Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy accidents and dream catchers

Thought it was about time for some art! And as I have been unable to produce any lately - thought I'd delve into the archives and see what I could find.
This is called 'Dream catcher'. It came about after a happy accident: We were making roundels (hand blown glass) at Holy City for the Atlantis mermaid project (she is who I use for my profile picture) and the glass was supposed to be a mix of blue/greens and peach/greens - for her lovely scaley tail.
When glass chunks are in the kiln waiting to be used - they all look pretty dark in color, so the wrong piece got picked up, resulting in a roundel that was red and green. Then, when the piece came out of the kiln, the middle had broken out - but it was beatiful and unusual, so I was determined to use it for something.

I then had the idea for a dream catcher panel. Dreams flow through the holes in the glass - the spidery web bits filter and catch negative thoughts or bad dreams. The other shapes around represent unformed, or incomplete dreams - swirling and forming around.

This is hand blown, sandblasted, stained, dichroic, copper foiled and leaded glass, free hanging 50 x 50cm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dolly and the bird

Can it really be a whole week already since I posted last? How is that possible! I had great plans for blogs and IF sketches, that somehow got carried away - perhaps rising out of the house with the hot stifling air, the same air that fills it during this past week of 100 degree weather.

I know people have told me that the first few years with a baby go very fast, but I didn't actually realize that's because time itself speeds up. Peanut is now six weeks and counting, and changing and growing by the day!

So - to today's blog. After the mouse adventure comes other little creatures! This little bird flew into our french doors with a horrible thud, so I ran outside SO hoping he was alive. It seems to happen often where we live in the woods (that's what happens when pesky humans build solid structures in them!) And it always makes my stomach turn - waiting to see if the bird survives or not.

On this occasion I am happy to report the bird was alive - but badly stunned, from the experience. I scooped him into my hand and popped him in a plant pot - hoping it would be a safe place for his recuperation (and somewhere less scary). It turned out to be just that - with nurse Dolly on hand (much to my surprise) just watching very closely whilst the little fellow came to and got a bearing on his surroundings, before finally (some 30 minutes later) venturing back into the sky. Dolly watched him flutter away and then returned to her bed, content that her work was done. Another adventure! Tiny, perhaps - for me, and yet huge in so many ways!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mouse adventure!

It's all babies! Besides Peanut, here is another baby adventure that crawled out of the magic bag a little while back!
We were walking in our lovely local town of Los Gatos, waiting to cross the street, when we noticed a tiny mouse on the edge of the road, starting to crawl towards the middle. Standers by squealed at their children not to touch it, and a small crowd started to form. To my surprise it was Colin (my six foot husband) who stepped out to rescue it from certain death.
On bringing it to safety, we were going to place it in a hedge until we noticed that it was only a baby - so young infact that it's eyes were not yet open! We knew that if we left it, it would certainly die, so found ourselves coming home with a tiny grey mouse with white paws.

On the first night, it really seemed touch and go, we'd stopped at a pet store and got a tiny feeder and special baby pet milk, and I furnished an old shoe box with some fabric and tissue. We fed the little mouse several times, and stimulated him with a cottonbud, as we knew his mother would, and went to sleep - half expecting to wake up the next morning and find a tiny body.

To my surprise he was alive! and his tiny eyes were now open! Over a couple of weeks we fed and then weened him, watching him grow stronger and delighting in watching him eat grapes and seeds. We never planned to keep him - especially not as he was supposed to be wild, so we gradually withdrew human contact, and at about 3 weeks after he had come into our lives, I took him to a safe and wonderful wild space, and watched him leave the shoe box - now a grown, strong mouse. Our work was done!

We took a few pictures during his stay, my favourite is one where mouse and Cookie sniff each other hello.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dolly got skunked!

This actually happened a couple weeks back now, but I'm only just getting round to mention it now. It was late (midnight) and The dogs were let out for the last time before bed. When Colin, my husband, went to let them in, Pixie and Cookie came, but no Dolly!

Moments later he shouted 'skunk!' and shut the door, as a skunk stood in the pathway where Dolly should have been. By the time I got to the door, Poor Doll was back on the step, coughing and squinting and trying desparately to snort away the thick yellow greasy liquid that now covered her face.

What a nightmare! the smell filled the entire house in seconds, and I scrubbed her with rubber gloves, 'no tears' shampoo, followed by vinegar, for an hour before having to give up and go to bed.

The next day I called the grooming salon, and by the end of the day she had been as 'de-skunked' as possible, having had all her hair cut very short and special salon shampoo.

At least her coat is now really short for the summer!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

IF: Shaky

A quick sketch this week!

They were big shoes, and she didn't know if her feet could fill them. Her jelly legs quivered, shaky and jittery as her toes wriggled about inside, trying to find firm ground!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The tree house

I had to show you this treehouse in the Santa Cruz mountains near where I live.

It belongs to Sue Cristallo, for whom I had the pleasure of doing a commission a few months back (the free hanging sun one). Each summer, she has a mini rodeo on her ranch, followed by a BBQ, and this was a couple weekends back now, but I'm only just getting round to posting about it.

It is the most incredible building, wrapped around trees and balanced on stilts, with rope bridges leading from the ground to it and other platforms floating high above the ground. It has a magical feel about it, and I am so glad that my peculiar adventures led me there to see it.

In the other picture is me, and swaddled in a green sling on my chest is Peanut! I am, of course, not allowed to post pictures on her directly, but I hardly think a green cotton lump on my chest constitutes one! And besides - it shows how incredibly small she was a couple weeks back, and tells me just how much she's grow already!
Thank you, by the way, to everyone who has posted comments recently. They are all enjoyed, and give me a boost to make the effort to blog, even when there don't seem as many hours in the day as there were before!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I had a quiet determination this week to participate in Illustration Friday, and am happy to say I did it! The subject may appear a little strange, but to those who know about the recent appearance of baby 'Peanut', it should make perfect sense.

I pondered the subject for many days, and kept circuously coming back to the same thing. Not surprising perhaps, as babies are now my main event each day. Funny - the baby in my picture even looks like a peanut! Couldn't decide on tonal pencil or colored - decided to go with colored for a softer look. Who knows - if I get really crazy with my time I might do it tonal as well, just to compare!

So - IF: Worn: As worn as she felt, the sleeping warmth of the new little soul lifted her weary heart!