wabi sabi

a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
a beauty of things unconventional.

Friday, December 31, 2010


As 2010 comes to a close I have been doing a bit of reflecting on the year. Was it a good year? Did I accomplish what I wanted? Was there growth? Is my spirit in a good place? My first thought was no. I did not accomplish all I wanted so it was not a good year. But is that really true? Is that me just hanging on to what I didn't do and forgetting what I did do? So I decided to look at the year in a different way.

In February, in spite of my fears at 52 years old, I went to my first art retreat. An Artful Journey started me on this reclaimed journey of my creative spirit. I met the very awesome Nina Bagley. Such a generous spirit who gave me gifts that had nothing to do with jewelry skills. I met women who continue to inspire me. I came home and started my blog and became part this wonderful community.

In April I traveled across the country with my son and his 2 cats. He was beginning a new journey that continues all these months later. He and I have not always had a easy time but I always feel blessed to be his mother.

In July my sister and I took a week long drawing class in St Andrews, New Brunswick. I learned that I really could draw. We had an amazing teacher who made it all seem so easy.

In September I experienced another amazing art retreat at Squam. My time there exceeded all my expectations. It is a magical wonderful place. I reconnected with Lorrie, Beth, and Louise who I met at An Artful Journey in February. I had amazing classes with Flora Bowley, Judy Wise, and Sarah Ahearn and met more amazing women that inspire me.

In between these big experiences were lots of small things. Moments that I sometimes forget to hold with the same importance and value as the big things.

So on this last day of 2010, instead of dwelling in what I didn't accomplish I will celebrate what I did do. I will not give voice to the choir of self criticism but instead I will say bravo to me! I started the journey!

I invite you to do the same.

I wish you all a very creative and blessed 2011.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Little Christmas Cheer

We finally have a Christmas tree up and a little festiveness in the house. It is a little difficult to come back to California after several months away and jump right in to the holidays! I have found that sometimes it is best to just start and the holiday excitement will follow.

The sweet red birdies are from my friend Lindy's shop. I am going to hang them in my studio after the holidays but I wanted to include them in our holiday. I love them. Lindy just started a blog that is so fun! Reading it is like sitting in her living room having a chat. It is very much who she is!

We are settling back into life in California, but as always missing Maine. I am looking forward to a New Year and all the possibilities it brings.

I wish you all holidays full of joy and blessings!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Heading West

Our time on this little island is ending for now. We will leave the island on Sunday and fly to our home in California on Tuesday. It is an interesting life we live, this bi-coastal life. I feel very lucky to do what we do. I also feel a bit fragmented at times. A feeling of never being fully integrated in either community but never doubting I am part of the community on this very special island. It is the most wonderful gathering of people that have come to live here. Some born and raised on the island, others have come for all this little place has to offer. It is a community. It is friends and neighbors and family. I sometimes feel like this is not real life. This place of amazing beauty and people. But it is and we am lucky enough to be part of it for a few months a year.
So we leave the island and lots of friends hunkering down for the winter. I always look forward to returning in the spring, smelling the sweet grass, and gathering again with our dear friends here.

With Gratitude and Blessings

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reconnecting and 53 Things

I have not posted since the end of September! That was not intentional and I could come up with all sorts of reasons why but the most honest is I didn't think I had anything interesting to say. My birthday is in October and that is always a time of thought, reevaluating, and reflecting. So I have been on an inward journey the last few weeks, feeling like my life is all over the place and trying to find my center.

I have decided to share something I was not sure I would have the courage to share. On Nina's 54th birthday (a few days after mine) she wrote a list of 54 things about her and her life. I thought that was an interesting idea and decided to write my own. It was not so easy! I set it aside several times and tried to come back to it without judgment. To just write what came to mind. So here it is. My 53 Things.

