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Showing posts from 2009

reflecting

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Hi there. I'm back. I guess I needed a little time away, but then we all need a chance to catch our breath now and then, don't we? Stepping back and looking at this blog (and wishing there was a better word for it... ) I decided it's time to give it a new slant. A new year is the perfect time to make changes, and believe me when I tell you I'm already in the process of making lots of them.

Rick and I are more or less settled in Ashland for the time being, but the journey continues on a more internal level than ever. I don't know if we'll ever be "home", at least not until we leave this world and go back to where we all started. But until then, there's a lot to be done, and what I'm learning from this wild ride we've strapped ourselves into is that it's all about creativity. I'm not only talking about the stuff we make, but also the way we live our lives. Every day presents us with choices and options, and living creatively means to…

popping in

I'm back, but just for a minute. I was up at 5AM this morning, and thought I'd google "collage art". In the process, I stumbled across a snippet of this poem...

Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

~ralph waldo emerson~

Searching for the entire poem, I then found this website: World Prayers, which I find to be just absolutely lovely, and I want to share it with you. Enjoy! Carry on!

break time

I guess I need to take a break. I just don't seem to be finding the time for blogging, and when I do, I don't know what to say. My apologies to those of you who count on a little something from me each day. I just don't have it right now. So I'm going to take this one bit of pressure off my shoulders, rest up a little, and plan to come back after the Holidays, fresh and bubbly and full of good news.

Till then, Happy Holidays to you all!
xo Kim

i rest my case

So Rick and I went out gallery hopping for First Friday last night, and because it was cold, cold, cold, and we were feeling festive he wore his Santa hat. Later, we met up with Ron and went to the Elks Lodge for beverages. The Elks bar is a No Hat Zone, a rule that's well known and strictly enforced. We're not members though, so Rick sat blithely down on a swiveled bar stool and ordered a beer, without even considering removing his fluffy red and white hat. Normally, the bartender would have politely asked him to remove his headwear, but nobody said a peep, at least not until Rick left to find the men's room. As soon as he was out of ear shot, a buzz went through the bar. "He's wearing a hat! Should we tell him to take it off? I don't know... it's a Santa hat. That's different. I think it might be OK..."

When Rick came back to the bar, they all hushed up, and the hat remained on Rick's head. I think this was a first in the bar's long histo…

santa-god

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Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the eerie similarities between Santa Claus and God? I've been thinking about this for some time now, and I'm really beginning to wonder - Is Santa Claus God, or is God Santa? I mean really... Let's start with the beard. They both have one by most accounts. The red suit baffles me a little bit, but it did start out as more of a robe-like garment back in the day. Both Guys are, well, guys. Both see all, know all. Both have magical, miraculous talents. Both reward good behavior and punish naughtiness. Both live at the most extreme Up There address available. Both are very creative and really quite handy and prolific with their work. They both have helpers - Santa's elves and God's angels, and all of the helpers love to sing. And even though we never really get to see them, we're expected to, and want to, with all our hearts, believe in them.

I'm not looking for trouble or controversy. Really! Religious finger waggers ca…

open house

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If you live in the area, or feel like taking a field trip to Ashland, let me know and I'll send you the address. It would be fun to see you all here!

snow globe beads

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I'm in such a tizzy today! Time away from home really messes with my work schedule, and I have such a mean boss! But I want to show you these new beads. What are they? Snow Balls? Snow Globes? Something like that! They're filled with all sorts of sparkly delights. I must remember to keep one for myself. Probably a pink one, because they remind me of Mom's pink Christmas Tree. It was glorious...

i'll shop later

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I must be a terrible business woman, and an even worse consumer. I missed Black Friday on all counts. No shopping, so selling. Instead Rick and I were on the road, traveling from Ashland to San Jose for a family send-off for my nephew Kevin, who's on his way to the Coast Guard today. It was a terrific party, and while we're all so darn proud of Kevin, I'm equally proud of his mom - my little sister, Jill. She's raised two great boys, she went all out in throwing this party, and she held it all together with a lot of grace and good humor, which couldn't have been easy when sending her baby off into the big military world. My hat's off to Jill, and my love goes with Kevin. This is new to all of us, and we'll all stick together, as we always do. We're family, after all, and before all else.



