July 12-14: This and that

July 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

The last few days have been busy. The kids are tired and today we stayed at home and made some boring art in the morning, which is so rare! I made a collage with the very few pictures I have access to:


(The caption says that people in wealthier countries are happier, but I don’t believe it.)

and J. made a melting bead”Star Wars thing.” He did not specify what it was.



It calmed down his hyperness from last night, when there were 30 guests at my dad’s house, all of whom brought him and O. gifts. Stressful, if you ask me. He requested an Angry Birds cake from my aunt who is a semi-professional baker, and this is what she brought:


Featuring others’ creativity is usually my favorite part of this blog, and this cake is no exception. It tasted delicious too. O. got this cake:


Yes, she ate some too. Yes, she was hyper too.

Finally, the day before yesterday I had no choice but to be nostalgic again as we saw an exhibit of ex-Yugoslav artifacts, from my childhood, before the wars. Most of the things seen here were a huge part of my growing up. I presume that every generation thinks that the world has gotten worse since their time. I know that I most certainly do.


There was also cool art on the main street, and here is what some of it looked like:


Entering the last week of blogging, with few art supplies. Hopefully I have internalized the need to create something every day, and wil continue even after I stop documenting it publicly. We’ll see.


April 17: The Earth again

April 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

A quick collage to acknowledge all the sorrow on this Earth. You’d think we’d try to make the best of being human, but all you hear about these days is disaster after disaster after disaster. I spent the whole winter being afraid. Now I am just full of sadness. Hence this collage.


April 3: Krishna among the flowers

April 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I have done my goddesses/gods cards. Today, as on most weekdays, I really didn’t want to quit working just so I could do something good for me, but in such cases, it is especially important to make yourself do it.  I still have a headache, and my throat hurts, but my body is generally feeling better.  My mind on the other hand is still in a bad state. Every so often I go through a stage of fearing everything and everyone. It may be related to being a mom, it may be that the world is in fact dangerous, or it may be that I read too many bad news and take them to heart. Whatever the case, it seems that I am in need of some lightheartedness, and some Krishna. So here he is!


Crazy devotion. We could use some of that.


March 9: Back to collages

March 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

When I woke up this morning, I decided it was a good day to make a spring collage. I got the Martha Stewart magazines I buy at thrift stores specifically for collage making, and began cutting pictures. Except the pictures ended up being not of flowers, chicks, bunnies, and eggs, but instead of other random things that really appealed to me today. And so I started a different project. I called it “The I’d love to pages.” Pages of things I would not even think of owning, places I wouldn’t even think of living in. Guilty pleasures. It was a great project, not only because it was sunny this morning, and J. joined me, and we made a big mess in his room. It was great because it cheered me up. I don’t allow myself frivolous dreams usually, and I certainly don’t aspire to the living Martha Stewart sells. But giving myself permission to dream about solitude and comfort I don’t ordinarily have was liberating. I am not planning on buying antique furniture or leaving the family to go to a resort retreat just yet, but maybe it’s okay to let down the righteous guard for an hour or two.

i dream of reading books in a quiet room like this one

i dream of reading books in a quiet room like this one

i dream of taking a long time drinking espresso drinks every morning at a cafe

i dream of taking a long time drinking espresso drinks every morning at a cafe

i dream of sitting on a bench like this one observing life

i dream of sitting on a bench like this one observing life

and i know that this is silly, but i dream of an organized home, like this

and i know that this is silly, but i dream of an organized home, like this

There. I have shared my dark secrets.

Here is what J. made. Though he would never make a collage on his own initiative, he always joins me. I am always pleased when he does.



February 22: Five-minute bookmark

February 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

This one may not seem like much, but it was one of those restoring-to-sanity-five-minute-project-things. On such occasions, I cut out my old We’Moon calendars. This one had an angel of mercy picture and a reminder to learn to love (the Earth) as a mother loves her child.

The picture is dark and unimpressive because it was taken by lamplight — O. is sleeping in this room, and J. is having a sleepover in the living room, and I am still, you guessed it, very tired from the three shifts I seem to be working daily.


