i just love the blues in this piece and the way she combines little bits & baubles she's collected...all of which lends a deeply personal touch to all her creations.
don't forget to stop on by her shop at '1000 markets' also her wonderful blogsite.
just to let everyone know...up until now, i've never promoted anyone else's work on my blog...not that i'm ego-centric, but because i am a major NON-TECHIE...plus a lazy "b" as well :) ...just a fact for you newcomers to my blog, so going to my hubby and asking how i can transport pics off the web was a real challenge for me. BUT OMG...when i saw this wonderful etsy shop, "school of charms", i just went bananas. i love the way she combines the elements of vintage, retro, & kitsch together to compose these remarkable jewelry pieces.
here are the "official rules":
(1) Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
(2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog; some random, some weird.
(3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as their links to their blogs.
(4) Let them know they have been "tagged" by leaving a comment on their blog.
my 7 facts:
(1) the first boy i kissed was roger barsoom in kindergarten...it was a sad story, i was hopelessly in love with him, and yet if they had laws for it back then, i would have been slapped with a restraining order. when i kissed him, it was sort of hard & painful...the only previous experience i had with kissing was on the back of my hand : (
roger was saved by my family moving to another school district...didn't meet up with him again till high school, where i think he actually flinched when he heard my name.
(2) whenever i'm "blue", i find my cassette tape of "the Best of K.C. and the Sunshine Band"...what can i say, you just can't stop dancing like a white man & you can't be "blue" lip-sinc-ing to it.
(3) i don't particularly like/ love my sister...i wish i could count the ways, but let's just say i have this story i've told myself since i was young that she was raised by wolves and left on our door step...even they couldn't stand her.
(4) i delight in telling my in-laws, who are "age-a-phobes" & "sick-a-phobes", what happens to your body as you age..sometimes getting into graphic details.
(5) i don't have children...never wanted children...and the one time i thought i might have been pregnant, i called it "bubba the bobo" (luckily it was a false alarm)....now as i'm older and people ask if i have kids or grandkids, i smile and say ..."thank god, no!"
(6) when i was in junior high, i would run home and watch "american bandstand" religiously to learn all the latest dances...after a while i was the "go-to" person to see when learning to dance was required.
(7) i was a total "wallflower" at all the dances at school...until magically in my junior year in high school it changed...along with the intro of contact lens & a girly figure (finally).
***So now here is my list of taggers***
little gray pixel
new life designs
I married my “boy toy”, John. He’s not my first love, but I knew he would be my last.
We met late in your lives. He was in his early 40’s and I was crashing into my 50th birthday.
When you’re young & dating, you have the tendancy to blurt out all your past relationships…thinking you’re just opening up & sharing…trying to have a meaningful encounter with a new potential “love”. But if you take the time to go to the other side of the mirror, you’ll see someone making a damn good point why not to date them.
Both John & I had been on both sides of the mirror. Had all the so called “fun” in dating and were so tired. We did want to have companionship…friendship…whatever. No commitments…just a potential friend to go to concerts, movies, dinners out & talk & bitch about work, our bosses, and life in general.
In the process of not looking for “the One”, we found each other. After a few months, John proposed and of course I said yes with conditions. Though I looked pretty good, I was chronically ill. We talked at length about my health and what would potentially happen. My looks…my stamina…my heart would all be gone sooner than most. I told him I would marry him only after a year when he could think about the situation and see some of the deterioration.
After a year, I think I was more scared than I ever had been when my doctors first announced my prognosis. I thought John might decide to leave…but he stayed.
I know nothing of John’s past relationships and he only knows enough of mine to explain some of my weird behavior. For a short moment I once tried to figure out our marriage dynamics…the only thing I could come up with, was we try to help each other whenever we can…I clean the litter box because I know he hates to do it…he throws out the garbage without a fuss because I’m too weak to do it…I give him free access to the remote & try to make him laugh during the commercials when I know he’s had a hard day…and when I feel too ugly & fat, he caresses my cheek and kisses me just like on our first date.
