Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Double BB Dreams

My anticipation of "soap date night" has even entered my dreamscape!! That IS a Denzel pic, yes, but it's meant to be Double BB [who won't pose for me like that].

Monday, June 29, 2009

She's Bad! They're Bad! Ciera's Sleepover ...

This just in from my bro, Chris: "Ciera's sleepover with Liam and Audra is over. They were all really good and we had fun. Attached are some crappy cell phone pics." Liam and Audra are Ciera's 'cousins', who just entertained her for a week in San Diego! Chris kept them so their folks could have a cool, adult anniversary evening! Whatta guy! What a cool a** shot!!


I have nothing to show for myself, for the weekend. I managed to get all my piles of maybe-this-will-go-to-England laid out on the bed Saturday morning, organized, checked off or added to the master checklist, laundered, considered, and then the first go at packing done. Too much stuff, but I always just start out with everything then edit from there!

Then I just collapsed into a lump on the bed, under my blankies. My throat had already been sore for 4½ days, rusty and clogged-feeling and painful just enough to keep the teapot going. Saturday morning, it hurt enough (along with my head), to shut me down. I watched HGTV until 10 p.m., floating in and out of naps.

Sunday? Throat was way better -- I sweat everything out overnight, I guess, cuz I woke up drenched and with a much clearer head. Showered, wrote outside for a while on my patio roost, then decided another day of 'just chillin' was exactly what I needed. But I lay on the couch, instead, and watched a few new-to-me DVDs, wrote in my journal, snoozed with Zoe on my feet ...

and I'm ALMOST DONE with the Beatrix Potter bio ... maybe 20 more pages. What an incredible book!!! I recommend it to anyone with more than a passing interest in her or in the life/times of her era. What a mind-blowing, deeply intelligent, multi-faceted, more-energetic-than-God (or so it seemed) woman!!! Peter Rabbit and the small books she wrote actually amount to about 1/8th of her contribution to art, science, and the environment.

REMINDER TO ALL: My Lovely Mother and I leave for England Friday ... I won't be on the wires, again, until July 14th at the earliest!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lightly on LaBelle

Sunlight & Blue Shade. Images from Toast Catalog. I drew the man, another five-minute, 'Southpaw' drawing challenge, but wanted to paint him more realistically this time. He flips open for journaling, and so does the stairway image. Mosaic Tea. Two lovely photos from a Toast catalog and watercolor paint. The Landowner's Daughter. Magazine image, clip art senorita, my photo of the trees.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

When We Meet

When We Meet
[all photos by Sam]

Here I am!
skipped by a dreamer's hand
across the ocean, a
heart-shaped stone
veined in rose,
clattering onto your front stoop.
Never mind your sidelong glance at once ironic & pithy --
I've come to torture your
electric toaster,
slobber on your guest pillow,
run my mouth whenever you attempt to read,
but mainly?
I've come to meet your meadow!
Pull on your dungarees, Cupcake,
& lead the way,
past stone doorways & plant-pot
people poised on garden benches, through familiar turns,
you, me, and
a small tiger
clammering instead for a tractor transport.

We'll trespass, won't we?
Clang open the rusty metal
gate, tipping on its hinges from
a stalwart, wood and weathered post?
Chin-high nettles,
suddenly friendly, raise a prickly-chorus to your name,
& the trees beyond
dip their heads in a home-girl nod
to your presence.
We'll stroll, arms linked &
trailed by the tiny beastie
(eyeing ME warily but
watching US curiously), and in
a meadow opening, shaded just-so
in dappled rays, fanned by the
tree posse, we'll sit
cross-legged, facing each other,
& join together that third eye
in the center of our foreheads --
heart-sourced & pulsating,
the sweet connecting of souls.
We'll remember, quietly,
& learn, calmly, but our
interlaced knuckles will
whiten with discovery:
You! Me! Us! We!
[& just behind your right shoulder,
the tiny tiger observes,
his curls lit like autumn.]

