Let it be…

We have reached one of those milestones of life…you know, first steps, first day of school, first date… first signs of menopause………………excellent.  One of those things that you know is coming, that you are prepared for, that you even empathize with others about, while secretly being glad that you are not as OLD as they are.  Well, its here…and I am.

So I dived into reading about this period of life, researching how to cope with it herbally, within diet.  You know, what to eat more of, and what to avoid, to alleviate symptoms.  I am sort of an anti-medication person…well, not sort of- I am.

Of course, it was all the usual things- avoid sugar, alcohol, caffeine, along with any fast food etc.  This makes perfect sense.  The sugar isn’t hard to avoid, except for red licorice…which is a blog post all its own.  I am not a real drinker, so no real worries there.  I don’t eat meat, so except for a wild hair for McDonalds fries sometimes, I don’t eat fast food.

The caffeine…*sigh*  … I love coffee.  I know its not great for me…I have gone without at times but always go back.  I have endured the caffeine withdrawal headaches for 3 days until I could stand the mornings without caffeine.  I have tried to drink herbal tea in the mornings, which is a nice hot beverage, but really?  My sister makes the best coffee in the universe.  I make OK coffee, but for some reason, her coffee is heaven.  I can be doing fine, drinking my wimpy herbal tea in the morning, and then I visit her…all resolve slips away at the thought of a cup of her coffee.  Sitting on her porch steps drinking a cup of her coffee in the early morning mist…that is what perfect is made out of.

We have gotten off track… I decided that cutting down on my caffeine intake would be good- so i bought the “half caff” organic, water decanted coffee beans at the HyVee.  I felt pretty good about this.  I was being responsible about this caffeine addiction thing I have.  I was still enjoying a bit of caffeine, still drinking pretend coffee, feeling normal, yet I was doing a good thing…less caffeine.  >pats self on back, while nodding<

A jeep I was behind while drinking my espresso, and the planets aligned in the universe…sending me a message.

last week I ran out of my ‘half caff’ beans…and i didn’t have time to get to the HyVee…so as I rummaged thru my freezer on a harried morning last week, all I could find was Italian espresso beans…are you feeling it?… do you see the end of this story?  I know, I know…I hear you…you are saying, “why, Pat? why, if you are committed to your recovery, would you still have espresso beans in your freezer?”

And to that I would say, “let it be.  Some things are not meant to be messed with…”

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savoring time…

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures- Thornton Wilder

Ah, well, my coffee cup is empty, yet still warm…the woodstove is roaring and the house is quiet in this early morning. I have not written lately– too many things in the way.  Never a moment to sit down and collect my thoughts…and put them into some type of coherent order that is decipherable by another!

The thing that has captured me lately is the good times.  As you know, this ‘turning 50’ thing has really made me shift my thinking.  No longer do i see myself as immortal, or having unlimited time.  No longer do i use the phrase ‘someday’.  No longer do i put things off…well, some things i put off, but not important stuff :).  It may seem morbid, but it has made me live with much more intention.   i was looking back to earlier days in my life, when life seemed carefree …and somehow easier.  But at that moment in time, that carefree time, when my kids were small and i was juggling grad school plus a 2 hour commute each way and a full time job, i don’t remember thinking, “ah, these are the good times!”  The times were good, and i wonder if i realized that.  I think i was just trying to get thru the days, and counting credit hours until my masters was finished.

I want to recognize the best instants when they are happening.  I think some call this ‘living in the moment’.  I don’t want to mark time, or waste time, i want to savor it.  I want to breathe in each moment and recognize it for good, bad or ugly, but i don’t want to miss it in my preoccupation with tomorrow.

don’t let the technical monsters eat the creativity!

Coolest Commercial EVER!!

i had a brilliant sculpture professor in college- Lynn Carlsgaard- there in the middle of the photo, with the apron on.  He had a passion for bronze casting, but that never stopped him from offering instruction, assistance or direction in any creative direction to anyone who had a question.  He has a raucous sense of humor, and made me laugh in a way that made me put my hand over my mouth, because i felt it was probably not OK to laugh, but he was so funny…in an off limits sort of way.   One thing that he said, that i have said over and over to others, that i mutter to myself when i am mulling a project that seems technically overwhelming…those projects i can see in my head, but can’t figure out how its going to hold together in a concrete sense.  He said to never let the technical issues get in the way of the creative process…he probably didn’t say it that way- he probably laughed “heh heh heh” and said, “Patti, figure out the technical later, keep going with what you got right now” (I went by Patti for the first semester in college- thought it was a cool thing…it wasn’t.)

