Friday, August 17, 2012

writing it up

“I never wanted to be well-rounded. I do not admire well-rounded people nor their work. So far as I can see, nothing good in the world has ever been done by well-rounded people. The good work is done by people with jagged, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave an imprint, a design.”

“If you’re gonna write, for God in heaven’s sake, try to get naked. Try to write the truth. Try to get underneath all the sham, all the excuses, all the lies that you’ve been told.”

“Writers spend all their time preoccupied with just the things that their fellow men and women spend their time trying to avoid thinking about. … It takes great courage to look where you have to look, which is in yourself, in your experience, in your relationship with fellow beings, your relationship to the earth, to the spirit or to the first cause—to look at them and make something of them.”

“There is something beautiful about scars of whatever nature. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound is closed and healed, done with.”

Harry Crews

I've never read anything by this author, but I just came across what he said and this makes me want to read his works.  I'm writing. I'll try very hard to do the same with my works. (I'll keep you posted) ;)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Just Beautiful

I just had to share this.

I love Designers who create sculpture and turn Fashion into Art.

This is so over the top and Fabulous

Here are a couple of my favorites and of course, the shoes.....oh the shoes!

The Good Earth

I'm a Farmer!
Dad plowed the garden spot yesterday

After years of city life, It's good to finally feel the earth between my toes again
 I have to design the layout still, but tomorrow I'm going shopping for seeds and starters. I'm planning on putting in perennials and making beds. Someday I hope it will look as neat and tidy as the pictures below.

I'm excited!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

People skills

I say hello with a cracked expression, was that a smile? I think "avoid eye contact next time". Ugh, this is painful! You speak of fighting and cheating and new residences and as I'm listening to your horrible life I'm reminded just how much I dislike you. You act like we are friends because we are associated through our common rabble, but, I know you hate me. I'm not sure why.  I don't care all that much, but I do wonder why you bother. You talk about him. He is this and he is that; from the moment I met you. You know he flirted with me once? You say you caught him chatting with fat girls online --- hmmm, that must be why. It all makes sense now. I know you think I'm a fat girl. You know I flirted back? (because I so totally respect you) "If that's what he wants why would he be with this" you say gesturing to your new boobs. Yeah, I think you do know. (Keep your enemies closer).

What do I have that you don't? Why would your husband prefer me?

I understand that you aren't happy. How could someone so self absorbed, someone who trash talks (even her best friend) be a happy person?

I'm scanning the room now, looking for an opening, a way out, I've got to get out! The air is getting hotter (you're blowing a lot of it). The walls are closing in and I need a drink. Hey it was great seeing you, the pain in my face is back and I don't hide it. Let me know how it turns out, and when you've broken up for good, give him my number.

One of my friends says I don't have very good people skills, my Mother says I'm not very tolerant, I say I'm honest. If I don't like you, it's very easy to read.

I consider that a man's brain (I'll say life here) originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber (people) of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge (joy) which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it.
....Sherlock Holmes....

And now you all know just how Cat-like I can be.

I wrote the above after a very frustrating night with a woman I have a very hard time with. She is married to a very attractive man, I don't think she is pretty, or  nice, or affectionate, or nice, or a descent person, or nice... at all!!!!! She has a super hot body though. Especially with those extremely large new fake boobies. It's women like this that make me truly annoyed with their husbands.

Here is my problem. The majority (I'd say all, but it sounds so dramatic) of men that are interested in me these days, are MARRIED. They look at what they've got at home and then they look at me and wish they hadn't been so stupid and why oh why didn't I wait for someone so wonderful as you? So this is why the wives hate me and I very rarely have any married girlfriends. (The ones I do have are just as amazing as I am and so they are secure in their relationships). And this is why I'm continuing to lose faith in the male species. Gosh Mr., I know I'm pretty cool, I have real boobs and a little bit of fat, and I'm smart and I'm kind, and I'm patient, and yes you ARE an idiot. So no matter how attractive you are, you are still super stupid. I'm looking for an equal, get lost!

So, the Sherlock quote- I make it a point to avoid people that suck my life force with their negativity. The above person is a very good example of an emotional vampire, and although I give everyone a chance to show me their good points, there comes a point when you have to start wearing garlic. I've reached it with her, obviously.

