Solstice Approaches

Still with the collage. The color of the year is winter coral, according to one of my art blogs…the person posting made a joke about dead coral

I became disenchanted with the traditional Western Celebration of Christma$$ as a young girl, but only in my late sixties did I feel free to disengage from the family and general festivities, partly with the excuse of unpredictable winter driving over the mountains to Seattle, partly because I didn’t want to rain on their cheerfulness, and mostly because now I’m mostly old enough to do what I want.

I re-discovered Charles Bukoski in a book of his writing and drawing about cats. I still don’t want to keep an animal or indoor plant, but I like his style of writing with poetic intent and may do more of that with pictures this winter. I may take another computer graphics class this winter or may revel in growing up in perhaps the last Age of Handmade.

Silly, but fun, exercise hand and eye and sense of play.

I have always loved the concept of the Solstice, the progenitor of our winter celebrations. The northern part of our planet, which I think of as the top of my world, reluctantly starts to shift back toward our SUN during these dark days. I no longer do the bonfire, the ceremonial burning of last year’s dark events, and extraordinary drinking and eating, even with my friends down the hill, although Jeff’s Mexican food is wonderful. I prefer to be quiet, to give myself small food treats over this transitional 6 weeks…I’m right now drinking my coffee with eggnog.

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I like to reflect and pay attention: the larger deer teaching the smaller one where the good things to eat are in my back yard. Finishing my book on growing older and appreciating other women’s experiences and art work. Using up my lifetime of fabrics, photos, bits, and thinking about slow stitching projects to carry me through the Dark days. Great books, the sequel to Sapiens, Amy Tan’s memoir about looking, drawing, writing. Appreciating green grass in December and flocks of Canada geese resting on the field in front of my windows. Enjoying the winter beach alone.

Peace and Joy, Art and Friendship to All, no matter how you celebrate.

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I like to end with a bit of nature: An Amazing Garden on Bainbridge during the Artist Studio Tour with Katie and Mike…I may meet Hugh at the museum on Bainbridge soon…Spend Time.

Collage Crazy!

One more weird little doll…can you see the face? Not quite ready to part with it yet.

I have a Holiday Craft Show on 12/1/18, so have been making lots of small collages on mat board…it’s really fun to just Play with a bunch of similar but different items…not taking any one too seriously, and each one playing off the next. I have boxes and boxes of cut and torn out pictures and words and paper of all varieties, so Tons of material.

I got an email from a fellow fiber artist in Port Townsend, soliciting fabrics for Navajo Grandmothers to make quilts during the winter…I had been thinking that it is time to purge the fabric room yet again, too. I can’t seem to resist the temptation to keep acquiring new ones, and my tastes have changed somewhat over the years. So I can share some of my wealth. There is a problem with having so much, I can’t remember what I have…and I’m working smaller and smaller these days. My body wears out more quickly as I approach 72.

I just read that perhaps the disparity between the health care our politicians give themselves, and what they try to take away from us regular citizens could possibly make the demand for Medicare for All stronger…to match the rest of the industrialized world. I had an interesting political discussion with my health care provider yesterday…we both try to do our little bit of good every day….Please join in!



Thankful for Family!

Doug, David, Hugh…Steve is starting another family hub in South Carolina

I moved to the Northwest in 2005 because of the weather…not too hot and not too cold, to be in a place I could afford near salt water, and to be close to three of my four brothers and their families. That first Thanksgiving we gathered in my little rental across from the Civic Field, and we’ve celebrated my favorite Thankful for Family Holiday at my house ever since.

The pattern I posted last week without a face…very versatile
More beaded pins. Holiday show 12/1/18 at Boys and Girls Club in Sequim…this may be my last craft show ever…pins and dolls…$15 each…maybe even less.

Two pages in the blue notebook and 5 in a rush to fill out the space in the little sketchbook I carry in my purse. I like to finish a book at the end of a year.

I’m winding up submissions to the Hot Flash Book and getting ready for the final push. It will be between 150 and 200 pages long, and full of all kinds of interesting things. I found a woman in Britain via Rag Bag Girls who has been making fabric books with pieces her Nana saved. for her, I’m posting the Oldering Questionnaire again:

I am expanding Hot Flash: A Celebration to include the Rest of Life. If you participated in the original Hot Flash Questionnaire, you may wish to add further observations from having lived another ten years or so. Our perspectives are constantly evolving.

