When do ideas happen? Robert Genn, The Painter’s Keys

A very quick essay about ideas and creativity that applies to anyone, not just artists.

Here’s a teaser, with the link below:

Robert Genn, The Painter's Keys

When do ideas happen?  Robert Genn, The Painter’s Keys


Who Can Do This? YOU!!! « P’nina Pedals

JustI stopped in over at my “making room” post and left this link.  P’nina has quite a back story (that includes traumatic brain injury) and quite a front story that includes a long-distance bike ride in Israel!

Update:  I’ve spent some time reading several more of her posts.  You should, too.

Who Can Do This? YOU!!! « P’nina Pedals.

making room for what you want

Many hundreds of lifetimes ago, a friend sent me a clipping from a newspaper.  I may have it still, in the stacks of detritus I had to save (for some reason!), but I dunno where.

The author used the metaphor of a red sweater.  The title and content approximate this:

Make Room in Your Life for What You Want

She had a perfectly serviceable red sweater in her closet, but didn’t wear it very often because it made her butt look big. Or something.  She didn’t feel good when she wore it.

So, when she saw the most beautiful red sweater in a shop window, she didn’t buy it because she already had a red sweater and didn’t have the money to be buying yet another one.

She figured out that if she’d give away her own red sweater that made her feel crummy, she could have the new, shiny red sweater that made her feel great.


Make room in your life for what you want.  Draw lines and boundaries and mean it.  It’s OK to like what you like and to want what you want.   Otherwise, you’re living someone else’s life, and really, that doesn’t work.   Life can be cut short in an instant and gee-whillikers, wouldn’t it be cool to have fun NOW?!

What’s one thing that just popped into your head?  Why not head for it and see what happens?  It’s OK if it’s a person that isn’t fitting….

PS.  Don’t be daunted by the price you’ll pay–there has to be a trade-off.  Loss for gain.  Et damn cetera.  Just hang on through the change; it can be cold without the shelter of a familiar sweater, but doesn’t have to be scary.

Writing from the Edge: The Goddess of Plenty

Writing from the Edge: The Goddess of Plenty.

I love this blog.  Just do.

Here is how Lorely, an evocative writer from the Wild West Coast of Ireland, captures this particular blog post:

I looked around my own small patch of earth, my generous share of the goddess of plenty’s gifts, with all its plants – flowers – beauty – healing and power.

It is all given to us, I thought, in infinite variety – to see, to hold, to use, to pleasure our senses, to heal our bodies, to quiet our minds, and – as is the way with the earth – everything links into everything else, but it is up to us how we use it, how we see those connections.

So – I pondered – let’s do it – let’s look at the bounty around us, admire it, celebrate it, share it and spread it around.

(She is celebrating her one-year blog anniversary by giving away something very special.)

For her, I add a photo of the twisted willow in my yard, Salix tortuosa.

the healing willow tree

This lady leads a rich life–she shares about gardens, dogs, Napoleon, cats, skinny dipping (!)….  wait–here’s a screen shot of her tags/categories!

Go on.  Off with you.  Go visit and stay awhile.

Homeless cats stories | Usyaka

Homeless cats stories | Usyaka.

Go see what Alexandra has been doing for the homeless cats of Montenegro!  Amazing.

an alarming echo of childhood

I’ve been learning a new cement sculpture method taught in a very fine book, Sculpting with Cement.  The book’s author, Lynn Olson, starts out with a small project so we students can get a feel for the mixture, which is called ferrocement.

(I have looked and looked for a website for Lynn Olson, but have only found incidental, but elucidating, links.  If you’re out there Mr. Olson, please wave your arms around madly and leave a link!)

Here’s a pic of the cover of the book.  Kinda gets your attention, huh?!

Sculpting with Cement,
Lynn Olson

The little project is a human figure, about 6 inches tall.  I made two of them today, using white cement, to try to get a feel for differences in the mixes I’d made.

In grade school, I made a little man figure outta clay.  Even I grin a little ruefully at my artwork.

So, my childhood and adult interests collide, and perhaps not prettily!

sculpture echoes

Every so often, I find his missing arm in some odd place in the house.  I really hope it’s out in the studio, filed carefully under “sculpture materials.”  His foot is long gone!


Saturday Sharesday: garden history girl

I discovered this blog, gardenhistorygirl, when I was researching Chinese and Persian gardens last year during my year of landscape design study.

