Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 66

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Remembering Voyages Past
Dear friends, for over sixty days now I have been on a mandatory leave from my work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and have been blogging about that experience from the very first day of my leave.

And although my situation will not change, for the foreseeable future, my status has changed. I no longer am on mandatory leave, rather I have been furloughed until July 25th.

Although the county in which I live has done an excellent job of avoiding catastrophic illness and has, indeed, 'flattened the curve', the State of Oregon now has a severe deficit and many employees, including me, have been furloughed.

That doesn't mean that the coronavirus pandemic is over - far from it. We are only at the point of a slow and cautious reopening. Lane County petitioned to reopen and my town has entered 'Phase 1' of reopening. It's still early days in the efforts to keep everyone safe and I will still be following the stay home order, only going out for essentials.

So I will still be here on the blog, however I won't be titling every post 'Flattening the Curve' anymore. I will name posts according to what the subject matter is and use Flattening the Curve only when I have something specific to share about the status of the pandemic in my town and in my life.

With that, I hope you and your family are safe.

Thank you for reading and see you again soon.

 
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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 64

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She Took to the Wind, No Longer Tied Down by Him
Hello friends. Today is my sixty-fourth day of mandatory leave from my government job due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and I have a question for you.

Have you ever had to leave an unhealthy relationship? If you've seen any of my recent Collage Journal posts, you'll know that I have been thinking a lot about the decade in which I came of age and am working on documenting some of those memories in my journal using images cut from a stack of 1970s National Geographic magazines. The 70s were my coming of age decade.

As I was searching through the magazines and choosing what to use for the Collage Journal, I saw the image above of the woman sitting on the hood of the Buick LaSabre and I immediately remembered my own experience of owning just such a car.

And ironically that Buick turned out to be my escape car. It was a harmful relationship. There was no physical abuse, but there was plenty of emotional abuse and a pernicious control of my behavior. I knew I needed to escape or I would never become my own person.

That was a long time ago - and what helped me get away from that unhealthy relationship was a 1975 Buick LaSabre. So I took to the wind.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 63

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Hello friends. Today is my sixty-third day of quarantine due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and I'm back with another page spread from the vintage Boorum & Pease Miniature Account Book that I have been repurposing into a personal collage journal.

My plan for this layout is to write about what it felt like growing up in the 1970s with the societal expectation of being the pretty, dutiful girl. Something I always felt like I was failing at. But also rebelled against. Maybe you felt those things too when you were growing up?

Again, in sticking with my plan of just using three elements, I cut the images of the girls from various 1970s National Geographic magazines, added washi tape to the top and bottom borders and ink stamped a few butterflies. It's ready for the journaling which I plan to do with a calligraphy pen just as soon as I get my confidence up! Hopefully, by the next round of photographing more pages, I will have some examples of my writing...

If you would like to see more of the collage journal pages, just scroll down to 'Topics' in the right side bar and look for 'Collage Journal'.

Thank you for looking and see you again soon.
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Monday, May 18, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 61

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Hello friends. Today is the sixty-first day that I have been quarantined at home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. I'm spending my time on creative projects that I enjoy while I wait to return to my government job.

Welcome back to my Collage Journal series where I am sharing how I am repurposing a vintage Boorum & Pease Miniature Account Book into a personal collage journal. I have several pages prepped and ready for the journaling. I plan to write with an old fashioned calligraphy pen.

This page spread will be about my love of photography. I have been interested in taking pictures since the mid-1970s which were my early teenage years and the time frame that I am documenting in this journal. The images (the cameras, the flowers and the flamingo head) are all from a 70s era National Geographic magazine.

Following the rule I set for myself in using only three basic elements for each page spread, I finished the layout by adding washi tape and ink stamping to the images I cut from the magazine.

If you would like to see the other pages in this series, just scroll down to 'Topics' and click on the 'Collage Journal' link in the sidebar to the right.

Thank you for looking and see you again soon.
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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 60

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Hello friends. Today is the sixtieth day that I have been quarantined at home and away from my work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The town that I live in is slowly reopening but I won't know when I'm to return to work until about June 1st. So, until then I am continuing to work on creative projects while I stay home.

This is the fifth blog post where I'm sharing how I've repurposed a vintage Boorum & Pease Miniature Account Book into a personal collage project. If you would like to see the other posts, they are Day 2, Day 56, Day 57 and Day 59.

