Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Rest of Folklife

I took so many pictures of the musicians at the festival. I am always charmed by the young ones; so serious and intent. This girl was very accomplished.

I stood and watched the dancers for a long time. These folks were doing a steamy tango. Don't you love the way people dress in Seattle? Summer dresses with pants because the weather changes so quickly.

These tasty looking desserts are actually handcrafted candles made by Angela King. She also had root beer floats, pies, cakes and donuts. Yummy!

If you need some specialty candles her email is She needs a website!

I could almost take a bite out of the pecan pie. Anyway, she gets my vote for the most unusual craft at the fair.

I like the way the bagpiper advertised his website by writing it on his arm. Thinking all the time.

This is Julie Fry and she had a booth full of fabric art that I know you all would have loved. She creates panels and cards with fabric, beads and her nimble fingers. Beautiful work. Her contact number is (206)-367-6388.

I love the booth with the colorful shoes. One way I entertain myself at art fairs when things are slow is to observe the shoes people wear. When I was a little girl I used to make shoes out of fabric and cardboard. My sister and I would clump up and down the street in our crude sandals.

And here is my most awesome find. Her name is Paula Strobel and she can be contacted at P O Box 871 in Duvall, WA 98019. She makes dolls, puppets, hats, theatres, I don't know exactly what to call it other than a fantasy world. Hey, national magazines, here is your next feature artist. She lives in the country on a farm with no computer and apparently no telephone and hasn't done an art fair for years until this one because she is busy with her family and farm animals.

So the hand-written tag she wrote out for me says she makes puppets, toys, tea cozies, pins and etcetera. Above is a hat with her logo of the flying tiger. Everything about her booth was done with great love and precision.

The flying tiger puppet. I really hope someone will do a story on her. She is not a publicity seeker so you will have to make the effort.

This gorgeous woman caught my eye. Red dreadlocks, huge wooden earrings thrust through her ear lobes, lots of hardware and sass. And those eyes. Wow.

Here are the happy campers after a hard day of listening to music and enjoying the art fair. We made new friends, sold some paintings, visited with old friends and put another year of Folklife under our belts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

First Installment of Folklife

Folklife Festival is all about people. It is a celebration of music, dance, film, culture and the arts. People come to celebrate life and to welcome in summer. Naturally I look forward to it every year as one of my favorite shows. I enjoy the people, smells, sights and sounds. I talk to as many people as I can and laugh more than usual; it is a very sweet experience. You can see Seattle Center's big fountain off in the distance in the photo above and lots of people enjoying the sunny day. Love is in the air.

Is this young girl playing the cello not perfect for a painting? You can't have her; I saw her first!!

My friend from a year ago has gotten her wrist tatooed since I saw her last. A valkyrie maiden, eh? So beautiful.

Tatoo #2. I'm pretty much focusing on the tatoos in this entry as I have so many photos that I won't show them all at once. Plus I am busy and should be working but my dear readers, you come first!

The octopus tatoo belongs to the woman who had a booth next door to mine. The tatoo is not finished but it is outlined all the way down past the small of her back and it is one of the softest, most nuanced tatoos I I've ever seen. The artist who did it is a woman working out of Eugene, Oregon. Can't wait until next year to see it finished. I will get a picture of the whole thing then if I can; it was cold on the day I took this and I didn't have the heart to ask her to take off more clothes.

This is a view of the space needle from my room at the Queen Anne Inn. We had a room on the corner this year and a perfect view of the street scene below plus the space needle all lit up at night. I love Seattle so much. I have never had a bad moment in this city.

More pictures tomorrow. I gotta go wrap prints and start a painting of a Lemon Drop.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The May Garden

Hermanito and I welcome you to the tour of the May garden. Just a few peeks here and there so you'll know what keeps us distracted and entertained when we are not in the studio working.

The Siberian Irises are popping out left and right. I love the color and form. I have 3 other irises in bloom right now but chose these for center stage.

A little wabi-sabi. Wire work by the DH.

Red chard. We have bright yellow too. A few years ago John planted a variety called "firecracker" or something like that and now we get all these colorful chard volunteers. Really good in soups or raw in salads. Makes your complexion glow.

Graham Thomas. The butter of the rose world. They smell like apples to me. I love them.

John grows all his tomatoes and peppers in these twee little houses. Once I stuck my head inside one just for a visit and found the atmosphere inside warm, humid and deliciously fragrant. No wonder his plants are so grateful and perform so splendidly. He is a most nurturing man.

This is the leek nursery - the babies tucked safely inside their magical protective ring. They will be transplanted when they get stronger.

Ferns and columbine growing wild everywhere. Ahhh, Oregon. You are a gentle home.

This is John's method for holding the fava beans upright so they dont fall over sideways and crush each other. Little "walkers" to support them. We (as in John) make a fava bean soup with olive oil and garlic. It is very simple and awesome.

Cecile Brunner roses. Very fragrant and as tiny as the button on your mama's coat. All the roses are opening their faces.

I read that the honeybees are in danger but you wouldn't know it if you got anywhere near this Mountain Lilac. The bush swarms with sound and energy for the weeks that it is covered in blossoms. This bush is the one exception to my rule that all my flowers must be fragrant. It is fragrant in a bad way. But beautiful. We will accept such bad behavior when it is accompanied by beauty - n'est ce pas?