I love to wander through her posts.  So much inspiration that she brings to us regular ole gardeners!  Enjoy!

And I didn’t laugh when I read she had a Master’s degree in garden history; I felt delighted and a little bit of wishful thinking!


the garden becomes

Right after I got laid off in February 2010, I headed for the front yard to do something about that expanse of sun-baked, south-facing lawn (see the pic in the gallery below).

I rented a sod cutter, a bruiser of a machine, and sliced away the grass, about 900 square yards.

Then I hauled yards and yards of potting soil and plonked ’em down in the beds I designed in my head.  My plants were in pots, lots and lots of pots.  I began the process of finally designing with those collections.  That spring, it was cold–in the 40s–and rainy.  How lucky that was for the newly planted garden–lots of cool weather to allow the transplant shock to wear off gently.  That cool weather was much easier on the gardener, too!

Three months after I began, I had transformed that front yard into a place that gives me solace, delight in the scents, colors, and textures, and provides a living buffer between the world and me.

Now, it is two years later, and as I wander through an unexpectedly long recuperation from serious illness, I potter around in the garden, an hour at a time.  I forget that I feel horrible because I immerse myself in the lively spot I created, sometimes transplanting or just weeding.  But always watching and examining.  My lilac that I thought surely hated me for transplanting it shows its flower buds this spring.   Today, I thinned out some ornamental grasses and put the bits among the more structured shrubs and perennials to add movement, color, and sound in more places.

I am at my most serene when I am playing in the garden–the scent of newly turned soil, seeing earthworms by the kajillion, setting up the bird bath mister, or just sitting on a wicker chair on the porch and seeing my garden.  I hauled all the dirt and planted every last thing there.  I remember sitting in a cold mist teasing apart roots with fingers so cold I could hardly feel what I was doing, but going through pot after pot, and setting those roots into the ground.

Sometimes I take my drawing board outside and work on those geometric figures, sitting in the warm sun and thinking of nothing except creating lines on the page.  Then, looking up and reveling in the sight of my garden.

Now, I only go outside when the sun is shining its springtime warmth; I have become sensitive to the cold, me, the person who comes alive in the winter.  I will hope that this is a temporary state and will depart once the whole of me becomes whole again.

These pics are not current, but soon my garden will look like this again, only a little different because after all, I potter in the garden and move things here and there, which subtly changes the shapes and textures.

I have a big behind!

My blogging friend Nadbugs commented on my last post, where I wrote a rather bald statement of past and present pain, and the sources thereof.  I don’t want her intuitive observations to be buried in the comments section.  Herewith:

I see this as a companion post to your exciting one about Italy. There it’s about you stepping into your “done-ness.” I am happy for you. And this one is about the background — which makes the “done-ness” ripe and full. I like what a friend of mine said recently about yin and yang: If it’s got a big front, it’s bound to have a big back. Back: Get thee behind. Now: Front and center. Forward! Yay.

I can only add:   She is correct:  I have room in the Now because I have made room for what I want.

Thank you, Bean, for coming along with me on my journey through this life.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

four Wednesdays hence

… I will be wishing I could get comfortable in my cramped Lufthansa airline seat so that I could sleep away the 10-hour overnight flight.

Lufthansa long-haul flight

I will also want to stay awake to watch icy white Greenland slide along below us, 41,000 feet under those wings.

Four Wednesdays hence I will be living my dream of spending a solo month in northern Italy.   I have the round-trip ticket, I have registered for the 5-day classical mosaics class in Ravenna on the east coast, and I know where the flight sets down outside Bologna, but I still don’t know where I’ll lay my jet-lagged head the first night or nights thereafter.  I don’t know if I’m renting a car at the outset or at all.

I do know I will be celebrating my 55th birthday in Italy.  Cinquante cinque ani!

This dream of going to Italy has haunted me for years.  Perhaps once I’m there I’ll be able to articulate the tremendous magnetic desire to be in that tiny country.  Life experiences to now have narrowed like a funnel to point to the concluding reason for the disparate events that all seem to make sense now:

Mom had us studying Latin when we were kids and I continued to study in college.  Gaudeamus igitur, etc. and so forth!

We lived in Taranto way down at the heel of Italy when I was a wee thing and apparently my brother and I spoke conversational Italian to our housekeeper, though we apparently refused to speak Italian to our parents!  Dov’è Laurio?    Andiamo bambini!

