Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Desk and Journals - 6

Yup, a couple more fifteen minute sessions at the old paper hoarder. It's not the desk's fault. I crammed  into it every piece of paper, all the pens, pencils, and other bits of muse and mystery that this nice old desk now holds.

(Wow - watching the squirrel gymnastics competition going on in back year. The little red one is giving the larger black and greys quite the challenge. And both squirrels and chickadees are chowing down. Storm is coming, but we should not be hit as hard as folks in other parts of the Midwest. Stay safe and warm - folks, and beware of those sneaky icy spots.)

Anyway - what might be hiding in a large doored desk space?
*Paper patterns for making model horse saddles. I haven't made a saddle for years and years - but I couldn't quite toss those - so off to a different paper bay they go.
*Way too many commercial/fund-raising "to do" list lists. They are now in the paper drawer... awaiting decision as to fate.
*Notes taken from internet information about my hometown, Gurney, Wisconsin.
*Heavy cardboard tube holding thin sheet of pure silver - once again, from those saddle-making days. Todd took it away. It's somewhere else. That's all I know.
*Weirder, still, a large black Coach purse - stashed behind a wall of papers - for TEN years. Yes, I own too many Coach purses - never noticed it missing. It contained one dollar, an assortment of Sharpies and other pens, a few seriously outdated coupons, a list of goals from April 2003 - some of which have still not been accomplished, and small bits of this and that. It's now hanging in the closet with the other lovely purses. (Most of the time I use an un-named black leather  purse-backpack that would have been a one dollar garage-sale purchase - except that as I was handing the lady the dollar she said, "Oh, just take it." O.K., and thank you.)

Today's fifteen minutes? Who knows?

Another Thank You goes to the guy on the phone from the Wisconsin Tax Office who patiently helped me through this year's tax filing. I sent him kisses through the phone after all was done and done. Last year I blew two hours attempting to submit information, and then simply wrote a letter, printed the forms, and wrote a check. Learned last year not to leave everything to last possible moment. It might cause stress which might affect tinnitus. Woo hoo. Yesterday was better.

So, on to the day.

 Don't leave most stuff till the last moment.
 Put a list of goals somewhere where you can find it several years later.
Do something for a little while almost every day. Accomplishments might add up!

Tomorrow? Possibly, Lesson on making Kale Chips.

"Energy and persistence conquer all things." - Benjamin Franklin


Pitched many paper pieces, but many still to go.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Desk and Journals 5 - I Digress

Not to worry.

 Desk is getting cleaner and piles are getting leaner. Fifteen minutes a day most days. I have found things that I certainly thought were somewhere else. Woo hoo! A gentleman will probably get a requested custom drawing two years after he brought up the idea. But then slips of paper are found that remind me of lost opportunities not acted upon. ACT UPON YOUR OPPORTUNITIES! That's a major point I make when talking to folks, especially youthful sorts, just beginning their business days in the creative world. Argh, I think as long-gone possibilities get pitched into the trash. One can cross fingers that new chances keep coming, and that one does learn from mistakes (laziness, carelessness, not following through promptly).

As to digressing - well, LOTS more paper is piled in the studio. Not willy-nilly, but piled none-the-less. As vacation from desk duties I recently sorted through one small filing/piling section of a metal shelving  area. Deciding Keep, Try to Sell, Definitely Toss about each sheet of paper is good practice. I don't know how long it took but we now have one empty tray. Baby steps. Baby steps. Rejoice in the empty tray! Seriously. If you clean an area down to Empty - REJOICE! Look at this space with Joy. If possible, don't fill it with anything for a day or two. It is a space for New Possibilities. Let it rest empty and clean.  Till you need it for it's new purpose - and that space will be available. Yippee!

Of course, the painful part is parting with the Tossing Pile of papers. This must be done. I tend to apologize to particular drawings and sentences that are now too weak to stay around. These are personal judgement calls; your decisions will differ from mine. I might covet a scrap from your pile. I know some folks don't like it when I tell them of my drawn and quartered bears. But it has to be done. Here's the stuff heading for re-cycling. I still have mixed emotions.

Goodbye, O.K. but not great bear ideas. Goodbye, poor prototypes. I'm glad you all came out of the pen, but it's time for us all to move on.

