More New Icons and Attitudes about Aging and Dying

Balloon-legged Guardian Angel and pattern…hot off the presses this week. I made the face and shoes from poster board, but you can use felt, Ultrasuede, or turned and stuffed cotton.

I call this one Calypso. I’ve used this body shape with lots of ethnic-type fabrics, white sequins and dark blue beads here, simple eyebrows and nose suggested by strings of beads. Yarn hair in kind of a pouf works well.

Very simple running body with bead face and hair, larger size muslin body, painted with acrylics.

Warning: Below, I am still dealing with Death and dying…if you don’t want to think about these topics, don’t read the last 2 paragraphs.

Cha, Cha, Cha!…in the new book

I’m back to working on small dolls, new designs, patterns and directions for the print version of Icons and Angels. I’m aiming for 75 pages, so there will be more and new ones since the e-book version. After that I have ideas for 2 or more graphic novel-type books…stay tuned!

I’m running out of ideas for names. This one is Troldfolk, Scandanavian

I’ve been reading The Fountain of Age by Betty Friedan, a 600+ page book, which, though it was published in 1993, reminds me of many of the issues I studied when I redid Hot Flash and Beyond.  Only a small percentage of people over 65 end up in nursing homes. We must rid our country and our own minds espeicially of Age Discrimination in order to live well to the very end of our lives. Be Curious, Be Engaged are the best slogans for the rest of our lives…along with taking responsibility for eating reasonably and exercising. Just like the Graphic Grannies drawing I did.


Alexis Becker of the Neptune Society just left and I went ahead and paid for all my final expenses at under $3000. Mom’s was over $4,000, even though she donated her body to the University of Iowa. I feel good having done that, along with will, health care proxy and everything else. I know most people are in denial about death, but it feels good to have taken care of things my own self, especially after having just gone through the process with Mom.

Just so I wouldn’t be spending all my money on something that I won’t get to enjoy personally, I finally ordered myself a chair for reading. It’s small scale so my feet touch the ground,,,and it reclines…and mine will be RED. Great sale on at Angeles Furniture. Take Good Care of your own self!!!



All Sorts of Stimulating Things

A new angel and pattern from the book I’m working on, Icons and Angels

I’m letting myself enter this new phase of life…Freedom of Creation without Censure…Implied or internally-generated.

Long, Narrow Angel and Pattern. Fun to do lots of variations

As I have been talking about the burdens imposed by imperfect parenting, I find that many others have suffered from the same…no licenses or special skills required for creating new humans. And I’m lucky to like my four brothers and to have them as friends.

Picture stories from the blue journal

My experiences weren’t horrible…but with my mother’s recent death, I find myself entering a period of life in which I see new possibilities.

More Photos with collages

I’ve just started reading Betty Friedan’s The Fountain of Age. Humans are living so much longer now, in our privileged culture, we have the opportunity, with better health and more comfort, to invent ourselves and our life missions again and again.

Tracings from a recent fiber project, photo from a VT Historical Society Sympathy Card

Refuse to be limited by Ageism…as much as by male, female, or heteronormitive-isms. My mother was ready to push her children into the box of religion or  supervised housing at least a decade ago…to limit our choices and our opportunities…the Culture does that to us, too. And we do it to ourselves. It did to women when I was growing up, about what jobs and education we could pursue, does to everyone as they reach 50 or 60 about what new careers, education, projects will be appropriate for us.

My first local strawberries, Farmers’ Market yesterday. The taste is So Different from factory-produced strawberries

Even if my generation and the ones after me have royally screwed up the environment and mostly sold out to Capitalism…we have the potential to help to make things better, to make all kinds of new and interesting discoveries, to write, to teach, to build, to lead…and to discover a new level of contentment with Life, both men and women…All ages and Varieties.  How About That?

There is natural beauty all around us…there is also the natural beauty of other humans and what we might be able to accomplish. I will work to feel a flowering in my aging…although some days I will still be grumpy. This post is for David, Paris, and all the others.


