Moving forward - looking back

I used to sell my art on ebay. 
Now I have a website and am celebrating my 1 year anniversary with etsy.


Like many artists, since I don't have an agent, I'm in the business of  self promotion. 
These days you can pretty much do anything with a camera,
a little creativity
the internet. 
I (personally) am simply amazed at all of the talented people out there! 
I scour page after page - creativity abounds. 
I predict a return to a simpler time. 
Don't worry, we will still have the internet, drive our cars and use electricity. 
I'm talking more about a spot for artists again. 
A world where there is
less of the
mass produced
and more of the
past produced. 
Years ago, we made the things that we needed daily. 
We grew cotton, spun it, then made our clothing, we grew our food, we milked our cows, then churned our butter, we 'fashioned' our furniture....

As I write, this is the image I just conjured up for myself.....

I never noticed it before but check out "Corn Flakes" getting in on some of the action!

Back to my point, Granny made her own soap, cooked from scratch, had a few
chickens and hog or two.....
So past producers would be...
soap makers
pattern makers
furniture makers
tallow chandlers
(also known as a
candle maker.) 
Think about your worth in the 1800's as a tallow chandler, my goodness you provided light!

When I was about 9 or 10, my mother gave me a book that was written in the late 1800's.
The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
it was written by Margaret Sidney. 
While I wasn't a terribly studious child, I did like to read. 
Reading has always been my great escape.
This particular book is 
 about the lives of the five children who were born into poverty in a rural "little brown house."
A simpler time. 
I probably read it a dozen times when I was small. 
The book was such an important part of my childhood that
I sought out a vintage copy of my own as an adult. 
The book was full of tales of the little Pepper children - a simpler time.  The stories were how they managed to get food, mend their clothing, etc.  It was basically how a mother and small children worked together to survive. 
I still have visual images that I conjured up as a child while reading these stories. 
I believe my mother gave this book to me so that I knew there were others who had gone or were going through similar circumstances....poverty.   
We were poor.
We didn't look poor.
I didn't realize until a few years ago while spending time with some old classmates that others didn't
have a clue as to how 'poor' I me it was so obvious,
to them....
not so much!
Here's a shot of my family when I was about 9 or 10.  That's me on the far left.  The little guy right in front wasn't a sibling, but my cousin, Jonathan.
To the right is my brother, Joe, Jack and little sister, Kim. 
circa 1968/69'ish
During this time I was reading TFLPaHTG,
I was also at the age where "playing house"
brought a great deal of enjoyment. 

My (play) house was a chicken coop! 
That's right, it had excellent cross ventilation,
a 'natural' dirt floor
and built in furniture. 
I swept that floor until it was down to the dirt, the hard, clean dirt.
I would have company in the way of my little brothers and sister. 
We would drink cold water and sit on the floor.  There was a lot of knocking on the door and coming in, going out, then knocking on the door and coming in, then going out.....what is it about that ritual when you are little?
Life was good,
Life was simple.
Back to my prediction....
When I make a purchase on a site like etsy, I can view a shot of the person who made the object.  I might get a little history, "artist process" and where in the world they reside.
I don't just purchase a product,
I purchase a story. 
I purchase a piece of someone else.

I made it a point to purchase most of my gifts from several artists this year or I personally made the gifts I gave. 
This held great satisfaction in doing so. 
It was a very personal Christmas for me. 

As we begin 2013, I am making a committment to make more of what I need on a daily basis:


I am also encouraging all of you DIY'ers to do the same. 



Being American and the art of overdoing!

I know November's posts were a little dark and sad.  You all know by now that November is a tough month for me in general.  One of my daughter's jokingly referred to my blog as ""  I love her humor. 
You just gotta laugh!
Well, now we enter December.....ahhh....the month of sparkling lights, pine scented candles and celebrations of all kinds all over the world. 
We get time off and can now relax!
I have come to realize there is an art to relaxing.

It's a process.....

Clearing personal space.

Putting up your feet



Simply taking time.

I saw on the news the other day that "Americans" don't take all of their vacation time. The U.S. has less time off than most other countries to begin with and we are refusing the full two weeks.


Other countries know the value of relaxing and revitalizing. France gives 30 days vacation a year as does Spain, Denmark, Brazil and Germany. We are at the bottom of the list giving 14 days. Only Japan and South Korea gave less at 11 and 10 (respectively). 

 We should also note that Americans represent 5% of the world's population, yet we are the sickest in the world. 
We consume 50 - 60% of the world's manufactured drugs. 
I do believe there are many factors playing into this, but one for sure is our inability to

For me, relaxing is being able to do whatever or not do whatever whenever I want.

To cease "do-ing".

But so many times just as I am about to "relax" things like "the dishes are waiting," "the floors are waiting," "the laundry is waiting"......everything that is inanimate seems to come alive, miraculously gets a voice and starts making demands.

They beckon me to animate them.


time off
getting away
checking out
Every culture has a way to deal with this.  In the Japanese culture, it's "Wabi-Sabi" which centers on finding beauty in the simple things.  It's the process of letting go of having a perfect house and embracing nature and simple imperfections. 

I embrace dust bunnies and dirty dishes.....

The Italians also have a saying for something similar
 "dolce fare niente"
The sweetness of doing nothing.

Others find good use of downtime:
 The Finnish hit the sauna
India's culture is fond of head massages
Africans favor drumming
Aussies enjoy outdoor meals

However you get that time and whatever you do to bring a sense of peace to your soul,


Peace to everyone this season, take time and relax.