Monday, April 25, 2011

The Gift of Good Friday

May I introduce the latest bud on the Family Tree?   Joining the other trees (Aspen, Cedar, and Olive), is Linden, born the evening of Good Friday.   We are so excited for another new one to love, and can't wait to meet him.
They wrapped him in Grandma's love offering just for the photo.
We adore those little ones.   Welcome to the world, Blessed Babe.
p.s.  Thank you to Aspen for this photo, which I stole from her blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Tribute to National Poetry Month with Billy Collins

In case you didn't know it yet, I am passionate about poetry.   Always have been.  I do not write it, but savor the reading, the scent and taste of the words.  Poetry should be read aloud, always, and repeated often.  I suggest memorizing, (unless you're my age and you'll relate to this poem).
Then, keep reading for some further amusement by Billy Collins.


The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

If you don't know Billy Collins, you can hear him read one of his most famous:  "Litany" here on You Tube

Now, in case you haven't met the You Tube three-year-old sensation, here he is reciting the same poem.
I recommend you enjoy all of his poetry.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Parting with my children

    Probably because I've never identified myself as an artist, I've had trouble parting with the things I've created (yes, especially my offspring, who are both fabulous artists).  I'm referring here to things I've made and crafted.  What does one do with all the "stuff" of creation?   My attachment to successful endeavors is now becoming a problem to be solved, so this year I resolved to USE UP what I've collected.   If you've followed this blog, you know that last month, I cut up my tie-dyed fabric to use in fabric books.  Last week I cut up some marbled paper I made.   And as I told my seat-mate, Nancy, at our calligraphy workshop, I'm humbly proud of the results.
   As is the tradition for a Utah Calligraphic Artist's workshop, each participant has a role to play.  This year I was assigned the "Thank You" book for Mike Kesceg's Pointed Pen extravaganza.   The guild has waited FOUR YEARS for him, and the wait was worth it.   He is probably one of the most technically perfect pointed pen experts, internationally.   Here is one of the greatest ideas, and the thing that made it worth the time, effort, and money:  "Make it your own.   Don't do it just because this is how someone else does it, find your own unique style.   And then be consistent."  Can I tell you how many workshops I've attended with the opposite message?   Most of them.    So it was refreshing to have PERMISSION to be uniquely, individually, if I need permission.   How can anyone ever be something they're not?   I've spent a lifetime trying, and finally have given up.
So, here is my thank you book, with the disclaimer that a few unique individuals did it their own way, and so the book has a random quality not planned (but since I'm random, I guess it only follows.)
This is a tag book, aka flag book.  The blue and green tags were supposed to be opening to the right, and the buff colored was supposed to "flag" to the left.   I didn't have the heart to make people do it over, so we just "went with it."

What does this book have to do with the blog title of parting with my children?  Well, the marbled paper is one I made, so it's one of my "children",  and I cut up the original for the book cover, without making a copy.    (The Clutter Rehab book I'm working with suggests saving only photos of things we like.)   The lower photo is not quite color accurate, but you get the gist, and the opened flag book is more true to color.    It was tied closed with blue grosgrain ribbon.  The size was about 6 3/4 by 4 1/4, opening up to about  15 inches.
Now, all I need to do is get rid of the children in my house that look like books, or greeting cards, or paste paper, or monoprints, or ......