Thursday, March 27, 2008

Along the Creative Path

Spring has its benefits and one of them is lifting the gloom that was lurking too near the perimeter of my personal space. I think the temp reached 72 today, the sky is clear and I love the way the sun beams are streaming into the house. I have not been in my studio for a very long time. A few weeks ago (March 2nd) I posted the entry “Beads of Inspiration”. Well, today I started fiddling with the beads and leather and a host of other ingredients. I am going to call this one “Hidden” because you really have to examine it up close to see all that is going on in this necklace, quite a few surprises and hidden elements.

Here is something else I am working on, the texture and the movement of the coral shells as it snakes around your neck makes such a gorgeous statement.

This cache of beads, shells, glass, silver, bone, and gem stones on dyed turquoise leather is another assemblage I started today. I want to call it “Prayer”. There is something about the combination of these elements that make me think about prayers. I do not know how it will end up, this is just the beginning. I will sleep on it. Sometimes I have to let partial design grouping brew a little while (sometimes a long while) before I know exactly what to do with it. An excellent book to read about the universal practice of prayer is by Thich Nhat Hanh, entitled “The Energy of Prayer”. Thich lives in a retreat in France called Plum Village. Plum Village is Buddhist monastery for monks and nuns and a mindfulness practice center for lay people.

What a relief to be back in a creative and inspirational groove. It’s like a form of prayer when you really think about it. How else does a formless thought become something genuinely beautiful?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Along the Spiritual Path- Trapped in the Web of Thought

There is a constant chatter that goes on in our heads, so much so that it is often quite difficult to have a peaceful moment, a moment with no thought, just a stillness. That is why it is hard to meditate. We must constantly remind ourselves to shut up! Concentrate on the breath…just breathe.

I know that when I finally do quiet my mind, I get a glimpse of something ethereal, an “awareness” beyond my thoughts. Just recently I came across a poem by Rumi. He was a Sufi mystic who wrote poetry about his relationship with God, whom he called the “Beloved”. Part of the following poem, which is untitled, talks about being trapped in the web of thought:

…I’m only with you in this transient shadow that is my body;

My joy is beyond the cusp of your frantic imagination;

Now I have broken free of the dull gravity of knowledge

I take it and use it and do not let it oppress and abuse me.

Like insects we are trapped in the web of thought,

We are entwined in cords of anguish from moment to moment.

I can visit thought with diplomatic lightness ready and able

To spring away with the flick of a finger from its net when I will

Thought is my prey waiting for my will, I'm a hunter with a heart

Mathnavi 11, 3547

Words of Paradise
Selected Poems of RUMI

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thank You

I thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
e.e. cummings

Monday, March 10, 2008

I Remember Sky

The deepest azure sky I have ever seen was in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Puffs of the whitest fluffiest clouds hung in suspension overhead. Just as delightful and awe inspiring was the black velvet night sky, pierced randomly by twinkling star light. These visuals are forever branded on my brain. I want to go back just to see the sky if nothing else. There is just something about that place that I love and it keeps calling…keeps calling me back. There are certain places that speak to each one of us and there must be a reason why it tugs at our hearts and spirit.

Eckhart Tolle, the author of The Power of Now and his latest book, A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, expounded on his podcast with Oprah, that one day he woke up with a strong “knowing” that he had to move to California. He didn’t know why, but he had to go. At the time of this realization he was living in England. He packed his bags and ended up in California by way of Vancouver. While there he began writing his new book. He returned to England, but soon realized while he was there, that he could not come up with new material for book. He could only make editorial revisions. When he returned to California his flow of ideas reignited and he was once again able to write new material. It was at that point that he surmised this was the reason he had to come to California. The “vibration” level was different on the west coast and because of that he was able to complete his book! I find that story quite fascinating!

I think New Mexico has the same kind of power over me. Each time I go there I get fired up with ideas for my art…the entire landscape is so inspiring. The fresh air, dry climate, scrumptious dishes smothered in southwest flavors and magnificent sunsets are enough to make any soul happy. This little place, in the middle of the desert keeps calling me…keeps calling me back and one day I will answer.

Photographs Courtesy of Philip Greenspan

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I'll tell you one thing, this is my baby

This is my puddy cat and his name is Rickie Boy. Anywhere I happen to flop down in my house, a few moments later my baby shows up and stations himself somewhere in the nearby vicinity. He's like that...he doesn't like to be alone. At night he sleeps under my bed and sometimes he even snores! In the morning when the alarm rings, he jumps on the bed and lays his body across my chest. I feel his little heart beat and that is so precious. Sometimes he sits behind my head and chews my hair. Rickie Boy is a faithful companion. I'll tell you one thing for sure, he's my baby.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I can never seem to have enough of them. There are piles of books all over my house, on the night table, next to the bed, on chairs, in baskets, on steps and yes, some are even on shelves! The books pictured are just some of the many books I am currently reading. These volumes ignite ideas and provide great inspiration. As soon as I purchase one another one comes out that I must get my hands on! Contrasting colors also spark ideas for design concepts including these wonderful deep blue lapis rondelles that a sweet friend purchased for me at the latest Bead Fair in Tucson, Arizona. Placing them next to a strand of African trade beads and a huge blue and white porcelain bead ( purchased at least 25 years ago in the East village, New York), say something really sublime! Don't you think?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Beads of Inspiration

I just got these wonderful handcrafted beads from Blue Heeler Glass, a shop on The row of glass discs in the chalky muted leaf hues are the ones I am specifically talking about... I absolutely love them. Today I was playing around with some of the many beads in my stash and came up with this combination in hopes it will inspire me to return to my studio. I have been in a bit of a funk... may the clouds pass over, allowing me a moment of peace. My mind has been much too over active with work, finances, the upcoming high school graduation of my daughter, fear of empty nest, loneliness, sadness...things I must work through. I have many design sketches on pieces of paper, in notebooks, on napkins, just about everywhere! Tonight I will watch Oprah's Big Give with my mom and eat chocolate cookies with milk, and then to bed!