Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Invisible Mouse and Other Tales

One cool morning last week I gave a second thought to my backdoor.  I was departing for my routine jog, and an unreasonable fear of being locked out of my home prevented me from shutting the main door.  A quick dismissal of outside threats, and I was on my way.  Later that day, I spotted a flutter of evil rounding the corner of the kitchen to the back porch.  It was dark, fluffy, and seemed to float close to the ground.  I froze for a moment and then fell on its trail.  No rodent could be found cowering in any corner, but its droppings secured its presence.  My heart sank, and after dispelling panic, I set out for snap traps.  Morning after morning, traps sat empty but robbed.  No amount of tricks (tying on bait etc.) seemed to work.  One night my husband spotted our small dormer and was able to confine it in my studio. After a few days of futility, I began tearing apart my workspace--removing furniture, emptying bins, rifling through fabric.  I vacuumed and wiped up droppings in places that I preferred not knowing a mouse had scurried.  Still, each search party failed to yield.  Yesterday, on my Mom's advice I had talked with the mouse informing it was his time to go or he was going to get it.  With new found resolution I purchased a different brand of snap traps as well as sticky traps.  That night, I slept on a bed of hope dismissing the blur I saw while watching a movie in the TV room.  The next morning, our traps weren't touched.  All the bait was fully loaded.  In one more moment of frustration, I asked my two-year-old in desperation "where is the mouse?".  She answered me plainly, "In the TV room."  Spotting one turd on the couch, I pulled the furniture from the wall revealing trails of excrement.  I furiously moved traps from my studio to the TV room.  I knew I'd have to wait another day to know if my sanity could be salvaged.  It's astounding that something so small can cause me to unravel so grandly.  This mouse clearly has the power of invisibility, I thought.  I laughed at this thought because a couple weeks ago, I found it so charming to witness my daughter feeding her lunch to a make-believe mouse perched on her table.  Who knew her imaginary friend could leave real mouse dung.
 Last weekend I painted four small (5" x 7") works on canvas paper which I stitched onto fabric which I then stitched onto cardboard.  I popped them into frames and also made prints for a sale in Aurora.  I was thinking of them as stream of conscious pictorials.  I liked their immediacy and flimsy nature.  In the end, I think they resembled cards as in playing or tarot.  Coincidentally a slow art show lead me to a tarot card deck where I had a reading.  Long story short, I'm encouraged to treat my art more seriously.  I feel ready to take the next step whatever that should be except that my studio and house is turned inside out and upside down because of our invisible mouse.  I don't know how much longer I can tolerate the intruder and the upheaval it has caused in my art production.  I will post an update hopefully soon--notifying its death. 
Add caption


Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Friendly Rabbits

So my lovely friends were married this past summer, and what do I give them to honor their union?  A quilt was out of the question because they received a communal quilt pieced from embroidered squares designed and stitched by family and friends.  I had already given them a rag rug for a shower gift.  Then I remembered Emily mentioning her desire for painted portraits.  Tim (a sort of Renaissance man) already fulfilled this request painting a portrait of them in Italy.  Not wanting to overshadow his efforts but only add to their collection, I decided to paint my friends as they truly are--as small, furry animals. This painting is based on photo taken at their rabbit party which honored the zodiac year of the same name.  I think it captures their love for life and its quirky nature which they ever so generously share with us.  To be friends with Emily and Tim is a blessing unto itself.  I'm one lucky bunny. 

PS I hope they receive the painting before they read this blog post which I am sure they will read because of their utter devotion to Pinwheel Anna. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pink Trees

I've always wanted to live in a forest.  I painted some pink trees in my dining room.  I don't know if they are complete or if I want to develop them more or at more trees around the room or what.  That is also an unfinished painting of my loom above my piano.  Add that to the to do list.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back No. 2 School

I always enjoy school supplies and haven't had to purchase them in years until this fall.  My son starts kindergarten in less than a week.  His list included dozens of No. 2 pencils sharpened.  I spent the last half hour whittling away exposing the pencil leads.  I love the remains collected in my new vintage ashtray.  Sometimes I have a hard time producing work during times of transition.  I envision a solid schedule taking shape once school is in full swing.  Until then, I do a fair amount of fretting, twiddling my thumbs, and ultimately sharpening pencils. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Water(color) Bed

 I had fun experimenting with watercolors and permanent marker while working on a sketch for an acrylic painting.  The actual painting should be more moody and less storybook,
but you never know . . .  The lamp is unrelated.

The Big Lake

Mossy rain forest showing marks on our trees
wild flower
In the wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, I found adventure, competition, beauty, and most of all relaxation.  Although, it took me a couple of days to shake off the "should-be-doing-something" thoughts and ease into a vacationer's unscripted pace.  I began each day with a jog in the woods and ended each night with a s'more or two.  Some highlights are pictured, but halfway through the trip, my camera battery died, and I chose not to recharge it.  Sometimes you just have to live the moments instead of capturing them.  Very intensely photographed was our dyeing of family shirts in a rainbow colors.  We left them on the rocks overnight to be rinsed by the pouring rain.  The chipmunks were intrigued. 
paper hornets nest

Chalet balconies
powder dyes
dyeing Pen's shirt

Leo's shirt

Peg's rainbow

hot dog break

bocci tournament

shirt snakes on sunning on the rocks

Tom's shirt

Lisa's Shirt

Olivia's shirt


 I'm wrapping up a couple of projects before beginning an intensive rug making bonanza.  I hope to complete a painting and a blanket which are both gifts.  Also, I indulged in some bracelet making during my recent lake vacation.  I under-anticipated the length of time it took to complete a friendship bracelet.  I have childhood memories of pinning them to the seat in front of me and knotting all the way to Minnesota.  While I recall making them took time, I seemed to whip multiples out on a single vacation.  I'll attribute this reality to small girlish wrists. 
painting detail

bracelet in progress, pinned to my pants