Joy & joining catapult us upward,
a high SPRING to
our enlightened feet --
& we'll take
the tiger's pawlets,
one in each of our hands, &
fashion a run to match
all our tempos,
the grasses & nettles & trees parting,
[and grinning],
snapping their own versions of our
Kodak Moment -- to recall us,
later, among themselves
beneath the moonlight --
leaning toward each other,
whispering, "Did we dream it?
Were they real?"

You spin off, & the little one,
trusting your trust in me,
trusting his own momentum &
the moment, gives me
his free hand & we twirl,
3 together ...

& the ants march &
the clouds blush for having
even considered rain
& the leaves twinkle

& the nettles preen their thorns,
anticipating your selection (soon)
of those to accompany us home,
those to become our tea.

Here I am!
One of you,
one with you,
heart-shaped & honed, released
to & revealed of
just these pumping rosy veins
tracking our dance, our walk,
our tiger companion asleep in
your lap, our hands
knitted together,

& OUR meadow (now). And later, we'll drink the
nettle tea, and it is the
day in liquid perfection,
delivering again
You! Me! Us! We!


for Sam and Ruben
June 25, 2009

Shout Out

Today, my oldest male child is 22 -- not OFFICIALLY (mind you), until 3:16 p.m. Oooh do I love this guy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wishcast Wednesday

Jamie's question today is, "What do you wish to savour?"

I wish to savor anticipation ... anticipation of the green, saturated green, everywhere green, deeply lush green landscapes My Lovely Mother and I are soon to see in England. I wish to savor the anticipation of all that will be quenched in me, the places parched from my desert habitat -- parched in a way that is so natural and normal to me now, after 3 decades here, that I don't realize they're thirsty anymore, until I land in GREEN, somewhere, anywhere. I wish to savor the anticipation of seeing cherished friends, dear as family. I wish to savor the anticipation of discovering new sights, of RAIN, of ancient fences, homes, streets, wharves, whatever I'm introduced to, all of it. I wish to savor the anticipated promise of noshin' on REAL HONEST-TO-GOODNESS BRITISH FISH & CHIPS, and possibly tea with scones. I wish to savor the anticipation of the emotions, observations, words, poetry, which will fill my tiny travel journal.

What I Didn't Dream

Neda. I happened accidentally on the video of Neda Agha-Soltan bleeding to death, day before yesterday, and haven't stopped thinking about it, or her, since.

And on the front page of MSN today? The really important stuff.
'A Perfect Swimsuit for Every Body'
'Blockbuster or Box Office Bust' (Transformers)
'Spector Wants TV, iPod in his Prison Cell'
'Jon and Kate Lived Apart for Two Years'

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wild Rain Journey

I dreamed you,
brown-eyed girl,
playing tag with Buddha-belly clouds --
one touch of your hand &
they bloomed into their colors,
bright flim-flam tones,
cheeky with rain-smeared smiles so
like those Kool-aid grins on our sons.
I dreamed you,
on the corner of
"meadow" & "pier",
hailing daisies for umbrella-taxis
& twirling a-la-Mary Poppins thru
the edges of rainbows draped like
swagged sheers at the sky's edge ...
lifted & lulled by the currents
of your own wild delight --
I dreamed you, dreamed you,
opening your palm to
scoop hands full
of cloud confetti &
drizzle it down
on me,
looking up at you, looking
suddenly through a kaleidoscope
of color,
& love.

