends. 

Retreat is an antiques and art fair, which is a dream combination for me, since I love, love vintage goodness.  I've found recently that I love painting on old kitchen cabinets and bits of reclaimed wood.  I've got some small paintings on 6" pieces of 10" tall crown moulding which has a really flat surface for the painting, with a decorative top piece.  So, in that respect I feel like Retreat will be a wonderful venue for me, and hope it will be a regular event in my growing show circuit. 

New work, Get Happy, and a messy desktop
 It's always a little scary putting my work out there.  But I really love what's coming out of my paintbrushes and springing from my needle and thread right now, and I think my new assortment will make people smile.  That's my hope anyway.  I've got more photos of my newest paintings over here.

If you're in the Seattle area and decide to venture over for the day, please stop by my booth and say hello.  I'd love to meet you.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Flying Lessons

"Soak Up The Sun" detail
Oh, I hope you had as lovely a weekend as we did here in Portland.  The temperature was warm, the sun came out, perfect weather for gardening.  And that's how I spent my weekend.  A little "dirt therapy", digging in the flower beds, planting flowers, making the garden summer-ready. 

Midway through my morning on Saturday, while cleaning up my hosta bed, I noticed a small creature skitter along the back of the fence.  I thought it was a field mouse, which is not an unusual occurrence when I'm in the garden.  Always freaks me out a little, but once we realize the other is there, we call a truce and maintain a peaceful coexistence.  A "you don't bother me, and I won't bother you" scenario.

This time, however, upon closer inspection, I saw that it wasn't one of my mouse-y friends, but a baby wren.  So sweet, and downy soft, and very obviously not flying yet.  Trying it's best, bless its little heart.  I have felt fairly certain we had a wren's nest in our clematis (a perfect place, because it was terribly overgrown, thick and dense with lots of places to hide from the raccoons and squirrels and that nosy cat next door who sits on the fence and makes Kip bark).  I'd sit in my favorite spot near the window of our great room all spring, and watch the feathered couple fly in and out, taking bits of moss and twigs into the clematis.  And more recently little seeds from our feeder and tiny worms from our flower beds.  Such a fun discovery. 

So, on Saturday, when this little bird and I found each other, we were both a little surprised.  It skittered off into the ferns, and I sat back and worried that it had fallen out of the nest.  As I sat there, along came mama and papa wren, loudly scolding me and telling me to please step away from their baby.  Which I did.  I moved myself quietly to my wicker chair under the dogwood, and watched and waited.  Eventually, the little family forgot I was there.  Each of the adult wrens would chirpchirpchirp and look at the ground.  Chirpchirpchirp.  Then a tiny peeppeeppeep.  Amazingly, baby wren was responding.  Mama wren flew to the feeder and got a seed, flew back to the ground where the peep came from.  Where I was sitting, I could see mama swoop down to a large rock in the hosta bed, then peeppeeppeep, out came baby.  Mama hopped down to the ground and baby circled her like a little toddler does with its own mother, then opened its tiny beak and mama dropped the seed right into it.  They did a little dance together, and mama flew back to the fence. 

That went on all day long.  I stayed away from the hosta bed to give them their space, and would glance over periodically to see what was going on.  And that's when I noticed the second baby!  Two babies hanging out in my hostas.  The only thing I can figure out, is that the wren parents pushed those babies out of the nest, and this was the weekend they were to learn to fly.

When I finished gardening on Saturday, I worried a little bit about the babies being in the garden overnight.  How would that work?  But, when I went back out to the garden on Sunday, there was our little wren family, mama and papa on the fence chirping away, encouraging the little ones to fly. 

I didn't see them this morning, but mama was at the feeder.  I can hardly wait to get home tonight to see what's going on.  Such a sweet little garden gift.  I hope your day is full of sweet surprises.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Things To Do Today

 I have a favorite little ditty I like to put on my artwork.  I haven't used it in awhile, but it popped into my head today as I was ticking off the to-do list, and beginning to freakoutjustatinybit and I thought you might like it, too...

Things to do today:
Breathe in
Breathe out

Isn't that a great reminder?  (If only I could remember it more often.)

So, if you're freakingoutjustatinybittoo, try taking a little time out, just you, and do one of these:


Sing yourself silly.

Color in a child's coloring book.

Watch the sunrise or the sunset.  I mean really watch it happen.

Make a daisy chain.

Lay on a blanket in the grass with your dog.

Tell your toes a joke.

Pick a bouquet of flowers from your garden.

Make a boat from a milk carton.  Sail it in your tub.


Swing in a hammock.

Check out a book from the for the sheer pleasure of reading.

You choose.  Pick one.  Savor it.  And then come back and tell me all about it. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Making Something out of Everything

Frida is looking quite pensive, isn't she?  I know how she feels.  My pea.brain has been working overtime lately.  I've been in one of those "so many ideas, so little time" modes.  I know you know what I mean.  I'm writing notes on cocktail napkins, sketching ideas into the margins of spreadsheets at the gallery.  It's crazy.  I can hardly wait for it all to sort of settle and gel so I can actually wrap my arms around it - something more concrete and tactile.  It's all a bit gooey and gibberish-y right now.  And Margaret Drabble's quote: when nothing is certain, everything is possible keeps popping to the forefront of all the gibberish.  Thank you, Marge.  I needed that.