my talisman

I made this!!

I was inspired by the jewelry in the recent Sundance Catalog, primarily with Jes Maharry’s necklaces, that I wanted to create one for myself. Now the difference, of course, is she makes all her charms & I bought mine in a little bead shop in Santa Fe (which was a fun adventure in itself). I was a little out of practice with working with wire & beads, so it took a few tries to come up with this.

I call this “my true nature.”  It has all the elements I feel are truly me; a blossoming flower, a flying bird, a sea turtle, different wires, all the elements, all the colors, combined to create contrast & intrigue.  It was put together a bit clumsily, not perfect (I can be a perfectionist around imperfection – don’t want to offend the Gods & all) There is a swirl, showing the constant movement inward. And I love the cloisonné bead & vintage bird design – perhaps these depict my old soul-ness. Anyways, it was fun & frustrating making, but I love the end result & I’m excited to start on my next one.

My true nature necklace


my reminder



therapy & a yellow umbrella

After my therapy session at the VA yesterday, I wanted to journal a bit about what we talked about & ponder some ideas – perhaps dive a little deeper into them. (I love my therapist BTW, she is perfect for her job & truly brilliant). We talked about a lot of things that have been difficult lately; how it’s hard to break through my depression some of the times, how it’s hard to switch from my right-brain-creative-space to my left-brain-time-to-prepare-dinner-&-take-care-of-the-family-space. Also, I just feel stuck in a place of not doing what I know I should be doing to have the experience I want to have – things like health, spiritual wellbeing, joy, etc.

yellow umbrella

Dr. Beckner listened & asked a lot of questions, but the question that sat with me in the end was, what has worked for me in the past? So I went to Antidote, a coffee shop near my house, pondering what has worked to shake me from a funk & i couldn’t stop looking at this large yellow umbrella outside the window. Next i noticed the couch i was sitting on was yellow & i couldn’t help but start photographing everything i noticed that was yellow. It’s now been about 24 hours & i’m still photographing yellow.

Oh & i thought of some things that have worked in the past that don’t involve moving to another country or state, or giving away everything i own & going to war.

Listening to Abraham regularly & applying what they teach has worked remarkably. Getting a clear vision of the life i want to live & seeing clearly the life i am living – the full, richness of it, the love & the depth of love & play in our house has pulled me out of the deepest funks in the past. Basically it boils down to focusing on what i want & not on what is not going well, or how blah & funky i feel. It’s focusing on what we have, what we have created, how juicy it feels & just relishing in that, has always worked well.

I had crazy scary dreams last night, actually more disturbing than scary & i woke with a distant feeling, as if a part of me was still in that world, not wanting to leave just yet. So i sipped my coffee in a spaced out state waiting for the nanny to arrive, then i went for a walk in the rain (as you know, i LoVE the rain).  I photographed yellow, got wet, savored the 85 plus degree air, all while listening to Abraham on my iPhone. I feel much better, i feel the shift.

Here’s my compilation of yellow (why yellow? I’m not sure except that I love green so much & can we know the fullness of green without yellow? Can we know green at all without yellow?):


yellow umbrella


yellow umbrella

the couch


another angle of yellow



yellow veneer


just a touch

hanging marigolds


near beer mosaic


birthday balloon


yellowing vine

sprayed yellow


yellow poles

yellow sea star


my rain boots






love these thunder thighs

loved til the end

I painted this from a photo of me & then exaggerated the thighs a bit, not much, but enough. I love her audacious movement. I call it, “Loved Until the End.” she seems to be like someone with the confidence, strength & beauty to be loved until the end of time. I think she is definitely a member of the Clan of the Thunder Thighs but check it out for yourself. ( ) I’m not quite finished with her just yet, but I wanted to share anyways. I’ll keep you all posted on how she turns out.

The piece to the right is an assemblage I call, “Riper for Revolution.” It’s a swan tied to a silver spoon with wire & other doodads. I love doing assemblage & with this one started playing around with embossing metal. I made all sorts of designs, swirls, flowers, etc. It is fun.


ripe for revolution


I started this mixed media piece in 2004 & just picked it up again to work on it. The top squares are all photographs I took. I should take a few closer photographs so you can get a better looksy.


That’s it for now. I just got into Santa Fe, NM, so I want to get out & see the enchanted city.

wurlitzer on the 4th of July

This 4th of July we dropped by the Milroy Mansion for some barbeque  that had been cooking all night by the famous Doc Hawkins. He started the night before & stayed up all night tending to the fire. Doc is one of those characters that takes his barbeque seriously – he has one of those barbeques you pull around on a trailer. He enters contests & has been on the Food Network channel. Doc is also Larry’s chiropractor, that’s how they met – Doc looks a bit like Sam Elliot from Lonesome Dove & is the only chiropractor I know that smokes. He says he picked up the habit in the Navy & has never stopped, then he handed me a handful of peanut m&ms.

