Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting waxy

Taught a wonderful encaustic class on Saturday to a group of talented ladies from all parts of the Pacific Northwest. On the hottest day of the year so far, we fired up the griddles, skillets and heat guns and began playing with lucious-smelling beeswax.

We worked diligently, despite the heat, inspired by the creative studio at Collage. Nine of us gathered together in this cozy space to make art and getting to know one another. The synergy of shared ideas is always amazing.

And such beautiful art we created!! The finished works belied the simple ingredients...a bit of collage and found objects, a little bit of oil stick and colored wax...and of course, the beautiful surfaces created with foil, gold leaf and transfers...I just can't get enough of this wax! I was so impressed with the finished works. Thank you all for coming!

At the end of the day we go our separate ways and I reluctantly gather up the tools and supplies. Time to pack it all carefully in a suitcase or stop, Australia!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Plucky Maidens

Maria Raliegh of Collage and her friend, Pam Fromuth of One Gal's Trash, got together this weekend to put on Plucky Maidens Junk Fest. Who could resist checking out an event with a name as enticing as this? Visions of vintage finds danced through my head as I rushed to get from work to their event at McMenamin's Edgefield in Troutdale, OR. And the event did not disappoint my anticipation.

Dozens of booths filled with vintage goodies were scattered beneath the trees. No matter what direction you looked, there were treasures to be found and my brain filled with ideas of how each item could be used in my art or simply brought home as a sort of trophy to look at lovingly while it gathers dust (as many of my finds do while I decide what kind of art I can make with them).

Live music drifted through the air while I shopped each booth, making for a relaxed atmosphere.

The wares were displayed in groupings that begged to be photographed and preserved.

Sonja and Diane from Collage!

The entrance to McMenamims Edgefield. Created in 1911, as a "poor farm" in Multnomah County, and now preserved as an eclectic hotel with art on each door, restuarants, a movie theater, golf course, brewery and winery and so much more! I stayed here once several years ago and fell in love with the place. What a perfect venue for vintage event!

I held on to my money...Australia is just around the corner and that's my priority for now. But never fear...The Plucky Maidens have two more events planned for November and April!! I will definitely be there!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A New Old House

For ten years I have come home to a tired green house and felt tired just looking at it. I tried a dozen different color combinations, but nothing worked with the dark green shingles on the roof until I brought home this warm olive green. And twelve trim color samples later, I had this dark purple that was perfect. Then there was getting the paint on the house. A few weeks of prep work, cleaning and repairs. And finally the paint went on. This weekend and last, my son Tim, his girlfriend Sarah and I worked from dawn to dusk and while not completely done, we are almost there.

I could never have done this without their help. This was a joint enterprise that brings home to my heart the value of family and friends to see you through the tough times and celebrate the successes in your life with laughter and a shoulder to lean on. Thanks to you both!!! Here is Sarah putting on some finishing touches.

And Tim high up on the ladder painting the eaves while Sarah holds the ladder.

Oh, and the lamps....I bought these lamps to install last year. When we took the old lamps off, we realized the electrical boxes were not installed correctly and the lamps did not fit. Tim managed to invent an alternative way to install the lamps and up they went.

And of course there has to be a site foreman. She carefully supervised us from the livingroom window to make sure we did the job right and stayed on task. I came home today and it was like coming home to a brand new house. Now for the interior paint...

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Change in Pace

There comes a time in everyone's life where the focus and pace begins to move in a different direction and speed. One day you wake up and the world has changed, the air carries the fragrance of change and the pallette you've used to paint your hope and dreams suddenly contains very different colors. No matter how hard you try to hold on to the life you loved, change will prevail.

And as much as I long for my old life, I am also drawn to the challenge of change. When your life is irrevokably changed, how do you close the door behind you and find a new path? How do you successfully balance the passions of your life with the more mundane needs to work and keep a roof over your head, and still have time to sleep? On some days it's incredibly hard...and on other days impossible. And yet the challenge draws me forward.

Tonight, as I walked by the beautiful Lacamas Lake, I was filled with gratitude for the evening that unfolded before me. The lake was calm and full of yellow blooming lily pads that supported a chorus of frogs. The full moon smiled through a tangerine blue sky while a rowboat gently rocked in the water. My soul was filled with peace... and I realized how many times I've been blessed by these moments that vanquish worry and sorrow and make me glad to be alive. It is in moments such as these that I have faith that no matter the circumstances, my feet will find the right path to journey into my tomorrows.