Tag Archives: holidays

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Ripples from a stone

doe and fawn in forest clearing, with haiku

I’ve been thinking about cause and effect—and ripples. Even we fuzzy artsy types, who met our college science requirement by taking “Physics for Poets,” know that when you throw a stone in the water, the effect is not linear: the ripples radiate out in concentric circles, farther and farther from the source. So it goes in the rest of life: while actions certainly have consequences, you can never clearly predict what they will be. A tossed pebble may create a wave that washes a bug Read more

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Stories you told me

jacaranda tree in bloom with words

In the nonprofit world where I used to work, funders were always asking for “success stories,” examples of how their support was making a direct impact. While those kinds of stories could be hard to come by, in my current life as an artist and writer, I hear them all the time. One reason I like to do fairs is to market-test new designs before I offer them widely to stores. Another reason is for the chance to talk directly with my customers. So let’s say for a moment that you are a billionaire Read more

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A series of unfortunate events

persimmons on branch

It was a very trying couple of weeks. The first thing to go wrong was that mice invaded our kitchen and bathroom, leaving their droppings in most of our drawers and cabinets. Just days after I finished cleaning and sterilizing everything from that episode, the dog did his business on the driveway, my husband stepped in it wearing hiking boots, and voilà— a trail all through the downstairs that even a human could track by smell. After cleaning the evidence off the carpets and floors, I updated Read more

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Humboldt Holidays

haiku and dog painting

What a rainstorm we’re having! As I write, I can see redwoods swaying in the wind, big green leaves blowing off the alders, and raindrops bouncing hard off the deck. I hope you are finding ways to stay cheerful despite the wet and gloom. steady rain 80% chance of popcorn Meanwhile, I have been busy in my studio framing paintings and prints, assembling new cards, and making books with washi paper I brought back from Japan. This post is especially for folks here in Humboldt County, California. Read more

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