Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Moonlight and warmth

I braved it through the first part of my day out of sorts from lack of sleep, and the first day of my period which is ALWAYS a bear. Usually I have a day of a nagging headache before it, followed by 24+ hours of misery. Sometimes I embrace it, others I am just plain pissy about it all.

Once I got home I quickly shifted gears. My friend Ken (a network chiropractor) did some amazing energy work on me, (that might account for my feeling better too!) then off to get ready for Halloween.

Alanna arrived, we donned our costume, and went into the twilight to trick and treat for the first time. We only went to half a dozen houses in our neighborhood, followed by Ginas (the massage meister!)for snacks and a sip of wine. (And goodies for Alanna of course). Last stop === the hospital to see mommy.

It was poignant when we came in view of the night lights of the hospital and Alanna yelled MOMMY'S HOUSE! How do you explain all of this to a 2 year old?

No word on what is going on with her body, my poor depressed and frustrated daughter was elated when we came in costume to trick or treat. Alanna was happy, joyous, and dancing. Usually she is quite sullen as this has all been too much for her, but tonite she was a little sprite.

Innocence and joy blessed me tonite, and I am thankful. I saw the moon, a giant fake spider, lit jack-o-lanterns, and other sights, smells, and sounds through a two year old's eyes. And it was good.

patti ooooooooo

Monday, October 30, 2006

Mischief Night

I wanted to get into trouble tonite. My husband was working, I was fried from a long day. My day started out with my daughter calling to tell me that she might have internal bleeding, and they were doing what turned out to be 6 hours of testing. Still no answers. Then the baby sitter quit. Another huge problem. And I had to pick up the pieces from being gone from the classroom for 2 days last week.

So, a hot sake or glass of wine is not too much for a girl to ask for, no?

But alas, I could not find anyone to accompany me. My friend did go w/me to the costume store to buy something for us to wear to school tomorrow, and I got Alanna an adorable outfit. It has been 20 years since I took a 2 year old trick or treating. We had some giggles, especially when I put on a rasta wig w/ huge dreads. Then this strange lady come over and asked us if we were buying it - I said no, and she said something to the effect that she would charge us then for the entertainment if that is what we were seeking. Ann and I totally wigged out (no pun intended) and found another part of the store where we could indulge in some play without her around. I started out with a Cat Woman mask, but then I found a Venetian Renaissance style paper mask which I will wear with my Moreska Renaissance dress.......But I REALLY WANTED TO GO HAVE A DRINK, bite to eat, so I went home to have a nip of Methusela by myself........and bemoan a free evening with noone to be bad with.

And here I sit, with you.

But that is nice too and I know that my mischief was as innocent as child's play,and I look forward to living tomorrow's experiences through the eyes of a child.

In play, Patti

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Winds of Change

Today was the first reminder of what is to come. A cold brisk wind whipped most of the leaves off the trees and the killing frost from last week has turned even my most hardy plants umber and brittle. Darkness is descending like a black velvet cape so early now. I shall have to sit under lamps soon as I shrivel like the plants in the winter, devoid of heat and light.

This painting is of a sunset which I captured on my way home from work, along the Rondout Creek on Abeel Street. I, like Thomas Cole, opted out of depicting the railway in my painting. Perhaps some day I too will give in and give it placement in my work. But not now. The sky and the mountains are too glorious.

I am off to take some hot chicken soup to Megan. She is still in the hospital. It has been hard running my life with a 2 year old in tow and a sick daughter besides, who at 22, still very much needs mommy. I am PMSing to boot and think it is about time that I get rid of my period. I mean, grandmothers are supposed to be over with that, aren't they? LOL.

Off to write out some Halloween cards and do my lesson plans. I am not prepared to teach tomorrow after 3 days of visiting hospitals and a show and a toddler. I will ease into it tomorrow morning.....and hope all goes well.

G'nite, patti

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Show Results

I never got to post yesterday as I was a maniac after my last post. I had baby all morning and then later on had the show at my friend's house. We always had someone there shopping; it was not a huge financial success, but the company was great, I met new people, ate lovely cheeses, sipped wine, and then had an amazingly HUGE sushi party later that evening.

The one blemish to the evening was the arrival of someone on my mailing list. Bardet's items are made in South Africa which she sells. The woman have their own business which supports them in an otherwise poverty stricken culture. So this guy comes in with the opening line of "I think all poverty is laziness, plain and simple" and then proceeded to make statements about "how long are we going to support and help THOSE PEOPLE and other comments as such". It started to get very nasty as the people who were there shopping were getting irate with his comments and he was not going to quit. My friend had to escort him out the door and into his car which he had left running.

Was that his entire motive for the evening? To be racist and disrupt an otherwise globally aware and sensitive group of people? I will take him off my mailing list, but not before I write him a letter. I had not known his political views, and he does indeed have the right to believe them, but he did NOT have the right to spew his hatred amounst a group of pro-active people.

We were in shock as this is not something that we encounter in our paths. I know we must be living in a sheltered world as there are many who do share his view, and it was a wake up call to the fact that there are MANY who believe this!

