Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jingling All The Way~

Hello, hello! Greetings from the post-surgery stupor! There's nothing quite like the buzz of painkillers and candy cane hot chocolate!

Now I would have posted sooner, but when I'm unable to assume postures that would allow me to type easily, all of a sudden this everyday task has taken on Mt. Everest proportions. "Just...hit...the CAPS button....must hit CAPS....button! No!...NOT TAB! Ahhhhhhh....."

But I'm doing well and back on the road to recovery. But golly--sitting here, unable to do much of anything is a bit of a, well...torture chamber. How I want sculpt and play in the studio! ARGH! And...of course...I've had a billion inspirations in the past five days, yet I'm completely unable to materialize them. Why is it that when we're unable to create, life decides to make our brain work 100 times faster, giving us the motivation, but denying us the means? I call no fair! And poor Hubby--it hasn't even been a week and I'm already a bat in my belfry. However, his diabolical plan of placating this monster with a steady stream of chocolate and movies seems to be working so far.

But I shouldn't complain. And perhaps there's a lesson to be learned here. Truly, I have much to celebrate, and so much to look forward to, as well. And as I heal, I'll work on other things and perhaps I'll crack open that ol' sketchbook again and rediscover that long-ignored diversion I utilized so adeptly in school.

So I'm sending you heartfelt thanks and best wishes during this splendid holiday! Celebrate and make merry! And until next time, I leave you with this:

"I have had just about all I can take of myself." ~S. N. Behrman


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Glad Tidings to You!

Out of nowhere, the holidaze has descended upon us like a frenzied whirligig. Gadzooks!...Duck, man...DUCK! It's truly amazing how much we can cram into one week, isn't it? So congratulations to each of you who has so efficiency (or not so efficiency) wrapped up your holiday preparations and are now coasting, like a gleeful tot in a new sled, down the mad hill of December and smack-dab into the Season's festivities.

I, on the other hand, have pretty much accomplished nothing.

Yes, a couple of outstanding tasks and projects got done (and came out a lot better than I'd hoped!), but everything "holiday" will be about a month late from MinkieMundo. This back surgery, which is tomorrow morning--finally, has shook my sensibilities like a dimestore snowglobe, being the cause of The Great Disruption that has festered on my nerves like a bad case of D'OH. I'll be so glad when it's all over and I wake up. I truly dread anesthesia. Truly.

But it's been a very good day today. A brilliant day. Hubby and I spent the day together, which is always awesome! And he bought me two CDs by The Clash (I'm upgrading my old tape collection to CD) and we went out to our favorite sushi place for dinner and totally porked out. And best of all...he bought me a new Charmkin!

Say hello! He is such a little character and so very sweet! We were actually getting supplies and new fish for Hubby's fish tank on a spontaneous errand, but I wandered over to the rodent kiosk and there he was...all alone. I peered at him, and he peered at me, and he just had to come home with us--and so he did. I'm so lucky to have a husband who understands and indulges me on these matters. And ZeeBee and Beasley have welcomed him like a lost little brother! It's so fascinating to watch them parent him, and how so very patiently and gently keep his playfulness and boisterousness within acceptable boundaries. They're all asleep now, cozied up into one big blobby lovepile. Oh, to be that size to snuggle up into that warm, fuzzy goo! And speaking of goo -- a place where large, friendly rats roam around is my idea of Heaven on Earth.

But though he hasn't told me his name yet, it was meant to be. Some things just are. I mean--get this: Some blankety-blank jerks had bought this little guy as a White Elephant Gift for some holiday party. What kind of person buys an animal as a White Elephant Gift?! No one who would survive two seconds with me. And get this, the recipient apparently debated for a week what to do with him, while he was stuck in his cardboard petstore box the whole time. And thankfully rather than killing him (which apparently was a viable option-???), they returned him to the pet store. And that's when I found him. He was very timid at first, but has tamed almost instantly and is so excited to be here, he can barely sit still. He's enthusiastic about everything. The mere fact this little guy can bear any goodwill towards a person after what he's been through testifies to his graciousness and willingness to try again. Truly, the perfect lesson as we end the year--To always be willing to hope! So we now have much more to celebrate this Christmas--a new sparkly light on our family tree!