I first met Auntie Dorothy in the late 50’s…I was an awkward shy little girl, always observing but too afraid to act on my instincts. Dorothy married my uncle, who was a formidable personality, but strangely not very ambitious…he owned & operated the family farm and grew oranges & grapes. Dorothy was the oldest of 3 children, whose family owned a small farm in the next town. Their marriage was arranged by what the Japanese call, a “go-between”…sort of like a matchmaker.
As soon as Dorothy married into our expansive family, she was a force to be reckoned with. She coordinated family gatherings that were memorable for their celebration & elaborate feasts…she soon became a beloved fixture…caring, loving, well organized, gently demanding, and indispensable.
When my uncle died suddenly, she was there ready & willing to take over the farm & take care of my grandmother, AND have a full-time bookkeeping job. If she was stressed, she never showed it. She continued to make improvements to the farm & the land. ..her memorable family gatherings were lessened, but were always attended to during the major holidays.
Years after Uncle Shig had died & left her everything, she married a prominent rancher many times her senior. There was talk she married him for his money, but to be honest, she really didn’t need his money. Though I have no proof, I think many of us thought it was a mutual beneficial business arrangement…Dorothy brought to the table some prime farming land and herself as future nurse & companion…her husband brought power & an even larger farm & properties to her, as his new bride.
And just like she had done with our large family, she had won over his family with her cooking & entertainment skills & her loyal , loving care of him…when he died, she was left with a sizeable inheritance which she invested in her own company. I know there were some problems, but knowing Dorothy, she was very financially savy…at the time of her death she was very “well off” as the gossipers would say…BUT as I said before, I don’t think money was the goal here…power & ambition, maybe, a little…BUT I think it was the ‘game’…the thrill of getting everything lined up in a row so she could make her idea come to life.
I really don’t know the true depth of this wonderful woman. I do know she planned to the last detail her own funeral, to the point her brother who was ordered to do the eulogy was so nervous he would ‘screw up’ and she might jump out of the casket correcting him….she also was the only woman I know who had kept the same 50’s hairdo for 60+ years, and somehow made all us children feel important & heard…I will always be grateful for that.
The last time it snowed in reedley (my hometown), I think I was 6 or 7 yrs old (about 1957..as you guessed, snow day is a very unusual thing here).
I woke up before anyone else and when I looked out the window, I almost didn’t know what it was, but in a flash I remembered all those old films about a “white Christmas” and I knew that it must be snow. As if in an out-of-body experience, I started to laugh & squeal up & down the hall, waking my mom & dad, brother & even my grumpy sister.
My brother, gary & I were the first ones to get dressed & out the door. We immediately ran up & down the yard grabbing the snow off the ground and throwing it at each other…mom & dad came out and took pictures of the snow & us playing in it…but mainly just of the snow. After my parents went back into the house, tired of novelty, they started to call all our family & friends to see if they had snow too, as if the snow gods were that selective on snow placement.
Gary & I had noticed that the snow was melting and there wasn’t a whole lot there to begin with…so we gathered all the snow we could find in both the front & back yards, any on the hedges & side yard too. At the end of all this gathering, we had a small, but decent size snowman with a carrot nose…black stone eyes & twiggy hair.
We were so proud of it, though it was a little smudged with dirt & blades of grass…we rushed into the house yelling for mom & dad to come out and see & take a picture of our creation …BUT when we came back out, the snowman was gone…we saw the back end of an old rusty ford truck driving off fast with our snowman peaking out from the flatbed….OMG! OUR SNOWMAN WAS KIDNAPPED!!!!!
Both gary & I were crying uncontrollably…crying for our parents to call the police & get a manhunt going…I still remember my older sister laughing at us, and my mom pretending to call the police and reporting the crime…I loved my mom even more for that & realized what a bitch my sister was & is to this day.
when i woke up this morning, john mentioned how nice my hair looked...then he saw the otherside & in mid-sentence retracted it....BUT strangely, it was the "stanley side" he was completementing me on....who knew that kitty spit made great "product"!!!!
