Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

From New York City: some journal pages from our Rock Center/Times Square Holiday wanderings (that's my youngest daughter and my nephew, and husband there, too):

"Don't explain, enjoy." --Darby Bannard

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Two more days of 2008 and I am still in my "assess the year" mind.
Making journal pages sure does help.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." --Melody Beattie

Monday, December 29, 2008

what it is vs. what I thought it would be

as the end of the year approaches, I find myself looking back (reading old journals really is both wonderful and sort of terrible) and looking forward - making files for the new year, filling out calenders, getting ready for budgeting in a new way.
The kids are bigger -- bigger problems, bigger needs. . . .
The house is smaller, and seems like there is less money.
But my wisdom is growing, and I have learned this at least:
1. the first noble truth is that life is suffering and that this helps us learn and grow
2. my studio is awesome and my safe haven
3. my husband loves me and is very supportive
4. I have awesome creative beautiful children who are turning into awesome creative beautiful adults

NOW on to 2009 and more wisdom to accept what life gives, wisdom for finding some solutions to what can be solved, and gratitude for all.

“The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.” -- James M. Barrie

Sunday, December 28, 2008


going through my older journals - the first ones I kept were just lines and lines of words on paper.
then, several years down the road, a few sketches or photographs got added here and there.
then, years passes, and there was some decoration of the page.
finally, now - it's mostly images.
Images, and colors, and some words.
but sometimes words still are part of what I want to save, words are still helping me express some ideas that my journals record for me.
Since words mostly come from that left brain rational intellectual critic part of the brain, I am very careful not to start with them.
but if they want to pop in here and there, in between the spaces of the intuitive brain, I let them. . . .
and sometimes, a letter or written journal entry gets to hang out with the images.
sometimes there are groups of words that are very meaningful and something I want to archive in my journal.

but I am letting images be mostly how I communicate.
words slip out all too easily and I seem to have not have controlled them nearly well enough in my lifetime, I trust images much more.

"It's all the unwordable things one wants to write about, just as it's all the unformable things one wants to paint – essence." --Emily Carr

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

mystery, JOY

This is the eve of a day many people find great mystery and joy. Little Linus' words from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, "I bring you tidings of great joy . . . . for unto us is born a savoir" never fail to make me sense the eternal presence of something greater than myself.
and there is the key.
To sense that Presence.
I need to connect with that mystery, that force of love that many call God, Yahweh, Truth, Spirit, Stillness . . . . .
if the birth of a baby makes us feel great hope, if people need a savior, or something to remind them that we all need saving, than that is okay with me.
I am a Pagan - I believe in the animate force of life in all things of this Earth - so my worship is not in a Church; but I understand that we each find our mystery in our own way, and today and tomorrow, many of us in the world will slow down, enjoy each others' company, maybe exchange a gift or two, gather together to eat some good food, and know that life, although so full of pain and great difficulty, is worth celebrating.

Happy Holidays. . . . .

"Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life." --Rachel Carson

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a world of difference.

My journal pages are not about pretty pictures.
they are messy collages of this and that, words here and there, and suddenly, I see something or know something I didn't know before.
I play.
I make a mess.
I cut and tear and color and write.
I just sort of see what happens.
and something usually does.

"I don't go into the studio with the idea of "saying" something. What I do is face the blank canvas and put a few arbitrary marks on it that start me on some sort of dialogue." --Richard Diebenkorn

Monday, December 22, 2008


What does your day look like today?
are you able to stop and take a deep breath (or a few) look all around you and see beauty?
are you able to look deeply into another person's eyes and tell them how much you love them?
are you able to prepare food or perhaps a space or maybe a gift with loving intention to bless the person you are doing this work for?
are you able to look in the mirror and be grateful for either the youthful beauty you have or for the well-earned lines of wisdom that living has graced you with?
I hope you can make this day a day of health, make it with love and intention, and if you can make some art, for yourself in a journal or in something you create for others, be thankful for adding beauty to the world on this one day, the shortest day of the year.
Art = Love = Health.