The north garden. The white are row covers over the tender plants. Blueberry bushes in the foreground. Douglas firs in the rear. Hazelnuts (filberts) behind those. Squirrels absolutely everywhere.

That's the end of the garden tour for today. Hermanito and I thank you for stopping over. Next time we'll have coffee cake.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Signs of Life

Here's where I am today. Brain cooking. Hands moving. A good day is a day that one is creating something.

Which reminds me of what I wrote about in my journal this morning. It goes like this - we are always, all of us, creating "something". We get up each morning and work on the life that we have been fashioning since the day we were born. Much of our creation is instinctive and based on what we have been taught to believe. What we have been taught to expect. What we expect based on our own history and on our parents' history.

I have a friend once who lost over 100 pounds. He was a software writer by trade. When I asked him how he did it he said, "I changed the software". He didn't explain the details but I get it that he was able to change the way he thought about eating and about his eating habits. Within a few years his wife had also accomplished a major weight loss. Something in their entire system tipped when his beliefs changed.

So that is how I started my day today. I slept in late, spent a long time writing and felt something shift inside. It's a sunny day here. I hope it's sunny where you are too. Blessings.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Seven Quirky Things

I've been tagged by kelly rae to tell seven quirky things about myself. Here goes:
  1. I am a compulsive writer - I don't wiggle doorknobs or touch things 20 times but I do write or draw constantly. If I'm on the phone I'm scrawling, if I'm at my desk I'm making lists, if I'm in my studio I have an implement in my hand and I am using it. Fortunately I can sell my marks and jibber-jabber - I have turned a sickness into a career.
  2. I eat junk food even though I know better. Ice cream and Taco Bell burritos and diet cola are my vices. And Burgerville Strawberry Shortcakes. (cringe)
  3. I cut my own hair, constantly and badly. I don't care so much that it looks funky, I just like to do it. In fact I spent 45 minutes on it this morning and it is shorter than ever.
  4. To follow up on that, I am a Do-It-Yourself girl and I will try anything short of brain surgery. As an artist, I have an illogical belief that I can do anything.
  5. I buy a fair amount of my clothes at the Goodwill so I can spend all my money on shoes.
  6. I have the hardest time making up my mind. I see all the sides of an issue and that makes it difficult for me to take sides.
  7. The same things that are my deepest desires also terrify me. I am both shy and outgoing; love to travel and fear the travel, want to do things that I fear doing. I wish I could just forge ahead like I think others do with no doubts to block my progress.
I am a tag ender as another blogger recently said and not a tagger so I won't have to rack my brains thinking of other people to tag. Thanks, kelly rae, this was fun.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Doors and Knockers

Oh, I can't seem to stop myself from sleeping and rummaging through my photographs. I want to show some more! I want to sleep some more! I'd like to get back on track too but so far that hasn't happened yet. If this is jet lag it is the worst case I've ever had. So here is a wooden saint that I love, don't you?

And religious figures in snow globes. Of course. Why didn't I think of that?

My husband has very short legs but I like him anyway. Oh wait, I get it, he's pointing out how little the door is.

More knockers. It's the internet's fault that I got interested in these. I kept seeing them on other people's blogs and then when I got to Europe they kept jumping out at me. They really are cool.

There was a song in the 50's named "Green Door". OK, never mind, nobody is old enough besides me to remember that.

More knockers. Think of all the energy we could save if we pulled out our electric doorbells and installed door knockers. When did we start making everything more complicated than necessary?

Light and color on the cathedral floor. I almost walked past this but John stopped me and pointed it out.

I can tell the shots from Lisbon by the chunks of limestone they use in paving their streets. They must have moved mountains of rocks; it's a big city.

Lots of tile used in the facades of the buildings and homes. No upkeep; it lasts for centures without repainting.

A big ochre facade and battered wooden door to bring up the rear. I sure hope I'm done with the pictures from my trip now but I can't promise.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Catching Up

I can almost hear you saying, "where's the art?" Well, this is what I have been staring at and loving since my return home. Beloved katie sent this to me in my absence - a beautiful gift to surprise me on my very first day back. Can you see the writing on the frame? Like everything katie does it is beguiling and odd; I could never put into words what her paintings do for me and that is surely a good sign. They work on a deeper level than speech or logic. I am learning from katie that the way to get to "that" place is to let go and trust your instincts. That part of you that knows but doesn't know how it knows. Thank you katie, for this lovely gift and for your special gift as a teacher. I keep learning from you.

And you thought I was finished boring you with my vacation pictures, eh? Nyah hah hah, not so fast there. I still have a few more up my sleeve. I loved the old building above for the most obvious reason; distressed plaster, stone, paint. If only I could get this surface in my paintings!

The stores in Fatima were chock full of Marys. I stocked up.

One of a zillion photographs I took of graffiti. This will end up in my journal somewhere; a collaboration with an unknown artist. I love doing that.

Creepy mannequins. Brrrrr, I love that feeling.

Took way too many photos of door knockers. Come to think about it, disembodied hands are kind of creepy too. I remember a movie once about a monkey's paw that could come to life and scamper across the room. Yick, I couldn't sleep for days.

I am still getting caught up and have put a huge limit on my computer time until I do. If you have written and not heard from me, that is why. I'll come out to play again sometime this weekend.