Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Bliss

I love the spring! LOVE IT! I spent today in my own personal version of heaven. A kind friend was good enough to share some of her amazingly healthy perennials with us. We spent some time with her this morning gathering up the lovelies and picking up a few annuals for the planters and hanging baskets. YUM!

I was in color heaven, surrounded by all of the delectable sights and smells of summer. If I were a millionaire, I'd have to drop a few thousand on plants and flowers at Lowe's. I'm equally tempted by both indoor and outdoor plants. I simply love to grow things. I love to be surrounded by greenery and blossoms.

Despite not feeling 100%, I was still drawn outside to enjoy this perfect, sun-filled spring day. Rit and I spent the afternoon on our knees and up to our elbows in freshly turned soil planting the new additions to our garden. She's not quite so addicted to the experience as I am. I love feeling the dirt between my fingers and toes. I love planting and watering and nurturing. I'm one of those crazy people who talk to their plants, who attempt to coax slow blossoms into revealing their color through gentle conversation. I love spending summer evenings in the yard watering my garden, willing the peacefulness and serenity and patience of the greenery to soak into my being as though by osmosis through my bare feet. It calms and inspires me.

Tonight my fingers are crossed, hoping that all of the transplants we welcomed today will brighten back up and embrace their new home. Tomorrow brings a long work day spent in the studio with orders to fill. No complaints.

I hope everyone had an equally relaxing weekend and enjoyed time spent with family and friends.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hello, Sunshine!

So what did you do Friday afternoon, Kate? Oh, I just spent the last 20 minutes or so worshipping my good friend, the sun, el sol, le soleil, il sole, giver of wonderful warmth and happy and bright thoughts, lifter of my mood. I wasn't worshipping in the traditional sense of my youth--slathered in oil and lying spread eagle on the trampoline. No, I was simply sitting in my back yard with my eyes closed, soaking up the warmth and letting my thoughts float around and over and through future creative endeavors involving glass, paper and fabric. Color and emotion being at the forefront of each. I can't wait for the ghostly images to settle into something I can bring out and shape into some tangible object. A little quiet creative time is good.

Basking the bright orange and red and yellow warmth of the sun inspires me. I hope you find these photos equally inspiring. They seem so fitting today.
Complements of Rit, I give you YELLOW:

What a great eye! Enjoy!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

White Noise

Today's inspirational color is...

WHITE (or the combination of all color).

Think light, think balance, think clean and bright and peaceful.

Enjoy: White...

Kudos to Rit again for an assignment very well done.

Bye, Bye Georges...

So the Georges have officially flown the coop, so to speak. I noticed that they were becoming particularly bold in their wandering throughout the weekend. I checked on them Sunday afternoon and then went to take a shower. All were cuddled up, sleeping soundly. About an hour later, Rit came into the living room with a look of such sadness on her face. All she could say was..."Don't look outside. Just don't look."

After much wailing and a puddle of tears, we buried two of the Georges. I still don't know what happened to them. The rest had left...gone. I did a little research online and learned that it was time for them to leave the nest...they were plenty big enough. They had to make a 4-1/2 foot leap down from the nest onto the concrete of the driveway. I don't know if those two just didn't survive the leap or what. I was so sad. I know, I know...the whole circle of life thing...survival of the fittest and all that. I was just heartbroken that two of them died. I did see one of them later hiding in the tall grass of our front yard. I hope he finds a new nest to call home.

As I dug a hole in our soon-to-be flower bed for the burial, tears streaming down my face, I went through an internal session of kicking myself for getting so attached to the little guys. See, no thick emotional skin. What did I tell you? (See previous post...)

But as I've thought about my complete and total emotional vulnerability, I can't help but smile. It's what makes me who I am. Yes, I cry during sappy commercials and I gasp at the sight of dead animals by the side of the road. But I'm also so easily amused that I laugh openly and loudly at the same commercials over and over, regardless of how many times I've seen them. I think it makes life more enjoyable to feel be emotionally available and open and aware.

I take great pleasure at the little things...the perfect grapefruit, fragrant lilacs, grass under my bare feet, a mid-afternoon nap cuddled up with my girls, a newly painted room. But I also drop into emotional turmoil when two of my little Georges don't make it to their two-month birthday.

