Mania, Melancholy, and Making Stuff.

by admin

Fear turned out for a Saturday Afternoon.

Most of my life, if my selective memory works, I think I have been in a state of productive mania. I don’t remember the fits of rage, retaliation, or Indecision, for I HAD Purpose. I had a goal.

And, I do think this is most of the time, or at least MORE of the time. Or did, until I hit a rough patch, let’s just call it my 50s, soon thankfully to be at an end. In March, In Like a Lion, and let’s hope to reach 60 as the lamb of God I hope to be.

But lately, more chronically, I have had a problem feeling purpose. I’ve been working on edits for a second book, a Children’s Book that I’ve discovered is not really a children’s book at all. And, while I will hold onto Prairie Pug as a memoire, I do want to re-think if it even needs to be a book or might be better done in a blog. Mostly the writing is therapeutic for me. Sometimes, it’s much harder Work. Books, in print, or in digital, are not cheap to produce or market. They definitely aren’t a breadwinner.  So, I’l keep the ego and belt cinched, save that decision for another day.

I think I’m finally feeling and acknowledging the word “Depression.” Anxiety, though not of the sort I had when I resorted to taking xanax. This was while working at a large architectural firm in Wichita. It wasn’t the job, though I knew MY path wasn’t to even work long enough to be able to sit for the architectural exams, much less to pass them. My trail was to get Lacy through high school at Wichita Collegiate. And, we did do this, but taking xanax wasn’t worth it. After two years and about 4 months on xanax, I quit, and headed to Drugs (Off) Camp in Halstead. She was able to live with a dear family friend, Sally, for her senior year. I had been trying to live TWO lives, and not doing a good job at either. Mostly, I couldn’t go home to cook in the summers and fall, my main ranch responsibility after some “facilities management” with historic and domestic buildings. I’d ‘left my post’, though not in a deliberate way as I perhaps did later.

I still do not know the answer to that one. No big, life is hard sometimes! Was before that big (or)Deal got undone, too. No matter…

On the good side of Depression…I’ve

  • had a lot of sleep,
  • seem to have laid my scale on a bath mat and thought I’d lost 10 lbs but seem to have gained 10 instead,
  • and I have tried not to “consume”. That’s one way I falsely think I can “snap out of it!” as Cher would say.
  • And, I was with some women at a Meetup (GET OUT OF THE HOUSE REGARDLESS!) at Cafe de l’Art who made stuff.
  • And, more importantly, they shared about it, the details to the questions I love to ask, tediosity!

So, yesterday, I pulled out my beads, and followed my vow that I will NEVER buy one more art supply, at least in the bead department [except as needed to finish a piece, a fastener, etc.].

First, all I did was pull out the wire and “posts” and tools. Immediately and as was necessary, I felt compelled and stressed into seeing if I could remember how to “wire wrap” and if I still had the half-round pliers. I could and I did and it was “Good Enough”. FYI, a $28 brush-up is available at BEADholiday on Fort Lowell weekly, no problem. By then, I had started and I couldn’t wait. Messy ‘wire wrap’ had served most of my projects and so it would work “today.”

Stuff: so…nice and SHINY!

SOME TEDIOUS WORDS ABOUT TECHNIQUE

Then, I picked out my favorite silver charms and pieces, and decided that it didn’t matter if the posts were sterling silver (which does tarnish) or the inexpensive shiny ones I had. This post, technically I believe maybe called a “headpin,” is like a big straightpin with a head. You just put the bead on it, and make sure it’s big enough that it won’t slip off the other end. Then the other pieces can sit on top and you make the jump ring or loop at the top to string with the wire wrap. Then, you can either string the wire loop or add an open jump ring to this. It’s all super easy, one hour of a wire wrap class and you’re in business with help from their business. Crafts are good for the economy and MOI, on the other hand, then spend far less than in other forms of shopping.

