Friday, August 31, 2007

summer's ending...

Strangely hazy week this week...I thought this photo was as good as any to illustrate it...Michael and I had taken a ride through the cemetery at dusk and this was a new monument in process...a bit fuzzy because it was getting dark...

We went to aikido on Tuesday, George ended up staying home. He'd been extremely frustrated with having his cast on...I've always trusted that my sons know what their bodies need...we each have our own inner sense of what is healthy for us. Usually it is subverted by giving away our inner authority to outer authorities, doctors, teachers, etc...it's not that there isn't valuable information and guidance to be had from these people, just that our own inner rhythms and awarenesses also need to be honored as having valuable guidance for each of us, usually this is not the case. I just heard a story from Cathy about medication that she was given that caused a horrible systemic reaction in her. She had asked the doctor about drug interactions and was told that there was no problem with the medication that she was already taking...afterwards, reading the info sheet with the medication, she found out that the drug she had asked about was listed as one that would cause problems with the new medication...so she could have avoided the excruciating reaction that she had if the doctor had been more aware and listened to her concerns. Anyway, back to George, who took a pocket knife to his cast and gave himself freedom this week! He's now wearing a thumb splint, but is free of the cast that was causing him such inner agony...there's no way that I can know if this is what is best for him or not...only he can make that determination. I fully support his choice, even though it was hard for me to deal with...I certainly felt much more secure and reassured when I knew that his wrist was immobilized and he was following doctors orders...but, as George reminded me of my own teachings, the body is not going to heal very well if the body's inhabitant is frustrated and unable to allow the healing process to proceed without much inner turmoil.

I haven't gotten as much accomplished as I might have hoped. I am moving along pretty well with my Australian flower essence correspondence course, though. I was struggling a bit, not having taken any courses in a long time, and trying to be very thorough. This turned out to be a problem, me getting stuck in too many details, so I realized that I could take a more holistic view of the whole course and move through more quickly, and that is working better for me.
I'm hoping to get at least one more piece of jewelry done for the ABS challenge, today is the last day of August...amazing...where did it go?

I received the stamps that I ordered from ebay today...with an added bonus, since they shipped from Finland and the envelope needed stamps as well...
A few visuals from Aikido last night...
...some of the last of Janet's offerings from her garden...




I am looking for patterns in nature now, that I can turn into soldered glass pendants...so here is an 'eye of birch'....




and, with one son in class, the other chatting with Cathy and Claire, and no one else around to have a conversation with, I took my woolen army blanket out of the trunk of my car, and sat myself against a birch tree with magazines and a sketchpad...



not too bad since I haven't sketched in awhile and also brought a limited supply of Conte pastels with me...I liked having only a few choices of colors, I had to be selective in what I drew...no green, so no grass.


On to the rest of the day for me...I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day today!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

abundance...

Just a quick post today...I've been feeling so slow, and at the same time full of ideas...a bit frustrating, but also, so much is coming together inside of me, making sense out of where I've been in my life and where I'd like to be going...so I don't mind taking some time to reflect and re-center myself.

My son George went out just before 6 this morning and took a few photos of the very beginnings of the full moon eclipse. This was one of the clearest ones that he got. Shortly after that the clouds took over and the moon was nowhere to be seen, so we're lucky to have this one, which is pretty spectacular!

This full moon was in the I Ching hexagram of Abundance...and I think that comes in many ways...for me I am just feeling a fullness inside and I think the abundance is a sense of knowing that anything is possible, there are no limits except for the ones that we hold inside of us...of course, those are the hardest ones to let go of ;-).

My wish for today is that we all find our own inner abundance, and share it with others.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

postage stamps...

I used to collect postage stamps....just fell in love with some of the wonderful artwork that was available on them. I had a standing order from China, Sweden and Australia, not all at the same time, but one after another, I believe.

The stamps have been sitting in books and envelopes for some years , now, and I've been thinking of turning some of them into jewelry by sandwiching between pieces of glass and soldering the pieces together. That got me wondering, what other stamps might be available now, and I found some wonderful ones on ebay, from this seller....Karicenter

These are the stamps that I just ordered...not that I need more stamps...just that these were so appealing...will I cut them apart to make jewelry?...ahhh, we'll see. It's a bad habit of mine...not wanting to destroy anything, but then, I was thinking, how long have my stamps been sitting in hiding, and for what purpose? At least if they are made into jewelry they will be seen and appreciated.