It's what pulls me into my studio each surround myself with glass and to pull from my deepest inside a seemingly endless supply of whimsical designs and eye-catching color combinations...all while keeping my brain occupied with books on tape, excellent music or taped season finales of my favorite shows. It's what allows me to do what I do day after day...and enjoy it so much. It's all part of the overly sensitive package called Kate.

I hope there are more Georges next spring.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Winter is hard on me. Don't get me wrong--I enjoy a good yummy snow storm. I enjoy the quietness of a winter day. I love snowshoeing and skiing and snowmobiling. I love hunkering down with a thick blanket and a good book while a mad, crazy blizzard rages outside. But after the rush of a busy fall and the craziness of the holidays and seasonal orders, I find myself sinking into a deep funk after Christmas. I think January through April are the hardest times of the year for me. I claw my way out of darkness every day searching for some semblance of a routine to get me through to the next morning. It's rough. I don't feel anything like my usual self.

That's part of the reason I anticipate spring with such glee. I can't wait for the days to start growing, for my ferns to begin their long arching stretch toward the sun, for the birds to return and greet me each morning, and for the blossoms to unfold and reveal their magnificence. I love hearing children's laughter as they dare to venture into the outdoors once again. I love the feeling of the sun on my face. I love seeing all of the new life that slowly spreads across the once barren artic tundra. It delights me to no end. This spring brought a wonderful new surprise.

If this doesn't melt your heart, then you must be completely lacking in softness and affection for all things small and loveable and furry and too cute...

About a week ago, I noticed a rabbit hanging out in our yard. This isn't TOO abnormal in that this area does have its fair share of rabbits. However, we have two large dogs, both of which obsess about small furry things that dash about in a teasing manner. This has turned our yard into a mostly small-furry-animal-free zone. Only the bravest of squirrels dare cross the threshold into an up close and personal--not to mention potentially fatal--version of "When Good Pets Go Bad."

So there she was...just sitting there, huddled up against the house. I watched her for a minute, and then I came in the house and called Rit. I thought it was so odd that a rabbit was hanging out in our yard that I had to a share the shock of it all. The next time I looked, the rabbit was gone. Since that day, I always look in the same place for her. I would hate for the dogs to catch sight of her before I did. Much screaming and barking and fur-flying would ensue and it would take me weeks to recover from the horror.

I have had my fair share of dead-animals-in-my-yard experiences growing up. We had a pet chicken named Gloria who met with an untimely demise. And then there were the baby chicks I was raising, which were slaughtered by my own dog while I was at church one Sunday. Not to mention the time my pet kitty was hiding in the lawn mower when my sister attempted to mow the lawn. All quite scarring. But I LOVE animals. With my healthy stash of animal death horror stories, one would think that I have developed a thick skin when it comes to this sort of thing. But no. I still choke up when I see a poor deer or raccoon by the side of the road, struck down in the prime of its life. I can't even handle disposing of the little songbirds that mistake our front window for a lush forest. Any time I hear that sickening thump, I immediately dart out front to see if the little fella needs CPR or crutches...perhaps an aspirin.

As I approached the planting bed this afternoon, my eyes settled on the same spot in search of a furry little ball. Instead, I was greeted by a tiny little pile of dark eyes, twitching noses and perfect pairs of ears. My delight was palpable.

"I will hold you and kiss you and stroke you and call you George."

I think I've counted six little ones, but such a mass can be hard to separate into individual palm-size bunnies. I love them already, but I am refraining from touching them or getting too close. I'd hate to throw a wrench into the whole circle of life thing. I was so excited that I've already shared the news with my mail carrier, the incomparable Lynn; my neighbor, Michelle; and anyone else who will hold still and feign interest long enough.


Well, Otto, in all of her wild wisdom and tracking prowess, has discovered that something is amiss in the yard. I've talked with her about how devastated I would be and how long it would take me to forgive her should she harm the Georges in any way. She doesn't seem to care much. I'm keeping her far, far away until they find their way out of their cubby. She is wolf-like after all. The call of the wild runs through her veins.

Here's a photo of cuteness incarnate...I give you the Georges:

I'm taking the appearance of these new little lives as a sign. It's going to be a great summer.