Friday Poem:To the manager, Olympic Inn Motel, Aberdeen, Wa.

One day, months after getting home, and settling back into normal, non-traveler mode, I came across the receipt from our stay in Aberdeen, and wrote this poem – which relates closely to last week’s post –Aberdeen's finest

We stayed with you in August
And now I am homesick
For your town
The cat across the road
The chipmunk in the lobby
The memories (not mine)
Of childhood growing up there
Searches for coffee
And waiting for buses
The wide blue sky
And the trees on the skyline

How I long to be back there
In the park by the river
And waiting for pilgrims.Aberdeen cat

We’d seen this cat regularly, lolling about across the road from the motel. The chipmunk was last seen heading in that direction, and we feared for it’s fate – although it was a very fast moving little beast, so it may have eluded the cat. We’ll never know!Think-of-me hill

Aberdeen is famously rainy, so it’s a little odd that I remember it for blue skies and sunshine! So many people said to us, when we mention the PNW’s reputation for rain, “oh, it doesn’t rain in August!”, as if they wondered how any one could even suggest such a thing. It did rain the day we went to Ocean Shores, though. Quite a lot…

That hill is called “Think-of-Me”, apparently after a brand of tobacco that had a big sign on it long, long ago. Krist Novoselic and his family lived over there – some more history for you!

Creativity: Artist Scrapbook 4



Scrapbooking is all about putting odd scraps together on a page in a way that is pleasing to the eye. This page features Japanese art, a dragon by one of my kids, a review and some news – an odd mixture, but it works, because the dragons headgear echoes that of the Japanese lady, and his wings resemble the draperies on the cover of “In Your Honour”. There is also a hand-lettered quote from a poem by Lord Byron –

Between two worlds life hovers like a star,
Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon’s verge.
How little do we know that which we are!
How less what we may be!as12

There are different sized pages scattered through the book, added in along the way… This one has been through the printer after me playing around with photo editing (very basic!). All sorts of slightly failed and Not Quite Right projects can have a new life in collages. Anything you really hate can be painted/scribbled over and something fresh put on top. That’s what glue is for! Its playtime! The little doop-stick packet retains the perfume of the sticks, so it makes the book smell nice, and I like the graphics.as13

On the reverse of the under-sized page, a photo of me at 6 is printed on card, and attached with a pretty blue safety pin. The horoscope asserts that I have an amazing ability to put up with things I don’t particularly like… I wouldn’t have cut it out if it wasn’t true. Going to the Course For Women was a life-changer for me, and spending a couple of nights in  a motel on my lonesome in a strange town in order to attend the course was an absolute joy…I’m an Introvert, so I like that kind of thing! There’s not much embellishment on this page, just a bit of blue pencil, and a piece of white tissue wrapping paper pasted under the scraps. If I were to revisit it, I would add more colour, and perhaps stamp over part of it, working the separate pieces into more of a whole.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Threes



possum 1Three birds and a possum – a tale in three pics -When Lucie  and I took Hugo, her dog, for a walk last night, we found this little ring-tail possum on the ground near a park. For some reason, it was being monstered by a crested pigeon… While I tried to get a decent photo, the pigeon chased the possum across the road…possum 2

Why it didn’t take refuge in the tree in the middle of the roundabout, we couldn’t fathom…Luckily it made it to the other corner in one piece, despite passing cars.possum 3

There it was immediately set upon by two Indian Mynahs, with the pigeon still looking on. By now, friend possum had dived into the low vegetation on the nature strip, and disappeared from view… while the Mynahs continued to carry on and make a racket. We left it at that, and went on with our walk, wondering why the birds have such a problem with a possum wandering around in daylight (admittedly unusual), but decided it may be because it looks vaguely like a rat, which could raid their nest for eggs or hatchlings.

Friday Poem: Leaving Aberdeen

Aberdeen MuseumFebruary 20th would have been Kurt Cobain’s 47th birthday, and his hometown of Aberdeen Washington has decided to mark the date as “Kurt Cobain Day”, and embrace the memory and achievements of it’s formerly prodigal son. An event is taking  place in the Historical Museum, and there’s a display in the Library – where Kurt took refuge from the famous weather as a teenager with nowhere else to go, and read widely.

Aberdeen Library

So for today’s poem, I’m posting what I wrote on the morning we left Aberdeen, around two and a half years ago…

Leaving Aberdeen
with its smell of log
trucks in the morning
Biodiesel public buses
Public art
Money lenders pawn
shops mega-banks
Where Rite-aid pharmacy
sells bulk liquor
And Safeway sells

I never saw Walt Whitman
here, or the ghost
of Kurt Cobain.

They have gone elsewhere,
Somewhere with more trees
and a wild river.Aberdeen mural

When we first got off the bus from Olympia, and walked to our motel, we wondered what the hell we’d come to Aberdeen for ( to see where Kurt Cobain came from, but apart from that…), but it quickly grew on us, and by the time we left, we were planning to return some day.Judy's

If only to get inside Judy’s Flea Market, with it’s teetering, beguiling piles of books and more books, LP’s and God only knows what else…

I got a bit carried away with the pictures this week, but any excuse to open up the “Trip” files, and relive a little of “The Trip of a Lifetime”. Can’t wait to go back there… Happy Kurt Cobain Day, Aberdeen, may you live long and prosper!

