I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Gene and I had a very nice one. We wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year for 2009.

I am looking forward to exploring art some more. Hoping now that the holidays are done I will be more motivated to work on stuff for me.

I have two exciting things coming up in January. On Jan 16th I am going to see Medium/Clairvoyant Lisa Williams at the Wilbur Theater in Boston. That should be a great event. My bestest friend in Ohio went to see her and said she is just awesome. I have enjoyed her shows on Lifetime and have one of her meditation CD's.

Then, on Jan 17th I have signed up for another workshop at The Art Complex in Duxbury. "Thinking Inside the Box"Create a personal shrine ('reliquary') in this fun and informative workshop! We will look at work from the Artists and Books show, as well as a presentation about artist Joseph Cornell, to inspire and instruct. Bring your own personal relics and objects; we will provide everything else. I am looking forward to this a lot. I love their workshops and like that they are a bit more affordable than some I have seen around.

I will be sure to post photos of whatever I create.

Happy New Year!
Been awhile since my last post... If I don't post often, it is just because nothing blog worthy is happening... don't want to post about the everyday stuff we all deal with....

After enjoying a lovely turkey dinner with the family we thought we would do some bird watching on Friday. We went out to Duxbury Beach in search of Snowy Owls. We had taken an Audubon excursion there looking for owls last winter but did not see any. Gene saw several posts on the massbird.org posts the last few weeks and people were reporting seeing owls out on the beach. So, we said 'what the heck, even if we don't see any, it's still a nice ride'. Well suffice it to say we were not dissappointed! We saw FOUR snowy owls. Such incredible, beautiful birds. Another one of those once in a lifetime experiences we won't forget. It was a good birding day all around. We also saw two flocks of Snow Buntings for the first time. Other birds we saw were a King Fisher, Northern Flicker, Gadwalls, Swans, Eiders and American Black Ducks and got excellent up close photos of a Great Blue Heron.... very good birding day indeed....
and of course here are some photos.









a much quieter weekend. enjoyed the lovely, mild temps too. went for a nice trip to plymouth beach this am. it is so nice there. we love hearing the whoosh of the waves and see the people playing with their dogs. the tide was very high this am so no beach to really take a long walk on. we drove out as far as we can. saw quite a few birds. feeling relaxed and rested....

i think this is a Greater Yellow Legs



this is a Great Blue Heron hunting for his breakfast

I had a busy weekend but it was all fun stuff. Saturday I volunteered with Mass Audubon at their Farm Day event at the Daniel Webster Sanctuary in Marshfield. The weather was great and lots of families came out to enjoy the activities. I especially wanted to do this event because my dad and his family had actually lived and worked the actual farm that used to be on this property. It felt great being someplace that had meaning to me. I know Dad would like that connection too.
Here are a few photos of the animals.





On Sunday I took my second workshop at The Art Complex in Duxbury. It was making an altered book. But what is an Altered Book you ask? It is any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art. They can be ... rebound, painted, cut, burned, folded, added to, collaged in, gold-leafed, rubber stamped, drilled or otherwise adorned ... and yes! It is legal!

I had a great time and it was lots of fun. I enjoy these workshops because it allows me lots of space to work, to use materials I don't have at home and the general feeling of creativity by a group of people coming together for the same reason... to just create. I will be looking for more workshops in the future.

Of course here are some photos of what I did to the book I am working on.








Last Sunday I attended this great workshop at The Art Complex. It was a lovely fall day and a great way to enjoy a little nature and a little creativity.

We started out listening to the artist explain her works on her Spirit Books. She has created over 30 of these artist books over a 13 year period. It was interesting hearing about her process.

The first step in the class was to go outside and pick up natural items to use in our books. I brought back leaves, sticks, seed pods, pine cones and tree bark. We then learned how to make the pages of the book using handmade paper called daphne paper.It was really neat using handmade paper. The texture was so different from regular papers and there were lots of fibers etc from the plants that made interesting patterns. After putting together the pages of the books, we then used the natural materials we gathered along with rubber stamps, beads, shells and other craft materials to adorn the pages.

I have more to add to my book. That is one of my favorite things about classes like this...the enjoyment isn't over when the class is.

I have some birch bark I am planning on using to make a cover for the book. I will probably do that last as the bark can be fragile. I am curious to see how the book will change as the leaves etc dry and age.

Looking forward to my next class coming up on Nov 2nd. In that class we will be taking an old book and altering it. Much fun.

Here are photos of the pages I did so far.




At times I find a need to do something calming for my spirit. I sometimes do meditation. Other times I like to be outside for this. I love the idea of the labyrinth.

"We are all on the path... exactly where we need to be. The labyrinth is a model of that path.

