April 29, 2005

Photo Friday: Fancy

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Marcia, Canon Digital Rebel

Photo Friday's theme this week is "Fancy."

Posted on 11:14 AM | Comments (11)

April 28, 2005

the pattern

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pretty feet, Canon Digital Rebel

"If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives.... But close up a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern."
-Ursula K. Leguin

To entertain you:
-Huh Corp made me laugh out loud. It is very silly and funny.
-Colorstrology is way cool.

To inspire you:
-Ali Edwards rocks.
-Donavan and the Purple Crayon I love this story and this series of tales from Donavan's childhood.
-Danny Gregory started a great series on the Morning News entitled Peanut.

Posted on 09:00 AM | Comments (12)

April 26, 2005

The Chawch

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Photo by David Nightingale

*The above photo is by the talented photographer David Nightingale of Chromasia. If you haven't already seen his work, hop to it! Or maybe read this story and then pop over there. He is so good you might forget to come back. So maybe read this story and then come back. Yes, do that.
..........

And since I am dispensing advice today, I have another little bit for you: Don't ever name something {even an inanimate object} you might someday want to get rid of.

I don't remember exactly how our couch got a nickname. I think it was from my friend's daughter who called the couch "the chouch" {pronounced: Chowch} which I rather liked and adopted for a while. Matt liked it too, and as with all nicknames we love, they morph and devolve into other nicknames like "Chawch" "Chacho" "Joanie loves Chachi" and the ever favorite salutation "Meet you on The Chawch!"

About a year ago, my sister passed along a very pretty green velvet couch to us when she was moving. We were thrilled. Our torn, stained, faded, pin-striped, pseudo preppy couch would finally hit the curb. Little did we know we'd feel so conflicted about it.

And I'm convinced it wasn't the couch. It was in the naming of the thing that had all the power. All the sentimentality, all the memories, all the juice, lived somehow in the name. Did I mention not to name anything you might one day throw away?

As we moved it outside and put a poster on it: "Free! Gratis!" we got a little sentimental. I don't know about Matt, but I know I said a little prayer that The Chawch would go to a good home.

We went inside and looked out the window at it sitting on the sidewalk. People passed by without a glance, or they would check it for cleanliness and comfort and then keep going. Our hearts sank.

"I can't watch anymore," I declared and we closed the blinds.

The next morning we looked outside hoping to see an empty sidewalk, but no, the worst possible scenario occurred. Someone had stolen the cushions to sleep on (this happens a lot in SF) and now the couch was worthless, cushionless and unadoptable. We were crushed and picked up the phone to call the recycling place.

We felt like we had to flush our pet goldfish down the toilet.

Our new couch is also named "The Chawch." But if we ever get another one, we will never be able to kick it to the curb again. We will work tirelessly to find a home for it. That is the responsibility that comes with giving something a name.

Posted on 11:11 AM | Comments (20)

April 25, 2005

joy

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the pretty girls of Dolores Park, Canon Digital Rebel

"Know that joy is rarer, more difficult and more beautiful than sadness. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation."
-Andre Gide

Posted on 11:11 AM | Comments (18)

April 22, 2005

Superhero Designs update

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Sasha in purple glam, Canon Digital Rebel

Free shipping for Mother's Day
Is it coming early this year or is it me? May 8th is the day. Let your mom/wife/friend know she's a total superhero! {Just place your order and I will refund you the shipping charge}

New, Limited Edition Stuff
Many of the current designs are limited edition due to the vintage and hard to find beads I use. This keeps the collections fresh! but means that they won't be around forever.

The brand new kiwi necklace wants you to have her!

Finally, something in purple! You guys have been so patient with me. And just in time, I hear all the kids are wearing it these days. Introducing purple glamour puss {Sasha is wearing it in the above photo}

Blue Freeze is even better now. It is a deeper turquoise and has a special magic to it. It kind of looks like windex too.

Sugar Snap Update
To all of you who are on the waiting list for Sugar Snap.. sad news! I can't get those pretty green quartz anymore {unless I come across them again}

In the meantime, I have enough to make several pairs of earrings. If you'd like some, snatch em' up!

Rare Finds
The designs on this page are one of a kind {or extremely limited edition}

.......
In other news, congratulations to Mike and Chris who recently published their book 2 Do Before I Die.

