Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday wishes...

To everyone who finds their way to my blog during this season, I wish you all a peaceful, abundant, magical holiday season.

I wish I could have posted more frequently this month, but for me, "tis the season" to be overwhelmed with all that I still have to do, so blogging falls to the bottom of a very long list...I am sure many of you feel the same way.

I will leave you with a few pictures of my Christmas tree, which is a skinny little fake tree that I still think is beautiful and charming. I hope to blog a little during the next week, but if not, I will be back in January with lots of art & life.

Fa la la la la
la la la la!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

At the market...

Okay, this is one little shopper who would never bother me in the market - check out her pint-sized shopping cart. Apparently, this is a new grocery store near my sister's home outside of Boston, and they have little carts for the little people. I am sure that eventually one of these little munchkins would annoy me, but I just love this one!!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Truth in blogging... addendum

I re-read my earlier blog post and realized that those of you who do not know my sister might conclude from my previous description that she is perhaps materialistic and spoiled, and since she does not have this forum in which to defend herself it is only fair for me to mention that along with her great haircut, beautiful manicure, and designer bags, she is one of the most caring and generous people I know, and she would break every one of her perfectly polished nails for her friends and family --- I know. Annoying, isn't it?

Also, I wanted to add this to my list of "some people who annoy the crap out of me"

7. I forgot grocery aisle hogs - those people who park their carts in the center of the aisle so that you cannot pass, and they look oblivious -- or worse -- annoyed, when you say excuse me while they're comparing brands of peanut butter. Of course, they're probably ranting on their blogs right now about the crazy woman who flies around the corner of each aisle as though she's competing in "Supermarket Sweep." (for the many who are probably unfamiliar, this was a game show before reality TV, where contestants had to rush through the aisles trying to end with the highest grocery bill... I would have been really good at this game. I do it without even trying because I love things like pine nuts, olive oil, and really good cheese.)
...and 7b. People who allow their children to "drive" the cart in the grocery store. That's like giving your twelve-year old the keys to the car. They can't steer, because after the beverage aisle, the cart weighs more than they do; they're never in a hurry, which means they're inevitably in my way; and they simply don't care --- if they even notice, the homicidal look I toss in their direction.

Okay, I swear I am done ranting for awhile. (well, it is Christmas time, so I may have one holiday shopping rant left, but not so far -- that just illustrates how far behind I am.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My November Ta Da List

Wow. November came and went and I completely forgot my Ta Da List. This month has been busy with just about everything but art. I've discovered over the past couple of months that I'm doing a lot of reading and less of other things. While reading fills my imagination and is wonderful creative entertainment, it is also-- for me-- a form of avoidance. It fills my head with other people's ideas so that I can avoid making decisions... an making art... and making decisions about my art. I've been avoiding my studio lately, because I am feeling a certain loss of direction, or more accurately, I am heading in too many directions, and I'm still not sure on what I'd like to focus. I want to be able to combine my painting and mixed media with digital collage, but haven't quite worked it out in my head yet. I also want to continue with some writing projects which incorporate my art.
That said, these are the things I did accomplish on the creative front this month, beginning with the books I read, of course!...
The Seven Sisters by Margaret Drabble
Ada Blackjack... A story of survival in the Arctic by Jennifer Niven
Dry by Augusten Burroughs
Dave Barry is from Mars & Venus, by Dave Barry
Sula by Toni Morrison
I've discovered that I like to mix up heavy, emotional books with some light reading. I get very "into" the books I read, and they affect my moods, so Dave Barry was the perfect antidote to the rest of my picks.

When I wasn't reading, or raking leaves,
I initiated an altered art challenge, and I have lots of ideas for mine, but I have not yet done much, because I keep changing my mind!

I had an artist's date with my friend Debbie, but it had been so long since we've gotten together that we spent most of the day catching up and eating, with just a brief sojourn to her studio. We did get together again for a couple of hours later in the month, and I helped her to design and post a blog header, as well as to familiarize her with "new" blogger. (She is quite brilliant, and surpassed my technical expertise within minutes).