I'm following the same pattern in my choice of materials throughout the journal. For the page spread above the two images of young women are from old National Geographic magazines. The sparkly butterfly and the folk art flowers and heart are from a sewing and craft magazine. All the images are from the 1970s. I used washi tape and ink stamping to give it a modern feel. The journaling will be done with an old fashioned calligraphy pen.

For this page I intend to write about becoming a teenager in the 1970s. There was a lot of turmoil in my country during the time that I was coming of age - the war in Vietnam, civil rights, and women's rights to name just a few. It was a very confusing time for a young girl trying to make sense of the world.

I can't say it was an especially happy decade as far as the current events of the day, but because of my young age I was more focused on the things that kids should be paying attention to. In the early 1970s it was school, friends, games and play time, drawing, pop music and television shows. Then in the mid to late seventies it was boys. That, of course, was a big shift and I remember how it felt like the world was very good at shining a light on all my doubts and fears.

Maybe you can relate.

That's all for today and I hope you are having a peaceful Sunday.

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Saturday, May 16, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 59

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Hello friends. Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, I've been quarantined at home for fifty-nine days now and away from my job for the same number of days. Today I'd like to show you another page in the vintage Boorum & Pease Miniature Account Book that I am repurposing into a collage journal.

In the early 1970s the Polaroid SX-70 instant film camera was a big sensation. I still have quite a few photographs of myself that were taken in the mid-1970s with an SX-70, so the images I used in my collage journal, above, had meaning for me. If you aren't familiar with the SX-70, it folded flat and that is what the image of the girl in the photograph on the right hand page is sitting on top of.

I added a few pieces of washi tape and some ink stamping and the page is ready for the journaling. This spread will be the introduction. The who, what, where, why and when to give the journal context. I plan to use an old fashioned calligraphy pen and have been practicing how to write with it.

If you are interested in the story of how I am putting together this collage journal, the other blog posts were published on Day 2, Day 56, and Day 57.

Thank you for looking and see you again soon.
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Friday, May 15, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 58

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Changing the Rules of the Game
Hello friends. This is the fifty-eighth day of my mandatory leave from my work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the county in which I live is officially opening back up today under Phase 1.

That means there are still restrictions in place and masks and social distancing are strongly recommended. For example restaurants are allowed to open but travel is still prohibited. It is good news that we are moving forward and that it is being done cautiously. It's still going to be a little while before I know definitively about my returning to my job, so until then I will keep making art and sharing it here.

The collage I'm sharing today, Changing the Rules of the Game, is my way of stating that the rules that we have been living under, up until the world pandemic hit, have not worked for so many people and need to change.

The silver figure, above, is thought to have been made by a young Leonardo de Vinci as part of an alter panel titled Beheading of St. John the Baptist and was created for the Baptistery in Florence Italy. In my depiction, he is contemplating the world as it is while at the same time reflecting on ways in which governments, economies and people can shift to make the 'game' more equitable for everyone.

Thanks for looking and see you again soon.

 
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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 57

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Hello friends. Today is 'Day 57' of my mandatory leave from my work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and I'm back to show you another page spread I created in my vintage Boorum & Pease accounting book which I am repurposing into a collage journal.

This spread (above) will be the preface. Depicted is Ariel from Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid. The story of The Little Mermaid has an interesting Jungian psychological theory which involves an unconsciousness vs. consciousness analogy that intrigues me.

As I've explained in my first post on this subject, my intention with this journal is to capture some of the memories I have of my growing up years by utilizing images cut from old National Geographic magazines from the 1970s. By referencing The Little Mermaid in this preface, my intention is to emphasize my own struggles with a lack of awareness which kept me from developing a sense of self and an inability to think independently.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I admire Helen Colebrook's approach to creative journal pages and that prompted me to choose a simple combination of the cut images (mentioned above), washi tape and ink stamping for the decorative elements. This made the process of getting the page done quick and easy. It is now ready for the journal writing, which I will do (at least in part) with a calligraphy pen.

Thank you for looking and I hope you are well. I will be back in a couple of days and share another page spread from this journal with you.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 56

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Hello friends. Today is my fifty-sixth day of mandatory leave from my government job due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and soon I may have some idea about when I might be going back to work. Each county in Oregon must petition to reopen but certain health and safety standards must be met in order for that to happen. So, we'll see.

I started repurposing the Boorum & Pease Miniature Account Book (above) several months ago as a fun project to capture some memories of my growing up years. (I wrote about this in Day 2.) The idea came to me as I was paging through several National Geographic magazines from the 1970s and realizing that I could relate to the images of many of the girls and women depicted. I began cutting those images out from the magazines and accumulated a good amount of them to start assembling the collage journal.

