Friday, April 21, 2017

Cool News

Hi, neighbor! 

I am ever so happy to have some super neat news to share with you:  I have a new teaching home *w00t!*  Beginning in May, I am presenting a series of Bookmaking Workshops at Sertoma Arts Center in Raleigh. I am both grateful and excited for this latest adventure in my creative Journey.   I hope to see you, there!  

I will be adding a Workshops tab to the blog to make it easier to find all the details.  For now, here is the Summer Schedule.  Registration is available Online, via the mail with the Downloadable Form., or in person at Sertoma
[Course #208268]

The first offering in the series is a classic -- but don't be fooled by the simple appearance!  This book form is a powerhouse:  loaded with design possibilities, and well-suited to any number of tasks.  We will explore many ways to construct an accordion (or concertina) book--including, but not limited to:  enhanced folding techniques, adding length to paper, covering book boards (with cloth and paper), adding depth and dimension, and closure options. Suitable for all skill levels, our look at this form will have your mind racing with all sorts of ways to create beyond our time together!

Should you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment here, or email me (, and I will happily answer them.   

And with that, I will bid you adieu *for now* and happy Friday!

Onward & upward,

p.s. -- even more cool news is coming...  *soon!*

Words of Wisdom for today:
The artist must train not only his eye
but also his soul.
                                - Wassily Kandinsky

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Forty two years ago, I received a book for my birthday:  Now You Are Seven.  I still have it *no one who knows me can even pretend to be surprised by this* (!)  It is a lovely anthology of pieces selected for the young reader -- a mixture of cultural folklore, short fiction, arts & crafts projects, and poetry accompanied by vivid illustrations.  To this day, I can (and do) fondly recall a line from a poem about Bert (an amorous kangaroo, in a zoo, in love with Betsy Lou, who happened to be a kangaroo too):  "So they lived in one cage/till a very old age/and died at ninety two."  Why this is the line that has managed to stay with me for 42 years, I cannot say (especially since this book was also my introduction to Tennyson & Longfellow) -- but, there you have it. 

Home of Bert and Betsy Lou
Recently, I mentioned this book to my mom (the giver of this formational tome) -- wondering aloud if it were part of a series.  She did not recall seeing any for other ages at the time. I have never seen another of this particular book, or any others like it.  But it got me to thinking:  Why not?  Wouldn't it be neat if there were an ongoing series of books designed to provide insight/comfort/encouragement as we cross the threshold into each new year and all that it holds? 

SO...  As a lover and collector of words that speak to me, I have merged words with images to create a collection to mark the occasion of turning 49.  Actually, it may be more accurate to say that these are verbal talismans to carry into my 50th year.  Thoughts, inspirations, and reminders to carry with me on the Journey.  This was a great deal of fun, although I must admit:  it took way longer to do than I imagined (!)  Reminding me, yet again, of my mother's supreme wisdom:  "It always takes longer than you think!"  

Rope bridge photo*
Paper Factory Hotel, Long Island City, NY
Book tower and cash register detail
Paper Factory Hotel, Long Island City, NY

Suitcases and cash register detail
Paper Factory Hotel, Long Island City, NY
Bedroom window - Paper Factory Hotel, Long Island City, NY
Zodiac Mosaic - Subway Station, NYC
Stairwell window and painted man
Paper Factory Hotel, Long Island City, NY

I have never been one to worry and fret over birthdays...  I see much truth in the old saw:  "Age is just a number."  Twenty + years spent in the company of an incredible human who lived large by this adage only served to galvanize that truth, for me.  I understand the 'why' behind certain ages being of some significance:  16 and driving; 18 and voting; 21 and drinking; etc., etc...  I suppose I understand marking the milestones of entering a new decade, too (?)  Having said all of that, I have a tendency to celebrate the odd; for example, prior to our marriage, I threw The Man a surprise party for his 45th *hey, any excuse for a good party - right?*  But I have never approached a birthday with any sense of dread.  I have several friends who bemoan the pending birthday, and it always leaves me scratching my head...  Another birthday?  WINNING!  I mean aging isn't always pretty, but it beats the hell out of the alternative!

