Lizards in the Leaves

Rustlings in the green....imagination, art, whimsy

Feb 21, 2015

Love letter

I have been doing more writing than visual work lately. So I haven't had much to post.  I just finished up a week in an online course called In Her Skin. Our last directive was to write a love letter to ourselves. And to take a picture from a place of love.

dear me,
remember how it was when you were 23 and reading Virginia Woolf’s diary and she wrote things to ‘old V’, how sad it was knowing that she didn’t get terribly old and how unhappy she was and how you decided never to write things to your old self in case it was a jinx?

 And remember that one sentence in the biography that made you just weep….’She put stones in her pocket and walked into the River Ouse.’ For a long time, it was the saddest sentence you ever knew. And then your son died and your mother and your brother and now there are lots of candidates for saddest sentence ever.

And now, you’re older than Virginia ever got.

You’re way happier despite the sad sentences in your biography. You’re worried, though, about future sad sentences. And Alzheimer’s. Decrepitude. More death.

Just stop.

Sink into this moment. THIS moment. It is full of love and peace and dreams and hope. After a few minutes, you DID remember the name of the friend in Brooklyn your daughter stayed with during Hurricane Sandy. You can still do the Tai Chi kicks, stand in Tree Pose nearly effortlessly, and sit on the ground without using your hands and get up using only one. (And don’t forget,  you were never very bendy anyway. Oh, that reminds me - remember those pictures of old Helen Gurley Brown putting her leg behind her head? And how you aspired to that…? Just be happy about the getting up from the floor using only one hand thing.)

You used to smoke. You lived for years on caffeine and nicotine and sugar. You were rail-thin and a strong breeze or a bad cold could take you down. And you were so full of anxiety you wrote this line: ‘every nerve ends / in a frantic wasp.’

 You’ve got 40 more pounds on young you and that bothers you. I’m here to remind you that last year it was 60 and you will lose 20 more this year because you can. And you will keep the other 20 because it makes you strong.

And you are strong. Your heart is wide open and even in the bombed-out, scorched places, shimmery seams of gold are revealed. You’re full of shiny things.  (Remember when you were an elf in Shoemaker and the Elves and they covered your eyelids with glitter and every time you blinked, some glitter fell off and it was just sparkles in front of your eyes the whole time on stage? Well, there is so much sparkle in your world, it’s like that. Only without little bits of glitter getting in your eyes and scratching your corneas!)

You kicked 90% of your agoraphobia/travel fear and every year you make a trip now. Last year you got on a bus and stayed in hotel rooms alone and you wore a backpack and rode the T from the bus to your son’s stop. All by your brave, intrepid self. You navigated the Atlanta airport. All by yourself.

You sat with death. You saw your son in the morgue. You held the hand of dying loved ones. Twice. And you wrote this line ‘grace too big for the room.’

And you still know joy.

How better to tell you I love you than to remind you how strong you are? How you have grown deep roots and wild branches that reach for sky and that sometimes you blossom outrageously . How beauty stalks your life and leaves messages for you everywhere. How better?

love, me

Jan 15, 2015

Stamp making

Over her winter break, granddaughter Sophia spent a few days with me. 
I proposed some potentially messy projects, but she said she wanted to carve stamps.

One of the things I've decided to encourage now that she is older is to take some time before a creative endeavor and think a bit about it. That is partly because that is something I would like to do more myself. 

So instead of willy-nilly, freeform carving of this and that, we took time to draw a few designs and plan the stamps we'd like to have. 

That, and a reminder that words/letters/numbers should be carved reversed,  was pretty much all my direction to her. I was truly amazed at what she came up with and at her skill in wielding the tools. 

These were her first stamps:

Her design page:

Oh, and I also told her a horror story about running a similar wood-carving tool into the web of my left hand when I was her age, and so she was very careful with the tool.

Hands down, her stamps were better than mine, though I do like my yes!. I had her make some hearts for me and my husband asked for one for his band, PJO.

My design page:

Jan 9, 2015

UFO - Steven West Blanket

I started this last winter and had to stop because of suddenly having a lot of shoulder pain, which wound up as a case of frozen shoulder.  (I haven't been rigorous about dealing with it, but it's better - pain low, range of motion improved.)

I'm not working at the blanket intensely as I was last year, but it's a nice relaxing knit and very warm and cozy, too, as I can drape it over myself during the knitting.

It's really at a point where I could stop, but I feel a bit determined to make it as long as the pattern measurements - about 60 inches.

I want to mention, too, how much I appreciate having a lap blanket for winter driving. Just a thick bit of knitting over the thighs - definitely warms and adds to the comfort level. This would be a great pattern to adapt to make a few - it's quite cushy with the yarn doubled, that neat i-cord border. And easy-peasy!

See my post here for particulars.

Jan 2, 2015

Cloth Projects: holy quest, floating

a small poem
stitched freely.
cottons. muslin in the typewriter. random words.
a piece of eco-dyed fabric from the summer.
french knots.

Jan 1, 2015

Imagery for my Word2015

I've been loving all the visual representations of everyone's Word I have seen in the Facebook group I'm in and I just spent time trying to find inspiration for one for mine. FOCUS

Oh my. Lots of sports imagery, boobs, targets, magnifying glasses. I kind of liked images of lasers, but none inspired. But then...a motivational poster with a close-up of wolf eyes! Oh, yeah. But they were so fierce - too fierce it seemed. Then I looked at owl (way fierce, too!) and crow and fox eyes (all closer totems to me than Wolf.) 

And suddenly remembered pictures I took a few weeks ago. Pictures of my dog Lily as she stared intently and unwaveringly at the cracker I was eating.

Oh, yeah plus! Cropped to her eyes, here is my visual for FOCUS. (Not so fierce - hungry and intent.)

May you have a sparkly, joy-filled 2015!
Blessed be, aho, namaste, love, love, love.

Dec 31, 2014

Cloth. Vessel

Stitched muslin vessel.
Work in progress.

Dec 29, 2014

a few changes

I am in Year 10 of this blog and I have never made a significant change in its appearance in all that time. I have thought about doing something drastic for the last three years - three years!- and late yesterday I began to tidy up the sidebar a bit and then one thing led to another and I found myself staring into the code of the template, the ancient template I have used since Day One.

A little experimenting with removing this and increasing that and reducing those, a brief fling with switching over to Blogger's "new" templates with widgets and customization that did not work well and the disappearance of everything meaningful to me in the sidebar, and at 3 a.m. or so, I was finished.

And pretty pleased with what I got considering that it was all kind of "poke this, prod that, and see what happens."

It is simple. And fairly clean and tidy. But not so clean and tidy as to be unrecognizable as my online space.  And it feels good in here - technological feng shui has happened and swirls of newly-freed energy keep me coming back just to look again and again.

This whole thing may be held together with chewing gum and band-aids (please don't go look at the source code and tell me why it's all going to fall apart) , but today it seems like functional space to me and I'm pleased.

I may even be inspired by this to get my website in better order soon. (That is held together with spit and a prayer.)
And I might actually put things in my Etsy shop.

Oh! It's the FOCUS word-of-the-year thing!
I know it! I feel it humming away already.

FOCUS POCUS! Magickal!

Me, reading poetry at the Downtown Block Party
Terre Haute 2013