One World One Heart Give-Away

As part of the One World One Heart give-away program set up by Lisa at Whimsical Bohemian, I'm offering a Grab Bag** of mixed rubber stamps, mounted and unmounted, from a wide range of rubber stamp manufacturers. Many are alphabet stamps, while others are words, pictures and symbols. Many have not been used and are uncut.


Just send a response to this post, and on February 12th, I'll use a random selector to determine a winner. Be certain to leave your email address or a contact blog to facilitate notification!

I also want to take a minute to thank Lisa and all those who are participating for making the world a better place and encourage others to check out One World One Heart as the deadline for participating on a world wide basis draws to a close.

I will be closing sign ups for the One World One Heart Give-Away at 7pm Wednesday, 11 February.

I will announce the winners on Thursday, 12 February as soon as possible and will contact the winners by email.

Thanks to all who responded. And of course, stay tuned.

** Disclaimer: I haven't checked to see if all the alphabets are complete.

Card of the Day: 8 of Cups

Artists Inner Vision, Sarah Ovenall ©


How did I miss: Maira Kalman

How did I miss these drawings in the New York Times by Maira Kalman on and about Inauguration Day.

Keyholes into the past or the future

I came upon more blogs of artists I've known, met or reviewed. Michelle Ward is one of the artists I've met and whose work I've much admired.

So, I wasn't surprised to find Michelle busy making art, spurring on others and creating prompts for interesting, challenging journal pages at her Green Peppers Press Street Team website. The latest challenge is shapes.

Last night I fiddled faintly with squares, circles and some rectangles. But none of these ignited my creative urges. Then today it popped, keyholes.

I first encountered Michelle's work in Lynne Perrella's True Colors. Lynne conceived a singular original idea that has since spawned ripples all over the art kingdom. Why? It is personal, it is beautiful and it is inspiring. The artists each have individual styles, yet they come together in an orchestrated and tonally rich symphony. The book is a spectacular concept of how an art journal can become the journey of 15 artists.

Back in 2003, when I learned several of the journals were on exhibit in Long Island, I got into my car and drove over to Karen Michel's and Carlo Thertus' CASK studio to see them, review them for a journal and study them. Carlos is a most gracious host and showed me around and gave me the space to imbibe the work, and also learn about the studio's mission and his own magnificent work. On the day I visited, Karen, I believe was off teaching one of her workshops so I never did meet her but the CASK studio is going strong, and it appears Karen Michel has published a book.

Now if only I can get out of my funk and find that keyhole!

37 Years Later, Singer Rides Again

Little did I know that day I spent a small guilder fortune for a Singer sewing machine in Amsterdam on the Rozengracht that 37 years later my daughter would take it upon herself to refurbish it and ask me that magic question, "Mom, how does it work?"

It took two longish phone calls but I think she can now thread the bobbin, install the correct foot and sew!

Card of the Day: King of Cups

A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden,
Walter Crane 1845-1915 (Public Domain)

HP Tarot - King of Cups by =Ellygator on deviantART


Card of the Day: 10 of Swords

10 of Swords - Steve Gerber ©

Bohemian Tarot ©


Card of the Day: Two of Pentacles (Coins)

Just short of serfdom

Britannica, and others define serfdom as:

condition in medieval Europe in which a tenant farmer was bound to a hereditary plot of land and to the will of his landlord.

While folks are tightening their already tight belt, suffering job losses and foreclosure, Wall Streeters in the Manor are giving out massive bonuses to their staff.


The Irony of Economics

Good for Andrew Cuomo, reported to be investigating some big fat bonuses to the Merrill Lynch and Bank of America executives whilst crying poverty.

While these guys got some hefty bonuses, others are selling their hair and lining up at Blood Banks for $25.00.

I can't remember the name of the story, but it is one that speaks volumes to values: a woman sells her hair; her husband sells his watch bob, each wishing to please the other with a gift.

