Archive for the ‘Journaling’ Category

I’ve always had a thing for eyes, but the recent rip in my hippie skirt has inspired me to explore them more.

Why is it that I have such a thing for them? I love the shape and colors of the round evil eye protectors. As a child, I was fascinated with the idea that we needed protection from eyes. Later, as an adult, I had an experience where the groom of my best friend would not look me in the eye the day of their wedding. It was a bad sign.

Eyes are entrances into the heart. You can tell a lot by looking straight into them.

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I am nearly always behind in my postings. What I worked on tonight has nothing to do with this post. What I am currently working on is drying, needing stitchery, etc…

This batch are some of my first art journal entries. I am so so about journaling. It is scary and tiring pushing your inner critic aside. I was thinking that if I could keep the process up, journals would be a great place to experiment. And since I am me, I must commit myself to exercises that will supposedly help me understand the craft.

I chose Juliana Coles’ “Extreme Journalism” as my introduction, in part because sparkleface references her and I have a huge flickr favorite crush on sparkleface.

I feel that it is important that I share my blach creations along with my favorites. Hopefully, it will help others tell their inner critic to leave them be. I know that my failures help me with the next step in my creative process and there are moments when I see my shit pieces influence future amazingness. That’s how it goes.

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Inspired by the journal pages that Wendy Brightbill makes with cardboard, I made and mailed out the following cards:

I made them pretty quickly and wasn’t as methodical with my paper and paint chaos as I usually am. I really like using cardboard even though I am not quite sure how I am feeling about these.

I was beating myself up about whether these pieces were good or not, when I found a quote on Keri Smith’s blog. I am copy and pasting the whole thing I like it so much:

Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping,…Stop it and just DO!…

Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety…

You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!…

Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be…

I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before your work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself.

excerpted from a letter from Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse (via Keri Smith)

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I love my partner. Our last day in British Columbia, the day we were heading back, she took the long way home and did all of the driving all so that I could ride the ferry across Kootenay Lake.

The last time I crossed this lake by ferry was a few years ago after I had been to a local ashram. I gave someone a ride and I remember her doing sun salutations on the ferry. Then when we arrived in Balfour, we stopped by the jewelry stand of a man from Quebec and we were all able to communicate in French. Not something I could even hope to experience just a few miles south.

This is why I love going north to Canada. It gives my world a needed dusting off shake.

I made a few postcards while traveling. I haven’t sent any out yet. I am not even sure who to send them to. Fun. I generally don’t do landscapes; but British Columbia and my out of the U.S. at least temporarily experience were enough to inspire me.

I am in awe of the views and perspectives of my mountain views as well as the depths both physical and otherwise.

I love you dear dear world.

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It’s kind of funny. After every recent post, wordpress sends me a a message giving me tips on how to increase my readership. Oh, whatever. Yes, I know that my readership is scant. The ego in me that listens to popular opinion does care about public opinion. The other fluctuating 70% could care less.

So, what have I been up to? I have taken a leave of absence from my PhD program. I am 43 years old. I have lived all over the world and have given my heart to my social justice focused work. I have been the director of a program that many feminists give money to without even questioning.  And yet, within my program and university I cannot find an assistantship.

Last spring, when I was at my lowest, a dear friend of mine encouraged me to apply for a part time bilingual position where she worked. If it wasn’t for the deep respect that I have for her, I probably wouldn’t have. But, I am glad that I did. For the record, people who are actually doing social justice work get more points in my book than those that merely talk about it.

Not that I do not still struggle and wonder what my next step will be. I do truly wish that I could be working on my Ph.D.  Perhaps I will, but at this point, I hold little hope. I am open to suggestions.

Honestly, all that I want to do after a hard day of trying to ensure housing for someone is journal, make mail art, and cook yummy meals for my female sweetheart. I haven’t even been going to my community’s recent progressive demonstrations even though I believe in them.

As two people that I care about recently said: “I do community service all day. That’s all that I can do. After my eight hours, all I want to do is retreat.”

I have summarized their words in my own, but I doubt that they would disagree.

I have also been working through my feelings. It may take me a year to work through what happened to me in six months.

My collages are moments in this process.

Excerpts from my first brown paper bag book:

Two art journal pages:

Thank you to Michael Franti for his help through this process.


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I’ve been making less postcards and journaling more. It gives me an opportunity to explore different techniques without having to have a finished product that is “mailable.” I haven’t had many journaling or generally making days in awhile. Tomorrow will be an opportunity. I will hopefully make the best of it.

I made this page a few weeks ago.

The stacked rocks are a common sight on hikes here in this area. The first time I saw stacked rocks was in Austin, TX. But they are regular occurrences on hikes and nature walks here in Spokane.

This page has another significance. It was my last bike ride on my red bike with the plastic green basket. My dear friend S. and I biked at least 35 miles along the Spokane river. I came home, locked my bike up in the backyard, went on my trip to Yakima, and when I came back my bike and my partner’s were stolen.

Rather disconcerting having someone come into your private backyard space. They came prepared with lock cutters which means a previous reconnaissance mission.


Sorry for the harsh language.

I went to a really cool DIY bike shop in town and bought a new used bike. I put the pedals on myself. I needed mine to commute to work and did not want to wait but we’ve been talking about taking the time to make my partner E’s bike ourselves. I’d like to. My brief pedal replacement was humbling and fun.

I hate the idea that someone is roaming around our backyard uninvited. E’s been freaking out replacing locks in the house.

I’m a social worker for goodness sakes. I could have very likely talked to the thieves on the phone and gone out of my way to help them.

People tell me it is the bad economy. Others say it is because youth have nothing to do over the summer. I just think of the reasons why someone would feel the need to steal two bikes that together, were probably not worth one hundred dollars. A meal? A hit? A short moment of fun? And being me, I think of those who are currently making many thousands, millions, and even billions over one hundred dollars, that small yet increasing percentile who are living beyond anyone’s yet imaginable material expectations.

The gap between those who have and those who don’t is deeper than it has ever been. It is those of you who live with so much more than you need, more than the one time hit seeker who stole our bikes, that I blame for the loss of my cheap but well loved bike.

To you I yell out an even huger:


Note: I edited out the expletives. I was a bit angry last night. I still am but I decided to rid my post of expletives.

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