Wednesday, November 15, 2006

my oldest best friend

My oldest best friend in the world bought a copy of my book. I shipped it out all official like with a printed invoice and printed mailing label. We've been friends since the 4th grade. She has a blog and had this to say. She is really ,y best friend ever in the world.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Outside the Lines

A few years back someone handed me this poem and said- this made me think of you. The poem was about being different. Not fitting in. How lonely and yet liberating it can be at the same time. She was right. I've always been different. I've looked at the world from a different view than most of the people around me. Not so easy when you are a kid but it fits now that I'm an adult. This poem called "Coloring" inspired me to write and illustrate a book about growing up and not quite fitting in. The title of my book is "Outside the Lines". Writing a book is alot like being pregnant for the first time, and going through editing and rewrites is alot like childbirth. The hardest part of wirting the book for me was letting my publisher (Smiling Stone Soup) take the "protoype" copy and show it to bookstore owners. What if they didn't like it? What if...What if...What if...I cried. I felt like I did when my oldest daughter left home for college. I was glad to see her spread her wings and fly. I knew she could do it because of the foundation we laid for her but still... letting go isn't easy. So now my book is 'out there' and people like it. Borders ordered copies of it to sell this fall.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I talk with my hands...

I teach art classes to young people here at the studio. This fall I have had a girl who is deaf taking classes. Auna reads lips very well so her mother thought it shouldn't be a problem. Mom hung around during class just in case Auna needed an interpreter. So, I have had to learn a different way to teach- I don't know sign language. We were getting along very well- I spoke distinctly so Auna could read my lips- but then as she got more into the project and I got more into the flow of teaching I started "talking" with my hands. What can I say? (interject a shrug of the shoulders and hand out palms up) I'm Italian! Poor Auna. She didn't know if she should read my lips or watch my hands. Finally Mom came in and helped us get back on track. Auna is teaching me a few words and phrases in sign. So far my favorite is "way cool".

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Leather Skirt

So I am one of those thrift store junkies. I get excited when I find a garment that still has the tags on it from the original store. That is like the ultimate find! So I came across this leather skirt- black leather, fully lined with a kick pleat in the back. Skinny is back so this skirt is still in style. Now, I just can't buy something like that without DOING something to it. I decided it needed to be painted so I am cutting a stencil of Chinese characters that spell out "Hot Babe" to run down the left side of the skirt in gold. Not sure what I want to put on the other side down by the hem to balance it out but what ever I come up with will be in red!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Water Goddess

The cool thing about making my own dolls is that I am not tied to any ethnicity or culture. They can wear anything from anywhere and be whatever they are.
How's that for abstract art terms?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Spirit Dolls

I've been making dolls for years. In fact I was still playing with dolls when I was in 5th or 6th grade. I wasn't playing house or anything like that- I was dressing the ones that I had or I was making new dolls out of anything I could find. My sisters and I used to make these flower fairy dolls out of hollyhocks and toothpicks. I made dolls out of yarn, paper, sticks, socks...the only thing about the word doll is it makes you think of blonde haired blue eyed baby doll- and that's not at all what I make. I wish I had a different word for them.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Math Blind

The Monster in my Math Book

You know that dream that everyone has.
The one where you show up for class and it's the final exam and you have NO IDEA what it's all about?
And not only that you FORGOT to put on your shirt
so there you are in your BRA!
and you realize it right after to procter hands you the test.
So not only are you in a state of panic about the test but you are also trying to frantically cover yourself.

I don't have monsters under my bed, They live in my math book.

Do the Math!!!!!!! an altered book

I recently tried my hand at an altered book. After 25 years away from college I decieded to go back to finish out my teaching degree. So I had to take this class- Math for Elementary Teachers- YEAH RIGHT! This class brought back so many horrible memories of math classes and teachers I had in school. At 43 I figured I really didn't need to be humilated infront of my peers (again) because I just don't get it! Since I paid $80 for this stupid used book then it was all mine to do what I want with. Gleefully I glued pages together and cut out pages and tore pages and cut through pages. Talk about therapy. I wrote an open letter to my math teachers:

Dear (insert name here),
Thank you for making math insufferably miserable. There is nothing I enjoy more than being humilated in front of my peers. Oh, and by the way, that reward system you had, (insert gold star, candy, stickers etc. here)did nothing more than make me feel like a total failure. Thanks for everything!
Your student,

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Where has the summer gone?

You know how you start summer off with all these plans and ideas- things you want to do and things you know you are going to get done and the next thing you know it's the 4th of July and then it's the first of August and the kids go back to school in a few short weeks. That's my summer. It seems as if it's like this every summer. But I don't have any regrets. So the kitchen didn't get painted because we spent as much free time at the cabin as we could and the house looks a bit mussed because we went to the baseball games instead of deep cleaning. Which memories will my kids hold onto? The immaculate house or lazy summer afternoons reading books on the dock or bobbing on a raft in the lake? The smell of ripe tomatoes fresh from the vine and sweet basil, corn on the cob and bacon for the BLT sandwhiches and stacks of books. Those are my summer memories when I was growing up. I am making some memories for my children

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I really enjoy summer. It's much more relaxing and free. This summer at the Artworks Studio I am offering some classes. I have been teaching creative classes since 1982. I took a year off here and there but I keep going back to it. There is a certain amount of wonderful energy generated from teaching. I will be posting photos next week from the classes I am teaching this Friday. Should be interesting- kids and ink and plants...There's room for more just contact me and sign up!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


"To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." Thomas Edison
That about sums up my studio. in order to create I need all this stuff!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Drive Through Mastectomies !

