Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

What a Day

I'm glad it's just about over. Two major mudslides, water everywhere, trees on power lines, electricity outages, and just this nervous feeling about something bad going to happen. I picked Luke up early because I couldn't stand it and was relieved because the road looked like it was going to be closed at any moment. I wasn't going to go back the same way, but all of sudden NEEDED to switch cars - don't know why - had it all planned out ahead of time, but followed the gut, went home and switched cars (and discovered power back on too yay!) and went on our way. Came back home and see that the car I'd been driving earlier now has a very flat tire. So that is why - the universe was looking out for me and saved me from being stranded on the side of the road in the rain somewhere with places to go. So I guess AAA will come to the house and fix it or switch it to the spare, right? (Because even though I've been shown how, I'm not going to do it.)

Good news was the sun did eventually come out, and I got my chakras balanced (oh, I needed that, and oh, do I feel better) and my friend Becky made us the best homemade mac & cheese and salad and we had a nice dinner at her place. And we are home safe and the power is on and the house is warm and dry.

Water Water Everywhere

A little river of it running down my driveway. A much larger one roiling down Tolt Hill, but mostly contained in the ditch. Horse and sheep pastures submerged. Hillsides on the verge of sliding down into the road. Mud everywhere. Snoqualmie River as high as I've ever seen it - rushing fast and furiously on by - all brown and murky and angry looking, filling up more pastures down-river.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Studio, Making Progress

I went there today, fully intending to rip that floor up but it's very sticky under the tiles so I put the one I pulled up back down and now I need to figure out how to get the sticky stuff up as I go, otherwise it will be like walking on fly tape. Not good with cats and dogs and kids underfoot, I'm sure. (Then again...) Instead, I started to get the place a little organized... here it is so far, really not that interesting, but proof of progress, something I need right now.

Here it is from a few weeks ago, before I had to block the chimney up to keep that cat out of it.

The Joys (Not) of Selling a Home

Oh, I'm ready for this to be done already. The latest is just too much. The last person to view our house - two days ago, mind you... closed the door to the place where we keep Tyger's litter box. Now, it's not like it's a closet that you might think should be closed, or even the door to the laundry room or bathroom... his box is in the shower that we never use. A good place for two reasons - it's out of the way and it keeps the dogs out of it. We just keep the sliding door open a little and there are two doors to the bathroom and Tyger has been fine for a year now - it's worked out great. So whoever it was that came through last time - shut the shower door. Why? Why would they do that? Poor cat has been trying to tell me, but he's really not a good communicator. He doesn't even tell me if his food bowl gets empty. So he's been meowing... but not coming up to me meowing... just meowing... I figured he was joining the crowd of folk around here who are missing Frank and being overly vocal about it. I did check his food. I knew his box was ok because I had just changed it the other day... but I didn't go look... and so I wondered what could be wrong in his little world, but went on living in my little world... 'til he walked over to the door, squatted on the rug and peed with me standing right there. Poor guy just couldn't hold it any longer. I couldn't believe my eyes because he's such a good little cat, but figured it out quick when I picked him up to put him in the cat box like you do a little kitten that’s learning the ropes. He was so happy to get in there he went right in to do more work and stunk up the house. My goodness - two days he's been crossing his legs. I was so mad. But not at him of course. And Luke swears he didn't shut the door, so it had to be the people viewing the house. Were they playing a joke do you think? Not a nice one.

And then the person to come before them unlocked and opened the door out of the garage... and never closed it properly. The dogs could have escaped. And the person before that - left the deck door unlocked. Which really isn't a problem in this neighborhood - but I'm a security freak and an unlocked door makes my imagination run overtime. It's just too much - all of it - it has to end soon.



These doors. Found on page 13 of Where Women Create. Are what my studio will look like. Today I'm going to try to rip up the vinyl tiles and see what I need to do to the cement to get it ready for a cement treatment of some sort... and then I'll figure out how to wash the walls in these colors. Or maybe I should do it the other way around? So I don't ruin the floor when I paint the walls? I'll figure it out.

And here are Luke's glow in the dark clay creations. A butterfly, a one-eyed dragonfly and a turtle.

I've created a monster.

I've spoiled my five-year-old with quality art supplies - he can totally tell the difference and knows exactly what he wants. Given a choice, he will pick my acrylics over his poster paints every time. And now he wants his own canvases instead of paper. On the one hand, I'm thrilled - it does make for better art, on the other, I'm horrified - how am I going to be able to afford his habit as well as mine? Painting by Luke, age 5. Unfinished, as he announced he is letting it dry and then will put another layer on it. (I wish he wouldn't.)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Book, Temple, Frida

I ordered this book to help inspire me to create a kick-butt art studio in the new house - it's really a great book - so much eye candy and many good ideas. I highly recommend it.