"The pursuit of art on a regular basis may be the key to healing our minds and bodies." --Kim Blair

Sunday, December 21, 2008

and why not?

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." --Katharine Hepburn

Friday, December 19, 2008


"Look for echoes. Sometimes the same shape or direction will echo through the picture." --Robert Henri

Thursday, December 18, 2008

on the fringes of eternity. . . .

What is it?
about certain images, certain combinations of words, that just seem to go deep within us and penetrate some mundane-brain autopilot that we usually operate with.
I was messing around in photoshop, layering photos over paintings, paintings again over the layers, adding bits of color, and suddenly, I stopped.
The image just grabbed me.
I know at this point to print it out and put in the journal, write some words, see what comes out.
But the funny thing with this image, the words just didn't come.
I was moved just by the image.
I have read that certain images, photographs perhaps, can change the tide of a war, certain images can move people beyond what any words can do.
"A picture is worth a thousand words. . . . "
There are iconic images that stay with us.
Some place in the brain where we feel emotion is also where information is stored about what we see.
So, playing in images in our journals helps us get to that inner emotional place.

Yesterday my son told me about seeing a huge full moon rising over Hearst Castle in San Francisco, and how he wished so much he had his camera -- but we agreed that the image will stay with him embedded in his memory, even if he could not capture it.

I find that being outside helps me see the eternity we are all living in.
Sky, water, tree, rock, cloud, landscape. . . . part of the Gaia world in which all life is connected.
My camera, my journal, sketching, and just seeing all help me remember this.

and here is that journal page:

"We all move on the fringes of eternity and are sometimes granted vistas through fabric of illusion. Many refuse to admit it: I feel a mystery exists. There are certain times, when, as on the whisper of the wind, there comes a clear and quiet realization that there is indeed a presence in the world, a nonhuman entity that is not necessarily inhuman." --Ansel Adams

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

so you want to live a creative life?

Guess what - you are going to have to work harder and longer and with more hurdles than you ever imagined.
You will confront obstacles that you find ridiculous and awful.
Most people you cross paths with will be saying to you:
But you have to keep on.
The dominant culture does not always see the beauty/importance/worth of the creative path.
The dominant culture is not out to help you be the true authentic person you were born to be.
You have to go for it yourself, and you will get there, you will take one step at a time and reach a place of creative achievement you never dreamed of.
Because I KNOW the universe supports those of us who step off the treadmill, and on to a path of beauty.
I KNOW the universe is honored with each small effort to build bridges and connections and to allow the quiet individual voice of truth be heard over the cacaphony of money and achievement and greed.
NO - you won't be famous.
NO - you won't make a lot of money.
NO - you won't be given prizes and asked to give speeches.
But your one small voice will be healing and beautiful for anyone who hears it, your one small commitment to saying your truth gently and with care will change all the ones who hear it and read it and follow it.
"Don't let the bastards get you down," as they say. . . .
Just keep at it.
Keep at the creative work that you are called to do, whatever it is, even if it makes no money - if it is your calling, it is what you must do.

"When we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen... Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose." --Steven Pressfield

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

5 more pages from ages past. . . .

yes. When I read my old journals, I see I have actually gotten somewhere.
Which makes me wonder what I would want to read 40 years down the road, when I am at the end of this go 'round, and I read the entries from the Late Aught's, heading fast toward the second decade of the beginning of the twenty-first century. . .
I read once it is mind-blowing to write your own obituary, make it exactly how you want it, then make sure you live that life you wrote about.
But I sense that planning in that way would not be a good idea - I have seen that the twists and turns along the path bring me to a place I never imagined, but is just the right place, even though.
I trust the Universe more than I trust myself -- hasn't let me down yet!

and here are some old pages - sort of restrained and not very loose, yet, but good things are a brewin'!