My books have followed my interests and preoccupations through life. In doing research for this book, I have become much more aware of our cultural bias against age, and that actually we are not doomed to become doddering and confused just because we’ve put on a few more years.

Your answers to these questions will be very helpful to me in formulating the last part of my book…don’t feel limited by the questions, and please suggest others to which you would like answers…or write and send pictures about your personal experience.

If you make art, please include a sample jpeg 300dpi Doll or anything appropriate

1) What was your perception of aging when you were younger? I was conditioned “not to trust anyone over 30 during the Sixties. My grandparents’ putting their false teeth into a glass at night was totally horrifying.

2) What adjectives do you associate with aging?

3) What changes have you noticed in yourself in the last 10-20 years

4) What has stayed the same? How old do you feel inside…your essential self?

5) What things did you want to do when you were younger (bucket list)? or Dreams

6) Which have you done?

7) What have you done that you never expected?

8) What are the goals of your remaining years?

9) Were you taught to “give back” to your community? How have you satisfied this goal?

10) What activities give you pleasure, sun, beach, yard, friends, food, Passion?
I see scientists, educators, architects, farmers, mothers, mechanics, artists as having passion about their work…and continuing to pursue their “work” forever. I think this passion keeps them healthier and more vital

11) What would you still like to do or accomplish? What is stopping you—or not?

12) Have you written a will?

13) How do you picture yourself at 80 or 100?

14) Who have you cared for in your life? Who will care for you if you are disabled?

15) If Art (including visual, musical, written) is one of the activities that gives you pleasure, will you still be making art all your life?

I recommend reading This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite.

From my walk down to the grocery store this week. I love the colors and textures in this yard. The grocery store at the bottom of my hill carries an amazing supply of ethnic foods…vegetarian potstickers and edamame for my Victoria portion of the Thanksgiving feast…foods from our travels: Moroccan, Japanese, Connie’s pies inspired by OR Shakespeare Festival, Hugh’s jumbalaya, Brian’s Dutch pea soup with the funny name…so FUN to be related to creative people/Great Cooks!

Hot Flash Book Marches On

I keep the collage book going in my paining, stitching studio. I like the texture of handwriting…although I hear script is becoming obsolete.

I’m making good progress on the Hot Flash and Beyond book…almost everything is laid out, so if you’re thinking about contributing, do it SOON! Is anyone working on art work/dolls related to Aging/Death/Dying? One of my aunts died this week, in her nineties and active up til her last 3 hours. I’m reading the next book after Sapiens…saying the task of the Twenty-first Century is turning Homo Sapiens into Homo Deus, god-like creatures, part animal, part machine, who can live forever…or we could screw it all up. At the same time that medicine can fix more and more ailments, fewer and fewer people can afford the fixes. I think I would be happy with 82years, like my maternal grandmother, since my body reminds me that parts are wearing out and the social milieu is evolving faster than my comfort. My contemporaries and I can’t afford to live beyond the point where we can take care of ourselves, even though the generation before us is reaching nineties and a hundred in ever-increasing numbers, but they were the last of the good-pensions generation, so they can pay caregivers.

Pieced small doll with my maternal grandmother’s face

I may take another computer graphics class at Peninsula College in January to keep up with some of the latest acronyms. Change moves so much faster now…and is accelerating.

Enlarge to fit on 8.5″x11″ paper and you can use a copy on paper or fabric larger than 1″ x 1″ for the face. Piece the body, sew double seam on traced line, leaving opening for turning and stuffing. Make two each of arms and legs, attach arms with buttons, sew legs to bottom of dress…Or make into a Hot Flash Super Heroine!

I’m back to 22 minutes of Classical Stretch each morning and walking when the weather allows. If I pay attention, there’s almost always a sunny break each day. The Gout is mostly a memory…reminding me to drink lots of water and not to eat too many delicious and bad-for-me things…all part of the balance required for quality of life.

