Tuesday, June 15, 2021

I'm so very fond of telling stories in Scrapbook pages

 I have taken a renewed interest in my personal passions. I'm working on my podcast, but that is going slowly.
I've organized my craft room and have space to scrapbook and do painting and drawing.
I'm planning on more book-making in August if all goes well.
Recently, I'm not just scrapbooking but doing scrap challenges. For example, I did the layout-s-day challenge with ScrapHappy in May.
I put together a scrapbook kit for Counterfeit Kit Challenge and used it to make several pages and cards. There was one last page that I did not complete but got started to work on another time.
The May Counterfeit Kit Challenge was based on Eat, Play, Love by Close to My Heart.

Here's my version of the kit:

Also, here is LO's and cards I created from the kit:

Now, CKC encourages making some elements of the page by hand. I did some mixed media backgrounds on two pages and did some hand stitching on a couple. I did not add much from my stash to augment my kit to make these pages. I definitely used up the paper from the kit and made a significant dent in the embellishment collection I compiled in it.

At some point, I'll put together a collage of my May LOAD pages. I feel so proud of myself for completing all 31 LOAD pages. And, I made several more pages last month "just for fun!"

Monday, May 24, 2021

Spring is rushing into summer here in NorCal this mid-May. Not very hot yet, but the roses came out in a flurry right on time for Mother's Day and have now settled into a steady blooming pattern.
I mentioned in the last post that I love Scrapbooking, and I've been at it this month. ScrapHappy.org has the yearly May LOAD going, and I'm keeping up. I was late posting one day, but I have an acute ruptured disc in my back, so doing anything is pretty amazing.
It's a setback as it is in a pretty tricky spot and my doctor checks on me. I'm doing the usual - prednisone and physical therapy - stretching. Avoiding much impact, etc. Lying down and standing a while were giving me the most grief before the steroids. 
As I take up this post again, last day for steroids and feeling pretty good.
My life is so quiet these days. Being at home has made me understand the power of the goddess Hestia.
Jean Shinoda Bolen talks about archetypes and how we can use them. Hestia, the goddess of the household, heals with tasks and routines, and rituals. All very important. I think cleaning up and trying to do a scrapbook page a day connects me inside of myself. 
I'm working on a podcast interview I did over a year ago to get it ready to put on my site. I have another fascinating discussion to review, too. Several ideas for guests are in my mind as well. As the stress of this past year ebbs, developing ideas takes shape, and I look to being very productive with things I love.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

I love Scrapbooking


Today is iNSD, international National Scrapbook Day, and the start of a month-long challenge at ScrapHappy.org, where members try to create and post a new layout every day. I love the challenges. Scrapbooking is basically a collage way of telling stories. In this challenge, I use sketches and templates (like this one from Fiddle-Dee-Dee.)  

I change them up a lot, and while I may use kits of design elements, they are rarely one kit. The kit elements I used here are all from Lynn Grieveson Designs, as this is a Digi page.

I like both Digi and "lumpy" scrapbooking. I used to call it paper, but a friend, George, inspired this term. As I like to pile on embellishments, it seemed an appropriate description. It's not fine art. It is storytelling, and I find it a lot of fun.

There are many methods of storytelling, scrapbook pages in various sizes, pocket style, illustrated journals, mini-books, and just using social media, like FB and blogging. I tend to do 12x12 scrapbook pages and use this site and Facebook for my stories.

I try to use art principles on my pages and check my pages for Leah Dickenson's page rules - color, texture, pattern and shine. I think it hones my collage skills to scrapbook.

My albums are a combination of digital and "lumpy" pages, and pages get assigned to albums depending on the subjects of the pages - like this one will be put in the Karen & friends album.

I like the social aspect of this hobby, too. These days it's mostly online. I am considering an in-person crop next week. I believe there will be proper precautions with distancing and limited numbers. I have a personal HEPA filter, will wear two masks, and take frequent outdoor breaks. I do not plan to eat or drink around others. (A shame, snacks are a usual part of an in-person crop).

Monday, April 26, 2021

Good morning, world!

It's almost been one year since I last made an entry on this page. I had often started documenting my thoughts this past year. Still, my voice showed fear and depression in written words and voice recordings. I could not bring myself to reveal that vulnerability at the outset.

