Thursday, December 27, 2007

JOY TO THE WORLD-OR PEACE WHICHEVER COMES FIRST

Oil painting (done in my ancient college days) by Karen Cole

Ahhhhh....the dishes are finally done. I'm back at my lonely computer so that I can finally wish all of you a HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON AND A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!!!

I have figured out a brilliant new mathematical equation-

A retail business+ the holiday season + trying to make some gifts = no blogging

Hello again, everyone.


"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. " ~Dr. Seuss

I ended up squeezing some time in to make a few things. My children, though, blew me away with a gift that is a treasure, for sure. They knew I wanted to get a copy of Laurie Mikas book Mixed Media Mosaics.

They contacted Laurie, sent a photo of themselves to her and not only purchased the book for me but, had her make a piece that included their photo. Below is a photo of the beautiful piece....... under that is a photo of the book, under the piece. I must say the book is beautifully done and has all of the information you may want to know about her techniques and mosaic making, in general. Thank you again to my very thoughtful and loving children Daniel, Emily and Jordana........and Laurie, WOW!!




Emily decided to make a book for my husband. For years his family has had a tradition of making homemade ravioli mmmmmmm......the copies of the old recipes have been all over the place. She organized it, bound a book , covered it with ravioli rolling canvas and a photo of Bob (husband), his mother and grandmother. The recipes are all inside ready to be used and handed down forever......beautifully. See below.....



I decided to do a little book making of my own.

Bob went on a horse packing trip this summer with a group of his buddies to British Columbia.
I decided to document it with some of his photos and some doodads that I had, by making him an "altered book". The leather pieces you see are from an old pair of riding chaps he found out in the wilderness.....there are old fabrics, lots of paint....I absolutely fell in love with
Goldens"Micaceous iron Oxide". Boy is that stuff ever fun to use!!! I was attempting to find something that would make everything look old and dirty.....HA, so who isn't! The flying horse is from Judys great Etsy collection.

Check it out.......





I also made another book for for my friend Jerri using Italy photos and some photo "shrines" all of which I have given away and will try to get photos of to share.


There is a new "face" to gift giving for sure around here. Imagine my delight when I opened two fabulous boxes of "parts".......one from my husband, who the heck needs diamonds, when you have a box full of old electronic parts and from Jerri.....stuff she found on the beach and more. What more could a girl ask for?



It has been a delightful year making new friends and growing with old ones. I am so very much looking forward to what 2008 holds. Joy to all of you!





Monday, December 10, 2007

"WELCOME TO NEW YORK".

"ONE BELONGS TO NEW YORK INSTANTLY, ONE BELONGS TO IT AS MUCH IN FIVE MINUTES AS IN FIVE YEARS". -THOMAS WOLFE

Above you will find a cast glass and mosaic piece I did. That's an EMPTY purse you see in yellow. "Why is it empty?" you may ask yourself.

This past weekend, my friend Jerri and I took a road trip to New York to see some friends we met last year at an INCREDIBLE WORKSHOP with Michael Demeng in Italy, Joy and Kathryn.



On the way up to New York, we met up with Ms. Rochambeau herself, Constance, and had some great coffee and conversation. Is that blogger girl stylish, or what???


The "big apple" was crowded as you may expect. There were lines everywhere, but when there is so much to see, smell and TASTE......who cares!!!


Our first dinner was at a wonderful Moroccan restaurant called Barbes, at 21 E. 36th. This hungry blogger highly recommends it. I dedicated this moroccan beer and wine to Maryam at "My Marrakesh"......CHEERS!


Saturdays brunch was also quite tasty. We went to the fabulous TAKASHEMAYA, the Japanese
department store that is a designers dream. The tea room there not only serves fabulous tea but, the bento box lunches were delicious and beautiful.


SHOPPING...........did you say SHOPPING????. Is there anything you can not get in New York City? I'd like to know.

