Blue Batiks

It’s been a really productive month in the studio. First the Ribbonettes right after Christmas. Then this collection. 

I received a collection of batiks as a gift.

 

I’ve adopted the local coffee shop as my own personal, local beautification project.

 

It’s a warm, brown room with lots of windows.

 

Table rounders and runners and square table toppers.

The blues just glow.

 

I almost didn’t give up the table runner.

The spirals are an original design.

It’s good to beautify other people’s lives.

Introduction to Tarot

A Zen Approach.

I spend a lot of my time seeking. I think most people do but they don’t have the time to be aware of it. Anyhow, I’ve been feeling like “Hey! Can’t somebody just give me a hint about which way to go!”. I’m not looking for the answer to life-the Universe-and everything. Just a little hint in the chaos. 

I met someone on the Internet who reads Tarot. She seems to be an intelligent lady. So I’ve been thinking maybe a reading could give me the hint I’ve been looking for. Naturally I put it off because “that’s weird woo-woo”. I’m a skeptic about a lot of New Age things. But the idea kept calling to me. And in the way of these things, the Universe sent an answer. A friend who I respect happened to say she reads for herself and gave me the address to a site, Osho Zen Tarot

These readings are not about the past or the future. They’re more like a hint or inspiration to think about as it might apply to the present, what’s happening today, right now. I believe in reality; that the only place creative energy exists is in the present. It’s where you actually build your life.  

My only objection to the readings I’ve gotten is how unnervingly accurate they are. I can see how easy it would be to become a disciple. But I’m not looking for a new path. As I said, just a hint. Sure I want to believe. I want to think that there’s some Universal benign force guiding me. Maybe it’s all in my head. But this seems to be truth, at least for me.

Be a Child

New Toys. 

I was fortunate enough to receive some very cool toys for Christmas. Never underestimate the value of toys to a grown-up.

One of the biggest challenges I find in gift giving is to find good toys. I need to entertain the nieces and nephews, ages 21 to 4, and of course, my husband. But this challenge is also a gift to me. I get to exercise my inner child, to remember what I would like. The kids need stocking stuffers and nice puzzles have gotten to be a staple, lovely carved wood or intricate wire. They cover the age range nicely. My husband is tougher. What to get for an engineer! But there are places like Edmund’s Scientific with some wonderful techie toys, so that’s getting easier.

I don’t usually buy toys for myself. But as an artist I’m constantly looking for new ways to expand and grow my art. This year I received some gifts that really make my heart sing. My inner child was thrilled with a beading loom. It’s not big or fancy but it’s full of potential. I had to sit down right away and create a simple bracelet. I’ve done some others with needle weaving but I really look forward to seeing how far this more simple method will go. You’ll be seeing things developed from this showing up with runes and metaphysical designs soon (I hope).

But the real treasure is something totally new that I’ve never tried before, a Sumi-e set, Oriental brush and ink painting. I’ve always loved this kind of work, almost anything of Oriental art. It’s going to take a lot of study and learning a whole new range of skills. I’ll show you some pictures as soon as I’ve had a chance to play with it. (Beading was more instant gratification.) But this is the most exciting thing about a new toy, no matter what your age. It’s the challenge that isn’t work, learning to do something different and enriching with no pressure.

So think about that next time you’re faced with the challenge of conjuring up your inner child. Think back to the fun of exploring something you didn’t know. Think about how cool it was to learn about finger-paints or Silly Putty. Let yourself be a child again and buying for children gets a lot easier!

Taking it Easy

Take it easy, to make it easy.

It’s snowing.  A lot.

I can either look at it as an obstacle to the flow of my life, including shoveling snow and cancelling appointments.  Or I can look at it as a really beautiful day to stay home, indoors, and make soup, and enjoy the security of my home.  No matter how I look at it, I can’t change the reality of knee-deep snow and more coming.

 

Have you ever thought about what it means to “take it hard”?  We usually apply it to death or some disaster or upheaval in our lives.  But it’s really about attitude.  It’s about judging an occurrence in reality and the emotional label you paste on it.  If you “take it hard” it’s a pain, a burden, even a disaster.  But oddly enough, and we almost never look at it this way, to “take it easy” is really the exact opposite.  It’s not about relaxing.  It’s about the judgment you put on an occurrence in reality and how you allow it to impact your life, the flow of your reality.

 

If I take it easy my life isn’t entirely screwed up by bad weather.  If I take it easy, the death of a loved one is a loss to me but a joyful release for them.  If I take it easy, I’m not sick and angry over something bad that’s happened.  I can look for alternatives.  If I take it easy, an obstacle becomes a challenge.  And a challenge is a gift to prove I can do better, find a way around.

 

No, of course it’s not easy, to learn to take it easy.  But if I take it easy today, then I get to go out and have some fun shoveling snow.  And the appointments can wait till we’re shoveled out.  And it’s not like I don’t have plenty to do at home today.  And I’ve just made my whole to-do list a whole lot easier.

Embrace the Energy of Reality

Embrace the hour,

Embrace the day,

Embrace the energy that makes easy my way.

 

I’m still working so hard I feel like I’m going around in circles.  But I’m also working on being very mindful of the energy of reality.  The only thing that matters, the only energy that exists, is right now, in this very moment.  The past is done and gone.  Worry about the future is just reaching into the unknown and bringing back failure.  This moment of reality holds the only energy I can use to create.  This moment is the only place I have to make a difference, to grow my life and focus energy on making my future what I want it to be. 

 

 

 

        The bowl is finished.  It may be spectacular.  It may be weird.  It took weeks in the studio because each row had to dry before I could apply the next one.  But I think it’s like all art and life.  You never know what has really been created till it’s released to go out into the world on its own.  Is that what living is all about?  That we don’t know the results of our actions until we take them and see them reflected in reality?

 

 

 

 

Use the energy that exists in the moment, since that’s the only place it exists, and believe that you’re creating something good.  That begins to sound like creating and building a life is all about intentions.  Do our intentions create our lives?!  Now there’s something to think about.