(going to get stanley to see if he can fit me in as a "walk-in" this afternoon.."hey kitty, kitty..")
As I write this, I tried to find an old issue of “More” the magazine which I subscribed to for a year, but I couldn’t find one. I thought for sure I would have kept the issue of the one with Michelle Obama on the cover…if only because she’s such an admirable woman….but alas, none was to be found.
I guess it was when I joined AARP in order to get a cheaper price on my diabetic supplies that I noticed that there seemed to be a visual connection of “really old” and “old ,yet ‘hot’..” images bombarding me.
With “AARP” magazine, there was the visual impact of really old people, organizing for health, insurance, saving social security at all costs, and geriatric exercise routines while sitting in chairs in an “senior citizen center” because god knows our bones could snap at any moment.
With “MORE” magazine, the visual impact was genetically blessed women of the age range of 40’s thru 70’s, who looked 20-30 years younger than they were, immaculately dressed & styled, enjoying glamorous power jobs as CEO’s or directors of this & that, or actually prospering from a dream job of their own making. Keeping up their youthful appearance with eating right & exercising in provocative spandex gear on yoga mats or harnessed in a palates machine…or dare I say sitting on a ball finding their frickin’ core.
I don’t know about you, but I was hoping to find a magazine that had all that glam stuff BUT also told the truth about aging and the things that might come up, on a personal level…without shame or judgement.
I was surfing on TV, and caught a portion of a game show on MTV I think…there was a group of young men who had to socialize amongst a room filled with retired people enjoying a game of bingo. At the end of this, the winner was the one whom the audience found to be more personable. There was this one man who had a clipped interviewed stating he thought he won because he made the audience “feel young” by being there and sharing his precious time with them…dare I say, he didn’t win…and dare I say, that this young man would be a total asshole whether he was 20 or even 80…it’s hard to shake the “asshole” gene from your DNA.
If there was a magazine that told the WHOLE truth about aging, I would buy it:
THE GOOD THINGS: some genetically blessed women will always look young & sexy…look at Lauren Hutton, a foxy lady in her 80’s…yes there are high powered women now in their 40’s & 50’s who are enviable…older women know themselves & are finally very comfortable in their own skin…& since they live longer statistically, they may choose to reach for more dreams & 2nd or 3rd careers and be admired all the way.
THE BAD THINGS: we are not all Lauren Hutton…majority of us start getting fat in places we never were before… our mothers never told us, but our female parts (tits & vagina) will sag & our sex drive may become non-existent…that wonderful gluteus maximus you’ve worked so hard at the gym to keep up, may stay up, but it will definitely turn “squarish & flat”…your body will betray you by growing things you didn’t have at birth, like heavy facial hair, mutant eyebrow hair & general “growths” that are usually benign, but at times are serious …you will meet with family, friends & medical experts that have their own agenda & concerns, but they all seem to be in their 20’s ..saying “there, there..you’re just getting older…don’t worry, it’s natural”.
This imagined magazine I would like to buy, would then tell me not to take their conclusions at face value. For example, about a year ago, I noticed I couldn’t walk at times. I actually had to use a cane or wheelchair to get around. I didn’t think it was normal considering, it wasn’t all the time, only 2-3 times a week. When I went to the doctor he gave me pills for the pain & said I was just getting older.
Later that month, I went to an eye appointment (another doctor) in my wheelchair…a nurse asked if I had “gout”, since the last time she saw me I was walking perfectly. I returned to my primary doctor, who didn’t want to test me for gout, but I insisted. The test was positive and all I had to do was change my diet a bit & take some oral medication and that year of pain was gone.
So back in the “good things” column…when you’re older, you realize that some doctors are assholes…and as I said before, it’s hard to shake “asshole” out of your DNA.
But true to his word…he has proved to me everyday how much he still loves me. I know this because I ask him daily….and he always answers….”I love you honey because you’re cute as a button…you love me…and you’re down right crazy!”….all while in a soft, sexy, southern accent and his “magnum” moustache slightly twitching.