I don't waste a lot of time in the shallows, deep is were I dwell and all those who prefer the murk are welcome to join me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I just happened to be in a restaurant and saw the mixed martial arts competitions on the many TVs that were distracting the diners from actual human conversation. I learned of a fighter named Benson Henderson. Not only is he quite adorable,
Very much so I think--it's to bad I'm so old and he doesn't know me and we don't live near each other and we aren't married. :)
but he also has something quite interesting tattooed on his arm. I noticed this after the initial drool.

It's Korean and it's a word I didn't know. (and of course he's half Korean) So I had to come home and look it up, here is what I found.

    1. 1. champion
    1. 2. warrior
    1. 3. transcription
    1. 4. fighter
    1. 5. champ
    1. 6. brave
Ok, well then, way to secretly put it out there. He has very subtly labeled himself (in a not so subtle way). The cool thing, is that he is a champion. I wonder at what point in his career he got the tattoo?
So at a completely different time, I was looking up inspiring athletes and I found this picture of another mixed martial artist. Her name is Gina Carano and she has the same word in English on her shorts. Now I'm sure this is a common word used in this line of athletics, but it's a really great word.
She is just beautiful-so strong and powerful
I'm know they use it as a motivation device. Benson probably looks in the mirror at his tat and says "that's right, I am a Warrior, and don't you forget it" He's also put it there for everyone to see. It's like he's letting the world know it's a fact, cause it's right there on his skin.
I have been working pretty hard lately, studying Korean and working on other self improvement projects. I love that the word was in Korean because I actually had to do the work to translate it. That's how one becomes 전사  by doing what it takes to earn the label. These two probably had a little natural talent, but they have worked super hard to get where they are.  They've made mistakes and been knocked down, but they didn't quit, they got up and started again. So.......Here I go.....저는 질리안 보웬이에요. 전사 난되고  싶어요.  노력하고  공부해요, 친구들이같이  하국말 싶어요. 저는 사진 속의 여자처럼되구  싶어요, 강하고  강력한. 저는  할 수있어요. 

There's the beginning. I'm sure I've made mistakes, but I will keep fighting for myself. 화이팅!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I've been making a lot of costumes lately and so I've been combing the web in search of inspiration. I've found enough fodder to last me a good while, gosh I just love the information highway :)  I thought I'd post some of my favorites so you all could appreciate the beauty as well. I think that the time between 1905 and 1915 produced some of the most exquisite gowns in history.....
.....and so here they are for you to enjoy.

I love black and white, beads and lace, and of course the little slip of a train that makes this formal. I have always wished that we still dressed like this and had fancy parties and events to go to that call for this level of grandeur. (actually they still do in Switzerland, there is a Ball season every winter)

The posture and tiny waists are achieved through corset wearing. This silhouette has a definite S shape to it and rearranges your insides so that your stomach is located in your neck. It's a small price to pay for beauty.

This gown is by Charles Worth, he's one of the most talented designers in all the history of the world. Can you tell I love him? The detail that goes into one of his pieces is just amazing. He didn't do it all himself, he had help, but his lackeys had to be just as skilled as he was. Look at this dress, it was done long before machine embroidery was ever available. I just think of the hours it took to do all this by hand, thank goodness for modern technology.

Another Worth Creation

The Hats in this era were Fabulous!!!!

I love this dress!! Lovely, lovely, lovely

 The asymmetry is one of my favorite details with most of these designs, it makes them interesting as well as stunning.

This one is my all time favorite.

Well, I could probably keep posting forever, there are so many pieces from this time period that have made it into this century, so there's lots of great stuff to drool over. I got the chance about ten years ago to go to the V&A museum in London and see the costume display there. I literally had my nose pressed to the glass the whole time. It was heaven to see, in fact I could spend countless days there and never tire of it. I'll leave you with one more

Ok, I lied, two :) How often do you see something this fantastic in Orange?
*I'm done*

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Slave to Fashion

Aren't we rediculous? I can't help but love the ever changing shapes, as much as they never work for my body, though ^ .^