As so many of us do, I turned to the internet to look for inspiration for how to approach my journal. That is how I found Helen Colebrook's YouTube channel. Helen uses a standard travelers notebook, which is a very hot item in the memory keeping and journaling camps right now, to create her pages. I like how Helen uses the same basic tools and techniques on each page, yet every page looks different. I also became enamored of her use of an old fashioned calligraphy pen.

Because I also like to scrapbook, I have quite a lot of supplies, so all I did was 'shop' my own stash, buy a calligraphy set and get to work. I have several pages made and ready for the journaling. The photo you see above is me practicing with the calligraphy pen.

So my plan is to show you one page from my collage journal each day or every few days as I will continue posting my other collage work as well and any other stories that may come up.

With that, have a good night and see you tomorrow.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 55

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Hello lovelies. Today is my fifty-fifth day of mandatory leave from my work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and today I'm sharing a few of the vintage tea ware items in my Etsy shop Vintage Tea Treasures.

On the far left are two different Minton brand coaster or trinket dish sets. A pink, blue and yellow floral set (standing upper) named Haddon Hall and a red, pink, yellow, blue and purple floral set named Marlow (standing lower). Both are English bone china and each piece is 3-1/2" in diameter and has gold gilding around the upper edge. Useful as coasters or perhaps nice for a pat of butter, a place to store pins, or pretty on your dressing table for jewelry or as a catch-all.

The Aynsley Cottage Garden orange teacup and saucer set (middle) is also made in England and features a beautiful chinoiserie scene with red, yellow and blue flowers and a red butterfly on the inside of the teacup. The outside of the teacup and the top of the saucer are a lovely shade of persimmon or burnt orange. There is gold gilding on the top rim, handle and foot of the teacup and around the perimeter of the saucer. Very nice for the Aynsley collector.

And lastly, an Ellgreave 32 ounce chinoiserie ironstone teapot (far right) made in England. It features the classic 'Indian Tree' stylized pattern. The tree is decorated with blue, yellow and green flowers and red and yellow berries. Two large red peonies embellished with greenery and several other blue flowers surround the tree, and a garden gate sits at the bottom of the scene. A smaller version of the same pattern is on the back of the teapot. Perfect for the chinoiserie collector.

You can find complete descriptions, photographs and pricing by clicking each of the links above. Shipping is free in the United States. And don't forget that you can save ten percent off your order by using the code PLUMBLOSSOM10.

Thank you for looking and I hope you are having a good week so far.
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Sunday, May 10, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 53

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Dear friends. Today is the fifty-third day of my mandatory leave from my government work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and it is Mother's Day here in the United States.

I'm guessing like you, my Mother's Day has been filled with mixed emotions due to the situation with the coronavirus pandemic.

On the one hand my son Tayo, who lives here at home with his dad and I, made me a tray of chocolate brownies and a funny card.

On the other hand, because my daughter Audrey lives across town, we are unable to spend the day together. But we did talk on the telephone, and that was good.

My mother Emily lives in a nursing home in my neighborhood and the only way I could see her today was to visit her through her window. Not an ideal situation.

But I did bring a variety of annuals to plant in the flower box right outside her window. Jim helped me haul in a large bag of potting soil with the wheel barrow and we dug the old dirt out of the box and added in the new dirt. As we planted the flowers into the box, I showed them to my mom and announced the names of each flower through the open window. It brought her a little bit of joy. She waved at us and I could see in her eyes that she was happy to see us. She can't speak anymore...

I also gave her a lovely bouquet of pink orchids and pink oriental lilies - the fragrant lilies. And, of course, a greeting card. My sister Joyce and her husband sent our mother a bouquet. I saw it sitting on my mother's dresser but I couldn't see what the flower varieties were, but it was a very pretty arrangement.

It's days like this that the fact of the pandemic hits me the hardest. There is nothing that can be done except wait it out and be grateful that we are not ill and that we have food, shelter and some activities to keep us busy while we flatten the pandemic curve.

Thank you for reading and Happy Mother's Day.
 
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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 52

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Hello friends. Today is my fifty-second day of mandatory leave from my work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and it's World Collage Day.

And tomorrow is Mother's Day. So I baked some cupcakes - a traditional vanilla cake recipe and a vegan chocolate frosting - a first for me.