At any rate, my husband was blessed with better genes than I, so now I look 20 years older than him….hence the “devilish” ritual of the “goodbye” kiss & ass-grabbing has a whole new kink to it J
Another thing that happened this morning as John left for work…he’s a little deaf in one ear so he didn’t notice that the smoke alarm battery was low…so of course it chirps LOUDLY once every 40 seconds. This would not be a problem, but you see I’m LESS than 4’8” tall (shrinkage due to menopause I think)….even with the tallest ladder I can manage, I can’t reach the damn thing….did I mention it chirps every 40 seconds….as long as the earth moves, or at least all day while my husband is at work.
I don’t mean to get morbid BUT I really hope those insurance statistics ARE NOT true…that of a married couple, it’s the man who dies first, usually.
Before I agreed to marry john, I told him of all my health issues, my finances…talked about age, death & taxes in detail…also required that we live together for one year and if he couldn’t handle it all, that he could walk away without a lot of drama & still have a friend for life…..after our second date, we’ve been inseparable, married now for 8 years…we would have celebrated BUT we both forgot…he might look like my son, but mentally we are the same forgetful old farts that somehow found each other.
Anyway what inspired this entry in my blog was the thought of life without john…unable to fix that damn smoke alarm…unable to scandalize the neighbors…and not hearing my husband say,”I love you honey because you’re cute as a button, you love me, and you’re down right crazy”.
my wonderful new BBEST friend, pat, at preciousquilts has nominated me for this awesome blog award...i feel very honored for this recognition considering i'm so new to blogging that i had to get advice from my hubby as to how to get this picture transported here :) ....i suggested "magic" but he said "no dear...now write this down..." daa...daaa...magic!!!
part of this nomination requires me nominating 7 more blogmates...but i can't choose just seven, i nominate all who are on my blog roll...i hope everyone visiting this site will browse thru all the beautiful blogs i've collected like little treasures which they all are.
talking about "treasures"...check out pat's etsy shop, preciousquilts... besides the namesake quilts, she does these wonderful needlecrafted ACEO's and please don't leave till you checkout her authentic british recipes.... she's so wicked, doesn't she know i'm on a diet!
pat also has a most giving & creative blog site as well...
my mom & dad are on the left side....uncles, shig & johnson on the right...
To elaborate on my relations with my dad…we were strangely estranged & different on one hand …than in the end (maybe too late) we realized how much we were alike.
My dad was born in San Francisco to parents of upper middle-class very traditional family who had fallen on bad times as all of Japan had fallen during that time (the depression). His mother being who she was demanded to go back to Japan & raise her 2 sons as her husband stayed to work as a laborer to send $$ back home. He was a lonely child..being teased for being “fatherless”…having retained his US citizenship..and for his slight deafness due to a childhood swimming accident. He concentrated on his studies, his love of the arts, and a growing awareness of his government at large.
There were rumors through old family ties that he was going to be arrested for protesting the government & forced to join the imperial army for a war that was “inevitable”….he used his dual citizenship & family connections to get a steamer to the states. There he met other expatriots with their own stories…one colorful one turned out to be young, dumb “yakuza”, with with one of his fingers cut off (punishment for a failed "job")…who for a while was his traveling buddy.
These were just a few stories I was able to get from my dad after we learned to communicate with each other…literally. When I was young, we had no problems, but then puberty & both our stubbon sides faced off…he refused to learn English & refused to learn Japanese…pretty uncomfortable at family functions.
When my mother died (she was our translator), I thought that would be okay, then little by little the cold heart between us thawed & we both wanted to talk…BUT HOW? I talked to the priest at the Oakland Buddhist Church who agreed to translate letters for us…and for a couple of years, while the priest was still assigned to that church, my dad & I were like two people lost in a desert, thirsting for each others life stories.
When my dad died, my brother & sister almost thought it was a “relief”…he never showed affection to his family (that’s something mom always did)…I guess I felt it too..wondering if he ever really cared about those letters we shared years before. My brother took care of the funeral arrangements, my sister did her usual purging of anything she thought was valuable…after she left his room, I went to his bedside table ..looked inside and found a neatly bundled stack of letters I had written him.