That's it for today. It's almost time to start applying for art fairs. It's time to consider trying new venues and dropping others. Time to cross fingers that we get back into our favorite shows. Time to get back in  to the studio and create fresh work. Tough to think about Color when the days have been so Grey. Literally. If the old lawn chairs were not robin's egg blue  the whole backyard would be monochrome. Time to get back to the desk and journals challenge. And for you to get back to tasks both creative and fun.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Desk and Journals - 4: Leaves

Greetings -

Miles Davis and crew are playing "So What?" The kitchen air is filled with "So What?" My head is cymalling along. The outside air is still dark. The light box is providing light. Great music and good light. I'm trying to make the head create thoughts. Oh, yes, leaves.

Yesterday I made two small useful Junk Drawer Journals. Found, in another household drawer, the un-dyed waxed linen thread left from model horse tack making days. Ya never know. So now instead of being stitched into tiny saddles the thread is being stitched into little books. If you find yourself moving from one life to another consider leaving some evidence around concerning that previous life. Photos, journals, bits and pieces to remind you that those years have been lived. (If I don't write it down or take a picture or make a sketch - poof! - that day is gone.)

The camera and computer are not getting along right now (sparing you boring shots of small useful journals) so here are some other leaves for the day.

Begonia leaf and vertebrae from our patio terrace garden. It was a bad year for the begonias. I don't know why. None of them thrived, and though the leaves were beautiful, I'd have wished for tad better blooms. This year holds the consideration -  do we plant tuberous begonias....? We shall see. The bones in the garden came from a Minneapolis yard sale many years ago. They are part of the garden now. Mostly hidden in high Summer, but always there. They stay to remind us of many things. To provide some minerals for gnawing rodents. To make a composition for the camera. I've drawn bones often. They can offer more variety and detail than the brain, pen, and paper might want to handle. Nature is that way. The more you look the more you see. Keep looking.

Yes, last year's garden again. All leaves. Lots of thriving. If there are bones here, I've not seen them. The "bones" that were left were the tough stalks of Russian Sunflowers (thrived) and the tougher stalks of Brussel Sprouts that, sadly, did not thrive. We were spoiled by the amazing Year of Tomatoes and Basil. There is no evidence of the bounty now. But some images make the mind know that there is hope for the coming Summer; if not in all aspects of life, at least in the garden.

Miles is still blowing his horn and there is still lots of paper in the desk drawer. Leaving the typing now to meet the morning. It's light enough now to see the outlines of the evergreens.

On to the morning. On to the day. On to another cup of minty tea. Thanks, Miles, for making your tunes. It's time to do something of note ourselves now. On to it!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Desk and Journals - 3

Today I heard a doctor say something I never thought I'd hear a doctor say. It was concerning being able to see my heart beat in my chest. "You are a thin person," she said. Not that this stops the constant ringing buzzing in my head - but some days ya take what you can get. And she also said, "Your heart is really good." Yup. So here goes Appreciating my Really Good Heart constantly rattling in my skull. Ye ha!

On to other stuff. Also thinner are the widths of paper piles on and in The Desk. Hooray for Recycling. And putting things in more proper places.

One half of shelf section is almost paper-free. Whee?!? How are your piles and stacks doing? Just asking.

There is even less a papered area now. Several non-current receipt books have found their way to an Old Business part of the house, and some quotes on scraps have been written in journals. It's hard for me to toss an original scrap, but it seems that the more one tosses the easier tossing becomes. Whew.

My newest audio-visual treat is "Downton Abbey" on Netflix. Still working through Season One. Stitched a small journal while semi-paying-attention to current episode. I don't care about following every little detail of the series, so can follow along well enough to multi-task a bit.

A minor miracle of Junk Drawer doings: Tyler needed card-stock strips for a piece of full-sized body armor he's making. Yes, paper body armor. Man-sized. Anyway, in the Paper Drawer were many many many strips of card-stock - saved from greeting card adventures. Here ya go, Tyler Lad, and thanks for asking! One STILL cannot tell that we have removed any paper from that drawer........ It's like the magic porridge pot that keeps filling up on it's own. I am not even smiling as I type this.

