Tag Archives: arts and crafts

A trail-blazing woman

owl on branch with greeting

Today I mailed this “wise owl” card to my great-aunt for her 109th birthday. No, that is not a typo. Helene “Helli” Stehle was born to a butcher and his wife on December 6, 1907, in Basel, Switzerland. But longevity is by no means the most remarkable thing about Helli. This pioneering woman first achieved fame in Switzerland as a stage actor playing strong characters. She has always been a vibrant, strong-willed woman with a great zest for life, so I can imagine how riveting her performances Read more

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Election Edition

painting of forest trail with haiku

Apparently there is some sort of election coming up. Lately I’ve been grinding my teeth at night and, although this could be one of Hillary Clinton’s secret conspiracies, I prefer to blame it on Donald Trump. campaign sign the dog registers his opinion Last weekend I attended the wonderful Seabeck Haiku Getaway in Washington State. Sprinkled among the presentations and activities, there were several “Write Now” sessions in which we had five minutes to draft haiku on a particular Read more

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring art in old Japan

maple leaves in fall with haiku

Besides a grand family adventure, my trip to Japan earlier this summer (see Journey to Japan) was also an exploration of Japanese art and haiku—and a chance to stock up on hard-to-find art supplies. A major highlight of the trip was a visit to a famous art supply store in Kyoto, founded by a painter in 1863 and still run by his descendants. At the one-room Saiun-do (“Painted Clouds”), I found the fine brushes, made of weasel hair and bamboo, for which I had spent years searching. I also Read more

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Light in the time of darkness

cat stalks mouse ornament

As you may have heard, the holidays are upon us. Amid the Christmas muzak and urgent appeals to buy mass-produced widgets, it’s easy to lose sight of the true spirit of the season. There is such pressure—to buy the perfect gifts, to cook lavish meals, to decorate the house festively, to have the most wonderful time ever.  toobusytostophamsterwheel (Prune Juice, July 2015) But I believe that behind all that, there is a simple urge. We are looking for meaning and connection with the people Read more

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving abundance

chili pepper wreath

As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m thinking about the fact that we in the U.S. have a holiday that is completely devoted to gathering with our loved ones and giving thanks. Isn’t it cool that in deepest, darkest November, family and friends come together to share a feast that represents abundance? Covered in gravy, with a side of cranberry sauce. I’m grateful to be enjoying a less stressful holiday season than usual. For this month and next, I’ve consciously stepped back from some commitments Read more

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

The path unfolds

forest trail with haiku

Our daughter started college this fall. Before it happened, I couldn’t fully understand how much lies behind that simple statement—hope and excitement for your child’s future mixed with worry and sadness at their leaving. For weeks after we dropped Maya off, the smallest thing could bring me to tears, like measuring oatmeal for three instead of four. My husband, son and I all miss her effervescent spirit, affectionate nature and hilarious observations. She has left our home quieter, Read more

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

One brushstroke at a time

painting of beach scene with haiku

When I first tried sumi ink painting five years ago, I struggled. There was frustration. There was angst. In this ancient medium, you grind an ink stick made of pine soot and glue in an ink stone with a few drops of water, then paint with bamboo brushes on rice paper. Sounds simple enough, right? But in practice, there are many ways to go wrong—and I excelled at all of them. I ground the ink too thin and it dried sad and gray on the paper; I ground it too thick and my strokes ran out Read more

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Responses

Juicy bugs and other treats

three chickens with haiku

Happy Haiku Poetry Day! To celebrate, I’m sharing a selection of the haiku and senryu I’ve had published in the past year. (And if, like most people, you were taught that haiku in English need to follow the 5-7-5 syllable pattern, think again. On his Graceguts site, haiku poet Michael Dylan Welch explains why that is an urban myth, and the secrets of how to write good haiku.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wishing you peaceful holidays

dog and cat sleeping together

Whew. After weeks of holiday madness for my little business, I have just one more in-person event this season, a holiday craft fair in Arcata this weekend. With this chance to catch my breath, I just want to say a big thank you to all my customers, family and friends. This holiday season and all year, it is a tremendous gift to be able to spend this brief time on earth engaged in truly meaningful work. the time we are given . . . sparks rise through darkness to join the stars (tinywords Read more

Posted in Uncategorized | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When you work for an idiot

excited dog in entry room

It’s been said that one of the downsides of being self-employed is that you may find yourself working for an idiot. As the founder, CEO and sole staffer of Makino Studios, I get to consider this on a regular basis.

Posted in Category #1 | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Responses