Saturday, August 29, 2009

Treadmills of my life

This has been one of those weeks with something going on every blessed day! I feel like I've been on a treadmill, trying at the same time to finish off a piece of art to exhibit, and a couple more that are in the works. The Poison altered book was retitled to Crimes of Passion, but when I entered it, I assigned it a new title. "What's Love Got to Do With It?" from the Tina Turner movie. I had to add a heart inside and another one to the cover, but it added another twist and will make the viewers think more about motivations and relationships. I submitted it yesterday for jurying. I'm very hopeful it will get in the show. Sally came into town today and submitted four collage/painting pieces. I'm rooting for her too. I'd love to see her work in the gallery - it would be a breath of fresh air there.

I'm still working away on the AB on Shrines by the Side of the Road. We are having another heat wave so I'm staying inside this afternoon. It's too hot to breathe outside right now. Paint dries as soon as it touches the paper. Same with glues.

Tomorrow is the Mixed Media Group in Sacramento. If it does not cool off some, I won't go. I'm hoping the temperature will drop because the meetings are so much fun and so inspiring.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Project Runway - and Top Chef

The new PR season started this evening and I had forgotten how confusing it is when there are so many designers at the beginning. It will take awhile to put faces to names, to styles, to personalities. But, it is a good beginning and I'll be glued to the set every Thursday evening. I'd watch it just to see Tim Gunn and Heidi. Both beautiful, talented people.
They preceded this evening's premiere with a PR All Star show. 8 of the favorites from previous seasons had another chance to win $100,000. I was disappointed when Daniel won - although I really like him - I thought his collection was too youthful and formfitting - most people could not wear it - and frankly, I didn't find it flattering to even the model figures. I was hoping Kato would win. SweetP's feminine collection appealed to me personally, as well as the beautiful plaid pieces Chris constructed for Fall. Between this and the new Top Chef season, I'll be stuck in front of TV two evenings in a row.

I painted the backs of pages in an altered book while the programs were on. I'll be showing it soon in the other blog.

Rid of Rats

The crises is over. My son took care of it and they have been dispatched! Now I can open the door to my studio and work inside with fresh air.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Face Book - not for me

I signed out of Face Book tonite. I just don't get it. I'd rather use email. Maybe I'm being a grumpy old bear. Please, if you want to reach me, you can leave comments here or email me.

Rats - again!

Last year in early Sept. a rat moved into and perished from the heat in my studio while I was away. Now, my dogs have alerted me that there are critters under the studio. Since I saw a dead rat on the neighbor's lawn when I drove in - I'm assuming that's what is there! It must be a seasonal thing. But what to do about it? The cat died last year, and as much as the dogs would like to crawl under the studio and attack the intruders - I hate to think of it and don't want them exposed to any ratty type diseases. But, we have to act fast. They ate the tomatos last night. Maybe it's something bigger - like a possum. Most of the tomatos were gone this a.m - with only two still on the vine but much of them were chewed away. Rat traps? sprays? I don't really know what we'll do yet, but it needs to be done today!!!! Before there are babies or whole families moving in. Yuch!

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Poem - The Shrine Beside the Road

My route to my country retreat takes me up Highway 12, then Hwy 49 and finally Hwy 4. It's a 70 mile drive. On this route I pass two spots that have very bad memories attached to them. One is where my goddaughter's husband spun out on his motorcyle and died. The second is where my oldest grandson's half brother was killed in a car crash. I also pass some roadside shrines, and even though I don't know whose memorials they are, I am touched by them too. I awoke in the middle of the night last night and started composing a poem about them. Here is the first draft. Copyright 2009 Janene Ford.

Driving along a country road
happily humming a little tune
without a care in the world
as if nothing could interfere.
I've passed this way before.

The miles speed by as my mind
leaves the road
and drifts back and forth through time
thinking about all those yesterdays
and tomorrow's trip to the grocery store.

a yellow sign
an arrow bent
reduce speed
sharp curve ahead

Off to the right
at the foot of a tree
a shrine for a youth
whose path ended here
stopped by the black finger of fate.

It could have been me
I have passed this way before.

An old pickup truck
a six pack of beer
His youth suddenly snatched away.

He lost control
as he rounded the bend.
The tree could not move.
His truck would not stop.
he sped headfirst to his doom.

A collision, a crash.
Broken glass, broken head,
His first truck now nothing but trash.

It could have been me.
I've passed this way before.

How many lives were shattered that night?
How many people mourn?
How many tears were shed
For the brother, the friend, the son?

Nothing can be said.
Nothing can be done - and that's
the hardest part.
Nothing is slower to heal
than the hole in his mother's heart.

I say a little prayer for the soul
of the one who died
and the lives that were wrenched
by the tragedy,
As I zip past the little sad shrine -
that could have been mine,
had the black finger pointed at me.

I have passed this way before
and I'll pass this way again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Old friends!

I had lunch today with Bobbi and Pat H. Bobbi just had her 69th birthday. It was a lot of fun catching up with one another after a long spell of not getting together. Pat had been making some alphabet folding cards which will be assembled into a book or held in a box for her grandkids. Bobbi has been ill, so she is just getting out again, and her original ideas were overflowing. I shared the Black Dress book and gave her a copy so she can alter it her own way. She has had the idea for a Black Dress book for several years. Maybe this will jump start her. It will be so different from mine that you'd never know it started with the same book. Pat is about to return to the school/work year so this was our last chance to see her until semester break. Old friends are very dear to my heart.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What to do on hot days.

I've been playing around with a new altered book the last couple days. The Black Dress. For more info and pics, you can visit the AB blog . Dogs are all bathed and smell much sweeter than the smoke smell we brought home with us from the country. The weather there now is perfect, but here it is HOT. The dog park attracted some larger more aggresive dogs yesterday, so we didn't go tonight. Instead we walked, which isn't the most fun with three dogs wanting to go at different speeds.

I missed the good times in Nevada when two of my sons got together for a couple days. How nice they finally had the chance to spend some time together having fun on the lake. Matt says they were right at the water's edge. Only one step away! How fun! Candis is looking bedraggled tonite. a good night's sleep and a shower and shampoo will have her looking herself again. The boys chose not to go - they could not leave their computers! We need an intervention here! Where's Dr. Phil when we need him? LOL

Monday, August 3, 2009

Flea market

Well, it's over for this year. Such a nice place to dig around and root for treasures. I found a few books to alter, and some games with either the boards or game pieces that will be good for altering. And the linens! Beautiful, soft smooth cottons, two sets of Ralph Laurens. And some sewing notions and trims like pom poms, rik rak and a stack of old patterns. The tissue is what I'm after - it is the perfect surface to rubber stamp on, and to add age to image by laying it over and applying gel mediums.

This year I had the company of my only sibling - brother Bob and his oldest son, Loel. We had such a nice visit - lots of time for conversation. They got in a little hiking and fishing as well, and I had time to read a bit. Lovely way to start August. Bob took this pic of Loel and myself with Nikki and Lulu.

The Sierras and foothills are very dry. Smoke hung in the air from a fire across the river - so people were a bit nervous about that. But we were in no danger. It was much better today, and when I go back up in a couple days, it may be out. The photo is from the last fire that was close by, in 2004. The CDF got it out in just a few hours, whereas the one burning now has been going for several days and they can't get in to fight it on the ground because the canyon is so steep. They are hoping the river and the firebreaks they are making will stop it.