We swung by last night to check out how he puts together the brisket & to hang out. It turns out we got more than we expected & were pleasantly surprised to meet an odd clutch of characters & get a ride in the 59 Cadillac convertable. The only way I can paint the scene of the people & the space is to have you imagine a David Lynch movie with his odd-ness that usually leaves me scratching my head, saying, “huh?” or “hmmm.”

There was Allen who owns the Milroy Mansion & many mechanical musically machines too many to count. His historical mansion is filled to the brim with them. Incidentally he decided he was going to live in this house when he was three years old & he actually bought it when he was 30. I find that interesting, something about focus & having a visions.

He & I had a lot to talk about because when I was in high school I worked at Pizza & Pipes in Bellevue, WA where a Wurlitzer organ was played while people ate pizza. He was familiar with the place & knew the musicians that played the organ. He was also the owner of the 59 Cadillac that was once owned by Jaja Gabor, apparently bought for one of her lovers. Good story, I love objects with a good story.

The Romanian woman who listed every detail of her day with her 3 years & 8 months old daughter. Her child is learning three languages & three sports, all with private, focused lessons. And she asked with a drippingly sexy, Romanian accent, “what else besides swimming is your son in?” “Nothing,” I replied, “we are practicing the fine art of under achievement.” No, I didn’t, but I wish I had. I mean, what would she have said.

Then there is the Doc, looking a bit like a man who should have lived in Texas when it was still being tamed, much like “the Cowboy” in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive.

It was an interesting party, both days, unfortunately no one but Allen would let me take a photo of them so instead I took photos of the Cadillac & the Musical Machines. I loved these machines with all their carvings & colors. They do give me a feeling of a carnival or an arcade, which is interesting & has a mysterious side. You know, behind the scenes something else is playing out, but up front it is all music lights & games. Kinda reminds me of the party & the space where it was held. There was a lot of mystery, but there was also this front of playfulness & fun. I have so many questions to ask.

wurlitzer player piano

music & pipes

Allen at the recording piano in Milroy Mansion

Imagine that! There is a piano that records your playing with holes in a role of paper and then plays back your music,

 100 years ago or so. That’s so cool.






sunday nude

I had this old canvas lying around from 2007 from a painting I started that never really worked out so I just used it for a practice nude. It was a bit awkward for a portrait because of the tissue paper I had glued on the canvas (a bit bumpy) but I dove in anyway just for the fun of it. So this is my Sunday Nude, wait it’s still Saturday – all the days blur together. My Saturday Nude!

So I started with a sketch from a nude out of photography book & then started in on the shadows first and built up until I got to this below.

juicy friday evening @ Children’s museum

Larry & Finn in a Tuk Tuk

We are blessed to have “The Best Children’s Museum” in the USA, according to Parents Magazine, right here in Houston, 15 minutes from our home. Yay!!! It is amazing, more than you can see in one day. Larry flew up to Dallas for business for the day and met us there this evening after he landed. It’s so fun to just pop in for an hour and see what’s cookin. These are photos from the Mexican Mercado exhibit.

We came home & Finn, Momma & Daddy all got naked on the back porch so Finn could hose us off. It was exhilarating and sweet. Can’t wait for our pool to be finished so we can skinny dip every evening.

Finn's driving the VW Van

iPhone street shooting . . .

I couldn’t stay in with my new iPhone camera while it was raining, so I went for a ride through the hood, grabbed some coffee & photographed what caught my eye. This is so fun!!! I’m trying to do something creative everyday & didn’t feel like going up to the studio today – turns out I didn’t have to.


The Art Car Parade

The Monster We Rode In

At my first Art Car Parade in 2010, I remember thinking how cool it would be to have my own art car and I began the planning of my Gypsy Love Caravan Art Car. Of course, as the year went along I got caught up in my thousand other projects and never got around to buying an old car, learning how to weld, finding a garage to work out of, buying some tools, drawing up designs, and so on.

So Cool!

So this year we were going as spectators again but just by chance from a connection of a connection and good timing we were persistantly asked to ride in the back of one of the art cars. We were a little reluctant at first but we had so much fun, smiling and waving to the crowds. The way I see it we are only a year or two away from actually having our own car in the parade. How fun, serendipitious and well fun!

The best part was watching everyone’s expressions and reactions to the cars was priceless, my hubby agrees. Lately I’ve been in awe of all different ways people physically look and also how they express their inner selves in dress and hair and what nots. :o)

Enjoy the photos!  Katariina

Raine with Monster