This first one is from Aland...it is a painting by Tove Jansson of the Moomin Trolls...stories written by the artist.



This set of stamps is from Estonia...more trolls by Edgar Valter...



...and Great Horned Owls from Finland...I love the possibilities for using this set as pendants...each stamp has a completely different look to it.


If these are anything like the stamps that I have from Sweden, the quality will be superb...even the paper is wonderful that they are printed on.

I bet you thought stamp collecting was dull ;-).

reminder...

I've been slow at blogging lately, but I know the full moon and eclipse are coming up, so here's a repost to remind you (and me) of the upcoming event:


From Dr. Tony Phillips at Science@NASA...

Close your eyes, breathe deeply, let your mind wander to a distant seashore: It's late in the day, and the western sun is sinking into the glittering waves. At your feet, damp sand reflects the twilight, while overhead, the deep blue sky fades into a cloudy mélange of sunset copper and gold,
so vivid it almost takes your breath away.

A breeze touches the back of your neck, and you turn to see a pale full Moon rising into the night. Hmmm. The Moon could use a dash more color. You reach out, grab a handful of sunset, and drape the Moon with phantasmic light. Much better.

Too bad it's only a dream...

Early Tuesday morning, August 28th, the dream will come true. There's going to be a colorful lunar eclipse visible from five continents including most of North America.

Photos of the March 3, 2007, lunar eclipse. Credit: Antonio Finazzi and Michele Festa of Lago di Garda, Italy.

Visit NASA for more.

Friday, August 24, 2007

musical interlude...

Imogen Heap...Headlock...
I came across this here....Catherine Moore
while looking for a stamp that was profiled in Somerset Studio magazine...



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

mid-august?...

Rainy and cold....I'm not ready to be done with summer yet!

Here's a cat's solution to the situation...Yet, outside, there were plenty of birds. I even saw a group digging into some big, creamy mushrooms...I'd never seen that before, I wonder if it's a last resort when the rain has soaked everything else?

There were some great splashes of color, though...I saw a few bright red Cardinals, too quick for a photo, but I did manage to catch these American Goldfinches...even one in flight, though it wasn't what I was trying to do.


















I've been finding Artisan Crafts on Deviant Art...I was surprised...I thought it was only two dimensional art forms, but there's actually quite a lot of variety there.
I thought this was quite neat....


Talisman Bracelet by *Osa-Art-Farm on deviantART

raku...


I'm only just realizing that I can give some information about the raku pendants that I bought. I had forgotten that I had some information on the artist, who had done a trunk show at Reeds Beads some time ago, and whose beads are regularly sold there. Of course, I could have asked Erica, but I wasn't thinking of it at the time that I was in the store.

The face pendant in the last post, and the two other pendants that I bought were made by a family run company known as Rama, and started by a woman named Tia.

Here's a little raku info from their website, there are some great photos there of their beads....

Rama is a family run business out of Olympia, WA. All of our beads and buttons are handmade out of porcelain and fired in the raku process.

The beads and buttons are taken from the kiln while they are red hot, and placed in a combustion chamber (in this case, a metal trashcan filled with newsprint). After the paper ignites, the lid is placed on the can, suffocating the fire. As the fire struggles to live, it pulls the oxygen out of the glaze to use as fuel. Depending upon what part of the flame touches the bead, the weather, the humidity, the ink content in the newspaper, how much chocolate the kiln god's wife has had, etc… the results vary. Nothing is ever intentionally reproducible, and nothing is ever what you expected, making each bead unique and every firing something to look forward to.



Their beads can also be found here on ebay.

Monday, August 20, 2007

rainy days....

I wanted to show the little bit of progress that I've made with my bead stash. It's fun to organize it all...I love the look of wood and basketry when I can manage to find ways to make that work. I had this divided shadowbox frame for awhile, and decided to use it for bead storage. When I went back to Michael's Arts and Crafts store to see if I could get more, they only had these graduated trays (on top), which are nice, too. I'll have to work on making some divided boxes, so much nicer than plastic, which a lot of my stuff is in.