Frank went sight-seeing today in India. He went to this amazing temple built all of marble and he gave a donation and got his wish blessed - he wished for the Carnation home to sell of course. So now we've got the Catholic Saint Joseph buried upside down in the yard (Luke said, gasping, "Mom! WHY are you putting that in the dirt????" "Because Meme told me to." "Oh! Well then let me do it!") and the new age woo-woo stuff, and now a Hindu Goddess has blessed it. So it MUST happen soon. We certainly have our bases covered.

And because I love to notice coincidences and synchronicities… and because I'm noticing one, that seems big (as in, I'm not getting it but it's so in-my-face-I-can't-ignore-it), and I thought I'd share: every time I turn around this week it's Frida, Frida, Frida. She's everywhere, it seems, and I never knew about her before - not really. She's been all over my live journal friend's pages, she's on wet canvas, Ebay, I even pulled out of Luke's bookshelf a children's book about her life - it just fell into my hands the other night and so we read it for the first time. Then I Googled and learned more about her work and hard, painful life. How she created in spite of the pain she lived with every moment of the day. Or perhaps because of it. Now, what is the connection and what am I supposed to be learning from this woman with the eyebrow, I wonder?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Some Friday Night Eye Candy

Luna Parc - an amazing home covered in mosaics. I wonder if Edmonds House could handle something like this?

Debi Hubbs - Artbloom Studios - I just love her work - the colors, the subjects, and how they make me laugh. I would like to paint this way.

Elephants making art - I wonder if I could get the dogs to paint? Hmn...

Mary Lou Zeek Shrines to the Environment Exhibit - really neat handmade art shrines.

Soaring Heart

Just playing around with color and texture and layers.

And here is a picture of Kesia with a broken heart. Next time Frank goes away, I'm sending this pining lump of sadness with him.

And here is Zoe, wound tight as usual. All I said was "Where's daddy?" I know, not very nice of me, but she was thinking it too. And I knew it would raise an ear.

And here is a rare and secret sight.

And Tyger, after he got caught with a "who me? I don't like those dogs, what are you talking about" attitude.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Luke: Mom, do you know what my heart is made out of?
Me: Um, yes...
Luke: No you don't. It's made out of crystals.
Me: Oh? That sounds lovely.
Luke: Yes. Crystals.... and Love.

Some handmade poly-clay hearts. Not nearly as lovely as the one inside of Luke, I'm sure.

oh, there they go...

Blue skies and shimmery mountains didn't last long. Wonder when we will see them again. Could be a month if it's anything like last month. I asked Luke where the sun went. He answered that it didn't go anywhere - it's right where it is supposed to be. So literal.

Been there...

Haha - now I have a visual for my list of places I've been. Of course I've only seen small parts of most of the states in red, so it's largly misleading. And I did not include states where I've been but never stepped out of the airport, or there would be at least 6 or 7 more red splotches.

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

create your own visited country map
or check our Venice travel guide

Obviously I have much of the world still to see. My short list: Italy, Scotland, England again, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Somewhere in South America - Peru maybe? I want ancient ruins, colorful people and beautiful vistas... that's enough for now. Oh and I want to visit the southwest of my own country - Santa Fe, Tucson... I want red mountains and canyons and blue blue skies...

Speaking of blue skies, I have some today and they are beautiful. The mountains are glorious and the house is clean. It would be a perfect day for someone to come see the house, fall in love with it and buy it. Then maybe I could go on a trip somewhere!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Eau de Rat, and the Adventure that is Our New House

What a day. Up early to clear the tribe out of the house for a showing, got up to Edmonds just in time for the Orkin guy to arrive. Yes, the stink can officially be called Eau de Rat. The offending carcass has been removed, though there is question as to whether or not there is still one in the wall or ducts as there is still a lingering and it's not just in my nose.

News on the Amber front as well - you remember the cat who was living in my chimney? Well, she moved out. She got out of the studio and it seems she did some exploring... and found an even better spot to inhabit. The floor. Yes, the floor. She found a hole in the bathroom floor, the one Frank ripped out but has not yet replaced, and crawled into the floor. And crawled some more... and went all the way to the other side of the room - 15 feet to be exact. Frank is going to be so pleased when he gets back.