June 22, 2009 Dreamscape
poem for Cam LaBelle, as I dreamed it

Monday, June 22, 2009

On a LaBelle Wave

Pandora's Box. Doesn't this ROCK?!!! Now let me 'splain why ... I did a creativity exercise to make this -- 5 minutes allowed to draw from an inspiration photo, using my NON DOMINANT (left) hand! FIVE MINUTES!! Then five more minutes to color or paint it, and not allowed to use a 'realistic' palette. Ten minutes and this is what came out of me!!! [[Seriously, I rarely seem to do anything this free, this abstract or cool, with my right hand!]] Ciera Leads the Way My fave picture, ever, of Ciera ... the rest of the background just followed. Vintage postcard (1909!) from my collection, papers, etc. Lots of flaps and hidden inserts for journaling. Bergen. This photo turns up a lot on Cam's blog(s), so I figured it must be one she loves. I copped it, true story, and printed it off to use on a page. Altitude. I made a photo copy of Bergen's photo, then used a Copic marker to transfer it so you see it in reverse. Then I did some paper-piecing to re-colorize his cap, t-shirt, shorts, and the soaring blanket! Fireflies. A long-cherished image from a Focus magazine, shot by Keith Carter, 1992. Papers, vintage wallpaper, decoupage tissue paper. Summer Skin. Photo from a Focus magazine - background paper came in my latest Somerset Studio magazine, deco tape, bird photo by Elliot Porter, image folds back for journaling beneath. She Wanted to Go In. Inspired wholly by Cam's blog post, here. All the 'waves' open for journaling. Nature's Herbal Remedies. Paper scrap I doodled on to create a 'villa', image from Ten Two Studios, a little 'journal' created out of the catalog cover, acrylic paint.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Ciera Meets Broadway

This just in from my bro', Chris: "Cell phone picture of Ciera at Gammage right before Chitty Chitty Bang Bang started .... She loved it. You can see the blue sky up on the stage -- Chitty Chitty (the car) actually FLEW! It was very cool. Big time Broadway stuff... What was cool is they had a lot of kids in the production, and even 5 or 6 DOGS! Including ... 3 Jack Russells!!! Ciera was enthralled."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Groovin' on LaBelle

Dreaming to the Moon. A Julification page that Cam liked, with just a few Toni touches. LaBelle Parasol. Paint and rubber stamps. The parasol pulls out for journaling on the back. Ticket to Ride. Cam? Dearest? This is NOT meant to be you, except in escapade and attitude, 'k? & possibly hair color. Meanwhile, hands - eesh! Proportions - blimey! FACES - SHITE!! But you know, I sat down and just straight-up painted this, no sketches first, no erasing of any sort, just did it, looking at a magazine photo. And the 'gist' is there, the feeling. There will be more of these.

Trying to Inhale

I headed out to work with my folder stuffed, 3 backgrounds for the LaBelle journal ... listening to some music, moseying along, looking forward to checking emails, posting the backgrounds, then hitting my Friday. Same ole', same ole', but with a good attitude.

Then, on the freeway, 1/2 mile from my exit for work, and directly (and I mean DIRECTLY) in front of me, a blue car swerved from the HOV lane into the white car in the middle lane just beside me, but also in front of me ... both cars crossed in front of me (in the right lane), hit the masonry wall ... the white car spun around, the blue car rebounded off the wall and flipped three times that I counted and landed upside down in the center lane. The white car spun to a stop in the right lane, where I had just been. I had, meanwhile, slowed and then stopped in the emergency lane and immediately dialed 911. As I was on the phone with them, the driver of the blue car actually EMERGED ... a young guy, 21 if a day, in shorts, a loose t-shirt, Vans, bleeding all down his right side, his head bloodied, STAGGERING toward the concrete wall. Another car had stopped and those two people instantly went to him, guided him to a sitting position over near his vehicle, took his cell phone away (he was even trying to use THAT, although obviously disoriented and badly injured). I finished talking to DPS and then drove on.

As soon as I was past the crumpled vehicles and could no longer see that kid, I burst into sobs. Flashed on my oldest male child (his accident was 2 years ago, the 17th of this month) ...

I had wanted to get out of my car and go to that boy, but I didn't want to create yet another hazard, and I was blocking the only useable passing area (the emergency lane). I called 911, told them, they patched me thru to DPS, and you wanna know what the first question was out of both of those operators' mouths? "HOW MANY LANES IS IT BLOCKING?" Excuse me? I said, loudly, 'Look, you've got a kid here with obvious serious injuries! Talk to me about sending an ambulance and then we'll talk about lane blockage.' What the FUCK?!

