Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On racial equality

So: I am the European American mom of two Asian American children. As I stroll with them through our lives I am more conscious of inter-racial practices than I used to be.

Tell me this: have you ever told a story and if the person was a different race than you are: you mentioned it, but otherwise you didn't? Have you ever told North American History as if it started with European travels?

Here is something I would like to hear often: white people called European American as often as black people are called African American. And Asian Americans too. And European Africans, and European Australians. And on. For example: "The first president of the U.S. was a European American."

Kinda changes one's perceptions, eh?

Because I have noticed that in telling my children North American history, when I say "the Americans did thus and so", and then "the African's did..." or the "Native Americans did..." I am differentiating everybody but me. I am making everybody different but me. But we European Americans are about as different and the same as people of African American heritage, and have been hanging out on this continent a fraction of the time that Asian Americans have, to say nothing of the folk who lived here before them.

The point is that we are making uncomfortable assumptions if we qualify everyone but ourselves.

My children's racial ancestors didn't come from "away" any more than mine did.

And here is another question: If having a father who is African American makes one black, then how come having a European American mother doesn't make one white??

Just wondering.
I love quotes. I like to put them on my ATCs. My stufio has, over the years been lined with them. As a little Gregorian New Year present I am going to share a recent collection of them with you. May you have a deep and glorious 2009. Blessed Be.

(Oh. And sorry if I have quoted and not given credit: most of these came to me without an author.)

Be kinder than necessary as everyone is fighting some sort of battle of their own.

Compassion is the highest form of intelligence and the truest sign of genius.
Robin Brown

Say what you want & be who you are. Because those who mind don't matter & those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss

Don't worry what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and DO THAT.
Because the world needs people who have come alive. Howard Thurman

Take into account that great love and great achievement involve great risk.

When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R’s
Respect for self.
Respect for others.
Responsibility for all your actions.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

When you realize that you have made a mistake take immediate steps to correct it.

Spend some time alone everyday.

Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good honorable life and then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

Be gentle with the Earth.

Once a year go somewhere you have never been before.

Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Treat For You

Lisa Vollrath is an amazing woman. Check out this page for some free! Christmas time art printables! Now I have got to go and print a few myself to play with...

Wow. There is sooo much snow outside.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I have been so far away ... here are some pictures for you ...We had an ice storm. It blew out my telephone, but we kept our power. Odd thing about the beauty of events like these ... crystal shimmers on every last thing it touches, but heavy and devastating if one or another cannot hold the weight. Something here about bending under the force of it, accepting that it marks and changes us, and we unbend in the sun that melts the ice later. But refuse to let the heaviness move us and we are liable to snap.

Can our homes melt ice we refuse to bring inside? Can Love heal a wound we hide?

It is time. It is time.

May you have some peaceful quiet this Solstice weekend in which to unbend from any storms which may have overtaken you. May the blessings of sleep and dreams heal you and lead you to your new year.

God bless us all, everyone.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Here are the winners of my comment drawing for the All Hallows Blog Party! Thanks to everyone who left comments.
#2 Marci Glenn
#3 Kathry Antyr
#5 Vicki
#7 3rdeyemuse
#9 Francine Cronos
#10 Altered Route
#12 Sarah Whitmire
#13 Jane B
#20 S Smith
So give me your postal address at and your partyprize envelope will be on its way to you! Congratulations to you all and thank you to everyone for all of the comments!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ATCs at the library tonight

As the year draws to a close in the Old Calendar, they say that the veils between the Worlds get very thin, allowing all of us on this side or that chances for possible contact. Some historians say that centuries ago we humans were afraid of the contact with "others". Never mind centuries ago - we are still not so great at that. Anyway, that is why all the noise and scary costumes: to scare those "others" away.

But what if we approach this as an opportunity. What if my ancestors were able to reach out in Love to offer support, companionship, or even just curiosity. I know that I'd be curious about my daughter, or my great, great granddaughter.

So this month at the Library we are going to take our imaginations on a walk over to the Veil. We are going to bring photos of ancestors - well, copies of these photos - and have a bit of conversation with those who have preceeded us. For those who don't have ancestor photos we could imagine meeting great leaders of the past: Sojourner Truth, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gandhi, the Buddha, Jesus ben Joseph, whoever seems interesting to you.