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


These pictures are in Tokyo and Kyoto. I unfortunately wasn't the photographer of these two top pictures. When I lived in Korea I went to Japan a few times and I think it's beautiful, but I didn't get to go to the places that I wanted to. I was in Fukuoka three times for visa renewals, but that wasn't so bad. It's not really a touristy place so I got to see some real, small town, every day village life. The first time I was there, I saw a bunch of men running through the streets wearing the sumo wrestling underpants (I don't know the real name). They were carrying huge paper scultures and taking them to the nearby temples. I had forgotten my camera on that trip. It was quite a site, I just stood in the street watching all these half naked men running by and I couldn't help but wish my MOM was there with me. Ha! Fukuoka is really quite lovely, each time I was there I wandered into a new part of town and discovered new places. Once I was there while the cherry blossoms were blooming and I found this beautiful park with a lake and Koi fish. The sun was warm, the sea air was fresh, and I just walked and walked. I found a used book store and bought Kabuki magazines and Geisha book marks and beautiful paper. The second time I went to Fukuoka, I was on vacation with two of my friends. We found a museum that showcased artistic renditions of Japanese Monster Lore -scary stuff- which inspired a popular cartoon about a demon who's father was his eyeball and it would pop out of his head to help him from time to time. We went to a Buddhist Temple and offered incense and said a prayer and of course went shopping. We went to a famous noodle house where you had to sit in solitary booths and eat by yourself, even though we all went together. This time I had my camera. I took this picture secretly under my curtain. I couldn't see who gave me my noodles. Japanese culture was very different then Korea's. I'm not going to point out how many differences there are, but let's just say, when I needed to have some privacy, Japan provided it.
There is a trough running down the middle for the noodle preparers to stand and anonymously feed you

 While there I bought a beautiful silk Kimono, one of my dreams is to have traditional dress from the various places I visit, so one down about a million to go. My friends and I played dress up in our hotel room. I'm looking out the window at Hakata Train Station. I'm not wearing my Kimono properly, but my nose looks wonderful doesn't it? Anywho, one of my next goals is to figure out how to tie an Obi. 
 So one of the coolest things was seeing the huge paper sculptures up close. They were still on display at different sites around town. The Japanese make such beautiful paper and paper crafts. I bought as much paper as I could afford, which really wasn't much but it was enough cause I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I just knew I wanted some.
Notice the intricate patterns, so pretty
Close up with more detail
There are so many different Japanese crafts to try out (like the intricate paper dolls called Washi Ningyo) which I'd like to try someday. I was wondering what to do with my newly bought paper and I remembered the hair ornaments worn by Geisha called Tsumami Kanzashi. These are traditionally made of silk and rice paste, but I decided my paper would work. So I started experimenting. This head piece is really elaborate, but for everyday wear, by some one not of the Flower and Willow World, totally impractical. So beautiful though, and I wanted to capture the same feel without being super ecentric. 
This piece was made by Kuniko Kanawa ,found on Etsy
So this is what I came up with. I'm actually still playing with finishes, but I like the way they are turning out. Simple but beautiful and they give a very elegant air to what ever they are worn with.
I'm still researching different methods and trying to figure out some of the more complicated pieces -that are so amazing- but for now I'm happy with my results.

Japan is a place I will definately go back to. I wanted to go as I was leaving Korea, but a month before I was scheduled to leave the Tsunami hit. Many of my friends said that I should have gone because the Airplane tickets were so cheap, but I didn't feel right about being a tourist in a mourning country. It's a beautiful place and it truly inspires me. Someday I will go to Kyoto, I'll go in the Spring time when the blossoms are out. Yes I definately will.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

If the Shoe fits

I have some amazing shoes (and some nice gams to go with them).
I'm also really lucky to have about a million nieces and nephews in my extra large family. There are quite a few of them who like to try on my super fab shoes. Many of the girls of course, but there is a certain boy that right now has the same size feet as I do (he also has great legs), he likes to try on my shoes too. Now it's pretty likely that I won't have children, but I have wondered who in this huge group of sibling offspring, if any, will fill my shoes. There has to be someone similar to me in taste and talent, it is a rather large gene pool after all. All of us are talented in some way. I just wonder if any of them will like what I like and excel at what I do.  Each one of them is so precious and I love them all so much. I hope that they will have fond memories of thier crazy aunt and her willingness to let them try on her $200 shoes. I hope they remember the hikes up to our favorite spots to watercolor what we see. I hope they all know how much I love and adore them. And yes, I do have a hope that one of them at some point will ask me how do you do that and will you teach me.

