Saturday, October 31, 2009

Artist's Journals and Sketchbooks

I'm working on chapter 1 of Lynne Perella's book, Artist's Journals and Sketchbooks. The first thing I did was to create a journal to put all my future work into, a project I was also doing for my Taking Flight group at On The Wing. (Multitasking is a wonderful thing!) These are the materials and the journal itself.

The next thing I did was "Working with Photocopies," part of Lynne's Chapter 1. Here are six different things you can do with a photocopy:

I'm having lots of fun with this book and learning many different techniques along the way. The nicest thing with this most recent lesson is that I used a picture of my maternal grandmother, my grandma Teresa, and combined her image in some ways that were especially meaningful to me. For example, in picture 3, the handwriting you can see (a little) in the background is that of my maternal grandmother (Flora), written in a letter in 1950. So in a way, I have both my grandmas with me in that one image. In picture 7, the "halo" on grandma Teresa's head is actually one of the new keys from the Tiffany collection. I'm happy to be able to give my Italian immigrant grandma a Tiffany key! Can you see the cement steps in the background of picture 2? My sister - 9 years older than I, has clear memories of playing on those steps - but I wasn't even born by the time they moved from that house. In working on these pictures I felt closer to knowing this grandma (whom I never met) than I'd ever felt before. It was definitely a win for me. :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009


October is Breast Cancer awareness and Domestic Violence awareness month

Raising awareness of breast cancer and domestic violence in the same month doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. Both issues primarily (but not exclusively) affect women and require ongoing funding. Let's get proactive about reaching out to every woman reading this forum today.

Every woman reading this today needs to examine her breasts monthly, and even now, with what we know about self examination, not every woman is doing that. Many of us don't want to know, or are too busy, or feel we can't tell the difference between a "normal" lump and an abnormal one. This is a treatable, curable disease IF we take care of ourselves and do that monthly check - following up with a doctor's visit. If you haven't done that self check this month, DO IT RIGHT NOW. If you need instructions, click here.

How to self examine

Domestic violence is happening right now to you or someone you know. Right now. Today. Women who are abused physically are often isolated. Their partners tend to control their lives to a great extent as well as verbally degrade them.

Hair pulling, biting, shaking, pushing, pinching, choking, kicking, confinement, slapping, hitting, punching, using weapons, forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching in public or in private and depriving her of food or sleep.

Insulting her in public or in private
Putting down her friends and family
Making her feel bad about herself
Calling her names
Making her think she's crazy
Playing mind games
Humiliating her
Making her feel guilty
Using Male Privilege; acting like "Master of the Castle"
Treating her like a servant
Making all the big decisions
Being the one to define men's and women's roles.

Preventing her from getting or keeping a job
Making her ask for money
Giving her an allowance
Taking her money
Not letting her know about or have access to family income
Not allowing her a voice in important financial decisions
Demanding exclusive control over household finances.

Making or carrying out threats to do something to hurt her
Threatening to leave her, or to commit suicide
Threatening to report her to welfare
Making her drop charges
Making her do illegal things.

Making her afraid by using looks, gestures, or actions
Throwing or smashing things, destroying property
Abusing pets
Dangerous driving
Displaying weapons.

Making her feel guilty about the children
Using the children to relay messages
Using visitation to harass her
Threatening to take the children away.

Controlling what she does, who she sees, what she reads, & where she goes
Limiting her outside involvement
Refusing to let her learn to drive, go to school, or get a job
Not allowing her to freely use the car or the telephone.

Minimizing, Denying, Blaming
Making light of the abuse and not taking her concerns about it seriously
Checking up on where she's been or who she's talked to
Accusing her of infidelity
Saying the abuse didn't happen
Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior
Saying she caused it.

Why Get Help?

The danger is real.

If you are controlling or have a controlling partner, don't ignore these behaviors. They are not the result of stress, anger, drugs or alcohol. They are learned behaviors that one person uses to dominate, intimidate and manipulate. They are destructive and dangerous.

If the abuse continues without outside help, the abusing partner may risk being arrested, going to jail, or losing the relationship.

Domestic violence hurts all family members. When a person is abusive he or she eventually loses the trust and respect of his or her partner. Abused partners are afraid to communicate their feelings and needs.

Everyone has the right to feel safe in a relationship. With help, people who are abusive can learn to be non-violent.

Learn the Warning Signs

Disagreements develop from time to time in relationships. Domestic violence is not a disagreement. It is a whole pattern of behaviors used by one partner to establish and maintain power and control over the other. These behaviors can become more frequent and intense over time.

The abusive person is responsible for these behaviors. That person is the only one who can change them. Don't wait until you and the ones you love get hurt.
You Are Not Alone. Consider getting some help. Talk with friends about your situation.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Glad The Trifecta Ran It's Course

I'm not superstitious. Really, I'm not. But it feels true that unfortunate things sometimes happen in threes.

I'm completely of the mind that if it was part of The Plan for things to occur in a certain way despite my best efforts, then that's a strong message I must find a way to accept. doesn't feel good, especially when my dearest loved ones are disappointed.

Onward and upward.