I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Maybe you’ve had this kind of thing happen – my boss’ brother’s wife’s mother had a project. The artist who moonlights tarot readings was out with the flu. “Hey! I’ve got something for you!” Oh sure. How was I to know that “something” was going to take a couple of years, a complete redo, and war threats with at least 3 far eastern countries? Thankfully, I really liked my boss’ brother’s wife’s mother, and it was fun to work on something out of the mainstream.

I don’t know how much more “forward” we can get than talking with a psychic. Sandy often came in with insights about what was going to happen next, with or without dropping stones on the latest layouts of her game. She was usually right. I can understand why she has her loyal patrons. Everyone in the office eventually got their fortunes told. It’s hard to say you don’t want to know the future, even if some people feel like it’s against the rules to play.

I don’t think there’s much of a line between intuition and psychics; it’s just that the psychics exercise a muscle most of us don’t bother to acknowledge in the first place. How many times have we gotten a feeling about something without really knowing why? Maybe Jung had it right when he talked about the collective unconscious, or maybe it’s God’s way of clueing us into important things, or maybe the universe is a whole lot bigger than any of us is really comfortable accepting? I know I’ve gotten those feelings, and life has definitely gone smoother for me when I paid attention to my stomach when it’s squirming. Of course sometimes maybe I should’ve eaten something different for lunch, but there are those other times I have to wonder about.

Of course there are charlatans too. If you give me $3,000, I’ll pray over some crystals. No, wait! Give me $5,000 and I’ll lift that curse off of you that will prevent you from every success or happiness for the rest of your life. Come to think of it, I see you having $10,000 in the bank that will really motivate your spirit guides and angels – once your $10,000 is in my loving care of course, which means the check has to clear before any real spirit action happens. Okay, yeah, those people exist too, and if you call the psychic hotline, they’ll keep you on the phone quite a while to tell you about how you should be careful with your money. We can exercise some common sense while keeping an open mind about some things.

I used to have a job where I scheduled events. This is a tricky thing when we consider various religious and government holidays, conflicting venue’s events, school schedules, Ohio weather… The first time I sat with my pile of conflicts, I felt overwhelmed. I jabbed a pencil at the calendar. The 20th! Okay, why not? The 20th was as good as the 27th, right? And for some reason the 20th felt better, so I filed the appropriate forms, sent out my PSA’s, etc. Blue sky on the 20th, blizzard on the 27th. Call me superstitious all you want, I scheduled the rest of my events according to my gut. Good weather for all of them. My method worked for more than 4 years when I quit scheduling those kinds of events. BTW, I told my ex-priest boss about my method, and he approved.

The game is fun and requires absolutely no skill to play. You drop the stones onto printed fabric, then consult the booklet to understand the meanings of the stone placements. You can buy it here, though I don’t get anything if you do. Sometimes I think I should make commission.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Versatile Blogger Award"

I’ll admit it, I love awards. Many thanks to Sharon for nominating me for a “Versatile Blogger Award”. Woohoo! Thanks Sharon! Visit her blog to see her art, crafts, recipes, travels… I’m feeling less versatile all the time while thinking of everything Sharon has been doing lately :)

Here’s the rules…

1. Thank the person who bestowed the award on you
2. List seven random facts about yourself
3. Spread the love by passing along the award to five other bloggers, and let them know

Let’s see, 7 random facts. Hmmm…

I’m great at growing aloe vera in pots. I like to give the babies, because we can’t have enough burn protection.

I straighten pictures on other people’s walls when nobody’s looking.

I collect rocks. Not fancy rocks, just regular rocks. It’s a genetic problem I inherited from Mom.

Sharon can do over 50 pushups. I’ve never accomplished one. Never, and I’ve tried.

I always have at least one dog, except for about 3 cumulative years when I was either grieving or pining for a dog.

I think dogs are easier to live with than men.

I can’t turn down cookies.

I hate picking favorites amongst my blogging buddies, but I’ll play by the rules.

Bella Sinclair
Otto von Munchow
Paula Kuitenbrouwer
Sarah Melling
Josh Pincus

I gave some awards out last year, so I picked new people for this one, but I still love my previous winners whom you can see here or here.