Megan is still in the hospital. Her stomach has opened back up down below and if the xrays are ok and she poops today, they will let her go home. She says her ribs hurt really badly and we are not sure that that is from (the endoscopy?) and she sounds very depressed. The biopsy results won't be back till next week, and I think she just wants to get out of there.

So soon I pick up Alanna, dodging the pouring rain we are having, and settle in for a quiet and fun filled afternoon with a 2 year old.

Todays art is a collage of magazine images that have been treated with a product called Never Dull, then rearranged etc. It is a fun process and I really love this image.

Till later, Patti

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Life is always interesting....

Tomorrow I am doing a small home sale with my friend Bardet. It has been crazy from the very start. I had the wrong day, so I had to work like mad to make some new things, then this morning I get a call at 6:30 am that my daughter is in the hospital. I now have the baby tonite and tomorrow. How am I going to pull THIS one off? Part of me says, FORGET IT, the other part of me says HAVE FAITH AND JUST DO IT.

I went to see Megan this morning before I went to work as I was afraid that she might go into surgery without my telling her I was sorry about our little disagreement the other day and that I loved her. She looked all sad with a naso-gastro tube coming out of her nose. I went back again to see her tonite. She was the same only more so -just with a bit more morphine pumped into her. The doctors are going to do an endoscopy to see if they can see anything wrong. Her stomach apparently has closed up at the bottom and there is some sort of blockage not allowing her food to pass into the large intestine. They said it is either nerves or from trauma (am getting to that in a bit) and if it does not open by tomorrow they will do surgery.

I asked her about the trauma. How did she ever get trauma to her stomach? She looked at me and said "when I flew out of the Humvee in Iraq" The force was so hard that it had herniated her diaphram but by the time they found out about it there was nothing she could do. It has healed but perhaps this is a continuation of that trauma. I guess I won't know till they do more tests. She is such a sick child and it makes me so sad. I don't know how much of it is stress, bad genes, or from her stay in Iraq. So much is wrong w/her and we know so little.

I had therapy tonite and it was very important that I went. It was painful, but I know the importance of pain now for the process of healing and try and salvage my relationship as mother to my children. I am not angry about my life; I am just sad for MY children that I had such poor role models as parents and was so abandoned and abused as a child. How do you parent effectively with love when you don't know what that is?

The beauty of life is that I still have time to right the wrongs of my parents by working on me and giving what I can to my children NOW. My parents did not have the opportunities to ever try and make right the wrongs. My father died when I was a teen and not long after that my mother drank herself to a stroke which left her even more of a shadow in my life. I have been without parents myself my entire life, whether by neglect or by death and disability.

I don't feel sorry for myself, I just want to heal. I want to love. I want to grow. I am doing it, but the road is rough.

Please keep Megan in your thoughts and if you live in my city, my sale with BE SWEET is from 2-7 at 300 Dunneman Avenue.

I will let you know how all turns out! xxxpatti


I was not able to access my blog last night...slow servers or they were doing repairs. Then this morning my internet was down. To boot, my daughter is in the hospital with a possible blockage and may need surgery. So life is crazed right now and I will be back as soon as I can fix my computer or figure out what is wrong with it. patti

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


So I am sitting in my classroom during my lunch and decide to retrieve my emails. There is an email from my friend Bardet who is coming east in a few days. We had planned a house party, where she would sell her sacred jewelry and Be Sweet items, and I would sell my earrings and cards and whatever else I can pull together.

BUT I thought it was next friday. It is this friday! I have to make cards, advertise, beg my boss to let me out an hour early (I get docked via personal or sick day........but I was planning to take 1/2 a day)cancel my therapy appointment, and somehow pull this all together. I know I work great under pressure, but this is CRAZY!!!

I have gone BATTY. Must be the season.

A short blog as I worked my 11 hours, then went out shopping for a bit as I desperately need pants for school, grabbed some sushi and then just got home.
My eyes are crossing, I have so much to say, but I am off to rest!

More to come---there alwasy is!. xxxpatti

PS this card was sold but I love it. I have a sign on my art room door...BATTY PATTI'S ROOM, lololol

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Golden Apple Doth Appear

What an appropriate title for tonights blog. I had the evening totally to myself and went into the studio for a few hours. I felt a creative surge go through me and I felt for a fleeting moment that all was clear and I would find the right path in my art life. I realized that Melissa was indeed right. I was going to have to make some major changes if art is what I want to do. I cannot change my full time job for now, but I can change how I concentrate my art time. I like the discipline of my blog so that won't go. I do like making my cards and the steady but small income it provides

So tonites little voices went something like this: "do I continue to make my greeting cards on the hopes that I will always have a handful of clients to buy them, or do I stop making them and ONLY make art and price it higher? I could raise the price of my cards! People are getting handmade mini works of art for 4-8.00! Isn't that absurd? BUT I LOVE MAKING THE CARDS. Why? They MAKE ME MONEY. But...do they make you the money that you deserve and need, and how much an hour do you make?" Silence. "OK maybe you can make a few cards here and there to keep the heat paid. Paint more, make bigger and more permanent pieces. Ease into it. It's all good. Most of all have faith and be POSITIVE. CREATE MY OWN REALITY. (I really like that philosophy)

Oddly enough, I made a stack of cards tonite. I started a few collages but promptly lost one in the piles. Sigh. But the work flowed and I was joyous, and all was good.