1. I am more shy than not
2. Fall is my favorite season
3. So is spring
4. I would like to be a better writer
5. I am rediscovering my artist spirit
6. My favorite food group is chocolate!
7. I live a bi-coastal life
8. I adore my son
9. I wish I had some musical talent
10. I love to cook
11. I love long dinner and good conversation
12. I dream of going to Italy
13. The full moon give me insomnia
14. I love a full moon
15. I often have a choir of self doubt singing in my head
16. I love art retreats. They are where I feel most myself
17. I don't really know where home is
18. I still love candy corn and necco wafers
19. I love solitude but often feel lonely
20. Shopping malls give me a headache
21. I struggle with depression
22. I secretly love to dance
23. How I see myself from the inside does not match what I see on the outside
24. I am working on that
25. I would like to have the courage to take more risks
26. And dream bigger!
27. I would love to own a coffee house
28. I am very sensitive
29. I would love to design and build a house
30. I think I am a good friend
31. I regret not having more children
32. I will be a fabulous Grandma someday!
33. I have regrets
34. I try not to dwell on them
35. I can be hard on myself
36. I Love Love good coffee
37. I hope I have gained some wisdom in 53 years
38. I would not want to go back
39. My Aunt Alice was an inspiration to me
40. I still have a lot of dreams
41. I don't really like to play board games or cards
42. I would like to write something profound
43. And have the courage to read it in public!
44. I am beginning to claim my talents
45. I love the Rocky Mountains
46. I was a single mother and tried to do my best
47. When I was little I thought I was supposed to be Japanese
48. I want to see Japan
49. I love rituals and symbols
50. Laughter is always good
51. I feel things deeply
52. I have a good heart
53. I try to be worthy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Squam Classes

I started my journey at Squam with the amazing Flora Bowley. I love her work and the opportunity to take a class with her is what brought me to Squam. She paints in a very free and intuitive way. Layering paint on canvas in no particular way and refining as she goes, the painting reveals itself. This made my heart sing! It is my most favorite way to paint. What I did get from Flora was to trust my intuition and stay out of my head. She is an awesome artist and generous spirit. I was also privileged to have her as a cabin mate!

I may work on this a little more but it is close to done.

Painting in progress. I am not sure where this is going.

My second day was Journal Making with Judy Wise. I loved this class! I love all the possibilities! Judy is a wonderful gentle spirit that reminds you there is beauty and good in the world. Her journals are amazing. I love the idea of making a book and then filling with stories of my life. Some important and others not so much, but all part of my story.

My journal covered with color copies of my artwork.

Pages I am working on.

My final class was a half day sketchbook keeping class on Saturday morning with Sarah Ahearn. She shared some of her sketchbooks with us and how she used them. I often start sketchbooks and journals with great intention of keeping all my ideas and thoughts. It does not take long for the self doubt voice to start singing and they get put aside. I am not sure why I think they should have value to anyone but me. They really are just for me and to be shared as I choose.

We spent the rest of the morning on the docks in the sunshine working in our sketchbooks, each in our own way. It was a lovely morning and the perfect way to end three days of amazing classes.

I am still processing my Squam journey and trying with all my might to hang on to all I felt there. The feeling of possibility and inspiration and belonging. It is an amazing group that gather at this most magical lake. Wonderful creative women that come with open hearts and open arms to embrace this tribe that we have all come to be part of. What an amazing gift!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thoughts on Squam

I am not sure I can yet put into words what this experience was. I know I walked away with a full heart and a renewed spirit. There was so much it was hard to take it all in and I know it will take a few days for me to process it all. There was the calm and quiet of the lake. So still that I could not help but become still along with it and take a deep breath, breathing in all of the goodness that surrounded me. I quietly set my intention for the next few days and we were off and running.

I picked Lorrie up at the airport Wednesday morning and we made our way to the lake. We had time to kill before registration so we took a tour around the lake. We were so busy chatting I am not sure we always knew where we were but it all worked out. We registered, found our cabin and settled in.