I finished 5 more pins this week…maybe another batch before the Soroptimist show first Saturday in December…time is moving quickly!

I may not be able to do beading much longer, since my retinas seem to be getting worse. I’ve been binge-watching a Netflix Michael Douglas series in which he’s an aging acting teacher with prostate problems…I used to watch movies with his father as the young hero.

Finishing touches to this one today

I’m working on staying interested, involved, stretching mentally and physically all the parts that still move…to keep them moving. Received two different kinds of Artist Book Inspiration volumes this week….coming projects!

I think these may be azaleas…already budded out for spring…time never stops.

Get cleaned up and ready for Family Thanksgiving. This year everyone is contributing foods from their travels: Morocco, Japan, Netherlands, Florida, Oregon, Victoria…Stay Tuned!

Falling Down An Elevator Shaft


My horoscope says that the week will be “like falling down an elevator shaft and landing in a bed of mermaids.” Hunter S. Thompson said that after he let go of conventional ways of writing articles…I can use that. I’ve abandoned St. John’s Wort in favor of rubbing the belly of a ceramic angel…and an Art Deco perfume bottle to lighten my depression…at least this way I know I’m responsible for my mood.

A mother, a baby, amniotic fluid/universe

The medicine helped the gout, and I’m back to almost my full exercise routine. I didn’t mind giving up beer and liver…there’s not all that much chopped liver out here on the Left Coast, anyway. Now I must keep calming down sufficiently to end the retinal migraines, especially the ones during which I can’t think or motor plan.

A baby open to the whole Universe…interesting where the subconscious is taking me this week. I envision mothers as giving children a start, then sending them out. My mother persists in trying to tell me what to do…can I see that as her way of giving love?

I did order two books from different places this week, after giving our local book store, Port Book and News, first shot. One is coming from a site that sells artist books at reasonable prices, Printed and the other is about the use of ingenious folds to make artist books…does that tell me something about my future??? I’m still trying to use up my treasure trove of materials. I’m also making beaded pins in case Diane and I do the Soroptimist Holiday show on December 2.

This week’s beaded pins…it’s getting more challenging to find the holes

The family is coming over from Seattle for Thanksgiving, and Kim from DC, but more about that later.

My great grandmother, started out so well and ended up…well, she’d never tell

In terms of making more fabric wall pieces, I’m wondering how many wars are currently going on around the world? I know about Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Palestine…but I’m sure there are plenty more, and on this 100th anniversary of the end of WWI…I don’t see that wars have historically solved any problems except increasing income for weapons manufacturers…So I’ll keep speaking for kindness, inclusiveness, calm, and ART!

Collage, experimenting with abstract shapes. Inspired by the top middle piece/architecture
Inspired by Sabrina Ward Harrison…remember her? Collage with writing…very popular for a while.

Back to the Studio!

Old Age Hurts!

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I still have a wealth of family pictures to use up…when I’m at a loss for what to do, collage and drawing. From a photo of me and Mom, colored pencil and marker on water color paper adhered to a collage.  One of my notebooks has gotten too thick with gessoed pages, so I’m trying to do more collage and drawing…one thing leads to another…Just Start!

I’ve always thought I was doing a pretty good job of maintaining my function at 71, decent diet and exercise, sleep, busy-ness, friends, but this week I had my first attack of Gout! I know, it’s traditionally a disease of self-indulgent old men…NOT! I’ve learned a lot since Wednesday. There’s a hereditary component and my brother has it, estrogen protects women until after menopause, there are some drugs that help…unless one’s kidneys are bad, which mine are, from taking too much ibuprofen to keep going during my working years. Alcohol, shellfish, spinach, asparagus, fatty cheese, red or organ meat can be triggers…I don’t mind the Alcohol and organ meats, but food is one of my few remaining dependable pleasures. Reading is another, but the age-related macular degeneration, drusen (growths on the retina) and retinal migraines can interfere…

Here’s the photo from which I was drawing, and a personal Artist Book I’m making from the notes I wrote for the fabric artist book that the Bainbridge Island Art Museum bought. I still have lots of family material that no one else wants, so why not use it. In this book I’m pasting onto pages from a graphic show book my brother gave me to lend substance to my scribbled notes.