Posted on 09:15 AM | Comments (7)

April 20, 2005

The ferry building & other delights

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The ferry building at the Embarcadero, Canon Digital Rebel

Things inspiring me today:
The birds in this tree {via rosie}. And while you're there, check out the rest of this beautiful site.

My friend Sabrina's story about being brave on the rocks. {I was reminded of this on Ali Edward's awesome site}

Shaken faces.

Excellent Lomo shots. {It's also a great example of cross processing which is shooting slide film and developing it like regular color film.}

Mrs. Meyer's dish soap in geranium is so yummy.

Rediscovering 43 things

Wanting this book.

Reading this book and this book.

And a great quote from the wonderful Jack Kornfield:
"The wisdom of the heart is here, just now, at any moment. It has always been here, and it is never too late to find it. The wholeness and freedom we seek is our own true nature, who we really are. Whenever we start a spiritual practice, read a spiritual book, or contemplate what it means to live well, we have begun the inevitable process of opening to this truth, the truth of life itself."

P.S. For all of you that were curious about Marcia's red lipstick, she gives you the full glamalicious lowdown in the comments section of the kiwi entry.

Posted on 09:19 AM | Comments (15)

April 18, 2005

The Small Things

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leaves, Canon Digital Rebel

The way she looked at me last night, eyes fixed one mine, and said, “I think I need to slow down,” and then took a long, deep breath. And how uncomfortable I felt, holding her gaze like that, and how I wanted to look away but didn't.

Or the way Matt called me over when I announced during the movie that I should be going to bed. And he said so sweetly, “But you could just lay here and fall asleep on me,” and pointed to his chest.

Small things.

The way my mom motioned for me at the end of the baby shower last weekend. The baby shower for my sister, hosted by me at my house, the one I was nervous about for months. The one I was afraid to throw, afraid I would be jealous or cry or wouldn't be able to celebrate her in the way that I wanted to, and how ashamed I felt for that. The way my mom called me over to her at the end {the party was truly wonderful} and brought me into the empty hallway and whispered, “I'm so proud of you.”

Small things.

The way my friend Michael, (who is developmentally disabled) leaps out of his seat and sprints over to me shouting ANDREA! When I arrive in his class.

Or the other day, when my friend's 2-year-old brought me a tiny daisy he had picked on the way to my house, and how he giggled when I put it in my mouth and tried to kiss him.

More small things.

The way the grass touches the sky up on Bernal Hill.
The impossible smell of jasmine in the evening.
The shout Matt let out when he jumped off the rope swing and dropped into the cold lake.

The almost imperceptible squeeze of a hand, the hand of a stranger at Glide, when we are singing a group song and it's time to let go.

Green tea instead of coffee.
Bubbly water instead of wine.
Cooked fish instead of raw.

Small things really.

Or that story I heard the other day, the one about the man who threaded big colorful maple leaves with fishing line and attached them to the ceiling so it looked like leaves were falling all around her room…

Posted on 08:31 AM | Comments (35)

April 14, 2005

Congratulations!

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Stef and Tim, Canon Digital Rebel

A huge congratulations to Stef & Tim who just had their baby girl, Kadison Violet on Monday! I so look forward to meeting her. {You may remember Stef and Tim from the lurking belly shot only a few weeks ago!}

.....

Thank you for letting me know about the problem in the comments. All fixed now! My site went completely Zen yesterday and didn't want us to "do" anymore, just be.

Also, thank you for all of your questions. I have some great stuff to think about now and will answer them in bits throughout the coming weeks. I appreciate the inspiration.

"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete." Jack Kornfield

Posted on 01:50 PM | Comments (15)

April 13, 2005

kiwi

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Marcia wearing kiwi necklace, Canon Digital Rebel

I'm cooking up some new colors over here for spring and summer. This is a sparkly little kiwi number.
....

I am without words these days. Strangely content. Funny how I have more to say when my head is full of drama!

Since I am not clear on what to write about, I wanted to put the question out to you. Is there anything you'd like to see me/us talk about here? What is going through your heads?

P.S. I am currently tortured by the fact that Bono came to Glide {the very eclectic and wonderful church I go to every Sunday} and sang! The one day I wasn't there...

