December 29, 2010

Miss Potato Nose.

This past year, like Alice, I went down the rabbit hole. No Queen of Hearts in my story, but a Miss Potato Nose. She also yelled, "Off with their heads", at the top of her lungs, while she swung her machete around and changed the life of all of those about her.
I have read and reread the book by Martha Stout: The Sociopath Next Door. I had read it prior to having my head cut off and still could do nothing when it happened because we want to believe that those whom we like cannot be so heartless. 
Only now am I getting round to it, and I have acquired a nice new potato-peeler.

December 27, 2010

Paper Cut.

I have a problem - well perhaps more than one, but I have such a broad interest in everything around me that I always find myself doing something new. It's probably what I need, or I would specialize. 
Since I bought some printed paper this whimsical cut-out just wouldn't go away till I made her.

December 26, 2010


More stamps than envelope, it seems. Gandhiji's tranquil face looking back at me multiple times, like looking through a kaleidoscope.
Last time I went to the post office they were out of 98 cent stamps and I bought 1 dollar ones, which are far prettier. I think I will continue doing that. They might even have different ones, which will make my envelopes more interesting too. Of course, I could just stick on 100 penny stamps.

December 23, 2010

Paper mosaic.

When a day is just plodding along, or worse than that even, when very little seems to go the way I would like it to go, then I am totally taken aback when I suddenly come across something that will just flood my head with ideas and flush out any disappointing feelings I may have.
It can be something simple. Like this morning when I saw a picture of a caterpillar, and the colors were so wild, that I immediately wanted to make a vividly colored caterpillar of my own. Recently I saw a program about fractals and there I went again, like Alice down the rabbit hole. Head spinning with inspiration.

Words, that are strung beautifully, do it to me too. 

“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.”
 – Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

If I can't mosaic anything of scale, then why not mosaic something small and light. That is what you see in the picture. I am making paper mosaic tiles and placing them on a little wooden box. It looks like nothing this close, but when finished I will post the end result and it will look entirely different. You will see.

December 18, 2010

The Big Hat.

Your life experiences build you layer upon layer into whom you eventually become. It is also the life experiences of those whom you encounter along the way, that influence you in becoming who you are. As a woman, I have a strong admiration for women who disown certain conventions and seek out the experiences that make them multi-faceted and very interesting. I can name a few from the past, Baroness von Blixen, Mary Kingsley, Margaret Mead, Delia Akeley and Isabella Bird a.o. If you think that there are no modern day women who adventure out, then names like Jane Goodall and Alicia Colson come to mind, but granted I can find very few and most are scientists. However on the bright side, there is Sophie, who writes a blog journal about her hotel in the West African town of Djenne, Mali, where she has settled. Sophie, in turn introduces Edith Watts, of Papua New Guinea, in her October 18th, 2010 blog entry. Fascinating women. But they are not the only ones. Many women these days travel the world (outside the tourist circuit), live in little known pockets of the world and do interesting things. One day, future generations will hear of them, only, right now, it is not easy to find them even on the internet. 
Let's hope that they are keeping journals. 

It was Sophie who mentioned "wearing the big hat" when writing about Edith Watts and when I was going through my black and white photographs from a while back, I found this one of my mother.

Foreign movies.

You say tomato, I say tomahto. When I say ball, you hear bowl. Seriously. 

A friend was going to bring my dog to the office, and I asked her to also bring the bowl. She called to say that there was no bowl in the kitchen. Puzzled, I told there was one by the fridge and heard her say, "Oh, you want her ball". I have told this story to others and Americans hear bowl for ball and I, when they say it, hear ball for bowl and bowl for ball. As if life is not confusing enough.

I was having dinner with a very likable man and we were making the usual small talk, which I am not good at even at the best of times. I asked him what kind of movies he liked and distinctly heard him say, "porn movies". I know my eyes must have glazed over when I looked up from my plate. He held my gaze and said again, "forn movies", (which I know are, to some people, almost the same as porn movies). "Ah", I said somewhat relieved, "forrin movies". 

Oh well, you say tomato, I say, tomahto. What does it matter? No reason to call the whole thing off.

I used pen and ink (Hydrus, Phthalo Green and Venetian Brown) for the peacock feather and washed in a watercolor for the yellow.
Lately some readers have asked if the photos and drawings are my own. Everything used in my blog is my own and all photos, writing, drawings and made objects etc are done by me with the exception of a few and I always mention if they are by someone else in the text.

December 6, 2010

Twitter & Tumblr & More.

I think my head is about to explode. I just don't understand where people find the time to do it all, and I don't even mean ALL. I mean, what they do behind their computers. I get numerous personal emails that need responses. I get business emails that need to be taken care of. I Blog, and if you are reading this you already know that. Then this Summer a friend invited me to see her photos on Facebook. Turns out you need to register to be able to see them, and once registered, there were many happy reunions with people from the past. People who had worked for me, friends who I had lost touch with and friends I see monthly, weekly or daily too. Soon I had a bunch of friends. Then there was the Tweeting, but I drew the line there, because I am hopeless at small talk and that seemed like small talk to me. But I like to at least know what is out there, so checked into Tumblr, which is a blogging system that I know I don't need. I like Flickr. I spend some time there now and then because I like seeing other peoples photos, but I have never uploaded any of my own. 
Now I come across Pinterest. Which is interesting, but I just don't see how one can manage it all.......and yes, many bloggers whose blogs I read, have Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, and some others.
Between the phone, the mobile phone, text messaging, emailing and T, F, F, T and the others, reading blogs and actually living life and reading a book now and then, I think I have no option but to let my head explode. Perhaps I am taking this Slow and Simple idea too seriously, and should leap back into the Speed and Stress lane again, where everyone's head has already exploded.

December 5, 2010

What's the rush?

Lately, I seem to have been looking down a little more, and that's how I found the feathers that I stuck in my little art book. The ragged looking one will make a great stamp.
The day before Thanksgiving I was on the grocery store parking lot, in the middle of mayhem. A well-dressed man in a nice car was so concerned that I would take the parking spot he had his eye on that he stopped his car right in front of mine. I mimed something that was supposed to say: now what are you doing? His reaction was not well-dressed at all, but I had no time for him because two cars down, a car had backed into another.
What's wrong with having Thanksgiving on some boring Sunday in February? Travel will be cheap and the airports not crowded. There will be months of time for dinner preparations and getting the house in perfect shape for company. There will be no family feud about going to the one for dinner and not to the other. Shopping will be a pleasure in the almost empty stores.
Why not turn everything inside-out and upside-down and walk to the beat of your own drum?


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