poetic platitudes

May 15, 2008

Thanks to beachbungalow8 I got to see the inside of the new Stefan Sagmeister book. Is he speaking directly to me??



Some images get me right in the back of the nose. The smell of a truckload of cut flowers is a freshness like nothing else. I miss it. I miss tucking stems into vases in a loose way, like this arrangement by Sarah at Saipua. Her blog is such a refreshing commentary on life, and I nostalgically identify with her floral design adventures.

I had a mocha today…

March 8, 2008


And it had an asterisk on top. Or snowflake, if that’s what you want to see in it…

Really what I want to talk about is the way, when called upon, the universe can almost magically give you what you need.  It is probably no secret that I have been unhappy living here. I had kept it bottled inside, only talking to a few people about my deep sadness. No more. I now talk about it to anyone and everyone (by which I mean complete strangers) on a daily basis. This is where the benevolent energy of the universe comes in.

Yesterday I was sitting at the library and I heard a California accent. A lot of times I will lurk and listen to see if an observed American is someone I want to engage. Mostly I will let the observed American pass by without so much as a peep from me, but I felt an interesting energy from this dynamic lady with cropped blond hair. She lit briefly on the table by my chair and we talked animatedly (as much as you can talk animatedly in a library), and we exchanged contact information. I felt immediately at ease and understood by her, in a way that I don’t often get here.

Today I went to the grocery store to buy one thing: cat food. I grabbed the bag and then stood in the frozen food section looking at the magazines (they’re smart at this store- the magazines are displayed in the coldest area so you will want to grab and go, not drool over Jude Law’s picture for an hour).  I was startled out of perusal (of aformentioned Jude Law picture) by M, the same bright presence from the library encounter. We hurried out to the food court to have a coffee before she had to go… actually she had carrot juice and she shouted me the mocha.

Within an hour I knew more about her than I know about almost anyone. Sometimes you can talk to strangers with a candor that is absent in normal daily communications. She spoke about her life experiences, and in them I identified myself. I got the sense that she could see into my soul. The parts of life that I am just now getting to, she had lived, analyzed and made peace with. The sticky points, the hard decisions made, the hopes and regrets, were all used as illustrations for how I might find my right path. There are some people in life that you can have an emotional shorthand with – they understand in a few words an ocean of complicated thoughts. I said very little in retrospect, but it wasn’t necessary.

She told me what to do. Not in a condescending or clinically removed sense, but in the way a mother bird pushes the chicks out of the nest at the right time.

So what does this asterisk mean for me, for Kyle, for our future on this planet? I guess you’ll have to stay tuned and see what far lands we travel to next.

oh, the lure of jewelry

December 29, 2007

I’ve been flirting around with all different kinds of creative pursuits lately… vintage paper collage, writing, cooking, jewelry making. It’s been liberating to just have fun, without the pressure of ‘making a living’ attached. I’ve also been meditating on what it is that I need to be happy. I truly enjoy spending time alone, focussed on creating something beautiful, listening to the quiet natural sounds around me (except this morning when I was trying to sleep in and the birds were scrabbling it out on the metal roof, aack).

So, in Austin, I was able to do this while making flower arrangements, but here it looks like that won’t be my path. I’ve become increasingly drawn to jewelry, specifically very unique, handmade pieces that utilize materials such as shell, bone, glass, twine, wool and found objects (but also silver and rough-cut stones). A positive side effect of moving to a country where you know very few people is the time it frees up to delve deeply into the internet. I have found such a wealth of creative souls – it is exactly the kind of thing that renews my belief in human nature.

The following two images are by kjoo – a woman in Portugal. I have never seen anything like these incredibly unique pieces…



Her etsy and flickr pages are amazing. I found her work through the blog of another rare talent, Tay MacIntyre, whose pieces are some of my all-time favorites.


Tay uses vintage buttons and other items in her work, which I think lends an authenticity and unique beauty.


