Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Creative Juice Spring Retreat

Last weekend I attended the Creative Juice Retreat in Adams County.  Creative Juice is a group of freelancers that meets once a week to discuss creative endeavors and last week we took a trip to the country to decompress, hike, create, and relax. 

The trip was amazing and I can't put into words how much I love these women.  As I started looking through the photos, words kept popping into my head to describe both the weekend and the women so I added them to the photos.

On our trip we enjoyed hiking and exploring the property on the farm.

It was also a weekend for crafting and creating.  Terri brought these beautiful cigar boxes to make plein air pochade boxes. 

We also made ribbon flowers while chatting about boys.  There is nothing better than having good conversation while your hands are busy creating.

On our hikes we collected specimens for still life watercolors, but  I ended up drawing Christina while she sketched me.  You can see my sketch below and Christina's sketch here.

These weekends are also known for good eating.  Below you can see the beautiful kebabs Christina made for our dinner.

I had to include this short video of the tadpoles we found.  There were so many of them and just staring down at them moving around and gulping for air filled me with awe, wonder and a sense of being alive.

We weren't sure if it was still morel season, but Margot-the-Morel-Finder had keen eyes and found two.  Terri, who used to be a personal chef, chopped them and sauteed them in butter and they were delicious!

Every time I have ever gone on a retreat I am amazed at the deep connections that are possible to make with this world, with others, and with myself. The experience can be life changing if you allow it.

“What I want is to open up. I want to know what’s inside me. I want everybody to open up. I’m like an imbecile with a can-opener in his hand, wondering where to begin – to open up the earth. I know that underneath the mess everything is marvelous. I’m sure of it.

I know it because I feel so marvelous myself most of the time. And when I feel that way everybody seems marvelous… everybody and everything… even pebbles and pieces of cardboard… a match stick lying in the gutter… anything… a goat’s beard, if you like. That’s what I want to write about… and then we’re all going to see clearly, see what a staggering, wonderful, beautiful world it is.” -Henry Miller

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wool Felted Orange Tabby Cat

About a month ago my friend Margot came over and we had a night of crafting, chit chat, and video watching.  At first I worked on a linocut project but then Margot handed me a fistful of wool and said, "Make something!".  I had never done needle felting before and she taught me how to repeatedly jab a barred needle into the felt to form it and make it harder.  It is awesome because you can add colors and other forms to your object easily by just jabbing the needle to make the connection. 

At first my attempts looked like a sad white embryonic form.  But as I kept working it and adding color it began to take shape. I even added stripes a couple weeks later after my friend Sari loaned me some darker orange wool.  You can see my inspiration below.

This photo shows the stripes I added to the back of the head.

One day George came down the stairs to find Otus batting something around.  He thought it was just one of the usual "mousy mouses" that frequently lie about the house mostly abandoned until someone wants attention.  But when he looked closer he found Otus had claimed my wool felted masterpiece as a toy!  Once he pried it out of Otus's little paws he could see it was mostly intact but with a bit of orange missing.  Repair work was done and we now keep our wooly orange boy up high out of reach and this makes someone sad and bored.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Goodness me!

I have been tired lately....but the other day I decided to take a short walk around the block.  As I was coming down the hill back towards my house I had the most beautiful thought that the energy from every single red bud bloom was filling me up.  It felt wonderful and I felt happy to be out walking on a cold spring day.

I also just finished reading Mary Reed's book, the Unwitting Mystic: Evolution of the Message of Love.  It is a book about a woman who had an executive career in the world of non-profit healthcare that began having mystical experiences.  She ultimately ended up in a Buddhist nunnery in India sitting with the 17th Karmapa (future Dalai Lama).  Her book has a beautiful, uplifting message and I felt invigorated reading her words.  The book reminded me that there is goodness in this world...that "I am goodness"...and that "I want to BE all that I Am!"

At some point while writing this blog entry I realized the wisdom of her words and the joy of these pink blossoms share the same message.