I love ...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

photos of last years rather stunted zinnia crop - they do love lots of sunshine

I'd love to grow a huge crop of zinnias, for they are a flower very high up on my list of favourites.
And if I had a big crop of them I could have big bouquets of their quirky, casual & very colourful blossoms everywhere. I love them.

Here comes the weekend

queen anne's

Friday, July 30, 2010

queen anne's lace

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!

Mary Frye

I don't understand death. I don't accept it. How can that be at my age ? As the years go by I
feel like I'm less and less comfortable when faced with it. It lingers with me, haunting me really.
I don't fear my own death yet I feel overwhelmed by thoughts of death and dying. Anticipating and remembering my own losses. Knowing feelings of grief and sadness which loom that large will always turn into fear. I spend far too much time fending off that imagined & imminent fear. When faced with death, especially the death of an animal, beloved or wild, it won't leave me.
I wish it would. Mary Frye's words are comfort.

and this from Alice ... thank you

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without a trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.

Henry Scott Holland

complete poem found here in the comments

scenes from late july

Thursday, July 29, 2010

snippets of summer life in our little Nova Scotia seaside village - happy sighs abound

and ... a great summer song
Canadian singer/songwriter Meaghan Smith


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

hard at work (brainstorming) as usual - les Associates of Susan Black Design

I feel lucky for many reasons, lucky and very grateful. One thing that comes to mind this early morning is that it seems that sometime through the night, each and every night, while I'm asleep a fairy angel sprinkles me with magical "you go girl " dust. The funny thing is she always arrives just after her evil twin Ne pas has shaken me awake, at least once, with her "worry fret" dust.

"You go girl" dust just happens to be the only known antidote to "worry fret" dust and thus miraculously I awake each morning with a renewed and abounding sense of enthusiasm for the brand new day ahead of me.

Phew ! Merci fairy angel.

pep talk

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

peonies in a lime green pitcher - polaroid sx-70

This photo is one of 40 that I recently submitted to Canadian Art Prints. Part of my floral duo series. 20 pairs of photographs of flowers. I've been schlepping my wares everywhere and anywhere I can think of and I will continue to do so ... until. Oh my, I guess until someone bites.

I know that my interests, skills & abilities are very scattered. I am a very good product designer in the wee niche that I have been working in, mostly designing picture frames for middle America (and Canada). My designs are sold at both Kohls and Target. That particular skill is what I do for a living, what I have been doing for the past nearly 10 years. It's not really my passion, but don't get me wrong I in no way dislike my job - I find still, after all these years, it continues to be challenging, rewarding and fun.

With no current projects from the main company that I've been working for most of those 10 years and left to my own devises - to try and dream or scheme up new ideas & projects, to research new companies to pitch to, to troll the internet hunting for gift companies that might like to hire a freelance product designer living by the sea in rural Nova Scotia, to drum up ways that I might continue to make a living from my creative talents - I am without a doubt feeling very scattered. It feels like I have so many choices, too many choices, so many roads that I could start down ... and never wanting to waste time, I end up wasting tons of time Is this a good idea ? continually echoing in my head.

I have days I just spin my wheels and I hate those days - they really bum me out. Yesterday was a day like that. The good thing is after having a day like yesterday, basically pretty unproductive I become so pissed off at myself that the following day (and so often a Tuesday) is the total opposite. I do, it my POed state make up for that lost time.

I find myself asking those lofty questions - What is my passion ? I feel like I have too many. What style is my work ? What style is my passion ?? and ya know I have to also be asking the question What style would sell ? I think feeling scattered is just a place I need to accept for awhile. I need to trust that if I keep on producing and submitting, dreaming and scheming all the while being careful not to spend too much time thinking or analyzing what I should or shouldn't be doing - things will work out. Good things will come. I do believe that, which I guess in itself ... is a good thing.

I know I can

Monday, July 26, 2010

I am a very handsome cat - n'est pas ?

Most handsome cat (and all round best Associate) sends these photos to his true love M. Millie

Off I go into this new week's wild Creative Empire building yonder with fingers crossed, solid optimism & confidence in check and the huge support and love of one handsome cowboy (with the tall moustache) enveloping me. Sigh.

I think I can ... I know I can ... I think I can ...

sounds of the summer

Sunday, July 25, 2010

pink flowering creeping phlox - an addition I've been wanting for some time

We're big on summer fests here in Nova Scotia and in this little village we have 2 big festivals the first on July 1 a combo Canada Day and Gathering of the Clans (that would be Scottish clans) the New Scotland Nova Scotia crowd. The second festival HarbourFest has been going on since Friday and finishes up today.

