missmeowy’s mews

the mewsings of missmeowy

Pondering Pond Travel Saturday, 2-May-2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — missmeowy @ 10:23 am

I am tentatively planning a trip to the UK to visit some dear friends who live “over the pond.” I will take my soon-to-be 14-year-old son during this precious summer before high school. We’ve talked about going on a trip for awhile and I feel like if we continue to put it off, it may never happen (as so often occurs with dreams and big plans).

My friends in the UK are so dear. We may not see each other often but keep in touch via e-mail, an occasional internet phone call, and a very occasional visit (in the US).

Two are born and raised Brits and one is just moving over to the UK in May:

* Michelle Saxon (http://www.michellesaxon.co.uk/), a wonderful, talented artist and professional craft demonstrator and instructor in the UK. She resides in the Potteries – Stoke-on-Trent. I met her at Art and Soul several years ago (a creative retreat) in Portland, OR. She’s been back several times for Art and Soul and for Artfest (another art retreat). She recently moved into a beautiful historical building that has been restored and made into artists’ lofts.

* Claire Hampton (http://clairehampton.wordpress.com/) is another talented artist and instructor in the UK. She lives in Nottingham. I met her through Michelle at Art and Soul one year. Since then, she’s been over here to attend ArtFest and for at least one other visit. She and her significant other recently remodeled their home to create a new art studio.

* Valerie Warburton will be my newest friend in the UK. In May, she’s leaving Alameda, CA after over 10 years to move to a co-housing community called Postslip in the Cotswolds. She’ll be participating in their organic garden and tending to shared animals (sheep and chickens).

Considering this trip reminds me how many really, really good friends I have in my life who often are friends who may life afar or with whom I do not see very often. Solid, significant, and important friendships endure – the ages, distance, and life changes.

I am very blessed with friends and many have entered my life through art.

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Back from Artfest Sunday, 5-April-2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — missmeowy @ 7:25 pm

Artfest is an annual art treat hosted by Teesha and Tracy Moore in Port Townsend, WA. This was my 4th year attending. I have also attend Art and Soul, held in Portland, OR. I highly recommend both of these retreats from seasoned and new artists, alike.

Attending art retreats or taking art classes has been essential for me and my art. My creativity gets a jump start, I learn new techniques, and there’s something magical about being surrounded by like-minded artistic souls.

Port Townsend is a great place to visit, whether it be for an art retreat, a vacation, or just for the day. Artfest is held at Fort Worden. Surrounded by historical buildings, deer, and the beauty of Puget Sound, it’s a perfect place to inspire creativity.

This year I roomed with a new friend, Lynn Davis, from St. Louis, MO. She is an incredible jewelry artist. Be sure to check out her blog and Etsy shops. I learned so much from her in our short time together! I hope she’ll be able to come to Seattle again and teach a class in my studio.

I took the following classes: All Bundled Up with Misty Mawn, What a Relief with Michael de Meng, and Wood Collage Vignettes with Karen Michel.

All teachers were great. Michael and Karen were my first teachers at my first art retreat, Art and Soul. They remain my favorite instructors, as well as being two of my favorite artists. This year was unusual in that I did not really finish any of the class projects (yet!). In all All Bundled Up, we created a selection of background papers using a variety of painting techniques that can be used in future work. For What a Relief, we took frames and found objects to create a 3-dimensional art. In Wood Collage Vignettes, we created miniature collages on wood and combined them into a larger, single mixed media piece.

It seemed like there were many more Artfest virgins this year, which is a testament to the retreat’s great line-up of instructors, classes, and the whole experience. I met so many wonderful, talented, amazing people – and many who live near. I hope that we’ll get back in touch to do some art together.

