Sunday, January 12, 2020

Collage Prompt

These collage prompts of Acey's, my ideas for them and the postings of others 
have sure brought up so many thoughts and memories!
I've really enjoyed that aspect.

For instance I've been thinking of some of the oldest trees
after making a tree of my own.

And I've been thinking about this old phrase I said years ago
when told to make a creative scrapbook page about myself for a workplace.
"assigned creativity" 

A Phrase of Life
She moves with guarded honesty,
     through the choreographed chaos.
Embracing and ignoring shredded regrets.
Freedom absorbed seriously,
       like a claustrophobic bear.
Wickedly resisting pre-packaged values
     and assigned creativity.
Then, the moon pulls her home,
          into vertical dreams
Until the jasmine blooms.
 Nancy A. Erisman
December  16, 2005

The value of words has come up as others have placed words in their collage work.
Then I found this old draft below from 2011.


There are some words
            a lot
They roll off our tongues
         like chocolate in drool
we say them or write them so often

that we forget why we loved them in the  first place
     Still other words make us tingle and giggle as they dance on our eardrums, each and every time we use them.
Words like  -  serendipity...

                                                               and Rancho Cucamonga

⇲ ⇲

Words spoken hold even a different value. 
The audio component adds another whole dimension.
I love words!

The ideas of the collage are inspiring, 
yet still I have been motionless.
I've been hiding out of sorts.

The Old Poets of China
By Mary Oliver

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe 
that I do not want it. Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.


Always keep a place to which you can retreat
~Chinese Proverb


How big can your world be?
~Jude Hill 10/16/2012


 All of these popped into view while I was looking for something else.
I thought that fitting.
I am finally doing this post on the "divide the page" prompt.
I had pulled out the materials for it.
Thought it.
And finally did it. 

"Prompt #5:  Divide a page in half on the diagonal.
Select two images that feel like the beginning of a conversation.
Add a few more pieces to each side of the dialogue."

These two images and the California map are what came to mind
when I read this prompt.
You could call this one finding True North.
North is my Morro Bay and Big Sur.
North is an old friend.
North is where my heart is.
South is where I am. The cube being the box of a daily life.
I've had that cube image for years and years,
as something always appealed to me about it.
I thought it would be amazing made of a variety of gorgeous woods.
I wanted to figure out how to make one of cloth (never did).
But here it is now, representing living in the box.
The diagonal was shaded in with pencil to represent
the cement I feel stuck in.
Then I added the crudely created burlap feet for the journey and
more flowers and greenery to represent growth and happiness.
I had to mess around with the map a bit, as it was too big for the page.
But. then I came up with the idea of the divide being a chunk of the state taken away,
for this page is really about the...
here and there
now and later
reality and dream

" parts of things can just run into another part..."
~Jude Hill

In other news:
I finished The Stranger in the Woods.
I highly, highly recommend  this one! I've since loaned it to two people 
and they too, could not put it down! In fact both of them clutched it to their chest while telling me how much they liked it!
When I get it back, it will be off in the mail to a friend, 
but if anyone would like a turn after that, let me know.
I will add that also, it has two hand drawn maps in the beginning. 
I'm such a sucker for maps in books!
It also has that 'run away from it all' theme that speaks to me.
"Make me a bird and let me fly far, far away"
I once gathered a list of those kinds of books that I've read,
I like them that much.

Now I am reading another book bought on the November trip,
I am enjoying this one as well (Not as much as the 'Stranger' book though).
After opening my mind and heart a bit more to the man in the wheelchair,
we've had some good talks. I'm going to loan him Hippie when I am done, but if anyone would like it after that, let me know.

On a recent trip to the local Barnes and Nobel to purchase new baby books,
I noticed this end-cap display.
I was in shock!
I took a peek around to see if their was an I Love T. one too,
but nope, just the Obamas!

Lastly, I finally messed around with that card a bit and made it work.
I almost gave up on it as cutting the gun out made it awkward.
Then I remembered this picture of my grandson from years ago.
It worked! Silly 9 year old off for a birthday row! 
I was going to use some white card stock I'd found to cover 
the patched work on the inside of the card, 
but then I walked past this old creation in my paper tub.
American Sign Language: "I love you"!

May you find and hold onto Love wherever you look, wherever you go.
May you find strength to cross great divides
and pack a good read as you travel!

Photographs by NAE ©2020

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Collage Play

Collage Play

Introduction: As seen in my last post, I was quite unsure if I should step into this. However, I was inspired to do so by others' posts and Acey's prompts. I love a good prompt You may remember I did a couple of writing prompts at the beginning of 2019. Anyway, since my wheels started turning, I figured why not?
So, away I went considering, gathering and gluing.
I also imposed some of my own guidelines, to make it more possible I'd stick with it.
  • Only use what I have on hand. I have enough.
  • Aesthetic perfection is not an option or a goal or an anything. This is play time. Process. But if it ends up pleasing to the eye, okay.
  • Leave space for more. My more or that of others.
  • Trust my instincts, so not many movements, just go with the first gut instinct. Do it my way.
  • Meaning may or may not come from the images. Either way is fine. Playing or discovering something more. Good.
  • I will follow for as long as I want/can. I will post as often/deeply as I can/want. Truthfully, I am horrible at artistic commitments of the every day, each week, for a year type of thing. I admire Hazel and Deb G. who do this so well. However, I am really good at other types of commitments ;)
  • Lastly, while I love to read the posts of all of you...time is not my friend these days. I've only been able to begin these first few prompts because I have been home sick. Ha.  Let's see how this rolls.
Day one: Freehand cut 3 Circles

 I grabbed some materials, the first things that came to mind as I had seen them while cleaning out some old studio papers. The pages in this journal book are super thin, so I've decided to bulk them up a bit to make them sturdier, in case words come later.
This is the first trial.
I cut the circles from (bottom left) an old photo from a felting workshop I did years ago. The first and last time I've felted, but the memories are good. I took it with three old co-workers and enjoyed it so much. I thought I'd do it again, but never did. I sure have lot of respect for those of you who felt, as it is a lot of work! The top center photo was from the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA where I went off on my own to explore the grounds between sessions of training for Infant & Toddler Caregivers, courtesy of PITC through West Ed. 
This hotel is very well-known for the history, architecture and lovely grounds. This photo was taken looking up at the gorgeous dome above the staircase. It seemed like a fitting location, above the sunlit path. The third circle is a very old photo of one of my roses. This photo came out so vague, out of a sharper focus. I really liked it. It adds a softness to the lines of bamboo in the background. That background was an old calendar page, which I cut a window into before gluing. A window for words or to just rest your eyes beyond.
This is the end result.

Day two: Cut or tear an image, grid style

Well, I seemed to have skimmed over or forgotten the part where Acey said a 'favorite image' and true to my go your own way plan/ways (yes, I'm singing it too!), I decided to use the left over pieces from the photos I cut into circles. I cut off the straight sides and cut them into squares, cutting off the white border on some of them. Without much thought, I grabbed the background piece (out of the two I'd pulled out) and trimmed off the edges. It turned out that this piece had a grid of its own! I then laid out my squares, again with space. I didn't focus too much on which row went where, but I did lightly choose lighter squares to be on the right side, where the background trailed off into the plain paper. Glued in place. I liked the feeling of using up those three photographs and background calendar page.

Day three: Select an image...

So, once again I read the words and my mind read something else (is that going to be the way of it?). Plus, I had seen others' posts and so to 'image' meant human form. I can't really explain. But, this girl is the one that came to mind. I came across her again while cleaning and for some reason, held onto her. This is a statement considering how much I've gotten rid of. Something has always drawn me to her, which is why I had saved her in the first place. Today when I turned the postcard over, I discovered she came from this bookstore.
I found the book the image came from and could see no real reason she spoke to me all of this time!

