Works in Progress, Summer 2015

Here is a creation I've been working at a while.  I put my chubby fingers in there to give a sense of scale.  I do like making these small dolls, but they present challenges because of the scale.  It is very easy to sand too much and lose an expression.  For this reason I plan to sculpt a larger doll, which I haven't done in quite a while.  

In order to be productive in this way, I've been trying to clean out yet again.  Some part of my creative process is the gathering of materials, and then the editing of materials.  It is very hard for me to not to be an artistic hoarder of possibilities.

While cleaning through my stuff, I found (again) the non-working 90's video cameras that have a tape stuck in them. I don't want to get rid of the cameras until I get the tapes out.  I can't get the tapes out. So I keep putting the video cameras back on the shelf. Multiply that one scenario a few times and you get the kind of STUFF that can accumulate. I am giving myself until the end of the month to get the tapes out of the cameras...and then what?  

I found a twist tie on my desk.  Why do I have that?

Chatri Joseph's Jewelry

When I have a great experience with a business, I like to recommend them.  These are my true opinions, not sponsored in any way.

This past Christmas my husband bought me some beautiful earrings.  Because I am an artist, he understands I like to purchase from artisans. He knows I love folk art.  So he searched for folk art jewelry on Etsy.  Isn't he awesome?  He purchased earrings for me from Chatri Joseph, The earrings were  larger in scale than I typically wear.   With my husband's blessing, I contacted the shop owner to see if I could exchange the earrings for smaller ones.  Chatri Joseph was perfect to deal with in every way during this exchange.

I sent back the first earrings, picked out a new design pictured above.  Chatri Joseph custom made the ear loop, since I don't like overlong long ear wires.  They are such lovely earrings!  They have such a nice weight, not being too heavy or too light.  They never fall out, unlike some other earrings I buy,  Perfectly balanced. 

So if you want a special piece of handcrafted jewelry, I highly recommend Chatri Joseph.  

Summer Fun

Some years ago I used this image as a blog banner for the summer.  How these boys have grown in 5 years!

Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn:
William Butman's Searsport House

Yesterday I had a "day away" from my typical work and responsibilities.  I rode down Route 1 to enjoy some coastal views with a friend.  We had lunch on the water in Camden.  

On the way back I stopped to take photos of my great great great grandfather's house in Searsport, Maine. It was built in 1830, owned by William Butman.  

Early New England houses commonly have a "big house, little house, back house, barn" design to them.  Sometimes the big house was built after the "little house" section.  Connected houses of New England were necessary and convenient, allowing the owner to get to the barn to feed the animals in cold winters without having to clear snow.  If you enjoy antique house stories, you will want to visit Prudence Fish's blog, Antique Houses of Gloucester and Beyond:

Also, I just purchased the book Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn to learn more:  

Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England

My ancestor's house started off that way, but was remodeled greatly in the latter quarter of the 20th century to become a bed and breakfast.  Here is an early photo of the house, undated.  

It is said by another branch of the family this is the same house.  Perhaps this is the "little house" built before the larger 1830 structure on the end? 

It was converted to a bed and breakfast at some point, being most recently named The Inn Britannia. 

Here is an image from the 1990's after William Butman's Searsport house was renovated to be a bed and breakfast.  Other Butman family branches say previous owners rolled the barn further away from the house to make room for the dark blue 1990 addition.  

And here it is today.  

From the barn end:


Light A Candle

This past couple of weeks I watched Ken Burns "The Roosevelts".   What a great series!  My history lessons had a big whole in it, namely the 20th century.  Growing up in the south, history always seemed to end with the Reconstruction era following the Civil War.  The word carpetbagger came up a lot, I remember.  When I was in college, I took a lot of history classes. But again, 20th century history wasn't part of it.  "The Roosevelts" gave me an insight into the world that my grandparents came of age in, and the world that my parents were born into.  

Seeing the footage of World War I, the Depression and World War II gave me a greater appreciation for the challenges that my family members lived through.  It gave me a greater appreciation for the opportunities which came out of adversity, and the character that resulted.  And the work!  The hard, hard work that people did then to make ends meet.  The hard hard work that our people did to meet the evils of the time face on.  There are so many lessons there. 

In these past couple of months I have been making some changes in my house, and have also been thinking a lot while I wield a paint roller.  Deep thoughts about what the direction of our world is, and what it will hold for both my children, but particularly my autistic son.  The Roosevelts were an action oriented family!  Eleanor Roosevelt is an interesting character to read about, a woman who worked hard to make a difference in her world, which was very dark at times. She did this in a time when it was not natural for women to think and speak so boldly. 

I am still thinking, and still painting.  After I finish painting my cabinets I will return to art making.  But also I will be focusing on how to make a practical difference in this present world.  

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden


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