Vendor night was an opportunity to see (and purchase!) instuctor’s works, as well as some additional artists and component vendors (yeah, Studios Blackbird!). I maintained a bit of restraint and only purchased a few treasures: Stephanie Lee‘s new book, Semiprecious Salvage: Creating Found Object Art. I took a class from her last year at Art and Soul called “Junk Drawer Metal Smithing.” It was awesome and inspired me to create my current metal jewelry. I also purchased a set of Karen Michel’s postcards. I brought home a wonderful ceramic piece and components by Clarissa Callesen. I think my favorite purchase of the night is a small sculpture of a cat with wings riding a unicycle created by Sue Hadden. It tickled me when I saw it at Art and Soul last year and when I saw it again, I knew I had to have it.

Angel cat on unicycle

Angel cat on unicycle

Be sure to check out my Artfest 2009 slide show.

 

Oh to be thankful… Friday, 28-November-2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — missmeowy @ 10:51 am

I had many reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving Holiday, just as most of us do. However, this week provided an even more keen awareness of gratefulness.

One of my cats was sick. Since I couldn’t tell which one (Stripes or Lil’ Bubba), I had to bring them both in to the vet. I had not taken Stripes into the vet for over a year because the last time I tried, he literally exploded out of not one, but two, cardboard cat carriers. He absolutely freaks when someone tries to put him somewhere he does not want to be. Even after the scratches, we tried again, but to no avail. So I basically gave up on the idea of taking him to the vet. I’d have to order shots and give them to him myself and just get used to the click-click-click of his too-long toenails.

So sedation was required for Stripes (and a borrowed, extra-large hard plastic animal carrier, a towel, and my sister). I get both cats in, they do a bunch of tests, update their shots, give them thorough exams, etc. At the end of that appointment, it was clear that Stripes has an infection. It was also, unfortunately clear, that Lil’ Bubba had 3 (or more!) stage 3 cavities that would need removing immediately (because it was most likely that he was in a lot of pain). Talk about guilting the cat Mom.

So, I scheduled the surgery for the next day. He really did not like getting into the box again, but he’s much more reserved about his protest than Stripes. His surgery went fine, however, they did another urinalysis and he, too, has some sort of infection. So we went home with more antibiotics for Lil’ Bubba and pain killers. And, get this, a cat mouth rinse. Yeah, I had the same reaction… how, exactly, do you get a cat to drink, swish, and spit? Apparently, I’m to squirt a little bit in each side of his mouth and massage his gums. Well, I guess we’ll see about that. Would love to… but…

I love my cats. Every cat I have ever had, from George (my first cat – a stray who moved in with us when I was about 6 years old) to my current felines, I have adored with all my heart. I connect with cats. One cat, Jackson, I will always consider “my familiar.” I swear he and I were bonded beyond the typical “you feed me, therefore I love you” relationship.

I’ve been fortunate that huge vet bills have rarely been a part of my relationship with cats (until now). But this week, I am thankful for their returning good health. I am thankful that my VISA could handle an additional $1,200 sum! 😉

As they lay on my bed, both purring their unique purrs, I am reminded that they are part of my family. I do recognize that they are not human beings, but they are beings who mean so much to me.

May your pet families be in good health…

 

Shout out for Shoofly! Friday, 14-November-2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — missmeowy @ 3:37 pm

Last night I installed my mixed media mandalas at Shoofly Pie Company as part of the West Seattle Art Walk. My work will remain there for the month of November.

If you have not been to Shoofly Pie, make a note to go there soon. What an amazing place for pie, coffee, and conversation! Both during the day, when my friend Ruby and I were hanging my art, and all through the evening, I witnessed something that warmed my heart (and it wasn’t just the grande decaf sugar-free vanilla breve lattes). People were sitting at tables, eating their pie, and talking – with others at the counter, with each other, and folks at nearby tables. Many regulars came in, greeted by a friendly “hi” or “welcome back” or “good to see you” by the cheerful, warm staff. Newbies came curious to try Shoofly’s famous shoofly pie (molasses and brown sugar!). Shoofly is definitely a destination!

It was just great to be in such a neighborly environment and it made me realize that there don’t seem to be a lot of those places around. Or maybe they ARE around and I just haven’t discovered them. Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park is like this, as well, but on a larger scale. I think part of the charm of Shoofly has to do with the pie, the staff, and the size of the space.