I needed to elevate my mood for the weekend so I put together these photos as a celebration of my having actually made some progress in my art practice.

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Here's a selection of some of the source materials I use to make my collages. I have a strong attraction to vintage books and magazines.

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So Happy World Collage Day!

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Thank you for looking and I hope you are having a good weekend.

P.S. I edited my iPhone photos with the A Color Story app and I love how they turned out. So I just want to give a shout-out to Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess because she is a genius in so many ways - this being just one.

 
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Friday, May 8, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 51

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Hello friends. Today is the fifty-first day that I have been on mandated leave from my work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and it's Friday. And that means that I am here tonight to share with you one more of my favorite art and creativity podcasts.

If you are looking for practical advice, real world examples and the steps involved in building a professional art career, you will want to listen to the Creative Pep Talk podcast by freelance illustrator Andy J. Pizza. And bring both your thinking cap and your sense of humor because Andy delivers his message about what it takes to become an art professional honestly, authoritatively and with a comedic sense through analogy, metaphor, science, his own real world experiences and those of his talented guests.

As with any profession, nothing happens overnight and what Andy digs into with his podcast is the importance of 'just doing the work' without judging yourself or getting caught up in results. Andy encourages his listeners to choose a personal creative project of their own making and to use that project to further develop those skills that can only be attained through a diligent art practice and the constant refinement of those skills.

But Andy goes even deeper than that. For me anyway, it's when he talks about using the creative process to tap into the emotional core of who I am and how my intuition can be a guide for knowing what my art practice is. Artistic concepts tend to be abstract ideas that can stifle creativity if we get too caught up in what they mean and then question ourselves during the process. Sure, we have to know the rules before we can break them. But we have to know how to develop and give shape to the abstract connections in the mind and that is best practiced through a disciplined approach to our own senses as our hand realizes them in line, shape, curve, color, and texture.

From my understanding of Andy's message, this is how we come to know our own taste, sensibilities and sensitivities in our personal art practice (and how to subjectively recognize these things in the greater world). I think this is what Andy means when he talks of making invisible things visible. That only through a commitment to an art practice can we develop and express that which is difficult to articulate any other way. It reminds me of how when each of my children were little, in order for them to verbally articulate what they were thinking, feeling or experiencing, each would do the same 'walking thing'. Either pace back and forth or in a circle while talking a thing through until their brain exhausted the subject. It was a process!

These concepts Andy talks about keep me going in my artistic endeavors no matter if it's collage, photography, writing or any number of creative personal projects. And at the end of each episode Andy asks his listeners to do just one thing - to stay pepped up until the next episode. And, indeed, I do!


 
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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 50

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Hello friends. Today is day number fifty that I have been on mandatory leave from my job due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and with Mother's Day fast approaching I went flower shopping. It was good! Almost everyone was wearing a mask and respecting the social distancing rule.

My elderly mother lives in a nursing home and although I won't be able to go inside the building to see her on Mother's Day because of the pandemic, I plan to visit with her outside her window. There is a flower box there and so today I purchased a variety of annuals to fill it up.

For my mother's flower box I chose hot pink geraniums, pink snap dragons, pink impatiens, and a 'confetti garden' in orange blossom which is a 4" pot with a variety of flowers.

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For myself, I bought orange zinnias, rosemary, the flower basket on the left, and that cute little blue ceramic bird bath. Also, Tayo and Ellie expressed an interest in growing tomatoes, so I got them two tomato plants.

And of course I couldn't resist a fun photo shoot.

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Thank you for looking and I hope you are having a quiet evening.



 
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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 49

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And The World Won't End - It Will Just Change Its Name
Hello friends. Today is my forty-ninth day of mandatory leave from my government job due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and I'm continuing on my 'stay home and create' journey.

I decided to shake things up for myself with this collage and used a couple of images from more current publications, rather than all vintage sources. The large yellow poppy is from one of my vintage garden books but the background is from a fairly recent issue of National Geographic. I don't remember where I found musician David Byrne (a new-ish Smithsonian, maybe), but I snipped him from whatever it was quite a long time ago. I have a file folder of images of famous people which I have not done anything with, until now.

It seems appropriate, given the current pandemic, to start thinking of some ways to make artistic statements about the situation. As I was looking through the aforementioned file folders, I thought David Byrne probably has something suitable to say about the world. The title I chose for this piece, And The World Won't End - It Will Just Change Its Name, is a line from Doing The Right Thing, on his American Utopia release, published in 2018.