We got a good laugh out of our bedside reading material!

My bedside table...

Lorrie's bedside table...

We had the best cabin mates! Lots of conversation and laughter. Even a little booty shaking!

I could not have asked for a better group of women to share this experience with

I look forward to developing friendships and watching where we all go with our creative journey.

I will be back in a day or two to share the awesome classes I took and the art that came out of them.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Feeding my Spirit.

I am taking my purple shoes (who can't be happy with purple shoes!) and I am off to visit my sister and then off to Squam on wednesday! I have been looking forward to this all summer. A few days at a beautiful lake with wonderful women making art! One of my most favorite things to do! I will be back next week with stories and photos. Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lindy By the Sea

My friend Lindy (another Lindy) opened an Etsy shop a few days ago and I grabbed this adorable zippered pouch right away! I love the little red bird and as Lindy puts it, the slightly "wonky" look.

Lindy is an amazingly talented lady. She knits the most gorgeous sweaters, needle felts, and sews. She started selling her sewn pieces this summer at the local farmer's market and many of us fell in love with her work

I love my orange bag! The perfect size for a sketchbook or journal, a few pens, and my wallet.

This beautiful tree of life hangs in my kitchen. I love all the little birds.

I am so inspired by Lindy and her courage to just jump in and open her shop. You can find all her beautiful creations here. Enjoy!

Congratulations Lindy, I am so excited for you!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Got Mail

I waited patiently for these to arrive! OK, not so much patience but they did arrive earlier this week and I LOVE LOVE them!

They were made my the extraordinary Nina. This amazing spirit that I know only a little but have such gratitude for. From her I was given the courage to stand in the light of my own spirit. When I saw these I felt they were made just for me. I wear them daily with much joy,reaching up to touch them from time to time as a gentle reminder to "Step Into All Light".

I am looking forward to Squam on the 15th. My spirit is in need of some care.

what are you looking forward to?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Meaning of Life

This was shared today by a dear artist friend here on the island
Such a beautiful reminder! Enjoy

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thoughts on Creativity

I am trying to do something creative every day. Some days it goes well and other days, not so much. It has been a struggle this summer. I have come to realize that creativity is not just about getting in the studio and making jewelry, putting paint on canvas, or throwing a pot. Creativity is about how you live your life. Do you give thought to everything you do as you go thru you day? Do you arrange your home in a beautiful way? Do you drink coffee out of your most beautiful mug? Do you take the time to do the things that nurture you? Do you try something new just because it makes you happy? Do you send a friend a beautiful card just because? Do you take the time to just breathe and write in your journal? Do you dance while you make dinner? Do you light a candle and say a prayer?

I think we as women are all creative beings that practice creativity in all forms. We create homes and raise children. We feed and nurture and encourage. We make art and dinner and Halloween costumes. We gather together to play and celebrate and hold each other up when needed.

I will continue to try to do something creative everyday and to remember along the way to celebrate my own talents and gifts in whatever form they show up in.

what are your thought about creativity? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This and That...

I had today marked on my calender and a note above my computer. Registration for An Artful Journey in February opened today! I am so excited to be going back. Cindy put together an amazing lineup of teachers and I would have loved to take any of them. After a long struggle trying to decide I did listen to my gut feeling and signed up to take Stephanie Lee's plaster class. I am looking forward to trying something new and seeing some returning friends.

If you have not stopped by Danielle's blog today you should stop by. Her studio tour is awesome! She did a beautiful job. I am so inspired I am thinking of redoing mine!

Images I have been enjoying

The biggest lilies I have ever seen!

A little gift at the edge of my sidewalk

Part of the coastline of our little island

I have been busy in my frame shop, an online class that started yesterday, and odds and ends of projects that never seem to end and more that I can never seem to find the time to start. You know...this and that. Summer is flying by!