For a change of pace - here's a cranky bossy bear that came alive during Tara and my latest visit to The Bikery. (Pre-last-Saturday's-Green-Bay-Packers loss....) I was playing with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Finally getting somewhat comfortable using it. I don't know who she is - but I did get the message.

Simply - MAKE A DIFFERENCE. You know how best in your world. I'm still figuring how best in mine.

Now it's time to send some greeting cards and magnets to Stone Fern Gallery in scenic Stockholm, Wisconsin. Then maybe pick up a pastel stick and make a few marks. you'd be surprised at how infrequently that gets done lately. No excuse. The stuff is sitting on the studio table. "Pick me!" "Oh, please pick me! You know how much you like Orange..." "What about me?" "Are you ignoring ME for a reason???" Scary when art supplies start speaking to a person.

On to the ringy chingy day. On to putting that Good Heart to better use.

Oh, and we still love you, Green Bay Packers.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Desk and Journals - 2

We love Progress.
We have made Progress.
 No, you can't tell that many sheets of paper or missing from the scrap paper drawer. Only evidence is a plastic bag of folded sheets AND one completed journal. Woo hoo. It's an ugly journal, but functional, and kind of cute in a 'Why did you stitch gold jump rings along the spine?" sort of way. The jump rings are FOR FUN. And to use them up. They are from twenty-plus years of making model horse tack. Yes, twenty- plus. And there are LOTS of little bits (literally) and things still around in nooks, crannies, and plastic containers. One container has been on my desk for nineteen years. It still holds tiny leather laced reins, waxed linen thread, needles, thimbles, and more miscellaneous stuff than I care to relate. But fewer gold jump rings than it held yesterday. Hooray!

Work in progress. I told you it was ugly. But the paper will hold words and sketches and that's what counts.

Here it is a bit more completed:

The two ribs are card stock trimmed from various cards. Couldn't throw those away. Can't use them all for tiny grocery lists. So they've been glued and stitched to be functional and decorative. Bland, yes, but we'll call it "Subtle." Later I plan to rubber stamp text on cover. It's not thrilling - but it's done. Yes, a small deed done. Junk Drawer Journal Number 1.

Progress has been made on cleaning/organizing desk, too. Yahoo! Escaped photos and some papers are back in their proper containers. Do not ask about the large Eye looking down. Our house has things in it that have no good answers. I still miss the small plastic Glinda the Good Witch standing atop a jar containing a small preserved scorpion. This sat on a kitchen shelf for some many years, but is gone now. Mysteries....

Two days ago I attacked the upper right-hand shelf. Small progress - but progress. Any clear space is lovely to see. And to dust. Found tiny journals that had only a few sentences. They were moved to bookcase journal section. Found art fair application forms from 2010. Recycling these, among lots of other paper bits. We will NOT be found dead under piles of tiny paper bits. At least not this year!

So, more baby steps.

And much more to do. (Should have turned the Yellow ducky around so it could have a quack with Frida Kahlo.) And, yes, I still have stray Brett Favre trinkets here and there. But now one can see wood and space and hope. And the possibility for tea.

Hmm. Tea. Yes, it's tea time again. No, the lovely rice-ware pot won't be put to use. A bag of herbal something will get plunked into a mug of micro-waved water. But friend, Karen, has sent some wonderful teas from New Zealand and that old pot from college days will soon be put to use. Might have to empty it of other mysterious contents first. Oh well. Just part of the price of this on-going Challenge.

Hoping yours is going well. Yes? No? Maybe? Back to it? Always, back to it. With frequent breaks for real life.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Challenge 1 - Desk and Journals - Day 1 and 2

I do not hoard paper.
I do not hoard paper.
I do not hoard paper.

However, It's really hard to toss away, however small, a piece of paper. The one that has no marks on it. the one that's scrap from trimming paper. One that's big enough for a tiny drawing or a short sentence.

These all head for one drawer in my work desk. This drawer is very full.

I'm not over-fond of the term "lightbulb moment" - but recently, while still in bed trying not to hear my head ding, well, I had one.  Not lightbulbs but scrap papers morphing into a bunch of small journals! Simple stab binding "books" of many shapes and sizes.  Yes! Rid drawer of stash. Make semi-useful items. Use some. Give others away. Another Challenge. I (we?) need another challenge...

