Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Can You Read My Heart?"

Let me introduce a new member of my family.  After going through a list of possible names, I made the decision not to traditionally name this particular doll but to use a spirit driven phrase - "Can you read my heart?"

This phrase came to me last month while helping a dear friend as her husband lay dying.  The words I spoke to her just didn't seem to be enough.  I wanted her to know how deeply I felt her loss.  As I thought about my frustration, this question came to me -"Can you read my heart?" 

I scribbled these words onto a piece of paper and laid it on my desk.  As I completed this little one I decided that with the writing on her arms and legs and her rusty, old heart sitting quite boldly on her breast, she deserved a very special name.  And so it is... "Can you read my heart?"

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." - Confucius

Monday, November 26, 2012

Just a little bit smaller


After preparing six new dolls - ready for dressing I did a u-turn and went back to the drawing board.  The idea of a somewhat smaller doll - with 'jointed' legs was calling me.

I wanted to consider a little bit of a difference in design.  While the basics of the doll are the same -- a few things have changed, along with a reduction in size.  At this point in time I'm planning that each of these dolls will have 'patterned' arms and legs - a pattern that either reflects their theme or 'goes well' with the rest of her dress.

What is going through my head while I create these smaller ones?  Vintage, simple, themes.  What design components will I use? Dresses, hats, hanging dolls, perhaps even some 'staging'. 

We'll see what happens - but here is my first effort. 

"Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door." - Emily Dickinson

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks and more thanks

My thankfulness for the wonderful world I find myself in these days is boundless.  I can't even count the many blessings that I have around me and within me.  How wonderful to be at a time of life when being thankful is a daily, positive process.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone -- so many of you have become very special to me and I hope to 'meet' even more of you in the coming year.
"If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. - Gerald Good 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Contemplation and Exploration

These waning days of fall make me want to cocoon - to curl up where its warm and cozy.   I'm finding that with the past month being so hectic and disjointed (for several reasons) I feel the need to nurture two things in my life.

The first is contemplation [contemplation to look at; to view thoughtfully; to meditate on; to have in view.]  I need/want time to let my mind wander into magical worlds where anything is possible.  I need/want time to myself with no distractions from the 'outside' world. 

The second is exploration [exploration to visit and search through; to examine throughout.]  To spend time searching for ideas; to explore thoughts that might translate into my work; to experiment with new techniques/colors/designs.

How fortunate I am that winter is coming - it the time of the year that is quieter, calmer and less demanding from the outside (unless one has to shovel snow).  Over the next few months I hope to spend a little bit of each day in both these endeavors.   

"You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you." - James Allen

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Process

Before going on holiday I drew, cut and stitched bodies, arms and legs.  At least I got that far.

Upon returning home I spent many quiet hours stuffing all the 'parts.

Then came the fun of painting - first with off-white and then aging by using watered down acrylics.

And soon the true fun begins -- creating identities and fashions for each and every one of them.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over it became a butterfly." - Proverb

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Last Red

The last red sits just outside my studio.  All around it the leaves have turned their various colors and finally dropped crispy and brown to the ground while this beauty remains a lucious autumn red.

This spark of color heralds the coming winter -- it acts as a beacon of Fall  by staying behind its cohorts with its lovely show of color.

Winter will soon be here - the ground will turn white and the branches will be covered with snow  -- thanks heavens I have this memory of what is to come again next year.

"Listen -- are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?" - Mary Oliver

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Big Picture

I never feel as free as when I am surrounded by 'BIG'...

...open vastness before me...


...around me and above me.

There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness." - Emily Carr


Monday, November 5, 2012


Its truly Fall here in the western North Carolina mountains.  The trees are all showing off their warm, rusty, yellow colors.  The leaves are drifting down into piles, piles and more piles.  The air is cool and crisp and the sky even seems a bit bluer when seen behind  the colorful trees.

Someone is out on a collecting trip.  Although this little basket won't hold a whole lot, I guess its the thought that counts. 

This little 'devil' knows that he gave me no end of frustration during his creation - but he thinks he's worth it!

"And now, this is the sweetest and most glorious day that ever my eyes did see." - Donald Cargill

Friday, November 2, 2012

All Around Me

A beautiful week spent in the western desert.  Cottonwood trees in all their golden glory.

Mountains surrounding the Carson Valley with a blue sky background.

Trails to walk, streams to view, textured desert foliage.

Dunes around Washoe Lake...

...with painted faces to greet us.

My thoughts today - coming back to a safe, warm, dry home - are with those in the northeast.  Having been through a few Mother Nature temper tantrums I know that they change more than just the physical surroundings but our whole feelings of safety and security, of home and hearth.  Know that my heart is with any of you who can read this.

"A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand.  I think, I too have known autumn too long." - e.e. cummings


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