I got a lot of sympathy on FaceBook, which was nice…and I’m embarrassed, because there are lots of people way worse off. I’m glad I live alone, because I can whine to myself and also tell myself to “get over it!”

Attaching some Golden media experiments to larger pieces of matt board in case I do a holiday show…doing something is better than nothing. Back to making beaded pins, too. I recognize my brother’s ADD…but I have it, too. I NEED projects! but they must be particular parojects

This is only the fifth day, and I am feeling better already. Will remember to drink lots of water to dilute the uric acid. Maybe it won’t come back too often. I’m lucky that I have health insurance and can see the PA the same day I call…and he’s very kind.

A pattern I invented for the Hot Flash Book, Kissing heads in a heart shape, perhaps I’ll exaggerate the pattern a bit more.

OK, enough whining. I’m still able to read while I lie down and ice and elevate. I’m still working on the Hot Flash book and am getting contributions from all over the world. Just sharing womanly support on all the problems and solutions we find through life helps. Making Art seems to help both with specific problems and in general. If you have questions (about the book or anything else), please email: or look back in the last 4 or so blogs. Not like anyone else’s book.

Playing with collage and layers…other people do more paint, but I hate getting messy…
A pile of yellow leaves from last Sunday’s walk…we have few deciduous trees here in the NW, and recent winds will have the leaves down soon…and I’ll get my view of Canada across the Strait back again…LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING!?!


Hot Flash Book Contributions?

A bunch of bodies sewn and stuffed with plain muslin…pattern below

I’m Back! The computer problem was just a dead mouse…the mechanical kind…or Magic. I learned that Mac Magic Mouses are hard to get at this time, and that the Mac places are all closed on weekends in my small and remote community. I did learn that a mouse for less than $10 from Walmart would do the trick…as long as I got my settings correct.

Trace on plain muslin or cotton with a fine-point sharpie. Sew on the line with two layers with right sides together, leaving an opening to turn and stuff. Then close the opening with a ladder stitch. You may use any fabric paint, watery acrylic, markers or anything to decorate.

I also learned how dependent I am on my somewhat limited knowledge of technology. I see things  in the world changing so quickly, I think I’ll go back and take a college-level computer course, just so I can start to understand the acronyms. I’ve been doing research on aging for my HOT FLASH and THE REST  OF IT book…ageism is a problem for us old folks imposing it on ourselves, as well as for the culture at large thinking we are useless. Keeping one’s brain active by learning new things and getting to know different people is one of the four main tools for aging as pleasantly as possible.

Painted yellow with blue face and feet, beads. Strings of small beads couched for simple features.

Those of us who remember the Optimism of the Sixties can lead the way, as well as people who are young now and don’t want to lose their futures. We also have new awareness of inclusion of differently-abled, differently sexually-oriented, and all the other wonderful varieties of humans on our planet. Those of us who were only presented with a traditional USA point of view of history have had Lots to learn along our lives…still learning all the time. It wasn’t until I drove from Iowa to Washington with my brothers a few years ago that I realized how completely this continent was settled when European white men came to claim most of it for themselves.

Some paint, some paper collaged with matt gel medium, some markers would add to this.

I wonder if these challenging political times can help those of us who are aware and not too frightened to come together and share the huge challenge of saving our planet. I’ve just started reading Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, which seems to be addressing this issue.

Your own personal Guardian Angel, with sequins, markers, wings, yarn hair, and a tulle skirt–one for you and one for a friend.
A few ventures into Collage, drawing, writing: the blue journal…I think about the things I read online. Artificial Intelligence will take jobs. Survival used to take all our time.
While watching a David Hockney DVD, I was inspired by his bright colors, flat shapes, and back stories…I can give myself more than an art school education. This is colored pencil and marker, cheap paper.
Finished a small wall piece…rust from my beach, bits and pieces…using up my stash. Kimono and Dupioni silk

On that note, I would like to continue to solicit your contributions to my book…especially if you are a woman who has used art and making your life…or other peoples’ lives better. The more Good News we share, the more we encourage Good Actions. Thank  you!

My bit of nature-pattern: Dusty Miller and two fallen leaves

See details in submitting to the book in previous posts here, email: