Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Some of you know I have been struggling with a frozen shoulder for most of the year. I just found out that there is a significant tear in my rotator cuff, and I will probably need surgery. OK... that will happen after the first of the year. I can't be limited in my mobility before the holidays. I need to be able to do all my holiday baking and crafting. I am selling in 2 boutiques this year in November. At least they are letting me see the doctor I want, the same one who did my nephew and sister-in-law's surgeries. I will be glad to get the mobility back in my shoulder.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My mom and stepdad and my 2 year old niece have been living with us. Having a two year old around all the time takes me back to that person I used to be when my kids were two. I remember now how harassed I was when the boys were little. How hard it was with them so close in age, and how I couldn't wait for them to outgrow another difficult phase. Now they are both taller than me, and I look at them and wonder where the time went. In 6 years Kayleigh will be off to college. We will be empty nesters...
No one WANTS to spend time with me any more except Kayleigh. The boys are here, but usually in their room watching tv or on some technoligical gadgetry of some kind. I REFUSE to get my kids cell phones. Austin was the only senior to raise his hand in school when the teacher asked who didn't have a cell phone. He said he felt like a big DER... I say technology is turning us all into a bunch of unsociable idiots. I spend maybe 5 hours a week on the computer. I check email and once in a while post on my blog or facebook. I suppose if I had one of those newfangled phones with internet and all the apps, I would be on line more often. I am kind of thankful for my old jankey Nokia from 7 years ago. I have dropped it a hundred times and it still keeps working. But it also enables me to have a fairly technology free life. When I get in the car with my kids, we TALK... What a concept. We listen to Alice Radio in the morning sometimes, and laugh along to the crazy talk with Sara and Vinnie, but basically, it is great time for us to chat, about our lives, and things that we have going on. No one is texting friends of searching on their ipod. Family dinner nites are sacred in our house. Tuesday and every other Sunday is family dinner nite. All of us are here together around the table, eating, yelling, carrying on and just being a big ole loud blended family. I like to call us a modern day Waltons. We usually play a game after dinner, or watch a movie. Video games and internet are banned on family nites, and on weeknights in general for homework purposes. We only have one working computer that barely limps along, so the kids are allowed to use it only for homework. The boys tend to obsess on the games otherwise and spend a lot of time on x-box live and WOW if I don't monitor it.
SO what does all this babble have to do with loss... I guess as I look at it, I am seeing ways that I have lost... contact with my kids, and good friends. People I see rarely because we are "too busy with our lives". I have been cleaning out the studio and turning it from a crap collecting room to an actual studio. The plan is to have art friends over for regular get togethers and make things from all the cool stuff I have collected. I want to start collecting good memories with family and friends. My family and friends mean more to me than stuff... but in the face of so much loss over the years, I found myself collecting little things here and there, until I had a TON of things that filled my space, and life, but not my heart. They say that clutter is emotional baggage... I say it is more than that... For us altered artists, it is also stifled creativity. All these things we collect to one day use to make something cool and artsy. I had a room full of that. Now I am getting it to a place where I have a lot of supplies, but they are all organized, and put away in a way that I can use them to create, rather than collect them to maybe do something with one day...
Purging is hard for me. But nonetheless, I take a truckload to the store every week of things I am getting rid of. And adding another run every few weeks to the depot to get rid of the artsy stuff the closet can't use. I get a sense of freedom, a big release every time I get rid of something. And I am loving all the negative space in my house! It is like a Flashdance moment "What a feeling!" I am getting there, a little more every week.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I get mixed feedback when I tell people what I do. Things like "Why do you want to work with 'those' kind of kids?" I say why not? It takes a certain type of person, to have passion for teaching, passion for art and creativity, and you have to really love kids, especially troubled teen agers. I can check yes to all the above. I have had many tell me they think I have found my calling. I don't know about that... but I do know, that in spite of having my time slot moved several times, and dealing with a lot of internal politics, I am NOT giving up on these kids or this program.
I need space for a reuse center. I want to provide a safe place for the kids to go "on the outs" as they call being outside of incarceration. A place that will help boost their self esteem, where they can work and earn some money and where they can connect with other artists to mentor them through their transitions. So many of these kids have nothing to go back to once they get out. With a 60% recidivism rate, the odds of rehabilitation are not in their favor. I think we need to spend more money on programs for these kids while they are still young and able to be rehabilitated, BEFORE they end up in prison. Programs like the one I am putting together, that connect them with mentors and positive role models. There is really nothing out there like it. I have the dream, the vision, the business plan, now I just need some money and the space to house it....
If anyone reading this knows of a space in Contra Costa County we could use for a while to house a very worthwhile program, please let me know....
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
IF MY BODY WERE A CAR.... If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model. I've got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish, and my paint job is getting a little dull. But that's not the worst of it. My headlights are out of focus, and it's especially hard to see things up close.My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather. My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins. It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed. My fuel rate burns inefficiently. But here's the worst of it -- Almost every time I sneeze, cough or laugh, either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires. CASH FOR CLUNKERS..........I QUALIFY
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
You smile at the edge of sight,
and I turn to see you. No More!
You whisper between words,
and I hush to hear you. No More!
without you I am in darkness,
and the sun hides beneath the world.
No More! Will I ever be held down,
or be a menace to society. No More!
Monday, May 11, 2009
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
Monday, May 4, 2009
My brother is turning a small box truck into a motorhome, with a garage in the back for his son to haul his motorcycles. I am thinking... hmm... I would like one of those for myself... I could fill it with supplies, and take it around to all the art retreats around the country, sell stuff at the vendor nites, and have lots of space to store stuff, and a place to sleep at nite while traveling around. It is the new gypsy wagon. Can't you see it, with a cool painting on the sides that says the art gypsy... It gives me a lot of ideas...
