Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
#27: Write a love letter to myself, or say what I don't hear often enough. "I am so proud of you!!!" #28: I Love You. "Camping with the three of you is an escape into Boy Land where I get to watch, & participate, outright. Football throwing & bait hooking & peeing outdoors & farting into the fire (& playing with the fire) & eating 3 hostess cupcakes in a single day & drinking beer & belching & just scratching whatever itches. These are things I love do with all of you, my 3 guys. GROOVIN'!"
I say The End because it's the end, for now, of my participation in the on-line prompt class. But Ms. Kelly Kilmer's classes continue, and I highly recommend them for fun, for experimentation, for a kick in the 'I don't know what to do' pants, for a great sense of community and commitment to a month-long project. You can sign up on her blog (see my side bar, Soul Food).
As for me, I have an altered book project awaiting me, my March commitment, along with my ongoing 2009 personal altered calendar. I also want to resume my pages in the Wandering Senses journal. And because I took my commitment to Kelly's prompts for February seriously, I've all but abandoned my written journal, so I still have 23 background pages prepped and waiting for words! I do have 49 'sides' remaining in my visual journal, which I intend to keep after -- but this time, I want to focus on coordinating my journaling with the backgrounds/images, hopefully via poetry.
SO STAY TUNED!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
How beautiful I feel!!
Now, here, in my
ratty shirt & no bra,
my hair sticking up in wild, nap-induced tufts,
no make-up, no earrings, not even my signature ring!
Legs clad in jeans with
blown-out knees & a hole in the butt,
pulled over unshaved legs,
toes tucked into baby blue sequined slippers,
paint-splattered hands and arms, an
errant splotch on my cheek, and (of course)
Zoe in my lap.
Around me, evidence of my afternoon,
home tending to a sick &
mostly-sleeping Double BB.
Art, it's art, piles and stacks,
pages and paint brushes and tubes
and ink bottles and rinse buckets
and soiled blotter paper and
gloppy paper towels.
Scissors, stapler, glue stick,
ruler, punches, trimmer -
the creativity maze.
My Zoe carefully tiptoes
through it all on her way to my lap,
fastidiously shaking off the sticky goo
such as she always does.
Here I am!
Do you see?
Oh, DO YOU SEE?
Color, glitter, ribbon, photos, paper.
My inside skin turned inside-out,
overtaking the room with inspiration,
drenching me in a halo of myself
& banishing all notions of how I
'should' look, or feel, or BE.
HOW BEAUTIFUL I AM!
My ideas, my innovation, my
responses, summoned, expressed,
caught now with
glue & ink & shapes &
focal images & words.
My heart, my soul, my love, my
fears, my memories, my LIFE,
here, all around me, an
unimaginably genuine self-portrait.
Make way, expectations!
Take note, perpetrators of false feminine realities!
THERE IS A REAL WOMAN AMONG YOU,
and I am she.
02/24/09 l. antonia brown
isle of sky words
Monday, February 23, 2009
#21: super hero powers I wanted as a kid. "I yearned to be able to talk to animals like Dr. Doolittle, especially cats and birds. Then in 4th grade, I read Madeleine L'Engle's book, A Wrinkle in Time, and became fascinated with the concept of time travel. Both still consume a lot of my writing and fantasy life. Movies like Somewhere in Time, Back to the Future, and The Horse Whisperer, and now Cesar Milan and his skill with dogs! Awesome! Bobfather (my brother) is a cat whisperer, except for Puma-Zoe!" #22: Worst teacher. "Mr. Smith, 8th grade algebra. Always had his back to us, or sat arrogantly in his desk chair saying, "Figure it out." To this day, I don't think HE understood the subject. Whatever interest I had left in math died that year." #23: How do I eat my veggies now/what's on my grocery list? "I will happily nosh on any veggie, raw or cooked, except sweet potatoes. But the veggie of all veggies is ASPARAGUS! Too bad it's so expensive. It even makes my pee smell good when I eat it! It really does!! Grilled veggies are best. My grocery list is always 'essentials': bread, milk, eggs, stuff for my two hoovers in the form of sons, the occasional treat like creamer and eggplant." #24: Bedtime Routine: "Bedtime is brushing teeth, washing off makeup, choosing/readying work outfit for the next day, including selecting my jewelry -- I love that part! Moisturize my face, beg BB to watch TV in the living room, snuggle into the covers but kick them OFF my feet -- then it's fantasy time. Where will I go tonight? Argentina? Prague? The ocean? What language? What occupation? Where do I live? What art supplies do I need? Who am I interacting with? Is it present day, the past, a parallel universe? Sometimes the fantasy influences my dreams. Sometimes it bores me to an early sleep. Sometimes it cleaves into bright fragments that later become poetry, a journal background, or a later fantasy. When I'm really tired, I decide what kind of bed I'd most like to be in, the linens, the room, the weather outside." #25: My best birthday: "Nags Head, age 13, spent the day on my own, at the pool, on the beach. Mom 'baked' my cake in an electric skillet, and I received my very first transistor radio! BLISS!" #26: What I would take with me: "Memories and the ocean."