that concept has helped me over and over- that the vision of a project, if its strong for you, if you can see it clearly- it can carry you thru the technical struggles that make that vision seem impossible.  Carry thru the drawing, the gathering of materials, the obsession with a finished idea in your head, and START! You have to play with things, find out things that don’t work, so you can get thru that stage to the “putting together” stage.

an amazing demonstration of that -persevering thru the technical forest- fell into my lap this week! Tom Eastburn, a potter that is in a neighboring town, put this youtube video on his Facebook…LOVED it and i wanted to share it with you!  Its actually an Asian commercial for a cellphone that has a wooden back, but the artist who had this vision…wow!  I think you will love it!  Am interested to hear what you think!

here is the link again! Coolest Commercial EVER!!

enjoy~

color junkie

Inspiration is a message in a bottle from the distant shore, a window into the other world, a tap of the muse’s finger, the grace of the gods.  It comes when you least expect it.  ~ Phil Cousineau

Update: my etsy shop has a creation called “message in a bottle“- check it out 🙂

so there is a woman on Etsy.com, her profile name is ‘girlwithasword’ and she is from Iowa, and her yarns are … words escape me, they are mouth wateringly gorgeous…and its the colors, some are earthy and some are soft and warm, and some are what you would see at sunset in the Grand Canyon… and they inspired me!

(Imagine ‘superman music’) Dant-tuh- DA! I want to BE Girl with a Sword! I want a houseful of beautiful yarn like that! I want overflowing baskets of it hither and yon in my house!  I can do that, right!?

So I bought Kool-Aid, and Rit dye and got out my wool and kettles and set to dying!

I found out that Kool-Aid does a stunningly silent job of dying.  You wouldn’t expect that, but it does!  Kool-Aid is underrated!  And here is the miraculous part, you add the Kool-aid to the hot water, dissolve it, add the wool, let it sit til cool, and when you go back to take out the wool, the water is clear (whisper ‘its like magic’)…and your wool is brilliantly colored.  I made Orange Orange, and Blue Raspberry and several others.

Rit dye does OK, but it doesn’t do the clear water trick, and its harder on the wool- feels more like your hair when you bleach it or dye it too much…sort of damaged.

And so i have all of these awesome colors of wool! While they were drying, i visited them, held them next to one another, matched them up and fawned over them.

And you know what? I don’t want to be Girl With A Sword anymore… I like my stuff better, and my colors are more me…that is inspiration from another, when you are moved to get up off of your butt and create something…even if you want (dant-duh-DA) to be someone else for a moment…in the end, if you are you again, its OK 🙂

PS…how’d you like that message in a bottle quote? Did you see how i did that? 🙂

stuck…in creative silence

a few years ago Tasha, my middle daughter, gave me a case of blue glass bottles for Mother’s Day…”what?” you may be saying…”what kind of a Mother’s Day gift is that?!”  Perfect for me!  I absolutely love cobalt glass, and the idea of a case of bottles to play with was exhilarating!  So i set to.  i came up with this marvelous idea of decorating them with wire, and beads, and making them holders of ‘messages’.  I was so excited! I bought corks, and special paper, thread to bind the messages into a scroll to put into the bottles, wax to seal the cork…it was a fabulous idea.  And i finished the wire and beads on one bottle, admired it…hmmm…what to put on the “message”…? I struggled with that for a few days, and decided to go on to another bottle, confident that the “message” would come to me.  Another finished, and no message…another…no message…another…no message.  Well, you get the idea.

So now i have this collection of wire/beaded blue bottles…they are beautiful, they sparkle in the sun…but they are empty.

Yesterday (2 years after i have begun this project, lets keep in mind) i got out one of the bottles.  Determined to finish one of them, i put it on the table with materials to make the message and seal it into the bottle…and there it sat…all day.

Late last night, with the bottle still sitting empty, i realized that I am afraid…afraid to put the wrong message in there, afraid that what i think is of substance to write and seal into a bottle isn’t valuable to another…and so i wait for the perfect message, while the bottles gather dust.  Why does it matter what someone else thinks of my message?

Isn’t this blog, essentially a message in a bottle?  It is.  And I have become braver every day here…its practice…and watching my blog grow in audience, and reading the comments.

Being stuck creatively…i think it might be fear that ‘sticks’ us…the key, it would seem, is to find out what you are afraid of.  Maybe these questions will help.

  • If I move to the next step in this project, what is the worst that could happen?
  • What kind of a mess could I make, if i don’t do this “right”?
  • Who would love this piece?, who would hate it?

so today, i am setting the task of writing the first message, and sealing it into the bottle…i will let you know how it goes.

Update: Here is a link to the finished product in my etsy shop

Message in a bottle

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