Another thing he will be pleased about is that I did some yard work up there since it was another beautiful sunny day... but that is not the part he's going to like. The part he will like is that I cut yet another wire, while trimming a fern of all things. I hacked back about 20 of them - they will grow back nice and green and beautiful now - but one of them had a wire - or two of them really - one black and one tan all wound around each other - it came out of the wall, went through the fern and into the ground. But of course I didn't see it until the fern was cleared away. Ah well. Maybe it was attached to the one I cut the other day when I was cutting back that vine on the side of the house - the one that was growing into the gutter and roof... New wiring for the house - just add it to the list, eh?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Good Things

Luke and I discovered a really fun card game today. It's called Sleeping Queens. It says ages 8 and up but Luke mastered it no problem. I think it's my new favorite game to play with him. Check it out, the cards are super cute.

Also, the Orkin Guy is coming to Edmonds tomorrow to help me with the stink issue. And the Carnation house is being shown again in the morning. And the SUN CAME OUT today! And so I was able to get some much needed yard work done here. And I have three new paintings started. And I got lots of other stuff done... all good things.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I think this bird looks the way I feel. Blah. Sick of it.

The day started out ok... but went downhill pretty fast. I don't even know why. But nothing is doing it for me today.

The dog, the one who thinks it's her regular job to guard us from every squirrel, dog walker or car driving by, is in high alert since Frank is out of town. She won't stop barking... and I can't *make* her stop. It's ear-splitting. I took her for a ride up to Edmonds house to let her run and blow some of it out of her in the yard - but no. She also felt the need to bark at every single pedestrian and biker on the road. Especially ear-splitting when confined in a car with her. Add to that Luke yelling at her to quiet down, that she's interrupting him and his steady, almost constant stream of babble... and - well... I can't hear myself think.

And then the house - in Edmonds... stinks. I don't know what the problem is, but we walked in and whoa. Stink with a capital S. I can not locate the source of it and can't decide if it smells like dead rat or a septic problem. I don't think we have a septic though. So maybe it's a rat. Though I was pretty sure they were evicted already. Luke announced he hates the house and can we "unsell" it. (Said while holding his nose pinched closed.) He means "unbuy" it of course. There are days I wish the same thing, my dear son.

So... since we couldn't stay there longer without passing out, I decided to take Luke to the beach - it's cold and grey, but not raining - and thought I could maybe get a cool shot of a seagull or two. But one picture in (see above)... and my batteries died. Plus I could hear that dog over the wind, barking at all the crazy scuba divers... So we left and came home - to find that someone had definitely shown the house today as expected... but nothing, no word of anything. Not that I really expect anything, but sheesh, they should have to fill out a survey before they go so I know if my hours and hours of cleaning and trying to make this house sparkle were at *all* worthwhile... but no - all I get is a business card on the counter.

But in the grand scheme of things, it's probably all good - because I also have a stupid canker sore from the stupid toothpaste I bought on sale that looked natural and healthy enough, but obviously wasn't - and it would hurt like hell to smile, if I even felt like it. Blah.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Dreaming of Somewhere Tropical

Having fun playing with paint while Frank is in India and Luke is sick on the couch. Nothing else to do besides clean... and I've had enough of that to last me a lifetime it seems. That said, the house is being shown tomorrow - please send good vibes for finding the perfect new owners!

Crow and Moon

Saturday Morning Links

One of my favorite magazines is Sunset. (Yes, one of my favorites out of 1000, I'm a magazine freak it turns out. Anyway....) Last night they got me with an email that featured weekend breakfast pastries. They look delish. Too bad I didn't make them or I'd be eating some now.

They also have a call out for Dream Garden Entries. Wonder if my new garden will have anything worthy to offer by May 1st. Only time will tell.

Discovered this wonderful Latte Art site this morning via a friend at Live Journal.

And here is a fabulous old (1652) coin I would love to get my hands on - my yankee roots are calling for it - haha! More here if you like old coins.

And here is some happy colorful art to feast your eyes upon: Fern House Studio by Christina Heiniger.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Painting Experiment - Redux

I painted over it. And then did it again. I think I'll stop now.

Painting Experiment

Hmn... I was hoping for more depth, but I don't know how to get it. More colors maybe? Another layer over some of the silver? Will have to sleep on it.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New Orchid

Happy to have her sitting next to my computer. My lilac office has been waiting for something like her for 5 years - wonder why it took me so long to do it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Waiting for Paint to Dry

It's about all I have in me - I'm getting that flu thing again - it just keeps coming back again and again. Ug. So, I forced myself to create some texture today - thinking maybe I'd forget about feeling bad (nope, didn't work) - and now it has to dry overnight. Maybe I'll feel better in the morning and want to paint on it.