We woke up Sunday to one of those glorious California days that come along too rarely, even here. The sun was shining, the air was soft and warm, and the call of the oce…

shower heaven

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The last time I was shower deprived was in 1975. I was 18 years old, just out of high school, and a few weeks into a three-month long road trip to Alaska with two friends. (I'll save you some math - I'm 52 now) We had been driving and tent camping from San Jose through California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada, and while pay showers were available in a lot of the places we stayed, somehow two weeks had gone by with no real means of good personal hygiene. I'm sure I tried to keep the stink down with splashes of water here and there, but I'm appalled now at that kind of time going by without a good steady stream of hot water running over my young hippie body. What can I say... I was different then.

When we got to the Alaskan ferry that would take us up the inland passage for several days, the first thing I did was head for the showers. Word on the street was they never ever ran out of hot water. I peeled off my grimy army surplus clothes and stepped in with a bottle of D…

cranberries

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Today feels like a holiday already. People started arriving last night, and my darling Danny will be here this afternoon. I'll be making beads today, but probably won't get a lot done with all the action happening around me. I don't mind. I'd rather play anyway.

I got up early and made the cranberries for tomorrow's feast. I love making them, and of course I change up the recipe on the bag a bit. I cook them in apple juice instead of water, with some grated orange zest. I used to try to substitute honey for sugar, but now I figure that's kind of pointless. Some days I just go ahead and eat the white stuff.

If you've never made fresh cranberries, I so recommend that you try it this year. They're far superior to the canned ones, and really easy to make. I love how they roll around in the saucepan, and then begin to pop, pop, pop and make a lovely pink foam that quickly cooks down to a rich molten ruby goo that smells just fabulous, and thickens up nicely i…

new inspiration

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I never get tired of pondering inspiration and how it comes to us. It's always so surprising and also so expected when something new pops up. I've known for a long time that if I let the inspiration flow, there will always be more. I know there's not a limit on creativity, except for limits we put on ourselves. People who claim they don't have a creative bone in their bodies drive me nuts. We are creative beings who come from Divine Creativity, and each of us has our own form of creative expression. It's easier to spot in some people over others, but I believe in my bones that everybody, everybody is creative.

I've been looking at the curtains in our trailer for almost five months now, thinking how the crazy flowers in them might lend themselves to a good bead design.


It didn't go any further than the thinking phase until the other day, when my friend Deborah sent me a link to MagnoliaPearl.com.



I spent an entire wash and dry cycle in the park laundry room, …

making do

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Sometimes I forget that this is exactly what I signed up for, this "simple" little life. Sometimes I even go so far as to wonder what the hell I'm doing here. The open road and the mobile life are meant for motion. It becomes a totally different thing once you decide to stay in one place. On the upside, rent is cheap, our diesel bill has dropped off to almost nothing, and we have zero yard work to bother with. On the down side, we live in a really tiny space, the internet doesn't work in our "coach", and I really can't make beads in the trailer after all. It's just too messy and glassy for cramped quarters. Fortunately, I have Mitzi's garage/studio to work in, and equally fortunately, she's in love with making beads now too, so I'm able to repay her for her space by sharing my torch and glass and expertise. It seems like a winning deal for both of us. I use the internet here too, which is also nice and convenient - unless I want to check…

dad, can i borrow the car keys?

I drove today, for the first time in almost five months. There's something pretty wrong with that, isn't there? It's not that I haven't gone anywhere, but when a girl has a driver, might as well let him drive. Rick loves to drive, so I just jump in the passenger seat without giving it a thought. But the poor guy has the flu, some kind of flu.. I don't know which one, but it's got him flat on the couch, which in itself is no fun, because the couch is actually a loveseat, and Rick is 6'4". Poor baby. I mean really. Poor baby.

So I jumped in the big-ass truck this morning to run for provisions, and ten seconds down the road I got a big grin on my face and said to myself, driving is fun. I'd forgotten. Too bad the dear man had to get sick for me to take a turn behind the wheel. But at least I didn't forget how to drive. I don't have a picture for you, for reasons that I'm sure are obvious. Now I need to power through my work day, run Lucy t…

our 17th anniversary

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Rick and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary yesterday. We spent the afternoon in town, repelling raindrops with the black and red polka dot umbrella we bought on our honeymoon in Victoria, BC all those years ago. Ashland is gearing up for Christmas, with lights and decorations going up everywhere. They even put up a seasonal ice skating rink in a small parking lot across from Lithia Park. This place is so adorable. It's such a community. I could get used to this.

