Thursday, June 29, 2006

Life Is Short: Call Now

Life is Short: Call Now, is the title of Bruce Cockburn's new CD. I heard a cut while traveling during a rare moment of sunshine in my car with the sunroof open.In light (or dark) of all that is happening to so many of us, having friends or relatives with potentially terminal illnesses, the title really hit hard. Those who are ill not only need the phone calls, but the people who love and are dear to the dying; they need a hand or an ear to help them through the process. Pick up the phone today and call someone who is elderly, sick, or lonely. Cherish your friends and loved ones. And remember that bumper sticker that you may have seen on cars.....

I have been getting into the studio, making some art, listing on eBay and Etsy, and most importantly visiting with friends all week whom I have not seen in ages. I sometimes feel guilty for not being more accessible to my dear ones, so I take an extra effort during my down time to keep in touch, lend an ear, or a hand.

I went to the surgeon for my final visit yesterday only to find out I have bursitis, tendonitis, and have healed as well as I am going to. He does not want to take out all the metal in my leg/foot as it will be another major surgery and not worth the possible complications. So I have to face the possibility of living with what I have, but I am also grateful that I don't have something that will kill me. So, I will take my glucosomine, drink my sour cherry juice (YUMMM----very healthy for your too-high in anti-oxidants and is an anti-inflammatory) and try to live without complaining too much about the discomforts I have. I should look at them as little reminders whispering "BUT YOU ARE ALIVE!".

Today's print is a cropped section of an antique photogravure that depicts Hamlet when he picks up the skull in the graveyard and says: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio.A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times". I am offering this on is a beautiful print, perhaps someone will be interested in it. Too nice to cut up and use in a card I think.

Off to clean. I have company coming soon. I have not seen my friend since her baby was born 7 months ago. So we will play. xx may there be a bit of sunshine in your life today, Patti

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Garden of Eat'in

For the first time in days, it stopped raining. I was lucky; no flooding in my studio, and no major problems with the house or the area I live in. We live in a small city away from the Hudson River and most of the streams that overflow when it rains like this. Areas near the creeks did not fare so well.

I gave myself the gift of a massage this morning, a necessary gift to keep my aching muscles going. My afternoon luncheon with an old friend was cancelled; he was very sick and needed to pursue additional medical care. My auntie called me for two hours, telling me about her and her sister's urgent medical problems. I got a few more phone calls which essentially ate up a majority of the afternoon, but they were all necessary. Today I needed to be the strong friend or relative but it made me very very sad. Until now I have not given much thought to death and dying, but I have been haunted by the fact that my father died at an age I am now, that some people I love and cherish are needing some serious medical care. It is an ominus cloud, further enhanced by days of storms and shifting fronts...

After taking a deep breath from hours of phone work, I plunged myself into the tending of my organic garden. The lettuce thrives, the best I have had in years. So does the weeds, and I find it interesting that the two kinds of weeds that grow aside my lettuce are also edible --- in salads no less. Their names escape me, but the very weeds that I pulled were cherised in Victorian times as delicasies. I tend to the soil, I pull off flowering tops of herbs. I let the neighborhood cat into the main garden so that he could have a nibble of the catnip plant. He sauntered in, and just as gracefully sauntered out with a nod of appreciation.

There is something about the earth that heals and soothes. Larry told me that in a recent study of people who live to be 100, one of the common denominators was that they all lived on a farm. I think it is the zen-ness of giving love and nurturing the earth to provide life, and the the food we grow is the fruits of our labor; the gifts the earth has given us. WIth dirt under my nails I throw a kiss to the heavens and thank the universe for every moment and every morsel.

And, as they say, "every day above the ground is a good one."

Monday, June 26, 2006


Some of you might wonder about the significance of the title of the blog. As with much of my humor, you can take it many ways, and it is meant to be as such. It was a collage which I had done on a greeting card and sold, but had kept the image archived. The image has now further taken on its own a creative surge that came from severe PMS, a rainstorm, and a deadline.

I stayed home all day yesterday due to my BLACK DAMP GLOOMY BLOATED mood and sublimated it into a work of art. I am doing the summer zine swap with the Gleaner Group on Yahoo. The deadline is July 1st, and I must have a zine ready by then. I have a group of altered photographs which I have been saving for a project, the collage of Eat Man Drink Water, and I wanted to write prose or poetry that somehow tied it all together. The muse of creativity descended, the zine was 80% born.

It is an illustrated Poem based upon some of the dark Victorian poems read to me by my Auntie. (direct from Ireland!) Does anyone remember the German Struwel Peter book? About the little girl who played with matches and burnt up? Or Gus who would not eat his soup and died? How about Cock Robin who got shot and killed when he was getting married to Jenny Wren? That was Mother Goose) Thus the scene for my humor was set, the pictures are coming into place with it, and I guarantee a chuckle or two should come from this zine.

Out of the ashes rises the Phoenix. I allowed myself to feel, to brood, and to cleanse with art. And, it doesn't hurt to have a product either.

Perhaps tomorrow I will give you a tease.

Back to the stuido, Patti

Sunday, June 25, 2006


I woke up to another humid, misty, dark morning on the east coast to an interview on CNN about how are our belief systems affect our ability to make money. If we have been raised thinking that money is bad, or been given our "imprinting" about money and success by people who had negative thoughts or who had no money, then it can affect our entire financial future, or lack of it.

