mighty jungle:oh boy(s)

all i could think about this morning was of my three little nephews {caleb not pictured as of yet, in order to protect him and my family in the adoption process}. they are the very best, most incredible little boys, i could possibly imagine. best of all, and from what i hear, when they're put in their boppies on the couch, they're mesmerized by of all things:one growth!
it must be the contrast, would you say?
i was also thinking about having a friday night like tonight off. mulling over the what to do's or what not to do's. it is simple, after work, i'll try and take a twenty six minute nap.
walk? bike? eat-blueberries? i'd like to buy some shorts. this is the first summer i can remember that i actually feel like i might be able to wear shorts. i have been wearing skirts in the summer, you know. and this summer i wish i could find some shorts for short people like myself, some khaki or brown or grey shorts, oh grey would be nice and not too long, not to short shorts. i don't need to show anything off, at least not yet, possibly never. but something i could run in or something i could casually walk in, nothing tappered, i don't think A-line would work either. oh i'm in a quandry, what to do?
i wonder what sam and liam and caleb will want to be when they grow up. or for instance what will josiah k. be? he has grown to have such a vivid imagination, i can't imagine what he'll be like when he's twenty or even thirty. yippers! anyway, i'm a little off, i mean it is friday and i'm distracted. what can i say.



this morning i took a few quick photos, though really not that good, of the new mini moo assortment that i received in the mail yesterday. they're great and i can't seem to stop thinking about them. it is rather ridiculous i suppose, to get so excited about them. they're just like little treasures, yet so functional and really helpful when it comes right down to it.

i think too, that i have finally found the guts to show my newest work in progress. i still have a fair amount of time to put into getting it completed but once i began painting, everything seemed to start falling into place. yeah yeah yeah. it is a terrible photo but it is just a hint of things. you're not supposed to look that cloesly and plus knowing myself as i do it may all change drastically by the end. haven't you seen it all before? the painting underneath was a seascape with shoreline, seagulls and seaweed grass all there. it isn't exactly what i had in mind when i thought about recycling a thrifted painting but i will be leaving the birds alone and the sky color and texture should remain about the same.
i thought about how much i loved drawing my tinier space bubble type trees and eyeball flowers that it would be worth trying them out on a large scale. so far i think it's is working. we shall see though.

just thought i'd catch up with you. take care and have a great day. outta here.



yesterday morning our computers took a nose dive, so at eleven am, i fled the scene. today i have got more than my share of catching up to do, but i like it this way instead of being crazy insane bored out of my mind. i always hit up my email first thing in the morning and one of the happiest things i received was a cute little email from my sister in law:laurie. maybe i'm a little twisted but i thought this was a great compliment for me and for the fantastic online shops:
"hey, I am having to force myself to not look at your blog for a little while. Part of the reason ( a main reason) I look at your blog is for the great links to websites carrying "merchandise" I love. You have the greatest links. Well, on your last blog entry you put links to sites having 50% off sales and there I went. Yet again I BOUGHT stuff from 16 sparrows (just 2 packs of notecards this time). But- really I love your links- I always love what they have to offer. I was about to buy 2 totebags from another one of your links- I still might (forget the name). That 50% off stuff gets me. I am having to not look. Aaron says it is fine, but I know that I need to invest in diapers instead. I can not wait to get the stationary though. Hee Hee. But- seriously- thanks for all the links through your blog- I usually love them all, I like to browse if nothing else. I have to save up for the clothesline show now- I am seriously so excited about that."
i know of a whole lot of blogs that feature online shops and artists everyday, but i also know how long it can take to go through all of those blogs inorder to find the shops that are selling their sales @ 50% off. i love blogs like: poppy or decor8 or my mosdef fav is print&pattern. these girls work hard, searching, researching and posting new artists, new art, new shops, new design. it's incredible what they do-everyday.

on another note(s): i have been wanting to get some of my old school "scrap"book collages up and about. my black book, as i used to call it was my forum, my place and my beginning. i'd say around 1997 i started collecting paper, found items and pieces of life and compiling them into this collage-writing format. it became my foundation, much like a sketchbook would if you were in school. i experimented with color, shape, style and form. it was a refuge and comfort to me. each collage my personal assignment. it is amazing to me now, that these images conjured up, and manifested themselves into what i see in my art now. ten years have gone by and just now i am reminded of the trees, fish, and doodles i used to draw. i am wondering now, how come it took me so long to come into my creative own. the concept has always been there, i suppose it has been about being refined in all of it.