And if you too want a golden apple, go to ebay and you can bid on the card. It is magical.

in peace, patti

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Workshop Part ll

Right now I am fit to be tied. Perhaps it is because it is not fair that I have to deal with life so soon after going to a workshop where I made time for ME and learned how to get into a place of peace.

My 22 year old daughter hung up on me after calling me and complaining about her problems and then disconnects when I don't play into her financial or emotional dramas. I am strong, but I crumble when push comes to shove. My kids have a good way of doing that to me. Or I allow this to happen. I feel so betrayed at times...I give up my saturdays to watch her baby, I take time off to sit for four hours in a cold hard court room to support her. I ask for nothing but respect, and she basically goes off on me and hangs up when she does not hear what she wants to hear. It hurts badly.

But pushing that aside, I had a very wonderful day at Melissa's. I really looked at my process and art as a journey, rather than feel negatively about my painting. Melissa's input was that she felt that no matter what I set out to do, I could be a success. It felt great to feel that confidence and support; it is something that we should have as children, but 2/3 of us don't get.

The image I posted tonite was a spirit essence portrait that we did. We were paired up, we took our partner's hands, and tried to feel the energy and get in touch with our intuition and the images that we were presented with during this exchange. I was amazed at what I felt, and how much of it was true. It just validated the fact that we have so much intuition and can go beyond what we dream to be possible.

The women in the group were amazing. It was a magical time and I am grateful to God, the universe, Allah, Buddha, whomever we look for for inspiration and the divine spirit. And Melissa. She is a very special soul.

For more information visit Melissa HarrisHer artwork and images are amazing and I am honored to have been in her studio and in her presence for the weekend!

In peace and creativity, Patti


I have to hop in the shower so I will keep this brief. I did not write yesterday as I was in the workshop all day and then attended my auntie's 76th birthday dinner up in the mountains. By the time I got home I just did my exercises and went to bed!

The workshop so far has been enjoyable. We did a guided meditation, a short meditation, some discussion and then painted all day. I am still frustrated with painting. It is something that I love to do, but feel I am not talented enough in to be a good painter--never mind GREAT painter. I do like the meditation and guided visualization and would like to take that with me in my life in general, so for that it was great. And, perhaps, if it points out to me that painting is just my therapy and that I should work on what my strengths are for making money, then that is ok too, though it is a bit disappointing to realize that I may never be as talented as I wish I were.

My celebrex seems to be working as I am relatively pain free all day. However the drug comes with all sorts of contraindictions and I wonder how long I can take it before it has its effects on my body.

Off to the showers and to prepare for another wonderful day in the woods in Melissa's studio. I think I will talk to her about my work and my feelings about painting, and see what she says. The nice thing is now that I am "grown up", I can face things with less disappointments and more acceptance as to what things are. I embrace with gratitude what talent I do have and will go that course.

Shanti, shanti shanti patti

Friday, October 20, 2006

Froggy Placecards

It was a tough day -- for both my daughter and I had to face some demons. It involved sitting in criminal court for four hours with the case is going to trial.

I knew I had to go there with her. It is hard enough to file abuse charges on someone you love, never mind sitting for hours in a very tense atmosphere, alone. His lawyer kept winking at her; it was abhoring to watch. I told her to hold her stare and stance firm. She did well. I hope she is as stong in the trial in December.

It was a flash back to another life, another time which seems so distant, so unreal, where I was in the same seat as her. I told her that all these challenges make us strong women. And you know, I AM strong and I am at peace now that I no longer feel a victim. I am a survivor.

I quickly shifted gears from emotional supporting mommy to graphic artist. I had to design place cards for tomorrow night's party for my aunt. She will be 76 and we don't know if she will live another year, so we are trying to pull off a small intimate family party. She loves frogs so I took this image from one of my cards and made adorable place cards. This is actually a fold-over card where I hand cut the top of the frog's head so it sticks up when the card is folded. It is SO cute and I KNOW she will be thrilled with them adorning the tables. Had I more time I could have made pop up cards etc., but I need another 12 hours to do that.

This weekend is my workshop too with Melissa Harris. Will be reporting back!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

More Photoshop in Progress

I just finished dinner; it is near 9:00. I so wanted to soak in a hot tub, my body hurts, I have worked too long, and I yearn for some down time after a long day. But I remembered, HEY, MY BLOG!!!!!! Got to finish off the evening with that! Tonite's pic *IF IT EVER LOADS* is a work in progress. A photo taken in New Orleans before the Hurricane. A host of ghosts walking down the street in the evening. It is not finished, only a bit of space on my hard drive for now, but an image all the same.