We were all in the market for trim, doo dads, fabric and papers for collage and assemblage work. No trash picking this time. I'm still dizzy from our visits to MOOD FABRICS and MJ TRIM.



We rested for a bit with some wine and "Red Velvet" chocolate cake. Sorry, Judy...not much left for you.



Don't miss the holiday windows. These photos are details from the unbelievable creations in the windows at Bergdorf Goodman.






Scenes from Union Square......... breathe in........smell the roasting chestnuts.


Cold......but happy in Central Park.

As I went to pay my parking bill.......yes, I LOVE TO DRIVE IN THE CITY........I was told the bill for an overnight and five extra hours was $84 dollars!!! I was surprised. Overnight was $45. All of the other people waiting to pick up their cars said in unison "WELCOME TO NEW YORK!!!"

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

RELAX, THE HOLIDAYS ARE HERE


"I just put my feet in the air and move them around" - Fred Astaire

That's an oil pastel/charcoal and colored pencil drawing I did. You may be asking yourself, "self, why is she showing us a drawing of feet?" This should be about the holidays!!
Well, I'll tell you.........yesterday, "husband Bob, had his left foot operated on. Nothing too serious , but he is on crutches for 10 days. My feet............not bare this time (see last post)........are VERY BUSY. Any of you ever had a male of our species to take care of ? Need I say more????

I've been hearing more and more on TV and the radio what a stressful time of year this is.....not that I needed to be told. New studies prove that statistically, not only are Mondays a prime heart attack day, but the months of December and January are the top months. I say......HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

I"M STILL SMILING
, but does anyone have any ideas how we can all calm down and make it less commercial???

"Once again, we come to the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes in his/her own way, by going to the mall of their choice." -Dave Barry



I suppose I'm giving away my age a bit here by showing this photo of little OLD me sitting on Santas lap....no I didn't photoshop it into black and white! Pretty cute, huh? Now THERE is a Santa I can live with. He looks pretty authentic. The ones I see at the mall these days are pretty lame in comparison.

I had a mixed religious upbringing. So I will leave you this time with a HAPPY HANNUKKAH greeting. and some history.



The History of Hanukkah:

Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and nights, starting on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar (which is November-December on the Gregorian calendar). In Hebrew, the word "Hanukkah" means "dedication."
The holiday commemorates the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem after the Jews' 165 B.C.E. victory over the Hellenist Syrians. Antiochus, the Greek King of Syria, outlawed Jewish rituals and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods.
In 168 B.C.E. the Jews' holy Temple was seized and dedicated to the worship of Zeus.
Some Jews were afraid of the Greek soldiers and obeyed them, but most were angry and decided to fight back.
The fighting began in Modiin, a village not far from Jerusalem. A Greek officer and soldiers assembled the villagers, asking them to bow to an idol and eat the flesh of a pig, activities forbidden to Jews. The officer asked Mattathias, a Jewish High Priest, to take part in the ceremony. He refused, and another villager stepped forward and offered to do it instead. Mattathias became outraged, took out his sword and killed the man, then killed the officer. His five sons and the other villagers then attacked and killed the soldiers. Mattathias' family went into hiding in the nearby mountains, where many other Jews who wanted to fight the Greeks joined them. They attacked the Greek soldiers whenever possible.

Judah Maccabee and his soldiers went to the holy Temple, and were saddened that many things were missing or broken, including the golden menorah. They cleaned and repaired the Temple, and when they were finished, they decided to have a big dedication ceremony. For the celebration, the Maccabees wanted to light the menorah. They looked everywhere for oil, and found a small flask that contained only enough oil to light the menorah for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days. This gave them enough time to obtain new oil to keep the menorah lit. Today Jews celebrate Hanukkah for eight days by lighting candles in a menorah every night, thus commemorating the eight-day miracle.

















Sunday, November 25, 2007

A NEW SEASON


" I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape-the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show".
-Andrew Wyeth




In reality, I prefer those warm, sultry summer days. This quote evoked the proper image and I identified with it , so here it is for you to enjoy. If you think about Andrew Wyeths paintings, you can really hear him saying this.