Indeed, according to an article in The ARTery, Byrne said of his theatrical production of the album "It's meant to be visceral living proof that alternatives are possible. A constructive way to respond to what's going on in the world, rather than just yelling and screaming."

There is a lot of talk about how the world will change once the pandemic subsides. Let's work towards change that is for the betterment of humankind and hope that the new name for our world reflects peace, love and kindness.

Thank you for looking and I hope you are having a peaceful evening.



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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 48

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Hello friends. Today is the forty-eighth day that I've been on mandatory leave from my work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Back in the beginning of March I had expressed an interest to Jim about having a new flower bed. Specifically I was thinking about dahlias, but I was feeling doubtful about where in our small garden such a bed could exist. Jim was enthusiastic about the idea and offered to not only dig out a space for a new dahlia bed but said it was a great excuse to get a long needed section of fence built as well. So the whole of it became one big project. 

Jim did manage to get the fence sections built and I purchased several dahlia bulbs, but then, due to the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic situation, we never got a chance to get the bulbs planted and the fence still needed to be stained.

Once our family situation was sorted though, Jim dug the bed intended for the bulbs. And as you can see from the newly sprouted dahlia bulb in the photo above, there has been some success! Here are a few photos of the process:

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The first step was to relocate some yellow irises (in the wheelbarrow) to another area of the garden. Then Jim stained the new fence.

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And finally, he framed the bed and planted the new bulbs for me. I was a bit worried that I had waited too long to get the bulbs into the ground, but it's looking hopeful right now. For good measure, I also sowed some old leftover flower seeds in the bed, just so I would have even more of a chance of getting something to grow in there. So now there are some English Daisies coming in, so we'll see!

I hope your week has been healthy and peaceful thus far.

Thanks for looking and see you again soon.

 
 
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Monday, May 4, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 47

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Emerging
Hello friends. This is 'Day 47' of my mandatory leave from my work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and today I have another collage to share with you, entitled Emerging.

This was a very tedious project! I have labored over this piece on and off for several months. One of my goals since being on a forced leave from my job has been to complete unfinished projects and this was one of them.

I started with the black and white image of the woman, which I cut from a vintage magazine. I've forgotten which magazine it was, but I do remember that it was an ad of some kind. My interest was piqued when I noticed that it was a skinny column ad where the woman's left side was cropped so that it would fit in the column. I thought it would be a fun visual challenge to see what I could do with it.

Then I paged through Flowers, A Guide For Your Garden (a public library book sale find) for all of the floral elements. There are two volumes in the guide, each about 700 pages, so plenty of images to choose from! It was a slow process - for me anyway. When I saw a flower that looked liked it would work, I cut it out to see how it looked. It requires a bit of imagination and sometimes I'll go through all the trouble of cutting out an image and then realize that I don't like it at all or that my imagination had something else in mind. Nevertheless, it is good for the brain to do these kinds of exercises.

Gluing it all down was also tedious. I was very reluctant to dismantle the whole thing. I was concerned that it wouldn't fit back together correctly (which was probably superstitious) so I used glue dots and worked slowly and carefully to adhere all the bits in situ!

I am happy with the result, and I hope 'Emerging' brings a little bit of joy to you today. Goodness knows we all need it during these long stay at home days.

Till next time.


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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 46

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The Oystercatcher Dreams
Hello everyone. Today it has been forty-six days since I was last at my work site. I've been out on mandatory leave due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and have been spending my time practicing the art of collage.

What I love about today's piece, The Oystercatcher Dreams, is that there are just three elements - the two large birds in the foreground and the one tiny Oystercatcher flying away in the background. Which Oystercatcher is the one dreaming, I don't know. I'm leaving that ambiguous. That way, the viewer can decide what the story is.

It all started with the floral headdress, which I found in a bridal magazine. I had it in my mind to use it to give some bird within my collection of vintage bird books a dignified status. So I cut it out and went through the bird books holding the cut image over many different bird heads until I found the right one. I never would have thought to buy a magazine about weddings, but it said 'the flower issue' and it was fifty cents at my favorite charity shop. That's what I call a lot of fun for fifty cents! All three of the American Oystercatchers used here are from those same vintage bird books.

American Oystercatchers are, not surprisingly, a recovering species. In the 19th century they were hunted for their eggs and feathers and nearly became extinct. Recovery only came about after the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918 and yet they are still considered a 'species of concern' because of low and declining populations. They remain on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List due to loss of habitat, sea level rise, pollution, disease, and invasive species competing for food.