It's not just CoVid19 and all the other world chaos; my elderly husband is very ill with cancer.

Now, CoVid19, despite vaccines, remains worrisome, and my husband's illness is progressing. However, I'm pretty resilient; I'm finding my way through. I think I knew that I'd eventually find a way to strength and peace. I believe that almost all of us will, which is a message I think people in emotional and physical pain need to hear. There is a lot of help out there. If these thoughts have been a trigger to anyone, please know that you need not find it all in yourself. There are people available to help. I include the suicide prevention line number right here - 800-273-8255. We all need help sometimes.

I found my art to be a great resource. I faced challenges as the artist-in-residence for the American Medical Women's Association 2020-2021. Still, I produced a lot, and I am proud of the work I did. You can find out more about that experience here in this YouTube video I made - https://youtu.be/NZ3t6V6sulA.

 The remodel I mentioned in one of my last posts is one final inspection away from being done. Now, a major remodel during a pandemic, that's a story!  I'm thinking the remodel deserves its own blog post. By the way, I love the results.

Other signs of getting my world in order - I plan to return to podcasting soon, and I am scrapbooking again. I am almost done with my taxes; do you find that a painful process, too? It's a good thing the deadline was extended; it will be the first time in a long time that they are completed on time. I certainly did not make this progress on my own. My family has been fantastic, and I hired an excellent organizer, Tara Dodson of Bee Organized, to help guide the process.

Sring is a time for new beginnings. In this part of the world, the first blooms of the season have faded. However, May brings roses to us, usually in their glory on Mother's Day. We have an abundance out front of our home. I love to look out my kitchen window and see their vibrance. That mix of thorniness and beauty, especially in the shape of one's spirit, is a character inspiration from others and an aspiration for me.

        love, karen


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Montreal - A Girdled Porcupine (reflections on a reunion in 2013)

Forty years, unbelievable and yet, a reality; that it's been that long since I graduated from McGill with my M.D.;C.M. and a little B.Sc. tucked in as well for my six-year experience. Annie Foyle, you said some of the time at school felt ethereal. Medicine not necessarily what you might have chosen, either, had you been given more time to think about it. You have had a rewarding career, nonetheless, as have I, and yet I understand entirely. One finds oneself in high school with only a vague sense of the future, a glimpse of purpose, some inkling of direction. Poof! You are there, and somehow you make it through a fantastic experience. Now, forty years later, there is perspective and time to reflect. Before this time, it's the demands of the job that comes with this challenging career choice, the intense needs of spouse and family, and just a little time with friends and creativity. Not enough sand in the hourglass for more. Reflection and introspection become needs and indulgences of maturity.
I noticed how many of us reflected on the subject, "Will we be there for future reunions?" Our aches and pains, cancer, angina, hypertension, and arthritis and just the feeling of fatigue at the end of a day all force us to look ahead to the reality of mortality. (As I edit this in 2020 the spectre of Co-Vid 19 also looms.) Some of our classmates are no longer with us already. Some lost far too soon.

I enjoyed the reunion, despite my feeling that it was much too short. Not the medicine reunion, that was about right; but, those events conflicted with general reunion events that I would like to have attended on campus. I did visit and thoroughly enjoyed the Leacock luncheon; Dan Needles was the speaker. I enjoyed his talk enough that I'm planning to buy a book or two. I believe some of my former Lutheran Collegiate Bible Institute classmates might enjoy these stories, too. The humor rings genuine in the telling. Maybe, copies will make their way back north. Warm and folksy humor tickles my fancy.

I am an inadvertent object of humor too often, which maybe is why I like the fun of a gentle nature at other's expense. It happened one night when walking back to my hotel, where a statement of mine was taken to mean something entirely not innocent. While Ms. Manners might suggest responding with humor, I shook my head. I was silent, reflecting on how men's minds tend to bring sexual innuendo to any comment. Maybe women's, too, though I do not find that personally, is my style. My husband reflects that I am perpetually naive, I think he's right.

Annie arranged a lecture about the history of the architecture of the McGill campus by Professor David Covo at our reunion dinner. I was fascinated! Montreal is an island with a beautiful mountaintop park, designed by Olmsted, at its center. Treasured vistas are preserved by the architects as they plan the city. Maintaining the view, preservation of history, and a push for green architecture are restraints.