Posted on 08:18 AM | Comments (45)

April 12, 2005

good questions

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pink rununculus, Canon Digital Rebel

A most intriguing question was posed to me recently. I am part of a women's artist group called No Limits and we get together twice a month to talk about our creative lives. {No Limits is a national network of support groups empowering women artists to fully succeed in their creative work and careers.}

We were all asked to answer the following question and speak about it at length: "Recall a time when you were a kid and you were joyously engaged in some creative project. You were blissfully absorbed and had no regard for the outcome or who would see it."

So much came rushing back to me.. Those little toy mice with the costumes {Cleopatra, a scuba diver, Superman} that I would paint sets for, place them in the scene, and then photograph them. The numerous dance routines I choreographed in my bedroom to the Flashdance soundtrack, the hours of teaching friends said dance routines when they came over, fashion photo shoots in my bathroom with the hairdryer blowing their hair in that sexy, tousled, magazine way.

Then there was the singing. I loved to sing, and I must have have been pretty good at the time because a great teacher named Bob Reid who used to come to our school and play his guitar and teach us folk tunes {oh, how I adored him} asked me to be on an album he was making of kid's music. I jumped at the chance. It was one of the biggest thrills of my life to be in the recording studio, 10-year old legs dangling on a stool, holding headphones to my ears and singing into a microphone. I remember feeling elated, tireless, and as cool as the Brady Bunch kids. {Believe it or not, you can still buy this album called Abracadab on his website}

I've always believed that what you did as a kid tells you everything about what your spirit wants to do as an adult. I saw an old photograph once of the brilliant photographer Alfred Stieglitz when he was about 3 years old. He has a photograph wrapped around his neck attached to a piece of string. The caption read that he saw the photo and became obsessed with it, wanted to have it close to his heart all the time.

What I realized in answering this question is that my kid life was a lot about music and dance, and I haven't made that a big part of my adult life. Not being a dance club kind of girl, I had forgotten about dance, but that was about to change. I immediately signed up for a dance class called Nia {a blend of yoga, martial arts and global dance forms} and fell in love with it. I feel happier. It's like I was missing one important vitamin and my body wasn't running well without it. Or a spice that made the soup finally come together in the most delicious way. I feel a new self emerging.

I encourage you all to answer the same question: What did you love to do as a kid? Recall a time when you were joyously creating.

Posted on 07:32 AM | Comments (20)

April 11, 2005

birds this way

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Birds, by Rigo, Canon Digital Rebel


One of my favorite San Francisco artists named Rigo did this piece. He also did the most excellent public art piece in 1995 called One Tree. You can view it here:here. This one lonely tree is situated in a fairly industrial part of town, warehouses and freeway entrances abound. I love coming across it when I drive in that part of the city.
.......

Spent way too much time entertaining myself on the Dead celebrity Soul Mate Search site! Apparently, in another era, I would have been destined for James Baldwin.

....
Obsessed with a radio show called New Dimensions and the soundtrack to
Garden State.


Posted on 07:54 AM | Comments (18)

April 06, 2005

My life in colors

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Orange rununculus, Canon Digital Rebel


Neon cantaloupe: The house newly painted next door. We watched them test colors in the backyard one day, salmon, bright salmon, dull salmon, cantaloupey salmon. We were incredulous. No salmon please!! But our neighbor doesn't speak english and is so sweet and cute and old, and how could we risk offending him by bring over our swatches of blue and sage? It just didn't feel right. We secretly hoped that a family member or friend would come to the rescue and talk him out of it.

It's painted now, and so bright, so god-awful that people literally cringe when they walk by. I've seen people point at the house on several occasions and say, "what the?" When I have a conversation by a window in my house, people's faces have a peachy glow. It is like a sunset beaming in at all hours of the day. And not in a good way.

Blue: The color I wanted my eyes to be, right around the time when I wanted a button nose, smaller lips and the name Christy. This was the early 80's and magazines were full of Cheryl Tiegs types, all blond hair and delicate features. Funny to me how even people's features can be trendy, how today, women will pay thousands of dollars to have full lips. I am personally waiting for bushy eyebrows to make a comeback.

Lime green: The new beads I recently found, some that look like martini olives made of lucite, others a grassy cut crystal, glittering away on my desk.

Chocolate brown: The UPS socks I own {two pairs in fact!} that feel cozy to me at night when I scrunch up on the couch. They were from a boy I dated a long time ago in Santa Barbara. He was sweet and kind, and in a moment of silliness, I told him that I had always dreamed of having my very own pair of UPS socks.

We didn't last, had a bad falling out and didn't speak for a couple of years, until that fateful day when a package arrived in the mail. No note, only a return address that I recognized, and two pairs of chocolate brown UPS socks. A peace offering.

Purple: My 9 year old self that couldn't get enough of it. Purple and red, purple and green, purple and orange... and then I grew out of it. I hear it's making a comeback. Welcome back purple! I even made a purple necklace for the first time in years.

Shamrock green: I am a bit of a color nazi as they say. My husband rolls his eyes when I very casually, very quietly, switch out the plate he has laid out for me because it doesn't go well with the food that will be placed on top of it. I have a set of Fiestaware dishes and bowls and tend to color coordinate my food to the dishes I use. I find that the shamrock green plate goes with little to nothing.

Paint chips: Can't get enough of these. They are how Matt and I fell in love. They are what our wedding invitations looked like.

Eating the colors:When I was a painter, I struggled for years to write an artist statement. I knew it was supposed to sound smart and academic and place myself somewhere in a historic context. The only thing I could come up with was, "I love the pretty colors. I want to squeeze the tubes of paint into my mouth and eat them." My friend Jeff told me this is his favorite kind of artist statement. And I trust his opinion.

If you like em', shoot em!: The motto of one of the best vacations I ever had. My friend Sasha and I decided to go on a self-made artist's retreat in La Paz and Todos Santos, Mexico. We spent 10 days writing, drawing, and painting in our journals, as well as "collecting colors" as we called it. We would see a beautiful juxtoposition of color {peeling red paint on a restaurant wall with a lime green bucket and mop leaning against it} and we'd say to each other in our best southern hunter's drawl, "If you like it, shoot it!" and snap away with the camera. This is the very best way to travel.

Posted on 10:10 AM | Comments (37)

April 05, 2005

Fortune Cookie Factory

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Fortune Cookie Factory, Olympus Epic

Have you ever traveled to Nepal, Bhutan or Tibet? My friend Kim is writing a guidebook for this region and is looking for contributors.

From Kim:
"I am currently building and serving as the editor for a guidebook on the Himalaya region, specifically Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. It is for Things Asian Press, a small publisher in San Francisco. The book will be eclectic and anecdotally-based and feature the writings of inspired travelers from around the world.

If you can recommend anyone you know who has traveled to any of these areas in recent history and might be interested in contributing to this project, send them my way. I'm looking for seasoned travelers who are also skilled writers (evocative, humorous, academic, etc.), who can offer this book some excellent insight and soul. Expats or former expats are also a bonus. Naturally I'm working with deadlines so if you have anyone in mind, please forward their contact info soon, or have them contact me."

Thanks very much for your help!
Kim
kim@kimindresano.com


And some recent discoveries a little closer to home:
Aerial photography by Alex Maclean

The most incredible chalk drawings you ever did see.

And Hungaro's shot of that amazing sign {from my Beneath the Surface entry}

Posted on 08:41 PM | Comments (9)

April 03, 2005

The signs are everywhere

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You can, Canon Digital Rebel

Just when you thought you couldn't...

Posted on 06:02 PM | Comments (24)

April 01, 2005

honored

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Easter lily leaf, Canon Digital Rebel

I had the honor of making a collection of custom bracelets in honor of an amazing woman named Patty. It was incredible to be a part of this family's ritual of celebrating her life. You can read about Patty and her family here .

...

Amy Komar suggested we do something special today... I feel a bit shy to share it, but she very kindly suggested that we all think good happy baby thoughts for Matt and I today and begin the month off with the power and strength of all the amazing people who come to this site. I feel really moved by her offer. If you feel like holding me in your heart today, I would be so honored.

"The lesson which life repeats and constantly enforces is "look under foot." You are always nearer the divine and the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world."
-John Burroughs

Posted on 07:57 AM | Comments (72)