It is autumn and the light is fading and I slip away into a mood....the smell of autumn, the beginning of decay in my garden. Dead tomato plants with little cherry corpses strewn about my patch of land that I farm in my little city. The basil is still struggling; it is closer to the house than the tomatoes. My mesclun is frozen at 1" tall for weeks now. I have not seen any snowflakes yet, but I smell them in the air. They are coming. They are just waiting for the right time.

I get tired in the evenings..they come so soon with the fall of darkness. I struggle with all the things that need to be done. I know that as of December 21, the days will be getting longer again and I try and endure this cycle of light and wonder, will I even make enough money to head south or west for the winter?

And, with that, I bid you adieu. xxpatti

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


LISTEN TO YOUR STUDENTS and you will often find the path and inspiration of the lesson plan.

I was emailing one of my students back and forth. Friendly chatter. I have had him for 3 years and am now his senior advisor. He is a fab kid and I have learned much from him.

He is in my Photoshop class..it is a class that I am teaching for the first time. He suggested that I give kids a disposable camera and have them take it home for the weekend and shoot pictures for them to scan and make their own collages as I am strict about copyright infringement. I figure, might as well teach the Generation X now! I needed a lesson plan however to tide us over till I got the cameras, gave them to the kids, developed the film etc. I had to come up with a quick lesson and we both agreed that doing scanner art might be fun.

During class we searched Google images for "Scanner Art" and looked at what examples we could find. We found quite a variety, and were inspired by some of the self-portraits that we found online by high school students using scanners. A light went off in my head and I had an AH HA moment in the middle of the class! EUREKA, THAT'S it! The kids can do self portraits, a series of four, and one of which has to be scary in keeping with the Halloween spirit!

I came home, went straight to work and had a blast coming up with four variations on a theme. For some reason this blog will only let me post three pictures, but you get the idea.

High school kids are so into their self-image. Even those with low self-esteem will probably do this assignment because they can be different people, change themselves. I wonder if this project can be transformative in other ways..give them some confidence and most of all, have fun and learn.

I will let you know how it goes!


Monday, October 16, 2006

Autumn Evening

I spent some time in my studio this afternoon, hell bent on making a painting, no matter what it was. I got out the paints, laid out the palette, got a canvas panel, and just painted. No thought, no plan, just paint and see what comes of it. It is always a learning experience in some form, whether it be a color discovery or time that I get in touch with my child who plays with paint. Tonite's painting must have been influenced by the season. The cool nights, the leaves changing color, the shorter days and ever so dark mornings. Perhaps I have caught my students anticipation of Halloween even though they are teens. They still have the excitement and the playfulness of the younger children, only they know they are getting to old to partake in the door to door trick-or-treat festivities.

Before delving into my paints, I went on a nice walk around the perimeter of our local track and wistfully enjoyed the sights and sounds of the football team drills, the track team coming in from a run, and I had a flash of those painful days of adolescence. I was not the popular girl; in fact, I was a wallflower, an intellectual artist geek. I had no boyfriends in high school, but had many in my little private world. I was not a part of the sports world till much later, when I had some faith in myself and what I could do.

But it was so easy to take that trip back to the past, to a fleeting memory of a period I would never want to revisit. I smiled to myself, and took myself home ready for a workout in the studio and was thankful that I could enjoy that jaunt to the past, and leave with a Mona Lisa smile.

To Autumn, Halloween, and being forever young! Patti

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Halloween Art

Been playing around with Photoshop again as I need to complete a page for one of my fat books which I am participating in. I am having some program problems, and need to figure out the whys of it. I don't understand why some of my tools will just not work sometimes..like the eraser on various layers.

I posted the image I made last night (the reason of no blog posting...got too aggrevated and tired to post) It is not a done deal as I am having issues with it and will bring the files to school to play around on that computer and see if there it works there. But I thought it was fun anyway, even in its imperfections.

Also am posting a link to Duane Keiser on my blog. He is an artist who paints a small painting a day and links them on his blog to ebay. He has quite a following, and his work is lovely even on the internet ---- which NEVER gives our art the justice it deserves. Take a moment to check him out and you can subscribe to his announcements when he posts new paintings etc. He is inspiring as both an artist and one who knows how to market his work.

Off to the studio to get some work done. My guests have left, the memorial service isn't till 2, so I have a few hours to myself. There is a horrid smell of mildew in there which I can't find and is really upsetting me. I just had my open studio tour last weekend and all was fine. Now it stinks and I can't locate the source. We had some heavy rains but the studio did not flood--- so WHY????

Perhaps I will be back later. Have a great sunny sunday. It is lovely here in the northeast. The colors are wonderful and reaching peak color.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Kissing Repulsive Neil

I guess this is a dedication to Andre week. As her memorial approaches, I find myself looking through the things Julie asked me to scan for various purposes. It is amusing and whispers stories to me of a creative little girl who never forgot how to write stories all her 85 years.