So the idea is to dress your relative in clothes or surround her/him with the accoutrements of your imagined conversation. Here is Sarah:Sarah is my great, great grandmother - my mother's father's father's mother. She was pretty intelligent and well educated, I think. She married a judge who's first wife had died and ended up having 7 children and step-children. In her photo she was wearing a pretty severe dress (as was the custom back in that day) and it occurred to me that she might like some of the dressing freedoms that we have today. I chose some light blue print for her but then seemed to hear about how she would actually like to try on this red. here she is turning this way and that in the mirror, as we will do, testing the look on her. I think that Sarah was an amazing woman and that I would have like getting to know her. Her best friend was Helen:Helen is another of my great, great grandmothers - my mother's father's mother's mother. Helen and Sarah spent some time in Logansport, Indiana befor Helen moved to Neenah, Wisconsin with her husband. They did that thing of marrying their children to one and other. Perhaps not the best of ideas for Nellie and Zach, but that's what happened. Anyway, when I started my conversation with Helen, it turned out that she was very interested with the fact that my two children were born in Asia. Helen wanted to be dresed in Chinese or Viet Namese clothes. Pretty sweet. Helen was an avid gardener and ended up moving to southern California in 1905. When my great aunt (Emma, but we called her Bob - I wish that I knew that story) was still alive I had a chance to visit that house A. Maz. Ing.

Helen also had 7 children: JohnnyNellieJimmyJessieNannyLuluBob. Like that. (John, Helen, James, Jessica, Nancy, Lucy, Mary Emma) (And I am pretty full with two!) I imagine that Helen and Sarah were great friends indeed. I wish that I had known them, but through my cards maybe I have. *Kisses to you both.*

I have 9! envelopes of ephemera, ATC, and whatever else I can stuff in there as comment-prizes for the All Hallows Blog Party post below. Leave a comment and I will put you in the hat to get a chance to be drawn for the prizes on All Hallow Eve. I will contact you by email if I can or leave a post here of the winners on November 1st to get your mailing addresses.

See you at the Library-Swap tonight!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

All Hallows Eve Blog Party

Welcome All! I am so happy to have you come to visit!

Please come in and sit with me for a cup of tea. I have some lovely African red roobios tea with almond and vanilla brewing.
Here, Let's sit at my holiday table. This is the celebration of the Third, and final, Harvest in the northern hemisphere. The last of the "crops" are in and we prepare for the dark months when the sun shines less, it gets cold, and the inner work of the year begins. We celebrate the abundance of a year of our work. Some of it was difficult, some of it a joy, but the dreams we had last year have produced the abundance upon which we will survive the winter ahead. Would you like to drink from a cup of abundance? Sip from the cup of your dreams?This year, for my party with you, I drew upon some work I did about 30 years ago. This is a twisted column vase. I figured out how to make crochet spiral up to the Heavens! I like how it looks. Yes, I crocheted all of these pots for the party; I have had this long fascination with vessels. They are all about holding something precious. Also, they symbolize for me the sacredness of Women's Work.I hadn't done any crocheting in a long time and it was good to have an excuse to do it again. I thought that I might send them out into the world. What do you think? Pass on a bit of the bounty.
Oh! Who is that at the door?

Why, it is the Junque Couture girls from next door! Please come in! Meet my friends!This is Shanna, who wishes you Glad Harvest. Her dress was embellished with buttons, keys and other fripperies from my junk drawer.Please meet Franna, who, as her bird so boldly exclaims, is the voting fairy. She wants you to know that she heard on public radio that the polls only indicate the probable voting preferances of those of us who are registered to vote, while the choices of those who are actually, statistically, most likely to vote show a slightly different picture. This year's presidential election is therefore possibly in the feet of the "under 30, unmarried and non-white" crowd. This is what Shanna has to say to you: "Get your feets to the polls on the 4th of November!!!" In case you are wondering, Franna's dress is made from cut paper snippetts left over from an ATC making foray. Her wings and the golden eagle coin on her stand are color photocopies of a bead ribbon and chocolate coin wrapper that I had - yeah, in my junk drawer. Here is Roxanna. Her dress is a luscious blend of paper cut snippetts, leftovers from the flag-string behind her and some sparkles from my junk drawer. Her wings and bird were found in my prototype book Your Artist Journal which is in redesign at the moment.
And finally meet Deeanna, who is another Voter/Woman of Power. Her Junque Couture includes color photocopies of ancient Chinese key reproductions, a glass heart, that bead ribbon again, an iron gear whatchamacallit and a copper colored foil candy wrapper.

