Musings and Amusings

Archive for the ‘Art Dabblings’ Category

Dashing through the … No, just a Mad Dash

Jack's Snowman


If there was any doubt (and we’re going to pretend my home is routinely clutter-free), a cluttered home makes for a cluttered mind. Or, as Louisa May Alcott once said, “Too many books hath turned her head.”

Or something like that.

I can’t find her quote right now in all the clutter.

I buy books as Christmas gifts. Then I feel compelled to READ each book AND make a bookmark for each book before I get to the wrapping stage. And, of course, madly jotting notes and quotes from each book, not to mention the ‘contemplating hours’ that come during or after reading a book (all the while not being able to discuss the book with its intended recipient).

Russian Doll

Occasionally slipping in a book for myself while purchasing gifts only adds to my December reading frenzy.

You do that, too, right?

Do you also continue your weekly library habit only to discover three ‘writing’ magazines you’ve never read and bring home four back issues of each ‘just because’?

On top of that, I got a yen to make books for Sparks and Raqi this year. I used to produce 8 1/2 x 11″ books. Their software is easy to use; the time-consuming part is the hours Hub and I spent culling, cropping, laughing and crying over all our photos as we tried to whittle our collection of family memories to a reasonable 50 pages for each of their books.

Lift off is … tomorrow! Spark’s birthday weekend. Two books and a snowman bookmark. Check, check, and check.

Which books? Both 5-star; both perfect for 5th or 6th grade boys (or clueless parents/grandparents)!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – This is one of the most touching and funny books I’ve read. Even if you don’t have a 5th grader in your socio-circle, there are lessons here for all of us. The protagonist, Auggie,  is a plucky boy who has craniofacial deformities and is entering 5th grade at a prep school after being home-schooled through many surgeries and therapy. The family, students and teachers – their personalities and relationships unfolding through multiple voices  – are believable with realistic reactions to Auggie’s presence at the school. Auggie’s combination of bravery and vulnerability is staggering. I don’t remember having books like this when I was a preteen.

The Boys Body Book by Kelly Dunham – A respectful, reassuring approach to physical and emotional transitions for preteen boys. The title is somewhat misleading because the book also includes chapters about relationships with parents;  friendships and middle school;  nutrition and sleep habits. Just enough info to facilitate understanding and coping tips, but not so much that it turns into lectures or way too much information.

Kim's Bookmark

Navajo Twisted Tangles

I’ve been practicing lots of tangle patterns and designs – a whole sketchbook’s worth. I keep reminding myself all craft is a work in progress, taking years to become ‘polished’.

The following two, begun earlier this fall, remind me of an old Navajo blanket (rug?) my parents had when I was a child. I remember it lying on a shelf in a closet in our upstairs bathroom. The closet was big enough to walk into with rudimentary, dark wood shelves and a tiny dust-covered upper window that let in filtered light.

The closet was a place of great intrigue – sheltering artifacts I wanted to explore but knew I probably shouldn’t.

Or so I imagined.

You know – the way places loom larger than life or things promise a secret delight for a curious child.

I don’t know where the blanket came from, what we used it for, or if anyone else in my family remembers it. I think it had a diamond and rectangle pattern with earth tones – muted reds, yellows, tan and black.

It was scratchy to the touch.

Was it a real Navajo blanket?

Did we store it in the closet as I remember or did it lie on the floor in the back entry?

Do we even want to learn the truth behind every childhood ‘awe’?


Navajo Tangle 1


Navajo Tangle

Trick or Treat at The Boo’s 2014




Pumpkin Tangle 2014


Happy Halloween, Everybody!!

Chihuly’s Lily Pads


This is my favorite of Chihuly’s art installments at the Denver Botanic Gardens. It is titled “Persian Tower 2012”.



The flowing waterfall made the perfect acoustical background for the serenity of this opaque glass and steel structure, and I spent awhile on a nearby bench studying the intricate detail of the lily pads.




As I strolled the gardens, I paid particular attention to nature’s lily pads which are equally serene and intricately detailed.



This fuzzy, slimy alien-looking creature


could be viewed in various growth stages, ultimately unfolding into



All of which inspired

Lily Pad 3

Lily Pad 1

Lily Pad 2

Sunflowers for Tina



“Turn your face to the sun,
and the shadows fall behind you”
Maori Proverb

I am participating in a memorial tribute to Tina Downey, a well-known and beloved blogger who recently passed away. Tina’s favorite flower was the Sunflower, and today we are all honoring Tina with our Sunflower Blogfest.

How fitting: Tina and Sunflowers

A flower whose face seeks the sun in all its vibrant warmth and blazing glory.


A flower that towers in the fields; whose stalk is sturdy; and whose face is perpetually open to the world.

Sometimes bent; rarely broken; swaying with the blustery wind; standing strong against the rages of crackling lightning, booming thunder and pounding hail.

Hearty souls dwelling on the high plains under crisp blue skies and towering Colorado mountains.

Tina and Sunflowers

Forever linked.

Singing their spirit chorus, blessing Heaven and Earth:

Life Is Good



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