This is my beautiful niece in my stewart weitzmans


“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth.”
George R.R. Martin

This is a beautiful illustration by David T Wenzel   (you can find more of his lovely stuff on his website)
A long time ago one of my friends said she didn't want to indulge in fantasy because she felt like it was an escape and that she wouldn't have the skills to deal with reality if she was always escaping. I remember feeling so sad for her.
I have recently read The Hunger Games Trilogy, I've read Harry Potter, many of my favorite books are based on Robin Hood and Arthur, and like many others my all time favorite is Tolkien. I've read Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lords or the Rings. If I could get my hands on the other out of print works, I'd read them as well. My friend said that fantasy is an escape, but it's Oh so much more then that.
I love a good story, but they have to be really well done to impress me.  I especially like stories where the lead becomes the hero through the choices he or she makes, and not because it's predestined or chosen for them. For those of you who haven't read The Hunger Games, I won't give it away, but I want to be like Katniss. Her achievement is won through sacrifice and personal loss. She gave up everything to gain something better. It wasn't what she wanted, but she did what she did because it had to be done. I love stories about people who step up and take the challenge even when it seems too hard. Frodo is a similar character. He simply asks what must I do? I think that Frodo's story, as a fictional character, is more based in reality than many real characters I know. Frodo goes on a journey to vanquish an evil. He is small and unskilled, he is scared and unsure of himself, but he finds the courage to step out his door into the unknown. Along the way he finds friends in people he wouldn't have ever trusted. He finds out who his real friends are. He finds out how much he is loved and needed. He finds out how to empathize and feel what the truly wretched have felt. He learns what real evil is and how to recognize goodness. This fantastical story has inspired me to think differently and be creative. I am but a small Hobbit on this planet, but I musn't be afraid to leave the Shire. I would miss out on so much.

Fantasy is always spilling over into my reality. The bright colors of my dreams stay with me, I paint them on my canvases. The spices are in my cooking and my behavior. Someday, I will live in a Hobbit hole. The truth is that anything can be made a reality if it is dreamed and I am a vivid dreamer. I hope that my friend has learned to be one as well. There is magic in fantasy.

Some lessons from the Wise One
I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”

“We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”

“A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.”

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”
“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

“I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which 'Escape' is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?”
J.R.R. Tolkien

I better stop here before I reveal just how big of a Tolkien geek I really am, though I fear it's already to late for that ;)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ha Ha Ha all the way Home

This is my kind of Humor. Wit, yes Witty Wit especially

Words to Live by

It's rare that I find written words that reach me. I found this poem while my Dad was battling cancer (it was key to me not losing my mind). It inspired quite a few works from me and helped me to cope with my Father's mortality as well as my own.

The Laughing Heart

Your life is your life
Don't let it be clubbed into dark submission, be on the watch.
There are ways out. There is a light somewhere. It may not be much light, but it beats the darkness.
Be on the watch.
The Gods will offer you chances. Know them. Take them.
You can't beat death, but you can beat death in life sometimes. And the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be.
Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.
You are marvelous.
The Gods wait to delight in you.

Charles Bukowski

I painted this picture for my father. I put every positive thought I had into it. This tree, I told him, bore fruit the year before. It's still alive and strong. The winter has set in and is challenging it to live, like winter always does,but I've never known my Dad to be bothered by the cold. I don't know if he even thought about what I said, but this is what I wanted him believe about himself.
 This painting, on the other hand, I poured all my venom into. I'll admit, I had some pretty dark feelings. So for my health and peace of mind, I got them all out. This is actually quite beautiful under a spot light. It has glass beads on it that sparkle and abalone shell that shines. I had it hanging over my bed for a time, while I brooded and hissed. Then I took it down and put it away.
 This is what the painting has become, as my Father and I have healed. There is always renewal and rebirth. A chance to see differently and change . I'm at peace now. We all die and my Dad will die someday, but my feelings for him are forever. I'm so glad that they are represented by golden light and life giving green instead of blackness and shadow.
As I was hanging the finished picture on my wall, I fell off the chair and cut my arm up on the jagged shell pieces. It was a reminder of what misunderstanding and unforgiveness had the potential of doing to me. I'm not going to let poison like that into my relationships ever again. I only have one life, and I mean to live it well. I am Marvelous and the Gods are waiting. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Water Spirit