 I really need better lighting, but it is 1:20AM ~ so what can I expect?! This is the problem with turning on my creative juices...I then have no control on when they will turn back off!
Anyway, I originally had the paper on the right turned the other way, placed towards the bottom of the page, the blue lines representing water. But, in the spirit of open-mindedness, I turned it and I placed it on different parts of the page. As soon as I place it here, it said curtain to me, which seemed to fit so well with the girl. When I thought of curtain in relationship to me, it read of hiding or coming out. The four squares on the bottom right represent Highway 1, my drive to Big Sur. Three of the four looked like a highway and the fourth looked like the coastline in one of the many turnouts where we stop to look, breathe and be. I cut 'flowers' out of more of the photograph squares that were at hand.
Later as I worked some more on the Day 4 prompt, I went back and added more for no other reason that the papers told me to do so.

Day four: Plant a tree
As soon as I read the prompt, I knew I would be ripping the burlap looking paper. I had just seen it while cleaning and that paper always speaks tree to me. At first I considered turning the book for this one, so my tree could be taller. However, I decided against it, wanting the book to stay consistent. When ripping the paper the only thoughts I had was on how to rip it  so there would not be white edges (not very tree-ish). I also considered how I would shape the branches and where I would place them so it would not look like a 5 year old did it, but would look like the burlap tree in my head. It looked like a 5 year old did it. sigh.
 When I turned over the girl's background paper, I noticed great 'leaf' paper. I figured out how to use that one page for both and used the folds and design of the pictured cloth to make leaves.

As I worked on the tree page, I quickly saw why I had left the page in the same direction as the others, for this tree was speaking to me of an old friend I once climbed in Santa Barbara when I was 12.  This tree is wide, squat and has roots the size of tree trunks (great for climbing back when one could).

Now it is way later than I should be up on a work night, but I've had a good time playing with paper. I have Acey and you all to thank for this. I will try to get to Day 5 soon. I have one image out here with me, the other one that had popped into my head is in the other room, so not tonight. Here is the start:

Day five: Divide a page in half, on the diagonal

May you find interest and fun in surprising places 
and may you share that joy with others!

Photographs by NAE ©2020

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Nuts and Bolts

Okay Liz, here I am.

I haven't seemed to be able to post much of anything
and certainly not the deep, dark feelings.
But also not the happy, small joys.
Or the bigger celebrations.

Every post that starts to form in my head
lands here as 'it's been a hard year' 
or some such thing.
Vagueness veiled as poetry.

At any rate, over the past few days
I've been inspired and then overwhelmed and 
inspired again

Reading/seeing everyone's Collage pieces and process 
has been so fun.
I thought that maybe I'd jump in.
When I went to Acey's place to see if there was a cost involved,
I thought, nah I can't DO this much.

~ I will add that I've had a headache every day, for days...
a cold thing that is not going away...
and now I've strained my back trying to escape a 7 month olds projectile spit-up (I didn't) ~

But I thought this collage thing may revive me, as a few things all popped up together.
Okay, so here I go (maybe).

I hung this beautiful gift from Liz in the kitchen with that weird paper holder thing next to it. A revolving photo display, switching as we wish. Clothespins on the cloth can hold photos too. For you see I am still cleaning things out.
When we moved in last Feb. there were a few things I wanted to continue to go through.
I've done precious little of that. In fact the bedroom still has boxes!
How embarrassing! Time and fortitude to do the tasks, along with space...
and just oh well.
I have thought so many times of the Jude's "year I became old" ~
trying to recall if was her 60th like I am now.
I can't recall and it doesn't really matter. 
I've landed at the 'not mattering' a lot this year.
For me 2019 was the year I became tired.
Tired of
Tired within
Just plain old tired

I would like to not be tired.
I would like to be enthused. 


So, I did start going through the 3 containers of old photographs.
They are like the 3 bears, small, medium and large.
I wanted to condense by getting rid of the many doubles.
In the midst of doing that, I decided that I don't really need Most of them.
They matter only to me and I have memorized them  by now.
I shredded a lot.

Afternoon light

During this time I also  pulled out a couple of old red leather journals
and tore out the pages I had used and gifted them to my friend and her son.