I'll have to see if I can find the author and title.

PS. It's trying not remembering everything I'd like to recall. The story is "The Gift of the Magi" by O.Henry, on line for all to read.

Breaking news: John Updike Dies at 76

This is the first report of John Updike's death that has reached me.

He wasn't my favourite author, but a man whose work I've followed, read and admired.

A short story he wrote, Footfalls, for the New Yorker in the 60s remains among my favourites.


Brandeis Rose Museum Update

It appears from this Globe article that the museum will be closed, and its collection of 6,000 sold.

Card of the Day: Page (Princess) of Swords

Terra Tarot ©


Brandeis Rose Museum Selling Art to Raise Funds

Juan Gris, The Siphon 1913

It seems like times are tougher each day.

Brandeis, a notable New England school, is selling off some of its art collection.

No information has been provided of what part of the large collection is to be sold. I suspect from the updates it will be the bulk of the school's modern art holdings.

The Colour Red: Year of the Ox

Until I was exposed and then immersed on a daily basis in Chinese culture, I don't think I owned anything red, not a hankie, not a blouse, absolutely nothing.

Then I was introduced to how important red is in the Chinese culture. I was gifted with a magnificent red wall hanging from a Chinese colleague. And although she and another colleague from Peking were able to teach me about their respective countries, Taiwan and the People's Republic, the Chinese language classes they offered didn't get as far as I would have liked. The slightest change in vocal inflection can make a good word sound horrible. Ultimately I gave up and just developed the love of red.

At this time of the year, the New Year, China Towns all over the United States are ablaze in red, and stores are packed with envelops, stationary, wall hangings and even food in the brightest red dye permits.

The red envelops are used to give small money gifts, mostly to children, but even adults may share the holiday bounty with each other.

Eating dinner out is common all year long but at this time of the year, it is nearly impossible to find a seat in a recommended restaurant. Weddings are frequently celebrated in public restaurants decorated in red and depending on how prosperous the bride, ten, fifteen or even twenty-five courses can be served over the course of an entire evening.

Although these two colleagues have since returned to their countries, one left me a medicine box of natural herbal remedies, and the other gifted me with the colour red, the sound of her laugh in my ears, and a taste for good Chinese food.

Happy New Year!

Card of the Day: The Moon

Milliande's Approach to Journal Backgrounds


Card of the Day: Page of Swords

Fantastical Creatures "Page of Swords" ©

Economic Circles

Sometimes it frightens me to realise how much is circular, repetitive and shamefully misunderstood. One of these circles is the funding of services, and non-profits for social services in particular.

Having spent approximately half (1/2) my life in academic medicine or public health, it chills me to think that folks don't get it, and that it is

(a) equals (b) = (c)/ =
funds = services = people
real people, not statistics, not publications, but people.

When I worked in academic medicine, or medical publishing, more than 70% or 50%, respectively, of our revenue was government funded.

When I worked in a health non profit, 90% of our revenue was government funded.

When I worked in public health we provided 50-100% of our direct and trickle down funds to non profits.

If State funding gets tight all those agencies receiving direct or trickle down Federal funding can't meet their payroll.

If an agency can't meet its payroll, service providers within the agency can't serve its intended client base.

If a bank won't give an agency "a line of credit" to ease the short-fall, it will collapse.

What does all this mean?

In this critical time of unemployment (~7-10%) and an already overburdened social service system, millions (yes, that large a number) will not be able to access health care services, social services, legal services...the list goes on.

However, I haven't read of any plan to rescue these agencies, who support and rescue the millions who need these services.


Card of the Day: Hermit

Visconti-Sforza Tarot ©

Whenever I think of the Hermit, or pull the card, I see Merlin

Fre-natae ©

and I was pleasantly surprised to find this female version of the Hermit, part of a larger major arcana series.

Diana Talks Journals

I really like to see other people's journals and especially those of friends.