i remember inspiration from ralph steadman especially. these dark contour like drawings made into every aspect of my thoughts. i also remember playing with squares and circles. these simple shapes continue to play such a role in what i make even now. so bizzare. i felt so rebellious then and but didn't feel challenged until someone close to me told me that i needed to stop working in my black book and i needed to start making art in the real sense of the word, share it with other people and stop playing around. boy, i'd say those words have stuck with me. my friend wasn't trying to be mean, they just wanted me to grow more. so have i grown? i think so.

check out more of my black book pages here.


my father:on making sense

it's not that i forgot about father's day, frankly i'm still thinking about my father and it's wednesday already. we gathered as a family, all of us, on saturday evening to eat and fellowship with one another. some may object, but my brothers thought that dad would like a new grill. afterall they said "his family is growing." i know most families get together often enough and have a good time with one another, but i think when my family gathers it is sort of extraordinary. it feels different because it's my family, the day was about my dad of course and aside from having good and healthy things to eat, we thanked our father for being there for all of us.

in the moments after father's day cards were exchanged there were a few tears. the day represented a mountain of fighting, praying, and hoping on my brothers behalf on account of the fact that they have had to fight to get their children and my father has had to fight to get suzanne and emily. our family has grown and will continue on, because of the fathers in my family. i am not assuming too much by thinking, expressing how i don't think many fathers fight for their children's lives anymore. i know for my dad and my brothers the battle hasn't always been ideal, the sacrifice has no words. but they've done it with no complaint, no regrets. we will never regret one another, nor will we regret the birth of sam, liam and caleb. we will never regret adopting emily and suzanne into our family, because my dad has been the fighting example to all of us. emily wrote these things out in her handmade cards to dad and my brothers. coming from her, my word, it was like soaking up the wounds, throwing burdens off and being free from destruction. i suppose if you were looking in from the outside our family might not make a whole lot of sense, but through my dad's eyes, there's refuge, comfort, peace and hope.
thank you dad:if you're reading you should make a comment as to how the day made you feel, i mean, your arms are so big, not so literally but they've held us all, and for so long. did you feel the roots of our familytree growing deeper by the minute in those moments? did you feel like your family was a team, working together at the sport of our lives? it meant a whole lot to us to beable to celebrate your life with you. i know that.

and the fireworks are from riverbend that finished up this past weekend. i have to be honest i avoided the whole thing like it was the plague. although they did some really cool things this year, like build a habitat house and on sunday morning i saw all of the riverbend runners and walkers, kinda interesting. i didn't know they hosted a run/walk-what about a bike ride?

i think that's everything for today. i am super excited about finishing up the week here, i'm looking forward to having the weekend off. woohoo!!!



i just finished placing my second ever moocard order and boy was it easy. this time around i decided to stick to a few designs instead of a hundred different little moos. they're promised to me in ten days, i just cannot wait. after the clothesline show in may, my supply became severly depleted and i knew i wanted moos of my more recent works of art.
i painted last night, i'd say that's an overstatement too. i wouldn't dare show and tell at this point because i am not so sure. not so sure if i am moving in the right direction. it is really much more difficult than i thought, recycling a previously painted oceanscape painting. i am very interested in leaving the bulk of the original painting exposed, like the seagulls, the grass, and deep blue sky. the painting is signed too, phillip sandee. i wondered if it was a fake name, i have heard that many paintings like this one, were done collabratively by many. it's funny, his last name would be "sandee", kindof a pun.
in other words:
lotta jansdotter is having a nice, almost half off sale. i especially like the messenger totes. ooo&aaa.

do you all remember? yukiko sato? sale is going on now! check it!

