Archive for the ‘Life’ Category


I bought an iphone last week. I had gotten to the point where my dinosaur of a phone often did not have a signal and where it was taking me forever to tap out a simple text. Plus, I wanted to play with photo apps. As you will see below, I have been having a lot of fun experimenting with them.

Here’s my messy art desk transformed by the tiny planet and pixlromatic apps:

I used pixlromatic and duomatic apps for these:

These photos are bittersweet for me. I ended up cleaning my art desk up today, putting my sewing machine underneath the desk, putting my collage items back in drawers, and my paints away on a shelf as I prep for getting the credentials to teach ESL and for teaching Composition 101. The materials would be too much of a distraction if left out.

So, I will be slowing down on mail art at least while school is in session. I made a pile of pieces that I will send out slowly until December. I am going to try to concentrate on my classes, teaching, and a bit of iphoneography. It is hard but necessary because when I collage that is all that I do.


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After awhile it comes down to a question
of life choices not a choice between you/or her
this sea town/or that bruising city
but about putting one foot in front of the other
and ending up somewhere
that looks like home.
-Cherrie Moraga

This is one of my favorite quotes. It helps me understand why, after all of my wandering, I’ve finally begun creating some roots.

Why do I live in such a cold climate? Obviously, I feel much more connected to extremely warm ones. A trip to Vashon Island and kayaking around seals was part of the decision; amongst others, including the knowledge that a friend that I care deeply for only lives five hours away, not to mention the fact that I have finally found a place where people wear the same shoes as me.

I found my balance. I live in the progressive state of Washington, in a small poor district that votes for Democrats, in a part of the state that predominately votes Republican. After my time in places like Texas, go figure!

Enough with politics. This is the real reason. Who could not bow down to the omnipresence of such sights as this?

I never saw such peaks until my late thirties. The ones in these photos are not even that impressive. I don’t have any high quality hiking gear and cannot withstand long hikes. And so, these are not REI catalog quality photos. And yet, look. This is what is within a drive if not closer. For me, who has grown up around sunshine, beaches, heat, and large expanses of water, I am impressed.

May nature always guide us,


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I made these a few weeks ago and forgot to post them:

Can you wish so hard for spring that it will never appear?

Will spring arrive soon? Up until now it has been a hope, yet nothing that I believed would happen anytime soon. I saw a few small buds today on the barren trees.

Today I saw the first flowers of spring slowly bursting to the surface. I am afraid to be hopeful, but the signs are definitely there.

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No one would ever say that I was a patient person. I find waiting excruciating. Because of this, I find myself often in the very situation that I abhor.

Right now, I have two main concerns that are requiring me to wait. One is whether or not I will be teaching ESL next year. I just e-mailed the person in charge of this decision and I have a bit more time to wait. The other is the arrival of spring. I want it now. While I had hoped that my trips to Southern California and New Orleans would help me get through the winter, they have made me impatient for spring instead. Today was a grey dreary day, so much more so after beautifully sunny, lush, and not too hot and humid weather in New Orleans.

Boo hoo.

Anyway, here are some of my “waiting for spring” cards. Enjoy!




When Cutting

Has spring arrived where you are? Has it departed and you are moving into fall? I’d love to hear about your sagas of waiting . . .

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a big rock

My father is visiting from the East Coast of the U.S. On Saturday, we visited Steamboat Rock in Central Washington. Isn’t it amazing? I’ve been wanting to see it for long while now.

I’ve been making as usual. I sent a bunch out today. I’ll post some eventually.

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a personal pep talk

This is a card I received from Stewart Charlebois. I like the forward thinking look the young girl has. Full of hope and potential for the new year and years to come.

Hope and potential are feelings that I have been struggling with this month. As some may know, until last May I was in a Ph.D. program. Well, officially I’m still in it; but I am not sure I am going back. While I was doing fine academically, funding was a nightmare with our state’s current budget crisis. I became very deflated and depressed when I couldn’t find funding despite my skills and experience and decided to take time off to think through my path.

This is a card that I received from Helen Amyes. I think it represents my feelings of deflation pretty well.

One of the options that opened up was to get the credentials to teach ESL. I am trilingual and have spent a good deal of my life abroad or working with people from other countries. It is a world that I am comfortable in. I met with a wonderfully warm professor who encouraged me to apply to the program.

And now the application is due in a week and I have been working on the essays for a month, at a snail’s pace. There have been moments where I wonder if I really want to go through with it. I am realizing that much of this may be fear of once again finding myself putting my heart and soul into a dream only to find that my path is blocked. I don’t know if I have the energy to go through this all the time. I would rather collage, journal, and make mail art.

But, I have to at least try, right? Put myself out there, get this application done, and then go back to my visual creating.

Here I go. Next time I post, I will have the whole application done and handed in. Wish me luck!

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welcome 2012

Generally speaking, we regard discomfort in any form as bad news. But for practitioners or spiritual warriors- people who have a hunger to know what is true- feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.

-Pema Chödrön

2011 was a difficult year for me. I had been focused on a dream and was working hard to fulfill it, but was finding that external forces were making this dream difficult to achieve. I blamed myself. I experienced cycles and mixed feelings of disappointment, embarrassment, anger, depression, shame, low self-esteem as well as a good amount of negative self talk. I took a leave of absence from my PhD program to sift through my feelings and to be in an environment where I had the support that I needed. I felt like I had been intensely focused on a goal and a large gust of wind had come and knocked me off my path. I was left on the side of the road, goalless and with no plan.

All of my collaging and mail art has been so helpful to me. It has given me the opportunity to be creative and make art again as well as find a creative community with whom I can share.

Entering into 2012, I will continue making. I feel that I am just beginning to allow myself to see all that the moments of 2011 were teaching me. I have no plan except to be open to going to those uncomfortable places within myself and sitting with them, perhaps even befriending some of them along the way.



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