Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Buttons and Claws

I read a quote the other day that really made me stop in my tracks. It is a gem by David Foster Wallace. It read, "Everything I've ever let go of has claw marks on it." Even now as I type the words to the page, I am struck by the gravity of the statement. From as far back as I can recall, I have held on a bit too tightly. I am not saying that I think this is a flaw in person or something to feel guilty about, it just simply is. In early relationships I defiantly left claw marks. When my grandmother died I went through the ceremonial "saying goodbye" but I never really have let her go.  I feel like I have been holding on so tightly for so long to the parts of her that I saw as great that those parts have graphed into my heart. 

I call myself  a sentimentalist and I guess that's a classy way of saying I have hard time of letting go.  It's so hard to think of the heartbreaking fact that my husband and children will never know my Grandma and what a character she was.  It's experiences like this that are deeply sewn into my heart. I feel like by the time I arrived, she was so tired from raising her own children and accepting mistakes and defeats of life that she reached into her apron pockets and  planted these exquisite little seeds of imagination, love and kindness into my soul and then spent the rest of her life watering those seeds. I wasn't the only one who received these gifts from her, my Mother and cousin, Charlotte, also claimed what was offered.

The sentimentalist in me came directly from her. I can look at a jar of buttons and think about the time we went to Chicago for the first time. I drove her big, gorgeous Cadillac and I was scared to death!  We made it to the hotel and talked to the concierge who was called Fritz. Fritz told us about a shop that sold nothing but buttons... floor to ceiling in tiny little compartments! The shop was just a cab ride away, but I had never taken a cab.  Grandma was more than game, so we decided to find the place! I had to hail the cab... I tried to recall how Meg Ryan did it in "You've Got Mail" but then I remembered that she walked most places... no help at all. I channeled my inner cab hailer and stepped my red Mary Jane shoe towards the curb, I stuck my hand up like I was the Queen of England and motioned with my finger to the cab... come here darling! Can you imagine??? A cab stopped and the driver jumped out and opened our door and off we went. I felt like we were going in circles and the cabbie was doing this to run the meter up, I was getting nervous with thoughts that Grandma and I were going to be sold into slavery by our cabbie never to be seen or heard from again... while my Grandma was talking to him about Moonshine and how her father had a still on a hill where he ran off a gallon or two.. wink , wink!! I was mortified. We reached the button shop and the cabbie parked and waited for us to shop and then he took us back to our hotel.  He told my Grandma that he never had met someone who had made him feel so comfortable.  He told us that most people either kept silent or tried painfully and awkwardly to converse about camels or the middle east which is where he was from originally.  I'll never forget that after we left the button shop, he asked about the shop and the buttons.  He told us that his grandmother was a seamstress in India.  My Grandma took out a button that she had just purchased and gave it to him.  He was so touched by her gesture that when we reached our hotel, he got out and gave her a hug.

From that moment, buttons have been etched into my memory as a kindness. A currency of sharing. A simple, yet useful thing like a button brought a wide eyed girl in a cab, a homesick cab driver and a not so traveled but ever so worldly woman into the same universe for just a moment.  I'll always have a hard time parting with a button.  You see, leaving claw marks can sometimes be the hearts way of holding so tightly that you are gleaning the essence of a memory. Not smothering or harming but curating a life.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Home Crafting *sorry about the profanity mom....

This is the look on my face when I  have pretty food, but I can't think of how to cook it!
This is my daughter, last Summer. 

Our Pumpkin cottage is filled with babies, art, and our treasures.... food, while very important to us, is not at the top of my priority list.  I see food as an art, I appreciate fine preparedness, I stand in awe at the mama that does it in gourmet fashion, I offer stomach growls of goodness to those that whip it up Pioneer Woman style.... But that's not me.  In the Summer when the market is in bloom with the bounty of it's gifts, I have been known to buy fruits and veggies just because I thought they were pretty.  A still life in the kitchen.  But then I get it home, wash it up and have a complete
 What the Fuck moment,
because I don't know WHAT to do with it all if it can't be consumed raw....
 The truth is... I don't really LIKE to cook.  I find the art of it a bit confusing. What can touch, what cannot, what has to thaw and for how long.....
What the hell is blanching...
why don't they just say boil the hell out of it until the skin falls off?

Cooking for much of my life has been intimidating.  And then like a knight on a barreling steed, came Pinterest into my life.  This is how my mind works, ART, Food, Clothing, Sassy quotes all right next to each other!

As a very visual person, the picture's are wonderful.  I began to rethink how HARD meal prep is, and last week I crafted 5 meals ahead of time and froze them. 

I found the easiest recipes here.  I tried the Baked Ziti, Slow Cooker Chili, and the Chicken Broccoli Alfredo. 
This is the look on my face when I realized what separated me from those who were rocking it...
This is my wee boy!

Art will still be more important than cooking, but now see that the only thing that separates me from the mama's I've admired is their preparedness and their home crafting skills.  Yes, I said home craft.  I have to think of it as a creative endeavor or my brain will not hold the information in! home crafting is a new muscle, and I am working it!!!!!!
This is the look on my husbands face when I told him all of our meals were done for the week!!!
This is my actual husband in an actual tin robot hat......
xxoo- From the girl who, at her home economics exam where parent came in to eat a meal that we prepared, forgot to turn on the oven and wondered why the fuck noodles take so long to cook!!!!! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

this is what I do in January...


