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Monday, Monday

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Outside my window, bare branches rest against a heavy gray sky, looking far more winter like than the first day of spring.

I am thinking that this budget bit is a load of crap and in now way compassionate. It seems to strike at those who need the help the most. No kid should be hungry, nor should any senior. Such tiny parts of the budget in the grand scheme of things. It breaks my heart.

I am thankful for what I have, and I'm struggling to keep that in the front of my mind and to not let worry overwhelm me. Yes, I'm thinking about myself here, the potential for horrible health care costs just when we need it the most. Who knows about social security....not an entitlement in my mind. I've paid into that baby for years and years and years. So many friends and relatives in the same boat. So, I pray for them, for us, and for everyone, really.

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I am wearing jeans, an old school t-shirt, and a sweater to take off the chill. Cleaning clothes that I don't need to worry about as I delve into closets to de-clutter and sort. There's a pile of packages ready for Goodwill.

I am creating clean space to rest my eyes on. I love seeing this space come into being. And, of course, I'm creating these tiny stitch as meditation squares. They calm my monkey mind and make me happy. So much color and texture, and the in and out repetition of the hand stitching soothes my soul.

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I am reading the New York Times and Washington Post to try to stay informed. I am not reading most of what flies across Facebook, no matter what the party. Fake news seems to be a mainstay of both sides, and it's all a lesson in patience and trying to figure out what's really happening. It's also enough to make my eyes cross.

I am hoping people can learn to think a bit more and not just react. To work for what's good for us as a country, not just what our particular party wants to happen. Mostly, I hope people can really begin to just be kind to one another. It doesn't cost much to do so, and the pay off is huge.

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I am hearing traffic make its way along Old Keene Mill Road, and the voices of students walking home. A few birds chatter noisily, and Mr. Crow scolds us all.

Around the house, floors wait to be mopped, laundry piles up, and boxes wait to be carted away. The twits' toys can be found almost anywhere, including robotic monkeys and Native American projects. Crayons, glue, felt, and more give evidence that creativity happened, and that makes me smile. Other things wait for their assigned spots as I continue this de-cluttering project.

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One of my favorite things, homemade nut roll, whispers, "Come eat me," from the kitchen. I don't think it has to worry; I've already put a healthy dent into it!

A few plans for this week:

 - more decluttering and sorting

 - a start to spring cleaning

 - editing photos

 - creating and sending snail mail

 - stitch meditations each day

 - grocery shopping and more

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Happy Spring!!!


Inspiration in the Form of a Rusty Red Car

Selfieatbrunswick

Assignment: Create a mixed Media Self-Portrait

Reaction: UGH!

And then the universe stepped in: within a week the concept of self portraits showed up three times - the assignment in Lesley Riley's 52 Pick Up class, a friend's visit to the National Portrait Gallery, and another artist showing a book of self portraits as inspiration.

Message received, and I got busy.

This "self-portrait" is a veritable mish mash of all sorts of bits and pieces.

The greenish blue background is a gelli plate print created earlier this summer. I generally have a stash of them, and they never fail to delight me.

The brownish black and brown  background is an Iphone shot of this beauty at Lucketts Market.

Rustycarfullshot

I cropped it to this:

Rusty car

I cropped it again, rotated it, and then digitally manipulated it using PhotoLabPro on my Ipad, and ta-da....got this!

Carab4

Is this not ever so cool? I quite fell in love with it, and came up with several other variations on the theme using the same app.

Now, down to the nitty gritty of it. I needed a photo of me, and I really didn't want to start shooting more selfies, so I grabbed another Iphone image shot in a silly moment last weekend.

I began with this:

Me

then manipulated it with the same app to what you see in the final portrait. I cut myself out and glued it to the brown background.

And then the fun began: white Uniball signo pens, black sharpies, a word sticker,  a rub on of the word "Focus" altered with more white pen, a tiny paper butterfly...well, you get the idea!

I threw a black mat over it to look official, and well, just because I could.

Thank you, rusty red card. You can count on showing up in my artwork again and again and again, sometimes altered beyond belief!