Making art in my past has always saved me somehow…gotten thru rough times spiritually. When I moved back to my old hometown, I was blindsided with such vivid childhood memories. When I started my on-line business, it became my savior as well. I like making jewelry & being creative on a daily basis, BUT when something like this “bird series” inspiration comes about, there is such a strong attachment I have for each piece I make…I hope that comes through when people see my work.
i mentioned this earlier, but i'll go on record about my involvement with etsy.com... i blush when i say this, i love this community of artists & what i preceive to be their purpose...their calling.
i had joined a few years ago, hearing about them from indie designer based blogs & websites. they seemed legit so i joined since i was getting no traffic at all at my website. as soon as i did i found that it was a huge community of crafters & just by shear mass it was hard to be seen for all the competition. instead of seeing it as a challenge, i threw up my hands & left after a few months of no sales.
my website business picked up, but i was having problems with my shopping cart (still do)...so i went back to etsy after hearing about some upgrades with them...they had raised their rates & were even more massive, but they were also better organized & were constantly improving upon themselves ...i was given "tools" thru inspirational articles and an energetic forum to rival anyone elses. tho my first sale was not immediate, i've seen an increase & now a hope that what i love to do can now pay for itself.
Anyway, I think my husband is slowly planning a murder by kitties…and ME as the victim…(dramatic intro of …”who are you…who…who..who, who?”).
Let me tell you my concerns. When we moved to this small (isolated) town, I wanted a cat…one cat. My husband started to collect 4 cats…FOUR! But not just ordinary cats…each having a skill..a talent if you will.
He’s the “smoozer”. He lulls me into a false sense of security with his fine tuned cat-ways, by purring in my ear, cuddling me in bed, and tongue-washing me to show his nurturing side.
He’s the “gentleman”. Always attentive to my needs (how obvious can you get!)…trying to earn my trust to be the only one of the “gang of four” to enter my inner sanctum…”my studio”. I’ve caught him trying to open the doors to my studio on several occassions.
He’s the “enforcer”. I will admit I created a monster! When John found Checkers in the backward…purely, by accident, he says…he was only about 3 inches long..his mother abandoned him for dead (more likely, saw the “666” birth mark on his head). Of course I nurtured him a little too well. He’s twice the size of a “normal cat, of this earthly domain”…he likes to crawl on my chest in bed…and pretends he doesn’t know that my breathing stops.
She’s the “mastermind” I fear…her facial markings in a permanent “intimidation stare”. The other cats seem to do what she wants them to do. I can’t touch her without her trying to scratch or bite me, YET my husband can pick her up & pet her…a friendly cat-man relationship?... or a conspiracy in the making!?
There is yet no solid proof that there is a conspiracy…though I did find a half finished miniature popsicle replica of my studio in the closet…….HELP ME!
when i learned of my "softball" tumor & the need to operate to remove it along with all my "girlie organs" (which i was very attached to...no pun intended), i was in shock. i actually delayed the operation so as to coincide with my husband's vacation. i justified it by saying it would be more logistically easier for us, but in reality, i just needed a little time to get my head wrapped around what i had just been told. in hind sight, i wished i would have taken less time to adjust because the "softball" grew a little larger and started to twist about, cutting the blood supply causing some ungodly amount of pain.
i was screaming all the way to the hospital & swearing like a sailor for heavy-duty pain killers on the day of the operation. but my screams were met with a wall of bureaucracy. gratefully, the operation did happen. though they were 90% sure the tumor was benign i did have to wait a couple of weeks for the biopsy of the actual tumor for final clearance.
i haven't had the strength or energy to do anything but etsy maintenance (minimal)...this blog had to wait for my strength to increase & my hormonal depression to subside. but i assure you all i've been so grateful for everyday i'm here. i kiss & hold & tell my husband how much i love him...and i pet all my cats till they run from me.
please forgive me...i still get a little tired still. i will write back soon....have to tell you all about my attempt at getting a site on "flickr".