Some days I want to open every cupboard and dump it out. How did I ever accumulate so much stuff? I feel as if my life has become a junk drawer. 


I have sentimental paper, picture's, fabric clothing.....This is wonderful for the artistic swirling gypsy, but for a momma who needs a little organization, it's an odd paradigm.

a tilting scale between eccentric semtimenalist and LADY YOU DONT HAVE ROOM FOR IT! 

We live a happy life in a small pumpkin cottage, and I probably will never move.  I love my house and all that it has to offer our family, but it's hard for me to organize us all sometimes.  Each bedroom has a tiny closet, like tiny for a mouse, which made me wonder if a mouse family used to live here.  This would explain the real estate listing description of "spacious closets" Yes dear, spacious for a mouse...

I re did my son's closet this year to house all of his dress up costumes, and a small space for items that must hang. This seem to be working for him as he has a small armoire for all of his clothing.  He could really care less, but I think it looks nice. 

My clothing is scattered about, taking up space in EVERY other closet in our home. I hate that's it's not all together.  I have a really eclectic clothing palette and I love to see it all... I think I am really going to regret donating stuff, but I am to that point.

This is how my closet organizing is going...Oh, I remember this shirt... I don't wear it any more, but it's linen and they don't make linen like this anymore... I'll save it and use the fabric!... lol

I have mentioned before that I used to be a merchandiser for Marshall Fields/Macys, I know and appreciate well made, fine fabric and lovely vintage finery! it's hard to discard such wonderment! But, sigh, I am. Tonight I went though the closet in my daughter's room and eliminated 20 pieces (mine, not hers!).  Yay for small victories!!!

junk drawer, look out!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

the most wonderful cubbies!

The art of organizing.... I am like many in that this time of year brings on a flutter of cleaning, purging, and organizing my home.  The problem is this: I must SEE all that I have that is AWESOME so that I may be graced with divine muse inspiration by said treasures!!
A month ago, I saw this shelf. I will openly admit... it was love at first sight.  My heart stood still.... In the words of Mike Wolfe, I was Junk Drunk. All of these little cubbies just waiting for stuff!!!!
This was my Christmas gift! I couldn't have dreamed up a better studio piece with so much potential!

I will be sharing my treasures soon!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Come on in!

And don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.
It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.  - Rumi
Riotous is how it's been. My roots sinking in deeper and deeper into home and studio. My art life rooting in the glitter and millinery of the studio, rooting in the gift of Prim Pumpkin. 
It's hard to believe that I do art full time now, that you love my work and support what I do. Nature is the most fruitful metaphor for life and I visit it often to tell you how I feel or what I mean. My roots are sinking and sprawling in my studio, dears.
This is where I create:

My husband and I have completely redone the studio.  From October until now, things have been boxed and messy, and while I pretty much create in chaos, I do have an order for things and I am happy to have things back where I like them.  I still have one pair of rouge pliers that are lost, but other than that things are in their homes.

The trees are growing tall, whispering willows and bryer bushes in all of their lessons and glory.  My roots are happy here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ghoultide Gathering set up and wrap up

The show
Late the night before the show friends, collectors (soon to be friends) and Halloween art enthusiasts gathered. Some folks pack their bags and hopped on a plane and some left early with many days of driving ahead to reach Chelsea, MI in time for Ghoultide Gathering.  This is collective dedication my friends, at it's finest. The patrons were eager to see what the artists brought and they were careful in plotting a course to their favorite artists. 
The entrance to the show is just a detail oriented and fine tuned as everything else. 

Deep within the inner sanctum of the barn at Chelsea fairgrounds a magic spell was taking hold.  The room of wood, cement and metal was filling up with one of a kind Halloween art. Sculpture, paintings, pottery, dolls, fiber arts and fine folk art  was being carted in with care and set up.  We carried in our booth set up, as did all of the other artists, and began to assemble something that resembled magic.  Each of the artists participating in the show  have a personal responsibility to create something really special for the patrons. We really take it to heart. :)   

Willow is a Ghoultide baby! She was so good during the rigorous 6 hour set up! 

  This was last year.... What a difference a year makes!
 My Prim Pumpkin theme this year was "Prim Pumpkin Woods"  I wanted to create the feel of an enchanted forest on Halloween night. The pumpkins and creature folk were all giddy with delight as the pumpkin hour approached. 
 My pumpkin husband loved my vision of an enchanted forest (little did he know the sheer magnitude of glitter this would entail) he helped me so much to bring my vision to life!
 It's such a unbelievable thing for me to see a body of my work all together like this. This picture reminds me of a fancy shot of a French macaroon stand with all of the soft colors!
 I debuted a new ornament style this year! I really didn't think I would have time to make enough of them to make an impact but just like most artists, I work well under pressure and I pulled it off!!
I think they are they perfect blend of shabby vintage Halloween! I am really pleased with them and my collectors really took to them! You will see them back next year.
Below, I am going to share some of my work! enjoy :)



The show was nothing short of amazing! I thank each and every one of you who made the journey and fell in love with Prim Pumpkin!