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Ciera's purple hand print on the left -- a TREASURE! This whole panel lifts for journaling, cuz I'm not meddling with her hand print. Underneath the hand print flap, open area for journaling and another little hidden hand print flap that lifts! Fabric paint, wallpaper scrap from Patty at The Tuscan Rose, hand/flower (under the Kelly Kilmer influence) from a bunch of photocopies I made of free henna prints, grapefruit photo my own. I am STILL transfixed by Peter Beard - this is another page after the feeling I get from his journals. My brothers really liked it. Magazine images, fabric paint, rubber stamp images. I found the mask image & dotted cityscape background; Ciera contributed the dancing girl and other hands. Fabric paint background. Ciera wanted the page to be red, but I said if I did that we wouldn't be able to see the dancing girl as well. Stamp pad impressions, fabric paint, magazine images. This is my favorite background so far in this journal. For breakfast one morning, we enjoyed grapefruit from Cam/Chris/Ciera's tree in the back yard, and that inspired this page. Fabric paint, deco tape, a slide mount, mag image, and new stencil I bought at Frenzy Stamper after my Kelly Kilmer workshop. [P.S. I canNOT stop thinking about that workshop. Small things rise up, both about the art we did and just the interactions. Just a good good experience - it's staying with me and I'm glad!] This magazine image from the Texas floods just stayed with me; I tried to create a page with the same feeling of damp, pocked, chaotic devastation. Fabric paint, newspaper and magazine images, enlarged copy of my favorite bird rub-on (my spirit bird!). A favorite Van Gogh painting, paper scraps, fabric paint, leaf stencil.
#19: In Phoenix, sunglasses are a survival tool, but I don't like them. #20 - Most Embarrassing Moment. "Once, I farted in the middle of a huge meeting: client, municipality, and contractor representatives, and my own bosses & project team. Everyone, even the women, even me, in power suits. And it was one of those whiners, like letting air out of a balloon. At the end, a happy little upnote: WHEET! It was obvious I did it - there was no escaping it. I blushed like only a fair-skinned blond can -- crimson from stem to stern. A L-O-O-N-G moment of silence -- then I just hiked my skirt up under my boobs, and in my best Steve Urkel voice, intoned, "Did I do that?" That broke the tension -- everyone laughed; I said excuse me and took my seat, very thankful that at least it didn't stink! [Because I still work in the industry & see many of the same people, I sometimes get greeted with, "Did I do that?" when I meet up with them again.]
Went to Best Buy just now with My Lovely Mother and bought myself an adapter ... just didn't want to be unplugged.
Before I picked up Mom, though, I had gone to Walmart for some dinner fixin's ... while standing (endlessly) in the checkout line, I started hearing some amazingly foul, amazingly LOUD foul, language coming from about 6 checkout lines down the way. Looked up -- all I could see were 5 really cute kids, the oldest maybe 9, ranging down to 3 that were still on wobbly legs ... and behind the cart, a very large, very grim-looking woman holding onto the cart handle and just verbally shredding those children.
"I told you twice to get that out of the cart, you dumb-ass punk!"
"What the fuck are you doing, Stupid?"
"I'm gonna beat your damn stupid ass if you make me say it again."
and so on.
Everyone, and I mean EVE!RY!ONE! in the store kinda stopped, turned and looked, but it was as if in slow motion -- none of us could take it in, could make our minds hear it and understand it, or comprehend who was on the receiving end of it.
I wasn't close enough to say anything. I couldn't see around other registers and displays and such to discern if anyone nearer to her attempted to say anything. But I could see those kids well enough, and they were oblivious to it, or used to it, and that upset me more than anything -- they were so used to it that they were capable of ignoring it, which is what they were doing, which is what was causing her to amp up in volume and level of expletives.
I pushed my cart out to my truck, put the groceries in it, sat down, and started to cry. I thought of those little faces, I thought of them looking and sounding like her in 10 years, I wondered who brought HER up and how ... I mean, subtracting judgment and quelling my feelings of repulsion & anger, there remained the very obvious question: what had been done to her in her youth, that she was so naturally, unselfconsciously, horrible like that to her own kids?