Backed up at the Queue

I have 409 movies saved in my Netflix queue and ten more saved that haven't been released yet. I bet I hardly even watch one a week - how in the world will I ever see them all at that rate? Yet I keep adding and adding...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Another Sunny Day in Edmonds

I'm so happy - the sun was out in Edmonds, though I think it was raining most of the day here in Carnation, and so we got more outdoor time. My friend Lara came over and helped me come up with a new arrangement for the cairn and helped me dead-head one of the rhody groves. Neighbor Bob stuck his head over the fence to chat as he was doing his own gardening (he reminded me of Wilson, the neighbor over the fence on Home Improvements) and commented on what a big a job we had in our new yard (er, yes - it's really a mess, isn't it?). He was very nice though - Luke was super impressed by him for some reason.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Another Lily Pad Bracelet

A custom order - a little smaller and more affordable than the original.

Window Frosting


Luke calls this "frosting on the windows". I must be a horrible yankee mom for him not to know what frosted windows are. He should have memories of beautiful frosted landscapes on window panes and scratching marks in the scenes with his fingernails like I do. I guess I need to take him to New Hampshire for a winter visit.

A Rose in January

Found this little beauty in my new yard yesterday. Maybe she will be in bloom by Valentines?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Dry Day

Last night we drove up the hill and into a snow storm of all things. I said to Frank that it looked more like snow than rain and he said yeah it did... but it must be just really heavy rain... and then I was thinking that it was certainly cold enough to snow... and it's quiet like snow... and then I said it WAS snow! And Frank said no, it's not. YES! I know what snow looks like! No. YEAH, it's snow, Frank - wet snow. No it's not. Frank! There is snow on the side of the road! No - that's just the reflection of the light. No it's SNOW. Where - where is the snow. RIGHT THERE. No. Yes it IS - snow - white stuff - right there. Oh - hey - yeah snow! Look Luke snow! Luke starts in with the "no" bit from the back seat. These two are going to drive me totally out of my mind by the time Luke is a teenager, if not before then.

Anyway we woke up to a little snow and it was soon gone... and then... nothing. No rain! Wow - even some blue sky! So we spent the afternoon in Edmonds working in the yard (like everyone else in the neighborhood - could hear all the rakes going all around) and Luke figured out he could climb my tree. It was so great to get outside for a change.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Some Links

Tinnies from the latest Somerset Studio mag. I want to make a bunch of these for my new studio to hold my pens, pencils and brushes in - they look so fun and not only that... are a good use of recycling. Only problem is I will have to open a can of food - I don't do that very often it seems.

More wonderful projects fromSomerset Studio's Online Project Studio - so inspiring!

Kelly Angard's Creative Collage blog with cool "Technique Tuesday" tips.

And I'll leave you with something odd and perhaps even a little disturbing: Jewelry made from Barbie Doll parts

Friday, January 13, 2006

Yes, More Rain

Day 26, in fact. They say we have another week of it, then two day's off, then more rain. I need to go away for awhile and soak up some sun. But I can't.

Luke says: "Mom, what if it was raining marshmallows? Mom, what if it was raining pumpkins?... Mom, what if it was raining... cars! Mom... or HOUSES! OR Planets!!!"

I say: "What if it were raining stars?"

Luke says: "I'd pick one up and put it in my pocket."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

First Beads of the Year

Spent a little time on the torch today making some beads for a custom bracelet and when they were done, I started playing around trying to make some fun and summery beads - I wonder though when I'll ever "get it" that the colors of the cold glass rods are not the colors that come out of the kiln after. I really need to get a clue - these were supposed to be very bright and happy. Maybe if I cull out the mucky-looking ones the other ones will brighten up. I do like how the wheel came out though.

Sun Break

The sun came through very briefly this afternoon, right after it got done raining cats and dogs (and rats and mice, mom). I thought I'd take a picture in case I don't see it again for a month. And also to show you how the farm valley below is under water from all the rain we've gotten. Driving Luke home from school today we saw lots of farms with the horses and cows all huddled together on the one little hill surrounded by lakes and streams... poor things. I'm thankful our house is warm and DRY.