Well, a combination of challenges. Back to the desk. This antique kitchen work desk has been in our home for nineteen years. It is my friend. It saw me through most of my model horse tack making career - the plastic box in the back still holds remnants of this former life. It's convenient and well-used. 30 Day Challenge - clean and organize this paper magnet once again. Year Challenge - keep it clean and organized. And create tiny tomes from it's many mysteries hidden within those drawers and doors.

On to it. January 2nd - the Adventure begins! Because this cannot take up the day I decided set a time limit of from 15 minutes to one hour to choose, trim, or fold papers. And/or attack desk clutter. Make this Fun. Remember to make this Fun. Come to the doing Joyously. Consider the "baby steps" in actual inches. If a cliche must be used use one. "Remember the pyramids weren't built in a day." Remember this desk won't be cleaned in a day. And have a vision of final outcome. On to it!

So - here we are so far. A variety of folded paper papers - different sizes, different weights, different textures. All in one plastic bag - waiting for the next move.

I don't have any great hopes for making this paper into anything but functional bundles of repurposed pages. But the drawer will be be lighter, and maybe some of the completed pieces will lighten the heart of a person or thirty. There are red adhesive hearts in one desk drawer - among other Decorative Mysteries. Hmmmm. Time to start Day Three.

A 30 Day Challenge can be a marvelous attempt. YOU know what your choices are. Choose one. It's only 30 days - but it IS 30 days. Or start shorter and create a 10 Day Challenge. It will add a bit of spice/purpose/reason to get up in the morning to the day.

If you complete a challenge let me know. You could receive a useful journal in which to document your next Challenge!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Greetings -
Every day holds many challenges. This morning I'm trying to ignore the every-ringing chinging head. Time to start Year Two of let's diagnose this thing already!

But enough about reality. Here's a scribble about Possibilities. Dare today to write down two or ten things you'd love to try in this new year. Then do at least one. Report back on your experience. Or simply do it and then tell a friend or stranger. Inspiration comes in many forms. Be that pat on the back for somebody else, and hope that if you need one, it comes along at the right time.

On to adding to the joys of the universe! And time to cross "blog" off the list for today. On to "eat better" and "call Mom."

Happy January 2nd! Time to spend an hour with the pastels. And thank Todd for fixing the microwave.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another Attempt at A New Year

Happy January 1, 2013!
 Yup. We've made it to a new morning, and with luck, we'll make it to the next and next.

Watching The Rose Parade for a few minutes. In younger days the HORSES were what I waited for, and they were the groups that seemed to usher in every commercial break. Sigh. Now, as a gardener I pay attention a bit more to the vegetation.

This past year held a new sort of artful fun. My friend, Karen, joined the Facebook group Art Abandonment, and so I followed her lead.

As it says in one of their tags - "Art Abandonment is a group designed to encourage random acts of art, left in various locations around the globe."

Today I left a greeting card at the local McDonalds. One has to give up caring about the outcome of the deed and just go ahead and do. It's fun to sneak something somewhere in hopes of making someone smile or laugh or know that "You CAN get something for nothing." And we abandoners get the joy of giving a tiny bit back to this great big tiny world.

Here's an example of another recent leaving. Some folks leave birdhouses in trees. Some folks leave comforting goodies in hospitals. There are no particular rules. I've sent things to friends to leave where-ever they choose. It's fun to share the adventure!

So, on to this day, week, month, and year. This is the first year in for-ever that "lose weight" is not a goal, but "try to get a correct diagnosis" is. Some things are more organized; others still need work. Want to get more artistic work done in the studio, as well as cull images used for cards and magnets. It's tough to say "toodle-loo" to some oldies but we have to make room for new possibilities. And of course the "culls" will still be useful as beauties to be abandoned! Win win?

I still want to encourage you all to do something you love doing, and perhaps find joy in a new adventure. A banjo is sitting in the bedroom wanting to be strummed. I will be brave in the attempt - ha!
If you USED to like to draw or write or paint or sing - this is the year to start doing it again.

So, this is it for the first post of the new year. If you'd like to join in the Art Abandonment adventure check out:

See ya there?