Memorial Tree - Arlington Cemetery

I must acknowledge that I have entered my latest year from an entirely new angle.  After two years that contained profound personal and professional losses, I finally feel like I have reclaimed some sort of equilibrium.  I am eternally grateful for the folks who stuck it out with me, and remain a part of my life.  In truth, there are still dark, difficult days -- but these are no longer the bulk of the days...  I feel stronger in mind, body, and spirit than I have in quite some time.  I am thrilled to have a renewed sense of discovery and optimism!  

Be prepared, gentle reader!  I will be exercising #50for50 well and often in the coming year!  I look forward to having loads of fun, and I hope you will join me!

The Brother in Little Italy, NYC

Onward & upward!

Since todays post is loaded with Words of Wisdom, I am leaving you with a song. *nay, an anthem!*  I first fell in love with this tune when I discovered the album Planet Waves in my teens.  In the intervening years, I have heard covers from a variety of artists:  Johnny Cash, Jerry Garcia BandThe Pretenders, and Pearl Jam.  The version that I am sharing here is *hands down* my favorite, after the original.  The Soweto Gospel Choir brings a power to this song that I have not felt in other renditions -- it gives me chills every time!  It is offered here as both a wish and a blessing!  

*Rope Bridge Photo -- This is actually a photo of a photo -- I would gladly credit the original photographer, had there been a sign (?)  This print was HUGE -- I encountered it turning a corner on the floor below where I was staying, and was awestruck.  It felt like you could just keep walking and go right on over that bridge (!)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Marching On

Spring is springing, and time seems to be racing along!  Greetings, gentle reader – and welcome to April, 2017.  I feel like I am blossoming into this season, as surely as the unfurling azaleas that line the front fence.  I want to share some cool news with y’all, today!  

While attending Life is aVerb Camp in the scenic mountains of NC last fall, I had the chance to catch up with folks I met originally at the first incarnation of this event 4 years ago…  It was also my first experience as an instructor at Camp – which was way big fun, and something I hope to do again in the future.  As often happens when such an amazing group of folks convene, there were many encounters that resulted in conversations that were continued long after the time we spent together. 

One such conversation was with the lovely Terri Belford of Inspired Livelihood.  Terri’s on-line offerings are jam-packed with excellent information, handy resources, and ready answers to any questions that one may have along the way.  She mentioned that she was assembling a new offering about teaching for creatives.  Interest piqued, I told her I would definitely be honored and interested in taking part.  We stayed in touch as things progressed, I am so tickled to invite you to explore Inspired to Teach!  If you have ever considered sharing your passion with others – whatever it may be – this is an amazing tool.  Speakers include artists, writers, yogis, coaches, event organizers, and more.  I am thrilled to be a part of this line up, and would love to hear your thoughts!

To register, please visit:  Inspired Livelihood - Inspired to Teach  (direct link to registration)

Upon completion of your registration, you'll receive a daily e-mail for 30 days with a mix of written, audio, and video content to accommodate different learning styles.  You will have the material forever, so you can work at your own pace.  I must admit:   I like to save up a few days at a time ;-)  I highly recommend subscribing to Terri' blog, too!

About the title:  In my youth, and well into my adulthood, I played coronet in the Salvation Army Band in Raleigh, NC.  Years of immersion in Hymn Tunes – both the playing and singing of – means that a significant portion of my memory banks are filled with this music and the memories associated with it.  Throughout the month of March *…and where the h3ll did it go in such a hurry, eh?* I caught myself thinking of, humming, and/or tapping a toe to a particular tune.  Thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, I am able to share it with you! *happy am I that the visit of the Reading Songsters to Chatham was recorded*

Time marches on, as do we all!

Onward & Upward,

Azaleas:  front yard in HoCo - Samsung Galaxy S4 
Sheet Music:  from
Video:  YouTube