Saturday, April 6, 2019

Small town traditions

 Nothing better than a small town festival. Today's Gloucester Daffodil Festival is famous for its parade but our favorite part of the Magnificent Mutts Dog Show.   Check out the porcine interloper below!

 This year there was the added attraction of a beer garden at gourmet purveyor Kelsick's market- complete with Virginia brewed beer, a band and creative vendors.
 Our local blacksmith was doing demos- I was so fascinated I forgot to take photos while we was working!

 Virginia's Museum of Fine Arts brought their mobile art gallery to the festival.  It was a forty foot trailer full of original art work from Virginia natives. It was a complete multi media experience complete with recorded interviews, an interactive game for kids and very charming docents.

Such a sunny, fun event on what was a pretty darn gray day! Hope you are having a GRAND weekend.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Why a prosthetic leg is like a toaster oven.

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While people are seemingly sympathetic to the average amputee they are seldom aware of the daily indignities and inconveniences the average amputee faces.

My husband generally walks just fine with the modern miracle of his prosthetic leg but he needs to park in a handicapped spot.  Why? Because he can't get OUT of the vehicle unless the door is completely open as his leg doesn't doesn't cant or twist, it only moves forward and backward. It is like trying to exit a car in a total leg cast.

When my beloved is in a suit you might notice he walks with a limp but you wouldn't guess he was missing a leg.  Small children and little old ladies generally run him over at wedding and in church lobbies!  When we are in crowds I cajole my husband to wear shorts- people are much nicer about not crowding him and giving him room to walk.  These bad boys don't turn on a dime you know.

So about that toaster oven.  We had an old Black & Decker toaster oven for over twenty years and it worked magnificently.  Toasted, "ovened" and everything.  Only design flaw was it had a sliding toggle switch to turn it on. This wasn't an issue until "somebody" in the house tossed a load of groceries on the counter in a politically incorrect plastic bags and, you guessed it, leaned into the toggle switch, melted the bags and the groceries and nearly started a house fire. That led us to get rid of the said toaster oven and get a new one.  We have been the proud owners of 3 toaster ovens in 5 years since then because they have malfunctioned , broken or just plain don't toast.  In these days of planned obsolescence they are not repairable either.  We have given up and reverted to a slot toaster.  Our back - up is a nineteen FORTIES toaster that still works.

My husband lost his leg 12 years ago from complications from a blood infection.  After he was healed enough to wear a prosthetic he was awarded a truly spectacular top of the line C leg. It had a computer microprocessor that mirrored his gait and aided his gait.  It was amazing.  After almost ten years it started to die.  Not unlike and old laptop.  It would give out while he was crossing the street leading to over 60 recorded falls.  Insurance fought us for 1 full year before they replaced it with a mechanical "foot on a stick".  As this is better than falling in the street, he made do.  And then, it broke. Weeks out of warranty.  So we are battling for a new leg.  What does one do in between you wonder?  One's helpful prosthetist gives one a "loaner leg" or loaner knee, or loaner part. Whatever you need until your paperwork comes through and you have a piece of equipment you can use to get back to life. Oh, and the visits to the clinic have eaten up six days of work in the last six weeks.  Thank God for an understanding boss and flex hours.  Others are not so flexible with their employment.

So after in the last 2 years my husband has had FOUR legs or loaner legs.  And last week he fell down again.

We want the Black and Decker back.

PS - Having an amputee in the family is cause for a lot of dark humor in our family.  Lots of "one foot in the grave" comments among friends.  Once w
e rinsed off Bob's shower leg and left it, naturally, in the shower to drain.  Our poor middle schooler house guest went to take a shower and screamed to her mom - "Mooooooommmmm, there's a LEG in the shower and it has a CROC on it. We were not sure if she was more upset about the leg or the Fashion Disaster that is the Croc.  Be warned, if you come to visit, it lives in the downstairs closet...

Thursday, April 4, 2019

I want to be my daughter when I grow up.

art history minor schooled me telling statue ages by hairstyles!
I wasn't one of those girls that dreamed of what my family might be like when I grew up. As someone who didn't date in high school I couldn't fathom a husband, let alone a family. Fast forward a couple of decades and we have the dollhouse version of a nuclear family: mom, dad, daughter and son.
not just a sculptor and cad designer but a screenprinter also!
 Moving all the time (7 schools in 12 years) and a nerd (before it was cool, plus being six feet tall and not athletic) it took me until my thirties to gel. So I was determined when I had kids that they would own them selves in all their goofy splendor and know that home was not a place but where love lived.
cum laude and employed 
The teenager that didn't study Sociology in college because business was more practical grew up and gave birth to a son who is majoring in Psychology and wants to discover the root causes of anxiety and depression. 
art school aluminum casting selfy
The woman who wouldn't lay claim to the title Artist until her forties gave birth to a daughter who graduated with a BFA from a Division I school. 
make a neckpiece that is not a necklace, they said.
 I thought I was supposed to teach my daughter and instead she teaches me:
to be bold, creative, loving and centered.
"mom, turn your hat sideways and rock the mohawk at Gold Cup!"
Happy Birthday Beautiful One! Love, Mom

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

July 29, 1929 - Dear Albert,

I love to use vintage ephemera in my art. I scour thrift shops and flea markets mostly. I am also lucky enough to have friends that gift me with stacks of paper goodness. I use them for backgrounds and cut them up for texture like the hair highlights in this work in progress.

But sometimes things come across your table that you just can't take scissors to.  I was gifted a pile of old papers and in this piles are some amazing letters. Frustratingly there are single pages of some sassily provocative correspondence.
Read this!

I need to find page 2! And how about these pages?

Who are Dotti and Albert? How could someone let these go?
I have no letters or papers from my family.  Even though I doubt they could compare with Dottiotoski!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The 100 day Challenge

I am an all-or-nothing type of girl. I either exercise everyday or sit on the couch for 6 months. I eat well daily or it's Fritos for a weekend. I create everyday or I don't walk into my studio for a week. 

People say "do the most important thing first" but that's hard to really do, isn't it? After all one can't exercise first, make art first, call your mother first,  clean your house first,  etc.  

A part of the creative journey of becoming a working artist is recognizing the fact that, although I like to do my personal chores first so I am mentally clear to create, I don't have to. If making things is my job then I'm allowed to go to work even if there are dirty dishes in the sink. 

That might not sound exactly sound like rocket science to you but it was a big epiphany to give myself permission to put my personal and professional efforts first. 

 I find writing about things clarifies them in my head which is why I am challenging myself to post a daily note as part of the hundred day challenge.  

I'm notorious for writing and then abandoning my entries again and again. If you look back over the last year you will find me saying that I am starting again. Yet again and again. I'm hoping by publicly saying I'm attempting this challenge it will help me to create a new habit. How about you? Is there a new habit you'd like to establish?  If you'd like to challenge yourself also you can read more about this annual project  here .


PS- Day 1 efforts nearly didn't happen.  First I thought I would try to be slick and dictate into my phone and forgot to save my post (apparently the phone app doesn't auto save like ti does on your laptop. Secondly, I re-entered my post and then saved the logo and it jammed the app so it would save as a draft but would not post, So I then printed out my phone draft, dictated it into an email and cut and pasted this paltry post into the blog on my laptop. I am about to hit the publish button. Pray for me. Pray for me now and in the next 99 days that I can solve my technical ineptness and share something you want to read.

PPS I made the Day 1 deadline - it's 11:52 - WOOT!