I asked Diana what size these journals are and if they would take fountain pen ink.

Script and Scribble

Kitty Burns Florey
has written a book, "Scripts and Scribble " and it appears both the Economist and the Wall Street Journal have had feature stories on the book.

All of us that write might enjoy the book.

I sure enjoy writing and scribbling!


What is it we look for in paper, II

I am still thinking paper, and with a little bit of light outside, I was able to capture the writing and drying time examples on Rhodia paper I discussed a few weeks ago here.

But in the scheme of things what is 30s?


BTW, I didn't experience any smearing whilst writing. The smearing tests are just that, tests set up rather than naturally occurring.

I have experienced acute smearing at other times, but not with this smaller sized Rhodia.

Card of the Day: 5 of Coins (Pentacles)

Another five day. What's up? I think of Wald Amberstone and a lecture he gave at an ATA Workshop, and wonder again why the fives have such a bad reputation.

It only took a couple of hours to learn that these fives can be spot on, but not always obviously so: had a major disagreement with LH, and ran out of oil on a Friday.

Hush Politicians, Oh Hush: Wilders

The Wilders' indictment is causing quite a row in the Netherlands and one I am following with great interest. It is not just that Wilders' has spoken out against a particular population, in this case, Muslims, that concerns me but that speaking out can become the cause for a racial (hate) crime indictment.

I bet everyone from the tram driver to the Minister of Volkshuisvesting is buzzing about it.

And it sure might make the bakkerij lines longer on Saturdays--already longer than most.


Anniversaries: Heath Ledger and Me

Until the day the truck came, and it got packed up by the movers, and my neighbours came out to say goodbye, I didn't know that it was Heath Ledger who lived a few doors down from me.

Now it seems it's nearly three years since I left New York and one year since Mr. Ledger died.

R.I. P.

Card of the Day: Strength

A Narrowsburg day.

I made a trip over to Narrowsburg to pick up some infant goodies gifted to me from Jane for J's almost born grand-daughter.

Then I stopped off at Michaels to pick up two bottles of coffee-liquor mix, and talked to him for ages about the inauguration.

After that I dropped by the few, but good shops which I followed up with a great cup of java at Roasters where I found Naomi and Nancy busy chatting.

But I couldn't seem to motivate myself to do more after that than grab some flat rate envelops from the Post Office and come home and paint.

I've been up and down the two flights of stairs about ten times as art supplies move from the shelves in the cellar to the "almost" Studio upstairs.

Nearly there!


A Winter of Discontent and Dissent

Playing hard ball, several Republicans, are holding up confirmations of Obama cabinet members.

Clinton got voted in but with 2 dissenters.

Other nominees are still hanging in the balance, and wisely Senator Clinton did not officially give up her seat until a firm confirmation was guaranteed.

It seems a pity that with all the oratory of unification, we remain divided in this winter of discontent with loud voices that rattle at the windows, painful groans heard coming from the attic, heavy footprints in the snow and retaliation.

Can we ever be united?

A Relationship in ink

Today I discovered loose sheaves of an old journal. It chronicles a relationship.

I was about to toss it out as it is too cold to get to the burn barrel, but I hesitated and decided I'm not ready to destroy it, not yet, as there is something to be learned from these handwritten words and perhaps something can be born of the knowledge.

Image: Taiso YOSHITOSHI (1839-1890)

A Matter of Astrology: Obama and Lincoln

Many people scoff at astrology, as I certainly did until I had my own chart done in the 1980s. Then, I researched it and read dozens of astrology books for more than five years while conducting test charts for all my colleagues (scientists), friends (many artists) and family members. Occasionally it seemed I could make assertions but then someone would come along with a chart that didn't fit, and all the research and assertions became questionable.

I still dabble with it and check the ephemeris occasionally.

And today as I look at the ephemeris, I see that Obama's 12-1hs is packed with planets, including Jupiter--the giver of light after the Sun itself. A good augury, and I wouldn't be surprised if the President gives up smoking and puts on quite a bit of weight.