So, doing something prevents the ‘living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work’ that I can find even in the midst of trying to edit a book. We read about this in church today (2 Thessalonians 3:6-13). I’ll let you look it up if you care to, just because the interpretations are all unique, just see it as a positive impetus for me. I had decided I would make gifts for Christmas for new family members. I had a purpose for the act of making something. But it was the making it that made it therapeutic, the STARTING came before the purpose, for I had remembered the medicine. It was so meditative that for the first 1+ hour, I just organized, designed, and basically made a plan. It’s like when Jesus brought the hungry man to the older lady who was despondent. She got up, she made food and drink and she had purpose. My Jesus, I guess, being those ladies who shared about their projects.

Here are some of the thoughts and things about the necklace I’ll share that also relate:

  • RECYCLE. in using old and broken jewelry, it takes the artful act of former shopping to a new plane. Not “better” just a different place.
  • enamel bunny necklace and stamped cats bracelet

     

    • That’s what the little bunny is, and the cats. These were small, one enameled, one stamped, horizontally linked charm pieces that my mother had seen in antiques and thrifts stores that reminded her of the tiny jewelry I gravitated towards. They had broken, but I keep all of my broken jewelry, often because it’s hard to find places that will repair costume jewelry. Recycle.
      • Here’s one I’ll share…https://mcmullenjewelry.com. It’s at Oliver and Douglas in Wichita, across from Aspen Boutique.
      • Ayala Bar Chandelier Necklace, Solo

 

In the center, I used one of two “chandelier” earrings I’d kept after losing it’s mate. These are by the jewelry designer, Ayala Bar (Mosaic at Denver International supplied the name I couldn’t remember but the gift given to me was from Aspen Boutique, Wichita, don’t believe they still carry her work).

    • fetishes from something…either someone’s old fetish necklace (I didn’t have one) or maybe a Nancy Nichols Lopez creation that had broken…?

      Fetish from Nancy Nichols Lopez creation, also using recycled jewelry necklace, hers late 1970s.

  • The rest…some of those small crystals, turquoise, other mineral and plastic stuff I had!
  • last ingredient….meditative bliss.

 

  1. That’s the recipe for Depression. Acknowledge It.
  2. It may start with a class, something I MUCH prefer over utube though, not to discredit online learning. I need people…So…Get out of the House.
  3. Get around others who are doing something
  4. Create something, maybe for a reason, maybe just for fun if it sounds fun.
  5. The time will pass…the mood, too, shall pass.

 

Awaken Your (Indigo) Wild Joy & Take Back Valentine’s Day.

by admin

Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2012. Kansas City.

one perfect Valentine's Day: Rosie black pug, sunflowers & greenflowers, Zum Grapefruit oil, man's soap, Andre's, Juicy Baby Doll set, a found bra strap, and a taupe lace half cami.

I moved recently to Kansas City and I feel as if I am living in Central Park East, upper 70s (?). Haven’t really a clue where as I don’t know NYC that well, but thinking since the Nelson is south and a little west and aligning this with the Met, I would say this is approximately my neighborhood. No point, but ADD has taken full hold working on financial, legal, unpacking, car title, health insurance, and numerous other things which I classify as WORK.

So, I had to take a break to do some of my other work today as it is Valentine’s Day and we all need to treat ourselves.

First, a preface.

My daughter texted last night:

“Well  XXX and I prob don’t go much. (???, new i-phone). I kind of want to dress up though and we’ll just go to din andhe’ll stay with me in KC.”

[XXX is name not disclosed to protect his privacy as a very smart first year full-ride KU law student by way of his former position as Assistant Pro at the Phoenix Country Club].

Then this:

“Jay thinks vday is so stupid.”

