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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Here Comes 2018!!!

Perhaps it's a side-benefit of the aging process, 
this perspective that time is flying by so very fast.  
I wish there was a repellent for 
those pesky time-flies!  
Maybe in the New Year I will remember to 
savor the moments and not rush through my day, 
day after day, 
possibly missing the truly important things.

My involvement with the mail art community 
has brought me much inspiration and some 
wonderful friendships which I would not have 
found elsewhere, and for this I am very grateful.

For the first time ever, I am publicly 
listing a few hopeful "resolutions" for 2018:

to be braver in my creative efforts
to make more art and to enjoy the process more
to nurture friendships
to practice better time management (?)
to pay more attention to the blessings around me
to take health improvement and maintenance 
more seriously, among other things...

And to keep up with my correspondence?
And to tidy/organize my workspace?

Oh, and to breathe deeply and often.

I had better write them on a Post-A-Note 
and stick it to my forehead.

May this New Year ahead be even better 
than those behind us.

I wish everyone 
throughout 2018.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Winter Weather

One learns early not to walk under tree branches heavy with accumulated snow.  I seem to remember hearing that, when clumps of cold white fluff go down the back of your neck, it's called "idiot makers," for whatever reason.  The feeling is NOT good.

Here is some of the 1+1/2 - 2-feet of  "Lake Effect" snow which has fallen over the past day-and-a-half, with more on the way:

Of course we didn't get half as much as Erie, PA.

I'm doing my best to keep the bird feeders filled.  Slate-colored juncos, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, sparrows, brown finches, and even the occasional yellow finch have showed up recently.  The yellow finches were supposed to go south!  I don't know how over-wintering birds survive the cold, the winds, the lack of accessible food.  Poor little cheeps...

Friday, December 22, 2017

Old Ornaments On Display

This year, instead of using newer glass ornaments, I unwrapped the shabby (chic?) decorations made with Popsicle sticks, clothes pins, metal lids, and fabric. 

 So, the tree doesn't sparkle and shine like in other years, but imagining the smaller hands fashioning their creations as they concentrated to make them "perfect" makes if feel like a warmer, more meaningful display.

Here is a picture of the four surviving bird nests right before I put them on the Christmas tree branches this year:

Altered Tags for Valentine's Day - early

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

I had to laugh...

As the Christmas tree was put up this year (sadly, not a "real" tree any more), a light brown flat woven object about 3/4" thick fell to the floor.  I couldn't believe it- one of my many birds' nests (yes, real!!!) had over-wintered in the tree storage bag and evidently became crushed in the process.  It resembled a fibrous muffin that had been run over by a car, or so I imagined.  Fortunately I have other nests (large and small, sturdy and wispy) to use on the tree this year  :)

Here's a new piece in Aqua/Teal/Turquoise.  I started with acrylic paint on Deli waxed paper (brayer clean-off) and then I found some collage elements that seemed to work with the background.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

My "Resist" Technique Cards

Acrylic Paint and collage over gold crayon swirls 

Acrylic Paint and collage over rubber cement

Acrylic Paint and collage over rubber cement

Acrylic Paint and collage over rubber cement

Acrylic Paint and collage over orange crayon zigzags

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Holiday Bits & Swap Cards

These two I just made this week:

And these post cards were made 
for a current Holiday Wishes Swap:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bird Feeders - Snowed In!

Tonight's accumulation, and it's not finished yet.

And More Snow...

"Lake Effect" snowfall has begun to accumulate 
and will continue...  
I'm fine with it until I have to drive somewhere...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Today's Adventure

Turnaround/tire tracks design

My former college nearby hosts a holiday craft fair around this time every year.  As I drove I noticed some tree silhouettes which appeared rather striking against the stormy sky.

There seemed to be fewer vendors than in previous years.  I only purchased some note cards by an area artist whose work I admire, but first- I spied a discount display.  And there they were:  gigantic rolls of metallic-sparkly and prismatic tape.  Monster Washi, priced at $2.00/roll.  (Actually, they aren't Washi tape at all, they are thin filmy plastic?  with a sticky back.)

These tapes are 1" wide
I think they will last a long, long time, unless I share some sections with fellow artists :)

5+1/4" - 6" across

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Stable Mass

Tonight after dark there was a service in a pavilion outside a country church.  It was a celebration of the Feast of Saint Nicholas, something I never learned about while growing up.  Bringing pets to make for a more "authentic" stable experience is encouraged.  Usually there is a goat or sheep, sometimes a calf, to add farmy sounds in the background.  Fresh hay bales have a sweet scent.

Someone rode in on a lovely black horse with sleigh bells around its neck.  When it whinnied or tossed its head, the bells would sound.  Two people had well-behaved dogs on leashes.  A teenager attended with her miniature pig in tow.  It looked a lot like a dog with its black hide and short brown legs.  The tail was straight.  It kept wagging its tail back and forth like dog tails do.  In agitation?  Who knows.  Whenever people approached, the pig would sniff their hands, but when they tried to pet it, the pig backed away.

It was such a c-c-c-cold night (in the 30's) with a very strong wind that most of the attendees were shivering to stay warm.  Snowflakes sifted in under the roof and we could almost see our breaths.  I had again forgotten to wear insulated layers.

Someone held the pig in his arms while the girl  attempted to wrap her pet in a soft fleece throw.  It squealed and snorted.  All I could think was, "Now I've seen it, a real 'pig-in-a-blanket."  (Isn't that some sort of food?)

Good thing it's just once a year.  Now I'm sipping hot tea in an attempt to thaw out.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Lights

I "picked" two saplings, 
stuck them in the ground, 
and draped them with white twinkle lights.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Full Moon Tonight

A Little Poetry for Christmas

It's getting close to Christmas, time to search both far and wide
to find those buried boxes where the season's treasures hide.

The trinkets we remember that we've saved from year to year
are part of the traditions that make Christmastime so dear.

We choose a tree and bring it home and find a corner, where
it's brightness and its sparkle will reach to us from there.

Our memories in tissue wrapped are found and brought to light,
placed 'round the home and on the tree to bring us great delight.

I oft' will sit at eventide and look upon the tree.
Its beauty and the glow within bring peace and joy to me.

I love this tree so small and fair, it stands so green and bright.
For minutes long my gaze is stayed on ornaments and light,

and at its feet, my gifts displayed.  There's magic in its glow.
As I recall each Christmas past,  my heart will overflow.

I always wish each tree could last, I wish to keep it there..
But soon its needles, dry in death, will fall and leave it bare.

The old year flies, the new arrives.  It's time to put away
these trappings of festivities, the recent holiday.

The house is quiet, halls are dark, the corner empty, drear.
And all that's left are memories of the Christmas that was here.

HHD - 01/01/89   

Monday, November 20, 2017

Another Snowy Morning

More flurries overnight coated an old crabapple tree...  The sunlight was almost too bright for this photographic attempt.

Have you ever seen blue shadows?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Snowflakes That Stay...

I woke up to this lovely white landscape today:

Sadly, it is already beginning to melt away...