Art is Therapeutic


I question why I am still making collage stories about my antecedents, but realize again and again that I’m working through my family history in order to come to terms with my life and starting at 72 without the burden of caring for my mother.


There have been other unhappy women in our family and Mom had happy days.

Sticky-back paper from a sheet of stamps to help hold the photo down.

The repetition is helping me to defuse the power of her presence in my life.


I’ll keep doing these collages until I don’t need to any more.


This is the last page in the notebook that I started in 3/17. I like the 8″ x 8″ square page, cheap paper format. Will I be able to work as freely when I move to the next, more expensive paper notebook?  Stay Tuned!

Drifting Cottonwood

Painting of Pamela at Old Orchard Beach, ME. David brought me more canvas. I don’t like most of my paintings, but I’ll keep trying

There are light bols of drifting white in the air. I’m airing out my winter quilt in the sun…though I know I may switch the weight of my covers again and again all summer. The Juan de Fuca Festival is going on down the hill…I checked it out briefly yesterday and will enjoy a quiet day alone.

I like the photos young Dad took of young Mom. I try to think of her with   compassion. On the right a fabric piece I made from the photo, using Marcia Derse’s fabric

David, Brian, and Ally (my niece dog) were here Saturday and Sunday, reading in front of the fake fireplace, David and I playing the double-handed game of May I we made up and processing our mother’s death and our difficult childhoods. He has moved beyond, but I may have to take up the Medicare nurse on her offer of counseling.

5.20.19WalkThruWalls Blog
A collage using someone else’s images and repeating. I like red and words with images. Maybe I could/should try a painting on this order…

I have such a treasure trove of family photos, mostly taken by my father. I don’t want to get obsessed by the past, but some of the pictures are wonderful. Would Dad have been happier as a photographer than as a psychiatrist…David as the youngest and I as the oldest grew up with very different parents and environments.

I have so much less inhibition working in this 8″ square notebook…I don’t worry about wasting good paper or canvas…only 6 pages left…can I get myself to switch to better paper…be a “Good Mother” to My Self? If I mess up, I don’t have to show it…or showing myself messing up might help someone else to have courage to go ahead and make her own art. The self-induced pressure to be Perfect Always is very difficult to sustain. This is some of Dad’s RR paper.

I still think Mom (and therefore her children) would have had happier lives if she had written her stories instead of scaring everyone around her with the ones she made up. Of course to the old ladies in Iowa, she was “so Sweet!”

Another Experimental collage, using some of my saved papers…Go Ahead–use up the Good Stuff…before it’s too late

I still have anger, crabbiness, and limited skills at maintaining relationships…probably why my brother is still my best friend, and I will continue to use Art Therapeutically.




Try, Try Again!


Laziness? Wandering? Therapy

5.13.19AllAtSea blog
The small collages on mat board. Play. Opportunity to use paint. The title just leaped into my mind.

I was afraid I hadn’t done anything to show you this week, but as it turns out, I did make things–all over the map. I’ve been reading a book about female artist’s (all media) habits and determined that persistent hard work is common. Mine is relative.

Tuesday after book group, Asian Fusion at Midtown Public House…the owner grew up in his family’s China First Restaurant, now this. Will the Bartender…he says it would be OK to do a week day afternoon book discussion here…This is the kind of bar that could become home.

I read all over the place, with books at each spot where I sit or lie down…and the ever-fecund internet. Reading Prince of Tides makes me realize that lots of people have lots less skilled parents than I. Some people wander permanently and at an early age far from their families’ influence…not me, not us, but I like my 4 brothers and their partners and families, so my parents must have done something right.

Backyard color is changing every day…at least some time each day out in it. The struggling rosemary bush with white flowers in the middle, the heavy snow last winter crushed some of it.

Often in contemplating my self-avowed profession/identification as Artist, I wonder if I have the drive to succeed…but then What is success, in my mind? I most enjoy making things just to see what comes out…not so much the struggle and hair pulling that seems to accompany some Art production….Must I be that kind of artist? I no longer have to sell my production in order to eat, so that fact  removes a certain pressure from my days.