Saturday farmers market bounty

And all this festival stuff happens steps from our front door in the park that edges our tiny (but very deep) harbour. We, the cowboy & I, (both confessed reclusive types) vicariously participate in any and all events by having all the windows wide open here at 29 Black (my preferred summer window state for it has been hot & humid and I do love the feeling of a breeze blowing inside this old brick house). We hear it all - the sounds of a summer fest ...

helicopters (6 minute rides around the harbour from dawn to dusk), happy chatter, laughter, bagpipes (of course), power boats, Celtic music, the Rankins (goose bump inducing), the constant chorus of requisite seagulls (so familiar you stop hearing them), hot air balloons, dragon boat race play by play, Jesse, lost wallet announcements, live music from the stage in the park, a big salt ship coming into the harbour ... lots more laughter

and daily, at least once (with plenty o' hoorays from the beer tent crowd)
the unofficial anthem of any Nova Scotia summer festival ... our Stan

is this a good idea ?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

with or without typography ? hmmmm ??

love will find its way - No. 1 - gouache

here's the thing
well actually it's not the thing ... but it's a thing

and it is a pretty important thing on this journey of mad, unabated Creative Empire building. Process. Process and practice and not getting too hung up on the final outcome of anything. Painting all these tiny pink and red hearts although mesmerizingly satisfying (I was most definitely happily ensconced in les groove) was just a tad tres labour intensive. About a third of the way into the finished piece I began thinking Boo Hiss I don't like how this is turning out, I've wasted VIP time. Sigh, Darn, Drat but instead of listening intently to this inner critic as I far too often do I just carried on painting tiny little hearts and in the end I'm pretty happy with the outcome of this illustration.

In fact I can't wait to do another version - different colours and maybe different typography. My goal (for the present time) is to be prolific, not to be asking myself constantly is this a good idea? because honestly who knows if anything is ever a good idea? I mentioned Gennine being my current creative mentor and if you go back into her blog's archives to her beginning posts she's really come a very long way. She just continued painting and drawing and posting the results. In fact she didn't actually have any aspirations to be the amazing artist she is today but she did dedicate herself to creating new work constantly. To see her talents unfolding in those early years of her blog is truly amazing.


There's a fantastic write up about Gennine in Issue No. 3 of the fabulous Uppercase magazine.
So ... that's what I'm up to ... more tiny heart paintings ... a little mowing, a little cooking ...


Friday, July 23, 2010

a sneak peek ... an illustration I'm still working on

love will find it's way

I'm off to defrost the fridge. Uh Huh ! It's a long, and fairly boring story.

a very good day

Thursday, July 22, 2010

just a little foolin' around - forget me nots, leaves & swirls

I had a crazy, busy, fun, lost kind of day yesterday where I found myself wide awake and sketching new ideas at 10pm last nite - if you know me well you'll know just how crazy that is. After perusing issues 3, 4, 5, & 6 of Uppercase (sighing -it even smells great) which arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon I felt so wound up, and in that excited good way, sleep was evading me. If you don't already have a subscription to Uppercase rush to get one. It's fantastic.

inspired by - that Uppercase crowd and Gennine (she is my creative hero these days)
listening to - a squirrel who's moved into our yard, dripping rain drops and more 80's music
eating - Ontario peaches and beet greens from Sue's (post office gal & matchmaker) garden
drinking - ice coffee in the afternoon with lots of milk, ice and stevia to sweeten
smelling - fresh cut grass, clover blossoms, salt air & seaweed
missing - that darn cowboy who's been away a few days - he's back tonight hooray !
also listening to - (on my mac) Women, Food & God audio CD, 30 rock Alec B -You so Rock !
reading - a Ruth Rendell mystery - which I'll admit is really not gripping me
hanging out with - my favourite girl Winnie Dee
submitting - 22 floral duos to Canadian Art Prints (now the wait 4-6 weeks to hear anything)

I have 4 projects on the go here at the TTD* this early morning. 1. to continue uploading new stuff to my portfolio blog. 2. working toward an upcoming show at tres cool gallery/shop in the city love, me boutique this fall/winter 3. organizing my upcoming submission projects in chronological order August - Uppercase book design submission Sept/October - Great Arrow Card design submissions ... and finally drawing and painting another piece. I have the little first sketch done, my thumbnail, next I'll scan it and enlarge it to fit a 9x13 piece of watercolour paper then using my portable mini light table I'll transfer the drawing to paper with pencil - then the fun part - painting it.

I think it's going to be another good day

*teak topped desk