This page is one from a handmade Valentine book Andre made for her mother in the 30's. It is precious. The illustrations are wonderful and have a naievity about them. I wondered who litte Neil was? Did "the then repulsive Neil" change? Andre must have been at an age when she thought all little boys were repulsive.

Come to think of it, I don't think I ever thought boys were repulsive. I remember having MAJOR crushes with boys in my 1st grade class and writing letters to them. My one true love was Gary. We acutally wrote love notes back and forth. Then one day he disappeared for a long time. I heard he had an accident with fire crackers and got hurt. When he came back to school it was frightening; he had burned up half his face. I don't remember what happened to him, I don't think he came back the following year. I was traumatized yet again in my life. But I never stopped liking boys and living in fantasy worlds with them which I created. I have a little black book of poems of loss and angst and unrequited love and lust and .... dreams of finding Mr. Right. It took 20 years and lots of dashed dreams and fantasies to find him. UGH and think of all the REPULSIVE NEILS I had to kiss to get there! LOL.

Now for more joyful thoughts; I have Alanna tomorrow which means that I will be forced to enjoy life at a more mellow pace. I have some work to do but we will get it done, only at a slower rate!

Tipping my rum to friday, patti

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Parting Shot

I have been writing all evening in response to a series of exercises I am doing with a group with Eric Maisel,who is a well known creativity coach and author. I am enjoying it for the most part, except when I have to think too hard about existential creativity and other prompts that just wear me out. Perhaps if I did it in the morning I could think clearer but I got a bit behind and just finished up a few hours of heavy reading, thinking, and writing. Soon I have to head upstairs to read an article by my therapist (whom I adore in case you have not read my previous blogs) that is a Jungian interpretation of the Mona Lisa. I have to return it to her tomorrow, but I do look forward to reading it as I have studied Da Vinci a bit and am intimately familiar with a few of his works.

So for tonite I thought I would share this parting shot, a good laugh for the day. It is a picture of my friend's mom and siblings. Check out those bloomers and pants!It is a picure of innocence and curiosity. What IS down below that bridge that they are so intently gazing at? And where is the PARENT? Can't they see that those kids are ready to fall over that fence head first into the water?

But they didn't and all's well that ends well.

Sleep well my friends! Gute nacht, Patti

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

IN MEMORIAM: Andre Moul Ross 1920-2006

Andre was one of my best friend's mother. She celebrated 85 years of life, most of them as a veterinarian, and later as a playwright. She was one of the first pioneers to encourage the neutering of pets and was known to chastise those who let their animals breed at a time when few thought about unwanted cats and dogs. She also wrote many plays, some of which were performed in an old show boat called the Driftwood Floating Theater in Eddyville, New York, a town which was the last stop on the D and H canal before you headed out to the Hudson River. I always said there were more bars than residents, and it is the town where one of my husbands made his residense in the Mad Anthony Saloon. The old showboat was sadly burned down by two teens some years ago, but I got to see one her plays in the old boat, lined with velvet curtains and seats, and vaudvillian entertainment.

She raised four children in the Hudson Valley of New York, and I was lucky to have befriended Julie, one of her two daughters. (see previous blog entries this week)

Tonight we spent the evening making bookmarks to celebrate her life this coming Sunday. Tonite's picture is one of her as a child. The back has the first poem she wrote:

The Flower

The stem grows up
the roots grow down
and where they meet
is on the ground.

Here is to Andre, an animal activist, a mother, a playwright, a grandmother, and a kind, gentle, yet vivacious spirit who is much missed and well remembered here in the Hudson Valley.

Love, Patti

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I don't know where all my readers came from all of a sudden, but it is heartening to see that people have breezed through my blog. I share bits and pieces of my life..which has been and still continues to be intersting---to me anyway, and is full of art and living---even in the quietest of moments my mind races and thoughts come spilling out. I have some REALLY interesting stories, but alas, because I am a public servant, a teacher no less, I cannot tell all. I might be accused of being immoral or a tart or something like that, so you all have to fill in the blanks on that. Or bear with me until I retire when I can tell all.

The phrase I used above (Even in the Quietest Moments) was the title of a Supertramp album I think. They put on one of the best concerts I have even been to...in the early 80's, in Springfield, Connecticut in the Civic Center. They had a video showing during one of their songs. I can hear the song, it had a great beat, but alas, I can't remember the name. I just remember a train speeding down a track while they sang it and feeling their music run right through me. That was one of the more memorable concerts, along with James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, Crosby Stills and Nash, and other back in the 70-80's. It is great to still hear the likes of Bob Dylan still putting out good music, and the David Gilmour CD (of Pink Floyd fame) is quite good. I can still go back to those days.....geez, they were fun. Glad I survived them.

I am a bit tired. I was up far too late, have worked far too hard. Julie and I crawled into bed last night and snuggled up to watch Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert and Larry came home from teaching at Marist to find us curled up nodding out and snoring. He chuckled and we just laughed. It is such a comfortable thing to do with a dear friend, and we decided it was something that men would NEVER do! Can you imagine your man crawling into bed with his best friend to watch TV???? But we were back to being young girls doing a sleep over.