And though I can't eat or drink anything now since my surgery is at 11am, earlier I scarfed chocolate, drank some hot chocolate and watched Totoro (Thank you, Elaine! I LOVED it!). Hubby is going to show me how to transfer some materials from my iMac to my iBook, so I have some projects to work on while trapped in his Lazy Boy, like some confused Iron Maiden. "You shall sit in the COMFY CHAIR!" Ugh. But thank God.

So while our Christmas and New Years will be sedate, it will most definitely be filled with gratitude and cheer!

And so may your Holidays been shiny and bright, too! Celebrate! Sing with gusto! Don't skimp on the tinsel! I wish you and yours all the joy, laughter and love this season brings, and most of all, to carry that through 2008, too! And, in true ratty nature, of course, I wish you piles of sinfully delicious food and treats! May you be warm and content, and may your bellies be full this Holiday Season!

Joy and Best Wishes to you! ~Sarah

"Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow" ~ Helen Keller


Friday, December 7, 2007

Lean, Mean, Mold-Making Machine

No, it's not a fancy bar of Neutrogena soap! No, it's not a wiggly block of orange Jell-O! And, no, it's not a giant fancy piece of tangerine Jolly Rancher!

It's mold rubber--a big wiggly-jiggly-squiggly rubber version of my new Jumper plaque that Joan of Pour Horse Pottery cast for me, making it the new master from which production plaster molds can be poured, ad infinitum. Now you may be wondering what those black lines are, around his chest and neck areas, and those are the mold lines she drew in to guide me since this will be my first multi-part plaster mold I make on my own (in this case, a three part mold, with a floating inner bit). Hey--it's high time to give that learning curve a good jolt. If you don't use it, you lose it! And I have chisel at hand just in case I entomb it in the white stuff--it's like a rite of passage with plaster molding.

And this piece is big, measuring about 9.5 inches long and 6.75 inches at the widest parts, which offers a lot of space to play with glaze and technique. Joan has already glazed one, beautifully, as usual--Wow Joan! I'm positively enthralled with sculpting relief work of various kinds because I can infuse the challenges of graphic design and new ways of interpreting the equine subject that I just can't exploit with a conventional sculpture. And with my new tile press, I'm excited to dive into that aspect of sculpture. Who said playing in the mud was for kids?

And in case you're interested, feast heartily on Joan's new rosegrey Dafydd. Ay chihuahua! What a looker! I am so very fortunate to have so many talented and fabulous people in my life. It's hard to tell where the inspiration from the work, and the inspiration from those involved, begins and ends!

This shores me up as I contemplate my impending spinal surgery this month. To say I'm anxious about it would be a Godzilla-sized understatement (with jumping around and glowing spines and all--and is that Mechagodzilla and Rodan in there, too?). But necessity dictates this course of action. The only way around it, is through it. The recuperation will take six long weeks, where I can only sit upright for 20 minutes at a time, so finding new and bizarre ways to work will be an interesting exercise in new kinds of creativity. And this right when I'm to receive my new tile press!

But my wonderful hubby bought me the widescreen DVD of Ratatouille the day it came out, so I'll have ample, rotund rodents to cheer me up, well, besides the two blobular pygmy landsharks here who keep me busy enough! I think I shall fall under the ether with the image of Emile, stuffed full of grapes in all his lumpy, bumpy, blobby glory.

So Christmas here will be somber and sedate, but I'll truly have much to be thankful for and feel it more deeply this time I suspect. So many good things and exciting possibilities still to come! And gingerbread cookies--lots of them. This time of year usually leaves me with mixed emotions and an eagerness to get back to the routine, but I believe this year I shall wallow in a new, and perhaps better, sense of it. Life is like art, in a way, with each new experience, like each new creation, is a learning opportunity, and with a bit of reflection and auspicious grace, we become better for it.

So with that, I leave you with this: "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." ~Cicero

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