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." --Douglas Adams

Monday, December 15, 2008

old journals

This morning, I finally got one of the boxes of old journals and brought it to the studio - I am making a bookshelf of all my many journals.
As I labeled them and added them to the shelf, I could not resist opening each one and diving deep into the past.
Hurts, joys, traumas and victories - they all come flooding back as I see the images and read the words of a decade along the path.
It really is a wonderful thing to have a record of where you have been. On one level, I am dismayed and sad at how much I have the same old things to say, ten years ago I seemed to have many of the griping complaints I have today.
You woulda thunk I woulda gotten somewhere more along this path!
But on another level, I can see how far I really have come.
Especially my journaling style can be seen to change, morph, grow and develop over these years - something I didn't even realize was happening.
I used to write and write - often unloading the stress of the day, and then add a picture or two to make it visually more stimulating.
Now, I play with colors and images, then write.
It took me ten years of journaling to get here, and you can see the progress in a thousand baby steps of journal keeping.
Here are some of the older pages, the seeds of the way I work now are all there, but it just hasn't quite been born.
The tiny voice asking for authenticity is in there somewhere, being formed.
Nice to know I have progressed in some small way.
Nice to know life does seek better and stronger and more complete expression.
It might take years, but as the years tick by, I do seem to somehow be getting just a bit closer and closer to my real voice.
I am happy with what I am doing here. and in very small increments, I have gotten somewhere wonderful with this one life.
and for that, I am very very grateful.

"Always, at the back of your soul, there is something that says to you, 'Mortal, drawn from eternal life for a short time, think how precious these moments are.'" --Eugene Delacroix

Saturday, December 13, 2008

still thinking about chaos. . . . .

Clarity and intention - I am working on bringing these things to my life.
My journal is essential in helping me with this.
I make pretty chaotic images, but then some sort of clarity emerges - it is a process.
I think the art of creating helps us get there, helps us get to the essential and the underlying important themes that sometime dance right outside our consciousness. I am in the studio early on a Saturday morning, still working on the dog piece.
We celebrate our holiday, Solstice, in 8 days - there is lots to do, shopping and cooking and cleaning and mailing and gathering with friends and family, but it will all get done.
I only hope I can slow down enough to enjoy the quiet and mystery that these dark December days are about.
I count my blessings of being able to make art and share it here.
... that the earth supports important creative work.
... that technology can help me spread these ideas.
I am grateful for this computer and my journal.
and for connection.
Even in the chaos of life.

"Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning." --Katherine Anne Porter

Friday, December 12, 2008

when in doubt . . . .

try something completely new and see what happens.

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." --Walt Disney

Thursday, December 11, 2008

the dancing star is YOU

My life is so chaotic - and the day spent in the city yesterday sure reinforced it.
But even in the shoppers and noise and chaos and honking cabs and pushy Manhattenites, there were moments of such clarity - I sat in the lobby of 590 Madison Avenue, looking at a Jean Arp Pop sculpture, and a nice woman sat down next to me and starting sketching.
Yes, we talked and yes, we had lots to talk about - anyone who sketches in NYC is someone worth talking to.
and I did some shopping, mostly chocolaty type stuff because that's all I wanted to carry around.
My face is almost back to normal, so no one seemed to stare, and after work, my husband and I even managed to stop in a swanky bar for a drink and saw Vin Diesel (or someone who looked just like him).
THEN I had to drive my son to the airport at 3 A.M. very very sleepily, and my to-do list for the next few weeks just seems impossible, but I will make sure I get some studio time. I have learned without studio time, I turn into an evil grinch, and no one wants that.
and the funny thing about the Nietzsche quote at the end of this entry - I never before considered that the dancing star is ME. . . . I always thought it was something else.
We are our best creation. . . . imagine that!