16 sparrows is have a 50% of sale on a small assortment of beautiful things. i especially think the "surprise yourself" grab bag looks fun for only ten bucks.

i will keep working and let you know when i have gotten to a point where i'm not completely afraid to show more progress.



the clothesline is off and running. of course we will update the public with dates and times. our meeting went really well last night and we're gearing up for an even better show, even better representation and presentation. mostly we'll have things internally smoother which was our main concern coming out of the previous show. if you're a participating artist please make sure you've checked your email, at the bottom of each email is a specific task list that you've most likely volunteered to help accomplish. i feel incredibly fortunate to be amoungst this great group of women, who are artists but also mothers, wives, and professionals. jennifer kring came having done a considerable amount of research {thank you!} and we have settled on the weekend of september 8th. mark it on your calendars!!! laura, diane, katie, mary, maria, linda, and kelly, as well as christina and lauren will all be back with new art, just in time for the holidays. we are corresponding the clothesline show with the gallery hop on the 8th. we're hoping to get on the map!!!

the clothesline is really the news of the day. i spent the rest of last night compiling thoughts and ideas and then this morning it's been about emailing and posting chemo charges simultaneously. how wonderful i feel.


WIP:berry creative

the day before yesterday was monday as you all well know. i left work early to gather refreshment for the last night of my stampin up club. by request i went to rembrandt's for macaroons and "s" cookies dipped in dark chocolate. then to grocery for fruit. i decided after cutting up the fruit that i didn't feel like sharing the good stuff. i don't regret it.
i suppose the july cover of martha stewart's living might have had something to do with my need for berry. i am not even a fan of the classic red.white.&blue but the berry terrific shortbread looks amazing. plus i feel jipped about not having gotten to eat may strawberries this season, it is indeed almost over.

honestly i am happy the stamp club is dissolving. it was really interesting to be apart of a monthly group of women who got together to make cards once a month. for two years it provided an outlet for me in one way or another, it also became an indispensible resource for envelopes, punches, brads and eyelets. i am happy because i will be moving on. last week i was catching up with michelle, and found she participates in a book club. how very timely for me! my mom has been telling me for ages that i ought to join a reading group, but i have had stampin up, puzzling over how to find such a club. i finished 'fidelity' by wendell berry. so i am picking up, rereading james david duncan's the brothers k and plan to join in group discussion in august. a little known fact:this will be the first time that i have ever read a book for the second time. can you believe. i can't.

tonight we have an organizational clothesline meeting. thursday is rx work. friday is family night along with a possible dip in the pool. when am i going to make art or continue working on this piece? i did not start this week off thinking it would fill up with all kinds of things. and will i beable to keep up with the biking? awgh!!! i can't imagine a life any less full.



i have been biking in the evenings after i get off work from the rx. the city lights and river pass in a blur. i tend to take in the plant life and animal life even in speed. i have seen a ton of bunnies bounding. heard frogs crocking, all the frogs in the world have not died from global warming yet. we saw baby raccoon's quickly cross the concrete path, then snuggle close between large granite rocks on the rivers edge. and last night i saw a beaver:penisula tail and all. i was afraid that he would attack me so i didn't get that close but i saw it well enough, considering he took his time trying to escape our stares. i am actually not the one who's spotting these great aspects of life. matt zooms ahead keen eyed, ready to come to a halting brake at the sight of anything fascinating. he saw this great big hopping spider that seemed so menacing it might spit. i didn't get close to it either.

i am rather sore today but overall feel really positive about riding bikes. i haven't lost weight but is tone important too? i wish that i could be active all day long, instead i sit and feel my nation spread out, melding with my office chair. have you ever noticed how there are so many large healthcare workers? hm...

have you heard about michael moore's new film SiCKO. the investigation? his commitment to "getting into shape"? his proposal? figure out where you stand. i have to say that i've not watched any of moore's more recent work, but SiCKO relates to my work, my interests have been peaked.

in other ways:

mule magazine blogs
the next big thing @ fredflare
promote yourself @ beautiful/decay:see public feed

other than that have a nice day. exert yourself a little more.


back to life

i have felt absent from a steady life lately and only now seem like i am getting the breath and grasp on things i need. a loss of perspective creates havoc, but fortunately i had my own personal "come to jesus" meeting on monday night and i feel more settled and refreshed.

maybe it was the amount of time i had been away from my home, working all weekend and every night. maybe it has been the lymphnode swollen in my neck, causing a higher level of stress and worry. maybe in the midst of celebrating the coming of caleb i realized how life, with it's variable ups and downs, is worth it. somehow. someway. to put aside all of the small hang ups and trust that i am still on track. that caleb will forever be a symbol of hope and faith to me and my family. we long to embrace him, just as simply, the god i believe in longs to embrace me, bringing me back to life.

