Tuesday, July 31, 2007
A new beeswax collage. This is one of those pieces that I think I would love if someone else had made it, but doesn't quite do it for me. I'm going to leave it hanging for a few days to see if it grows on me. I like the colours, and the texture of the crayon dots, and the skeleton leaves... I think what bothers me, is it is just too "soulless". It's greeting card art. There is nothing personal to it. Although there is nothing personal about this one, and I really like it. Go figure.
David and I spent the weekend up in Asheville for Bele Chere. A little extension of my birthday :-) Lots of good music, fair food and great people watching. We always talk about how we should do more "weekend trips" and then only plan big holidays. This was perfect though. A two hour drive, a shoulder bag of clothes and some wonderful new memories.
This was a local band called "The Barrel House Mamas". They had so much fun on stage, and had some amazing harmonies. I love finding new regional bands. And don't you think listening to a CD after you have watched a performer in person makes it so much ... richer? (I wonder if this girl thinks I was taking a photo of her?)
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Memories of Amsterdam
Lots of bikes.
Men on bikes.
Women on bikes.
Women in business suits on bikes.
Men with briefcases on bikes.
Women on cellphones on bikes.
Men with cigarettes on bikes.
Men and women with umbrellas on bikes.
Ok, I think you get the picture. It felt like a Hitchcockian swarm of bikes at times. My friend Cockie, who I went to visit, lives across a large canal (or is it a river?) from the Central Station. Everyday after breakfast we would take a short ferry ride across the canal to the main part of Amsterdam where all the action is. When the ramp of the ferry came down to let everyone off, it was like the beginning of the Tour de France, except everyone was riding their bike in work clothes and usually smoking a cigarette or talking on their cellphone. It cracked me up every time!
Here is a photo of a "parking garage" in Amsterdam... (And you think it's hard remembering where you parked your car at the mall?!)
PS The illustration is a beeswax collage I finished today. I think I might make one of Stockholm as well.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I woke up this morning to a pimple and my period. What am I? Sixteen?
As a matter of fact... I'm FORTY!!!
Being 40 is such an abstract idea for me. I do feel different than I did in my 20's or early 30's. I feel more confident, less concerned with fitting in, more comfortable with admitting when I don't know or understand something. And I guess those are things that come with "age". But somehow, that still doesn't translate to me as "getting older". I'm convinced not having kids plays a big part in not being able to track the passage of time. My life today is really not that different from what it was 5 or 10 or 15 years ago. Little Johnny hasn't gone from diapers to high school, so I can look around and everything seems much the same as it's always been.
I made a list yesterday of all the stuff that happened in my 30's. There were some pretty consequential things on it. Moved to a new country. Got married. Dad died. Bobby died. Became a Graphic Artist. Started practicing yoga. I don't know how much longer David and I will live here, but I think I will always look back on my 30's as "the decade I lived in the South". Or maybe, "the decade I came to terms with living in the South". In any case, making that list reminded me that life takes some planning. That if you just sit back and let it happen, well you are just a cork bobbing along in the current. So I've been inspired to actually set some goals for this next decade. Something I have never done before. My first goal is to sit down and think about what those goals might be! What do I want on the list I will write 10 years from today?
I'll keep you posted.
I've had a nice day so far :-) David took me out for pancakes this morning, then I did some grocery shopping at WholeFoods, watched an episode of What Not To Wear, opened the presents that arrived in the mail earlier this week, wandered downtown to check out two art galleries for inspiration, and now am sitting having my Earl Grey with Jimmy snoozing at my feet and a nice breeze coming in the window.
And that's not a bad list either.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
But you can buy a really nice handbag...
Today before catching the bus home, I wandered over to the little mall across from my office in search of some new tissue paper for my latest beeswax collage project. I did find a few pieces of tissue, but I also made an impulse buy of a new clutch.
It has got me thinking about shopping and coveting and happiness. I'm excited about my fancy new purse, but I expect, like with most purchases, that in a few days, maybe a few weeks, the thrill of it will have worn off. I'll still like it, but I won't feel the way I do today. In his book Happy Yoga, Steve Ross talks about the difference between happiness which he argues is "independent of circumstance" and pleasure which comes from fullfilling a desire (and therefore depends on circumstance - I saw the purse, I desired it, I bought it, desire is gone, I feel pleasure). There have been times when I have been giddily happy and questioned it because circumstances were no different than the days before when I did not feel so joyous.