Hey! May I give you a "party favorite"? (This term was coined by a 5 year old friend.) Well, I am so glad that you have stopped by, and the Junque Girls would love some company (politically fierce or not). Well, here you go: click on this image, download it to your computer and print it out. The instructions are there on the page.

Check out the wall paper: What IS that noise outside? Com'on. Let's go check it out ... What is that over there?Oh! It is the Gnomies!Hi Gnomies! How are you all this fine fall day?
Mamma Gnomie reports that they are all well. She wanted to know if their mining work had disturbed us. It really didn't, I just forgot that Autumn is the best time for them to gather their gold for the year. Young Gnomie showed us shere the King was: He is offering us a tour. Shall we see what they have been up to?Someone scouts from above, and, using ancient Gnomie methods, locates where to dig.Look what Green Gnomie found!!It is getting close to suppertime. I have a big feast laid out - will you all come back to my house and share it with me? Yes? Great! Oh! No! There are the squashes! I forgot to make the soup! - Hey, you all wouldn't mind if I got out my magic wand and kinda, well, made it that way, would you?

Yes, you are correct: I think that a little dollop of magic tastes good too.

Well then: zzzzz... rrrrr ... uuuuu ... jjjjj!Oh, look what the Gnomies brought: over there on the left - some gold coins! How generous they are. You can see how much they love what they do:And they loooove that Little Lad's popcorn! They get right into it!! Now for dessert: I have made you some Great Wheel cookies. The Great Wheel is how the Old Ones in north-western Europe imagined the year and the turning of the seasons. Here, let me show you: See how we move around the wheel?
Well, the Wheel is moving into the time of slowing down, turning inward: indeed, we are moving into the time of dreaming. Birds are the symbol, especially at this time of year, of journeys, and, because they are inhabitants of the skies, of Heaven.
So take a cookie,
Let the bell ring to start your Winter's Journey into the dream ...
Take a coin - the Gnomies have invited us to share their wealth ...
And join them at their fire on this quiet, sweet night.

Thank you for your company. I have other gatherings over the course of the next month, so stay in touch. I also have gifts for random posters of comments to this blog post. I have lots! So do let me know that you stopped by. (Comments in person count too, for those of you close enough to do so!)

Sweet Dreams!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Gadgets!

(I get so excited about this stuff.)

If you check over there to the left you will see three new gadgets! Excellent Iris showed me at the Library yesterday how to figure it all out. You can now fly straight over to to check out and buy my ATC how-to book, and/or you can buzz directly over to my etsy shop (which will soon have some dreamy, Novembery, late autumnish treats from this Sunday's blog party!!!) AND/or you can meet our All-Hallows Blog Party Hostess: Ms. Kathryn Antyr at her blog party, and get all of the links to the other parties to visit!

I just feel so smart. And contemporary. And I'm sure I know 1/10th of what you know. Still: I am proud of myself for learning new, cool stuff. Especially because I have been working hard - or playing a lot - at getting this party ready!

Want another sneak peek or two?

O.K. ... wait a moment ... I just put on some Andreas Vollenweider music, "Book of Roses" which I got at one of the library book sales last summer. Listen, breathe, relax, I'll be back soon.
Here we are. So, first came the dreaming ...
Planning the party atmosphere with some of the guests ...We have been making decorations. (I am a Geminii. I can use the royal "we" with myself.)

And, quite precisely: I haven't been the only one making party decorations this season ...But I have been working on some particular embellishments!See you Sunday morning, on the button!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I will get back to work, promise, but I too a few minutes to look at my "Feedjit" map over there on the left. Here is the list of where you all are from. Wow!
United States [67%]
United Kingdom [8%]
Canada [6%]
France [2%]
Australia [2%]
Brazil [2%]
Ecuador [1%]
Malaysia [1%]
Sweden [1%]
Italy [1%]
Vietnam [1%]
Belgium [1%]
Taiwan [1%]
Estonia [1%]
Portugal [1%]
Germany [1%]
Luxembourg [1%]
Singapore [1%]
United Arab Emirates [1%]
Even someone from Viet Nam, where my own sweet son was born! A while ago there was also someone from Beijing, China, where my own sweet daughter was born. :)

You all must speak English, because I only know one language to blog in and that is it. I am so impressed. I tried speaking music for a couple of years there, and recently have decided to give it up. I guess that it is OK to not do everything ... but they say learning music keeps our brains in full gear as we get older. I thought that it would be good preventative medicine. I guess that I will have to wait until I am 70. Perchance I will have a few less items ranging around in my brain keeping me busy then ...?? Well, probably not.