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.

A labyrinth is an archetype with which we can have a direct experience. We can walk it. It is a metaphor for life's journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to "That Which Is Within."

Labyrinths and mazes have often been confused. When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.

A labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal. The way in is the way out. There are no blind alleys. The path leads you on a circuitous path to the center and out again.

A labyrinth is a right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A more passive, receptive mindset is needed. The choice is whether or not to walk a spiritual path.

At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are." from http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm

I found out that a local church has a labyrinth and I have walked it several times. I find it calms me and helps me put my focus back on the right path.
Gene and I went out wandering today to get away from the roofers. We wound up at a nice audubon sanctuary. We had a great stroll and did something incredible... we hand fed birds in the woods... it was amazingly cool. Someone had trained the birds and all you have to do is hold your handout with some sunflower seeds and they come right to you.... I am still thrilled by the whole thing! I want to train our birds that come to our feeders now.



video
I went to The Art Complex Museum on Wednesday and had a great visit. I attended a lecture on the history of artist books. It was very interesting and I learned allot. The artist book exhibit was fantastic! I was so inspired and hope that some day I can get even a tiny bit of the talent the artists had. These are some photos from the website of The Art Complex Museum.







I got some handouts with websites that are focused on artist books.


Boekiewoekie


The Book Arts Web


Boston Book Arts

Granary Book

Vamp&Tramp

I really can't wait now to take my two workshops that are coming up!
Well, I am on vacation this week. The weather has been very nice so far, so I can't complain about that. So wouldn't you know that this would be the week the property management decides to do some major repairs on the building. The replaced a window on Sunday in our upstairs neighbors apt... bang, bang, bang all day. Then they replaced our bathroom window yesterday.... bang, hammer, saw, drill...stomping in and out...all day long..poor kitty had to hide behind the couch all day... and today, don't ya know they started on the roof.... who knew I would have to check with someone if I wanted peace and quite.... geeze, they do nothing for the 8 years we have been here and now they are doing it all in one week.
oh well, that's the way it goes sometimes.
I do have some lovely photos to share.... a beautiful monarch butterfly on my nasturtiums! What joy and beauty!



I love this time of year and the weather has been terrific the last few days. Crystal clear blue skies, light breezes, crunching leaves, busy birds and squirrels.... just wonderful.
DH and I woke up extremely early this am and went to the beach and watched the sun come up. We took a short walk and took a few photos... It was a great way to start the day as well as my vacation.We will most likely have a nice campfire tonite and enjoy the stars.
I hope to work on some art projects this week while I am off work. I will post photos of anything i come up with.
Here are a couple of photos from this morning....


I got the gesso I needed, YIPPEE and.... it was on the clearance table marked 1/2 off! I also got some alcohol inks and supplies to try. I saw Tim Holtz on one of the craft shows on HGTV the other day and wanted to try them. Boy are they pricey. Luckily I had a 55% off one regular priced item coupon I used. Now I just have to find some glossy card stock to try it out on.....Perhaps over the weekend I can find some. Am anxious to try some for backgrounds and put some in my artist book. The demo looked great. I was surprised how many different surfaces they could be used on.

just so you know... my least favorite day of the week is Monday... i am not a morning person and Monday mornings area especially yucky.

weekend was good... friday nite dh and i had a great little fire in the fire pit... a great way to end the week. the weather was great on saturday... took the day to just chill. i made 4 atc cards for a swap-bot swap. dh was outside doing yardwork and i didn't feel a bit guilty about not helping.

i was very pleased with the cards i made. it felt good to be playing around... i must get some gesso though... for other projects i want to do.

sunday was chore day and i did laundry and picked up around the house. watched the movie "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium". it was really good and we enjoyed it.

back to the work grind, ugh...

next week i am going to the Art Complex in Duxbury to see a exhibit of Artist Books and a exhibit of glass. looking forward to that alot. i am sure it will be great.

i guess that's all the excitement for today....
Well, I have tried doing blogs before and tend not to stick with them. I wanted to have a place to put some things into words that I have trouble working out in my head. Maybe I will stick with it this time.

I am struggling with making time to create things.... when I am at work all day, all I think of is wanting to be home doing artsy stuff....then by the time I get home at nite I don't make the time. My goal is to start making time. I am missing getting my hands all covered in ink and glue and paint. One stumbling block for me is the small space available at home.

I have signed up for two workshops at a local art complex. The first one is called Book of the Spirit by Susan Gaylord and the other is called Altered Books with Bryson Dean. I am really looking forward to going to them. I have been enjoying adding to my book that I made at the Kelly Kilmer workshop I attended in August. I have also been having fun making altered bottlecaps.