This card was inspired by an artist who used to make people whose heads were pansies. I searched on the internet to find who it was, but to no avail. I will have to dig through my collection to find out who it was! This girl is made from Victorian 1800's paper and is on EBAY.

Off to bed as I have another long day of teaching, then traveling to a clients house for a private lesson, and perhaps going to one of my fave art stores in New Paltz, and to a fab shoe store to drool over the shoes that they have there. Still no money to spend, but I can sure start a wish list! ADIEU, Patti

Monday, October 09, 2006

Wild Mushroom Soup and Best Friends

I am taking a break to blog while simmering my wild mushroom soup which I am making for my dear friend Julie. My friend Leah is a wild mushroom expert, and I am graced with gifts of morels, chanterelles, and tonite hen of the woods. I have gone "shrooming" with her for morels, what a great time that is. It is like a treasure hunt, only the last time I went I ended up with poison ivy so badly for a month and looked like a burn victim.

I love to make soups so tonite's fare is Creme of Mushroom soup, and homemade Pesto. Even the onions are from my garden that I put into the soup! I don't have much, but it is amazing that I can make a dinner from what grows in the woods and in my little piece of paradise.

Julie and I go back 20 years. I had left my husband with a two year old and a 3 month old. Our lives were in danger and we packed all we could fit in our VW Dasher, and lived in the mountains for a while, chopping wood to keep warm during the worst months. At night the wind would roar through the pine trees sounding like a train descending upon the house. I needed a place to live after the tenant came back home from his tour in California (Mark was playing in Pump Boys and Dinettes) and I desperately needed a place to live. I could not go back home.

Another friend's mother was a real estate agent and told me about a woman who was working in Westport and needed someone to live in her house during the week while she was working. I hooked up with Julie and the rest is history. I actually lived with her a second time when the man I was engaged to DUMPED me and I had too much pride to live in the house with him. So once again I packed up my stuff and headed to Julies. There is much more to these stories; that is for another time.

Julie is here as her mom died this summer and she is preparing the memorial service. Due to some very complex family issues, she is staying here with me where I get to nurture and keep her safe, like she did me. Isn't it amazing how the universe works?

I cherish the friendships I have with my friends. Money can't buy the love and devotion that we feel for one another. And, what is beautiful, is I keep making new ones as I travel along on my path through life. Amazing, special, strong, brave women.

This is a new card on ebay. Click on the word ebay for the link to the card if you are intersted in it! It is made with an antique Victorian die cut, art paper, and embellished with vintage bronze colored rhinestones. It is a PERFECT girlfriend card!

Off to do my lesson plans. I did not do them and I need to get in touch with what I have to do........so that I can walk in there prepared. Till tomorrow! Patti

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Studio Tour Results

The tour is over. I am exhausted from cleaning, working, and talking. Today was much busier than yesterday, though most of the people who stopped by were my friends who always show up to say hi, see what I have been doing, or pick up some cards or such. A few neighbors stopped in while on their walks, and a few people who were on the tour stopped by. But for a mailing of 28,000 in the local paper, an art memebership of 500+, the amount of people that came from that was very few and I wondered why?

I noticed cars would slow down, look, and then drive by. I had lovely flowers outside the studio, signs, and even had to door open which I was told enticed one person to come in. Some people told me that perhaps it was because I was on the outskirts of town, that people focused on going to studios that were close together in the same neighborhood and they could walk and see several at a time. I am not off the beaten path, but you did have to drive a few minutes to my neighborhood, which is a lovely one full of lovely old historic houses.

Regardless, I met some really cool people, made new friends, and got to see many of my old friends. My friend from North Carolina is staying here for the week, and she bought her friend Dennis, and they jammed in my backyard, playing Irish tunes on guitar, fiddle, flute, and concertina. The wine flowed, great conversation was to be had, and it was all good.

A new customer whom I met on the internet through my ebay store came by and she bought me some great books to work with. I am awed by the generosity of people that I have met recently. My friend Bertha sends me Victoriana, obelisk images, and books, and now Deb gave me books she has saved for years. The kindness of strangers fills me with hope for the world. And, I have met the most incredible women to boot!

The card I posted here was given to me by one of the young men I met this weekend. A friend of mine sent him to me..he just moved here from Illinois and lives nearby. I fell in love with his business card...as it looks like a piece of mail art and thought how clever!!!! I went to his website and I am equally impressed with it, especailly fascinating is his digital artwork. Oh, not to mention that I think his web design is hip, cool and FUN. Stop by and see his site and enjoy his art! I LOVE meeting young people (heck, I still think I am a youngster...my mind is frozen at 19 but my body adds 30 years to that) and groove on their energy and artwork.