All the way home, I asked myself what I could've said. If I'd been direct and said anything like, 'Hey, that's a really crude and abusive way to talk to your kids," she more than likely would've directed a stream of it at me for meddling. So I pondered. What if I'd said, gently, 'Hey, are you all right? Could you use some help?' How would that have gone over? Would it at least have interrupted her for the few minutes from check-out to her vehicle? Would the little ones have had some mental breathing room, some clean-aired silence? Would they know the difference?
FUTILITY IS NOT SOMETHING I'M GOOD AT.
Posted by Toni at 10:26 AM
Friday, February 20, 2009
Alert: Zoe, whilst I was elsewhere diverted, chewed her way through the A/C adaptor cord to my laptop. Upon discovery, I gave her 20 lashes and grounded her from mat board for two weeks. But this does mean that until I'm able to purchase a replacement, I'm dead in the water at home. Won't be any scanning OR posting this weekend, eesh blimey and double shite!!! ACK!!!!!!!!!!!!
I talked to "D's" dad a long time last night -- here's the WONDERFUL SCOOP!
"D" had his last drain removed yesterday -- he's now free of all IVs, drains, tubes, needles, attachments and medical appliances! My buddy said all "D" needed was to get OUT of the hospital to start improving by leaps and bounds, as he'd been getting increasingly depressed there. All of "D's" bodily functions are normal, no bags, no need for any of that. The infection is completely gone; he's even gaining weight (which, believe me, he sorely needs to do)! "D" changes his own remaining dressings, and even those will be history at his next follow-up visit.
The request still stands for cards, as "D" has them all up in his room and they've become his bragging wall! He sent a thank you shout-out and big cheesy grin to everyone who is represented on his wall!
And as for "D's" Dad, he has found employment elsewhere, so a huge sigh of relief from him AND from me on that account.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Florencia, Toni, My Lovely Mother -- what you don't see is my bro', The Bobfather, in some corner cutting up, probably mooning us, he's known to do that every now and again! From left to right: Our good friend Christina, Florencia (on The Bobfather's lap), yours truly, My Lovely Mother.
Because "D's" dad no longer works with me, it's harder for me to connect to get updates. BUT WHO CARES?!!! "D" went home as of last Friday ... holy ALL RIGHT BATMAN!!!
Thank you again to everyone, near & far, who sent cards and well wishes.
Wish you coulda been there. Wish I coulda been there (I didn't know about it!)! My nephew, Alex, plays guitar for this heavy metal band. Trinsic. My nephew, the bad a** guitar player ... He's got the hair for it, doesn't he? ... come on, Baby, light my fire!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Fabric paint, paper strip, new stamp from Stamp Francisco called West African Woman. Jacquard's Lumiere paints, hand-carved swallow stamp, new stamp from Veronica's shop called "Pagoda Dreams". Not seen very well - the Phoenix Symphony ticket stub I found when I took Kelly Kilmer's class, taped down for a pocket. House paint (yellow), then I shmooshed one of my cuttlebug embossing folders into it and let it all dry, then rubbed a silver stamp pad over it. Magazine image, rub-ons, and a new stamp from Veronica's ETSY which I call "Summoned by the Sea" ... Paper edges from a blotter piece on my desk; magazine images, stamped words and new Cabaret Girl stamp from Veronica. I LOVE THIS PAGE! It's SO me! Background papers all from Patty and/or The Tuscan rose, decorative tape, photo by my Daddy-O, Winter Storm, Grand Canyon (his Christmas card to me this year). Fabric paint, border from a grocery bag, rubber stamp images including a new one (top left), The Guardian, that I purchased from Veronica. Fabric paint, ink pad blots, and 2 of my favorite rubber stamp images: The Bather, and Aphrodite Waiting (both from Stamp Francisco). Magazine photo (top); rubber stamp image I just ordered from Veronica's ETSY shop. Fabric paint, paper scrap. On the left, my Valentine from Ciera (opens to reveal a photo of a Chinese junk, scanned and printed from a post card); photo from a magazine, transparency of child silhouette from The Tuscan rose. "T" (& zig zag paper) compliments of Ciera. Also, the maroon touches added at her suggestion.
