Archive for the ‘bridges’ Category

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The End of a Chapter

March 1, 2011

I have gone to the apartment for probably the last time tonight. I really felt like a page is turning again.  I stood outside and looked at the stars like I often did there.  I don’t look at the stars that much in the house-I don’t sit outside that much I guess.

So, one last load, lots of garbage.  I hate when it gets down to the dregs of things you just don’t know what to do with–you end up throwing them all in a box to deal with later…only in this case, its about 7 boxes.  At least I was able to throw away 5 bags of trash.

I stopped at my daughter’s to beg some food (still don’t have a fridge), went home and just left it all in the van to deal with another time.

Inside the house, though, it was frustrating.  All the stuff that had already come into the house just wasn’t dispersing fast enough.  The rooms were getting cluttered and full of things waiting to be taken elsewhere-Goodwill, the garage, the dumpster.  My living room had been nice and clear until that last load, and you can see my bed standing there, forlorn and unslept-in…I miss that more than anything else!  It’s one of the reasons I’m writing this at 3:30am–my little cardboard mattress is not beckoning me.

living room with bed

I’ve decided I can’t wait til spring to get my bed back.  It’ll take forever to get the mattress and box springs upstairs since I have to go through the back door that’s all boarded up.  That means I’ll need help.  That means I’d have to wait until they have the time to help me.

I can’t wait that long.

SO, I’m going to sleep downstairs in the room off the living room:

bedroom-to-be before

It’ll be OK, then I’ll just use the upstairs as my studio…not as convenient, but it’s only for a year, y’know.  So I kept working in there until I felt I made progress for today:

bedroom to be now

So where did all the stuff go?

kitchen now

That’s *15* boxes of bottles to go downstairs along with the shelf, and some display fixtures for my shows.  NOW I can go to bed.

Tomorrow’s job:

no-hot-water faucet

Trying to figure out why there is no hot water pressure in this knob when the pressure is fine in the sink next to it.  I SO miss a good shower!

Til later…

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the SWEET smell of Success!

January 22, 2011

I have had so much to say, so much to report but have been totally unable to gain access to my blog.  It’s a minor issue with my Google account; they took exception to me turning my cookies off, but I turned them back on again-honest!!   No matter what I do, however, Google won’t accept that fact and has been refusing me entry into their hallowed halls.

Then I remembered my laptop–YES my settings were untouched…!  So here I am again.  Lots to tell, lots to talk about, lots to share.  Dreams, adventures, and hopes all mixed together so thick it makes my head spin.

Life has been a merry-go-round whirl, a roller coaster ride for sure.  I won’t go into too many details all at once, but over time will share it all, no fear.  For right now, a brief outline:

Jewelry-Very successful! A wonderful show in Florida, great gallery sales, now I’m actively seeking more galleries in other areas of the country.

Work:  new career (but I don’t WANT a career!!) that I can love that entails writing / travel / photography, almost like I’ve always dreamed of. 

Home-life:  not too much change there yet, but pending.  Dad is about to join mom in the nursing home…I’ve done my best for the past 2+ years to keep him going independently, but it’s been so hard on them to be separated and now he’s needing more care than I can give him.  They are looking forward to being reunited. 

So–Pending freedom for me, both emotional and actual, as I will be set loose and  need to move out of this 80 degree bedroom  and back into my poor abandoned home.  I don’t intend to be there forever, just long enough to fix it up and Move On. 

A brand new grandbaby, and another one due in about 4 months.  The ties that bind are strong-this would be the only thing to keep me here anymore.

Well, back to work…i have another ad to create and an article to write.  No rest, you know… guess I’ll shut up now.

-JM-

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Everything old is new again…finally!

July 15, 2010

I’ve been a quilter since the early 70’s.  It was my life-I lived and breathed quilting.  I taught in classes, at workshops, for community events, at civic organizations. 

My proudest achievement was making a quilt by hand inspired by the antique quilts I couldn’t afford to buy.  I patched together scraps to make pieces big enough to cut the patches from, just like they used to years ago.  It was of new materials, but many of the fabrics were part of a reproduction line so they looked the part.  I hand quilted it, then entered it in a show.   Throughout the day, as I worked at the show, I heard women discussing whether it was contemporary or an antique…so I knew I’d succeeded in making my very own ‘antique’ quilt.

Since that time, I’ve moved to contemporary, one-of-a-kind quilts…quilts for walls.  Inspired by clean modern art, by color and line, I created my own graphic statements.  Maybe I should have been a painter, but fabric was my medium, it was all I knew.  My second proudest achievement was creating a quilt that was accepted into the very first international quilt show.  It went to Salzberg, Austria for the huge quilt fest and then traveled for 2 years. 

The quilt scene became so crowded after that.  So many shows, so much money involved, so many hundreds of quilt artists who made these fantastic quilts…I couldn’t help but wonder, would they have made them had there been no show, no $10,000 prize for them to try for? 

I felt very stifled and overwhelmed.  I stopped going to shows, quit my quilt groups, dropped my magazines.  I wanted to create, but I didn’t want to be influenced or amazed by everything out there.  There was so much talent and so many awesome things being done…I basically dropped out and worked on what I wanted, when I wanted, IF I wanted…and it wasn’t often.  I would work furiously for 2-3 months, creating maybe 15-30 pieces, then walk away and do nothing the rest of the year.  I did enter  a show during that time and got in; a friend sent me a picture of the quilt.  I have no idea where the quilt is now, if its sold or if I even still own it. 

But here, this is coming back to the root of it all.  Alabama Chanin is doing it again, but in a new way…simple but so expressive.   Seeing her work excites me and makes me want to go back and do it again.   Check out her blog and give it a go-it will enrich your life!