"You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star." --Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

hands of change

So what's been up with me?
I had a massive allergic reaction to a hair product with wheat in it -- my face blew up so much that my kids laughed at me and said I looked "Really Gross!"
(thanks, loved ones.)
after some serious suffering and wallowing, I got help - our medical doctor gave me lots of steroids, and an amazing acupuncturist really fixed me with numerous therapies.
and the great news - so many good things happened as I took charge, moved forward, got myself help, even though I would have much rather wallowed in my pain and sorrow.
A messed up mail box situation (we lost the key) got fixed, clothes needed for my daughter's choir concert were purchased, (even if the other shoppers moved away from me in horror once or twice), new walking shoes were obtained because the dog lost one of my favorite shoes and this has seriously hindered my walking, the husband heard my complaints about the dog biting me and is helping me train him more effectively, my brother who felt sorry for me bought some art; I even managed to wrap some presents.

So, although I felt like feeling horrible, I chose to get help and work on feeling good.
It's always a choice, ya know?

"From this moment onwards you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed." --Eileen Caddy

Sunday, December 7, 2008

money? art?

I know some of us make a living making our art.
but the truth is most of us don't.
Yesterday at my studio open house, a friend told me of a writer's conference she attended. The strongest message she received there?
If you are a writer, you will need to earn your money another way.
Yesterday, I had my year's work on display - paintings, collages, printed cards and labels and a bumper sticker, the book I wrote about journaling, and lots of collaged cigar boxes. I made the cards to have affordable items available to buy. I know most people won't buy a $200 painting or be able to have me do a $500 commmision.
Many people cannot buy a $25 book.
So, I greeted and chatted, and it was a fine day.
and I sold $22 worth of cards.
It was just enough for the tip for the lovely dinner my family had after the open house.
So the waiter at Chutney Manor who served the 6 of us for one hour earned all the money I had made that day for the art I had for sale in the studio . . . .

So, I know it is not about money.
There is no money in art, and certainly no art in money.
Money is something else.
It can't be the reason.
It is just a reality that there needs to be money in your life to create your housing, give you food, and maybe a bit of security. I know that art and money aren't really linked.
Not in my mind, anyway.
Otherwise, the weeks of work to make cards, the hours of work to set up the studio, the time spent talking and chatting and sharing would only have a value of $22, and I know in my heart that is not the value of what I do.
So, off to make some pages, write about them, and try to live artfully.
money or no.

"It is a sad fact about our culture, that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it." --W. H. Auden

Thursday, December 4, 2008

it's just this simple

I can choose.
To recount the pains and hurts I have been dealt in this life, or to recount the blessings and joys I have been given.
or Blessings.
One choice leads to anger and bitterness, the other leads to joy and bliss.
So - which will I choose today?
I think the answer is obvious -- why do I so often choose the wrong thing?
and today, instead of a journal page, I am posting my latest Power Animal Portrait - I am particularly happy with this Great Snowy Owl -- he will guide me in my Shamanic work and I an honoring him with this portrait above my journey place in the studio.
The energy of the spirit of animals is so healing, and I feel honored to be able to create these pieces to remember this, reminding me of the point of it all.
To Choose Bliss.
Have a blissful day!

"The spirit must be felt so intensely that it has power to call others in passing, for it must pass, not stop in the pictures..." --Emily Carr

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

keeping at it

just making pages.
having fun in the journal.
what else?

"Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again." --Will Smith

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the voyage of discovery

Where am I going today?
This question is not really what I need to ask myself each morning as I gather my lunch, coffee, backpack, purse, phone, computer, any supplies I will need in the studio, and sleepily get into my car to drive the 20 minutes to my work place.
I try to go on autopilot, to get myself to the studio, then figure it out.
This morning, after getting here and opening my e-mails, I had gotten a newsletter about Paris travel, I found myself perusing apartments for rent in Paris.
Suddenly, awareness clicked back on, and I asked myself why in the world I was looking at apartments in Paris!
Then the question -- where am I going today?
I have my to-do list here in the studio - a power animal portrait half finished, promotional cards to get printed, making a centerpiece from grapevine wreath for the open house this weekend. . . .
so why would I think about Paris?
Is this just A.D.D. at work, or do I need to escape?
My studio is my escape, and I love being here, yet yet yet . . . .
I still seem to always think of wandering elsewhere.
I always seem to dream of putting essentials in a backpack and just taking off.
I seem to always have this urge.
Perhaps it means I am discontent in some way, but I am coming to terms with this longing.
I am coming to understand that all who wander are not lost, and some of us just have this need.
A need to up and GO.
In "Out of Africa" Isaac Dinesson had a life long affair with Denys Fitch-Hatton, and he was a wanderer - someone who required a free and open life, and he also understood he was giving up stability and family life - and Dinesson accepted this. She had to.
Something in our culture tells us this is wrong, that we are not productive members of society if we live a wandering life, full of dreams and irrational exuberance.
Oh well.
I will choose my own path -- I am now entering a phase in my life where I can start to wander a bit -- I am coming to the end of the 25 year job of raising kids, and I am ready to go out into the world, find myself and my art.
My journal, my camera, and lots of juicy pens will go with me, and hopefully I can share this journey and inspire others to do the same.
If I did not grab my camera and take the time to stop to hold it under some glorious mushrooms growing on a path near my house, these journal pages wouldn't be. . . . .
Where are you going today?

"In every man's heart there is anchored a little schooner." --Henry Miller

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year . . . .

No - it is not about shopping or decorating or even cooking.
It is not about the malls filled with stressed shoppers, or family obligations that irritate and tire us.
It is not about the empty checking account.
It is about MaGiC.
The winter darkness is upon us, and it is a time of dreams and wandering imagination.
Use the dark time to create a new reality, and in the Spring, when life begins anew, you will have a new reality in place.
and a big hint - journaling can help!
Happy December.

"Over the town roamed the homeless moon. I went along with her, warming up in my heart impracticable dreams and discordant songs." --Isaac Babel

Saturday, November 29, 2008

today . . . . .

making art.
working in the studio.
playing in my art journal.
and yes, wasting time on the InTeRnEt!
the holidays are ramping up, and I need to decorate the studio a bit for the open house and get all the work ready, start the holiday list of shopping to-dos, write some cards.
and mostly, remember that the HoLidAyS are all good - and not let the stress overwhelm the joy.
Ya know?

(and here is a page before and after words:)

"You will learn to enjoy the process... and to surrender your need to control the result. You will discover the joy of practising your creativity. The process, not the product, will become your focus." --Julia Cameron

On Monday evening, you may be able to see the full globe of the moon, its darkened portion glowing with a bluish-gray hue interposed between the sunlit crescent and not much darker sky. This vision is sometimes called "the old moon in the young moon's arms." Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was the first to recognize it as what we now call "earthshine."

Friday, November 28, 2008


this is a powerful word.
I am learning to set my intention and then I stay much more on track.
The trick is to know what your intention is, and that's not always so easy.
But if you dream it, you can do it, as they say. . . .
So think about Intention today, and see where you go with this in the front of your mind and heart as you make your way along the path.

"If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."
--Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful for . . . .

and the time to work in my journal.
I am very very thankful for a family that loves and supports me.
. . . for the time to be with them.
Time they allow me for my own creative process and exploration.
I am thankful for the many many blessings in my life.
Today, I am thankful, and I hope to remember this thankfulness as I move forward in this journey.

I am thankful for people like YOU who come here to share my journal pages - here is the blank collaged page before and after:

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." --Cicero

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"the glories around me"

See something beautiful.
Contemplate it - draw, photograph, color it.
Add some words.
Art Journaling is that simple.

"Brother sun and sister moon,
I seldom see you, I can't hear your tune;
Preoccupied with selfish misery.
Brother wind and sister air,
Open my eyes to visions pure and fair,
That I might see the glories around me."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DOWN time = UP time

as an artist, I need down time.
well, lots of it.
this can make me feel guilty, but now I am coming into the self-understanding that the "do nothing" time really is very productive.
Time to nurture the creative force is necessary, and it might mean a walk in the woods, reading a novel, or just sitting and letting my mind empty.
It might mean making ten lists, and throwing away nine of them.
It might mean looking at an art book for an hour, and enjoying each image.
These are all useful ways to spend time, because it makes the work time more authentic and helps me get to the core.
It has taken me a long long time to know this.
So I share it with you, so you don't feel guilty about the down time -- it creates much more powerful UP time!