Now, as a smart mother, I agreed and sent a long negative viral text rant about social pressures, consumption, media driven economy, men having pressure to show their roll with gift, women having pressure to tell their friends what their “man” got them since the girl with the best (translation to many is $$, don’t agree) gifts supposedly has “won” which takes all women back into the dark ages in so many ways I won’t go into it relative to women taking control over their lives. Here are a few of the excerpts:

“…i hate those stupid special menus where they jack up prices and serve stupid bad valentiny food. Go to a gay bar or google knuckleheads. I may have to do this, greAt idea paula [someone else introduced me so I can’t take credit for finding this.]”

“you have to rebel itherwise (i-phone again) ots a lose lose for all. I did always like Dad’s dove bites never turn down a choc or flower but sometimes this happens for no holiday whatsover.”

“Plus men who buy into it will really hate it if they were socially forced into it for 30 years.”

“That being said, if i ever get surprised with a car or a big diamond i wont throw it back in anyone’s face.”

“I’m probably just jealous.”

Can you imagine having a mother like this from he!! who shares what reality of life might be like with this kind of cynical bad attitude 30 years from now? One good thing about mothers is that they can be a good role model or a frightening example, both work equally well.

Just ignore me, my first reaction is always negative, it’s kind of a boundary off-putting thing after which point I am totally open to whatever was said or suggested. I then have gotten this off my chest, have to make amends, and proceed to the PollyAnna Stuff. Any design perfectionistic people understand the critical nature. That’s what keeps buildings from falling down and artistic people working for nothing but their unrealistic desire to make others happy just like comedians want to make us laugh and musicians want to make us feel. We all have needs to be met.

Valentine’s Day. There was only one thing on the agenda.

Zum Store to have a tour with old family-personal-h.s.-KU friend Linda.

Tour was incredible. Soap room, other products room, met all the pups and peeps, beautiful creative design at every turn with ornate mirrors, corner booths with custom ottomans, an accounts receivable in metal orange casework to die for.

After: purchases for Lace and her BF.

Grapefruit Body Oil. Purchased this for myself the other day. Lace grew up on  pink grapefruit juice, so once again chose as preferable to the featured love oil scent for both genders and for positive memory association. We also had sectioned broiled pink grapefruit Christmas morning with powdered sugar. Very very nice.

On recommendation from a handsome man in the front office, I chose for XXX the shaving soap, a very mild clean masculine appropriate almost non-scent.

The fine young man at Starbuck’s on Main who gave me directions recommended the cedar. I asked if he also wore plaid shirts as he had fine beard. “Yes,” he replied. “And do you do log rolling?” “Yes,” he replied. “And you are working the lumberjack gig tonight?”, I said. “Of course.” Thumbs up!

But this just didn’t seem fitting for a man who wears beautiful golf shirts of the Scottsdale genre.

a note: Daisy the pug at Zum was wary of me and I was told she is normally so friendly. I was a little taken aback, maybe she smelled Rosie who does tend to be a bit aggressive at first and left some scent on me. I really was kind of hurt, dogs usually love me. I have pug paintings all over my website, have had 5 pugs in my life, wrote a little Prairie Pug Book. I will have to work on this, maybe I came off too strong. She may have also heard that I often photograph pugs, probably sensing that I might sneak a pic and use her to blatantly market the nothing I have to sell. Smart puggie, just like those (I still call them) Indians at the Taos Pueblo remind me,”It’s going to cost you.” I don’t think Daisy will want a gift certificate at the liquor store, though. I’ll have to think on this. 

I wanted to take a picture of all the pretty displays and colors in front retail but it didn’t seem appropriate to ask after all of their kindness and time today.