Prompt #14: One moment, replayed in words: "In the hospital room, April 2, 1991, gowned up, contracting steadily, thoroughly. My crotch, of course, facing the door, and for maybe two hours of contractions I had the mental space to be seriously ticked off by that. Double BB using the thumb and fingers of one hand to count me through: 1-2-3-F-O-O-U-U-R, long exhalation, start over. At 5 centimeters, everything stalled. Dad arrived, pitocin was given, and when that kicked in, BB got summoned to do admittance and insurance paper work. So he showed Dad what to do, and Dad took over seamlessly, tenderly, gently. 1-2-3-F-O-O-U-U-R. Took me 5 minutes to go from 5 to 7, and only another 5 to go from 7 to 10. I remember saying sternly, "I! WANT! TO! PUSH!" The nurse, surprised, checked me again and a flurry began. Hallway dash to the delivery room, hard stainless table, glaring lights, a different doctor, push, push, push, BB's hand in mind, push, push. But you stuck -- forceps tugged you out. I heard, "It's a boy!" and said, "YESSS!!!!!!", then began to shiver. The doctor tilted you up so I could have a look, then you got whisked away and I got enveloped in heated blankets while they stitched me up. 12:03 a.m., April 3, 1991: KEVIN DENNIS BROWN." Prompt #15: Favorite month: "Give me September, in her poncho of blazing color, fringed in falling leaves & redolent with the smell of fires, pine, north-tinged winds, the farewell songs of winged creatures lacing her with melodies. One last camping trip, school supplies & clothes, laying of blankets on beds & throws on the arms of sofas -- & pulling out a favorite pair of slippers. Hot chocolate on the patio in the slowly-darkening mornings." Least favorite time: "July in Phoenix is hardest -- sweltering & unfriendly with blistering light -- but then come the monsoons & my heart revives, captivated. Also, I struggle with the long space between President's Day and Memorial Day -- no time off, no holidays, just the relentless monotony of work & hurried weekends." Prompt #16: "Quiet on Sunday mornings -- too early even for the birds, just the coffee maker & my pen scuffing across a page. Pulse & daydreams make themselves known like strange chimes that only sound in windless air. Sustained thoughts a soundless internal vibration, lately pulled like threads woven back to my earliest memories, still beating." Prompt #17:"Amy, like a sparkling ruby just ahead of me, older by a sometimes critical, sometimes irrelevant, 5 years -- leading, but sharing, an energy bomb, a wildfire of talent and trouble -- how eager I was to emulate you, to glow in your cast shadow -- then somehow, suddenly, we were peers, & best friends. No topic too small or too large for us to tangle with, take on, or talk about. I've admired you since I was 5, loved you since I was 15, thought of you every day since then, stood up for you at your wedding, stood behind you when you separated-then-reconciled, met your kids & introduced you to mine, even loved one of your brothers. Geography is just a meaningless physical distance -- there has never been a moment's hesitation between us when we've closed that gap. I know you love me; you know I love you -- it's a simple and unique as all the history we've created together." Prompt #18: "I am the colors of the sea -- rich & robust beneath, in the under-currents, and shimmering with visions at the surface, permeated with tides that transform the colors and sometimes leave me only translucent, & cresting."
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Back home, back in my studio, back with my furry Zoe making dough in my lap, back after another lovely lazy weekend with My Lovely Mother, my love Ciera, and my bros' Cam and Chris. We ate! (burp) We watched DVD's, and also Somewhere In Time (twice) on TV on Saturday night. We ate again when my bro', Bobfather, came over on Sunday with his lady and her daughter, and then prepared a bonafide love feast for us -- melt-in-your-mouth BBQ pork and chicken, homemade guacamole (you know Toni was loving that), homemade pico de gallo, beans, salad, dill potato salad, rice with sweet corn mixed into it ... burp! refill plate! burp again, start over.
Saturday when we arrived, I unloaded 5 bags/boxes of art supplies onto their cleaned-off dining room table -- ink pads, paints of every sort, decorative tapes and scissors, brushes, folders full of images and paper scrap. Cam and My Lovely Mother presented Ciera with a new journal, and I'm telling you, that child filled the entire thing in 2 days. Ciera and I sat at that table and took turns throwing out ideas for the next page. We also wrote a little book called Five Puppies and each took turns with illustrations for it. We taped and painted and shmooshed and made hand prints and nose prints and doodles and pressed pages together and made pockets and sprinkled stickers everywhere and cut images out of the stack of magazines I had and used stamps from the 4 notebooks of rubber stamps I brought and stenciled and stapled and ... well, you get my drift. Ciera, it must be said, stayed 45 steps ahead of me when it came to ideas for what we'd do on the next page. She'd finish her page and attempt, each time, to wait me out as I worked on mine -- but she had time to jump rope, chase the puppy, change clothes, and argue with her Daddy about brushing her hair before I ever finished one of my pages. Sometimes she did 4 or 5 pages while I worked on one.