"There is a time for the labour of digging and mixing earths, a time for the heat of fire, and a time for contemplating what is done." --Cecilia Davis Cunningham

Sunday, November 23, 2008

have you ever noticed?

Have you ever noticed that it is all there already?
All we need.
That the world has abundance for us if we just breathe in and accept it.
There is so much struggle, so much striving, so much effort poured into advancing what we think is our own agenda.
So little just being in the flow, and allowing all that is good to come to us.
Even on the train, I see so many people rushing here and there, worrying about the next thing coming, their minds completely somewhere else. . . . not even seeing the landscape parading by them in the window.
Yesterday in NYC - so many shoppers, rushing about, cars and cabs and buses rushing here and there, moments of beauty no one seemed to notice.
I bought some amazingly wonderful paper at my favorite store, Kate's Paperie on 57th.
Paper that makes me cry it is so beautiful.
Collages to come!

"The receptivity of the artist must never be confused with passivity. Receptivity is the artist's holding him or herself alive and open to hear what being may speak." --Rollo May

Saturday, November 22, 2008

water ROCKS shells

Last week at the beach I took tons of photos of the sand covered in rocks and shells. There were amazing patterns and bits of shells and rocks worn smooth by time and water. Shells really are the most amazing bits of engineering. Imagine making a little house is a perfect spiral over time out of bits of your own body -- if a human did that they would become world renown, yet billions of little creatures do this every day and we hardly even notice.
Magic is all around us if we look for it.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Yesterday the puppy and I went for a walk on the tow path. He stopped to look at cormorants floating in the water, mystified by their long necks. "Are they birds?" I could see him wonder.
We went close to investigate a flock of geese, and they honked and he got very scared and ran away.
He stops and investigates everything, and loves to make friends with everyone who stops to admire how totally cute he is.
To see the world through the eyes of a new puppy - it is simply magical.

"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself." --Henry Miller

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What do you look for?

A wise friend of mine once said you usually find what you are looking for - if we look for difficulty and dissatisfaction in life, we will find that.
If we look for joy and acceptance, we will find that.
At the time it really challenged me because I was complaining about something I thought I could do nothing about.
But gradually I am realizing that we will find what we look for.
So look for good things in life - if we look for joy and we will find it.
There are beautiful windows and doors all around us, opening into new possibilities - will we walk through them or just assume those places of beauty are not meant for us?
I often do journal pages helping me remember this, and here is one:

"The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are." --Thomas Dreier

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Yorker

Last night my journaling group met so I have lots of new pages to share, but until I get them photographed and upoloaded, here is this month's cover of the New Yorker Magazine with a very elegant and moving image in reaction to our election . . . . .
It is wonderful to have some hope with all that is falling apart in today's world.

"The more you know the less you need to say." --Jim Rohn

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Here is a great idea: when doing your Holiday cards this year, take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get.

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

please pass it on - and some guidelines:

Please follow these guidelines when mailing a card to ensure that your card will quickly reach service members, veterans and their families. Every card received will first be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working in one of 16 sorting stations around the country.

a.. All cards must be postmarked no later than Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Cards sent after this date will be returned to sender.
b.. Participants are encouraged to limit the number of cards they submit to 25 from any one person or 50 from any one class or group. If you are mailing a larger quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope or postage.
c.. Please ensure that all cards are signed.
d.. Please use generic salutations such as "Dear Service Member." Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
e.. Please send cards as opposed to long letters which delay a quick review process.
f.. Please do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
g.. Please do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
h.. All cards received may be used in program publicity efforts, including appearing in broadcast, print or online mediums.