I couldn’t be more inspired by her display at a recent show in Portland, OR, where she lives and works. A curious thing about blogging, or reading other’s blogs actually, is that you can stay up until 2am reading hundreds of posts, and feel like you know the person at the keyboard. I have followed Tay’s adventures as she became a full-time jeweler, to the Greek Island of Lesbos, seen her new studio, and witnessed her struggle with The Turnip (breast cancer). The fact that she shares all of this with the world is incredible, and experiencing her courageous, unique being is one of the most inspirational parts of my day.

and when you least expect it

December 10, 2007

Sometimes you cross paths with people, out there in the world, and it reminds you how many talented, awesome individuals are living chock-full lives, documenting the environment from their unique perspectives. We have been lucky enough to host a husband and wife team of photographers from Hood River, Oregon and San Diego. They partook of our couch, and shared so many amazing stories and images with us.



Above images of Australia by Bethany Franger – you can visit her blog and read more about her ongoing journey.



Above images by Blaine Franger – visit his blog for startling images of spiders, koalas and more of the Australia outback. They’ll be shooting all over New Zealand and Asia in the upcoming months, I can’t wait to see the results.

If you want to book Bethany and Blaine for your wedding or a portrait check out their website, location is most likely not a problem :).

Good luck, guys! Hope we meet up again!


I’m working on a series of collages geared toward children. The shop I’ve started working in has lots of awesome toys and clothes, but little in the way of art for kids. We’ll see what develops. I’m not sure how the giraffe (above) will get attached with the knitted textile, maybe handsewn on? Right now it’s just all laying on the work bench ready for the next step.

In other news, there’s nothing like a good car wash and bonfire to clear the air. We spent some time making my car feel loved, then helped our neighbor contribute to global warming by burning a little bush. Actually the fire was pretty big, the glowing pile peeking from behind my sexy man is much smaller than it started out. It’s Movember here- all the dudes grow mustaches to raise awareness for prostate cancer (who knew ‘mo’ was short for mustache?). I think Kyle looks quite handsome sporting a full chin-strap, but I reserve the right to snicker when he pares it down to the Wyatt Earp. What you can’t see is that his surfer locks are as long as mine.


gimme a big woo-hoo

November 23, 2007

Luckily the aforementioned dramatic situation has been resolved – by our wonderful lawyer – and we’ll be getting back something important to us. Sometimes the growth spurts of life are painful, but I’d like to think I’m a wiser and stronger person now than I was a week ago. (The situation involved the business I exited.) As long as we believe in ourselves we can handle anything.

So let out a big woo-hoo, or hallelujah, or yeehaw. And thank y’all for your support. It means the world to me.


I really needed some color in my life. I’ve been sorta not talking about it, but for the past few months I have been depressed. At first it was easy to think I was just blue, and to blame it on the weather… or various other things. Whatever the cause, it set it’s teeth firmly in my behind for a good few (black and blue) months. I was skipping dinner to go to bed at 7:30. I was driving my husband crazy with my violent crying outbursts. I was avoiding communicating with my loved ones.

Then one Saturday about a week and a half ago, I’d had enough. I took myself to a movie and spent some hours in the bookstore in Matakana. Something in my head just clicked, and the whole week after that I was totally normal- better than normal, actually- joyous at the thought of simple quotidienne things like muffins, flowers, butterflies. I can’t explain exactly what happened, maybe I had finally cried enough, maybe the beauty and positivity around me finally broke through the fog.

At the end of the week I received some bad news, news that threw both me and Kyle into a drama that we didn’t want to be a part of. We actually tried to shake it off and we had a great time going to festivals with friends, and barbequing into the late afternoon. But the beginning of this week saw us unable to eat or sleep as the drama intensified. Luckily I am surrounded by the most loving and supportive people, who called and emailed me this morning to give their virtual hugs- both family from overseas and acquaintances here that heard about the situation. I tried to reconnect with my newly found happiness by reading uplifting books and getting out into the big, beautiful world.

I had a great afternoon at the Hibiscus Coast thrift store. I want to do some collages with vintage papers, and boy did I hit the motherload. The papers above are musical cover sheets. Look at those colors! And it’s old paper! They even had a great aged and hole-y piece of wood in the dumpster that I snagged. Also yarn, I bought skeins of it. And I don’t even knit. Acid yellow, ocean blue, coral. I want to have sooo much fun playing with all these things that I have no space left in my head for any more yuckiness.

So I’ll leave you with an image taken a while back that has virtually no color. Because believe me, it’s going to be full-on saturated intensity for the next few weeks.