Creativity: Artist Scrapbook 3

More pages from “Sukie’s Life’s Journey”, a very scrappy artist scrapbook, which I hope will inspire others who save bits and pieces to make a place for them, and have fun at the same time.

as7There’s a quote from Carl Jung written on this page of the scrap book -“You cannot apply kindness and understanding to others if you have not applied it to yourself.”

I had a desk calendar with wise quotes for every day of the year. Some of them found their way into the scrapbook. The word “free” appears often , as I was working toward a lot more personal freedom at the time – still am!

as10Do you see how the three pieces in the centre tie together? That’s what I love about sticking random pieces onto a page – so often, they come to make sense of each other. The more you have accumulated, the better it works! That’s not my favourite pic of Kurt, but newspaper editors (or whoever it is who chooses) seem to know of no other…

as9I don’t remember where I found the quote on the half-page here, but I do believe it is vital for mental health. There is a gum leaf stapled to this page – mere glue would not have held it. The newspaper photo is coloured in with pencils -a scrapbook like this is a fine place to test-out and enjoy your stash of art supplies…You do have a stash, don’t you???

Weekly Photography Challenge: Treasure

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…do I remember that correctly? Anyway, the challenge this week is for a photo portraying “treasure” -what do you treasure, what is important to you? One person’s trash is another’s treasure, and vice versa – which gives rise to the joy of Op-shopping, and bargain hunting in markets.

Once-upon-a-time in our rural hamlet, it meant the slightly extreme sport of “Tip-ratting” – people took their rubbish and unwanted goods to “the tip”, and tossed them into the pile, where other tip-users could, if so inclined, poke around in search of treasures amongst the trash. Since the trash generally included such hazards as the remains of home killed sheep, broken glass and assorted rusty, spider-ridden metal, treasure hunters needed stout footwear and a hardy constitution.

On one such visit, my husband found a jewelers box, with this necklace and earring set inside. It was in perfect condition, although out of fashion at the time. It is ‘only’ costume jewelry, of no great monetary value, but it has been worn many times for dress-ups and looks incredibly posh, especially when you consider where it came from.

Last weekend, I searched for and found the set, to wear to our Community Hall’s Centenary Ball, with the sapphire blue gown I bought at an op shop/thrift store. Perfect!

Friday Poem: Courtship

It’s valentines day, so a poem about love today is a given.heart

Shadowing each other
We step upon
The other’s shadow
And claim each other
For our own.

Circling each other
We step into
The other’s  circle
And choose each other
For our own.

Loving each other
We fall into
The other’s love
And know each other
For our own.rainy heart

True Love Will Find You In The End – sorry it’s not quite working properly. I tried!

rainbow heart

My Peace Love Empathy emblem is drawn in one continuous line, starting in the top centre of the red heart, and running around and back seven times, making a little loop at the base of each heart. This one was drawn digitally, using the mouse, which is why it’s a tad wonky. The rainbow colours represent peace, the heart, love (der) and the red blood drops, empathy.

Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon

Today’s prompt asks writers to talk about Karma – if you knew it was a real phenomenon, how would it affect your behaviour –  but for artists, poets and photographers, the prompt is much simpler – Circles.

Circles may come in many forms, such as the giant basket-work structure, or the moon,  but they are all, by definition, capable of revolution.

Creativity: Artist Scrapbook 2

Some more scrapbook pages. The paper of this page is creamy coloured with a ‘woven’ texture, which works nicely with scribbles of beautiful soft pencils. Down the left side, I pasted 4 school photos of my youngest,  progressing from little kid to adolescent. There’s one of the two girls as well, from primary school. these are the sort of things that end up in a box or drawer, after copies have gone to grandparents, because they are excess to requirements, but who wants to throw pics of their kids in the bin? A scrappy page collage is a good place for them!

There is an appealing quote in the newspaper cutting, which I highlighted, and also hand wrote for emphasis. There’s a Carl Rogers quote as well…”Freedom to be oneself is a frighteningly responsible freedom, and the individual moves toward it cautiously, fearfully, and with almost no confidence at first.”as5

Some favourite fabric scraps made it on to this page. Staples are a great way to attach things. You can sometimes buy coloured ones, too.  Depending on the size of the stapler, the object might need to be close to the edge of a page. This page is on redeployed brown paper.as6

One of my photos, an Oxfam postcard, from an early Fair trade campaign (that’s Michael Stipe having milk ‘dumped’ on him),  and a magazine photo of Kurt Cobain, which I coloured in. Because I can. The Peace Love Empathy symbol, I have been drawing for years. One of these days, I might get it as a tattoo.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Selfie

This weeks challenge – selfie! The very word makes me squirm inside. I have nieces and other youthful friends who post fresh selfies on Facebook weekly at least. Not I. I have played around a couple of times with self portraiture, using a mirror, in the quest for an amusing ( to me ), “author” photo. I do prefer to be behind the lens, visible sometimes as a reflection or shadow.

Or just via the things I like and which inspire me. I do appear in this shot – as a five year old flowergirl in the black and white photo in the top left hand corner…not that you can tell!

nov2010 035


Just for the record, here’s my “Author” selfie – would you buy a book by this woman?! I’ve played with it in paint.Net, making it a ‘drawing’, and then sepia, to produce something which I think would be fitting on a book jacket. Now I just have to write the book….

author sketch sepiaI used a mirror to take the photo, but so that I could see what I was aiming at, I held the camera lens toward myself, the screen visible in the mirror in front of me. One has to have a certain amount of control…It still took 7-8 shots to get what I wanted.