Friday, October 30, 2009

... me ... disappering ...

altered cover page of a vintage teen fiction novel ...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Flower Bud(weiser) Shop!

The collage above really doesn't count as a true hands-on, torn paper affair.

I did it all with a photo and a photo create program as a joke because my beloved had posted on my FBook this week, "How come no motorcyle collages."

And so that was pretty much a "double-dog-dare" for me to take a picture of his motorcycle and doctor it a bit.

I did intend to do it entirely freehand, tearing and beating the band with my gluestick, but today was a busy day and so I had to rush it a bit. (TRANSLATION: My future muminlaw got home from the hospital today and I was her escort! Woooooooooooooooooooooooot!)

To save time, to get back at my lover-butt, and to keep with my "collage a day"-ing, before I do any work ... I hauled ass over to piknic photo and doctored this one up in their photo collage program.I took the "Man Cave" and showed it for what it really is, a pretty, pretty flower shop!

I was going to cut and paste a Tampax banner over the original "Bud"weiser car hood, but I didn't want Mark to have an aneursym.

He's traveling, and he lives in fear when he's gone that one of us is going to go out into the Man Cave and wreck something!

Seriously, the man dusts for our prints when he comes back through the electronic garage door!

I am not kidding you one single bit ... and now ... The Flower Bud Shop:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Color Purple ... and my inner child out for perpetual recess!

... the morning collages are proving to be as helpful to me, myself and I as Julia Cameron's "morning pages," might be to someone else.

I actually have an old copy of Cameron's book, Morning Pages, and I have tried to work my way through it, various times, throughout the varying years. With good faith in my self, I purchased a copy of her book, The Artist's Way, as well.

I loved her concepts. I loved the quotes, here and there, throughout each book. And, I SWEAR!!!!! I really tried the "morning pages." I attempted another of her exercises, an advisement to take my inner child out on a playdate, but she never wanted to go. She was not comfortable with that much freedom.

My inner child does not know how to play, not really, not without the feeling that the gauntlet will drop, or that she'll get caught. My inner child is a bit of an anxious, guarded mess.

I called my daily pages, "mourning pages," and thought that might help to make them more my own, but even that creative little spin on the dark within did not make the regimented task of writing any easier. It was too much like an assignment, the likes of which I was obviously putting off for ... well, like forever!

Give me an hour to write, and I will write nothing. Tell me I have ten minutes between 50 other things that are popping off, and I'll write a million pages. I'm better under the gun.

My inner child, too, survives under the gun. She may run out and play, but two seconds later she will run for cover again.!

So, don't ask me why, but the daily collages work better, and some mornings these are more time-consuming than three longhand pages could ever be, and yet ... I never feel rushed. I never feel as if I should get to the "real work" and stop "goofing off."

As I run through the next day's "to do" list in my head every night, lining up work, errands, family, etc. etc. and the six things that might pop up unexpectedly, my thoughts race less when at the top of my mental list is "the morning collages," and the "come what may" aspect of their daily creation.

I don't spin my mind in circles every night now. Instead I search out the sandman, toot sweet, with visions of paper and gluesticks dancing in my head.

It's been very liberating.

And, it's about time.

I, in fact, feel that I've found a way to take my inner child out on a playdate, each and every day, and she's finally free to do so! She finally plays for however long it takes to become real, and real clear, and then let the games of the day begin!

And this morning, my inner child came rushing in, winded, from a sprint in an autumn field, and she's brought with her (from the inside out) a bushel of wild purple flowers!

ferdinand hodler is the master painter, and i've had this postcard tacked up, here and there, through many a move and groove, and now it lives on and again in this collage. ~A

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

an invitation ...

... continuing on with the daily paper tearing and tweaking. seems to be doing me some good. they are my great escape.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

many seasons rendered in dark colors ...

three collages, newest to oldest (still doing one a day; however, my mommyinlaw has been ill and i've been spending a lot of time with her, and other family and so while i was still doing one every morning, the days have kind of run together when it came time to posting same):
in the following order, i give you ... october 22nd, then october 23rd, and the final one for today, october 24th:

... thought i would write some, but haven't quite put into words how things have been playing out this week. i'm kind of on my perpetual island of misfit toys, which is not (all things considered) a bad place to be, it's just not "textbook."

it's more metaphorical, where everyone says, "oh, like in the rudolph story, where they stop on that island and there they are, the misfits, and yet you love them all the more, for that very reason, their uniqueness, their ... well, their everything!