I got to the office, crying like the Still Scared Mom I am and still wanting to hug that kid, not to mention my OWN sons ...

so maybe later I'll post my perky LaBelle backgrounds ... right now I am trying to clear my head of the vision of that young guy bloodied and staggering like he was, and being thankful he was alive and the other driver was alive and I was alive cuz it was 2 feet from my front bumper, all of it ... and that my son is alive,

and that's just plain enough.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


My blogging friend, Cinner, recently went to visit her Mom and Dad, to be handy and helpful while her Dad was in the hospital awaiting hip surgery. Things took a huge turn for the heartbreaking and her dad passed away! I couldn't STAND it when I received the message -- what?! And I just wanted to do something for My Woman, C. Somehow, my mind and heart rebelled against making a card, with some 'stock' sentiment no matter how true ... so I wrote a letter, with my real feelings, and sent it off. Today, Cinner directed me to her blog, where I found this. I'm afraid I'm going to have to let her words say why there has been a Toni Award invented -- I am so touched I can't open my mouth - my heart is in my throat! It's just that -- everything Cindy says about me is what I feel about her, how strongly I connected to her from reading her blog. This blog thing, I mean -- it's helping me find FAMILY! "Most of us know Toni from Seaweed and Gardenias. If you have not been to her blog...please drop by for a visit. She ia an amazing artist. I made this award for her as she definately deserves it....

Yesterday I recieved the most beautiful envelope sent first class in the mail. I knew it was Toni's work before I even opened the envelope. My sister in law has borrowed my camera to go to her sons grad or I would be showing you pictures of the envelope and the letter. So I opened the letter and held in my hand the most beautiful page with a face of a lady in the corner, words fragile handle with care, some green and brown trees. On it also was the most beautiful writing. I know my Grandma would say what beautiful penmanship she has...the words of the letter were the best part of all. Here was a lady that I have known briefly and she took the time out of her day to offer her support and her shoulder to lean on if I needed her in any way at all to help me get through the loss of my father. She signed the letter, With great sorrow and affection, Toni....

I believe that there are angels among us that we sometimes come accross. She must be one. Toni I will cherish this letter more than I ever can express in words and more importantly I will cherish you, your heart and your kindness!"

Wishcast Wednesday (On Thursday)

Today (yesterday!) Jamie asks: "Who or what do you wish to play with?" I wish to play with my Bloglandia Posse, my homewimmenz, my friends and soul sistahs!! ROLL CALL (drum roll, please): Veronica! SamX! Cam! Alison! Beth! Lee! Patty M, my poetry WOMAN! Holly, AKA My Queen! Julification 'Layer Love' Julie, aka J to the P! Cindy, aka Cinner, aka "C"!


P.S. You all thought I was gonna say him, dincha? DINCHA?!!!

No Woman No Cry

I listened to Bob Marley in my studio last evening, and I was playing with creating paisley prints out of my leftover paints on the palette. Anyway, this is an ORGANIZED assembly of the images I can remember from my dreams. Dreams, PLURAL -- they were all over the place and all I could do on my patio roost is scribble, quickly, into my journal the items and sensations I remembered. Most notable/immediate were the vintage camera and the turquoise guitar. The actual 'soundtrack' I can recall wasn't reggae/Bob at all -- it was Simon and Garfunkel's song, The Boxer ... ???

England Travel Journal

My journal for my trip across the pond is a 3½ x 5½ moleskin, filled with maps especially for London. We're not actually GOING to London but it was the only English city journal I could find here at Jenni Bick. [I dream of having one of these for a few of my favorite cities, and creating a 'character' who journals in each one. But that's another story.] Below, a sampling of a few of the pages in my England journal -- I've been quietly, slowly, casually working on this for 3 months now. Perfectly compact, sturdy, ready to go! Two weeks and a "wake-up" to take-off! I've put in a glassine envelope for each day we are actually THERE (excluding travel), to collect receipts, ephemera, found objects. Also in the envelope is a small tag to make notes about the items. Envelope for Day 4. Umbrella and Wellies!! (grin) In anticipation of old buildings, walls, graveyards, statuary, gardens. In honor of Beatrix Potter, of course! ARE WE THERE YET?