Oh, and the wedding was fun last night. I danced, ate, partied, and had enjoyed myself. I did not feel like I was a "single" person there as I was sitting at a great table full of lively and interesting people whom I knew, and my friend Lois (my friend that I go on many adventures with---) looked like a princess in her G-E-O-R-G-E-O-U-S gown. Rust colored with a fitted bodice encrusted with beads. Strapless, deeply cut, great decollete, with a beautiful woman to wear it no less. I forgot a camera...good thing because she puts Madame X to shame and I would have HAD to post her picture on my blog!

Off to relax and do my nightly exercise routine. If the weather holds out tomorrow I will do my first mile walk in the neighborhood. It has been a year since I have done that walk. I hope my body will hold up! Hope you all are having a lovely weekend! patti

Friday, October 06, 2006


In my backyard is hidden a concrete Buddha. Different flowers bow before him, depending upon what has survived or been planted for the season. Pink Oriental poppies are in bloom now. They were supposed to be white, but I gracefully cherish their soft pinkness amidst the oranges and red leaves that are starting to spot the yard. Larry is more upset that they are pink as he yearned for white, and is also upset that the moonflowers that we bought turned out to be pink morning glories. It must be the year of pink for him.

I bought Larry that Buddha for Larry one father's day, many springs ago. There was a fabulous statuary supplier in the woods up near the Ashokan and we would go each spring to pick out a piece for our garden. He fell in love with this piece, and it has lived in the yard and become one of the focal points. One summer afternoon I sat and painted him, and just the other day decided to make the little painting into a card. It had been sitting in a box for a while now, and I thought that it was time for him to come out and make a meaningful piece of art to be shared with someone else.

I managed to clean up most of the studio tonite, Megan showed up (my daughter) to help me make some earrings and I finished up some cards. It will never be as clean and organized as I would like, but I have to remember, this is a studio tour of studios that are worked in! It is not a GALLERY TOUR or a store tour, it is a glimpse into the sacred space of the artist. Had I more energy, I would have taken a picture, but the batteries for the camera are in some babies toy, so I will leave that for some other time this weekend.

I smudged the studio with sage which I bought in the midde of the desert in a tiny hut in Arizona, the sand blowing through the cracks, the son, aging father, and old dog on a bench. I think of them, the ancient lands I traveled when I light it, and smile. I feel their spirit with me and thank the universe for the gifts it has given me.

May the weekend be abundant for all. Patti

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New Orleans Sunset

Just got back home from Parent's Night at school. For me it was a low turn out. With our poplulation of kids, we don't often get many parents. Some don't have cars, some can't drive, some are better off not getting in the car to drive. Yet it is always a pleasure meeting those parents who do care enough to come and vistit their child's school, and they are usually the parents of the kids who are doing well.

My 7th graders finished their hats which will be auctioned off this weekend. The benefits will go to children who live in shelters still in New Orleans. Those same students go to school in the very shelters they live in. Many have no clothes, supplies etc. We hope that the benefit is a success.

I am wrapping up the lesson with a Powerpoint presentation of pictures I took when I was down there last year, between Mardis Gras and Jazz Fest. I had a wonderful trip and fabulous memories of the margaritas in Pirates Alley, the visits to the Vodoo shops, the French Quarter, Riverwalk, the trip on the ferry to Algiers, the sketching trip to the Garden District. This photograph was taken one night while out tooling around heading up to the Jazz section. It was warm and quite lovely.

I started searching on the internet for pictures of the devastation to show the kids, and came across a site that showed many dead bodies in the very same areas that I visited. I thought about showing these photos to the kids in order to give them a vision of what the reality was. I am not sure if this is appropriate, but I don't know any other way to get the point across to them. The death, destruction and desolation that still exists. I guess my better judgement tells me not to, but I will tell them that the very areas of wealth and grandeur also housed the bodies of the dead, poor, and black.

My friend Jane said the area is still a mess, only to be believed if you actually go down there. The French quarter is cleaned up and fine, the levys in Algiers saved her house. She is a construction worker and can name her price now for her work. But she said so much is still leveled, ruined. Still many homeless and so many who will never be able to come back.

I know I have talked about this before. But here are so many injustices in the world. We hear about the Congo .... but here we have it in our own back yard, in our great US of A.

And, we lost another local young man to the war. When will it all stop?

Namaste, Patti

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WANTED: Fairy Godmother

Groan. The tour is less than 2 days away. There are still piles in the studio and tables cluttered with art, art supplies, glasses, and more. How am I going to get it done by 12 noon on saturday while teaching, attending open house, making labels for the art show...and anything else?

I am resigned to the fact that I am wearing one of my old dresses to the wedding, as well as figure out what pair of shoes that I have that will go with it. There is no time to shop unless the Payless store down the street has a cute, comfortable pair of shoes that these broken feet can wear. My girlfriend even came over and bought 2 dresses for me to try on, but one was too big, and the other too long. Maybe I will get really sick and not have to go. I am going alone as it is, because Larry has to work the CPW auction and I will be going alone to a wedding for perhaps the first time in my life?! I mean, who goes to weddings ALONE???? Especially when they are married? Oh well, chalk it up to another interesting adventure, sure to make a blog entry!

