Recently I was introduced to an amazing woman through Facebook. She has inspired this post. Not just She- She who Fights- She who Walks. I have been thinking about what makes my work worth doing -why not try something else, why stay and struggle getting the word out there about what I create. Why join the growing sea of individuals trying to stay independent, to carve out a place for their work to exist, or to connect with people who are excited to see and experience what it is...?
Why face my insecurities and beginners self conscious vibe? Because in truth, I may be just beginning one aspect but I have been on this path for a while. I have been questioning long enough. Is it the type of art I make, the matter its about, is it the way that I look, who I am with, what I am doing, what I am not doing.
What am I contributing to myself, to my people? I am still asking. I am still uncovering.
Am I my past-my memories, am I my potential-my dreams, am I my fears-my scars?
Paulette is a stunning example of how strength- courage and for real determination- do not exist outside of our everyday. They are our everyday. Her story- is everyday, Her story exists in a vacuum where people-women- suffer in silence, are not celebrated for their victories- their internal battle with identity and femininity.
I celebrate Her- I celebrate not defining myself through all of the conditioning and programming that has been chucked our direction since birth. What is my Value, what do I Value. Who am I- who I am- is NOT a stagnant notion, it is ever evolving and changin. To choose to define myself through a lens that doesn't allow for the affects of time is a life of anguish.
I have lost a special friend in the battle for life against Breast Cancer. And though she is not with Us now, I was given the most sacred of gifts given- the joy and sorrow of witnessing the soaring of her heart in the face of terrifying odds, she showed me what Grace is- I had never seen a more beautiful Being.
I cherish every moment-when I have the awareness. When I choose not to mill about with things that I allow to steal my joy. I open my eyes with Gratitude. Everyday.
I am what I choose to be-everyday.
To read and connect with Paulette's amazing story-tap the link below
Closets for a time have been somewhat of a fascination. Not really for their mere existence, I do not believe, but for how people use them. Some hold treasures from long ago, others hold mysteries only to be claimed by those brave enough to enter. Some hold skeletons and yet others a safe haven, a private sanctuary. What it comes down to for me is human behavior and our relationship with stuff. But first a little history on closets.
Like many things closets were an amenity only to be had by the wealthy. Why? Because they were the only ones that had stuff enough to put in them. Not only did they have stuff enough to put in them but they had the space to dedicate to store all their extra stuff (a.k.a. luxury items.) Now, this is not the only purpose of closets in times of old, but it is related and that is the storage of armaments, guns and the like. Which if we follow a certain logic could only be afforded by those who had their everyday expenses more than covered for. These not so oddly were called armoires by the french meaning tall cabinet used as storage for their armories. A term that endures to this day as a piece of storage furniture for stuff. One not so common name for a storage "closet" or piece of furniture is the Chiffonier translated as "rag-picker" or "rag-gatherer". I particularly enjoy the name because of its implications of being a storage space for odds and ends that had no other place in the household.
This is where I can come back to the present and say this has definitely been my experience with both storage closets, as in separate niches in a room, and storage furniture. I used them as a place to store stuff; either I didn't use or use often and stuff that had neither a place or space to be a part of my everyday experience. A rather slippery slope idea that ultimately led me to too much stuff. Stuff is easy enough to acquire if not for free then very cheaply. Especially as an artist who uses found objects this is super easy because I have the tendency to see the potential in everything. I do not happen to think that seeing the potential in everything is a bad thing, but it can lead to too much accumulated stuff that ultimately just takes up space.
-Since I will be full time living in a motorhome soon, space is something that is at a premium. So instead of thinking I need more stuff to fill the space, I am thinking what stuff do I really need to make this space a functioning studio and living space. In a way it is like trying to live and work in the amount space equal to that of some peoples walk in closets. Which had I had that mind set all along no matter what space I inhabited, I think I would have had more time to do other things of interest rather than always care taking my stuff; whether that looks like innumerable loads of laundry, continuous dusting of trinkets, sinkfulls of dishes, picking up forgotten trash wrappers, destroying then picking up something forgotten on the floor, or losing other things among all the stuff I really did not want or need anyway.