I started playing with an idea for one of the raku pieces that I bought, using lots of seed beads and the hammered rings. This is just for me to get a sense of how I want it to look...
Just a beginning...I envision fringe hanging from the rings, so it will probably change as I play with some ideas. The light colored seed beads are transparent...you can't really see it fully here.

It's been so much cooler and it's been raining most of the day today. I keep expecting to hear a school bus...so strange...we're planning a trip to the beach...now we have to wait out this weather. It so much changes my mood...I feel somewhat invigorated as I tend to feel in the fall...but then I feel out of sorts, because it is still summer....confusing.

The new ferret cage is wonderful, but they are not used to it, and probably are using their old sense of where they have to go to get to the litter boxes....I won't go into details, but I'm doing a lot of cleaning up after them! And one of them is not feeling well...so that doesn't help...but look how they snuggle together...healing comfort....








My friend Jerry Wennstrom has a new interview online...on a London-based website called Fridaycities. You can read it here. Jerry chose to completely change his life at the age of 29 and follow the callings of Spirit...he gives some interesting answers to a very tongue-in-cheek interviewer.

And a little note on a movie...I found this in Blockbuster last night...it looked intriguing, and I'm glad I watched it...it's very sweet in a not overly sweet way....you can see the trailer here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

beads, beads, beads...

My latest acquisitions for my beading collection...


This is the most I've ever had, these together with other beads that I've been collecting over time. I'm sure it will make life easier, to have a selection of stones, beads and pendants at my fingertips to play and experiment with. You can see some raku pendants at the lower left, some hammered rings and connectors and a clasp, and above those...Chinese painting stones, amber, amethyst, wooden beads coming out of the bags, a tree agate donut, serpentine, fluorite, coffee bean jasper and more.







To the right, lava stone beads, shells, turquoise, labradorite, red glass, green clay...

The two ceramic tile pendants at the bottom of the photo came from an Etsy shop, Earthen Soul. I like Etsy, all kinds of handmade goods by individual artists...and the pendant on the left was one that I found just after meeting a woman who, in Human Design terms, has the cross of the Sphinx...if you can make it out, it has an image of the Sphinx, as well as three holes on the bottom, which fits perfectly with Human Design, though if I explained, I'd lose you ;-), but I knew I had to have it when I saw it. There's also some Chinese resin beads carved with images of monks and Confucius and one in the shape of a moon, and a stone pendant, amazonite I think.


This one that I backlit is a spiderweb Agate pendant.












And here's an earlier photo of a project in the works....there are some lampworked beads on the right side, the necklace is being made with a Green Girl Studios pewter pendant and rings and red glass beads, and leather, I think, if it works out the way I want it to. There's a Shiana Silver dragonfly clasp there (from the Hill Tribes of Thailand), that I'd love to put together with some iridescent beads to pick up on the colors that would be in a dragonfly's wings....














My ability to focus on all this comes and goes...how wonderful it would be to have long stretches of time, to take walks in nature, to dream and imagine, and then to sit with these beads and create....I end up doing it in bits and pieces of time...not the best way...something needs to change!

Here's a beadwoven heart with fringe that I made many years ago....the colors are off...the inner section of the heart is a burgundy color. This is small...the heart part of it fits inside the circumference of a dime.


The backs of necklaces that I have already shown here....






That's it for now...hopefully there'll be more finished jewelry to show soon!

beautiful voice...

I had found this after watching the movie Miss Potter a week or two ago. Katie Melua has such a captivating voice. This is 'When You Taught Me How To Dance'. The song played on a music box in the movie, and played a central part in the story.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

curiosities in space...

~Astronomers using a NASA space telescope, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, have spotted an amazingly long comet-like tail behind a star streaking through space. The star, named Mira after the Latin word for "wonderful," has been a favorite of astronomers for about 400 years, yet this is the first time the tail has been seen.~

Read more here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cathy's latest art...

...or what you get when you combine an artist with a blank fiberglass canvas and a rainbow selection of permanent markers...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

photos...

