Thursday, May 29, 2008

Time to think about getting back

A wealth of part time jobs have filled my life, almost too much.
working 60 to 75 hours a week has kept me busy and unable to get to much of anything else. I am grateful for the work, although I am longing now for a day off, and for a "real" job where I can make enough money in just 40 hours, and where I can use my talent. It has been some time since I've been able to get into my studio, or even spend much time thinking about what comes next. There will be time for this soon, and I hope to find the time to post more regularly as well.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


A very busy week. I had spring break from school, but spent half the week looking for work, and fortunately, the second half of the week working. I did a 5 day freelance job that was really fun and helped me remember
what it is I am actually good at. Unfortunately, it is not very likely that I will be able to continue working freelance, unless more jobs come in soon. On the other hand, I have accepted a seasonal job selling plants and other gardening items. this is not a bad job, little dress code, I am selling things I can feel good about, and I am not chained to a cube!! Life could be worse. And, the best of all, I am expecting 50 degrees tomorrow!!!! Yes, Yes, Yes!!!! I'm ready to dream of the shade of green trees and long, lazy summer days. It is coming soon!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Good Day Sunshine

Even though we are still on the receiving end of snow, at least we are also getting sunshine. This is the time of year when it is hard for me to be patient. Spring teases us and I am ready to walk barefoot, sit outside in my backyard, garden and grow colorful flowers. Instead, it is still too cold to be out without a coat, and the earth lies buried under white snow. So, I'll dream about gardening and play with colourful fabrics to keep my spirits up.
I am job interviewing, not always a painless task, but after almost a year of no job, I am ready to put my shoulder to the wheel again. Yesterday, i had a pleasant interview with a woman close to my age, and much of the time it was almost more like a conversation between friends rather than a job interview. Nice.
I am also on break from classes this week, which has given me a bit of time to think about what I want to do. I've begun work on a new writing project that i am pretty excited about, and unless I end up with a possible freelance job for the rest of this week, I'll be back in my studio stitching up new designs that I have been doodling all over my journal pages. There is nothing like a new pen (especially in a fun colour like turquoise or emerald green) to bring some energy into my journal pages. I've been enjoying it immensely. When I finish the prototypes of the new designs, I'll be sure to post them. In the meantime, I think I'll find some fresh flowers to put on my desk, and clear out some of the clutter that the cold weather has left in my brain. Think Spring!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Dolls are Listed

I've begun to stock my etsy store with my dolls. I have a few listed, and will continue to list more as I have time to do the photography, and finish up with new designs. It feels great to see them filling up my store. I love how colourful the fabrics are, and I still enjoy their faces (my favourite part of making the dolls I think). I hope yoou'll stop by and check them out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow and Cold

We're still in the midst of snow and cold, I know, it is still winter. But this is the first winter in several years that has been 'normal'. I for one have become accustomed to warmer weather and less snow over the last few winters, and most especially, thaws and unseasonably warm weather ona regular basis in January and February.
This winter has been more like a 'real' winter, lots of snow, lots of cold,and in between, ice and more snow. On the other hand, being stuck indoors can be good for the work ethic and creative work. I've been writing quite a bit and enjoying time to read. I am preparing to teach my Visual Journaling workshop this Sunday, after a very busy Saturday that includes my Natural History class (4 and 1/2 hours in the morning), two birthday parties, one for a 50th, one for a 40th, and my youngest daughter's Kungfu demonstration with a large Chinese New Year feast and celebration afterwards. It should be fun, and excellent food also. Enjoy whatever is happening outside your window, whether it is cold and snowy or warm and sunny.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More cold weather in my neck of the woods, and this makes me want to stay in bed, drink cup after cup of tea and read the stack of books that have migrated to the side of my bed. Mornings feel too early (and really really cold) and evening comes quickly and is colder still. Every winter I wonder to myself about my choice to live somewhere that the temperature actually stays below zero for days on end. Fortunaely, the pay off is the fact that spring and summer, and even fall are so magnificent, they more than make up for the brief deep freeze that we endure most years. Around this time of year though, the skies are often grey, the snow that we have had is dirty and frozen into icy ruts and hills, and the heating bills are feeling monumental. I treasure the time to spend indoors daydreaming (one of my favorite activities I realize), and reading, writing or watching movies and tv. But after a few months of it, we're all abit squirrely and feeling the need to get out of our houses. Valentine's Day in climates like mine is made into a big deal, not so much because we are romantics, but because it is an excuse to dress up and get out for a few hours. I had my Valentine dinner with my sweetie on Saturday, steak and other lovely items, a red rose that managed to survive the twentyseven below zero windchill that night, and an irish coffee nightcap with good friends before we all said 'Goodnight" and hightailed it to our warm houses. Thank goodness for car heaters and gloves and boots.
Happy Valentine's Day to all of us, keep warm!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I've been writing alot recently. I am taking 2 writing classes, one in creative nonfiction and memoir, and the other called 'Writers as Readers". Both are fun, lots of reading and lots of writing. At times, the assignments begin to overlap a little. I've written several peices now about my childhood and growing up. It is astounding how the memories keep coming once I've tugged at the thread. I had never thought much about writing nonfiction and am now finding that I am really enjoying it. This is good, since I have another 2 months of classes left, and quite a bit more writing to do for them. This is a peice I wrote to describe my relationship with reading and writing.