I designed a freelance brochure for my husband's company, which was a self-mailer with a CD pocket. I actually love taking on a few freelance jobs during the year because they're usually quite different from the materials I design in my "real" job; oh, and because I get paid too!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Truth in blogging...

My sister Jennifer's boss has come to the conclusion after reading my blog for awhile that my sister and I are nothing alike.

In some ways, this is absolutely accurate. My sister fancies herself somewhat of a princess -- by her own admission -- which would make me the court jester, or a serf, I think. For example, she has her hair done at an expensive salon and "mani-pedis" on a regular basis. I have had two manicures in my entire life and I've never had a professional pedicure. If I had better bone structure, I think I would shave my head, or at least wear a very short pixie cut, as I hate even thinking about hair maintenance. I am happy when my hands are not covered in bandaids from the minor injuries I regularly inflict on them - oven burns and minor knife wounds usually. My current "purse" was originally a vendor giveaway -- my sister's many purses are named after people like Kate Spade. Our local mall has some new stores this year, and we are both equally excited - she can't wait to step foot in Sephora, a store devoted to high end makeup, fragrances and skin care items. I am thrilled that I can now try on my L.L. Bean duck boots before buying them! I have a dog on whom I spend more money for grooming than I do on myself. She barely tolerated the pets she was forced to share a home with when we were children. I can spend an entire weekend reading a good book, and I would guess I read about 30-40 books a year. My sister recently confessed that she's reading a lot more these days too. She's finished three books this year.

But beyond these superficial differences, his conclusion is based on the fact that he knows my sister very well - the way that colleagues who spend many years working together do - and he knows me primarily through my blog, where I exercise the right to edit my thoughts so that readers see what I want them to see. Although we are different, we are also alike in many ways that he doesn't see, because I have crafted a certain image of myself here.

I do want my blog to reflect my authentic self -- who is, in addition to the artistic, nature-loving, dog-crazy woman I've portrayed, also a moody, self-centered, short-tempered, and contradictory individual at times. So I've decided that every now and then, I am going to share random details about me that I normally would not. By the way, I am not implying for one instant, that this is how my sister and I are alike-- that she can be moody, self-centered or short-tempered...just ask her boss.
I'll start with this list I've been compiling in my head for awhile -- That's right. When I'm not pursuing loftier goals like art and reading, this is the crap that fills my head...

(Some) people who annoy the crap out of me...

1. People who stand in lines while talking loudly and animatedly on cell phones. I think this is a form of noise pollution. Such people should maintain a reasonable distance from those of us who are forced to listen -- like stay at home until you're done talking. I don't want to hear your half of an annoying conversation that could have waited until you were in your car talking illegally while driving (which I also hate).
2. People who can't park their cars within the white lines, thereby wasting a space that I could have parked in. I may walk two miles a day with my dog, but I want to pull up close when I'm dashing into the liquor store!
3. People who don't have their cards and deposits ready at the drive-up ATM when they get to the window. Am I the only person who fills out the deposit slip and gets my card ready BEFORE I am parked at the window? If you're not ready when I pull up behind you, please pull around and get behind me.
4. People who don't use turn signals. When I'm tailgating, you'd better let me know that you're turning, or I might accidentally rear-end you.
5. People who have daily bowel movements at the office. Is this really necessary? How can you even relax enough to do this within such close proximity to your colleagues? And how do you manage to disappear so that it looks like I LEFT THAT odor when I leave the restroom?
6. People who are dieting and then explain in minute detail all the little bitty things they barely ate today. "I had green tea and half a rice cake for breakfast, then a lowfat string cheese for a snack, then the hard boiled egg - but only half the yolk for lunch, and 18 almonds - I must confess I like the salted ones, so I mix them with the unsalted so they're not as bad." Oh shut up. I had a turkey sandwich at 10 am, with chips and a pickle, and then in the afternoon, I tried to steal someone's microwave meal out of the freezer because, of course, I was hungry since I ate my lunch at 10 am. And I can't wait to get home and have half a pound of pasta with pesto sauce, garlic bread and a glass or three of wine.

So there it is...another side of me. I hope I don't run into any of you on the drive home...literally.