Alabama Chanin's Indigo Star

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Forgetting What is Behind and Straining toward What is Ahead

May 11, 2010

Today is my wedding anniversary.  18 years on paper, yet separated the past 4 1/2 years. 

What hurts the most is the waste, the senselessness of it all.  It’s so sad to see a childhood filled with pain, confusion and anger, buried for years, now surface and come back to haunt and to hurt and to destroy taking down as casualties not only him, but us, our union, our marriage…and there’s nothing I can do about it.

I would have stood by him, fought with him, fought for him, but he wanted none of it.  He wanted out, he wanted to be alone, he wanted to deal with this himself. 

I’ve gone the gamut of unbelief, thinking I could wait it out and all would be well again; the pain of betrayal as he sought help and relief from another; hope as he realized that wasn’t the answer; and acceptance as I realize he still isn’t ready and may never be.

I’ve learned that life goes on, that God gives you strength and meaning again, that although He hates what happened, He will and did bring me through the valley and He’s wanting to do the same for my husband if only he’d let Him.  God didn’t cause my husband’s pain, or our marriage to fail, but He could heal and help us to go on, stronger than ever if we would give Him the chance.  Since that won’t be, my prayer is that my husband will find his own way to the only One who can give him the strength, understanding and acceptance that he needs. 

I’ve learned to move on, to find hope again, to find a purpose and reason to let go.  I have learned to respect and accept his decision, even knowing its the wrong one, but it is what it is.  I am now ready to let go.  I’ve always been a dreamer and, for a short time, my dreams were dimmed but now they are popping up all around me again, calling me to come on, come higher up.

I’ve made my peace, now he needs to make his.

fractured heart

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Word for the Week: Curiouser

April 29, 2010

It was one of those visits to Half-Priced Book Store where I’d go to spend the afternoon seeking anything that would catch my fancy, from architecture to travel to needlework to design to gardening to photography…wandering from section to section looking for a cover or a title that would pique my curiosity. I never knew what would trigger it, sometimes a book on Mexican decor, sometimes some obscure vintage needlework design.    Once it was a book on the Watts Towers in Los Angeles. 

 

 Simon Rodia is one of those people who had a vision and wanted to create something greater than himself, something that would last long after he was gone. 

You might not have ever heard of him, but he created those towers single -handedly with nothing more than concrete and a bucket of  whatever he could find: shells, broken tiles, broken dishes, glass bottles.   

And when he was done, he was finished with it–he just walked away from it all, never to return. 

The amazing thing is, years later, the city of Los Angeles declared them dangerous and an eyesore-they wanted them pulled down.  People rallied around the towers and a deal was struck-if the city could prove the towers unsafe, then down they’d come.  BUT, no matter how much stress they put on them, no matter how hard they pushed with their bulldozers, the towers never budged! 

Simon Rodia, all by himself, built something so strong it couldn’t be torn down by any means-and this in LA, the earthquake center of the country.  If only he was here to teach our city engineers a thing or two about construction!

 

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Not long after that, I found the Magic Garden’s of Isaiah Zagar…so far, I’ve just read about them online (http://www.philadelphiasmagicgardens.org/) but I plan on going there this summer.  It’s not that far from West Reading and Lancaster where I did visit last month, and there’s the coolest, coolest shop in West Reading called the Curious Consignment-  

But that’s for another day…

OK, I’ll shut up now.

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Another Bridge…part 1

April 28, 2010

bridge   [brij]  noun, verb,bridged, bridg·ing, adj  –noun

1. a structure spanning and providing passage over a river, chasm, road, or the  like.                    or,

2. a connecting, transitional, or intermediate route or phase between two adjacent elements, activities, conditions, or the like.

I think of Life as made up of a series of bridges that are connected by islands of being.  The islands are solid, stable–what we’ve become;  and the bridges are our growing–fluid, changing, in a state of becoming.   That’s my philosophical thought for today.

I started out years ago doing patchwork and quilting in a rather traditional way…I had my reasons,  but I soon found I got so tired of a pattern after just a couple of them and seldom could I complete an entire bed quilt of 25-48 blocks…I was lucky to be able to finish a baby quilt.  So I concentrated on making wall quilts, which was a lot better.  I started collaging in fabric, creating a series I called “Wish I Were Here”:

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 I love traveling, going someplace new and seeing it with that heightened awareness being in a new place brings.  You can catch details and patterns you have a tendency to miss once a place becomes familiar and I want to capture as much of that as I can-especially since my time in this area is limited.   I hurry out before sunrise just to see the golden pink glow the sun casts on everything in those first few moments and keep going until I can sit and gaze at the stars in the peace of night.

Once I’m home again, I study the photos I’ve taken and find what meshes with my memories and the details I remember.  These are what become part of my artwork.

 

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Welcome to BoHo Express!

April 7, 2010

Since Life is what we make of it, then I’ve decided it was time for me to redirect.   I’m in the midst of some major emotional, spiritual, financial, and social upheavals during which I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.  What I’ve come to realize is, it doesn’t matter what happens to us, good or bad; it doesn’t matter if we get all the breaks or the worst luck.  What matters is how we process it, what we do with it, how we react to it…in one word, our attitude.

Attitude explains why some people can rise above the worst conditions and go on to become successful and happy…and why another will become totally crushed…why one person can make millions of dollars and be miserable, yet another can live in near poverty and be happy.

So, my attitude is, I want joy in my life.   Since I enjoy the quirky, funky, unexpected, colorful and spirited, that is what I am going to seek out.  As Sabrina Ward Harrison so perfectly put it, Live Out Loud!

I’m going to focus on anything that catches my fancy…and I intend to share it with all of you…SO-if you have any leads, stories, ideas, magical places, fun things to do or see, or creative things you like, LET ME KNOW!!! 

I’m counting on you!