The first book I remember
reading had a main character
named Nell.
She was a farm horse,
I was not amused.
I read everything I could get my hands on.
I read everywhere.
I read in the bathroom,
I read when I was supposed to be doing dishes,
I read hidden under my bed,
I took books out past the flowerbeds
into the wild plum brush and read.
Whatever I read,
I lived, breathed, played and dreamed.
Books were portals into other worlds
that I could escape into.
Books took me places that I had never
imagined existed.
Then, I began to write.
I wrote poems, stories, plays, books, newspapers
I wrote journals and diaries.
I wrote things that I could never say to anyone.
I wrote words that I didn’t know I knew.
I wrote about people I had never known
and places I had never been.
I wrote about worlds and art and love and living
and passion.
I wrote because I couldn’t NOT write.
Most of my childhood, my writing
and reading were seen as frivolous
and relatively unimportant by those
around me.
When I decided to be a writer
I felt as though I were staking my flag
on an undiscovered planet.
I also felt as though I had only a limited
amount of oxygen to survive.
In my early twenties,
a dream came true,
I began work at a small
publishing press.
I spent my days reading terrible
poetry sent in by 90 year old women
and ex-truck driving men.
I had to write back to them and tell them
we would not be publishing their
precious poems.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to tell them how
awful they were.
I spent my evenings trying to keep up with
alcoholic poets and writers twice my age
and tangled in the dysfunctional lives of
blocked artists.
I became a sounding board and a mirror.
I became a shadow self to diseased writers.
Eventually, I began to disappear.
During the peak of this craziness,
as I split up with my boyfriend and all
sanity fell away,
I announced to anyone who would listen that there was no future
for the printed word
and I quit my job and went to
film school.
I stopped writing.
I began to work and think and dream in visual images
and sound.
I felt as though I were swimming, submerged, drowning
and reborn.
I took photographs, made films and
created sound pieces.
I continued only to write in my notebooks.
Years passed,
I married,
had 2 children,
divorced, remarried, had 2 more children,
worked in the commercial film industry
and then
when the crossroads of Hollywood
and family appeared,
I chose my family.
I handed my camera to my husband
(who became a professional photographer in 6 months)
and juggled children and a job in a food co-op.
I stopped thinking of image making
as creative expression, it had
become a way to earn a living.
Eventually, I returned to the commercial photography
industry as a producer and stylist
and made more money than I had ever made before.
I spent this money
on books, notebooks and pens.
I began to lust after words, to yearn
for stories. I tried to write a novel
in a month,
and failed.
I tried again and failed again.
In between, I began to dabble in characters
and settings,
I began to imagine in words instead
of visual images.
I felt as though I were 75 years old
and trying to roller skate again. I could remember
the sensation of flying through a short story or poem,
of gliding through notebook after notebook of imaginative
but I needed to relearn
the craft, the effort, the work
involved in the process.
Now, I have managed to write
4 rough drafts of novels,
I have tacked a creative writing minor
onto the tail end of my filmmaking degree.
I am writing everyday.
I think my wings
are getting stronger.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Working in my studio yesterday, I am beginning some new designs for dolls and other artwork. This is a peice I finished last year, it had been started a few years ago and sat in peices, unfinished, unrealized for a long time. I loved the shape of the wood that I had used for the body, it was a peice of driftwood I found up on the north shore (Land Superior), and carried around in my car for dome time, waiting for inspiration to hit. Then, I made the basic body shape, thinking of the Sedna legends from the Arctic areas. She was a girl who ended up being dumped in the ocean, and eventually became the deep sea goddess. When she combs her hair, she releases the animals for the hunters to hunt. The face I had sculpted when I was testing different materials.
After trying a few other ideas for a head, I attatched this mask-like face, and stuck the feathers into the holes I had sculpted around the edge. It is odd how things come together somethimes that I hadn't meant to put together, but had been working on at the same time. If I hadn't had a deadline (it appeared briefly in a show last winter), I know this wouldn't have gotten finished. Deadlines are so useful, even when we fight against them. I am working at setting deadlines for myself inrelation to other parts of my life. School has been good for me to become adjusted to writing deadlines in my calendar, and pushing myself to meet them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It is the deepest dark of winter, but light is beginning to be visible on the horizon and I am feeling the slightest of stirrings within. After too much time wasted looking for a 'regular' job, I have come to the understanding that my future is heading in a different direction. I am putting together a patchwork of freelance and contract work to keep the money coming in as I finish my degree. I feel excited, but nervous about this path, but I am willing to trust that it can work. Now, I begin to take the things I have learned over the years about business and marketing and promotion and apply them to myself. It helps for me to think about how to create the life (including work) that I am interested in living instead of adjusting to the life that I have stumbled upon. In the face of sorting this out, I realize that I am willing to do almost anything (including temp work) to make this happen. Good, if I have the passion and the interest, then it is a matter of combining these with my skills and vision. And, of course, the basics of hard work and patience.