LAVENDER

I have as much lavender growing in my little gardens as I can fit in them. The scent soothes going straight to my core. I rub it’s oils under my nose, as well as the sage and mint. Nature’s perfume! Lavender is an anxiety reliever, sage boosts happiness and mint relieves headaches. Though I’m not prone to those, I love mint anyway. 

I made several mosaics depicting lavender. Blue tiles were soaked in purple paint. One finished piece with an 8 sided frame went to my daughter-in-law, another to my massage therapist whose logo is a bouquet of lavender, one to Don, the father-like brother, and one for me…

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GUITAR PLAYERS

Cory, my son, and my nephew, are both excellent guitar players. So I made two of these and in addition a guitar for Cory. I find fitting silhouettes on google images. Cory enlarges them from wherever he may be living at the time; Albany, Hartford, London, now Boston. Some of my projects spit off 4-6 pages from the printer that I tape together to make the whole. 

I love the internet. That Cory can do this from wherever in the world he may be astounds and delights me. Any time I have an issue with my computer we screen share. Or, more accurately, I allow him control of my computer and he fixes it as we talk on the phone at the same time. I watch as he handles my mouse and it just whizzes. Then voila! Repaired.

All three of these pieces are large and took his skills to make templates for. I then tape trace, cut. The first tiles used here are thick. I learned in later batches to roll thinner.  which encourage more intricate designs. 

 

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The GUITAR is a conglomeration of Grandma’s jewelry, old guitar pegs, hand-made bowls, hand-made tiles, and old broken kitchen bowls. My ancient macrame’ skills came in handy for the strap elaborated with beads. The guitar strings are totally beaded. This project was a lot of fun, and is the size of a real guitar. 

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CINDY’S POOL DAY

We fill up her little pool, but brrr, it’s like ice. So let’s just dip our feet!

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What? You want to go in just to walk around? OK. 

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Your shorts are getting wet? Do you want to put on your suit?

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Time to warm up!

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Paint the sidewalk with water!

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Call me weird, but I fell in love with the sink at the hotel in Niagara Falls…

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BALLERINA’S

Made for a Christmas gift for my newest daughter-in-law, Cory’s wife. She has danced since childhood. I love ballet. As a child I longed to take lessons but never did. Making this made me feel as I were fulfilling my childhood dream. I felt in the body of the figure I was making. After finishing her piece, I made a pair to hang in our bathroom.

This is the start of rolling out my own tiles with a giant rolling pin. The glazing process worked fine because the tiles lay flat. The tutu’s are removable. 

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OLDER MOSAICS

These pieces were made when I first started, using the bowls that had glazed to the kiln shelf walls. They are all very heavy. New pieces are much lighter as I have control over how thick I roll out the slabs. 

My first piece. It is so heavy that if it ever fell it would kill us both!

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BLUE MOON-given to Cory for his graduation.

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THE DOVE OF PEACE

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The ‘Winter of My Discontent’, during my mother’s decline in ’09.
Almost 2′ X 3′. She loved flowers too. 

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The Tree of Life- made for my niece,

a massage therapist who lost her life from drugs when oh so very young.

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In the summer of mourning and recovery of ’09 from my mother’s death in May, I scoured the the beach in 90 degree temps. I meandered the shore amongst sea gulls gathering their soft plumes- they didn’t seem to mind. The stifling heat matched my internal grief, and in the way only nature can, gave some respite from the pain. This is another huge and heavy piece.

I learned the hard way to always use a border color that opposes the subject in hue. These colors are too close, otherwise the butterfly would pop out to the eye like it should. 

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Take any circular ring and set it on paper. The shadow makes a heart. This was done with my ring!

ALONE

 

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Samuel leaves for work, I am alone. I remind myself that I’m not lonely, I’m alone. And not alone really because now I have myself. I am the one with me from birth to death. I still deal with feelings such a sadness, like the loss of my Mother seven years ago this same season, the Spring of May.

And the loss of my friend, Sue. Returning to my computer, after re-filling my coffee, its slide-show flashed a photo of her. She died three years ago at only 68 after five years of remission from breast cancer. Seeing her happy smile with her dog and grand-son shining through the window made me remember and smile. Her husband had died from an accident only nine months prior to her death. 

My friend Mary, who lives down the road, introduced me to her. I organized a group of women who meet monthly rotating whose house to meet at each month. That has been going on for for well over ten years. We do crafts, or play cards, munch on snacks, of course chat and catch up, and the hostess serves dessert at the end.

The hours fly by. Mary encouraged me to invite Sue, but I wouldn’t, hesitant to upset the working balance of personalities that got along. And for many months I resisted until finally relenting. 

What took me so long? Sue suffered a rape in childhood which I didn’t know until she joined. Unlike me, she was very upfront about it. Hers occurred by the stranger off the street, not the usual way as statistics support, a family member or friend of the family.

It is easier to talk about it if it’s a stranger; easier and more acceptable. And it shouldn’t be. Being hit by a Mack Truck is being hit by a Mack Truck. But her family handled it very much the same; they provided no support. You tough it out. She was expected to NOT mention it and go on as if nothing had ever happened. 

I noticed in our gatherings, until she became more comfortable, how groups of people made her highly anxious and she wanted escape. I noticed many similarities that made me feel deeply connected to her. And her to me.

She lived in the neighboring town, emailed me chatty news regularly, called on occasion just to talk and we often met outside of the monthly gatherings. Over a period of five years a friendship developed unlike all others. Then?

Gone. Just like that. 

That is why to cherish each day.

Cherish that I have a home, a husband, two sons I am close and connected to, two grand-children I adore, and maybe most cherished of all is that I have found home inside me. I feel settled even amidst those times in-between when I’m not because I come back ‘home.’

For most of my life I lived in upset, disconnected to my source, or center. Flying parts couldn’t be contained. I felt scorching loneliness clawing from the inside out, desperate for a family who wouldn’t have me as I am. I had to pretend, so I did.

And as long as I pretended to be what they were able to live with so the truth didn’t upset them, I did not have me. I found myself hiding deep. I went deep to find those parts that made me me, connecting the flying parts; here is home. I am so grateful to feel wholeness. Because since age 8, I never did feel whole again until I found and owned all of me.

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Morning at the Falls

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Samuel is still sleeping. I slip out gently closing the door at 6:30 am coffee in hand. As I  walk down the slope, spray from the Falls tickles my face. The street is lined with casino’s and attractions, but soon turns into a grassy park adorned with gardens full of tulips, red and yellow. I cross the road and sit on a bench breathing in the American Falls, quite astounding with the morning sun above it.

How I love this morning all on my own while all others are sleeping, except a few joggers and this odd man dressed in black hitting himself on the back in a weird type of exercise routine. The birds sing sweet songs in harmony with sounds of rushing water.

I am piqued by the thought implanted yesterday as we stood mesmerized by the hypnotic spell the Horseshoe Falls held us in, her power dropping over the edge before us. The woman next to me responded to my saying how relaxing it was with, “Yes, but think of the power and force of it.”

And that is so true, and something I’m lacking…peace and power. I awake from a dream where I am both—own both; I possess love and force, or love and power. And that is OK. That is what I’m missing. Boundaries. Others have it. They possess it naturally. Mine was taken. But this is something I can have back. I cannot restore everything, but in this I can. I can be at peace with power.  

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