Oh, and yeah! – my art looks GREAT on the walls. It’s a super space for art. A big thank you to Diane of Special Editions Studio for inviting me to show at Shoofly.

P.S. Thanks again Ruby for helping hang my art! It was good to see you, Donna and Pat! Suzanne – thanks for stopping by and it was great to finally meet Zach, Jack, and Zoe!

I hope you’ll stop by and have a piece of pie, share a story or two with your companion or someone at a nearby table, and enjoy the art!

Click here to view a slideshow of the exhibit.

 

Proud to be an American Wednesday, 5-November-2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — missmeowy @ 9:46 pm

I don’t know if I’ve ever said those words before but last night marks the beginning of a new time – not just for me but for millions of others who were motivated more than they ever had been in the past (or maybe even for the first time). Whether it was donating, volunteering, voting… there were a lot of firsts during this presidential campaign season. And what an amazing result.

The apathy and cynicism of so many was changed into hope and action. I believe that Barack Obama will continue to move us into action and service for our country in ways that we’ve never been asked before. Changing what has happened to our nation will take not just a change in our national leader, but a true change in how all of us think about what government should do for us versus what we should must do for ourselves and each other. I believe we will be asked to take more responsibility for our actions (or inaction). I also believe that we will step up to the task. Yes we can.

My son and I whooped and hollered last night (and I cried) as we learned the results and listened to McCain and then President-elect Barack Obama address the nation – the world – and began what will most likely be one of the most remarkable journeys any of us have ever imagined.

I hope that we will all work harder to work together now – as friends and family, as neighbors, as Americans.

 

Another fun day in the Art Room Sunday, 2-November-2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — missmeowy @ 10:27 pm

Today, Connie and Tanja stopped by to continue their work on their altered board books. They had seen my altered books at a show this summer and wanted to learn how to make them, themselves for gifts this holiday season. Though the process can be tedious (cutting, pasting, sanding, more cutting, sanding) but there are so many fun parts too. Picking out papers, choosing the book, planning what will fill the book, choosing the distress ink colors, and selecting just the right embellishments for each page. Each book is such a labor of love and creativity!

I love having people in the Art Room, whether I’m teaching a class or having a guest teacher or I’m doing art with friends. There’s something about the creative energy that flows between us. You never know how someone else’s work will influence yours or how they may come up with ideas that are just what your piece needed.

I’m always looking forward to next day of shared creativity in the Art Room.

 

Hope is in the air… Friday, 31-October-2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — missmeowy @ 11:16 am

I am feeling very hopeful about many things in my life today. Part of it is definitely due to the winds of change in the political arena. I have been envisioning Obama taking the oath of office of the President of the United States of America, with Michelle next to his side with tears of joy, and their daughters beaming with amazing pride at their father.

As I have been driving home from work over the last several days, there have been folks standing on street corners and on overpassess waiving signs for Obama/Biden, Gregoire (our local governor’s race), and others. Each time I passed, I would roll down my window and waive, blink my lights, and honk my horn in support. And then this amazing thing would happen – chills down my spine, tearing up with joy, and a sense of tremendous hope would overtake anything troubling in my mind. It’s been an interesting experience.

Another thing that has brought joy into my life these days is the incredible colors of Fall. Is it just me or do the Fall leaves seem to be extraordinarily vibrant this year? I have seen the most gorgeous reds, oranges, burgandys, and yellows just bursting from trees big and small. Almost every drive I take, I am presented with these beautiful colors. It makes me want to go home and paint a mandala dedicated to Fall – or pull some vibrant fabrics together and knit a funky fiber scarf. [But what do I do instead? Go home, feed the cats, fix dinner, work on the computer, and turn on the TV… 😉 ] But I AM inspired!

I wish that you all are finding hope in the air, as well. Even if it’s not from the same sources as me – it’s about finding things in our life for which to be grateful and that make us feel good.