Monday, April 27, 2009

Greater than GREAT

Friday night and another evening at DIY Lounge for a "$5 Friday's - A Recession Busting Art Escape" class. This week the project was "Playing Card Mini Books".

I "hogged" the paper cutter and now I owe and want to give Lynda a night of hogging. Next class she gets first dibs on all of the "stuff" all night long!

Saturday morning I woke up and turned the computer on. There was an email from "DAYNA". I always know that an email from her yields nothing but uplifting greatness. Is there anything greater than great? YES there is!!!! An opening in her Fanciful Dream House class at 1PM at Stampin Cat Studio in Salem!!!!

I had previously vowed to myself that I would not sign up for another class or go on any type of outing until I had gathered my "pre-determined sized" suitcase and pack for Greece (it's a week away). But that email ~ there was no way that I would or could say no to that. I called at 10am and got the last spot!

And Fanciful Dream Houses it was. I had asked Dayna before if she had any mermaid images~she brought some special for me. That is how cool she is. In Artist's Way, Susan and I had talked about the movie The Mermaid Chair. The movie reminds me of me, before and after my "red jumper" days. I love that movie. And with that in mind, my Fanciful Mermaid Dream House was created.

And could the class get any better....greater than GREAT? Trickling in were two gals from yoga and my wonderful instructor Dawn (she is the one who would give me a wink at Artist Way nights to let me know all was okay). And if that wasn't enough, Dayna let me have some of her ultra cool embellishments for my family South Dakota masterpiece I am creating.

I leave there feeling wonderfully creative and high spirited, and vowing that tomorrow I will find that "pre-determined sized" suitcase and start packing. This time I really mean it, (plus I know Dayna has no more classes scheduled until the fall season).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Secret Keeper and Route 66

Thursday was Karen's birthday. We met for lunch and stayed until almost dinner. What a wonderful feeling to not notice time. Looking at our watches we both said "Whoa, where did that afternoon go?!" Secrets and stories and laughs~she is the tiniest person I know, but has the biggest heart. She is the keeper of all of my secrets.

And after we departed I was driving in the Hollywood neighborhood and came across a small vintage store I had never been into. Outside was a wonderful Every Woman Has Her Chair chair. I knew I wanted it the moment I saw it outside of the store. It needs to be dressed~I'm excited about the possibilities.

Once inside, I spotted it. A Route 66 chair!

In my recent travels I had been to the starting place of the route in Chicago (corner of Jefferson & Jackson)

and to the ending place in Hollywood

The chair belongs to me now. And when I walk by it, I think of that route, the beginning and the end, the best of times. It brings a smile to my heart.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Doris Day Roses

And my birthday continues. Did someone forget or was my birthday just "extended"? Another half empty half full question.

I have never received flowers in a box. You know, the kind of box in the Doris Day movies. I always imagined what it was like back then to open the door and be handed that long box, to be opened and to pull out the who's it from card.

I got to do that yesterday. The doorbell rang and I was handed "the box". And for that moment I truly felt like Doris Day (in knee socks).

They were beautiful and very much loved.

And I got a couple of great shots (maybe to be used for my new journal art or for my walls).

Forgotten or extended, I loved feeling like Doris Day. And I love human beings that remind me about taking the high road when I don't really want to, for encouraging my adventures and for loving my knee socks. I love my "boxed" roses!!!!

You Can Always Go......DOWNTOWN

One of my all time favorite songs is "Downtown" by Petula Clark (I got to see her last year!). I even did tape recordings of me singing it (solo of course) in the 60's. And for 30+ years I worked there. I LOVE downtown Portland.

Our art class was cancelled on Sunday, so when Lynda emailed me and asked if I wanted to go on a Portland Walking Tour called Best of Portland in downtown Portland, my class cancellation sadness quickly subsided.

There were still new things to be learned and seen; The Echoing Circle at Pioneer Square, pieces of sculpture and whimsical art, meter reading by scanning the back of poles on each block and the smallest MacDonald's.

And the familiar to be rediscovered but maybe looked at from a different view. I never realized until this tour how ridiculously skinny that elk really is and how great and novel it must have been to have had created the world's tiniest park (Mills End Park). And I loved how Benson quoted figures and percents about how much less alcohol was being consumed because of his newly installed bubbler water fountains. It has always been my belief that if you quote a fact with a number or percent (especially if you end it with an odd number), then people will actually believe there is some truth to it.

And I will always love a sign that points to Elephants!!!!

Lynda has just the best ideas!!!!

Journals and Labels

On Saturday Kristi and I went over to OMSI to see the Da Vinci THE GENIUS Exhibit. I knew of his paintings, but I never realized ALL of the other titles he had from inventor, scientist, engineer, musician, architect. They had an "unveiling" of 25 startling Revelations and Secrets of the Mona Lisa painting. I don't know how "startling" they were, but his final attempt was surely his finest.