Not More Rain

It's day 24 of rain here in the Seattle area. The record to beat - but who wants to beat it? - is 33 days, set sometime in the early 60's. Yesterday I painted a picture - a complete experiment of layering oil over acrylic... and when I was done - I felt like the crow, too, was saying "Not More Rain".

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

First Book of the Year

I finished Sue Monk Kidd's The Dance of the Dissident Daughter last night. When I picked it up I was so excited about it since one of my favorite books is her The Secret Life of Bees. I knew this was not a novel - but more of a seeker's journey - her own personal journey. When I started it - I thought "I have to share this book with everyone I know!" but in the end I think maybe not.

Monday, January 09, 2006

How Times Change

Remember waiting in line to get into a club... or to get show tickets before they sold out... or camping out to get play-off tix... or whatever it was that was high-demand and you just had to do anything to get into it? I never spent a night on a side-walk or suffered in line in the cold and rain for hours and hours or anything like that - but I was willing to do that today. Well... just because I was willing, didn't mean I did: I sent my husband to do it instead. My hero of the day got up at 5:00 AM this morning to jump into the cold car and drive an hour north and then waited until people started showing up to get in line - he was third in line it turns out at 6:50 AM - and two more behind him - doors opened at 7:30... all to get one of the 17 full-day kindergarten spots in the school next door to our new house. Yes, Luke is going to kindergarten in the fall and he got into the full-day program - I'm so excited at the thought of 6 whole hours a day where I can - make art, take care of myself, get a job and/or expand this business of mine... start being Pam again, for much of the day anyway, instead of Mom all day long. It's going to be heaven. And Luke will love it too - school is one of his favorite things to do - hope that remains true for several more years anyway. Now... what to do to get us through the summer, I wonder...

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My son is on a roll

Luke: Mom, there is no good growing food in this house.

Me: Sure there is. What kind of food are you looking for?

Luke: Um....(squirming his way onto my lap)

Me: What do you want? If we went to the store, what kind of growing food would you buy?

Luke: Um... the only kind of growing food I need is YOU.

Monday, January 02, 2006

True Love

Luke says (for the 100th time today): Hey Mom?

Me: Yeah?

Luke: I looove you.

Me (thinking, yes, I know, you have said that about 50 times today already): I love you too.

Luke: I said that 5 times (giggles).

Me: Yes, you say it a LOT.

Luke: Do you know why?

Me: Because you love me?

Luke: Yeah, but that's not why. It's because I don't want your heart to break.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Ah, the feeling of a fresh new start. I'm happy today, and calm and peaceful. This is a huge change from how I've been waking up for the past few months - I keep telling myself I'm keeping things low stress, only doing what is important and letting the rest slide - but getting sick this past week proved to me I was wrong. I've been a stressed mess and I've known in the back of my mind my health was slipping away. I'm grateful today to be feeling better and hopeful that it's a sign of good to come in the new year.

Later today I need to get to the craft store and pick up a new journal and then I will write down my intentions for the new year - intentions, rather than resolutions. Life has a funny way of sometimes showing you a new path to get where you want or to change things a little to show you what you really want and I would like to be flexible in a way that resolutions don't seem to be. I want to live in the flow and remain focused on the journey rather than the destination this year. So... will work on putting that into better words on paper in a bit.

I just received this email newsletter from Cheryl Richardson about setting resolutions. I thought I'd share, but her link doesn't have the good part, so I'm going to copy it here.

As I think about the New Year and making resolutions, I wanted to offer
you a few suggestions based on my work with clients and the thousands of
conversations I've had with people over the years. This year, you might
resolve to:

1. Care more about what your soul longs for than what other people think.

2. Make your health a priority, not just because you want to look good,
but because it stops the self-defeating "inner critic crawl" that runs
like a ticker-tape in your head telling you how awful you are.

3. Spend more quality time with loved ones. A quick chat over dinner
doesn't build soul-nurturing relationships like a good, long evening spent
talking about the deeper issues of life, or better yet, a weekend. Invest
your time and energy in the people who matter.

4. Embrace a desire that keeps pulling at you and do something about it.
For example, stop living in cold weather when your heart keeps screaming
for warmth. Get someone to help you create a plan to finally make a move.
Or, don't try to cram yourself into one more year of the 9 to 5 corporate
mold, when your soul craves self-employment or project-oriented work.
Resolve to get out of the corporate world by enlisting the support of a
career counselor or an experienced coach who helps clients make the leap.

5. Dream big! Rather than keep your most important dreams secret, have
the courage to step out and give something big a try.

Happy New Year my friends, I wish you all peace and happiness today and the rest of the year.