After all, I just found out about Blog Parties and I will still be throwing those ... OH!!! and a mom friend of mine showed me her EXTRAordinarily exciting laptop yesterday. It is just like the one in the movie "Read It and Weep": you can twist the screen around and flip it closed and then take the stylus and WRITE which it will then change to a type font and scoot into your document, or you can DRAW!!!

You are laughing at me. I can tell. These computers have been out for years. There are computers now that will iron tomorrow's clothes and wrap birthday gifts for you. But drawing!

Yeah, but can they bead?

Perhaps not, but they can read your handwriting! And preserve all of your little doodles ...


So thank you for visiting with me Estonians, and Portugese and Ecuadorians and Britishers and French and, and everyone else, and of course all of you lovely US folk.

Now, back to my party decorations...

Blog Party Thrill

I had never heard of a blog party before a week or two ago, but if you want some serious visual thrill in your life check out and
There is some serious partying goin' on!!

And I have been working hard on some treats and delights for my own party. Here is a glimpse of my yarn basket:And a peek at what I am working on this morning:And who is wandering around in my felt collection??Stay tuned... My party is scheduled for Sunday the 26th, along with the other Soul Journalers

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Icon doll is finished

Well, the class is over and "Our Lady of Beauty" has been finished. Here she is: She stands about a foot tall on a deep, midnight blue stand with a sparkly golden star. Her background rays were made with colored tissue, her face frame was drawn on metal tape over dark pink cardstock.
I painted her face and curled her hands of metal taped card. Her dress glows with papercut flowers, colored tissue and a good deal of our favorite gel medium.
I wish that she will grant you your beauty: free and clear and entrancing.

I accomplished my goal in making Her: I found beauty in what I already had. I didn't spend any money at all. An important meditation in the coming times, I think, if I am to believe the news on the BBC.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

All Hallows Blog Party!

Kathryn Antyr of is hostessing a blog party on October 26th and you are invited. All of the details are here on her blog, but the short version is that we each devise a Halloween/All Hallows/Final Harvest party atmosphere which we will photograph and display on our blogs on the 26th!

June, a reader of my ATC how-to book: The Great Library ATC Swap and I came up with the idea of working on this week's project for the ATC Swap together, even though June lives far away from Rockport and can't get to the Library on Saturday at 2:30 for the Swap I will lead there.

We will be making the ATC Puppets and Jointed ATC Personalities described in the book and dressing them in fanciful Halloween costumes. Then we will photograph them and post them on our blogs on the 26th for the All Hallows Blog Party! Whoo Hoo! So far I have one Witch in black, two faeries, a princess in purple shimmer, and the Goddess Tara.

Do come to the Rockport Library this Saturday to make costumed ATC Puppets with us!

And I heartily invite you to my Blog Party on October 26th! I will set up a lovely tea table so that we can all sit around and chat and I will have treats and prizes for those of you who comment on my blog! There will be links around so that you can visit all of the other Hallow's Eve parties.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Icon Doll Class with Chaska Peacock

O.K. I have been having some fun with making a doll this weekend. I am taking an online class with Chaska Peacock whose dolls are just so glorious.

Now, I looked all over around here for the materials, and there Chaska had written out a perfect materials list, but folks around here didn't have the correct things, and I got to thinking about all the gas money just to get to Michael's and back, NEVER MIND how dangerous it is to let me loose in a store like that, so I said to myself," Dearest Self, we must get clever here and make do with what we have got:. "Not a problem." replied me, and off we, er, I, went.

First: I rolled up a piece of cardboard and taped it:Then I snipped a circle with tabs for the bottomAnd used some shipping newsprint with gel medium as if I was putting papier mache over all:Half way done:I added some flowers cut from thick paper, for texture:And colored tissue on top of that for some color:These are not Chaska's instructions. Don't follow all this if you want to make what she did. This is just, well, my mind's eye says that this will be great, you just maybe don't know that yet.

And thennnn:
I couldn't follow Kathryn Antyr's directions either on her Soul Journaling blog. But I had a great time:

I want to be a Soul Journaler when I grow up.

And a doll maker.

And a writer,






and mixed media art quilt "seamstress" (That's most of them).

Well then, I'll be on about it then, yes?