RAW Futures Event

On January 20th, I had the supreme honor and pleasure to be a part of the RAW Artists Futures event held in San Diego at the House of Blues downtown.

RAW_FUTURES_Banner

RAW Artists is an organization that promotes young, indie talent in fashion, design, makeup, music, graphic design, photography, and fine art.  They are loud and proud and a lot of fun.  For some reason, one of the RAW talent seekers found my website and thought my skills would be an excellent addition to the line-up of January show.  I’m not particularly young… and I’m not particuluarly new (been at this since 1998)… but he thought I was cool enough, so I was in.  Turns out I wasn’t the only non-spring chicken in the group.  So I felt right at home.

The event was a one-evening extravaganza — part art show, part music gig, part dance performance, part runway show.

Photo by Thai Chau of 'AXYZ3'

Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

RAW_Bandelier

Bandalier performing. Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

Performance by members of the San Diego Ballet. Thai Chau of 'AXYZ3'

Performance by members of the San Diego Ballet. Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

RAW_Boothshot

My booth. Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

 Photo by Thai Chau

I tried to cram as much as possible into a tiny 6 x 6 spot! All those mugs, hand-painted notebooks, necklaces and shotglasses are made by me! Photo by Thai Chau of ‘AXYZ3’

It was quite the party until 10pm... when we all packed up and headed home!

It was quite the party until 10pm… when we all packed up and headed home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcoming 2016 with a new word

It’s a new year, a clean slate and a fresh start.  2015 was a very tough year and I felt as if I were in an emotional fog for most of it.  I was in shock and numb from the back-to-back losses of both my mother and a good friend.  And I did my best to do what needed to be done… and I got things accomplished, but I had no passion, goals or dreams.

It is 2016.  The fog has cleared and I am back.

This year I decided to focus on a word, and let my goals flow from that.  The word that came to mind was: Bloom.

There are many definitions for the word bloom according to Webster’s online dictionary:

  1. 1a:flowerb:  the flowering state <the roses in bloom>c:  a period of flowering <the spring bloom>d:  a rapid and excessive growth of a plankton population (as of algae or dinoflagellates) — compare red tide

  2. 2a:  a state or time of beauty, freshness, and vigor b:  a state or time of high development or achievement <a career in full bloom>

  3. 3:  a surface coating or appearance: as a:  a delicate powdery coating on some fruits and leaves b:  a rosy appearance of the cheeks; broadly:  an outward evidence of freshness or healthy vigor c:  a cloudiness on a film of varnish or lacquer d:  a grayish discoloration on chocolate e:  glare caused by an object reflecting too much light into a television camera

I chose to focus on 1a and b, 2 a and b and 3 b.  Bloom as a flowering state, a time of freshness and vigor, high achievement and an outward evidence of freshness or healthy vigor.

These work well with: bringing my health back to a bloom through daily walks, weight workouts and cleaner eating: bringing my business to a state of achievement by increasing my social media presence, adding products to my offerings, and continuing to refine my booth and books: blooming creatively by taking classes and reading books: blooming financially and encouraging a period of flowering between the cats (there are 3 and they do not like each other).

My word and goals for 2016

My word and goals for 2016.  Homework for the Lifebook 2016 online mixed media class I am taking.

Have you made resolutions for the new year?  Do you choose a word for the year?  How do you work on goals?

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Henna Camp 2015

I love going to conferences… all  the collective creative energy of fellow artists, the new ideas, the new products….

This year I went back to the Henna Intensive & Retreat. It had been a long summer of working every day and dealing with fussy, cranky and greedy customers… I NEEDED a break!

The retreat part is because of the location — 6000 ft about sea level, in a spartan boy scout camp, with no cellphone and spotty wifi in the dining hall. There was a spring-fed pool, which was very cold.  And an on-site massage therapist with hands of gold. We all stayed in communal cabins and ate together in a central dining hall.  The food was good, plentiful and fairly healthy.

My home away from home at the Lion Camp, Teresita Pines

My home away from home at the Lion Camp, Teresita Pines

I shared a cabin with 3 other women.  We all had bunkbeds and all chose the lower bunks.  Thankfully, our cabin had a bathroom so we didn’t have to trek in the cold and dark at 3am…

Not only were we at elevation, we had climb elevations to get anywhere!

Not only were we at elevation, we had climb elevations to get anywhere!