So somewhere along this journey the closet became an interesting area to think about and a somewhat unwanted space for me. I do not believe that most people actually need closets. Sure we need places to organize and put our stuff that we use, but I would say that chances are if its in a closet to begin with most times it does not get used, or used often enough to justify keeping. These unused things, whether from childhood or unwanted gifts from six Christmas's ago, are just taking up space and are not free to live on to fulfill their potential either. Am I saying that we should all live a minimal lifestyle? Absolutely not. Only if that is what is right for you. What I am saying is that holding onto things that no longer have a significant role to play in our life I think hold us back as individuals. They serve as triggers for past memories which is great and everything but I think keeps us engaged intellectually with the past and not engaged in the present.
But this a whole other blog post, All I am trying to say is that we all have stuff in our lives that no longer serves a purpose or that we are hanging on to just in case or that triggers a certain memory, but at the end of the day how is it effecting you in the present. I know that having closets full of stuff did not beneficially serve my mental health. I encourage everyone to evaluate the stuff in your life. And just because you have the space does not mean you have to fill it. After all if it is full then where is there room for the present?
To quote Alice Morse Earle, "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present."
I love with Divine love
I create with divine creativity
I am a channel for divine love
I am a child of Great Mystery
Divine compassion flows through me
And I am a force of the divine
My eyes see thru the divine eye
I am a kaleidoscope through which the divine looks into
Each turn is a possibility
In infinite possibility
I have the power to heal
I have the power to love
I heal and love myself
You are another version of me
We are together in the divine sea
I am alive with the divine
I am an excavator
I am with each practice bringing awareness to the layers of outworn weight
I have laid upon myself
I choose to remove it
To enable light
To shine forth
The divine light
The divine and I are one
The times I cannot be
I am clouded
i want to share the process of making a ring with you.
i have had these peace sign focal beads for years but have not worked with them.
i'm glad i saved them. this season i am following the path of peace. and having fun doin' it.
this is a lil' bit of my process
i stamp the back of the piece before i add the bezel!
serrated bezel strip to go around the bead
solder the circular bezel-- then solder it to the plate
cut the ring shank to the correct size and stamp it! PEACE!!! my makers mark L+F
solder the shank to the back plate
-add the stone and set it, i use an agate burnisher. i love it! and I'm done.
of course- finish sanding (down to a very fine grit-polishing and waxing are the final steps to making a piece like this) one that will feel soft and loved, easy to slip on the finger and one that never looses its shape!
so to all you jewelry makers out there- or jewelry lovers, heres to you- may you find this day in beauty and peace
Today we are here
Today we have love
When we see
Each living thing
Breathes with us
When we feel
Connection to all beings
We see success in our
We find peace
In others joy
Today we have the choice
To lay down our judgements
To share without fear
Today we can see trees
Cycles of living
Give new life
Today we can open our eyes
Today we can become light
When we shine forth
We prepare the future
For those who have the right
To live fully
It's definitely a rainy hallows eve here in MI. There is much cheer to be had this dreary evening.
I'm reminded of the beauty of the quiet, the ability it lends to those willing, to look within and to rustle up the leaves in our spirit.
Stir our imaginations
My heart is with all those who have received the harshest of weather recently. We can all lend a hand in some way.
I'm asking "trick or treat?!"
Maybe we all could use coyote medicine maybe we could all give a little more "treat"
Part one- the roof!
Oh, the roof. It's a good thing we started up top. It's taken a few weeks to rid the sky deck of all of the old rubber and tar that was retaining water and of course letting the water seep in. Cracked tar was atop white rubber that had actually been growing a bit of mold within it.