A year ago today I underwent a biopsy for a suspicious lump in my breast. It was a tumor and came out benign much to my relief. It was done as an outpatient procedure. I was put totally under but still was sent home a few hours later groggy and sore. That was bad enough but now insurance companies are advocating 'drive through mastectomies' for women with breast cancer. Making this invasive surgery an out patient procedure. I am outraged! Please, if you care about all the women (and men too!) in your life who might have to go through this please sign this petition doing so, you'll ensure that women who are diagnosed with breast cancer won't have to worry about being forced out of the hospital after undergoing a mastectomy! The Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2005 will guarantee that women and their physicians, not insurance companies, will decide when they are ready to go home. So voice your support now — with your signature. Lifetime will deliver your signature, along with the millions of others, to Congress. Please add your name to the list to help get this legislation passed.

The DaVinci Code

I'm going to go out on a limb here....I read the Davinci Code. Let me rephrase that- I devoured it! I love a book that grabs you from page one and compels you to read it until you get to the end. I enjoyed the book very much. I like a book fact or fiction- the makes you think. Really makes you think. This book does. There are other out there in the same style or genre that have been written recently. The one by Steven Barry is such a book. It's called the Third Secret. I would recommend it to anyone who likes Dan Brown's books.

There have been several programs on the History Channel as well as several books written about breaking 'the code' and such. I find it all fascinating. What it all comes down to is a matter fo faith. Faith is believing even though you can't see it or touch it. So maybe there is a grain of truth in these books. I am enjoying the dialog that has been started about the possibilities of the universe and all the mysteries of faith. Amazing isn't it?

Thursday, May 11, 2006


My best friend since 4th grade still has this thing about david cassidy. Ok I will admit I have a thing for him too and he IS aging gracefully! So I made her a little bit of bling to remember him by. I can't wait til she gets it!

Don't you just love getting surprise packages in the mail!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Letting Go...

My daughter came home last week and told me she wants to live with her father for a week at a time and then back with me and then trade off. Since the divorce 5 years ago it's been every other weekend and one evening mid week and six weeks in the summer. I have mixed feelings about it. Her father says it's fine with him. He's not a bad man. In fact he's a good father just not husband material. He and i have four children together. Three daughters and the youngest one is a son. This is my youngest daughter...I am not ready for her to leave home like that. My oldest left for college last fall and that was quite an adjustment and now she wants to pull farther away from me too. How do I let go?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Outside the Lines...

I’ve always been different
from as far back as I can remember-







and a little bit impatient

I spent years blaming my family-

There were so many of us. And there I was in the middle of them all. No one ever sees you when you are in the middle unless you are







and a little bit impatient

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Where does it all go?

Time that is. When you are 15 times seems to stretch out before you for eons. Everything takes FOREVER to do or happen or get to. When you are 45 there doesn't ever seem to be enough time. When does it change? At what moment in time?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Tree People-

“I look at trees and I see people,Dancing in Celebration of our Mother, the Earth.Each Tree has a voice if only you will listen.We are all connected.”

I make these female figures out of dogwood branches and bits of recycled fabric and new fabric and maybe some paper mache or wire and there has to be beads of some sort. Each one takes on a personality. It isn't until I finish one that she finally aquires a name. This one is called Sonja- the wise one. Her face is old and time worn and yet serene. She looks like she has seen alot over the centuries yet she still has some hope left in her.

I guess I haven't outgrown dolls yet. I don't think I really ever will.

A gazillion and one publishers!

I wrote and illustrated this book. It's not the great American novel by any means but it's a good book. I did a google search about publishing companies.....holy book store batman! There are like a gazillion out there. How do you even begin?

This picture of tape reminds me of my mother. I laughed when I saw it. She spent years searching for tape and scissors in the house while we were growing up ( I have 10 siblings) and she said "someday when I'm dead you people (she always called us you people) are going to clean out this house and find a stash of scissors and tape because I swear they all disappear to the same place and I can never find them!"

When we cleaned out her house after she died, we found a bank bag with 22 pairs of scissors in it in the bottom drawer of her file cabinet. There was another bag in her night stand with 12 more pairs. I guess after we kids left home and she started really cleaning out spaces she found the missing scissors. It made me smile when we found them.

my first post

My best friend since the 4th grade has been after me to start a blog for awhile now.
She thinks I have alot to say and I just laugh and say who wants to read what I write? But oh well, I will do it anyway. So now that I have this forum I am feeling tongue tied. I guess the best thing to do is just jump right into it and figure it out along the way.