We had no success with picture taking all day, so later in the evening, back at home, we decided to try taking one of ourselves. The kids are so good at this. We are not. My new camera even has a setting for "take a picture of yourself". We did a terrible job, but the result reminds me of an old photo booth. Silly and fun, like the rest of a silly and fun day together. After 17 years, we still like hanging out.




first little snow

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You can't see it here, but it was snowing this morning. Too soon, says Mitzi, but weather patterns have been known to change when I come around. It looked so pretty falling in the pond that Mitzi lovingly dug and built with her own little hands. There is nothing my cousin can't do. And now she can make beads too. I'll show you soon, and yes, I will encourage you to buy her beads as well as mine! The snow only fell for a few minutes this morning, but Mitzi has been at the torch all day.

so quiet

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This is weird. I don't have anything to say. Nothing. How very odd. I'm reading "Bird By Bird", in which Anne Lamott assures us that it's important to write. I agree. It's important for somebody to write, but me? I don't know. Still, I want you to get your money's worth, so I'll see if I can find my way back to my old writing obsession. Meanwhile, I have this darling new camera, so I think I'll make use of it. How about if I find something interesting in my little world every day and do some show and tell? If I can't find something worth sharing each day, it's because I have my eyes closed.

Today I looked out the window toward the creek and saw this lovely view. This is my backyard right now. Sure, I live in a little metal box, but I do love our little creek side place in the world. There we go... I feel better now.

a pretty good week

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I don't seem to have enough time to work. There's too much fun going on! But maybe what's really happening is I'm finally finding some balance in my life. For years and years it's been all about work. I guess it would still be that way if I had my own studio, so it's a good thing I'm sharing with Mitzi. This way I have to be out of there sometimes so she can do her stuff. The way it's working at the moment is I do my internet stuff at her house on Mondays, instead of in the chilly game room at the RV park. Mitzi paints and makes beads (mostly makes beads... poor thing caught the bead bug...) on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and I have Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday in the studio. I can't get as many beads made as I used to, but maybe that's not a bad thing. Maybe I can make just enough. I'll find out as I go, like with everything else. I know I sound awefully tentative lately, and that's because everything in my life feels tentative…

my new phone

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I got a new phone yesterday. I've stubbornly held onto my old Samsung for over five years, vowing to keep it until it stopped working, and that's pretty much how it went down. The poor old thing lost its grip on the "5" key, and then started shutting itself off for no apparent reason. I suppose it was tired.

The new phone, also a Samsung, is the snazzy "Rogue" with a touchscreen and all the other expected bells and whistles. It even has a "roll the dice" setting that might be good for a little gambling amusement while I wait in line at the grocery store. I've spent several hours so far just exploring how this phone works, and I'm surprised at how intuitive it actually is. I had to load all my contacts by hand, because the old phone was too old to manage it electronically. I didn't really mind. It's fun playing with new toys. And soon enough, this fun new gizmo will be just another sensible necessity.

My next challenge is to embrace …

wrong number

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I've had the same cell phone number for over eight years, ever since we moved to Taos, and even though we aren't there right now, I keep the number because, well, it's mine. I don't generally get a lot of calls on it. Usually just Lauren and Rick, and now that we're away from a house and a landline, the occasional call from my dad and sisters. That's OK with me. I really don't like to talk on the phone much, and I guard my number like I'm some kind of celebrity or something. If I give it to you, you better not to share it. It's private. It's mine. It's only for people I really like. At least it was until recently.

For several weeks now I've been getting an unusual surge of wrong-number calls. I can't figure it out. Most are from New Mexico, probably Taos, and a few are from Colorado, probably Denver. They're not from the same callers over and over again either. At first I thought maybe some joker had written my number on the bathr…

halloween in ashland

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Well, here we are. A month in Ashland has zoomed by, and it's time to have some Halloween fun. We love Halloween, and this town knows how to throw a holiday bash. Rick and Ron are already downtown, blocking off streets and positioning Kiwanis volunteers for the Fun Run and Kid's Parade this afternoon. This cracks me up. Rick isn't much of a joiner, but he's really having fun tagging along with Ron for some of this stuff. He might even become an Elk... What the heck. It's a good way to meet people and make connections, and you get to use the Elk's primo parking lot downtown. Mitzi and I painted our guys up to look sort of dead and ghastly, but not too scary, since the daytime is for the little kids. Heehee... this is fun.

Here are the boys, looking so fine...



And even Heidi is dressed up. She's wearing her blue velvet opera dress by Katy George with a pink silk collar and a sparkly bead necklace.