The Ancient Italians, those amazing, warring Romans, have had my attention for decades.  They knew how to use concrete as well as any modern concrete contractor!  Amazing!  Underwater!

Some years ago I wanted to learn mosaics, but since I wanted to do outdoor installations, I stopped what I was doing with mosaics to teach myself about concrete as a substrate for those mosaics.  I love working with cement!  I love the smell of admixture in my cement and sand mix in the morning!

Four Wednesdays hence, as I fly to Italy, it will be two years ago almost to the day that I was laid off from a quite fine job, a job from which I believed I would retire with a nice little 401k.   I at least have the little 401k!

These last two years have been an exploration, a rediscovery of the guts I possess that have allowed me to simply try something!  How hard could it be?!  

In an effort to become employable once more, I studied landscape design, but after the third quarter of commuting to school in unfathomable traffic, I called Uncle! and stopped.  Simply stopped.  Panicked.  Didn’t panic.  Wondered and thought and pondered in that nonmoving space and time.

Recovered from the exhaustion brought on by being caught up in the too many people in too-close quarters driving aggressively at 70 mph!   As I came out of the exhaustion, I returned to my spot in the garage and poked around with my concrete stuff again.  Created some oddball stepping stones.  Became inspired, at last being rested and refreshed after a difficult 1-1/2 years, to work on mosaics along with the concrete.

Full circle.  I know concrete as a substrate for outdoor installations.  I learn mosaics in leaps and bounds, absorb knowledge and wisdom from the teachers who have written books.  Knew I wanted badly to go to the seat of Byzantine-era (around 600 CE) mosaics and learn at the feet of master mosaicists.

Still have to earn a living and wondering what in hell to do at my age when I’ve effectively been shut out of the job market.

Boing!  Clink!  Bing!   I shall be a concrete and mosaics artist and I will call the business Concrete Couture (TM).

Four Wednesdays hence, I shall be on my way to Italy, to tie together those disparate experiences, to bring to the fore all the courage I’ve ever had, to try something new, to take a leap of faith, the only net being the Universe, which has cared for this Earthling all these years, kept me alive and showed me how to thrive.

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

red sky at morning, sailor take warning…

Except here it just doesn’t work that way.  But it was spectacular this morning.  I rushed out in my jammies with the little point-and-shoot, once again thankful for the landscape screening I planted a few years ago!  >:-D

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fraility and pink mohawks

Ah, a long, sometimes sad few days.  How wrenching it is to see my elderly injured Mom coping with the long life she has been granted and the indignities that follow one on another.  She gallops toward 87 and assures me that despite these moments she wants to live.

Returning from the hospital on Sunday with me, the Big Mister heard that a friend had died.  This serious motorcyclist had a helmet with a pink mohawk glued to it!

We’re a little subdued and a lot tired, but oozing along anyway.  I am thankful for all this time I’ve had with my Mom–she’s a kick in the pantalones (to quote my sister!) and a fine addition to the Universe!

Thank you, Universe, for bringing me what and whom I need.

Here’s a post that poked me to remember my power and my happiness despite the challenges:    What if you only have 365 days left?

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

inspiration is all around us

One of my favorite bloggers just had an epiphany and has shared it with the world:  Dummy Zero’s Blogpad.

I am inspired all the time.  Especially now that I know what the hell I wanna do when I grow up!   People around me are the ones who inspire me, never ever drag me down.   Inspiration is about my art, my creativity, and my words.  It is also the stuff/staff of my life-giving energies.  Thank you to the Universe for bringing me the people I need.

Happy Saturday!  (Oh, I accidentally made this Saturday Sharesday!)

How are you inspired to be You?

Pedro is a cat and told me what to do!

Thank you to Pedro over at Maru Can Kiss My Furry… for including me in the list of Kreative Bloggers!

I’m not always great at following rules, but I would love to share some of the blogs I am enjoying and you may also.  These folks are from:  Republic of Ireland; Scotland; England; Denmark; Brazil; US: Oregon, Texas, East Coast, perhaps Kentucky….

As you can see, it’s quite a diverse bunch–so much out in our world–and I thank you all for sharing your corners of the world!   (I’d keep the list going and going, but I must get out to the workshop!)

The Amazing World of Conifers.


heretherebespiders blowing through the cobwebs of my mind


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