Friday, January 20, 2012


The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol of a snake eating its own tail. No beginning, no end, and therefore a symbol of the eternal cycle of things. There’s a lot of mythology that goes with it, and if you’re interested, you can go here to read more about it. I’m usually a very 2-dimensional girl, but I made this out of Sculpey. I don’t like the biting part, so I made my snake never-ending without pain. I suppose that’s unrealistic, but that’s the way I’d like life to be.

Today was one of those days when all the old people escaped into public places -- the nasty and/or daft old people. You know them. They’re the types who run over your foot with the grocery cart, stand in the middle of the aisle so nobody can go anywhere, and drive about 15 mph below the speed limit in a 25 mph zone. They don’t remember how money works any more, but they can tell you about how they used to grind flour between stones.

As I was stuck driving home behind an oldster straddling 2 lanes of traffic with the left blinker permanently on, it occurred to me that just perhaps, the old people were only there to annoy me because I wanted a distraction today. My mind was twirling with worries about other problems, bigger problems I can’t do a thing about because it doesn’t matter how much wisdom I acquire, people are going to make their own mistakes. I really hate that. I guess that’s why it’s just easier to get mad at old people, while I worry about how they’re going to carry their groceries inside, if they’ll have an accident, and why aren’t their relatives taking care of them anyway? Then I feel more impotent aggravations on top of my other impotent aggravations.


It all boils down to what goes around, comes around. All of us came into the world naked and helpless, go to school, despair over pimples, get our hearts broken, get jobs, fall in love, go to the grocery store… and eventually we’re old, and eventually after that, we’ll die. We’re replaced by younger generations who will go through exactly the same things, the same way we replaced the people before us. I’m not sure if this provides me with comfort or a sense of futility about all of our struggles.

My mom’s neighbor gave me an old newspaper a while ago. It’s dated October 8, 1914, so British troops rushing to Antwerp was the main headline, but they found a lot of space for gossip on the front page. People don’t seem very different then than they are today.

Let’s just sing with the Byrds :)

Friday, January 13, 2012


We can do the best preparations in the world, but if our brains aren’t in the game, that preparation isn’t going to do us a lot of good. It’s hard to consider follow through on action plans when my brain feels like a bag of gray worms hibernating for the winter. Maybe this recent train of events might explain a bit of my frame of mind lately…

My tea kettle had a plastic trigger to open the spout, which I broke at some point. I got some wire and twisted a new trigger for it since the whistling part was still working. The wire could get very hot while boiling water, but I figured I’d solved my immediate problem.

Mary Lou came over and didn’t understand the new rules for pouring boiling water. I tried to explain the proper method, but she opted to buy me a new tea kettle for Christmas that year. Life went on. Many pots of tea were brewed. Some eggs were hard boiled in it too. All was perfectly functional in the realm of tea kettles until the day I set the water on and then spent a couple of hours in my studio. I went into the kitchen to refill my glass and dimly wondered what the odd smell was in the kitchen, but PhotoShop was calling me. I didn’t have time to worry about odd smells when I had IDEAS that needed creating.

Sometime later, my glass needed refilling again, and the odd smell seemed stronger. PhotoShop was still calling me, but I absent-mindedly looked around the kitchen to discover that the stove was still on high and the tea kettle I had put on hours before looked something like a crashed UFO, with the plastic handle oozing a toxic lump into the cracks between the burners. My puppy Penny looked up at me with a doped up, questioning look about why I was making such a malodorous art project on the stove. I looked at it for a while before feeling an external, imaginary poke in my back to turn off the burner and get rid of the toxic waste.


After much scrubbing and windows open in winter (again!), my house seemed safe for human and puppy habitation once more. The aloe plant sacrificed another limb to salve my burnt finger when, of course, I picked up something I knew was very hot. Sometimes I don’t feel very connected to the mundane things of this planet. Did I mention I had IDEAS? Who needs to think about “hot” when there are important things to get done?