First, a camera experiment. I saw on someone's blog how they had created a photo by shooting with a digital camera through a view camera. I have an old Kowa Six that was one of my first cameras for portraits, and decided to give it a try. I love the square format of the Kowa, though it is an ungainly, heavy camera with a loud shutter release. I took my Kowa outside and set it on the ground, and my cat, Tippy, walked in front of it for me ;-).

That gave me an idea, and a subject to focus on, especially since he made his way to the grassy 'garden' to munch right in front of me....

It makes for an interesting effect...something to play with in the future.
Today, I drove my sons to the aikido dojo, not for aikido, but to meet friends and be driven to NJ to spend the day at a pool. That was my opportunity to take daytime photos of the lovely sunflower sights that I get to see at this time of year. My sons were shaking their heads as I slowed the car to take the photos...I told them I've gotten to the point where I don't mind looking weird if it means I can get the photo that I want ;-). There were no cars behind me, holding up traffic is a whole different story...not something I would do for a flower photo.



























On the way back home, I took some photos of the surrounding area of Mt. Airy, on Germantown Avenue, just around the corner from the sunflower display...so you can see the contrast, and why this abundance of sunny flowers is such a striking sight on my drive to the dojo. These, taken without the shaking heads and disapproving looks of my previous passengers ;-). On the right, those dark lines are trolley tracks, the overhead wires also for the trolley, which still functions on the weekends. Mt. Airy and Germantown are actually very nice walking/shopping areas, with little stores of artisan made goods, baked breads, funky clothes. There's even two bead stores...an amazing fact when there are no other bead stores for miles around, unless you go into Philadelphia, or head out to Ambler to the north east.

Well, on to the rest of my quiet day...no techno music playing, no teamspeak conversations over the internet...I might get to like this...well...I do like it, I might just get used to it!

Monday, August 13, 2007

new work by Cathy...


Phoenix Ash -Color- by ~EyeOfOmega on deviantART

Great Perseids...

Just a note that the Perseid meteor showers peak tonight,and with a new moon there's no moonlight to interfere with seeing them...Here's a link to NASA and a sky map.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

august new moon...

The new moon is exactly aligned with the sun today at about 7 PM EDT. The Sun and Moon are activating hexagram 4 of the I Ching...Youthful Folly. This is in the sign of Leo...the sign of the lion and of art, creativity, self-expression, love of life!
What hexagram 4 says (in the words of Carol K. Anthony) is "A new lesson; you are learning something you never knew before."

Open up today, and on through this two week cycle leading up to the full moon, to learning new things about yourself...to new ways of self-expression and fulfillment. This leads us to the full moon of August 28th activating hexagram 55...Abundance and will be exact in line 5...Growth! (more on that later in the month.)

Here's a Leonine sunflower borrowed from Wikipedia...


Sunflower flower essence: The healthy Self shines forth from the soul, not unlike the sun which radiates in the sky. This benign and wondrous soul quality of radiance at once inspires with its light, and heals with its warmth. All human souls have within them this capacity to shine like the sun...

grow strong...

Be true to your Self...Here is my latest entry for the Art Bead Scene Challenge. Another one that I had made previously and realized that it also fit the theme...I think Venus retrograde is bringing me back to my past creative activities...even the new necklace that I'm working on is one that I had started a while ago.


Focal stone from Riverstone Bead Company, found in Massachusetts, Green Girl Studios tree pendant says Grow Strong on sides, GGS feather charm says To thine own self be true, GGS bird toggle, Czech glass beads and seed beads.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

let the beauty of what you love...


My second entry for the Art Bead Scene Challenge. This month's theme is A Midsummer Night's Dream. I had made this a little while back, and only just realized that it fits the woodland aspect of the theme for this month. There's more to come for this theme, I love anything to do with fairies and nature, so I'm working on some other entries as well.

Here's the details on the elements in the necklace...

Heather Wynn
polymer clay focal that says 'Let the beauty of what you love be what you do' around the outside of the pendant. There's also a pattern on the back with a silver feather hanging from the loop. The rest is turquoise, Lillypilly wooden alchemy beads, Green Girl Studios tiny flying heart, czech glass, Shiana hill tribe silver clasp and seed beads.

beach walk bracelet...