February 7: Collages from scraps

February 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

When all else fails, one can always make collages! Actually, J. keeps bringing scraps of paper from school — they are practicing cutting straight, zig-zag, and wavy lines, and being the child of his parents, he doesn’t like to throw anything away. I did manage to persuade him to make a collage out of them, and he did. I cut out pictures from the Seattle arts magazine I picked up today. I didn’t want to waste it, so I made a collage. Not one of my best works, though I did like the sentence I cut out “many creative people live and thrive in pairs.”




& his.

I am such a sucker for kids’ art. If a  museum wanted to put on a show of children’s art, I would be the first to go. So of course I think this collage that J. made is awesome. But I am a partial mom after all. In case anyone is wondering, yes, it is an angry-bird-themed collage. He is a bit obsessive, what can I say?

February 2: Brigid

February 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

The last weekend before I go back to work. The future of this blog is uncertain, but I sincerely hope that I can find five minutes a day for art in the midst of teaching, grading, meetings, papers, and whatnots. In any case,  instead of rejoicing in this moment for what it is: the end of beautiful eight months spent at home with a very special baby, I am full of fears.

Today it is Candlemas, or Imbolc in the Celtic tradition. It is also known as Brigid’s day, and it the time when nature starts to awaken. It is time to plant seeds, physical and metaphorical. So today I would like to plant some seeds of courage that I once had, and then lost, mostly in becoming a mother in my mid- and late-thirties and raising children in this uncertain world.

So here is my collage reminder.


I took the picture by the light of a very weak lamp, as two children were sleeping in my bed, and I was just too tired to move to a different room. That’s why you can barely see it. But that is Brigid, the triple goddess of Ireland, who was so popular that the Christians could not eliminate her cult and instead made her into Saint Brigid.  According to Wikipedia, “On Imbolc Eve, Brighid was said to visit virtuous households and bless the inhabitants as they slept.As Brighid represented the light half of the year, and the power that will bring people from the dark season of winter into spring, her presence was very important at this time of year.”

Here is the view from my window as I was making the collage. Endless fog in the Northwest…


It is comforting to know that spring is on the way. Apparently, Phil did not see his shadow today.

February 1: Love and beauty (and hokey titles)

February 2, 2013 § 2 Comments

Not that I am a fan of Valentine’s Day or anything, but I just felt like making a pink and purple Valentine-ish collage/card tonight. Really, it was just an excuse to use a glue gun.


O.  loved playing with all the ribbons and papers that came in the bag  of goodies I used, which was  nice, as I got to make a project while she was still awake, which usually doesn’t happen.

And then I finished a poem. This is as happy as my poems get, which is worrisome, I guess…

I who am beautiful
– on the inside
– to my children
– to others’ dogs
– occasionally
– in mirrorless rooms

Was caught on a tightrope once in a dream carrying a sleeping baby under my arm with no balancing oversized umbrella but with sweaty armpits though glamorous
Was following a beautiful young boy once in East Village who wore an old army coat and photogenic windblown longish hair
Was invisible to him and idle wanting to see where beautiful boys go

I who was beautiful in my invisibility
I who was beautiful in my solitude
I who was beautiful in my safe distance
I who was beautiful in the vastness of the city

Was hiding bread under the table once when I was younger than my children are disappearing into its white softness when my mother was not looking
Was loving all the little girls I have ever seen who remind me of me and hide other breads in their pockets

I who was beautiful in my inadequacy
I who was beautiful in never being full
I who am beautiful for never having enough
I who was beautiful in my clumsiness

Was walking without an umbrella to balance me between me and me
glamorous wearing clothes that belonged to someone who died in her sleep & I didn’t even wash them because we never met her and there was something I wanted to ask her

January 19: Short

January 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

I admit, I am not much for art today. I spent the day at a conference, and gave a workshop that could have gone much better. The kids were awake for most of the night, and it’s the last day of our trip. So… yeah… Here is all I’ve got:



January 11: Aphrodite

January 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Here is another goddess. I am usually not a big fan of Greek goddesses, but they seem to go with this scrapbook paper I have.


Her words are cherish and enchant.

If she looks blurred, it’s because I had a beer tonight, which is unusual, but I am at a conference, which is a great time for socializing. And speaking of conferences, I gave J. my name tag to make his own:


Here’s to short little projects that use one’s creative muscle and cheer one up with minimal amount of work!

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