Friday, January 29, 2010

The Space Between

as some of you know, i was so inspired by the bepresent retreat last october in manzanita, oregon that i am now planning my own little retreat here in the mountains of san diego county this spring. it's going to be called the space between.

the space between is not only a great dave matthews song, but it represents the space that will separate us from our regular routines and responsibilities for a short time. and, on an even deeper level, if we can stop the relentless flow of thoughts in our minds for even a brief moment, we then have access to the space between the thoughts, which is the real essence of who we are.  so i really like the name and put together the collage to kind of represent all of that. i'm hoping that some of the retreaters will want to make their own space between collage as well!

it will be small in comparison and just a weekend, but will hopefully incorporate some of the same lovely principals that made the oregon retreat so life-changing.  i'm excited! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Every Path Has Its Puddles

i love this quote and it became real for me as I took my walk this morning after the rain. i really had fun with the puddles, viewing them from all sorts of different angles to see what i could see in them.

the passers-by gave me that quizzical look - you know the one? that look used to keep me from doing what i wanted to do, but i've long since given up worrying about that!

anyway, i love the quote because it is so true of life. why is it that we think things should go the way we expect them to?
 that our path should be free of puddles?

 life is what it is - it is full of trouble, disappointment, natural disaster and, well, puddles!
 always was and always will be.

 if we can make peace with that and learn to find our happiness within, we won't be so surprised every time we encounter a puddle.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweet, sweet Muffin

she growls a lot and has even on occasion snapped at the very hand that feeds her

she doesn't like me best (in fact, life is pretty much all about daddy)

she goes off on other dogs, trains, motorcycles, people on skateboards, or maybe wearing hats or sunglasses

she can stare into gopher holes for, oh, maybe an hour straight without moving

she's been known to dig a few holes

she writhes on her back, while uttering a strange conglomeration of some of her many voices

she minds when she feels like it

BUT at the end of the day, she's still my sweet, sweet muffin. i love her madly and can’t seem to help myself from showering her with kisses at every opportunity!!

what would we do without them???

Friday, January 22, 2010

Irrepressible Life

i have been busily coordinating this show and doing lots of little behind-the-scene details to get it ready.  tomorrow is the day that we hang and the magic will happen!  i know this because i have done it before and even though it can be really chaotic, bringing in work from 14 different people and trying to figure out how to get it all off the floor and on the wall in an organized manner, somehow it happens and - VOILA - MAGIC!!

i love the theme!  each of us will have our own interpretation of it.  so along with our work, we will display a short statement.  i already know there will be a lot of different forms of life represented - human, animal and plant.

i chose to concentrate on the way that the early snows in colorado didn't interfere with the brilliant displays of the trees, in fact they seemed to intensify them!

i wish you could all join us at the reception next week!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lens Baby

I got a new toy a while back.  it's a lens baby - a cute little selective focus lens.

 i got it used on amazon, so - no surprise - it came with no instructions or documentation. 

well, it has certainly brought me right back to my early days in photography.  i'm not finding it exactly user-friendly and am frankly having a hard time getting it to do what i want.

 i was determined to at least have some fun with it so i tried it out in my yard last week (before the torrential rains began)

i think that, with practice, it definitely has some possibilities!

another project to add to my growing list.....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Selling an Original

remember this piece? i made it out of aspen leaves straight from colorado and oak leaves from mount palomar while I was staying at a little cabin up there in november.

i framed it and submitted it to my local gallery to hang, never expecting that it might sell. after all, it’s one of my very first mixed-media pieces. so maybe it's beginner's luck – it did sell and i have to tell you, i have mixed feelings.

why, you might ask? truly, it never ceases to blow me away when someone actually takes out their wallet for something i have created with my own hands! that thrill just never gets old. so what is the problem? well, i’m used to doing photography. the file is in the computer and if you sell a piece you can go right home and print another. i’m so not used to selling one-of-a-kind pieces. there’s some kind of emotional attachment and now i'm having a little withdrawal. all in all, i’m more happy than sad and i guess it’ll just prompt me to dig in again and create more new work and that’s a good thing. oh, and thank goodness for scanners!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Female Friendships

i just finished reading this book about 11 friends who remained a close-knit group all the way through school and into adulthood, up to the present - even though they no longer live close together.  i couldn't help being really envious of the relationships.  i mean they have already supported each other through death, divorce, cancer, etc, are in constant communication and have tons of fun together, not to mention a rich history.  they will undoubtedly remain life-long friends.
sure, i had groups in high school and college, but none were as tightly defined as this and most of us have gone our separate ways.  and of course, i moved far away, which didn't help (guess what - there were no blogs or even email in those days - i know, i know, one of these days i may have to take the facebook plunge)  then, throughout my teaching career, i was pretty consumed by that and had a lot of teaching buddies, most of whom, i'm sad to say, are no longer in my life. yes, i do have friends that have been there throughout most of my life, but not a group, per se.
i'm becoming more aware lately of the importance and power of female friendships. there is nothing quite like it.  i feel a little behind the eight-ball on this and am hoping that it's not too late to find my tribe (Donna, your word!)  What about you - do you have a long-term tribe??

below are a few more "justbe" photos for your Friday.....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


sometimes it seems that i have a love/hate relationship with my camera...

thanks for offering your little snippet of attention!