... and yet ..." it's metaphorical and not a "textbook" case or scenario, and so there are still those lonely times off to the side where the polka-dotted elephant is indeed "the elephant" in the room, and as much as is known and loved ... well ...

... it's just not always easy.

... but then again ... who wants to be "textbook" or "well-fleshed out scenario" or even "a worse case scenario," you know?!?!?!

and yet ...

and still ...

and just ...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

perplexity ...

Today's collage is on the backside of a trading card from a box of hokey romantic cards called "Love Gestures." This is my altered version of the back side of the card, using torn scraps and the image from another book on "love" (and that was the title/no CAPs) where I found a page on flowers and their meanings within the realm and world of romance:

The reverse side of the card has the unaltered advice:

WRITE IN THE SNOW ... after the first snowfall, write "I love you" in the snow so it can be seen from the window. Draw big red hearts in the snow by adding red food coloring to water and painting it on the snow."

My first thought, RED FOOD COLORING?!?!?!?!

Seriously, red hearts in the white snow, how bloody, blood-blood, would that look. A person looking out, would then glance back in and wonder whether to tell their mate that some crazed-assed stalker-type has written "I love you" in the yard, surrounded by bloody hearts!

I mean, come on! Red works for actual cut-out hearts on construction paper and those little cinnamon things you put on holiday cookies, but sprayed all over a fresh snowfall?!!?!?

Hello?!?!?!?? BLOOD! Not so romantic sprayed all over the snow!

So, had I altered this side of the card, I would have changed the continued advice to "Draw big purple hearts in the snow by mixing red and blue food coloring together and painting it in the snow," but then I freaked that "purple hearts" are meant for those brutally wounded in the course of battle, and realized that this is why people just make snow angels and call it a night!

Love, life, and the rest of it ... it's f'ing complicated, and a box of "Love Gestures," from what I can see so far, is not going to help.
~ 'peace out

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Always be kind ..............

This was my crappy collage of the day. I woke stressed. Was up way too late last night, COULD NOT SLEEP!

So didn't get to my desk or the collage till 11 a.m. and then I probably rushed it, and maybe tweaked it too much or too fast, or whatever, but I intend to work on it more later.

The gist of it was: Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle. -Plato ... and the image to the right is paperwhites, a flower/bulb I absolutely adore.

I buy them in the winter and plant them in rocks, or marbles, not dirt, add a wee bit of water, and they grow tall and sprout little white flowers!!!!! all over the house, atop the coffee table, the dining room table or wherever I can find a spot.

Shouldn't happen, but it does ... NO DIRT! It's an absolute thrill I look forward too every mid-winter!

So, there's that:

And then there's this ... something I posted elswhere about how Lili, my four-year-old grand-girl made my day today, and what a day it has been:


I'm telling you, there is something about 4-year-olds!

This kid arrives here every day, practically, at exactly 11:45 and if I'm usually in my office downstairs when she gets here. So once she's in the door with Carol, she whips off her coat and comes in and checks in with news and bits of 4-K weirdness.

Today, I was not downstairs, because I was up late and hadn't even made it to my desk yet. We were also planning to run a series of errands prior to my "starting my day," which of course meant I was upstairs looking for shoes since in my office I'm barefoot, stocking-footed or in slippers, depending on the season or my mood.

So, when Lili came in through the garage this morning, I was at the top of the stairs in the entryway by the front door, putting on my shoes. I witnessed her, for the first time, coming in dropping her backpack, shrugging her coat off and then peeking around the corner into my office preparing to enter and burst with goodness and tales and the letter of the day and we had a birthday treat today and I peed in the sandbox because I didn't want to stop playing and and and ... and then some!

Then I got to see this precious little look that made me want to pick her up, put her in the car and buy her everything in the nearest store. She was doing a double-take, looking back at mom, like, "What?!?!??!! Where the heck is Grandma Princess Annie?!?!?!" ... and that wasn't even the look! It was the look when she saw me at the top of the stairs! She had this lovely, pleased as punch look as if the Tooth Fairy herself was at the top of the stairs!

Then we all went to the nearest department store to buy winter coats, which was our plan, but then a whole bunch of other stuff ended up in my cart for her, her sisters, her mommy and her aunties because hello?!?!?!! Christmas is coming!