I made this bracelet a few years ago. I had gone to a bead show at Fort Washington Expo Center, which no longer exists, and met Tony and Lisa Blackwell of ZoaArt. I was so impressed with them...their spirit and the way that they talked about how they worked together. I had never bought lampworked beads before, except for maybe a few spacer beads, and Tony had these little ones that he called window beads, because of the clear glass areas where you could see the colors underneath. He had just recently started making and selling beads, and I believe these were some of his first ones. There are three of them here, one on the far right, one closer to the middle and one on the left, next to the mauve bead. There's also a hand-painted ceramic bead, the green with blue stripes, not his, I don't know who the artist is for that one.

I think of this bracelet as something like a walk on the beach..there's no rhyme or reason to the pattern of the elements in it, just what I felt like adding as I went along, like picking up random shells on the beach.

I had worn it to a later year's show, and had wanted to show it to Tony and Lisa, but didn't see them the first day, and then forgot to wear it again the second day when I did see them, so here it is now. Click on the photo so you can see the beads close-up.

Tony's work has definitely evolved over the years, you can see some of his latest beads here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

business time...

Maybe this is better without the visuals...it had me giggling all the way to the bookstore...I do like going to the bookstore ;-)...

rain...

It is raining softly now. The temperature has cooled down tremendously. I look forward to opening windows tomorrow, it's supposed to be only in the high 70's, after days and days of mid-summer heat.

If it wasn't already raining, and I didn't check the weather report, I would still know that rain would be here in the morning by this sight....




This little one (or many different little ones at different times) always comes in under the eaves of our back porch when rain is on it's way...such a sweet sight, and so nice that our porch can provide cover in inclement weather.

It always seems as if it's cheating...all the other birds are probably in the trees, yet this one has found a secret sanctuary in it's braveness to be so close to humans.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

busy...

Busy day today. George got his cast this afternoon, still classified as a 'possible' fracture, the doctor said that we'll know more after four weeks when the cast comes off. Typical healing time for a scaphoid fracture is 8 weeks! He could see the 'something' on the x-ray and there was pain right at the point of where that bone is, so I guess that's as close to a diagnosis as we're going to get for this. I could see that George was feeling down, too. Unusual for him. I added some Gentian flower essence to his water, for discouragement, it's a great essence to help the healing process when one is feeling like they're going backwards in their life. It made quite a difference within about 10 minutes...he was up off of his bed and back to his usual self.

I printed a bunch of charts for a friend who I'll see tomorrow. I use both tropical astrological charts and human design system charts. I used to look at the Mayan Sacred Sun as well, but only do that now if I feel that I need to know something more, more of the essence of the person that doesn't show in any other charts. Sometimes that tells me something that helps to pinpoint a particular quality in a person's way of being. I'm looking forward to talking about these charts tomorrow, with a very unique person, it should be a lot of fun.

I was going to post some of the books that I've been reading. Maybe I'll do that soon. Cooking and cleaning and starting to dismantle the old set up for the ferrets took up quite a bit of time and energy.

I also had to make another trip to a pet store. I need another hammock for the ferrets, and I needed to get dry cat food. After that I stopped at the bookstore. It's always a great way for me to relax and be in a nice environment, surrounded by books and book lovers. The overhead speakers were playing the album that I posted a video of in my last post. Usually I either already know who's playing, or I'm not that interested in finding out, but for this one I had to go to the music department and find out who it was. Alison Sudol is self-taught and the sound is very fresh.

She's just 22 years old...this is from her bio...

"After teaching herself to play piano, Alison increasingly invested her internal narratives into song form. She found solace in the melodic melancholia of new global British bands Aqualung, Radiohead, Coldplay and Keane, etc... She was also moved by the diatonic minimalism of Philip Glass and the transportive allure of Icelandic music (Bjork, Sigur Ros.) Inspired, Alison developed the sound of A Fine Frenzy - hypnotic piano arrangements under classic American melody fused into irresistible, atmospheric songs with the power to reach around the world."

How about one more? This is a fun one for the visuals...Rangers...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

a fine frenzy...