The camp was built on a mountain — and it still is a mountain with steep rises between cabins.  Even after 3 days, I still got winded walking up to the dining hall.

Each day we had 3 sessions of classes — some 2 hours and some 1 hour each.

Debi Varvi explains her method of creating frankenflowers.

Debi Varvi explains her method of creating frankenflowers.

I took classes on design building, Saharan traditional henna, jagua, facepainting and photography. The teachers were excellent and all the handouts came on a cd, so I can print as I want.

I also taught a class.  On glitter tattoos.

Students practice making glitter tattoos

Students practice making glitter tattoos

And there was much spontaneous henna practice….

Spontaneous henna

Spontaneous henna

On Saturday there was a talent show.  There were lots of bellydancers, one balloon artist and 3 singers.  I sang a Hawaiian song with my ukulele.  It was a really fun evening.

HIR_Nat_ukuleleByMorganCollierLeflerThe jagua class was particularly interesting.  Melissa Addams, our instructor, brought in fresh jagua fruit from Brazil. The fruit starts out white when cut, but then the flesh turns blue as it oxidizes. It also stains the skin a deep blue-black, and when mixed with henna produces a mahoghany color.

photo by Jillian Hawkins

photo by Jillian Hawkins

We learned a bit about jagua’s cultural context among the Kayapo people, a bit about the plant and where the gel comes from, and then application techniques.  I am definitely adding jagua to my line-up of services!

Alas, all good things must come to an end.  On Monday, we all packed up and returned to civilization.

But I still have the quiet of the mountains inside, and am brimming with new ideas and new enthusiasm. I can’t wait to get back to work!

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Hopping with Liberate Your Art 2015

It’s been kind of a tough month — busy building my stand at Seaport Village and updating my materials, busy trying to navigate through paperwork and organizing things so I can settle my mother’s estate next month, still slowed down by grief.

But getting postcards every week were bright spots — even if I couldn’t get myself together enough to blog or post on facebook about them…

The first one to arrive was from Chandra T. Mountain of chandralynn.wordpress.com

Chandra's old car deserved a ride on a vintage carousel...

Chandra’s old car deserved a ride on a vintage carousel…

Next to grace my mailbox was a lovely scene from France by Ma’ (manuelles.canalblog.com)

A countryside from France visits a California meadow...

A countryside from France visits a California meadow…

Then a strawberry arrived just in time for Easter breakfast! (from jpeeksphotography.com)

A digital strawberry joins real strawberries for Easter breakfast...

A digital strawberry joins real strawberries for Easter breakfast…

Then came some lovely shells by Cathy Hubmann:

A gift from the sea spending a day in the desert...

A gift from the sea spending a day in the desert…

Then I got a card from a friend I met a few years ago through LYA:

Sheila Delgado (www.sheiladelgado.com) shared a lovely few quotes with her card:

“One eye sees, the other feels” Paul Klee

“Imagination needs moodling – long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.” Brenda Ueland

Sheila's floral delight enjoying a morning stroll with my neighbor's roses...

Sheila’s floral delight enjoying a morning stroll with my neighbor’s roses…

Next came a romantic couple from Sherry Galey (sherrygaley.com)with the quote:

“To love yourself as you are is a miracle, and to seek yourself is to have found yourself, for now.  And now is all we have, and love is who we are.” Anne Lamott

Catching a kiss among the daily routine of life... at the grocery store...

Catching a kiss among the daily routine of life… at the grocery store…

And finally, the card from Kat Sloma signalled the end of the the swap.

When you liberate your art, the world is a better place.

When you liberate your art, the world is a better place.

Miss Cali is not sure what to think of her card!

Miss Cali is not sure what to think of her card!

Looking forward to next year’s fun!

 

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Liberate Your Art 2015

It’s that time of year again.  Time to liberate some art into the world! Kat Sloma has organized the Liberate Your Art event for 5 years.  This is my fourth year of participating.

Artists can share anything that can be printed on a postcard… paintings, photographs, photographs of sculpture, scans of silk painting…. the postcards can be printed at home or professionally.  5 postcards are sent to Kat, who then sorts and labels and sends them out.  Each participant gets 5 cards, plus one of Kat’s. Part of the fun is sharing the cards we have received by taking photos of them in our spaces.  I love seeing where my cards end up!