And, I'm telling you it pays to pause and enjoy these moments because out on our adventure, we received a call from Mark's sister that Mark's mom has to spend an overnight at the hospital (ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!!!) because she was not feeling well and with all the swine flu going around ... well, that's the way it goes. She was the official start to the fall birthdays, so this sucks butt, and hopefully she is mended by the time the party for all the birthdays takes place here on Saturday.

And that's the way life is ... you have these searing, memory-making, heart-rendering singing moments of bliss and then someone rains on your "other mummy's" birthday parade and you want to beat up the world! This woman should not be sick ON HER BIRTHDAY! She does not believe in pity pots, is always telling everyone to "build a bridge and get over it," and I suspect she may wink and tell someone to "shut their pie hole" today if they try to over-worry over her!

So, that being said, be thankful for what you have ... and I give you now, Lili and the letter puh-puh-puh-P ... for Pig!

Isn't that ironic when it comes to the swuh, swuh swine flu stuff! ... and I think her artwork is ten-times better than mine today.

****The day's end of the story is that my "other mummy" has gallbladder inflammation and maybe slight pneumonia, none of which she really had any symptoms until this morning when she felt icko, and all of which are complicated by the fact that she is on oxygen as per the norm. She is usually never sick, but there is always the back of the mind worry that if she every gets sick it will be harder for her because it compromises her breathing and all that rot.

Tonight she's comfy and has to stay put in the hospital while they put her on antibiotics and such, and tomorrow is another day ...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Take the Giant Leap

I honestly didn't think I'd stick with this, but when I came down to my desk this morning my brain was all like oh that's right, I've got to do my daily collage, OR.I.WILL.DIE!

So that part felt good, the part where I stopped myself from dying inside.

And this is what I came up with, a little ditty about shoes, and dancing and taking that giant ass leap!

It's done on a bar coaster. And of course there is meaning behind that ... (oh shit, I think I'm giving birth to a fat-ass blog post) ...

Four plus years ago I moved from a small community in Wisconsin to an even smaller community in Wisconsin. I had been in the previous community for something like 13 years, even though when I left Wisconsin in 1980, I SWORE I WOULD NOT BE BACK!

But life has a way of making you double-back, whether you want to or not.

So ... when I moved from the previous smaller community to the community I live in now (which they call "the village of" because it's that small), this was also the community where I went to school from the 4th grade on through graduation.

Holy shit, Batman!

I know you think it's probably not even possible, but while I went to school in this "the village of," I actually lived further out in the back country in "an unincorporated" land. Unincorporated lands are much, much smaller than the nearest "the village of," and so ... Blah, blah, blah.

Anyways ... when I moved to this "the village of" I was making some serious life changes, and when I got to the village (even though it was just one town over) I said to myself, "I should make some friends." (I hadn't really done that in the 13 years that I lived just one town over, other than if it was school or kid-related, so nothing really, really deep ... I just wouldn't f'ing allow it!)

Then I threw up in my mouth a little, with fear and loathing and the idea of "making an effort to make friends." Ewwwwwwwww, ick, I'd rather die!

Then I thought about how you read articles about "making friends" and it tells you to join a club, go to church, attend this or that professional group, take a class ... um, so I did what anyone would do, I walked to the nearest pub ("villages of" have a lot of them!!!!!), and ordered a sandwich and a beer.
Then I stole the bar coaster I was using.

And then, instead of going to band camp, I spent THE ENTIRE SUMMER IN THAT BAR, I AM NOT KIDDING YOU!

I was not working, taking a "why don't I go mental over my health" break, was alone for the summer, and I certainly did meet my (don't make me puke!!!!) goal of meeting a lot of people, and I made some friends.

I became fairly well known for swiping clean, new bar coasters, which did not keep me from getting into a good college in the fall just to bend my mind a bit further.

But don't even begin to ask me why I suddenly became a bar-coaster-stealing-whore for-bar-coasters hussy of a hoarding coasters whore! (for the coasters! i'm serious, that's all i ever took home from the bar!)

I can't explain it!

Unless ... have you ever really looked at the things?!!?!

The vendors come by ALL THE TIME and drop new ones off, and they are all very cool and artistic and sometimes stupid, but anyways in all different shapes, and pretty soon I had a whole drawer full of them to use at home when I entertained ... and (drum roll please) I HAD MADE SOME FRIENDS!

End of bar coaster story. (and i totally left out the part where I grew very weary, very fast of "beer on tap," spent part of the summer drinking Jack and gradually found Tanqueray ... died and went to heaven, THE END!!!!! of yet another new beginning!)