(all photos taken at havasu national wildlife refuge, arizona)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10 Things

i am the lucky recipient of this thoughtful award from the lovely and talented kolleen over at HeartWingSisters.  as part of my acceptance i'm supposed to tell you about 10 things i love right now, so here goes:

1.  the fabulous sunrises we have been having every day (can’t complain about the sunsets either!)

2.  scotland yard, a little neighborhood pub where my hubby takes me at least once a week so we can sit across the table from each other and have a conversation

3.  this song, which i cannot get out of my head

4. beautiful nora, my nephew’s baby, who just turned 1

5. frazier farm’s salad bar – my favorite lunch. the grilled bar-b-qued tofu is awesome!

6. for learning all things computer related in a relatively painless way

7. all things cocker spaniel (always!)

8. all the sweet comments you guys have put on my blog

9. my wearable blanket, for sitting outside at night under the stars (great way to “just be”!)

10. cappuccino on my deck with my ipod and my journals (this is pretty much an unbreakable ritual!)

ok, i seriously cannot count!
(11.)  last, but not least, one of my favorite christmas presents, the poo-lar bear. When you press on his behind, he discharges a nice fat brown jelly bean. sorry I can’t show you –i already ate all the beans! (thanks bob and pat!)

ok, now i am supposed to refer you to 10 blogs that i love - this i have trouble with because, seriously, i try not to visit too many because i find it kind of overwhelming.  so here's what i'll do.
here is one you should check out:

Donna just traveled down to san miguel de allende in mexico and is chronicaling her adventures there daily.  she has a way with words, for sure, as well as great photos!

also, if you have not already visited the small is beautiful site, be prepared for some serious blog-hopping since it is a veritable cafeteria of bogs all on one page (talk about overwhelming!) don't say i didn't warn you!
that's the best i can do for now.  thanks again, kolleen - love you!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Computer Generated Art

don't know if it's the new year (could be because it's the first one that i don't have to go back to work) or the fabulous spring-like weather, but i am pretty jazzed about the future right now! even though i really don't have a clue where it is leading, i'm in my "just be" mode and goin with it.....

over the holidays, i had to give up my little art table to make way for company. i didn't know where to go with everything, so i ended up storing it in the christmas decoration bins. that way i was forced to get it back out again before i could put the holiday stuff away... but now i actually organized things and it will be more user-friendly i hope!

anyway, in the meantime, since i haven't had access to the hands-on stuff, i've been playing around with some computer-generated creations. i normally use photoshop to tweak (or occasionally outright manipulate) my photos, but i decided to start from scratch and make some original creations. having so much FUN with this!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Just Be

i'm so not what you would call a fad follower or a trend tender. remember when your parents taught you (and maybe you have tried to teach your own kids) that just because everybody is doing it is not a good enough reason to do something? i didn't get that at all at the time, but as i got older, my latent rebel nature started to blossom and i took that idea and ran with it. in other words, whatever everybody else is doing is suspect and should be avoided if at all possible.  ( i realize there is a happy medium in there somewhere.)

 so back to the point of this post - everybody is talking about their "word of the year". so naturally, my first reaction is to run away from the idea - except that, truth be told, i do have one - scratch that, actually it's 2 words (so i'm not really following the crowd, right?)

i started reading this book and realized that i want my focus to be "just be". i'm convinced that many of life's problems can be solved with this simple phrase and keeping it in my consciousness
has already made a difference in my life.

here are some of my favorite "just be" type photos from the last year or so, along with some eckhart tolle quotes from the book:

"the preciousness of being is your true specialness. what the egoic self had been looking for on the level of the story - i want to be special - obscured the fact that you could not be more special than you already are now. not special because you are better or more wretched than someone else, but because you can sense a beauty, a preciousness, an aliveness deep within."

"if you truly look at an oak tree, or a sunset, then what you're looking at goes far beyond being interesting. just be with it, contemplate it, and it is awe inspiring. there is a depth there that defies analysis by the mind".

"see if you can look at these photos with little or no thinking. but don't try not to think. instead, give your complete attention to the act of looking, that is to say, to the perception itself...when you perceive without thought, you are open to the nameless, the deep mystery that pervades all that exists, the presence of the divine."         Eckhart Tolle 

i certainly couldn't have said it better myself!!