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Just Doing It

By Personal Her-story

There does seem to be a certain amount of disconnect between living a creative life and writing a blog about it. I’m not managing to do both — you may have noticed — but that’s because I’m choosing the “living” part, and the “blogging” has had to wait.

Lately I’m obsessed with the idea of “just doing it.”

You know what I think about feeling pressured to do things just so we can say we did, but I feel equally strongly about actually DOING the ideas that keep nagging at us — especially the ones we push away because they seem too difficult or outrageous or contrary or even a little embarrassing.

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Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you go flying off on every crazy idea that pops into your head like some sniggly baboon drunk on fermented Marula fruit. You need to have a plan, be willing to work your ass off, and see it through. Unfortunately it’s not like those movie montages where they show 6 hours or 6 days or even 6 months worth of work completed in 6 minutes — it’ll really take you those hours, days or months to complete. I just believe it will be worth it.

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I am NOT now going to list all the work that I have been “just doing” which has prevented me from keeping up with this blog, though I will say that things look very different around here — literally — and though deadlines and pressure in general may actually have increased, at least I’m the one in charge.

I’ll be more specific about what’s going on soon, but for now I’m just doing it!

Up, Up and Away

By Everything Else, Uncategorized

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It took a little doing, but we’ve managed to get our ducks in a row, and now Mike and I are actually going to be getting away for a little vacation. Just us and the mini-wolf pack. And a stack of books, a bunch of art supplies, a guitar, a yukulele, our swimsuits, and our fuzzy slippers. (Shhh! The fashion police aren’t invited!)

I’ve been busy crossing off things on my Do-Due! list and have a couple of updates for you — in no particular order…

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I got all the Leftovers prints hung. Most of them are in the stairwell going down to Mike’s studio. I wish the lighting were better. Next house. Tall walls, better lighting — I’m getting my “must have” list together.

We did end up selling our faithful 2001 Subaru Forester, “Wasabi-Ru,” to a terrific family and buying the 2015 Forester in Jasmine Green. Had to wait for it to come in in that color — no substitutions, thank you very much. We LOVE her, and have named her “Roux” in anticipation of adding New Orleans to our mix since we will be driving there when we go next February.

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We have booked our home away from home in New Orleans! We’ll be stayingin a perfect little Pied A Terre Uptown, three blocks off of St. Charles directly behind the Columns Hotel where they filmed the movie “Pretty Baby” a million years ago.

I am very excited because our neighbor on the same property is the artist Rebecca Rebouche. (Some of you will appreciate the strides I am making in the art of understatement.) Among other things, Rebecca designs for Anthropologie….

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Anyhoo…had to stop and catch my breath there for a minute… things are shaping up nicely around here with Monsters! put to bed, and “Water Works” (the next TVAA show coming up at Track 13 in Nampa — juried this time!) posted and open for submissions, and all my personal art commitments under control.

I’m sure I’ll hit the ground running once we get back, but for now it’s all blue skies and happy clouds and colorful balloons…just like these we saw just this morning in Ann Morrison Park.

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And we’re up, up and aaAAWWAAAYYYYY!

Four Favorite Books for May

By Four Favorite Books

Being fond of patterns, it’s pretty clear I have one where my Four Favorite Book posts are concerned. First, I am always surprised by how quickly the month has passed. Wouldn’t you know — it’s almost June!

Second, I have been, yet again, too busy to read anything longer than other people’s blog posts. So, I don’t have a work of fiction to share with you this month. Lucky for you though, my third pattern is I truly love books, look to them constantly for inspiration, and have every intention of sharing my favorites with you each month. So, here goes.

Instead of reading novels, Mike and I have been spending lots of time in our backyard.

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We have plans to transform it into our perfect summer “staycation destination” and one of the books which I have found inspiring is Inside OUT, Relating Garden to House by Page Dickey, Photographs by Richard Felber, Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2000.

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The book features 13 distinct gardens attached to homes in diverse settings — including an arroyo in Phoenix, a rooftop in Manhattan, a suburban hacienda in Austin, Texas, and a backyard prairie in Lake Forest, Illinois:

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That prairie almost makes me feel like we know what we’re doing with our backyard.

