Saturday, December 30, 2017

Beginner's Mind

Happy New Year!  Wishing more love, peace of mind, kindness and compassion 
for all of us in the new year.  Blessings xx

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Coptic Chops

I spent much of the past week making journals to collage in.  Despite all the books I've made in the past five years, these are actually the first that I made for myself with a distinct purpose in mind.

The two on the right in this photo are tall and narrow ~ they have virtually the same size paper as the Midori Travelers Notebook inserts I've been using to collage in.  I like that size ~ each spread is 8.5 x 8.5 (actually the Midori insert spread is 8.25 x 8.5).

The pages in the third journal are 8.5 x 5.5, a standard half-letter size page. This is slightly bigger than the handmade journal I'm also using now for collages (see last two photos below).  I also like this size to work in.

That handmade journal I just referred to, A Hermit's Wild Friends, that I made in a workshop a few years ago, was not designed to do all that collaging in.  The bound spine is/was not wide enough to accommodate adding all that ephemera, which has caused the fore edges to fan out to about four inches already...and I'm not finished with it yet.

Consequently, because the book was constructed with only heavy two-sided tape holding the covers onto the rest of the book, the covers started to pop off the book.  So I just pulled them all the way off a few months ago.  

When I'm finished with this journal, I'll glue the covers back on with PVA.  Or, I'll fashion covers out of something else, and use those cool vintage covers for another journal down the road...probably the latter.

Hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend, whatever you celebrate. xx

Saturday, December 9, 2017


I received a huge gift this week, one that will possibly last me for the rest of my life.

And that's the gift of hearing. By virtue of my being a MediCal recipient (that's Medicaid in California), which provides a full range of healthcare services, for low-income people, not normally covered elsewhere, I was able to see an audiologist and then have hearing aids custom made for my particular hearing loss.

I got them on Tuesday, and other than when I'm sleeping, I'm wearing them all the time now.

Previously I had a pair of hearing aids that were reconditioned devices, matched as well as possible to my hearing loss but not made expressly for me, through the Hearing Foundation in CA, which is part of the Lions Club...that outfit that collects and distributes used eyeglasses to people in need. 

I hated those hearing aids and rarely wore them.  They were an older technology, didn't work well, and were uncomfortable.  They were more trouble and pain than they were worth (and did cost me $400 at the time I got them). 

So I kind of assumed I'd rarely wear the new ones, because I spend so much time on my own.  Now that I have them, though, now that I'm hearing the normal sounds of life being lived, I'm hooked.  It kind of feels like all of my senses have come alive again because I'm running on all burners.

Just a few of the delightful everyday sounds I'm enjoying again ~~ my wind chimes outside.  BeeGee talking to me, and he's quite vocal, especially when he's hungry. BeeGee purring.  The birds outside.  The sound of my own voice.

I'm really looking forward to the next rain we have, because I haven't been able to hear it unless I had the window wide open or was standing out in it.

I'm feeling extremely grateful.  You can't take anything for granted in life, especially when you're poor and older and it seems like things are routinely being subtracted from our lives.  And then a true gift arrives.

Happy Holidays to you all.  Have a blessed week. xx 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

In the Absence of Desire

Spent some time on Thanksgiving thinking about all the things I'm grateful for...among which is the fact that I have no real desires.

In other words, there's nothing I really want that I don't already have. There's nothing I'm lusting for, nothing I absolutely need to have other than what I already possess in my life.

And that makes me feel very secure, insofar as one can feel secure in these turbulent times.  This state of no-want lets me live my life day to day, just doing whatever the day asks of me...without the sense that I have to get somewhere or be some place else.

I'm really thankful that I've been gifted with peace and simplicity.

Have a great week. xx

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Holidays Are Here

It's so hard to believe this year is nearly over.  Each year seems to start rather slowly, but then come late spring every year, the months just start to fly.  Every November, without fail, I think August was just last month!

So the holidays are upon us now, and it'll be a quick slide into 2018 from here.

I'm having a 25 Percent OFF Sale in my Etsy Shop, from now through Sunday December 3.  Everything in the shop is 25 percent off.  Sale prices are listed on every item, so there's no need to use a code at checkout.

If you've purchased from me recently and received a 10% discount coupon as a Thank You, you can use that coupon on top of the 25% off during the sale!

In other news, I finished another fantastic novel this week ~
Life or Death by Michael Robotham.  It was so good that I'm planning to read all his previous books.

Otherwise, life just keeps rolling on, with me reading, collaging, writing letters, and generally tending hearth and home.

Have a really wonderful Thanksgiving, all you folks in the States.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Becoming Vintage

This first collage, and the sixth one shown, were done in another new collage journal, this one a vintage journal with lined paper inside.  The size of the book is 7.25 x 11.5, so the spreads are 14.5 x 11.5, quite a bit bigger than I've worked in previously.

I found this journal somewhere in my travels in the last few years, and a while ago I glued two pages together throughout because the single pages were brittle.  I'll get over 30 spreads in the book on now-sturdy paper.

The second collage is the last one in my 9th Midori Travelers Notebook insert.  I've already begun the 10th.

Two of the best books I've read recently:

Exposure by Helen Dunmore and
And Again by Jessica Chiarella

It was a quiet, good week.  We had some rain and we'll have more, but today it looks to be sunny.  Hope you have a great weekend.