and so i seek refuge with the most high. and find restitution in an invisible shield protecting me. and i will still spill my entire styrofoam cup of coffee all over my desk here at work. spoiling the june calendar. i will still ride bikes in the evenings after the rx and wear myself thin with exercise. i will still wake up early to spend a few precious moments with josiah and eden tomorrow morning. i will still see coral castles on saturday, gleefully thinking how funny, my parents are finally seeing my brother aaron play out in a smoke filled bar.

i will still make circles to modpode all over a recycled ocean landscape. still my orange tree will bounce back after a long hard winter. and i am still, after a couple of weeks ever so happy about having a photograph i took, featured in friday's weekend section of the chattanooga times free, even if it doesn't credit me. i will be uplifted and set free. and reminded to cling. back to life back to this cat life. back to vunerability and security in it all. back to dreaming and playing, back to more work and more writing. back to breathing and better shampoo. back to love and hope and walking in flipflops.


Paper Quilts @ Etsy

i know it's again with the quilts. i decided to fill my etsy shop up again in hopes that one or all of these paper quilts might sell. i'm selling the original works of art for only $100.00. mind you, the shipping is high because of usps costs going up, but if you're local i will hand deliver and if you're international it might be lower, it all just depends on package. a couple of you have expressed interest in trade. i am completely interested in trading art, but not these quilts, at this time. i am completely willing to create a specific {commissioned} quilt(s) for you if you are interested in trading. i can even have a print made of one of these quilts that i could trade or that could be purchased at a whole lot less. if you've got a specific color pallette you'd like a paper quilt collage done in, i can do that. it really is up to you and how much you're willing to spend or trade. i really do appreciate the interest and am willing to set up a payment plan as well. if you'd like cards made of any of these quilts i am able to do that. an individual card is $5.00 but if you buy a mass quantity i can sell them at a lower cost.

i would like to remain as flexible as possible throughout the next few months and actually throughout the rest of the year. i am working on a bigger piece, right now that incorporates many of the same drawn elements of the quilt collage(s), but on larger scale. flowers and trees and birds like these. i will also be working on larger versions of my twilight trees.

on another note: i wanted to update you all on the family meeting. my brother ethan and sis n law mary have received a referral for the adoption of a little boy. i cannot give many details, i cannot even post his birth name (we are naming him caleb) or date of birth, or the town he was born in. all that i can say is that this is an amazing time for ethan and mary. they continue to feel support and hope. caleb is a healthy little boy, he is happy and strong and now we are just waiting on him. it has been a time of great celebration. please continue to pray though. i will continue to update as i can and as we are legally able to share.


in the middle of the night

i took an unintentional break from phantomcrimes. primarily and dependently because i feel a fresh photo is necessary each and everytime an effort is made to share here. my friend is happily borrowing my canon powershot and i have got an unfinished undeveloped roll of film in my manual that's got to get to wolfe's at some point soon. thus the b.r.e.a.k. i can't think of what i am trying to think about because i stayed up too late inorder to see my brother play with the rest of coral castles. for those of you not present last night at jj's well um, i am terribly sorry. i have not gotten all the sleep i need in the last couple of days, for all sorts of reasons. i am looking forward to catching a few winks after five.

at nine thirty this evening i am heading over to my aunt's house for a very special family meeting. i'll have updated information as it becomes available. on another note...i never took an actual photo of my completed May Paper Quilt Project submission, dawn has got it posted if you're interested. i stuck to the familiar tree theme, mainly because my family seems to be growing around me and it feels so good. i have been relating the tree to my family for so long now, make sense?

i have begun to make art again. i have taken awhile to get it all going again. i have had a couple emails from you all expressing interest in my paper quilts. trade? sell? what have you. i wanted to think about it for a while and i have finally come up with some answers so i will be getting back to you each by early next week. once i have emailed everyone back i will post my thoughts here. i have not put anything new up in my etsy shop mainly because i wasn't sure how to handle the new shipping cost increases. boy has anyone else noticed the insane flat rate international shipping cost? i also didn't know if i would have any luck at selling the paper quilts on etsy. i seriously don't think so, soooo!!!

in closing...