For the past 3 years, I have done collages that were heavy on henna-like embellishment.  This year I decided to try something different.

I inherited my mother’s cat this year, and she is very photogenic.

CaliCatI thought about using a straight photo, but wasn’t happy with the results.  And XnView, the program I use for editing is not strong with effects.

Then I took an art class with Suzanne Visor and was inspired by the constraining frame. I had originally thought to use the right side.

A close up

A close up

Not quite right.

So I tried the left eye.

The left eye

The left eye

More interesting.

And then I tried painting it… which is way out of the box for me!  I am a henna artist.  I work with lines, not brush strokes.  But after several hours of painting and leaving and thinking and more painting and more thinking and more painting, I ended up with something I liked. It doesn’t look exactly like the picture, but close enough!

The final painting.

The final painting.

I uploaded the image to Moo and am waiting for my postcards to return.  Once they arrive, I will send 5 of them to Kat, and then wait for the fun to begin!

I’ll have extras, so if you want one, just let me know and I’ll send you one!

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Making henna

Henna Cone with homemade paste

Henna Cone with homemade paste

Making henna paste is pretty simple — and is the best way to make sure you know what is IN your paste.  For this cone, I used 1 tbsp of finely sifted henna power.  I made my sugar sealant with 1/4 cup water, 2 packets of TruLime powder and 4 packets of granulated sugar.  (I used the TruLime because I am traveling and packets are easier to pack than bottles on lime juice.)  Then I added 1 tsp of sugar sealant to my henna powder and let it sit for an hour.  After that, I added 1 tsp of pure lavender essential oil and a bit more sugar sealant to make a nice, smooth paste.  I let that rest for 4 hours before putting it into my cone.  To apply, I just draw with the cone, then let it dry. One or two light dabs of sealant are all that is needed to keep the paste firmly plastered to the skin.

 

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This blog is hoppin’!

It’s the 2014 Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap Blog Hop! Be sure to follow the links to see all the artists and their amazing artwork — 209 artists from 10 countries liberated 1254 art postcards. It is such a thrill to be part of this huge event!!!

This is the art that I sent out into the world. It represents a phoenix surrounded by Tiare flowers, also known as the queen of flowers or Tahitian gardenia or Monoi in Hawaiian.

MHPostcardFinal_2

The quote I included for my card is from Ursula K. LeGuin: “It is good to have an end to journey, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

The first card I received was from 5th grader Olivia from South Orange, NJ.  I love it!

Hello! My name is Olivia Morgan and I live in New Jersey (USA).  I am in 5th grade.  I love to write stories and draw in my free time.  This drawing is a mosaic that makes a girl's face.  It's a lot of people of different races.  Hope you like it. --Olivia Morgan, South Orange, NJ

Hello! My name is Olivia Morgan and I live in New Jersey (USA). I am in 5th grade. I love to write stories and draw in my free time. This drawing is a mosaic that makes a girl’s face. It’s a lot of people of different races. Hope you like it.
–Olivia Morgan, South Orange, NJ

The next card that arrived was from Emma Bogush (at emmaisanartist.blogspot.com) It showed up the day before I had to return to the Mainland for a whirlwind trip so I was unable to showcase Ariel in her proper environment until we returned a couple weeks later… On the back of the card is the quote: “There is no point in growing up if you can’t act a little childish sometimes.” The Fourth Doctor…. I totally agree!  I find that at 50, I’m more childish (full of wonder, amazement and delight) than ever!

Ariel spends some time on Turtle Beach, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii.

Ariel spends some time on Turtle Beach, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii.

When I returned from our trip to the Mainland, this lovely story card from Lori Moon (lorimoonstudio.blogspot.com ) was waiting for me!  “May you find beauty in every day” was the request on the back… so I took it to Hanauma Bay for a little Hawaiian beauty…

Bringing the NY subway to the beach.... Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

Bringing the NY subway to the beach…. Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

The next card that graced our mailbox was from Jo Murray of Australia! (jomurray-art.blogspot.com.au) Since we have no dryer here in Honolulu, I thought I’d add her card along with the rest of the wash…

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see (Thereaux)

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see (Thereaux)

And then came Madeleine Jone’s wonderful abstraction from Grosse Ile, MI (but postmarked Washington, DC)!