On to the collage ... it's done on a fairly new coaster for Hacker-Pschorr, the "brewers of real Oktoberfest bier," don't you know.

The poem "New Shoes" is from a vintage book Let's-Read-Together! Poems.

The remaining words and images are ripped from the 2005 issue of W magazine. I love this magazine for it's paper texture and rip-ability, and have since 2005 when I started collaging and altering with a passion and ordered a year's subscription just to have 12 issues to rip apart!

And that, folks, is the living end of my very weird of saying, going to a bar, stealing coasters and finding your signature drink, is a REALLY, REALLY GREAT WAY TO MEET FRIENDS.

And, so far, I see why I had to come back to this "the village of," but that's probably a whole other blog or a freak-ass altered collage, or sumpin!

Or ... I might just go back to bed for the rest of the week. One never knows!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Something or other every day ...

I have blog-anxiety, like if I don't post something worthy the bloggy police come and rap you really hard on the knuckles with a #2 pencil.

However, to keep my twisted mind centered, I've decided to do a "collage and/or an altered something" every day. I started yesterday.

I'm sure it will only last two or three days before I go to bed again FOR GOOD! ... but we'll see.

In any event, here was yesterday's collage, a whimsical affair since I mixed two seasons together; the weather has been just that way.

It's done on a piece of cardboard after the last note sheet was torn off ... so it's about 3 x4 inches in real time! It's been scanned and tweaked, and that is not to say that they will all be scanned and then tweaked ... some will post in their original state, and/or before and after the tweak, but this was just to get the party started.

This one, other than that, is basically one media and one magazine for that matter (the April 2009 copy of the woman's magazine "First") and then I Brother-labeled in the ... SNOW!!!!

Today's collage is done on a teeny, tiny piece of corrugated cardboard, just slightly smaller than a debit card, and was also pretty much magazine and paper tears, and once again the Brother label maker hit the scene. I may or may not tweak this one some more and make it into a fridge magnet. We'll see how I stick to this ...

This may end up as a pile of collaged pieces that will then need gel medium to seal them or whatever, I will become overwhelmed and then stab myself in the eye with a glue stick!

You just never know with me, that's all I'm saying ...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Re-Weaving ...

It has been a rather lengthy last many months (okay, maybe years) but I made a concerted effort this past week (especially as I topped off what I had hoped to be a very organized and better September) to say to EVERYONE, "Excuse me please, let me check if I can fit that in *my* schedule, and I will let *you* know,etc. etc" at my ever and always cheerful convenience ... I then proceeded to check my own shit FIRST, and then get back to people on whether or not I could fit this, that or the blood other into my realm of understanding and well-being.

Yeah, I know, people have been all up in their own stuff already for years, and I’m just now getting with the program since generally I’ve been all "Okay, yeah, yeah, I got it, even though I’m on the fly and will probably die trying, I will get to that too, just never you all mind what other things I might have going on!"

Maybe some of it comes with being a woman, and a mom, and I’m certain a giant portion comes from the fact that I work from home, and have for these many years.

And so it's easily assumed (by some ASS!!!) that I’m "probably not doing anything anyway,” or worse yet the person who calls in the middle of the morning and asks, “Oh, did I wake you, I bet you were sleeping" because, you know, we home office peeps, that's all we do is NOTHING but SLEEP!!!

(quick disclaimer here: if I *was* sleeping it’s because I WAS UP ALL NIGHT WORKING, and so the phones are off, the cell too, and PLEASE DON’T COME OVER AND RING THE DOORBELL AND MAKE THE DOG START BARKING JUST TO MAKE SURE I'M STILL ALIVE, OR I'M GOING TO HAVE TO KILL YOU!) [whole other rant, I am telling you!]

Anyways, what I’m getting to is, if you don’t take time to regroup you will get smothered by the feeling that the whole world is using you for a doormat, and/or they are using your forehead to post their monthly calendars. However, when your feet need wiping (or anything else for that matter … seriously, accidents happen), they won’t be there, and don’t even try to put your dates on their forehead to see how things line up.

Quit with that already!

That would be too easy! I mean really, folks, all three people in a house and the various extended other family members involved don’t all have to get along, because MOM HAS THE MASTER CALENDAR FOR EVERYONE, right?!!?!? … and she can fight her own way out of that giant paper bag, ALL BY HERSELF!

