Thursday, September 27, 2012

Autumn poem

This is my favorite time of year, peaceful and pensive.
I love the colors, and the smells, and the sound of wind shushing the pines and helping other trees shed their leaves.
And always, I love the sight of deer visiting the woods here at Slipper Moon, though they always seem to know when I don't have my camera. I hold my breath when I see them, a moment Mary Oliver describes as swimming inward and flowing outward in this poem:

"Five A.M. In the Pinewoods"

I'd see their hoof prints in the deep
needles and knew
they ended the long night

under the pines, walking
like two mute
and beautiful women toward
the deeper woods, so I

got up in the dark and
went there. They came
slowly down the hill
and looked at me sitting under

the blue trees, shyly
they stepped
closer and stared
from under their thick lashes and even

nibbled some damp
tassels of weeds. This
is not a poem about a dream,
though it could be.

This is a poem about the world
that is ours, or could be.
one of them -- I swear it! --

would have come to my arms.
But the other
stamped sharp hoof in the
pine needles like

the tap of sanity,
and they went off together through
the trees. When I woke
I was alone.

I was thinking:
so this is how you swim inward,
so this is how you flow outward,
so this is how you pray.

(Mary Oliver, House of Light)
Excuse me for a while, friends. I'm going for a walk in the woods.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Easy Breezy Art Display

I wanted an inexpensive and interchangeable way to display some art prints that I bought recently -- interchangeable because I like to change art with the seasons. Dick Blick online had a magnetic display, but you have to affix the magnet to the wall. Not an option for me because people complained that the removable adhesive damaged their walls when they removed the magnet. Uh-uh, sorry Dick Blick -- I just had my walls repainted. So here's another way. Get a blank artist's canvas to fit your print, with room for a border all around. I cheated here and recycled an "ambitiously bad" painting (as Tim Gunn would say) that I did at Painting with a Twist when my friends and I had a little too much "twist." Decorate the canvas as the creative muse moves you. I just painted over said embarrassment with leftover latex house paint.
Go to your nearest craft store and buy some super-powerful magnets, the little button kind that wreck your fingernails when you try to pry them apart. While you're there, buy something cute to glue to the magnets, unless you're a minimalist and like the sleek, utilitarian look. If you don't have any good adhesive, buy some glue also (Minimalists, forego the glue.). Advance to the home improvement store and buy some metal pieces that magnets will stick to. Here's what I bought at Home Depot for a little over $3:
Go home and glue your "something cute" (old shell buttons for me) to your magnets, and leave them face down on your work surface until the glue sets.
Now comes the fun part: Turn the canvas to the back side and decide where the pieces of metal should be placed. You don't have to glue them -- just hold one in place while you position the art print to the front and attach the magnet.
Et voila! Art you can change at the speed of light!
This beautiful print is by the wonderful Terri Windling: I have big plans for this idea, and a veritable wealth of embarrassing canvases painted by moi. I ordered a Charles Wysocki Halloween print, so one canvas must be black and spattered with orange paint. Those who are more talented than I am could decorate the canvas with mixed media art, or paint it and stamp evocative images all around the border, or wrap the whole thing in some fabric to match your decor. For kids' art, you could paint the canvas with blackboard paint and write something clever in the border each time you change the art. Just one word of CAUTION: Keep those magnets away from children and pets. If swallowed, they can cause serious or even fatal injury. Have fun with this idea, and share your results with me!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall is nipping the air!

"Sometimes it is the smallest thing that saves us: the weather growing cold, a child's smile, and a cup of excellent coffee." Jonathan Carroll