So. Yea. You know this journal I've been working on? The one where I have been focused on trying to create the backgrounds slowly, as I go, in order to have them be more connected to the actual written journal entry? Well, uh ... Houston, we've got a problem. Toni is now 25 (TWENTY-FIVE) background pages ahead of her written journaling. Ciera is nothing if not inspirational. Also, one does not merely 'watch' Ciera make art, one is compelled (ordered, bossed, commanded) to make a matching page in one's own journal. Complete with suggestions and tweaks for possible improvement provided by Ciera. (She's also DEAD ON with her suggestions, so I pay close attention. She is a color guru, absolutely FEARLESS, and I need that.)
Yesterday, I finally took my lazy but ever-more-pungent self in for a shower ... wasn't in there a full 4 minutes when I heard a blood curdling SCREAM followed by serious Ciera sobs! OHMIGOD!!! I rinsed the shampoo out of my hair as fast as I could while imagining the use of scissors gone awry ... dashed to the living room as soon as I was decent and found that Ciera had stapled her finger trying to reload staples. Not just a prick, she full-on STAPLED her wee digit. Daddy Chris had to extricate the staple, apply medication, kisses and bandage, while My Lovely Mother, Unk Cam and I hovered waiting to administer hugs and oohs and poor things! I also offered to kick that stapler's ass, and Ciera handed it right over for a whooping! [Note: must buy Ciera a new stapler, a GOOD one!]
We came home early this a.m., as Double BB needed to borrow my truck. I spent the morning catching up my February prompt backgrounds, then succumbed to a blissful nap with Zoe curled up by my toes. Have been sorta pushing papers here and there and back again since I woke up; think I'm calling it an art day -- will do the journal prompts on these later. I also received my GORGEOUS BIRD STAMPS from The Tuscan Rose today, but I'm going to wait until I'm more mentally refreshed to give those a whirl. I have a feeling they'll consume me for a few days.
Thanks to everyone for emails and comments about missing me -- that surprised me! In such a lovely way! My little weekend at The Ranch was everything it always is: love-filled, relaxing, Buddha Belly Inducing (oh, to cook like ANY of my brothers are able to do!), art-inspiring (thanks, Sweet Bear!) and just simple good times. The best!
A few visuals to be posted tomorrow, promise. I'm off to play chase, pounce & bounce with Zoe -- I missed her!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Before I close down, I have to tell you about this: if you love birds, go visit(run! right now! I mean it!!!) The Tuscan Rose ! RIGHT NOW. Scroll down, down, see the Basic Grey stamp sets? Do you see them, right there on the top left? The beautiful birdcages? Oh! My! God! After you put a set of those in your cart, then you can go back and see the new Basic Grey papers and rub-ons. Basic Grey is my ultra favorite of every line out there in mixed media land -- whoo hoo! I love it when Patty brings out the new stuff!
Happy shopping! and now I'm officially off-line til next week.
All these posts are coming atcha in advance of My Lovely Mother and me heading off tomorrow, after work, for four days with Cam, Chris and my love, Ciera, at 'The Ranch' (our nickname for C&C&C's place). I'm not taking my laptop - it never can seem to pick up a signal over there. And Cam and Chris are both having hard drive issues. So this will be a cyberspace-free weekend ... we're going to watch movies and eat until we all have happy Buddha bellies and Ciera and I will make art (no doubt) and Mom will be teaching Ciera how to sew (shhh, that's a surprise)! And I'll be playing with wee Patchy, too!
I won't be back home until Tuesday, and probably won't start 'catching up' on art, calendar, prompts, until Wednesday. So enjoy what ya got, here tonight, and I'll see you on the flip side!
My first pet. A cat, we always had cats everywhere, inside and out, the occasional dog, and always a bird, including a bluejay named Cheep. He fell out of the nest as a baby, crushed one of his wings, so he never could fly -- but we had him FOREVER. He used to sit on my shoulder and preen my hair, take a strand in his beak and run his beak the full length of it. Very cool and soothing. Also, we were supposed to alter our focal image, draw on it, doodle or some such. I never read the journaling prompts when I do the backgrounds (like I keep saying, I love surprises) ... but when I got to the prompt, I couldn't do it. I couldn't 'hurt' this image -- I love it! I didn't even really want to write on the page.