Did you sign up for An Artful Journey?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Drawing From The Right Side of The Brain

I spent 5 days last week with my sister in St. Andrews, New Brunswick taking the most amazing drawing class. It was taught by Gerald Cloud and based on the classic book Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. The week was another one of those life changing events that completely changed the way I think about my abilities and my art and what the possibilities are. I have known of this book for years and even owned it at one point. I will admit I am not good at reading thru instruction manuals or books. For me, just give me the highlights and let me jump in and I will figure it out. Our instructor made a few group comments and we jumped in. With a few suggestions along the way the most amazing things happened and I walked away feeling overwhelmed by what I had accomplished in 5 short days.

self portrait before class

self portrait at the end of 5 days

Lissa working on her drawing

Next up for me is Homesteader's Metalsmithing online with Stephanie Lee and then Squam in September.

what are you up to?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Not So Much Fun...

I have been sick for the past five days. I am not sure if it is just a summer cold or severe allergies but whatever it is I am so not having fun! I can't remember the last time I was sick to the point that all I could do was lay on the couch. I am not a pretty sight these days! I have had time to to a lot of blog visiting and saw this post today on Beth's blog. I became more interested in photography when I started my blog. What I was really wanting was to take good pictures to post. Jen has such a beautiful way of looking at the art of the camera and really inspired me to look at taking pictures in a different way. Such a beautiful video.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Been A Little Busy

crow painting by Gerald Cloud

A few weeks before we returned to California last fall I decided to buy and reopen a custom art framing business on the island. I moved the business to my house, had some training with the prior owner and jumped in. That seems to be how I do new things. A little instruction and a lot of practice. I recently opened for the summer and spent a few days wondering if anyone would show up. They did and that is where I have been the past two weeks! From nothing to 13 pieces in a day. After a frustrating few days doing battle with my saw and finally solving the problem thanks to a very helpful brother in law, I am starting to feel like I know what I am doing and things are getting done. I have to say there is something very empowering about using power tools!

I did take a little time to work on the paintings I started a couple of weeks ago. I am hoping to finish them this tomorrow. They are beginning to get past that stage that I want to just toss them. But I am having fun getting messy!

The other very exciting happening is that I finally after really over thinking it, decided to go to Squam in the fall. I really love Flora Bowley's work and could not pass up the opportunity to take a class with her. I am also taking a classes with Judy Wise and Sarah Ahearn. I am picking Lorrie up at the airport on my way. I met Lorrie at An Artful Journey in February and I am so excited she will be at Squam!

Anybody else looking forward to Squam?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just Start

Sometimes it is just that simple
The act of getting out the paints
Or the beads
Or the camera
And just starting
Start something
Don't think about it too much
Just start

in progress

It has been many weeks without one piece of jewelry. Not one painting. Nothing. I woke up very early a few mornings ago hearing very clearly Just Start! StartSomething! I listened to that not so quiet whisper and the paint brushes came out. And I started. For me, sometimes that is all it takes to find my center again.

Just Start

what are you starting?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Self Portrait Friday

It is a perfect day on the island. Sunny and beautiful. I am wandering around doing a little of this and a little of that. Nothing is capturing my attention for long. I decided to let the be ok. I feel the need to wander and just be for a bit.
To observe and feel the sun. To listen to my own whispers.

The lupine are in full glory right now. So beautiful!

Gardens are in full bloom and beautiful. I am so inspired by the flowers and the colors. Nature always provides the perfect color palette.

My only goal for this beautiful weekend is to let all of the "shoulds" just sit and be for a couple of days and spend some time creating. Always a challenge for me!

what are you doing with your beautiful weekend?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pure Joy

What could be more fun than playing in mud puddles with your best friend?

Or running thru the field of wild flowers?

Seriously! Does it get any better than that?

I love watching the absolute bliss of the dogs out for a run. Completely in the moment and pure joy of what is right in front of them. The absolute delight of each other. It is something I strive towards. Do they know the secret?

Where do you find your joy?