My favorite part of the exhibit was looking at his journals. The notes, the writings, the drawings. And I began to think that maybe it would be fun and new for me to add "art" to my journal(s). Four months ago I didn't even know what the concept of "Morning Pages" was all about and now I have three different journals. So for now at least one will have "art" added.
While at the bookstore last week I had come across a book/journal titled "Wreck This Journal". Opening it up, the pages looked like a ton of fun to do. Silly but fun, it seems to give you permission to do wacky stuff and keep track of it. I bought 11 copies with the idea of giving them to people who have just a touch of wackiness in them. I thought we could meet up months from now and share our favorite page(s) if indeed there are any left.

"It's easier to resist at the beginning, than at the end" ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

Saturday, April 18, 2009

As Time Goes By

I have been putting off for a week now about writing about this. It is about one of those rare moments in your life that leaves you wordless.

One of the birthday presents I received was a short story written just for me. The words were just for me. He said I had inspired him to start writing again, he had let it go by the wayside after his college days. He gave it to me in a beautifully wrapped box. I didn't want to read it in front of him. I wanted to take it home and read it all alone. It was the right decision. It brought tears to my eyes, it warmed my heart. I read and re-read. I loved the character, I loved the geese flying in their V formation.

Are there any befitting words to thank someone for spending a part of their life, delving into the deepest part of their soul and creating something just for you? Like I said, after I read it I was wordless.

But I do hope he knows how honored I am to receive such a gift. It is in my box of life's greatest treasures. I will read it often.

It was the verse "and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

"I never perceived that verse to be making love in the sexual sense, but in the spiritual sense. In other words at the end of your life, the amount of love you leave this earth with, or take with you, is in direct proportion to the love you were capable of having with other people who had the capacity to love. It sounds like a mouthful, but thinking about it, it is a very simple concept."

Thank you Peter Vattiat for being who you are and for remembering Sweet Tibbie Dunbar.

You make me want to be a better person. You are my friend and I love you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Vintage Tags and Friends

Tonight I went to yet another $5 Fridays-A Recession Busting Art Escape at the DIY Lounge Woodstock (which meant "No Lynda"). The project this week was working with Walnut Ink Crystals which gives papers and textures an old distressed look. Then adding embellishments to create "Vintage Tags". The bag I drew had a "H" in it (Hartung), Birds (Bob), Green Embellishments (my favorite color), Marble (oh yeah), Pink papers (second favorite color) and one of the sheets to ink up had poor grammar sentences, which the one I chose for my tag very much applied to how my day had gone "Believe me, I'll never do so no more again."

I LOVE these classes. $5, bi-weekly visits with Lynda and I am always learning one new medium.
And after class.....I got to have dinner with one of my exclusive vintage friends, which made the ending of a not so great day a ton better.

vintage adjective 1. Characterized by enduring excellence, appeal and importance : classic, classical. You certainly are, my vintage friend!

Crazy Enough to be Just A Little Bent

Wednesday night I had tickets to see "Crazy Enough" at the Portland Center Stage. My favorite sister Terri went with me. If you haven't seen! It is by far one of the best performances I've ever seen (there or anywhere else). Storm Large wrote, presented and sang. She is honest and lovable and gritty and hilarious and real. Not to mention her unparallelled singing voice that can bring a person to their knees. Her story is one for the books, but her telling it is priceless.

Towards the end she talks about being "A Little Bent". OMG-my shrine from art class a couple of weeks ago that I had made and gave to Kristi.... named A Little Bent. As I am listening to her, I realize how awful my life would be, if in fact, I just wasn't crazy enough to be just a "little" bent at times.

And days later I am still bursting into singalongs to her CD - (Halogen and 8 Miles Wide are the ones I crazily sing best with my yellow rat-tail hairbrush microphone!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Who's That Birthday Girl?

It's ME! I LOVE my birthday. I never use to. But since I turned 50, I do. Maybe it is because each year just seems to get better than the previous one; so I embrace each new year with wonderment and excitement. The added year doesn't seem to matter. I feel renewed. I know welcomed discoveries are going to happen for me.
And....I LOVE the people who acknowledge and help me celebrate the beginning of my new year of discoveries.
It started out Monday with a very long walk through SE Portland down to The Esplanade. I love that walk. The time and distance does not even register when you are walking with a friend. I LOVE my walking buddy.
Tuesday after yoga, a couple of the six-packers took me out for a glass of Birthday Bliss and an assignment to google a mango something. I did and I'm intrigued.

Wednesday was spent with Yina at Tippy Canoe's on the Sandy River. Before the trip out east I was handed a "Birthday Box". Are Birthday Boxes not one of the greatest things in life? was wrapped in Cupcake Paper with a pink shoelace (you know the song!). Filled with a book of cupcake recipes, Stationery made from dirty cotton socks (true), turtle candles and instructions on how to meditate (since I shared with her that I have never meditated). She always helps me in my new year of discovery journeys!

Lunch with Karen and Kristi, my 'K' Gals. Kristi got me fabulous girly things to bring and wear in Greece and Karen warmed my heart with a beautiful garden turtle I quickly named Audrey and the coolest "Simplify" t-shirt by Life Is Good. It's so soft and bares my current mantra...SIMPLIFY!!!!