This blog has concentrated on my website business & occasional conversational tirades of my past & present. I hope you will read some of the past entries to understand why I decided to keep this blog as is…filled with my business as well as my personal entries.
Just like my past influencing my present & future, my work influences my life in general & vice versa. I wouldn’t have it any other way… it makes us human & beautifully flawed.
A couple of days ago I found out that my body has been growing something (theatrical scream in the dark) ! it’s about the size of a softball near my ovary. I didn’t notice anything…just thought I was aging prematurely & getting fat… little did I know I was going to sponsor a softball team, starting with the equipment.
Strange things go thru your head, at least mine… I remember my mom in the summer would warn me NOT to swallow the watermelon seeds or else I would grow a melon in my tummy. As I straddled that infamous exam table, I tried to remember when was the last time I had had a watermelon.
A couple of entries ago I talked about a childhood memory of my mom & her best friend who died of breast cancer. Funny how your brain kicks in thoughts & memories to help you along your way. We won’t know for sure if my “softball” is benign or cancer till I get an operation (scheduled for april 9th). Till then john & I talk about why stella (our female cat) likes to pee on the pillows, what do we need from the store today, and whenever I need to talk, or cry, or need to be held, he’s there. I am so blessed.
When I was a little girl, too young to go to school, I had my favorite sweater. It was soft and pink with rhinestones scattered all over the front collar, even the buttons had tiny rhinestones in the center. I loved to wear it to Sunday school (the only place I was allowed to wear it). One day Mom told me to get dressed and put my “favorite” sweater on…it wasn’t Sunday, and though I would never question her I thought it was strange. But then what did I care, I was a kid who was going to get to wear her favorite sweater, not on a Sunday, and take a drive with just my Mom…no one else…just me and her.
She put me in the old Ford …I remember the dull black color… the running boards… the leather seats hard as a bench with cracks that scratched the back of my legs when I moved. I was so short in the seat I could barely see outside… tops of trees as we passed, sunlight dappling though the leaves…after a while the car stopped in front of a house I didn’t recognize. My Mom got out of the car and walked over to my side… she opened the door, straightened my clothes, told me that we were going to visit someone…a friend…(friend of the family? …her friend?). I was not to touch anything…not to play …not to talk… not to mess up my clothes.
I remember I walked into a darkened room… there were people, they seemed to all know each other. Voices low and hushed…my mother’s voice added to the mix. I can’t remember …but I felt a politeness, a sadness.. children in a corner…quiet, sad…probably told not to play…not to talk…
My Mom took me outside after awhile and put me back in the car…she walked back to a woman who was standing on the front porch…a few polite words exchanged. Both women looking like they wanted to say more…to do more…to embrace, but an invisible wall stopped them. My Mom could barely look this woman in the eye…head and eye always lowering…her body bowing from the waist as if in some Japanese movie…
Mom came back to the car, started the motor, waved bye to the woman on the porch. Her eyes were looking straight ahead as she drove…she was quiet…so I was quiet…just looking out at the tops of trees and the sunlight now coming through the windows at a lower angle. Mom made a slight turn… my body responding to the centrifugal force…and when I sat back up the light hit just right… and suddenly… magically!!!…there was a million zillion tiny rainbows dancing on the dashboard, the door and my hands as I reached out to catch them…. I dared not to be quiet any longer…”magic” overriding Mom’s “quiet rule” for sure…. “MOMMY…MOMMY…look…look rainbows!!!”. But she didn’t seem to hear me…didn’t seem to see the rainbows…but maybe she did…she was crying…
Years later, through bits and pieces of conversations with her old friends, I found out that that woman on the porch that day long ago was her best friend. She had just been diagnosed with breast cancer… back in those days it was a “death sentence”…what usually happened was the family would “shroud” her away from everyone…talk about dying twice!! First, being treated like a leper by your friends…then watching yourself dying in the eyes of your family.
my husband & I have promised each other that that will never happen to us... we want to talk freely & openly about our mortality & all the phases that may lead to our end. luckily we both have a dark sense of humor.