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." --Scott Adams

Monday, November 17, 2008

today . . . . .

In Barrack Obama's book, Dreams of My Father" there is a point where someone says to him, "It's not about you." That sounds so simple, but it has helped me thinking about that the last few days.
It's not about me.
Sometimes, we just do our work, make our art, have our voice, and remember it is not about us.
There is something in you coming out, let it be what connects you to all life.
Don't made it personal.
Funny, when working in a journal to not make it personal. . . .
but try it.
It puts a new light on things.

"Don't observe yourself too closely. Don't be too quick to draw conclusions from what happens to you; simply let it happen." --Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, November 15, 2008

get outside and enjoy some Fall

"How Heavy is a glass of Water? - 8 oz to 20 oz? It really doesn't matter, it depends on how long you hold it. If I hold it for a minute, no problem. If I hold it for an hour, I will have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you will have to call me an ambulance. In each case it is the same weight, but the longer I hold it the heavier it becomes. That's the way it is with stress. Life is short, enjoy it." --Pamila Ross

Friday, November 14, 2008


I have been watching some interviews of both Barrack and Michelle Obama on Youtube and I am beginning to think this new President is actually a spiritual leader. If you read his autobiography, "Dreams of my Father" he actually describes a path of enlightenment - being disillusioned and angry, wondering who he is, going on a search, and finding compassion and forgiveness.
and this man is now our President -- how awesome; this makes me so hopeful for our country, for the world. . . . a new era is beginning.
I have lots of work to do in the studio to prepare for our open house, so I am going to have to resort to posting some older journal pages -- after the open house, I will have lots of new work to share, in the meantime:

"It is precisely because our present life is so inseparably linked with desire that we must make use of desire's tremendous energy if we wish to transform our life into something transcendental."
 --Introduction to Tantra

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hello again!

How has it been a whole week since I posted?
I have some reasons -- I went to D.C. to celebrate my Mom's birthday, then to the beach with two friends, and some of our kids, (well - Shelle had all one of her kids, Trace had half of her two kids, and I had one third of my three kids. . . . . )
then I got sick. and when I get sick I don't mess around -- I go the full nine yards; so now I am on antibiotics, something which really messes me up (Celiac disease and all. . . . don't ask but it involves lots of bathroom time.)
HENCE - no journal pages done for a whole week.
I am so sorry.
I will be back soon in full force, but in the meantime, if you need some inspiration -- look up Mitch Hedberg on Youtube -- what a gifted comedian. He suffered extreme stage fright and had to wear dark glasses and look at the ground when he performed. But he did his thing and we are a better world for it.
A lovely one liner from him:

“Is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus or just a really cool apoatmus?”
-Mitch Hedberg, (1968- 2005.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some words that bear repeating:

'This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one thats on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing ­ Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

'She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldnt vote for two reasons ­ because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

'And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America ­ the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

'At a time when womens voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

'When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

'When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

'She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that 'We Shall Overcome.' Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.'

--Barrack Obama, 44th President of the USA

Monday, November 3, 2008

MoNdAy in the NEW studio!

a new studio, new work, a new space for this new life.
I feel so blessed to have this wonderful space.
I feel like it will be a laboratory - a place for invention and exploration, a place where I can wander in creativity and go where ever the art takes me.
I want to have workshops here and maybe even an art club, where we can encourage each others' creative journeys. I want to give back to this process, I dream of journaling workshops, women's circles of creativity, meditation and drumming and making art in blissful unison -- creating together builds community and that's what it's all about, ya know?
I am so thrilled to be honored with the chance to make all this real.
I am learning that I really am an explorer of the creative process, that this studio is supporting me in that path, and that I can share it on-line in this blog, in person here at the open houses, in workshops and teaching, maybe even in ANOTHER book one day.
This is such a blessing, I am filled with gratitude . . . .

"How fortunate we are to make our life's work centered on experiencing life with depth and creating a soulful response to it." --Linda Saccoccio