And then I came home to a wondermous box from Shelley in Montana. I shook shook back. That's Shelley!!!! A pink boa, pink & green Maracas, Mac & Cheese!!!!

There was suppose to be a beginning dance class down in Salem, but that had to be postponed for a couple of weeks. But it was ok. Emails and cards from family and friends, dinner in The Hawthorne neighborhood and a gift card to COLLAGE!! and other perfect gifts and (especially) company made for a splendid evening.

And tomorrow morning I get to have "birthday" coffee with Pete. NOBODY does coffee like Pete!!!!

I am so blessed with my life and the people in it. I am eager to see what Year 54 has in store for me. I know it will be crazily fun and I'm excited for my new learning's and discoveries and new found loves.

And a quick card I need to share

"As they woke up on the beach the morning
after the birthday celebration,
wondering what they had done the night before,
they took comfort in the fact
that they still had their hats on."

Thank you Robert and Mabel....Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Treasure in the Eyes of the Beholder

Sunday was gorgeous out. I got up early (7AM is early for me) and decided to head south to the Flea Market in Rickreall. I had never been there before, so I was curious to see if there were any treasures to be found; something that brings back a fond memory, something that warms the heart or something for a new art project. And yes, I found treasure.
Sheet music for a future art project

Lots of "Happy Stuff" to warm my heart and for current art projects

And a plethora of happy wonderfully whimsical chairs for my chair project. Are these just not the greatest? Folks there were actually helping me try to find my chairs, shuffling through the bins and finding ones I had overlooked.

I might start waking up early more often!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

$5 Grungeboard "Art" & a Moment Artist

Another great $5 Fridays-A Recession Busting Art Escape. This Friday we learned about "Grungeboard Jewelry" at DIY Lounge. It was at the Woodstock location which meant "No Lynda"; but familiar faces showed up from previous classes.

We learned about the different types of inks to use to color the leathery grungeboard shapes. And then we were released to create what we were feeling; from necklaces to bracelets to earrings. I chose to make a bracelet for my first project.

For my second project, since I am not an "overly wearing" jewelry type lover (because all you really need is one piece to touch and feel from a loved one), I decided to make a wall/picture hanging.

I loved it more than my Grungeboard Jewelry. And I really like the alcohol ink used to color and texture the grungeboard pieces. (The teacher showed my piece to the class. For that one moment....I was an ARTIST!).

Another GREAT Friday evening!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

When I Grow Up I Want To Be Just Like Minnie

Friday, April 3rd was Minnie Copp's 90th Birthday!!!!

She is my 1st grade teacher. I ran into her about 7 years ago when I was grocery shopping. As I passed by her in the store, I knew I knew her from somewhere. Aisles later, it was still bugging me as to why I thought I knew her. So much so that I backtracked to where she was by then and tapped her shoulder. She told me her name and my heart melted back to that little six year old girl. We have remained in contact ever since. I adore and love this lady! Each card or note given, she writes that I am her special 1st grade '61-'62 student. She made me feel so smart back then and that I could do and achieve anything I wanted to (I'm sure she did that with each of her students).

When I grow up, I want to be just like Minnie Copp!!!!

Tuesday Yoga & a Six-Pack Student

I used to drive to Salem on Tuesday nights for my Artist's Way class. I am still driving to Salem on Tuesday nights, only this time it is for YOGA!!!! One of the ladies in the AW class, trained and got certified in teaching yoga. So during one of our classes, I asked her what she was going to do with her teaching "credentials". I told her I would drive down if she would start a class. She agreed!!!!

So now on Tuesdays, I pack my green yoga mat and a bottle of water, and head south for a yoga class.

Last Tuesday was our first night. She taught a wonderful class. My aches were stretched and when I went home that night I felt so rejuvenated and alive. The next day the uplift was still there and I headed for the gym. It has given me the nudge I need.

And when I tell others about the great class, I make sure to tell them about my favorite part. At the end of the class she has you put your socks back on. Then you lay on your back with your eyes closed. With soothing music playing in the background, she places a blanket over you. She then gives you a lavender filled pack to either place on your chest or eyes (it's lavender times 100 and so soothing!). And then she comes around and gently touches and massages your feet and ankles just long enough to get you floating on that cloud.

Dawn Spires is the BEST yoga instructor ever!!!! And I'm one of her first six-pack students!!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


What is it about "Meat BINGO" that cracks me up. Is it the name that sounds so zany or is it the fact that someone would drive miles in hopes to win a piece of meat?

The folks playing are 100% American. They love our flag. They love our troops.

And they love to win!!

I love listening to their stories as they remember back. I love when they tell a risque story and their eyes start to twinkle and they get the giggles. I love when the caller calls "O69" and they loudly exclaim OOHHHHHHH in unison (and they are all in their 80's!).

I think this generation knows more than they let on to!!!!