(Not even close!)

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We love summer, fall, and early winter in Boise. We are however, considerably less fond of full-on winter, and the inversion — endless days of cold, flat grey skies and dry brown vistas. We are also tired of the doldrums that set in with the inevitable cabin fever we suffer as we wait for spring to arrive fully, sometime around the beginning of May.

Because we have felt this way for a while now, and because we find ourselves in a position of more freedom now that Logan has moved out and we only have our wee pack o’mutts to care for, Mike and I are thinking of spending our winters elsewhere.

Which brings me to my favorite book of Interior Design for this month: New Orleans, Elegance and Decadence, Narrative by Randolph Delehanty, Photographs by Richard Sexton, Published by Chronicle Books, 1993.

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Truth be told, this is much more than a book of interiors. It covers New Orleans’ history, explains the roots of her unique ethnic melange, and entrenched social strata, gives some insight to her celebrations, and to her melancholy. New Orleans is not a place for people who do not like to feel their feelings. New Orleans is as messy and as sticky-sweet as your beating heart would be if you were to wear it, literally, on your sleeve.

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If things work out they way we’re planning, our next winter may be a lot less grey, and a lot more, shall we say, sanguine?

For my favorite cookbook I have a real oldie but goodie for you…Mmmmm A Feastiary by Ruth Reichl, Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972.

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I was reminded of this book earlier this month when Pat Oleszko turned 67. She is featured throughout in her wonderful, crazy ensembles — highly unusual artwork for a cookbook I’d guess, even in the early ’70’s.

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To be honest, I don’t really cook out of this book but it makes for very entertaining reading. Ruth Reichel grew up to be a pretty good writer (Tender at the Bone; Comfort Me with Apples; and Garlic and Sapphires) and editor (Gourmet magazine) and it’s fun to read about her early days and see pictures of her real family and friends back in the 60’s. Kind of gives you that mellow, home-grown feeling, like a nice batch of fresh brownies.

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Finally, my art book for this month is 1000 Artist Journal Pages, Personal Pages and Inspirations, edited by Dawn DeVries Sokol, Published by Quarry Books, 2008.

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This book is just what it says it is — photographs of 1000 art journal pages (spread over 299 pages in the book) showing all sorts of artists’ personal thoughts, inspirations, methods of visually remembering really important people, places and things or, the slightest of ephemeral snippets of time.

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One of the spreads features some pages by local artist Lisa Cheney. Lisa teaches people how to create their own art journals. She will be giving a workshop for TVAA which should be awesome, so you might want to hurry and sign up for it!

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Lisa will also be on a panel of artists talking about creating and keeping art journals on Monday, June 2nd at 6:00 at the Creative Access Arts Center (500 S. 8th St. in Boise), along with fellow artists Beau Van Greener, Pam McKnight, Jeanette Ross, and drumroll please…..little ol’ me.

And now, it’s time to go enjoy my backyard — while it vaguely resembles a prairie, and the poppies are still taller than the crab grass!

Not Just Daydreaming

By Everything Else

Three day weekends are always good for a little change of perspective. This one just past gave Mike and me the chance to think through some dreams we’d put on hold until the time seemed right to put things into motion which will turn those dreams into reality. Seems like that time might be sooner than we thought.

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“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France

Second Helpings: Cowgirl Boot Reboot

By Second Helpings

For this installment of Second Helpings I shopped my own closet. I have been buying “garments with history” since I cut my sartorial teeth as a teenager in New Orleans shopping at Yesterday’s Clothes and Matilda’s in the French Quarter. However I draw the line at footwear. Shoes, slippers, boots, I buy new.

These boots were new about 20 years ago. They have been resoled and reheeled twice, so I figured they qualified as a Second Helping when I painted them a year ago. I’ve worn them a lot as you can see…

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It was time for a Cowgirl Boot Reboot!

I polished the unpainted leather first being careful not to touch the painted parts. The polish would resist the paint and I didn’t want that.

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Then I retouched the paint where it was starting to flake or fade.

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Finally I gave all the painted parts a coat of sealer with my trusty Minwax Polycrylic Sealer, and these boots are ready to get down, turn around Cowgirl boot scoot’n boogie!