This caught my attention while I was in Barnes and Noble tonight.
Alison Sudol...aka A Fine Frenzy...performing You Picked Me from the album One Cell In the Sea



one two three,
counting out the signs we see
the tall buildings
fading in the distance
only dots on a map
four five six
the two of us a perfect fit
you're all mine all mine

and all I can say
is you blow me away

like an apple on a tree
hiding out behind the leaves
I was difficult to reach
but you picked me
like a shell upon a beach
just another pretty piece
I was difficult to see
but you picked me,
yeah you picked me

so softly,
rain against the windows
and the strong coffee
warming up my fingers
in this fisherman's house
you got me,
searched the sand
and climbed the tree
and brought me back down

and all I can say
is you blow me away

like an apple on a tree
hiding out behind the leaves
I was difficult to reach
but you picked me
like a shell upon a beach
just another pretty piece
I was difficult to see
but you picked me, yeah you picked me

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

happy ferrets...

Ferrets love anything new and intriguing. These two...both boys, I was asked and forgot to reply ;-)...have enjoyed their new home so much, and here they are, too exhausted even to notice the camera flashing away at them...


And, a little bonus in case you happen to be a PacMan fan...a friend from aikido has been wanting to be able to play this on his computer for a long time. I thought he might have found it by now, but we were talking about it at the cookout and he's still wishing that he had the game. I found it as a free download...I've downloaded it and scanned it for viruses...it's fine...here.
There are two versions, PacPC and MsPacPC. They're not perfect. I found the Ms version to be less responsive than the regular version, which is also a little slow to respond to the arrow commands, but they're fun to mess around with. Both were created by the designer from the ground up, not using any previous version as a base.

And here...a mystery for you...


Monday, August 6, 2007

of bones and things...

One photo from the cookout yesterday.


Cecelia opened her home and patio to the aikidoka for a mid-summer barbeque. This is one of the three photos that I took ;-)...everyone was relaxing and I didn't feel that a camera clicking away would improve the atmosphere. This one photo, though, tells a story of 'before'. Before the end of the cookout, before I had moved the car and parked again in the middle of the parking lot behind where George is now...before George decided to do a sideways flip sort of thing on the way to the car and fell...on his right arm that you see here...and so before we spent this afternoon in the ER for x-rays and a half-cast for the little bone just below his thumb that he fractured. Hospitals bring back such memories for me, of helplessness with a sick child. Luckily, it gets easier...maybe it's good for me to visit every now and then. George is in pain, but the swelling is going down. He'll definitely be taking a 'break' from aikido (wasn't I the one who wanted that?)...and I won't envy him his cast at this time of year.

The little bone is called the Scaphoid bone. Out of 5 x-ray films, they managed to see a tiny mark that is most likely a fracture. It wouldn't have mattered, we were told, because if there's even the hint of a possibility that this bone is broken, it has to be treated. It is a bone that does not get a good blood supply, and any delay in treatment could cause major difficulties later on. At least we had one or two images that confirmed for us that this was a fracture. Who wants to go through all that time with a cast, on just a possibility that something might be fractured?


On a lighter note...here's two very happy guys in their new cage that was delivered by DHL today. The driver didn't seem too happy, though he was very nice. He had to load it onto a hand truck to get it down the stairs, and suggested that he set it on the floor and push it into the house, as his regulations don't allow him to bring it inside. Then he asked me, 'what's in there!?' It was pretty heavy, and it's a very sturdy, two level ferret proof (escape proof) cage. We've had a very funky set up with a smaller cage surrounded by a pen that took up a lot of space and was hard to keep clean. This is much nicer and they're having a ball going up and down ramps and scratching around. Now, my original idea was that George would be the one putting this together. He just tends to like to do these kinds of things. Not today! But that actually left us with a very enthusiastic Michael, who did put it all together, and who is quite proud of his accomplishment.

And I am feeling numb today. I really didn't like the idea of another broken bone last night, but we've gotten through the hardest part...now on to see the orthopedist and I guess George will spend at least four weeks in a cast, otherwise known as the rest of the summer. Good thing he doesn't like swimming, though he can still go to the beach.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

innocence...

Zen says that if you drop knowledge - and within knowledge everything is included; your name, your identity, everything, because this has been given to you by others - if you drop all that has been given by others, you will have a totally different quality to your being: innocence. This will be a crucifixion of the persona, the personality, and there will be a resurrection of your innocence. You will become a child again, reborn.

Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang Chapter 7



From the Osho Zen Tarot deck online...click here.