I shredded the journal pages.

Afternoon light, with flash
Like I said, I've been pondering a lot.
Shredding a lot.
No one really needs to read those old pages, even me.
Although I did.

Now I wish I had these faces! haha
This is the first of the 'red leather journals' - the one with a story.
The second one was larger and held lists from a 2010 road trip. ☺
I also had cleaned out an everything drawer and thrown out or shredded lots.
But, I could not do so with the old Thanksgiving cards 
(even with permission to do so from the friend that sent them).
So, I set those aside to make into art.
Not knowing anything of this collage thing going on.

Seeing the redness in the soda glass ☺
So. let's recap:
Me, feeling kinda out photographs, journals and old letters
Me, having more to go through and get rid of.
Me, wanting/needing something.


I have not felt the stitch, weave or written word of late.

Me, feeling small and targeted and invisible of months of late. 
Me, pondering the need of stuff. of doing, of keeping or not.
Me, pondering the way of life.

I love seeing Dee and Liz, Grace and Acey's collage work.
So shall I?

Things That Lined Up:
My excess of paper and having the things I would need on hand
My desire to do something
My purchase of a card, which held a surprise
My extra journals laying about

So I excitedly gathered stuff.
The old Thanksgiving cards (on the left), the birthday card in need of a fix, photos I'd previously set aside for art and the journal to use as a base.

The card, bought for my grandson's 17th birthday - I didn't see that the boat held a gun in a case. Well, I thought, that won't do! So, I will have to alter it somehow.

The journal was a gift to me back in ... Mmmm... maybe 2001 or 2002.
It held pages of photos and descriptions from when I thought it was important to pass something on to family members.
I no longer feel that way.
Certain stories, certain histories will pass with us.
In the moment is the new way.

J's things

Bears with a story
I'm getting so good at paring down, letting go of, shredding and so on.

If I do cut and paste into this old journal, I am not looking for a deep, revealing story for me. I've spent recent time trying to become shallow.
So, my thought is that each page will have some space.
Space for someone else to add their own words and/or images...their own life.

I think these parameters may kick me in the arse enough to 
To get out of my own head and heart long enough to continue.
And, by doing so, perhaps there will be a ripple.

As always, thanks for being here.
It matters.
May you move on in ways that work for you, feel good to you and
let you know that you are loved.

Photographs by NAE ©2020

Ripple in 2020

Ripple | Playing For Change | Song Around The World


Ripple (American Beauty 1970)

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?
It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they're better left unsung.
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.
Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.
Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.
There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.
Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.
You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone,
If you should stand then whos to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.
La dee da da da, la da da da da, da da da, da da, da da da da da
La da da da, la da da, da da, la da da da, la da, da da.

↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔  ↔ 

to all who come here.
 This year 2020, 
I am especially thinking of those that come here,
leave a comment 
join the conversation.

You are so appreciated.
As I said in the placeholder post,
2019 was tough.

Anyway, I happened to land on this video the other day.
It has been sitting in a draft form, 
a wide variety of words in my head to go with it.

Today, it turns out that I don't really have the words
or I can't put the words out here.

Instead, I'll put the words of this song and feeling they evoke.
And I'll move into a new year,
when your comments leave a big ripple in my heart.

May 2020 bring you what you need, want and then some.
May we continue to leave ripples of Love.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020


NEW * In The Year 2525 Zager & Evans (50th Anniversary) 

The first lines of this song keep popping into my head.
Perhaps it is the repetitive number thing.



At any rate, for some reason, 
it does seem odd to welcoming in 2020.

Yet, here we go.
I've spent the day relaxing with a headache and a cold.
Laundry I was too tired to do over the weekend was done today.

I also spent much of the day reviewing 2019's blog posts.
Something I felt the need to do.
It was a long, hard year and I am glad to wave goodbye to it.

The word that keeps coming to mind is 'strong'.
May I be strong in 2020.

Two more work days and I am home again.
I'll be back with more.
Think of this as a placemarker


Hard to believe.