Well, in fall, I regroup. I’ve looked forward to this autumn season, and I’ve marveled and unraveled in its blustery arrival, the entire time looking forward to reweaving myself back together again into something I can use, and into someone I can be sure has her best foot first, before she takes her wallet out, before she crosses the street, and before she lays down her best jacket so the whole world can use it to walk over their newest shit puddle they just made!!

The re-weaving was in full, no-turning-back swing by the start of this week, and I’ve noticed more of its ongoing and lasting effects. And it’s the kind of thing where those close to me (and some who wish they were further away) may love to hate what seems to be my rigid side coming out, compared to my usually soft pushed over form, but gradually things really have started cruising along in a manner where EVERYONE CAN LIVE A LIFE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, and I can almost see straight!

I took some very special time over this last month to say many very special things to family in my house, family out of my house, family trying to get into my house, people pretending to be my family and/or my best friend. Here are a few of the things that did a really good trick, almost instantly:

--“Can you not see, I’M PEEING?!?!?!? Please check with me later?” Sometimes, I will even follow this person down a day later and say, “Really, honestly, what if I was POOPING or something?!?!??!”

or …

--“Do you see the tiny daggers coming out of my eyes, those are the same ones the coroner is going to dig out of your skull, if you DON’T LEAVE MY OFFICE RIGHT THIS MINUTE!”


--“What did you say, Lili?!!?!??!? Yeah, I know the sky is falling, but you said something really cute just now, and your words drip with gummy bears and all things nice, and so I don’t even care what I was just doing, or that a big giant chunk of sky is right now going to crash down on our head, just please really go back to the really cute thing you were saying so I can write it down and take a picture of you while you are saying it! … “ [okay, sometimes when 4Kindergarten Lili comes by in the afternoon, um, well, tell me you could concentrate on your own stuff for even ten minutes once she goes to tell you sumpin!]

Anyways, some of my responses below also worked just as well (except with my above-mentioned propensity to totally latch onto 4-year olds and never let them go again!!!! … and believe me there has been a long line of 4-year-olds in my life, so I know what I’m talking about. It’s the year you must pay full attention, or you MISS SO MUCH!)

But like I said, some of these responses worked as well …

--"I hear you, but I’m not paying attention, so you can continue to rattle off those dates right now if you want, but it would be better if you waited until I was also free at the moment, and then I could actually absorb, give thought and respond to what you are saying.”

Or ...

--"I’m glad you are keen on your schedule, I will get back to you on how mine gels with this just as soon as I have a clear, concise moment for an equitable scheduling discussion."

Okay, really, I haven’t been saying some of the longer, Dr. Philly “let me be clear” with you things, because if you know me at all, I’m more into the more sarcastic ones where I fake horror and scream because you ARE talking to me while I’m peeing, and or pretend I can shoot lawn darts out my nostrils when you interrupt me. Plus one weekend, I flat out lied, stood in front of Mark and said that I “was working all day” on a Saturday and then I didn’t have to go do something stupid with him that I didn’t really want to do. I know, I’m going straight to hell!!!! for “not using my honest words” but I got a total DO NOTHING SATURDAY OUT OF THE DEAL!


But the main thing is, I’ve noticed that when I stop to take a breath, these people in my life (those closest to me) they actually start to notice that tiny intake, that itty-bitty pause, and they actually have made it possible for me to now cancel a doctor’s appointment I had next week for a very special “re-capitation” procedure.

Yes, you heard it here first! The day your head flies completely off it’s axis, you can have it sewn back on, but I will not have to go through this. No, Siree, not me! Not this year. Finally some of the old scars can start to heal.

I won’t be the rundown woman coming into the skull neuro-doctor’s office with part of her scalp hanging out of her tote bag, and there won’t be some compassionate nurse behind the counter saying, “Oh, you must be the chicken who has been running around with her head cut off; you poor, poor thing, come and sit down, here is some gin, and we aren't even going to wash it down with soda prior to your procedure, you can have it straight! We'll get you all fixed up just right!"

Nope, this year, after this week, atop 30 days of September and the start to the school year, the fall and winter season and busy, busy times of the year fully upon us, yes … this day, OCTOBER 2ND, I can say …

“I feel perfectly fine, on schedule, and I may even take a nap this afternoon before I go on to what’s been equitably and adequately and fabulously planned for the weekend!"

Do you know where your children are?!?!? [so to speak??!?!?!]

[and you also know that as soon as push “post” on this message all holy hell is going to break loose because i have tempted the gods!]
Now, that nap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!