Monday, September 29, 2008

Ridin' Smilin' and Clickin'

"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space." — Anonymous

Another beautiful day in North GA. Short ride this morning up to Tate to get out and enjoy the scenery. I think I see a pattern forming here. We went to the same little crossroads diner for breakfast.

That's me on the back - ridin', smilin' and clickin' a few photos along the way.

I've been saving up (time and fun tickets) to stop in at this little place. I know there will be something I just can't live without.

Made a stop for a few groceries. I think I'm going to make some iced-tea and add a splash of this limeade in with it. Mix it up a bit - live dangerously.

Here's the beginning of my fall garden. First time to ever plant: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and collard greens.

All of the peppers are looking good. This JalapeƱo plant is loaded. My Carolina Wonder bells are just starting to turn red and the Habaneros are a pretty color of HOT HOT HOT orange.

This is the mystery squash - it's a volunteer. I have no idea what it is - maybe a gourd? Maybe a zucchini? The leaves are huge - the blossoms are yellow and smell like a squash blossom but the fruit itself does not smell like a squash to me. Anyone happen to know what it is?

Sunday, September 28, 2008


"Do something every day that scares you." — Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, September 15, 2008

Inspiration abounds!

Here's the first page to my visual journal. As always, you can click on the photo to see a larger version. I started this journal (which I just realized is very close to the word journey) last November after seeing a tutorial on Judy Wise's blog. It was so much fun to create - ripping up old paper grocery bags, dunking them in a sink full of water, crunching them up and then hanging them out on my old wooden clothes drying rack like sheets of pasta. I was up late one night ironing the pages and my husband thought I'd gone insane. I reassured him that it was for an art project - not laundry. I think he would have been genuinely concerned had I been ironing clothes.

I was so proud of actually learning the coptic stitch and completing the bookmaking part that I didn't want to mar its pure beauty with even the tiniest of marks. It sat on the kitchen counter for a few days so I could admire it as I walked by. Then it made its way to the upstairs hallway where I would occasionally notice it in all its recycled handmade glory as I went by on my way to bed. Months passed and it got shuffled in with a stack of other random papers and moved completely out of sight. I guess it was just a few weeks ago when I found it again and exclaimed "My journal! There you are!"

But who was to know that it was actually a journal? I don't even think it knew. It began the descent from the upper story of the house back into my daily life. I carried it with me a few places but forgot to show anyone - tucked between books and then once in a pile of mail it even rode with me over to a friend's house in the back seat of the car. Then finally, one fateful night - I remembered to bring it along to dinner to show my artful friend Farmer Sue.

She fondled it with amazement. Marveling at how the pages looked like old worn leather, she asked how I had done the stitching. It had been so stinking LONG since I'd made the thing, I just gave a sigh and said "I can tell you one thing, it wasn't easy." We sort of sat in silence for a moment and then she tossed it back to me across the table and said "So, what are you going to put in it?"

What am I going to put IN it?! IN IT?! How could she not think it was complete?

Oh, that's right - I was calling it a journal - duh! The time has come. Today it became my journal. Today it was a place for me to scribble, glue, paint, paste, draw, write and wander. It was a place for me to play. A place to put memories down on paper, wonderful memories of a weekend filled to the brim with inspiration.

What was intended to be an informal artist's retreat to celebrate the end of a work study group for Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way - actually turned into the beginning of new friendships. Friendships that I feel will continue to grow as we grow as artists, as women, as individuals. We laughed, we shared, we danced, we even threw off our inhibitions and swam under the bright moon in a clean North Georgia mountain lake.

Just the night before I had read Melissa Manley's inspirational Camp Creed which was ever so fitting for our retreat. We read it aloud that night and then again the next morning. It was just too perfect to not use as a quote for the first page in my very artfully inspired visual journal.

The pictures in the post below titled "And We Danced..." are a few of my photos from the weekend. Another friend Jennifer Carter who actually facilitated (did I say that correctly?) The Artist's Way group has more photos on her blog. I love seeing this magical weekend captured through another artist's eyes. Great job, Jenn!

I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so many artful friends. Inspiration abounds!

Friday, September 5, 2008

AeroPress of Love

My handsome coffee-maker (aka my husband) has been away on business this week. Last night I found a package on the front porch with a small coffee/espresso maker, extra filters and this sweet note...

He melts my heart. When we were without electricity, he used the last bit of power in the computer battery back-up (UPS) to grind fresh coffee, then he boiled water on the side burner of the propane grill and made us French press coffee on the back deck. His resourcefulness and love knows no bounds. *melt*

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Moo Swap

Aren't they lovely?! As always, you can click on the photo to see them up close. My first official organized art swap. Thanks to Lelainia for hosting this Moo exchange. How cool is that? I love how she put them on the paint swatches. Now that I've scanned them to post - I get the thrill of looking on the backs to see who they came from.

Color me tickled pink. :-)