My back yard from the side…the snow was over the top of the red and white ornament. I’m not sure whether the New Zealand Flax is alive or dead. It’s challenging to balance on the hill while weeding. Wooly thyme is the magenta.

I did start another painting this week, but didn’t get far. I really enjoy sewing small scenes based on other people’s paintings. I love touching fabric and putting different colors and prints next to each other.

Three Ladies, a fiber piece inspired by a painting, 10″ x 10″ while watching British crime drama–Peace!

I believe Art can Save us…

Words and images together!

Making Art Helps

I completed a series of 4 pieces, with little premeditation this week…1

Mothers’ Day 2019. My mother died this week. I was beginning to fear that she would outlast me.


She raised 5 children and 2 grandchildren who love each other.

PamSchoolhouseWoodsTom blog

I have taken care of her as well as I could since I was 5. Now I’m 72 and want to do more taking care of myself, if I can.


We may have all been better off if she had been a writer instead of keeping compulsive lists and making up paranoid stories. Now and always, I use Art for my own recovery and encourage others to do the same.

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Yesterday, 2 sibs, 2 spouses, one niece and I met up in Port Townsend for lunch. In the interest of the environment and adventure, I took the bus over, arriving hours before they did, so I had the opportunity to enjoy PT on my own. I first saw the town on a car trip west with Mom and Dad to see Hugh in Seattle.

Nice to have someone else doing the driving…and stopping for road work
The driver was sweet, and showed me the transfer bus to take me into town. Farmers’ market in uptown on summer Saturdays. A perfect day.
A fresh pancake with sausage, blueberries and whipped cream for $7, then a crab cake with salad for $6
Mothers’ Day Tulips
Breakfast with live music and kayakers from North Carolina
My favorite breakfast place to go with Katie and Mike in PT…the cornmeal pancake with sour cherry sauce!
Especially elaborate Cairns on the beach downtown

Silly me, I forgot to take pictures of the people on my odyessy to Port Townsend…too busy looking, touching, enjoying. A Lovely Lunch with lots of shared tastes at Alchemy outdoors…experiences more valuable than “stuff” although I bought 6 rulers, so I will never be in a spot in my house without a ruler plus a pair of red Keens on the second trip around town from Quimper. All Good!

13th Anniversary of Moving into My Own Home!

Unlike my normal habits, I jumped into building my own house before I’d been in Port Angeles a year. Casey starting framing in December of 2005, House finished, shiny and clean, my old Honda, May 5, 2006, a couple of days before Casey’s only son was born. Casey’s still around helping me figure out how to keep the place in shape. I’ve done a LOT of low-budget landscaping since then, you can see the white rock spirals and infinity sign against the gray rock yard in Google Maps.

On 5/5/2006, I moved into my own home…and I’m still here, expect to die here. I’ve had some caulking done this year (Casey supervised) and a new hot water heater…thanks Troy, for always being willing to stop by…a repair to the line that keeps the hot water hot all the way to my shower this week. Other appliances will be needing replacement.

Back Yard this morning…originally all gray rock with white stone accents. The blue, pink, yellow, and yellow-greens are in bloom, the bees buzzing.

An Artist Book class at BIAM one week ago, sun and green and flowers, a shot of lettuce growing…can’t remember where I took it.

Bainbridge Island Art Museum, some of the flip books we made, a contour drawing of the woman next to me without looking at my hand, one of the Artist Books in the show…I LOVE that museum!

Piecing (some last bits of Australian and African Fabric) has a calming effect…I can always use one more table cloth.

Lettuce growing…I don’t remember where. A brunch this week: coffee and a tall slice of chocolate/raspberry cake at Toga’s with Colleen for stress relief (for both of us, but she had bean soup). The lettuce picture is to balance the sugar and caffeine.

A Rhubarb Custard Pie (sour!) and a pizza pie…food as Love…for myself!

Messages to myself and a drawing of my young self for a painting…we must care for our own selves so we can have the strength to care for others.

Life has conspired to make me want to paint again.