We used for the stripping process-
flexible putty knives, hammer, chisel, glass scrapers, with the 100 blade refill!!, saw saw with the scraper blade made by Milwaukee, (this was a def. must and was a life saver)
Geo cel and aluminum roof tape- approved for motorhomes) a small piece of galvanized steel, and four new roof vents, two of which will replace the two old a/c units
So excitedly we set about stripping the layers of yuck that had accumulated. Yah, morale dipped a bit after the first week- only about half of the old roof minus roof sealant was exposed. Week two the glass scrapers came into play and we were relieved to see the bright shining aluminum roof after weeks of elbow grease. So thankful for power tools and their attachments!
More to come!
Prior to tackling this task we did some research on how exactly to remove an A/C unit and found mixed results. The videos on YouTube were def. amusing but not so informative.
So I will share with you our process.
Crow bar, a couple of scrap wood pieces about 2-3' long, utility knife, ratchet set, heavy duty wire cutters, screw driver, gloves, hammer, sharp putty knife, ladder
Start from the inside by removing the internal face plate, control panel what-have-uuu's with your screw driver/drill, probably actually using the ratchet to remove four large bolts. Then disconnect any wires making sure the electricity is off NO POWER!!! Using the wire cutters, that's pretty much it for the inside work, you are ready to go up top.
Make sure you have a good ladder, or a hulk, or a fork lift to remove the unit once you are finished. Depending on the condition you want the air conditioner once you've removed it!
Our unit had four bolts on the top we took off with the ratchet. Next we broke the plastic covering so we could really see the unit for removal. The next thing you want to do is pry the AC up with the crow bar and get the wood underneath it if you can-using another piece of wood for leverage. (And so you don't damage your rig!!!) It may be really difficult so you might need to cut the foam sealant strip prior so that you can get an area started.
I strongly suggest having a friend there to help!
Once you've got one side lifted up onto the wood you can work around cutting as needed to release the foam strip as you go. You may need to wedge the wood in at both ends if you have a really stubborn AC like we did.
After that you should be able to lift, rip, tear, your AC up, taking care not to damage the roof.
Then you are ready to pitch it! Man overboard! you can take these to the metal recycling center so please don't add it to the landfill.
We filled our 14" square hole with a roof vent! Usually the AC will leave a 14" hole as most manufacturers do this as a universal replacement size, but you will be able to tell once you disconnected the inside AC housing.
Hopefully this will help you, at least give you the courage to get out there and fix it yourself!
Life's a bench!
Let's get down to chases, I mean cases, no I mean chasing hammers- oh boy. If you have happened upon this little ditty, you may be on a quest to start your own jewelry practice, expand the one you have or are just curious about something. Earlier this year I decided I would take my jewelry making to the next level- which for me was the bench, metal smithing, you know when the mallet hits the metal. I researched night after night day after day, searching for individuals who were offering up juicy tid bits and hefty morsels on what they suggest to include in a start up metal smithing kit. I compared prices on pre made kits, looked at all the stuff they were offering and knew that it was going to be the way it's always been for me, I was going to put together my own little piece of heaven, well at least a place in the shade.
I will be posting in digestible portions, my purchases, DIY tips, discoveries, suppliers and more. Feel free to download any PDF resources. If you have any tips or questions please share in the comments.
I will post a full list of tools next time, for now here they are in living color!
Much love- Mavis
Returning to my home state of Indiana, I have been placed face to face with sprawling acreage of chemical laden crop fields. Driving from one end of the state to the other I notice the massive silos, tractors, combines and other large farm equipment that to my eye looks like some kind of war machinery-such intimidating size and stature. The pervasive smell is no longer the cow plop and thick green sweet stew I remember from years of living in the middle of nowhere but a sick acrid stinging- thick in the humid air from so many heavy rains this year. My asthma pushing against my throat, my mind reeling, realizing that all around me, undulating with gorgeous green uniformity is the homogenized landscape of GMO carpets and toxic runoff rivers. I experience the discomfort and my body tenses. I understand immediately that Monsanto has bought Indiana. Old Farm houses surrounded by emerald poison. All of the inhabitants here suffer the costs of the corporate agenda. I want to hold my breath. I stop breathing I see a bird fly by and take a deep breath. We are all in this together.
Welcome to the Council Fire!
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