Must give this some more thought.
Having acknowledged that "shopping won't fix it", there are a few things that have not lost their ability to thrill me a little. My too tight, second hand GAP sweater with the tulip on the front. And my bright orange canvas basket that I use for everything from grocery shopping to lugging stuff to work.
Maybe I'll be lucky, and my new clutch will join the forever-pleasure list :-)
Monday, July 16, 2007
My name is Nadine Buckinger. I am nine years old. My favorite thing to do is ride my horse. There is one thing I don't like doing but I have to, it's putting on the saddle. It is hard to lift up because it is 55 pounds. I also don't like doing the dishes so my sister does them. There is one thing I love doing it is watching the filly. I can hardly ever go near my sister because she says I smell like a horse. I like singing and my mum says I should go into the festival... Here is a picture of myself
I got this from my mum in the mail. It cracks me up on so many levels. Like how I happily volunteer that I smell like a horse, having no clue that perhaps my sister isn't the only one who might find that offensive. How I am so matter-of-fact in announcing that my mum thinks I am such a great singer I should enter the town festival. (I guess humility isn't taught until grade 5 or 6.) That even back then, I used three dots as a way to end a sentence. And WOW! I could lift 55lbs at age nine!
The self-portrait makes me smile too... The center part through straight hair, the shy smile and mitten-hands, but a posture that says, I think I'm actually sort of cool...
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I can't see an animal rolling on the ground without thinking of Bobby and her amazing ability to find some stinky dead fish in the middle of a field seemingly miles from the nearest lake or river... If there's a heaven for dogs, Bobby is God's official fish inspector.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
My friend Julie has gone to the beach for a week, and I have been enlisted to check on her two horses while she is away. I don't have to do much - the owner of the stable does all the big stuff, I just go out, make sure they have fresh water, give them a little affection and feed them a few carrots. It's an odd thing to be dealing with these huge animals that I am so unfamiliar with. I feel pretty confident in my ability to speak Canine, but ... Equine? Julie is a little wisp of a woman, and she is fearless around them. Her dad was a horse trainer, so she spent her youth in and out of the barn. For me, I think the best course of action is to keep myself armed with sweet apples, carrots and, yes it appears to be true - they love peppermints :-)
Friday, July 06, 2007
I cleaned up my studio Wednesday, and just love seeing the table and desk free of piles and junk, calling to me to sit down and create something. This is a photo of the wall above my "tea chair". I have so many little scraps of things - postcards, photos, magazine clippings, business cards, tags, notes... I could paper every inch of every wall and still have stuff leftover. I've never figured out how to do a "revolving collection"... Once something makes it onto the wall, I hate to take it down, and yet I have an endless supply of photos and inspiration that deserve their own wall-time. Sometimes I fantasize about getting the flu for a month, and restricted to bed, I would spend my time watching movies from my "to rent" list and browsing through shoe boxes of pictures and papers and trip memorabilia.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Ok. I admit it. I've been feeling a little intimidated about blogging about my trip. I mean look at this city. How could little 'ole me, who doesn't fancy herself much of a wordsmith to begin with, do justice to THAT.
So, I'm just going to do what I do best.
Make a list.
A few memories of Sweden...
• In Stockholm all the restaurants with outdoor patios have blankets to wrap yourself in when it gets chilly. It looks so comically pretty in the evening - each patio with its collection of red or blue or grey blanket-wrapped customers. "Lets go to the red blanket patio tonight..."
• Stockholm and Gevle are full of lovely little public parks and outdoor art - sculpture and such
• There are two colours of paint in Sweden, dark red and yellow ocher (more Sweden photos here)
• My first impression was of how many bikes there were. But then I went to Amsterdam, and Sweden no longer seemed so full of bikes. (More on Amsterdam later.)
• No one tips in Sweden. The first morning I left a tip for the chambermaid, and she put it back on the pillow after making the bed! A Socialist country with a living wage for all. What a nice idea :-)
• Stockholm was breathtakingly beautiful. And clean. And easy to navigate.
• It never got dark.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
David and I are off to celebrate Canada Day North Carolina style... He's going to the driving range, and I'm walking the dog...:-) We will be wearing the white and red Canada t-shirts Ruth sent however, and perhaps even having pancakes and Maple syrup for supper. And tonight we will be tuned to the CBC to watch the fireworks from Parliament Hill. Happy Canada Day! Happy Birthday Charlotte!
*more pretty Parliament Hill photos here.