Some more info here:
Some more info here:
So, despite what has probably seemed otherwise, I DID make it out of the jungle alive...well, more than alive, and I realize how completely cheesy this sounds, but I came back feeling new...like the jungle took me in, shook me up, emptied all of the negative energy out, gave me a bit of time to recover, then sent me back home all fresh and clean and ready to start life afresh. That's really how it felt, that's the only way I can explain it...I had my expectations of what an amazing experience this would be, and they were FAR exceeded...my mind had no way of conceiving how the experience would change me.
We've got a lot of catching up to do, and no, I'm not going to force you to sit through a lengthy sideshow of photos I took while I was there. Yes, I would like to share a bit of my journey with you, but before we get into that I just want to let you know that after the longest studio break in Pink Crow history I'm now back in the studio, back in production...making stuff...for real! Feels good to be back. Hello...again.
Ok, here are a few shots to give you an idea of what I had going on for six weeks earlier this year:
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Ok, that's it for now...time for me to get working in the studio.
I've got lots in production and lots of other news too...I'll have more about that soon. Thanks for stopping by.
Today I leave for Peru for six weeks. My plans are to sit in the breathtaking Peruvian Amazon and breathe...look & watch, listen & hear, smell, taste, touch and feel...really REALLY feel. Six weeks in the rainforest becoming inspired...becoming an artist again. I'll see you in May. xo
I'm not generally the kind of girl who makes purchases impulsively. In fact if I see something at a store that I really want I usually leave without it and only return to get it if I find myself still thinking about it days later...and if it's no longer there or I don't have time to go back I take it as a sign that it just wasn't supposed to happen.
And I'm not the kind of girl who shops to make herself feel better when she's feeling down. When I'm feeling down the last place I want to be is at a mall, or in a retail store of any kind...and I know, there's the web and all, but I like to feel things, especially if they are going to be on my body. I'm all about the feeling approach to shopping...and come to think of it for life in general for that matter.
So, this past spring I surprised myself when I impulse bought these sweet shoes:
But I was travelling, and they were on sale, and my soul needed a little boost...what better to give the soul a little boost than a new pair of zebra striped ballet flats, right? And for under $20 how couldn't I? I decided then that they would be my new studio shoes. Not for shopping, not for errands, not for driving...for the studio, so when I put them on my mind knows it's time for creativity.
I've had two, 8-hour days in the studio, so now it's time for an update and a long-overdue "Today's Desk".
Here's where it all started yesterday morning,
with the template attached to a stack of riveted sterling.
I had to take advantage of some Florida sunshine pouring in my window this evening.
Thanks for checking in. Be back soon with more updates.
For my life lately the last post was too good to be true. I mean really? Pure production time? All those delays and setbacks behind me? Months of working toward setting up and starting again finally paid off with some solid work time? Couldn't be.
No, it couldn't.
So yesterday just hours after getting the previous post up I learned that I would have to move the studio...again. I know, right? I had JUST gotten settled and productive!
But in a more broad sense it's a good thing. The owner of the little yellow house is making some positive changes in her life. She's stepping back and reassessing...always a good idea when life doesn't seem to be going right. I know how hard it is to take those big steps, it takes a whole lot of courage, so I'm proud of her. And I like to trust that when people are making those difficult decisions they are doing so because they believe it is the best thing to do at the time...not always (or often) the easiest, and definitely not the most enjoyable, but in their eyes, the best. So I trust her and support her decision 100%, because I believe in her and because that's just what you do.
But with that figurative "stepping back" also came news of a literal stepping back. She'll be moving back into the house again in about a month or so, and I'll be packing up again. Luckily I know of a space that's not too far away and available.
Now excuse me while I pack this box...
Finally...finally. I'm working.
After some unforseen delays and setbacks and a few necessary distractions I am finally in the studio working. I've stayed productive during the time that I couldn't be working on new pieces, mostly with design work, but it feels so good to be at my desk again. This will be my first week of 100% dedicated studio time. It should be week five, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it...you have to allow yourself some peace when things are beyond your control.
Oh it feels so good to be here again.
Here's a little peek at one of the pieces I've been and will be working on:
Thanks for checking in.
For so long I've been trying to figure out how to write this post, trying to figure out if I should even write anything at all, but I've been absent from the studio and quiet about my life for so long, and you've been ever so patient and yet still so encouraging. I need to say something.
= my sunsets lately =
Every song and story and play has both beginning and ending, and as we hear other people's stories told following this beginning-to-end format we tend to think of life as neatly packaged into distinct sections and chapters, but in reality each of us knows all too well how the stories of our own lives intertwine, overlap, infect and influence one another. So it is impossible for me to start an explanation from the beginning, because I don't even know where that is.