  • Rydell’s Alterations for button-sewing-on and button purchase consultation. Pick up black accordian pleat dress and jean leggings and drop off jean leggings.
  • The Dime Store upon his recommendation for buttons. This was complicated, it always is.
  • Back to Rydell’s to discuss the structure, shape, black vs. metal with all their great selections, and ease of buttoning which was my issue plus button loss which brought me in. He selected one, but it was in part for roundness as this was my issue.
  • Back to Dimestore to return others, and get more.
  • Back to Rydell to drop off and give him check from car for pickup items.
  • Back to Dimestore as I decided I liked the different flatter button with both gold and black as contemporary and a nice mix with lace and stripes. He totally understood the reasons why. Also the subtlety possible only discernible to design people and why I would go to this extra trouble to choose the more difficult beveled button though it was flatter than what I’d brought in. It is 12 tiny buttons up the back and usually unbuttoned or buttoned cockatew when I walk about the door requiring help at some point during my day.
  • Back to Rydell to drop off and try to sneak his picture. This is real reason why I go in here, especially on Valentine’s Day. He is European and wears these great European-cut form fitting pants, has the shaved head thing going on. Unfortunately he a) had his shirt out for some reason (he must have seen me coming) and b) does not like having his picture taken. I did get this one, but his best attribute is not visible, though his smile a nice second.
  • The dark and handsome man and exquisite tailor at Rydell in his black form-fitting pants we cannot see.

  • I then went to Shopgirls and picked up a taupe grey lace cami kind of thing that would be great underneath something sheer. Spoke with darling creative girl Carly Griffith about her blog about fashion.
  • Realized God was punishing me for shopping, even at the nomimal lingerie price range, and I had lost the bra strap to my black bra. If you could see it, you would understand why this caused dismay. It is flowery and ruffley and something I will never replace.
  • So had to re-trace my footsteps to go back to Rydell’s (showing him my brastrap of course, simply so he’d understand the importance of calling me) and leave my number in case he found it.
  • Voila! It was right there on the sidewalk on Brookside. God was smiling that I had not let it ruin my day. So, he rewarded me by not letting someone come by and steal this cool one bra strap, somone missed out (with a one cup bra).
  • Heart Torte's in the case. I had no reason to buy one for tonight. But, really cannot resist, so I may have to return tomorrow as they will be marked down a bit and will keep (except the raspberries) until Sat. Hmmm....who can come for dinner?

    These are the feuillete puff pastry palmier whatever you call them raspberry things.

  • Andrés to get a little chocolat. Found two great little heart shaped things. 1 petite buttercream torte with fondant for Lace, and a heart-shaped feuilleté (palmier) filled with raspberries. My dad and his partners designed Andrés (Steve Abend really, I think) arched opening years ago which I think are timeless. And André Bouillier went to my Church, Second Presbyterian. So, after the service he brought all the swiss pastries in Westminster Hall to go with the coffee. I won’t go into all the Bouillier-Design-Graves-Goolsbee-Theta-Pembroke-SME overlaps as everyone has this in KC. In sw Kansas, it was like 17 degrees of separation instead of the 2 in JoCo/KC, though I always found the connection.
  • My final stop. I was so excited, I have been passing by this place on Westport Road for the last two weeks. I have such a wild imagination, I was fantasizing great things that seemed perfect for today. You’ve seen in, that store….
  • Awaken (and Re-Awaken, yes, yes, yes!) your wild Joy.

  • Awaken (and Re-Awaken, yes, yes, yes!) your wild Joy.
  • Awaken Your Wild Joy.
  • This was the only slight disappointment. It appeared to be empty. Micah’s name was on the door, so I did take a picture because it might just be a front to something really even more enticing than I could have imagined.
  • So, I had another thought to take a positive spin on it. And not to get ahead of myself…But, if I ever do find I have anything to sell or find any service people might pay me for which would afford this rent, I would just keep this signage on the window. It seems like it could be applicable to anything I might do or may have done in the past: architecture, preservation, French, (maybe not grant writing), ranch cooking, a sexy spin on Art History as my young friend in my building from Belgium, Stephan, just showed me his beautiful French Explicité (pornugraphie….there’s a nicer word for art level of porn), mosaic chairs or birdhouses, jewelry, nude portraiture, and a host of other things I did for my egg money.
  • love blue, started with Indigo and working back to a baby hue as seeing my first love child tonight, but I guess since it’s it Lace this would be pink as Jack is in Lawrence. Two of my first true loves.