The title of this essay is not a reference to the beautiful quill beading done by that tiny fraction of my ancestry, the Metis, and First Nation people. This is the feeling I have when I look about me on the streets of Montreal and as I walk through campus. It's an unsettling architecture where things fit in where they may, edgy and contemporary. There is not the soaring verticality of New York City. There are no broad sweeps of Parisian boulevards, nor the feeling I get here in Sacramento, where buildings seem to flow with the rivers. While Montreal is a mountain, there are not the seesaw vistas of San Francisco, but an entirely different mood. I notice a feeling of constraint and of angles. A sprinkle doughnut on a spindle, an image I considered when I reflected on how I felt about the city, was a picture quickly discarded. That description did not give me the disquiet I feel about Montreal, nor has the city any feeling of roundness or bloat. Somehow, an image of a cute porcupine its head and quills upright and its nethers constrained by a too-tight girdle seems right. Montreal is not a town of comfort, and I'm not sure it aspires to be. The city does not comfortably accommodate the handicapped. Historical preservation even dictates the exclusion of service to those citizens in need, denying modifications for that purpose. I learned, within the grey walls of the structures of McGill, contemporary architects include bits of color and cozy coffee spots.  They see these as a necessary requirement in a world where the environment is often grey and white. In the city itself, here are sidewalk cafes and cozy little sandwich shops with a good smattering of hipster fashion and classic design. The buildings mix the very old and the new in the same edgy way as the campus. Like most North American urban areas, vacant and blighted buildings are not a strong aspect of the city; activity and construction are more dominant features.

Politics and controversy colored reunion conversations and elicited passionate discourse. It was a delight to hear speeches where the rights of all to health care was assumed, championed not argued. The passion for making the care and system better was the focus of the speeches. How Americans can tolerate the healthcare we live with, truly mystifies many who live in Canada. Yet, many classmates, like me, have found their way to the USA. Weather is a significant factor, and so is the opportunity the USA affords. Canada may be a vast land, yet it has a population less than California. That's a significant factor in a people-focused business.

Reflections are often a bit rambling, and I've taken you on quite a meandering path with this essay. I'm happy I found this amidst the drafts in my Blogger file. Only three short years until our 50th!

Slow kitchen progress after 6 months

 Northeast view of Kitchen on left, Southeast view of Kitchen on right
 West/Southwest view of the Kitchen

West view Dining room on left, west view of TV room below

I've not done a follow up on the kitchen remodel until now. It is the most hellish process. I think I'd hoped to be finished at the end of 2019. Nope!

We had errors in our cabinet delivery that postponed installation. Then, I forgot to report a mistake in that order and needed to put in a late correction. Home Depot initially ordered in the wrong color, and I did not catch it until late in February.

Co-Vid 19 has delayed that delivery. For now, our contractor is working around that, but first, we needed to be sure the work was done safely with little viral danger for us. The contractor has had to scale back his business because of the virus. Smaller crews mean more delays.
We have 95% of the cupboards installed. The over-the-fridge cabinet from Thomasville () is now 4 weeks delayed from the promised delivery time. Likely the virus is a factor in that.

The quartz countertops and apron front sink are in and look gorgeous.

We do have our beautiful new windows installed, and the roof where the once contentious window lights were installed is now fixed. We did not have a soffit in that room, and the contractor has convinced me it is better to have one to keep the walls consistent in adjoining rooms. I just hate that "1980's" look. But, we cannot remove the soffits in the dining room and breakfast area because of structural and ducting issues. I'm sure I'll learn to live with it. I suppose if I hate it enough, we can take it out and redo that drywall.

Repairs to the walls and ceiling have been made, and I believe the next step is painting.

I'm so anxious to see the dining room chandelier and the kitchen pendant light hung and the cork floors in.

I've made disastrous design decisions in the past; while so far is so good, I'm biting my nails hoping I've made wise choices this time.

All kinds of white kitchens are featured on T.V. and in print. I know that white would not suit the style of this home. Still, I worry that it may look too dark, though we have lots of ceiling cans, undercabinet lighting, and I'm getting a quote on drawer lighting. Having two-toned cabinets may date this kitchen down the road, but I love the colors so much. So lovely to see how the veining in the countertop works with both colors.

While it is a mystery as to when this will all be done, I'm hoping I'll have photos of the finished product by summer.

P.S. We need to have repairs and painting done on the exterior of the home. I hired a designer to pick colors. That decision just proved too stressful. All I know is that it has to be another color than it is now.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

52: Building a Multi-Faceted Creative Career with Pat Wood

Welcome to today's show! We have Patricia Wood, Karen's friend, and teacher, with us today. Pat is a professor of art at American River College, where she is currently teaching printmaking and drawing. She is also the director of the Kaneko Gallery, which is the campus art gallery. Today, Pat tells us about what she's doing at American River College- the fabulous art shows she's put together for the Kaneko Gallery, and the fun projects she's coordinated with her students. She also talks to us about her background and the kind of art that she creates. Listen in today, to hear all about Pat's creative approach to her life, her art, and her stimulating and multi-faceted job.
The Kaneko Gallery is situated at the American River College in Sacramento, California. Pat has been the Kaneko Gallery Director since 2016, and she coordinates and produces all the shows that are held there. Pat is also part of the Permanent Collection Committee for American River College, which oversees the college art collections for the 200 campuses in America that have part of the Andy Warhol estate. Tune in now, for more.  
Show highlights:
  • Pat discusses the various art shows she coordinates for the Kaneko Gallery every year. These are massive undertakings.
  • This year, Barbara Range, the curator, and director of the Brickhouse Gallery will be the juror for the annual student art competition.
  • Pat explains why her bookings run way into the future.
  • Coordinating art shows has been a lot of fun!
  • Building an entire room within the gallery.
  • American River College now owns an Elizabeth Catlin linoleum cut print, a Jacob Lawrence silkscreen, and a Simela Lewis woodcut.
  • American River College has some beautiful art.
  • The Warhol Collection, consisting of photographs and silkscreens, was gifted to American River College.
  • Finding the best way to create a map for the art collections.
  • Teaching art appreciation and an introduction to art history.
  • Making a public art piece was an interesting assignment.
  • Pat talks to us about the art that she creates.
  • Pat has been focused on drawing, with a bit of mixed media, for the past couple of years.
  • Pat had some sketches in the recent SMD (Sacramento Municipal District) show.
  • Pat got her MFA from the University of Arizona in 1997 and she later became a double major.
  • Pat talks about the time at the University of Arizona.
  • What Pat has noticed about children and art.
  • Why everyone should create some kind of art.
Pat Wood link Patricia Wood Art
Pat Wood is correct, American River College is not the only community college that received grants from the Warhol Foundation, but most recipients are universities. For a complete list of recipients, you can go to Photographic Legacy.
Links to individuals and places mentioned by Pat Wood in the podcast:
Jodie Hooker 
Mick Sheldon
Kaneko Gallery 
ARC Kaneko Gallery
Student Show submissions 
Barbara Range, Brickhouse Gallery 
Shenny Cruces
Angela Casagrandes 
Rachel Clarke 
art new media link to photo at the Rachel Clarke show 
Fan Lee Warren 
Unity Lewis   
Unity and Samela Lewis 
Samela Lewis
The History Makers: Samella Lewis 39
Black Arts Movement 
Jacob Lawrence 
Elizabeth Catlett 
Betye Saar 
Charles White 
Charles White migration series 
Crocker Art Museum 
Sarah Mattson 
Ken Magri 
Linda Gelfman 
Garr Ugalde 
Figurative Angel Sculptures
Ruby Chacon 
ARC campus painted mural 
Randy Schuster
Wayfinder’s map 
Dolores White
SMUD Gallery 
Craig Smith 
Lorrie Kempf 
Laura Parker 
Joy Burtinuson 
American River College (ARC)  
University of Arizona, Tucson
Sacramento City College 
University of California Davis 
Haleh Niazmand  
Stephanie Ryan  
Pima Community College  
Tucson Arts Foundation 
Sierra Community College  
San Joaquin Delta College 
Rillito River  
Mount Lemmon 
Rose Canyon 
Alan Short Center 
Fairytale Town 
Art Folsom prison 
Rehabilitative Arts CA State Prisons 
Davis Art Center 
California Youth Authority Arts Programs 

Check out this episode!

I'm so very fond of telling stories in Scrapbook pages

 I have taken a renewed interest in my personal passions. I'm working on my podcast, but that is going slowly. I've organized my cra...