Monday, March 9, 2009
When you are done making them , you go around the room and everyone reads their own card in what is like a channeled space. Another person scribes what you say and reads it back to you. I found this lady Sandy the facilitator on meetups.com and she is wonderful. If you live in the Bay Area, I would recommend a trip to her workshop to make some cards, it was a wonderful experience. I took my mom on Saturday and we both had such a great time...
I loved the pregnant belly image, and I love clocks, I collect a lot of clock imagery. I had chosen the background of a firey star galaxy photo because I loved the colors. I put them together, and then went looking for a earth photo and found this one was perfect. I made the card in less that 5 minutes, the energy and creation if it just flowed. This is what I channeled: "I am the one who creates a new time in the world. I am pregnant with the possibilities of a new way of BEING on this planet. It is time to nurture and give birth to new ideas, taking the time to love ad grow while treating the planet with reverence and respect. My time is NOW. "
These cards I made on my second workshop day with my mother. Mom LOVED it, and had a lot of great information to share with everyone. Of course, she ROCKED at the channeling... but then she is a pro...
"I am the one who is drowning under the weight of unnecessary burdens. I add to these burdens by continually taking on more. The universe sends me tasks and challenges in small manageable pieces, and yet I let them overwhelm me. I need to be like the ice cube, and learn to float on top of the emotions, to stop fighting the current and let my life flow."
"I am the one who takes time to nurture herself. I am the one who moves effortlessly in a pain free body. I am grounded and centered when I make time for myself."
I have been trying to get the boys in my class to see beyond the images they are selecting... to find something different in the images that could make them something else entirely. I showed them these collages, and they were inspired. The light bulbs were popping on all over the room, and now I think they are getting it on a whole new level.
I love this medium... Any other Soul Collagers out there?
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
UPDATE!!!! I have chosen all the winners, and I will be contacting them and announcing them tonight. I have had connectivity issues here at home, and hope to have them resolved today so I can make the big announcement. I will post the winners name under the photo of what they have won here on this post. Comments are now closed on this post. Thanks to all of you for visiting me, I will be making the rounds to all the bloggers who posted to mine here in the coming days. I love this event, and have met so many incredible people as a result.
2/17/08 Finally I am able to access internet and post the winners. Thanks to everyone for your patience. All winners have been contacted for addresses... I have posted the winners below each photo.
Ozylynda is the winner of the garland heart.
Monday, January 12, 2009
It started out with 8 volunteers. Some of the guys I had met at a christmas luncheon a few weeks ago. One boy was kicked out for bad behavior. He tested me from the get go. I knew if I didn't stand up to him and deal with it right away, I would have problems with the rest of them, and him for the next 6 weeks of class. After he was kicked out, I told the rest of them... "Look, I am here volunteering my own time, using my own money and supplies to create this program for you. I thought it would be fun to do art, and learn about something other than studying for your GED. I don't want to butt heads with anyone. I don't want anyone here who doesn't want to BE here... So if you don't want to be here, please excuse yourself, so the rest of us can get on with the class." They were all quiet, and one kid says "Uh, I am down with it, and I wanna be here for the whole 6 weeks... I can't wait to learn.." Now THAT is what I like to hear. One of the boys even came in early to help me set up the next week, and apologized for the other kid and said he hoped I wouldn't hold that other kids behavior against the rest of them, because they were all excited to be there...
There is incredible potential in these young men... kids who many consider the "throwaway" members of society... Some are poets, some are incredible artists, some are so good at speaking in the group, they could be politicians... I look forward to watching their growth as we move forward in the class... I am excited for the day I can get them to really create art, and not just collages with bottles of Patron Tequila and Kim Kardashian as the focal point... One step at a time... we will get there.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I am here briefly, to tell you about the adventures of the youth art program, reuse center and my work with the kids at juvenile hall.
Christmas was a hectic time. I helped make gift bags for the 400 residents of juvenile hall, the girls home and the boys ranch on top of all my mom duties, work as an elder care provider to an 87 year old woman with alzheimers, volunteer manager at the thrift store, carpool driver, craft boutique coordinator, fundraiser and all around general work horse for the art program.
I have met some of the kids there at the hall, and am learning my way around the building. The most touching thing, was watching a young man open his bag, getting a wallet and saying to the guy next to him "Man, a wallet... I ain't never had a wallet before." and even more touching, the reply of the boy next to him, softly saying "S$#%, I ain't never even had a Christmas Present before." You would have thought these kids were given gold... instead of Axe body wash and deodorant and socks and a few little candies. It takes so little to touch a persons life. Truly, I am humbled and I grow and learn every day working with these kids. They frustrate you, they humble you, they make you laugh and cry... but every day is a new surprise. I start my altered art journals class with them tonight. I can't wait to start showing some of the work here on my blog. Some of the art they create is incredible, and the poetry they write brings tears to your eyes.
I have been selling some vintage wallpaper on ebay to raise money for the program. It is going really well. Check out some of the auctions under ksimoni on ebay and see what pretty things we have for sale. Some of these papers are perfect for altered art but many of them have flowers... I keep a lot of them back for art projects. But as the therapist told me, "remember they're guys... they don't wanna do doilies and flowers..." So I hope I can keep it fresh and interesting enough that they will feel inspired and want to create some awesome work.
I move ahead into the new year refreshed, with a new purpose. Many of the old issuse that have plagued me are hanging on, but I just keep persevering. I know it will all be resolved, and I will come through this year gloriously triumphant... I am holding on to that thought... We just got word, through my friend and soon to be new partner RC aka the Dumpster Diva that we are getting the space for our center finally.... In a one stop recycling shop to be located in an old abandoned glass factory in Antioch.... YIPPEE!!! I will have full details Friday after I tour and photograph the place....
Happy New Year to all !