= NYU =
So while art may imitate life, life is always so much more nuanced and complex than art can ever be. Because of all of that, because of how so many of our stories weave together and because there is no beginning and no ending except in death, there are few clear cut victim/hero(ine)/villain roles. We all have, at one time or another, played our part in each of these roles and sometimes have played multiple parts within the same story.
I'm still not quite sure how to put it down, but how can I just pick my entire life up, move twelve hundred miles, set up a studio, and continue my blog posts without saying anything at all? I'm in Florida now, I know that some sort of explanation is in order, but it seems that is as far as I can get because in order for you to understand what I've done and why I've done it you would have to had lived my life for a little while. Even then a reaction to the same set of circumstances is not universal, so I couldn't expect every person to understand...nor do I.
= April 2011 =
In short I just can't find a way to put it into words, and so I don't think I am going to try. I've gone over this post in my head so many times but I can not strip it down to its most elemental parts and still adequately communicate the layers of emotion involved, and to me emotions are the most essential factors in all human interaction. As Maya Angelou so wisely put it, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
In the end what I need you to know is that up until three months ago I was more lost than I have ever been at any point in my life. The effort it took to live day to day had become overwhelming...my existence was draining the life out of me, and I mean that in the most literal sense. I witnessed a suicide during that time, (a 27-year-old woman jumped from a balcony of the high rise across the street from our building) and for the first time I could feel and understand the desperation involved in making the decision to take your own life...and that scared me. I knew I had to leave my life in order to save it.
There is no way for me to explain or express what has happened, so instead I will just state a few simple facts, that three months ago I left my home, my life, my husband and I had no plan for what would come next, except that I would take my studio with me because I feel best when I am creating. I was hurting and to be honest I still am, but I know that no one had any intention of hurting me, in fact the opposite is true, but being loved to death doesn't feel much different than being hated and it is absolutely suffocating and claustrophobic. I needed time and space to breathe.
I also want to make it clear that I understand that I caused some of that hurt myself, I caused some of my own hurt and also caused others to feel emotional pain as well.
I'd spent exhausting and emotionally charged months questioning and pleading, and then days numbly packing my things up, putting some things into storage, shipping other things ahead of me, and dragging some of it along with my tired self from place to place.
During the past several months, and thanks to the kindness and generous hospitality of others, I've stayed with old friends and new, with family and with strangers. I've stayed in homes, in government housing, in two monasteries, and one night I counted the hours until morning in a train station, but now I've finally landed and will settle for a bit...in the once abandoned but now loved Yellow House.
I'm not sure what my future will bring, and whenever someone asks I just let them know that I've got a summer studio set up, and have made no plans for anything beyond that. My studio, my creative outlet, my balance, will go on hopefully for as long as I do, but I've made no major life plans beyond this season because if I've learned anything in life, especially lately, it is that you just don't know, you can't know. I plan to have a quiet, work-intensive summer, and we'll see where life takes me after that.
= The Beginnings of a Studio =
I'm so much better now than I was a just few months ago, but I'm still needing to do a lot of work to get where I need to be, to a place where I can find peace. My "studio stuff", my tools and supplies and furniture finally arrived on Saturday, so now it's time for me to work. I need to get my hands on metal again, I need to breathe to the meditative rhythm of my sawing, I need to work some of this stuff out, and to make something, soon.
I've spent many, many months reflecting and dwelling on the past, and now for just a little while I will put that on hold and I will simply dwell in possibility.
I am a patient girl,
I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait...
I'm sitting in a waiting room. I'm waiting because the room is waiting, or is it the other way around?
The entire contents of my studio, my furniture, tools, supplies, books, etc., are also waiting...in Chicago storage...to be loaded on a moving truck and shipped down here to me. I was told that once I called to let the movers know I was ready my belongings would be to me within about ten days or so...I guess it's going to be "or so". I called about a week ago telling them I'd be ready anytime after June 10th and was told they'd get back to me once they had an ETA. I called again yesterday and was told it would probably be another couple of weeks, but they didn't know for sure.
I calmly and kindly let them know that I'm down here to work, and what they are moving is what allows me to work, so I really need to get it all down here ASAP. They said they understood...let's hope so.
In the meantime I'm reading unread issues of American Craft & Uppercase, sketching some new designs, and getting paperwork organized. No sense in worrying about things that are outside of my control...
Please, please, please let my studio get here soon...please!
Much has changed since my last post, but before I get too much into all of that I have to say that right now my phone is providing me with the only web access I have for the next week or so, so this post is being tapped out on a tiny, virtual keyboard...there will be errors, there will not be much detail...just a short, sweet & simple studio update.
I am setting up studio in a little abandoned house in an area of Florida between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico...just a couple miles from all the sunsets I care to see. A few other creatives will be joining me in this space and we will have what I like to think of as something close to what Van Gogh was aiming for in his "Studio of the South", except that unlike his experience I'm hoping this endeavor does not end in my mental breakdown and incarceration.
Stick around to see...it should be interesting either way.
More updates to come soon.