OK, it’s 6:30, and I have to get on to my Valentine’s Celebration with a drink at Nara with Lace and BF before their dinner at Drunken Fish. Her gift also includes a Juicy Couture cute little baby doll nightset but don’t tell her.

After that, I have no plan, but certainly will celebrate love in the air. I am my special someone these days and want to bathe in everyone elses’s happy feelings, so I will go out SOMEWHERE, regardless.

(translation, may go see Freud-Jung movie for the third time, except I missed the 7:30, so home to try to figure out this pesky cable thing and remote. Urban living is so difficult).

It was a Perfect Valentine’s Day. 

A for effort Pete.

by admin

I’ve never been very good in the training department on ordering up gifts for others to give to me on certain occasions, too much pressure for everyone. I’m tickled with any random thought, dark dove bites, other and I’ve received some nice ones. In going through my scrapbooks where (my mother or I?) stashed every memory jogging thing, I came across a very beautiful keepsake that is history, time, place, and art.

Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron New Mexico

I had to give you a taste first. It is a letter from Pete Stack to Paula Graves after her return from cheerleading camp  while he was at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.  “I want you to know that I normally don’t write on shirts for letters!!  But I thought it would be a little different. Do you like the little bull? I found the shirt in the little boy’s section.”  I had just passed through Cimarron a few weeks ago and came home to find this work of art and the bull brought it home.

Pete Stack in Master Scout Uniform

 

This was probably summer ’77. There are a few excerpts for history’s sake below, but he asks, “so how does your dating life go these days?” so it was well into a later friendship stage.  Here are a few noteworthy repeats:

  • I talked to Dave (Nixon) last night for about an hour but it was worth it. It was great to talk to him! He said he had a great time in the Carribean” (I’m sure with Liz hosted by Jack Frost at Petit St. Vincent rubbing elbows with Princess Margaret and George Plimpton, good gig).
  • “He was going to send a bottle to make me sane.” (Guess they didn’t allow liquor at camp, even for the counselors?)
  • “Hope sometime you call!”  (very lonely and ready to go home)
  • “I made a belt the other day! It was macrame and leather. (see macrame) …..I made a pot holder! Neat huh!”
  • (I’m not putting in all these exclamation points).
  • a weird thing from his neighborhood that I won’t mention.
  • side two: he’s wearing down, telling my parents and dog, Dooley hello….”I’m messing up this shirt. You know I got it small so you can’t wear it.” Not then, but after nursing two children, it’s perfect, see below.  I think he’s realizing how much time he’s invested and how cool it is, regrets buying the boys S (10-12), maybe wants to keep it.
  • “I (‘m) running out of things to say but I can bore you somehow. You like my artistry? What a joke!”
  • Strong finish “the mail just came” and then these incredibly detailed drawings. And, “P.S. Tell Marthe hello for me! Also happy cheering!”

    Drawing: Mountain range, Philmont Rocky Mountain Scout Camp patch, Pete's cabin, small drawing of Prairie Village kiddie pool.

    So, I tried on shirt and it fits great. I was taking a break and dancing when John came home after 5 days in Turkey, Texas where he was hunting. The man works all the time, so this was uncommon and I was very proud of him.  We danced a little, then I  took advantage of his 5 days away with me alone in country (loved it) and wanted closure so enlisted his help in capturing the right pose but needed the mirror to get my body right.

John's photographic skill.

This took 5 minutes so quite a bit of effort and diversion from unpacking his bags which I totally relate to when returning home. And here’s the best part.

  • “That’s really a cute shirt,”said John, concentrating on the task: getting this great picture for me, of me, my ex-boyfriend, and my husband. That’s it. So Pete, I just took full artistic credit for your creativity and cleverness. So anyone?, don’t say anything when I wear it to the next reunion if John comes. Too fun.
  • And Pete, it really was a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Thank you.