This is nothing new. For those of us who have done the work in Cameron's THE ARTISTS WAY we have discovered how to work through our negative thoughts about the arts in order to gain confidence and empower ourselves as artists. It works. I am a firm believer in the mind-body and mind-art connection. So now, I am eager to move to the next level--a participant in the mind MONEY connection.

I have to admit I have had some pretty negative thoughts about money and rich people in the past. Having a lot of money is sinful. Years of Catholic schooling taught me to be humble and that money is the root of much evil. (YET LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH AND MONEY; IT IS ONE OF THE RICHEST ORGANIZATIONS IN THE WORLD?!) There was always a negative aura around people who had money. Yet the more I read and the more I shed such antiquated and non-productive beliefs, the more I believe in the power of my attitude over my future and my quality of life.

As I undergo this transformation I will keep you updated as to books and thinkers to help unlock any negative thoughts about money and which empower us as humans, whether we are artists or production workers, especially as women in the workforce. I hope I can work on my husband too, as his imprint is far worse than mine, if that is possible!

Speaking of money and marketing, this is an excellent intro to my current and up and coming offerings on ebay and etsy. I discovered a couple of old rotten books in my favorite haunt in the Catskills, full of wonderful plates for collage and mixed media artists. I am started to list them on Etsy and Ebay, and of course, I have kept some so that I have a new stash of images for inspiration, and to fill some of my paper addiction. The print I have shown is one from the ROMANCE series on Etsy, and the links are alwasy found on the right hand side of my blog.

Thanks and may your sunday be inspiring and abundant.

AND don't forget=== be generous in all that you do and give. Patti

Saturday, June 24, 2006

It's Raining Again

Remember that Supertramp song, those of you who are old enough to remember Supertramp? They were one of the best 80's concerts I went to in Springfield, Mass. I do remember it, so I must have been pretty straight, haha. In a way I am glad that I experienced the 70-80's period and survived it. Though I was not a child of the 60's, I followed close behind lucky enough to experience some of it. Long nights of partying like mad. Thank GOD I survived those times as well as most of my friends and relatives. Some didn't. I never got addicted to anything, or in a bad car accident, and I just have all of these amazing memories. (I grew up spending a lot of time dancing in Woodstock NY at the Joyous Lake --- when disco was Barry White, the Rolling Stones.) I was too young for the first Woodstock, and my parents would have NEVER let me go; I did go to the second Woodstock in 94', which was fun as an experience but could never recreate the essence or the spirit of the first. My students get a kick out of the picture on my board in the classroom that has a picture of my girlfriend and I giving the camera man a peace sign...........

PEACE. What I long for in my life and for the world. It will be my mantra for the day and hope that it will keep me grounded. Pay it Forward.

No strawberry fields forever today I am afraid. The rain makes it impossible for me to consider picking. I am going to the studio to find a piece of old paper or an artwork to post here...a theme of the day. Be back later.

Ok found the right picture. A chromolithograph print from an old seed catalog. Early 1900's. Many of these were cut out and pasted in women and children's scrapbooks with flour and water paste. I have used these in decoupage, collage, cardmaking etc.

I took a ride into the Catskills today to visit my auntie. She is aging and I have a hard time accepting that. Accepting that my other aunt is very ill with bone cancer, that our family is dying out, that I am slowly rising to the next rung in the ladder of life and death. I have an idea for a collage to make. I hope that I have some time to get into the studio later after a quick visit with friends...and I feel a nap coming on.

Friday, June 23, 2006

A test blog

My first post on a bleak day. Be patient with me as I am new at this and will need a few weeks to figure out how this all works. I am having problems figuring out how to make paragraphs and such..the text editor is having a stroke on me. Guess I had better polish up on my html skills. They are minimal.

Today was the last day of school. I remember riding the bus in the 70's, throwing my papers out the window with the other kids. When I think of it, what a mess we were making along the country highway, our looseleaf floating like leaves in a windstorm.

I had a rotten last day. Normally I am ecstatic, but today I had some heavy thing happen to me and I alternated between crying and wanting to throw breakable things around the room. My hormones were raging whispering evil suggestions into my ear. Do it Patti, just throw that mug straight across the room through the window.

I made it through, went out for lunch and drinks with old and some new colleagues and tried to forget about the entire day. I kind of scared myself, especially since what I teach is teens with "problems". It humbled me and made me realize that they too are a bundle of exploding hormones, just 35 years younger than me.

I often sublimate my anger and frustration (not a chronic situation----) by making art, and today, it is by posting this blog. My goal this summer is to work on my house, a work of art in progress, and to create as much as possible...and to organize. The never ending chore.

I don't know if anyone will visit this blog. I promise info on antique paper and books, discussions on art and life. I don't know how personal I will get. I have been warned not to discuss religion, politics, and getting personal. I am not one to be ashamed of my beliefs.....but I also don't want anyone sending me hate mail.

I am going to try and post a piece of current art. Tongue and cheekly titled "How Green Is Your Garden?". Partial social commentary, partial humor and sarcasm. If it doesn't show, you will know that I did not figure that part out.

Ciao, patti