Mitzi and I will put together our costumes and head out a little …

boneheads - episode one

I know, I know. I've been missing in action for a few days. So sorry! I've been busy making beads, getting to know a new town, and well, some other stuff... you'll see. The plastic Boneheads I bought a while back have taken on little lives of their own. And Mitzi, being the creative, play-writing, theater person she is, swooped up the Bonehead Project and before we knew it, had us making a video. I'm not sure I want to admit that I did the voice of GOM. I think I might share some personality traits with her... oh dear! And please keep in mind that I have absolutely zero acting experience. As writer/producer/director, Mitz got exactly what she paid for! But anyway... here it is for your viewing pleasure. The first episode of Boneheads Live, or whatever we decide to call it! Be sure to share it with everyone you know. We wanna go viral with it!

there's never a camera when you really need one

I need to get a new camera. There's so much to show you, but I don't want to schlep along my big bead camera everywhere I go, and the little pocket camera died back in Seattle. I guess I should just surrender to getting a new phone, one with all the bells and whistles... and a camera. After all, my phone is crapping out on me too, as I guess it's supposed to after five years or so. Remember when a good sturdy phone came with your house, rugged and dependable and bolted to the wall? I miss that in some ways, but not enough to go back to it. Moving forward, always moving forward. Technology won't wait for the stragglers.

In the absence of a camera, imagine three fifty-ish women, setting out on a thrift shopping excursion to Yreka, California, about 45 minutes south of Ashland. Mitzi and Serena both showed up at my door wearing black and white printed tops, which they did not plan. I teased them about it, but blended in well, wearing a plain black shirt with my jeans. We a…

facets

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I'm sitting in the truck, in front of the trailer, under a canopy of yellowing leaves, with little Heidi sitting beside me. I mentioned before that we don't get internet inside the trailer, but I don't always have to go to the duck pond or Mitzi's house to get online. This is a nice big truck. Not a bad size for an office.

I'm having fun in Ashland, and at the same time, feeling sort of fragmented. I have all my worldly stuff pared down to a neat little portable pile, only it doesn't all work in the close quarters we've set ourselves up in. It's OK. I just need to adjust to getting less done than I'm used to. Or maybe I'm getting more done and I just don't know it yet. Email is being answered, orders are being shipped, blogs are being written, beads are being made. This week I've gone "back to the garden", and have made nothing but flower beads. Hm. That's unexpected, and I'm really not giving it too much thought. My tim…

lessons from sardinia

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I'm not sure yet, but I think maybe I got my groove back. I was watching Anthony Bourdain the other night. (I love his show, even though he regularly jeers at vegetarians.) He was in Sardinia, and the people featured in this episode were simple country folks, doing things the way they'd been done there for centuries. Everyone worked hard, and being a food/travel show, everyone had a hand in the preparation of the food. Someone made the cheese, someone else made the wine. There were ancient looking cooks in the giant communal kitchens, making the same dishes they'd made all their lives, dishes passed down through many generations. And the flat bread that came from the wood fired oven was as beautiful and practical as it has been since it was first made for the sheep herders to carry with them for months at a time while tending the flocks.

What struck me was that everyone knew their place, knew their job, and did what they did for the good of the whole. Everybody was importan…

nesting... for now

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We've moved the good ship Tessie Beau to a new camp site. It's in the same RV park, but it's a much roomier, prettier site, with a little stream running through the back. I can't believe how lucky we are. I've always wanted to live by a stream. Almost can't believe my eyes...





And for those of you who are just catching up to us, we completely remodeled our trailer before we set out in July. It took about six weeks to paint the walls, make curtains, make new upholstery, and replace the floor. We even managed to fit our king size mattress in the little nest that is now, literally, the bedroom. This is the coziest little house I could ever want to live in. We even have a small electric fireplace. Fake fire is cleaner than real fire, and the dogs love it. So do I.




The only slight problem is the internet. The signal isn't very good anywhere in the park, especially if a "big rig" pulls in next door. The solution is to grab the computer and walk over to th…

boneheads

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It's all my fault. I bought a "dollar bag" of little plastic skulls at the local Dollar Tree the other day, and gifted several of the Boneheads to Mitzi. One thing led to another, and now we have her dining table covered with paints and glitter and beads and flowers, and spend way too many of our waking hours on the Bonehead Project. I had no idea we'd get this carried away, but there's no point in resisting. This little obsession needs to be followed to its natural end, unless of course its only the beginning of something we're not yet aware of. I'm going with my gut these days. If it seems silly and creative and fun, it's probably a good idea.

So here are the pics so far. The skulls are about golfball size, and come nine in a bag. Now who wouldn't buy that for a buck?


Since Mitzi is a painter, and she's painted Weird Objects before, she knew we needed to spray them with primer. She also had skewers handy, so now we have all these little heads-…