When I was young, my family would go to the Oregon Coast for vacations. I fell in love with the Pacific Ocean. It was my first love, and has always been loyal to me. When ever I've been in it's presence, I've come away Reborn. There is no place on Earth that captures me like the stretch of coastline from Yachets to Seaside. Why is it so special? It's wild and raw, the violence of the waves Booming on the rocks gives me a thrill like no other, and the cold salty spray kisses my skin and quite literally re-hydrates it into youth. I've had more near whale experiences, while climbing on the rocks, then I can count. Many people would think that spotting a whale would be this amazing stroke of good luck, but it's really become common place for me. Once I was sitting down by the water and a water spout shot up not 5 ft from me. Where was I when this happened? Somewhere I shouldn't have been, and I was all by myself. That's become a habit of mine, communing with the dangerous tide with no back up. I went to Oregon State University for awhile, and every time it would rain and I could get away, I would head out to the beach at Newport. No one, or very few people are around when it rains. I had the entire place almost completely to myself. There are many spots that are fenced off because of shear cliffs. I usually jumped over and climbed down. Yes, well, not a good habit, but one that I've survived multiple times none the less. This is very much what I'm like.(oh my poor Mother). Some call it reckless, but I think you don't gain much if you follow all the rules. I've experienced other beaches in places that are warmer, but they don't do it for me. There isn't the same spiritual connection. That's right, when I'm sitting atop the wall at Seal Rock (my favorite spot on the whole Planet) I see God, I hear the whisper of generations in the rushing wind, I feel the greatness of Creation. I want to be able to create on this level. To make something so amazing that amazing isn't descriptive enough to explain it's enormity. Is it clear what I'm aspiring to? Well, maybe someday. Wish me luck ;)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lights to Delight

Every May the East celebrates the birth of Buddha. In Korea, there is a lantern parade in which floats are erected and driven through the main street in the old part of Seoul. They are absolutely gorgeous and completely original every year. These are some of my favorites from 2011.
This one unites two of my favorite themes, fish and trees, I love the fins on the red fish.

This one is a traditional story about children who are saved from a Tiger by the Gods. Let me see if I can get this right- 주면 안 짭아 먹지- give it to me and I won't eat you. My Korean friends can correct this if I'm wrong ^0^.
Dragons were a popular theme, which was ok by me, I love them.
This is a traditional war boat, I think they're called turtle boats because of the way they're designed. They protect everyone on board and still allow the sailors to attack.
Another favorite motif was the lotus, which actually represents Buddha. Lotus flowers grow in murky disgusting water, but a beautiful blossom emerges out of it. It's the same with the great teacher rising above the world. The colors on this one (well all of them actually) were wonderful.

Here's a detail close up. The under structure is rattan, the outer surface is mulberry paper, and it's all decorated with ink. It's just lovely. There were so many that I was amazed by, and honestly I wish I could live in one of these somehow.

People march in thier Hanbok 한복 (traditional dress) with lanterns they make out of textured paper. I wanted to get some of these and bring them back to America with me, but where and how would I transport them without the common squishing problem?

Lucky for me, they not only sell the lanterns in a shop like this, but they also sell the special paper. I bought four packages. Each package has an uncountable amount of paper in it.

Hopefully at some point I can do something like this, Isn't it amazing? Actually, I'd probably never get this far, but it's a fun thought. Each one of these lanterns represents a family prayer, and on Buddhas's Birthday they hang them up both inside and outside the Temples. Colorful lights beautify the whole city. I'd have to say that Buddha's Birthday is my Favorite Holiday. Halloween coming in second and then Chinese New Year.

Anywho-- I got the paper back home, I picked up some paper lanterns with LEDs at the dollar store, and got to work.

This is the end product-They are beautiful in the dark, but they also go well with my hideous mustard colored paint job. I love them and they help me remember how much I love Korea and the celebrations I experienced there.