Serendipity on a Winding Path

IMG_1375When I saw this mixed-media necklace at our local Art Fair in historic Occoquan recently, the word JOURNEY called to me.  We are all on a journey, a winding path of moments and days.

Lately, the days on my journey have felt longer, and a bit emptier.  My sweet honey got orders to work overseas until Mid-August. I miss him terribly, and so does our little fella, who teeters from room to room in our house, calling, “DaDa?” “DaDA!” and it’s heart wrenching not to be able to explain that Daddy is far away, but we’ll see him in a couple of months.

We made time for a date night before he left, and had dinner at Central in D.C.

IMG_1360   The Oysters Rockefeller were divine, and I loved the artistic display of herbs and spices on rock salt on the platter.  IMG_1351Thank you for paying attention to detail, chef Michel Richard!  It’s all in the details… I love details, especially artistic ones.

So, do you remember in my last post when I quoted a Shel Silverstein Poem about the girl who would not take out the trash (Cynthia Sylvia Stout)?  It was an odd coincidence that this poem (that I first read in the 70’s, and had not thought about for years), popped up on my radar at LUSH (homemade bath products) a few days later as the name of a Shampoo. Ha! IMG_1300 Don’t you love it when something random appears on your radar and then unexpectedly resurfaces again soon after? (Am I  the only person amused by this sort of thing)?  Serendipity? Chance? Fate? The law of attraction?

Are you familiar with Paulo Coelho’s book, The Alchemist?  It’s one of my favorites, and I am drawn to his idea that the universe teaches us (brings things to us) when we are ready.  I bought a small original watercolor in Rome in 1999, and when I asked the artist what inspired him, he told me about this book. When I returned to London the following week (where I was working at the time), I read The Alchemist cover to cover, and suddenly, it seemed everyone I met was talking about it. (It had been published almost a decade earlier, so it wasn’t new on the scene). Have you had something similar happen?

Wishing for you lots of serendipity in the coming days.



Tend Your Garden


“Tend Your Garden.” This phrase keeps popping up in my life lately, in conversation, books, and in magazines. Tend your art garden, tend your soul garden (self-care), and literally, planting and tending to flowers and herbs. It seems appropriate this time of year, with Spring and soul renewal.

With Spring cleaning and busy schedules, there are so many thing to tend, but as my best friend reminds me, as they say on planes, “put on your own oxygen mask first, so you can help others.”  This is hard, sometimes, as it feels selfish to take time for hobbies when laundry and dishes are piling up like a Shell Silverstein Poem, but it isn’t good, either, when the house is immaculate, but the creative well feels empty.  My floors are always clean, so our little one can crawl and not get gritty hands or eat dust bunnies, but today, Mama needs some Mama time.

(Do you know this Shell Silverstein poem? It’s funny…

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would not take the garbage out! She’d scour the pots and scrape the pans, Candy the yams and spice the hams, And though her daddy would scream and shout, She simply would not take the garbage out. And so it piled up to the ceilings: Coffee grounds, potato peelings,… it goes on, but you get the point).

So, today, like Sara Cynthia Stout, I did not take the garbage out.  Instead, I bought a window box for the balcony, and filled it with baby seedlings of rosemary, basil, parsley, and lavender.

IMG_1209 Gardening is not my strength, but this was a simple project, and it felt good to touch the potting soil and smell the earth, nestling the roots into their new home. The contrast of bright green stalks against the black dirt is pretty.  I’ve watered and tucked them in securely, and hope nature will help them to grow.

And, to tend my art garden, I signed up for an on-line mixed-media art course with Jeanne Oliver, one of my favorite artists.  Whatever your week is like, may you remember to put on your own oxygen mask first, and tend to the garden of YOU.

Happy Soul Gardening.  ‘Til next time,


Art and Soul Retreat

Welcome Book and mask I decorated to take with me

Welcome Book and mask I was sent to decorate before arrival

I attended the 2013 Virginia Beach Art and Soul Retreat this week. It was a fantastic experience, however,”retreat,” (synonymous with “relaxing” in my mind), may have been a misnomer in my case, as these were intense days of art classes. Great instructors, lots of notes, and oodles of new techniques. Great environment to be around so many talented and inspiring creatives, and to commit so much time to art.

Art and Soul 2013

Course Names and Postcard

Day 1: Catherine Anderson, photographer. Love, love her teaching style and techniques. This was my favorite day!  We made journals centered around the theme “Secret Lives of Trees.”  Learned to make image transfers and alter photographs:

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Day 2: Misty Mawn, painter and mixed-media artist. Amazing to watch how well and quickly she captures an image by sketching with charcoal- a little intimidating. Wow! We collaged onto a wood panel. Never used this surface before- great to work on.

Day 3: Lisa Kaus, mixed-media artist. Created whimsical “Winsome Treasures” with embedded objects, collage, and bees wax:

Great women, good wine bars and bistros in the area, and fun to use my hands all day to make art. Happy Creating!