The morning after Thanksgiving, our weather suddenly changed to what it was supposed to be this time of year, COLD. I went downstairs for my coffee, looked outside, grabbed my camera and without putting on my shoes and socks, I walked in my bare feet to take these pictures. Sometimes I just have to see what it REALLY feels like.



I am thankful for my ice cold feet and for all of you wonderful people I have met in Blogland
............among many other things.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!!




"Herbs" Woodcut by Karen Cole (1970's)

Monday, November 19, 2007

A TEA PARTY AND MORE.........


Detail from a clay platter by Karen Cole -Terracotta, slips and oxides


"The first cup moistens my lips and throat. The second cup breaks my loneliness. The third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs. The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration - all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores. At the fifth cup I am purified. The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals. The seventh cup - ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves. Where is Elysium? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither." ~Lu Tung, "Tea-Drinking"


Yet another delightful journey. Once again I'll try to be short on words and long on photos.

The photo above is from a fabulous lunch that I was treated to at the Huntington Museum and Library in Pasadena , California. They have a lovely tea room in the rose garden that is more than just tea....yes, I"M STILL FULL!

The best part of it all was meeting two wonderful, artistic women and fellow bloggers, Kristen Robinson and Ruth Rae.

I was out there attending the wedding of the son of a dear friend and decided that what better way to spend my free time than to meet up with some fellow artists and bloggers. I can't recommend it enough.


We toured the museums. There is an incredible collection of original manuscripts and books from the 15th century and on........ and an art collection that is quite extensive. Below are just a few things that caught my eye.

Speaking of eyes....... detail from "Portrait of Laura" by George Wesley Monett (American 20th century)

"State Fair" by John Stewart Curry (American 20th century) Loved the colors and all of the action.


Detail from "Caller Waiting" by Kenneth Hayes Miller (American 20th century)
OK- he loved to paint women shopping........do you think she is happy? Is she happy with him? I was wondering if this is just an innocent gesture. What do you think?

We strolled around all of the beautiful gardens admiring everything and taking an occasional break to be silly........ take your own camera, turn it to face you and snap! Sorry about being SO in your face.....but we were having such a good time!


The Japanese Garden and Teahouse.... the bridge is for Constance :-)

The succulent gardens below were my favorite. The textures were simply out of this world.
A pink flower for you know who.


OH...and there was a wedding.....

Dear friends Karen and Barry leading the way (Karens' son is the groom).

Melissa and Stephen.....

May we all live happily ever after......





Saturday, November 10, 2007

CAREFREE


This is a VERY OLD portrait I did while in college. See....the paint is already peeling. Definitely NOT archival. Even though I was "young and "CAREFREE" in those days, I still have a fairly serious look about me, don't I? Just trying to look "mature" I suppose.

I'm feeling a bit melancholy at the moment. I just came back from visiting my 93 year old mother. There is definite evidence that in the past few weeks a few more lights have dimmed, for lack of a better term. I'm an only child, it's not easy to watch. I know it is all a part this thing we call life.

Sometimes it helps to see what other people think.......I traveled the net to find some quotes on aging. These are just a few that I wanted to read more than once. It's a mixed bag.

"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been." ~Mark Twain,

"The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left." ~Jerry M. Wright

"The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion." ~Doris Lessing

"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."

- Sophia Loren


We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. -Anais Nin


"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" ~Satchel Paige

Sunday, November 4, 2007

My "ODE TO AUTUMN"

"AUTUMN IS A SECOND SPRING WHEN EVERY LEAF BECOMES A FLOWER" -ALBERT CAMUS

Pastel drawing by Karen Cole

Many of you have made some reference to autumn in recent blogs. I took a walk this morning, marveling at the array of color that exists in this landscape and realized that it is far more in tune with my own palette, than any other season.


HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY!