November 16th, 2004
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I have become consumed with a new idea. After months of waiting, trying to put ideas together, forcing, pushing, squeezing, manipulating, a new work, a new book, must find, (non of which worked)… an idea floats in. It comes, as they most often do, on a long walk in the woods. It floats past my head, gently, out in front of me where I can contemplate it for a moment. It comes in unconnected, unrelated, unhindered by any of the previous ideas. Alone. But with a force. A well of excitement builds like an explosion in my gut.
All of my best projects come with this feeling attached. Call it a strong knowing. Aha. elation. and then i am running. literally. there is so much energy i can’t contain it. the work begins. i wake up in the middle of the night with new ideas, scribbling down thoughts at all times of the day. consumed.
and it feels really good.
that is all i will say for now. I have always had a practice of not talking too much about a project while it is in production. It lets out too much of a the energy about it, energy that needs to go into the creation. Don’t worry, I will keep you updated.
I will say that it is new, different, and it touches on some of the feelings I am having about the politcal climate in North America of late. Encouraging change in small ways (or big). That is the role of the artist.
some links I am perusing…
simply serra, cute design
kelly blair, fabulous book covers you could eat!
Yamauchi Kazuacki, (I can’t remember where I got this link from, apologies)
52 Projects, (found from my stats page), love this!!!
the Lost Mitten Project, (link via Tania’s inspiring illustrated blog) I am an avid mitten loser. (You may remember that last winter I crocheted a long string for my mittens.) So this project speaks to my mitten losing heart. The artist hangs hundred of single mittens in various installations. I alway feel a slight sadness when I find a lost mitten myself. Is the owner missing it? What led up to the loss?
…on a more serious note this blog by a girl living in Iraq really moved me and made me want to do something (link via the daring donovan). Even if it is donating money to the relief effort. A company I trust for this, as I’ve been dealing with them for many years now. (their site seem to be down for the moment. keep trying)

November 12th, 2004

November 10th, 2004

Sidney the elephant is on his way to work. He carries his briefcase which contains the following items,
1 cell phone
his lunch (which consists of 1 tomato and cheese sandwich with mustard and
1 container of milk)
today’s newspaper
Sidney works at a law firm where he is an expert at memorizing and retrieving case numbers. After work he likes to put on his p.j.’s, and eat dinner (tofu with peanut sauce), while watching his favourite show (Jeapardy).
Sidney was created using iron on transfer paper, the design printed (both front and back) then ironed onto cotton. The briefcase was sewn out of felt. the accessories have a little piece of velcro on the back and can be attached. approx. 9″ x 4″
Having made many of these pillow dolls in the past I find I am still working at perfecting the ironing technique. So far it seems the hotter the better. For me (someone with a short attention span), the method is fairly quick (once the design is complete), and I quite enjoy making accessories to go with the dolls. (For Hortence and Giles I made tiny skates out of felt, and scarves.)

November 9th, 2004

I saw the Motorcycle Diaries last night. It got me all fired up. There is an excitement in me, a feeling that good things (and big things) can be accomplished in small ways.
There are days when one feels like her voice does not made one tiny little dent on the hard scratchy surface of this planet, and then there are days when she feels like she sends a small ripple across a pond that spans the width of the earth.
All that is required of the artist is to put the energy (the words, the ideas, the paintings) out there, one little piece at a time. One feels something, then expresses something.
And that m’dear I can do. Yes I can.
As my creative writing professor in college was fond of saying, “When the Japanese were in a period of peace, they painting only fans.”
What form will your revolution take?

November 8th, 2004

(found my pen)

November 8th, 2004
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What will monday bring? If you are in my part of the world it is snow, a light sprinkling of the stuff. Some snow, a spilled cup of tea, early morning singing (the waifs still), a search for the lost pen (still continuing), and the ups truck.
I spent the weekend drawing and sewing my addition to the month of softies. I become obsessed with these things. I have come to understand that it is the creation of characters that really fills me up. It is exciting to take a rough pencil drawing and see it emerge into a three dimensional character that you can carry with you everywhere you go. The creature starts to take on a life of it’s own, with little personality quirks and trademarks. I will show you what I mean once the photos are taken this week.
I have entered into a period of hyper creativity, too many ideas, too little time. Which one comes next? What form will it take? Want to start new book concept, want to redo the website, want to start on old ideas. Feeling a little frantic and excited. Want to get moving, now! just start something.
And then I look up at my wall calendar, at the quote for november which reads,
“Adopt the pace of nature.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
So I take a deep breath, and remember that there is no need to rush any of this. It will all emerge in it’s own time, in it’s own way.
Time for a walk.
The snow melts slowly.

November 5th, 2004
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I was amazed to find myself adapting quite well to living in a car for a couple of weeks. Space is completely redefined and priorities shifted. One creates an entirely different scale of judgement for many things. A bathroom was “fancy” because it had a nice smelling hand soap. Starbucks an absolute luxury because they have a selection of teas (and coffee that does not come out of a machine!) One will do just about anything to not have to eat at a chain restaurant or a gas station, but there are parts of the country where that is impossible, (much to my dismay). How my heart did soar when we would enter into a city again with a fancy health food grocery store. Eyes widening over a selection of fresh produce and organic deli sandwiches. Body rejoincing at the thought of detox tea, and citrus.
12 states in nine days. This planet is so immensely beautiful. Some of the sights and experiences have changed me forever. Some things are a blur. The last few cities seemed to blend into one. Omaha, Denver, Chicago, where was that restaurant again? How did I get here? Random moments stick out in my mind. Peeing in the snow in the middle of the night, amidst silence. A bonding moment with a woman in a Chicago rest room that made me smile for a couple of hours (I walked in on her by mistake, she exclaimed, “It’s o.k. honey, it’s all the same, I got nothing you don’t”). Singing christmas carols loudly while driving on dark roads. Getting caught in a snowstorm at the top of a mountain and having to turn around, being the only car on the road. Exploring an old mine shaft at the back of a cool cafe, filled with that dripping, damp, moldy smell, (the smell of claustrophobia). The feeling of moving my legs again after hours in a cramped space. Finding a great cafe, (with books) and sitting down to write.
some great things…
I picked up a calendar of “the Wuggly Ump” by Edward Gorey, it has some of my favourite drawings of his ever.
The above drawing is of a tea container that I had in a cafe in Madison (the drawing was done in the car, which I don’t really recommend as it can lead to a slight bout of nausea as I quickly learned.) I had never seen one like it before. If anyone knows it’s origin or where I could get one I’d be happy to know.
I believe my new journal from Lovely design is currently at my post office. can’t wait, can’t wait.
I am overjoyed at Loobylu’s Month of Softies project!!! Want to sew, want to sew.

November 2nd, 2004
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Madison, WI
…the plains of Nebraska
…tumble weeds (i had only seen them in movies previously)
…large sprinklers that look like monsters, with a pointy head and a long skeletal frame.
…flat, flat, flat.
…broken sleep on the roadside, trucks driving way too fast. no snow.
…Mike gets a speeding ticket for doing 88 in a 75 zone.
…sleep deprevation kicks in, a search for Kinkos begins.
…dinner in Lincoln Nebraska at a fabulous Indian restaurant. I have an okra based dish.
…we had aquired a free gift certificate for a large chain and decided to use it to buy Halloween costumes and make the most of it while on the road. (we each have half and hour and $8.00.) I am a superhero, Jeff is a vampire/zombie, and Mike is a reindeer.
…we drive on to Omaha, it is late, we are all overtired. cranky feels set in. i did not want to sleep in a business complex in front of someone’s office, so we find a more deserted place and set up camp. a few tears on my part. i am not used to camping in an urban environment and I find I do not like it at all. hard to sleep when I feel I could be woken up by someone at any moment. It actually gives one a good taste of what it would be like to really be homeless. And so I think about that for a long while and my heart swells.
Travelling seems more difficult when you are on the move all of the time. There is little chance to sit and take things in. In the car everything swims past but nothing is contemplated for too long. One does have a lot of time to think, (until delirium sets in that is.)
Travel Games We Played…
“What shapes can you make out of chips?”
“Not Friends” -name two animals or humans who would not be good friends
“Who do I look more like?” -give two candidates who look nothing like you
“Humzinger” -hum a song and let the other people guess what it is
“On my road trip I brought” -memory game, one person starts, each person adds to the list
more good things…
…hot english breakfast tea
…a few hours spent by myself. (Mike and Jeff are canvasing for the election trying to get people out to vote. I had some work to do and wanted some Keri time, as opposed to Kerry time. Also being a Canadian it feels a little strange to get so involved in this country’s politics, even though i have many strong feelings about it all.)
…exploring cute neighborhoods in WI.
…time spent with more friends laughing until late, eating fabulous bean soup with foccacia and goat’s cheese.
…a warm bed and a hot shower. I am renewed.
…new music, Andrew Bird, the Waifs, Fiona Apple
only eleven hours to the Canadian border.

October 30th, 2004
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the universe has such amazing ways of sending a little help when you most need it.
the drive to telluride was spectacular. jaw dropping. i have seen views and mountain ranges that overwhelmed me in the best of ways. cameras do not do it justice. not even close. rock faces that humble you and make you feel like a little bug on the landscape.
telluride is a ski village filled with tiny little victorian houses of my favourite kind. small, with tons of character and colour. I would move here in a second if they didn’t sell for around a million each.
as we were walking around last night trying to find the perfect place to eat (there is a lot to choose from), we met Clay & Jenny who most generously (and quickly) offered us some office space to sleep in. I nearly jumped for joy at the thought of not sleeping in the below zero temperatures. I have recently contracted a cold and did not want to make it any worse than need be. needless to say i was warm and dry. we had yummy chinese food for dinner and then to a pub for a beer.
i am always incredibly moved when complete strangers offer you such gifts. it reminds me that i too that wish give back in a similar way in the near future.
i want to write so much more but my head is foggy from the cold and i have some drawing to do for the job i am working on.
but before i go i must mention this cafe i am currently writing from. the coffee cowboy is a internet cafe/store that sells all enviromentally friendly products, books on social issues, free internet, community talk sessions, etc. All presented in a very sophisticated and comfortable way. I love it. If i were to open a cafe it would be just like this. they are starting a new website which is not yet finished, the restoration (they describe their mission as exploring ideas, engaging people, and promoting products to restore our world.) I found so many great quotes here, my favourite you may already have heard…
“Well behaved women rarely make history.” -Laurel Thatcher Birch
may you think about that as you go about your day and maybe a little mis-behavior will ensue.
to colorado and beyond…

October 29th, 2004
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in the last few days i have experienced…
another snowstorm (cold and wet sleeping)
beef jerky and an orange for breakfast
the wild west (gun shops and gas stations)
desert, desert, and more desert
a game of pool in a saloon in the middle of the desert
dinner with great friends (laughing uncontrollably at a beautiful two year old named Addison)
a shower (oh my god it was good)
a night in a motel
incredible red rock landscapes as far as the eye can see
bad cappucinos out of a machine in a gas station
mountains sprawling everywhere, snow capped
views that caused me to gasp out loud
it’s amazing how the mind drifts and wanders while on a long car trip. Thoughts float out into the mountain peaks outside my window and flit around. drifting like the snow. somehow on the tops of those mountains i find my centre again. it comes back with a force. i hope it continues this way.
this trip has been so good for me, i am learning more about myself. about sitting with feelings. about what i can do, questioning my limitations. about being homeless for a time. about feeling safe while travelling. i am working on a job while on the road, (something I have never done before). strange to me to work with none of my comfort zones, my studio, my solitude, etc. it is possible.
today we hike in red rock.
tomorrow to telluride. I hope i can find a scanner.

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