When life had returned to a shade of normal, I did the natural thing and called Mary Lou to tell her the tea kettle bit the dust. I offered to share responsibility with her for its demise, but for some reason, she seemed to think I needed to shoulder the full responsibility myself. She didn’t see the simple logic that I couldn’t have melted the tea kettle if she hadn’t given it to me in the first place. Some people just try to duck blame no matter what, though it was nice of her to give it to me in the first place.

I found the old tea kettle in the basement and boiled some more water. The special knack required to open it seems to require a skill that I’ve allowed to rust in the intervening years, but I have tea again. The old kettle is polished up and pretty on the stove, and I’m choosing to see my wire handle as a sign of my can-do problem solving abilities. Or… maybe I should switch to Kool-Aid? Wait! Kool-Aid, colors, IDEAS!!!


BTW, my apologies if you've left a comment that didn't appear on the screen. Blogger is trying to protect me from people I like and choking when I try to see those messages. I appreciate everyone's comments!

Friday, January 6, 2012


Cleveland Museum of Natural History used to have a research outpost in Willoughby, Ohio.  Young scientists were housed in the white barns on the school administration grounds with rows and rows of algae-filled fish tanks.  I loved it there.  Dad liked to talk with the scientists while I looked at turtles and fish and whatever else they might have.  I think the scientists enjoyed my absolute adoration of everything there, including the scientists. 

They always seemed pleased when I brought them something to research.  They were especially excited when I brought them a soft-shelled turtle.  The “finding” of this was as simple as stepping on the poor thing, but no one had seen them in my river before.  The scientists plunked him into a fish tank with promises to love it as much as I loved it.  I transferred some of my love to the blonde scientist and vowed to bring him more things of interest.

The opportunity for another visit to the research scientist came when I watched a big chunk of cliff fall into the river.  KABOOOOMMMMMM!!!  That was exciting.  It will always be a mystery why I am standing in just the right place to see such things.  The huge pile of rocks held some treasures, but I wasn’t allowed to play on it since the adults had some piffling concerns about more cliff falls.  I had to wait until after the next spring floods had abated to find the fossils in the red shale littered around downstream.  I wasn’t terribly impressed by the fossils because they looked like crayfish in mud, but I would take any excuse to visit the blonde scientist and his fish tanks.  Dad didn’t take much pleading to take me.

There was quite a pow wow around my rock in the research barns.  Nobody had seen anything like it before.  The softness of the rock made these kinds of prehistoric fossils very rare.  Could I bring more?  Sure!  How many do you want?  As many as you can get.  This of course was an insane instruction to a bored and lonely child in the woods.  The next day I took the wheelbarrow down the road, across the rapids, across the broken rocks downstream, loaded the wheelbarrow with fossils, back up the broken rocks downstream, back across the rapids, back up the road.  The fossils were dumped by the side of our driveway to be augmented by subsequent trips.  I had a mountain of them by the time Dad came home from work.  Dad laughed and promised we could deliver them that evening after I had bathed and eaten dinner.  He didn’t understand my burning desire to go right away, and I’m sure I never ate dinner faster.  I swear he ate slower.

It took some time to load up the car, even with Dad helping.  When the tires on the car looked like they might explode and Dad was worrying about the shocks, I regretfully left the remaining small mountain of rocks by the driveway and we went to see the scientists.  I was a little disappointed that they used a forklift instead of carrying them carefully with their hands, but they seemed pleased to get the fossils.  Actually, they looked rather dumbfounded by the quantity, and they didn’t seem as rare any more.  I decided that I wouldn’t bring them as many of anything in the future if it devalued my finds.

They closed up the research lab at some point, and I had to take my discoveries to the actual museum in Cleveland.  The disinterested secretary didn’t set my heart aflutter like the blonde scientist, so my gifts diminished.  My gifts stopped altogether when I found my turtle dead and mounted in a display case, without even a mention of me finding it on the little white card next to it.  I felt burning resentment when I found my fossils in another display case, the white card naming a scientist for discovering it.  HE didn’t push a wheelbarrow full of rocks across the rapids.  HE used a forklift to move it across the parking lot.  Dad said I shouldn’t care about getting credit when advancing science.  That’s all well and good, and I agree, as long as someone else doesn’t get credit for my sweat.

I have more of these fossils laying around my house.  At least I know who discovered them :)