Swirling crescents mark the silent presence Fringed stalks  of plummage

Swirling crescents
mark the silent presence
Fringed stalks
of plummage

And finally, all the cards together, including Kat’s card called “Layered Autumn”

All cards from the Liberate Your Art postcard swap of 2014!

All cards from the Liberate Your Art postcard swap of 2014!

This challenge really pushed me to focus on creating something during the first weeks of confusion in our sabbatical home.  While I was still acclimating to the weather, figuring out the bus system and amazed by the rain, the deadline of creating a work of art and turning it into a postcard to share was an anchor and a guiding light.  And when the cards from the swap started arriving, I could share not only the cards, but the amazingness of our temporary home, Oahu, Hawaii.  Now the swap has ended.  And it is almost time for me to return home.  But the magic will remain… 6 cards and the gifts of their art.


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The second card

The second card in the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap arrived this afternoon.

LYApostcard2_ElephantEars

From Emma Bogush: emmaisanartist.com
“There is not point in growing up if you can’t act a little childish sometimes.”
–The 4th Doctor

I really wanted to take Ariel to Waikiki Beach, but since I leave tomorrow morning for San Diego — and I don’t have a car– I won’t have time to run downtown and back in time for my shuttle to the airport.  Sigh.  I might take her to the beach when I get back… just because…

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First postcard to arrive

The Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap of 2014 is now underway.  My cards have flown out into the world and other artist’s cards are winging their way here.

My first card arrived all the way from South Orange, NJ.

Hello! My name is Olivia Morgan and I live in New Jersey (USA).  I am in 5th grade.  I love to write stories and draw in my free time.  This drawing is a mosaic that makes a girl's face.  It's a lot of people of different races.  Hope you like it. --Olivia Morgan, South Orange, NJ

Hello! My name is Olivia Morgan and I live in New Jersey (USA). I am in 5th grade. I love to write stories and draw in my free time. This drawing is a mosaic that makes a girl’s face. It’s a lot of people of different races. Hope you like it.
–Olivia Morgan, South Orange, NJ

I decided to showcase it next to a glorious lobster claw ginger which grows abundantly throughout the islands.

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Life happens… an update

It has not been the most stellar time in paradise. Rain, fitful sleep, many early morning phone calls to the veterinarian in New York (6 hour time difference is not fun!), and a UTI have been the order of the week.

Miss Java at the Pet Hospital

Miss Java at the Pet Hospital

Java (and her “sister”, Sahara) have been under the care of my patient Mother-in-Law.  Sahara has been the problem cat — jumping where she shouldn’t jump, knocking things off shelves, opening doors and snooping in closets.  Java was the sweet one… until she started drinking excessively… which lead to peeing excessively… not necessarily in the litterbox.  The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was when my mother-in-law returned home to find all her towels had been knocked down out of the closet — and all of them had been peed on…. and there were also puddles in the bathroom.  The volume was incredible — even if both cats had a peefest.

So, last Friday, Miss Java went to see the veterinarian (thank goodness, our friend who was helping out with the litterbox changes just happens to work at a veterinary clinic!).  She had a mouth ulcer and was dehydrated.  They put her on an IV and ran a full range of tests. She started a course of antibiotics for the ulcer.

The tests all came back negative — including the one for kidney disease which she had tested positive for back in October! The vet is at a loss to explain her excessive drinking. But the antibiotics have been working well to clear up the infection and after a few days of subcutaneous fluids, she is back to normal.

But she can’t go back to my mother-in-law’s house.

And she can’t come to Hawaii (very strict quarantine laws).

It’s been a sleepless week working through all the options. And yesterday, we decided to take a week to go retrieve our cats from New York and bring them back to a cat’s only hotel in San Diego, The Purring Parrot.

Located in lovely Point Loma, The Purring Parrot features very attentive staff, views of an aviary, and lots of climbing space.  And webcams. It won’t be home, but it will be close enough.

So now the travel arrangements and reservations have all been made.  Family discussions have started.  And it will all work out.  Hubby leaves for a conference in Arizona tomorrow. When he returns to San Diego, I’ll fly out to meet him and we’ll fly to NY at the end of March.

Now I just need to figure out what the best place is for Miss Java for the next 2 weeks.  Sister-in-law is contacting her list of catsitters for options.  And I just need to stay calm, get enough sleep, drink a ton of cranberry juice, and know that by Monday when Java is discharged, we will have a plan.

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