So I would say that American Oystercatchers are worthy of our respect and attention.

Thanks for reading and I hope you are having a peaceful Sunday.
 
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Saturday, May 2, 2020

Flattening the Curve, Day 45

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Hello lovlies! Today is the forty-fifth day that I have been on mandated leave from my government work site due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

With Mother's Day just around the corner, this is a little reminder that there are many nice vintage tea ware items in my Etsy shop Vintage Tea Treasures that are perfect gifts for your tea loving mother, grandmother, or perhaps mother-in-law.

For example, above is a Royal Vale Mother teacup and saucer set that features a lovely scripted 'Mother' in gold on the front of the teacup. There are pink, yellow and purple flowers with greenery on the front and back of the teacup and also on the saucer. There is gold gilding on the inside rim, upper rim, foot and handle of the teacup and on the perimeter of the saucer.

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This violets vintage teacup and saucer set, above, is a Tuscan brand and has a 'Mother' scripted on the inside of the teacup near the top rim. There are lots of pretty lavender and purple violets with greenery on the front and back of the teacup and on the saucer, with gold gilding on the top rim, handle and foot of the teacup and around the perimeter of the saucer.

There are also some 'vintage gifts' in my shop and this pair of Ucago Ceramics branded pedestal candlestick holders is a fine example. Green seashells are the candlestick holders and each is embellished with a green parakeet and a smaller green seashell. Each half shell is mounted on a pedestal stand, or base, and is decorated with realistic barnacles. Lovely gold embellishment throughout.

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And lastly, for anyone shopping for a month of May birthday gift, this beautiful Tuscan brand 'Birthday Flowers' teacup and saucer set featuring May's Lily of the Valley is perfect!

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The set has a pedestal egg-like cup shape decorated with a medium sized bouquet of Lily of the Valley on the front of the teacup, a smaller bouquet on the back, and a sprig on the inside of the teacup. The same floral pattern is repeated on the slightly scalloped saucer and there is gold gilding on the foot, top rim and handle of the teacup and around the perimeter of the saucer.

Just click the link on any of the above descriptions and you'll find more photos and pricing information.

And of course, I always offers readers of this blog a discount, so just use the code PLUMBLOSSOM10 for ten percent off your order. And don't forget that I offer free shipping in the USA!

Thank you for looking and I hope you are having a peaceful and safe weekend.

See you again soon.

  
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Flattening the Curve, Day 44

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Hello friends. Today is the forty-fourth day that I have been on mandated leave from my government job due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and today, Friday, I am here to feature another of my favorite art and creativity podcasts.

When I first heard Brooklyn, New York collage artist Luis Martin of the Studio Confessions podcast say that one of his goals with his podcast is to share how to activate your creativity to live an inspired and beautiful life, I was hooked.

For as an aspiring artist, armchair anthropologist and lover of philosophy, making something - initiating, setting ideas into motion, developing concepts - all require, for me anyway, the ability to connect with the world aesthetically.

But I digress...

On the podcast, Luis conducts interesting conversations with collagists, painters, authors and writers about the creative process and what inspires them, and culture makers such as arts administrators and curators about the business side of art.

Luis also gives museum tours via live podcasting, sending a virtual educational postcard to your ears. Some of the museums featured have been The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (his hometown), New York's El Museo Del Barrio and The Metropolitan Museum. With his extensive knowledge of art and culture, and as an arts educator, Luis brings the museum experience alive and offers practical tips for potential museum goers.

But I would say that it's his poetic monologues that get to the heart of what, as a professional artist and culture maker himself, Luis thinks and feels about art and culture, especially in this time of quarantine. For example, in his most recent expression, Sketches of the Future and a door to meditation, Luis acknowledges the grief, anger and sadness that we all feel about our current world pandemic. And yet, out of our processing of this predicament, it is a call to action. A summons for artists to fully embrace this moment in time to articulate those issues which our society seriously needs to confront - to hold up a mirror, to question. And ultimately, to utilize artistic expression to help society realize its potential for the good of all.

You can find Luis Martin on Instagram as artengineer and visit his website to see the full scope of his talents and offerings at Luis Martin The Art Engineer. And you must read Ava Darling and the bubble, an Existential Fairytale About the Wonder of Being.

Thank you for reading and I hope you are able to stay home, stay safe.

Till next time.


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