I also noticed that President Abraham Lincoln, whose bible President Obama chose to use at his own inauguration, was born on February 12, 1809, placing his Sun on Obama's ascendent (1hs).
Often with 1hs-Sun conjunctions between two people we find strong ties, conscious or unconscious, and to some degree an unspoken sense of responsibility. This of course is postulated for the living.

I wonder how this might play out between two men, both presidents, one very much alive and the other a lasting memory.

Time will tell; not astrology.

The Inaugural Poet Slammed at TNR

While I didn't think Elizabeth Alexander's poem sterling, I certainly didn't find all these harsh comments for it either.

Sometimes, and this was one of those days, I chose to not allow a misspoken word, a failed hairstyle, or a poem disturb my sense of pleasure to see a new administration in the White House.

And occasionally I think too much thinking, something I suffer from myself, ruins the feeling of living.

Speedball Acrylic Ink

Still fiddling with supplies, I picked up my container of Speedball Acrylic Inks that I believe I bought one at a time from the counter at Dick Blick and discovered much to my dismay that most are now gummy, thick and require some thinning in order to use them.

A few drops of tap water seems to have done the trick in thinning and reconstituting these.

It is my intention in the year of the Pentacles, to make use of all the supplies I own before another supply enters this domicile.

Chinese New Year - Year of the Ox

It is festivals and holidays like this that remind me of the trade off of living in the country, far from the maddening crowd and the wonderful ethnic and cultural events like the Chinese New Year.

Card of the Day: Page of Pentacles (Coins)

Diana called today and we talked art, journals, her upcoming Northlight book, and gossiped about all the folks we know in common.

The talk itself enriched me!

Image: T-altered art, 1/2 Street Studios ©


Obama goes Cross

It appears that President Obama was gifted with a Cross Townsend roller ball for his inaugural signings.

Go Rhode Island!

Card of the Day: 3 of Pentacles (Coins)

A fitting card to pull on the day President Obama is inaugurated and asks in his confirmation speech that we all work together and singly to rebuild our country.

January 20th, Inauguration

I am not black.
I am not white.

I am green.
I am pink.
I am rust.
I am peach.

I look dusky.
I can look like a ripe olive.

But I am a woman.
But I am the child of an immigrant.
But I am an American.

And today
I am proud to be all
things united.

I have a dream!


Edgar Allan Poe: 200 years ago

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

The Raven (1845)

Peeling away the cobwebs: Rubber Inventory

In an attempt to bring a five-shelf open bookcase upstairs and create a real white room Studio, I have been emptying one shelf at a time as it is chockablock full of art supplies, paper, old art magazines and just stuff.

Some of these supplies were never part of my daily fare, but it appears I have amassed quite a few alphabet rubber stamps and assorted ink pads.

Cavallini & Co (FOR SALE, NIB)

I started testing all the ink pads and discovered that nearly all the Adirondack pads are close to dry or dried out and these were my favourite colours. I might be able to get a word or two out of each, but then they are trashable.

The Brilliance are in fairly good condition.

The Nick Bantocks in these eye catching containers never met their promise, although the colour names were spectacular and held great allure when they first appeared on the market place. They are nothing like the prodigious Nick Bantock and I'd say all of these are ready for a heave-ho.

The two Frescas are iffy, but might have some life.

Most of the famous old Memories, acid free and all, are as dry as the Sahara.

The VersaMark actually appears quite juicy (a rubber stamp word).

Of the ink pads I have the StazOn seem the healthiest but are also probably the newest as I believe I bought a white and black pad in Arizona.

The two Colorboxes hold promise.

I also have a Dr. Ph. Martin Inkpak in a gold colour, still usable; and a few odd brands in single pads.

I'm going to try to use these as backgrounds for journal pages and consider myself lucky that any survived after such a long storage period.