I am so fried that I think I might have even used tonight's image another time. Oh well, I don't have the energy to look for another one. I am heading off to do my tedious exercises, and hopefully catch Dave Chapelle on Comedy Central. He is sooo funny. If I miss him, then I am sure to catch the Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart. Not as funny, but worth watching (most of the time..once in a while he bombs too)

Oh and this looks like the kind of fairy godmother I would order up to help me clean my studio and do all the work that needs to get done miraculously. One did show up and dust my ceiling and ceiling fan in the studio..only it was a fairy godfather as it had a beard...or else the godmother really needed a plucking.

hahahaha i crack myself up.. (actually sleep deprevation has made me insane)

ahahahahaha patti

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

No Time to Cook

Working two jobs and doing 12+ hour days is not conducive to cooking. I won't even BORE you with the details of my long and tedious day, but at 8 PM at night Larry wanders into the studio and asks "what are we doing for dinner?" and I hand him the list of possibilities that exist. Leftovers from DAYS ago (most I have eaten in school for lunch), a sandwich from the local deli, or sushi, but OH, I FORGOT, not in the budget this week. Tonite we opted for the sandwich and a few salads.

today's card was actually inspired by our recent eating habits. I am not going to bother listing it on ebay as I am having the sale this week, but if you are interested in it, drop me a comment.

All we have in the garden by the way, are tiny little grape tomatoes that are still managing to ripen. They don't fill up Alanna, never mind us. Think we ought to go shopping?

Till tomorrow, patti

Monday, October 02, 2006

In search of a little black dress.....

I have a black dress like this. Too bad I am 15 pounds too heavy to fit into it. It was a runway dress for a Paris fashion show. It hangs on my door, rhinestone straps and all...to remind me of a time when I was thin and angular and could have been a model had my parents let me.

When I was 15 I worked in a private French restaurant in the mountains. The owner did all the cooking and had the likes of Jaques Pepin come to give her lessons once in a while. I was a bar back, a prep cook, a waitress, a chaimbermaid all rolled into one. I had lovely red hair, weighed 100+ without dieting, and was 5'8" or so. I learned much about life the few years I worked there. About love, lust, fabulous French cuisine, great wine and such....

My boss had been a model in Paris and wanted to take me to NY to visit her connections at Ford, but it was squashed immediately as my ex-Jesuit (well he ALMOST became a Jesuit) father saw it as a life of debauchery and sin. Heck, I was doing quite a bit of that already, so why not get paid for it too?!

So I went out tonite looking for a little black dress to replace the one on my door. In all the stores in our little city, not one fit; too big, too tight, too skimpy, too frumpy. I wonder what I will do as this saturday is the wedding. Perhaps I will go upstairs and try and sqeeze into that dress and dream back 30 years when I was thin, wild and free.......... and hope I don't rip the seams!


Sunday, October 01, 2006


Since yesterday was BAD BOYS, tonite's entry HAD to be BAD GIRLS. I can't WAIT till I have more time in the studio to make some more for these two lines. Right now I am finishing up a few internet orders, and still have not cleaned for my open house next weekend. How can one have a clean studio while working? I say it is IMPOSSIBLE!

I went to visit my two aunts today who are like the Collyer brothers. They have 3 houses which are all filled with wonderful antiques and prints, along with bags full of magazines, mail, newspapers and lord knows what else. You can barely walk through the one I have been to tonite, and the one in Queens...well, I am afraid to go there. I understand your feet never touch the floor.

It is an illness, something like OCD. I fear every living moment of my life that the disease will hit (they weren't always like this) and I too will be handicapped with the inability to throw anything out, telling everyone that "I might need it for art". Right now the disease is confined only to pre 1920 things, but over the years it has grown and has taken over some areas of my studio and house. My husband also has a touch of it, and we both have to work hard to keep it at bay.

Tonite my one aunt (the other is quite ill) took Larry and I out for our anniversary dinner. We had an nice time, as I am very found of my auntie. Halfway into the dinner, a table of priests and bishops sat next to us. I froze. I wondered, if the sky is going to fall in upon my head, now is the time. I looked up at them, and saw a group of aging men, some of whom looked like mountain men in their casual clothes. I have a hard time looking at Catholic priests, knowing the history of homosexuality in the church and the abuse of young boys. I have no issue with homosexuality. I do have issue with the church not allowing men to marry, yet harboring and protecting men who have abused young innocent boys for centuries. Let the men have affairs with one another, but leave the boys alone. I believe the church is going to have to make some changes, i.e. not condemn the use of birth control in countries like Africa, allow priests to marry, and let women become priests. Many of these rules come from century old edicts and the church needs to modernize if it is going to survive.

I am one of the BAD GIRLS. I got remarried without "buying" an annullment. I don't go to church. I don't like organized religion. Yet I give unconditionally to the youth of my community, help my brothers and sisters in need, donate money when I can, and love my fellow man no matter their race, religion, or sexual preference.

Pope John Paul apologized to the world for the abuse of children by nuns. Who are the bad girls now?